Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Puritans (Part 4)

Here is another great excerpt from the writings of Thomas Watson. This is from his exposition of the Beatitudes, which he penned in 1660. As I read this today I was struck by just how relevant this is to us today; how many of our churches are wasting time "washing swine" instead of preaching the Gospel. Jesus called us to be pure in heart, the Puritans echoed that call, and that is what we need to hear today.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

External morality is not heart-purity. A person may be clothed with great moral virtues, such as justice, charity, prudence, and temperance — and yet go to hell.

We must not rest in mere outward morality. A swine may be washed — yet be a swine still. Morality does but wash a man — grace changes him. Morality may shine in the eyes of the world — but it differs as much from purity, as a pebble differs from a diamond!

Morality is but strewing flowers on a dead corpse!

A man who is but highly moral — is but a tame devil.

How many have made 'morality' their Savior!
Morality will damn — as well as vice! A boat may
be sunk with gold — as well as with dung.

The moral person, though he will not commit gross sins — yet he is not sensible of heart sins. He is not
troubled for unbelief, hardness of heart, vanity of thoughts. He abhors gross-sins, not gospel-sins.

The snake has a fine appearance — but has a deadly sting! Just so, the moral man is fair to look on — but has a secret antipathy against the holy ways of God.

Morality is not to be rested in. The heart must be pure. God would have Aaron wash the inner parts of the sacrifice (Leviticus 9:14). Morality does but wash the outside; the inside must be washed. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

Thomas Watson - 1660
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