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There are but few words in the English language sweeter and more beautiful than the word purity. What tender, mellow light beams out from its depths through its crystal clearness! what a halo of glory encircles it! what a sweet melody is contained in the sound, which, as it falls upon the soul, awakens all that is manly, noble, and godly there! Purity! who can repeat this word and not feel and hear a sweet rythm reverberating through all the avenues of his spiritual being? "Keep thyself pure." Is there a soul so deep in slumber, so stupefied by the opiates of sin, as to know no awakening by the sweet melodious chimes that ring out from this heavenly command! Dismal, indeed, must be the heart in which no aspirations for a pure, devoted life are awakened by these glorious words.
Listen, O my soul, to the sweet music, "Keep thyself pure." Tuned by the Spirit and sung by the voice of inspiration, in the bright morning of this glorious gospel day, it comes ringing down through the ages and is awakening desires and aspirations for the truest nobility of manhood, the deepest piety, and the highest plane of moral purity to which man can attain through the redeeming grace of God.
The command to you, young man, is, "Keep thyself pure"; and to you, young lady, "Keep thyself pure"; and to all who are farther down the stream of life and hastening on to the boundless ocean of eternity, "Keep thyself pure." If you desire to comprehend something of the true meaning of purity, think of heaven: what purity is in heaven, so it is on earth; what it is in the life of Christ, so it is in the life of man. Here upon the shores of time we look away, by an eye of faith, and behold the purity of heaven and its inhabitants. We behold the angels and the great white throne, upon which sits the King of glory; but who, of all mankind, will really be eye-witnesses of that fair scene? The Lamb, who is the light over there, makes answer, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
From that golden throne of God and the Lamb, the "beloved disciple," from the land of visions, saw flowing a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal; and he heard the Lord of heaven and earth saying, "I will give unto him that is athirst of the water of life freely"; and the Spirit and the bride repeat the invitation, saying, "Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely." But what is this pure river of water of life? It is the wonderful river of God's saving grace, issuing forth from out his throne and flowing throughout all his kingdom. The Son of God extended his Father's kingdom to this earth and set the glorious stream of salvation flowing here. This wonderful stream is just as pure and its waters just as sweet in their onward flowing here, as they are when they come sparkling forth from out the throne. If you will come and wash in this crystal stream; if you will drink of its delicious waters,—they will make you as pure as the throne from which they flow. If you will allow them to ripple over your soul, they will cleanse you and make you pure, so that purity in your heart will not be inferior to that purity which encircles the throne of God. Glory to his name!
The Psalmist says, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." White is an emblem of purity. When John beheld the multitude of all nations standing before the throne and the Lamb, clothed in white robes, he asked whence they came. "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Rev. 7:14.
Purity of soul and heart and mind and conscience and thought and life is an experience to be attained to and enjoyed in this life. Peter says, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth." 1 Pet. 1:22. Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart." Mat. 5:8. Paul says, "I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience." 2 Tim. 1:3. Peter says, "I stir up your pure minds." 2 Pet. 3:1. Paul says, "Whatsoever things are pure, ... think on these things." See Phil. 4:8,9. Christ is the standard of purity. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." 1 John 3:3. Purity in all the affections, in all the desires, in all the motives, and in all the thoughts. The heart that is made pure in the light of God reveals nothing contrary to heaven. Nothing can be more noble and beautiful upon earth than a pure life. Oh, how many unclean and impure thoughts and desires are filling the minds and hearts of men and women in these awful iniquitous days! Dear reader, "Keep thyself pure."
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