Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matt. 5:8.
Is there such a blessed privilege after this life? Then let me persuade all who hear me this day:
- To get into Christ. We cannot come to God but by Christ. Moses when he was in the rock saw In this blessed rock, Christ, we shall see God.
2 To be purified persons. It is only the pure in heart who shall see God. It is only a clear eye can behold a bright transparent object. Those only who have their hearts cleansed from sin can have this blessed sight of God. Sin is such a cloud as, if it be not removed, will for ever hinder us from seeing the Sun of Righteousness. Christian, have you upon your heart ‘holiness to the Lord’? Then you shall see God. There are many, says Augustine, could be content to go to heaven, but they are loath to take the way that leads thither. They would have the glorious vision but neglect the gracious union.
Let me turn myself to the pure in heart.
- 1.Stand amazed at this privilege, that you who are worms crept out of the dust should be admitted to the blessed sight of God to all eternity. It was Moses, prayer, ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory’ (Exodus 33:18). The saints shall behold God’s glory. The pure in heart shall have the same blessedness that God himself has. For what is the blessedness of God but the contemplating his own infinite beauty!
- 2.Begin your sight of God here. Let the eye of your faith be still upon God. Moses by faith ’sawhim who is invisible’ (Hebrews 11:27). Often look upon him with believing eyes, whom you hope to see with glorified eyes. ‘Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord’ (Psalm 25:15). While others are looking towards the earth as if they would fetch all their comforts thence, let us look up to heaven. There is the best prospect. The sight of God by faith would let in much joy to the soul. ‘Though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable’ (1 Peter 1:8).
- 3.Let this be as cordial-water to revive the pure in heart. Be comforted with this, you shall shortlysee God. The godly have many sights here that they would not see. They see a body of death; they see the sword unsheathed; they see rebellion wearing the mask of religion; they see the white devil. These sights occasion sorrow; but there is a blessed sight a-coming, ‘They shall see God.’ And in him are all sparkling beauties and ravishing joys to be found.
4 Be not discouraged at sufferings. All the hurt that affliction and death can do is to give you a sight of God. As one said to his fellow-martyr, ‘One half hour in glory will make us forget our pain’. The sun arising, all the dark shadows of the night fly away. When the pleasant beams of God’s countenance shall begin to shine upon the soul in heaven, then sorrows and sufferings shall be no more. ‘The dark shadows of the night, shall fly away. The thoughts of this beatifical vision should carry a Christian full sail with joy through the waters of affliction. This made Job so willing to embrace death: ‘I know that my redeemer liveth, and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God’ (Job 19:25, 26).