-- PSALM xxiv.
Who shall be permitted to pass into the sanctuary of the cloud, and have communion with the Lord in the holy place? "He that hath clean hands." These hands of mine, the symbols of conduct, the expression of the outer life, what are they like? "Your hands are full of blood." Those hands had been busy murdering others, pillaging others, brutally ill-using their fellow-men. We may do it in business. We may do it in conversation. We may do it in a criminal silence. Our hands may be foul with a brother's blood. And men and women with hands like these cannot "ascend into the hill of the Lord." There must be no stain of an unfair and scandalous life.
"And a pure heart." We need not trouble about the hands if the heart be clean. If all the presences that move in the heart -- desires, and motives, and sentiments, and ideals -- are like white-robed angels "without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," everything that emerges into outer life will share the same radiant purity. The heart expresses itself in the hands. Character blossoms in conduct. The quality of our current coin is determined by the quality of the metal in the mint. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."