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Thomas Watson on Dead Morality


Strewing flowers on a dead corpse!

(Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660)

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 Saviour! 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

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