In the Ancient Mysteries purity of heart and life was an essential prerequisite to initiation, because by initiation the aspirant was brought to a knowledge of God, to know whom was not permitted to the impure. For, says Origen (Cont. Cel., vi.), "a defiled heart cannot see God, but he must be pure who desires to obtain a proper view of a pure Being." And in the same spirit the Divine Master says: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." But "to see God" is a Hebraism, signifying to possess him, to be spiritually in communion with him, to know his true character. Now to acquire this knowledge of God, symbolized by the knowledge of his Name, is the great object of Masonic, as it was of all ancient initiation; and hence the candidate in Masonry is required to be pure, for "he only can stand in the holy place who hath clean hands and a pure heart."

This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

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