Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume V/Concerning Man's Perfection in Righteousness/Chapter 34
(33.) The Fifth Passage.
“This,” says he, “is another text of theirs: ‘Who will boast that he has a pure heart?’” And then he answered this with several passages, wishing to show that there can be in man a pure heart. But he omits to inform us how the passage which he reported as quoted against himself must be taken, so as to prevent Holy Scripture seeming to be opposed to itself in this text, and in the passages by which he makes his answer. We for our part indeed tell him, in answer, that the clause, “Who will boast that he has a pure heart?” is a suitable sequel to the preceding sentence, “whenever a righteous king sits upon the throne.” For how great soever ever a man’s righteousness may be, he ought to reflect and think, lest there should be found something blameworthy, which has escaped indeed his own notice, when that righteous King shall sit upon His throne, whose cognizance no sins can possibly escape, not even those of which it is said, “Who understandeth his transgressions?” “When, therefore, the righteous King shall sit upon His throne, . . . who will boast that he has a pure heart? or who will boldly say that he is pure from sin?” Except perhaps those who wish to boast of their own righteousness, and not glory in the mercy of the Judge Himself.
- See also his work Contra Julianum. ii. 8.
- Prov. xx. 9.
- Prov. xx. 8.
- Ps. xix. 12.
- Prov. xx. 8, 9.