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The First Exhortation, Concerning Purity

The Purity that is stainless,
To this I exhort men;
To the Purity of the Highest I point the Sons of Light.
I exhort also the children of error to the excellent Way of Purity;
For out of Purity groweth Truth,
And they who seek it, seek the heavenly Light.
Ye who are bound, come now and be free;
Say not, "I am helpless", ye who are enslaved,
For the way of emancipation is opened up,
Yea, even salvation knocketh at your door.
Will you choose liberty?
Or will ye rather choose to be bound?
In Purity there is freedom,
Understanding dwelleth in her Temple,
And joy, and Gladness, and Peace are her doorkeepers.
Come, then, and listen to the exhortation of Truth,
And, having listened, do that which is pure,
And doing that which is pure ye shall know the supreme blessedness.
Not in thy acts alone shalt thou find Purity,
The Purity of the Highest is not confined to acts.
Not by cutting off thy acts shalt thou become pure,
But by cleansing the source of thy acts,
Even thy mind and heart,
For a pure mind cannot commit impure acts,
Neither can a stainless heart bring forth any unlovely thing.
What, then, defileth, and what maketh clean?
The unchaste thought,
The impure desire,
The selfish inclination,
This defileth, and bringeth forth darkness and death.
The pure thought,
The holy aspiration,
The unselfish love,
This cleanseth, and bringeth forth Light and Life.
Come, then, and see how straight is the narrow Path of Purity!
Come and know how open and unsecret are the beautiful Courts of Truth!
Come and understand how simple is the excellent Law of Righteousness!
Easy to find and pleasant to walk: is the path, of Purity;
Open wide, and inviting entrance, are the Gates of Truth;
Near at hand and ready for investigation is the Law of Righteousness.
To harbor hateful thoughts,
To cherish lustful inclinations.
To nurture the seeds of malice in the heart,—
This defileth, and leadeth to suffering.
To thirst for pleasures and rewards,
To dwell upon the sins of others,
And to think, "I am better than this man,"—
This maketh impure and causeth thee to wander from Truth.
To seek for thyself and not to consider others,
To depreciate others, and to think highly of thine own Works,
And to make proud and stubborn thy heart,—
This staineth thy soul, and taketh thee away from thy peace.
Behold how glorious is the Path of Purity!
How lovely is the treasury of Truth!
How comely and beautiful is the Garment of Holiness!
To be free from hatred, lust and malice,—
How sweet! How pleasant!
Not to desire pleasures and rewards,—
How good! How joyful!
Not to magnify evil in others,—
How fair! How lovely!
To put away all egotism,—
How beautiful! How peaceful!
The blessedness of a pure heart is beyond conception;
The loveliness of a sinless mind is beyond comparison;
And supremely blissful is the immortality of the righteous.
Peace-producing is the Purity of the Highest;
Joy-inspiring is the stainlest life,
And rich in wisdom is the heat that is sinless.
Ye who are tired of sin;
Ye who know the bitterness of impurity;
Ye who seek the everlasting peace,
Come and enter the door of Purity And let Holiness be your companion.
Purify your thoughts;
Wash white the garment of your mind;
Cleanse ye the secret places of your heart:—
This done, Truth shall come and dwell with You;
Knowledge shall be your lamp, and wisdom your guide;
Righteousness shall be your everlasting protection,
And Light, and Joy, and Peace shall abide with you forever.


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James Allen

James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.

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