This proverb conveys the idea that a person who has done no wrong has no need to confess or seek forgiveness. The proverb also implies that if one is pure of heart and thought, then one will have a much easier time avoiding temptation and sin.
The proverb has been used throughout literature and religious texts for centuries since the 16th century. It is found in the Bible, specifically in Matthew 15:2, where Jesus says “A clean hand wanteth no washing.” It is also found in The Book of Proverbs, where it is translated as “A pure heart is free from guilt.”
It has been used by many authors and religious leaders over the centuries to emphasize the importance of staying pure of heart and thought and avoiding sin.