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disciples were willing to draw down “fire from heaven” against their adversaries, till their Lord warned them, “ Ye know not what spirit ye are of.” Learn, therefore, to pass by in silence reproachful language, instead of rendering “railing for railing;” try to forget insults and evil falsely spoken, instead of cherishing the injury in your minds. Aspire after the praise which belonged to a great man of former times, concerning whom it was currently said, that whoever desired to receive a benefit from him, might become sure of it by first doing him an injury.

Divine grace alone can enable us to maintain this exalted temper. Implore the aid of the Holy Spirit,

“walk as Christ walked ;” may show that kindness, that forgiveness towards others, which he has shown towards you, and which you desire and hope for when standing before the judgmentseat of God.

that ye may

LECTURE XIII.

HYPOCRISY IN ALMS AND PRAYER EXPOSED.

THE LORD'S PRAYER.

Matt. vi. 1-15.

1. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

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2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4. That thine alms may be in secret : and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.

These words expose further the hypocrisy of those who were admired in that day as patterns of righteousness. Their object was, to have the praise of men : and as alms-giving is naturally a popular thing, and commands applause, they would argue, that meaning to be well-spoken of, they must be ready to distribute ; but, at the same time, contrive that what they gave should be no secret, otherwise they would lose the return which they were seeking. Therefore, said our Lord, the hypocrites sound a trumpet before them in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be seen of men.

Now how will the Christian feel in this matter? What St. John says will be an actuating principle within him ; “ Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?” Therefore he will make it a regular part of his expenditure, to give, according to his ability, in whatever way he deems most really beneficial to his fellow-creatures. But this will not be blazoned abroad. Few will be aware His left hand will not know what his rig doeth. God alone will see that he

as a steward who muer account

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of the talents entrusted to him, and that the only reward he looks for, is the favour of his Father which seeth in secret.

Still it may be very proper, that a Christian's liberality should be public, and seen of men. All depends upon the intention. If the object is

present applause, present applause will be the sole reward. If the object is the glory of God, the charity will be either public or private, according as God is likely to be glorified most successfully.

5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites ure; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet ; and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret ; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

The hypocrisy which is here exposed, though still common in the East, is so unlike the manners of our time and country, that we might seem to be in no danger of a like error. Consider, however, what the error is. It is the performance of religious duties for the sake of appearances, and not out of a feeling of religion. Religious feeling takes a man to his closet; where he shuts the door against the world and worldly business, and communes with himself and God alone. Religious feeling will also take a man to the public worship of God: but it is possible that he may be carried thither by other motives: and is there no reason to fear, among ourselves, that the attendance at church, or at sacra2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4. That thine alms may be in secret : and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.

These words expose further the hypocrisy of those who were admired in that day as patterns of righteousness. Their object was, to have the praise of men : and as alms-giving is naturally a popular thing, and commands applause, they would argue, that meaning to be well-spoken of, they must be ready to distribute; but, at the same time, contrive that what they gave should be no secret, otherwise they would lose the return which they were seeking. Therefore, said our Lord, the hypocrites sound a trumpet before them in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be seen of men.

Now how will the Christian feel in this matter? What St. John says will be an actuating principle within him ; “ Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth ир his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?” Therefore he will make it a regular part of his expenditure, to give, according to his ability, in whatever way he deems most really beneficial to his fellow-creatures. But this will not be blazoned abroad. Few will be aware of it. His left hand will not know what his right hand doeth. God alone will see that he holds himself as a steward who must give account

of the talents entrusted to him, and that the only reward he looks for, is the favour of his Father which seeth in secret.

Still it may be very proper, that a Christian's liberality should be public, and seen of men. All depends upon the intention. If the object is present applause, present applause will be the sole reward.

If the object is the glory of God, the charity will be either public or private, according as God is likely to be glorified most successfully.

5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites ure; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet ; and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret ; and thy Futher which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

The hypocrisy which is here exposed, though still common in the East, is so unlike the manners of our time and country, that we might seem to be in no danger of a like error. Consider, however, what the error is. It is the performance of religious duties for the sake of appearances, and not out of a feeling of religion. Religious feeling takes a man to his closet; where he shuts the door against the world and worldly business, and communes with himself and God alone. Religious feeling will also take a man to the public worship of God: but it is possible that he may be carried thither by other motives: and is there no reason to fear, among ourselves, that the attendance at church, or at sacra

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