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ON OUR LORD's SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
MATTHEW Vi. 1-15.
"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.
"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 Praise of Men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their Reward.
"But, when thou doest Alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine Alms may be in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the Hypocrites are; 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.
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy Closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the Heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
"Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever. Amen.
"For, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
"But, if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
1. IN the preceding chapter our Lord has described inward Religion in its various branches. He has laid before us those dispositions of soul, which constitute real Christianity: the inward tempers contained in that Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; the affections which, when flowing from their proper fountain, from a living faith in God through Christ Jesus, are intrinsically and essentially good, and acceptable to God. He proceeds to shew, in this chapter, how all our actions likewise, even those that are indifferent in their own nature, may be made holy, and good, and acceptable to God, by a pure and holy intention. Whatever is done without this, he largely declares, is of no value before God. Whereas, whatever outward works are thus consecrated to God, they are, in his sight, of great price.
2. The necessity of this purity of intention, he shews first, with regard to those which are usually accounted religious