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them his friends should go to be with him; told them they should live in the house of his father and their father; and since then he has risen himself from the tomb, and gone to prepare a place for them who, what are these miserable refusers of comfort? Not Christians, surely! Oh, yes, they are Christians! They are gone,' they say, 'to be for ever with the Lord;' and then they weep and lament, and seem more afraid of starting to join them than of aught else under the sun! Το the last attainable moment they cling to what they call life. They are children-were there ever any other such children?—who hang crying to the skirts of their mother, and will not be lifted to her bosom. They are not of Paul's mind: to be with Him is not better! They worship their physician; and their prayer to the God of their life is to spare them from more life. What sort of Christians are they? Where shines their light? Alas for thee, poor world, hadst thou no better lights than these!

You who have light, show yourselves the sons and daughters of Light, of God, of Hope-the heirs of a great completeness. Freely let your light shine.

Only take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them.


Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven. 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.-Matthew vi. I, 3.

LET your light out freely, that men may see it, but not that men may see you. If I do anything, not because it has to be done, not because God would have it so, not that I may do right, not because it is honest, not that I love the thing, not that I may be true to my Lord, not that the truth may be recognized as truth and as his, but that I may be seen as the doer, that I may be praised of men, that I may gain repute or fame; be the thing itself ever so good, I may look to men for my reward, for there is none for me with the Father. If, that light being my pleasure, I do it that the light may shine, and that men may know the

Light, the father of lights, I do well; but if I do it that I may be seen shining, that the light may be noted as emanating from me and not from another, then am I of those that seek glory of men, and worship Satan; the light that through me may possibly illuminate others, will, in me and for me, be darkness.

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

How, then, am I to let my light shine, if I take pains to hide what I do?

The injunction is not to hide what you do from others, but to hide it from yourself. The Master would have you not plume yourself upon it, not cherish the thought that you have done it, or confer with yourself in satisfaction over it. You must not count it to your praise. A man must not desire to be satisfied with himself. His right hand must not seek the praise of his left hand. His doing must not invite his after-thinking. The right hand must let the thing done go, as a thing done-with. must meditate nothing either as a fine thing for us to do, or a fine thing for us to have done. We must not imagine any merit in us: it would be to love a lie, for we can have none; there is no such


thing possible. Is there anything to be proud of in refusing to worship the devil? Is it a grand thing, is it a meritorious thing, not to be vile? When we have done all, we are unprofitable servants. Our very best is but decent. What more could it be? Why then think of it as anything more? What things could we or any one do, worthy of being brooded over as possessions. Good to do, they were; bad to pride ourselves upon, they are. Why should a man meditate with satisfaction on having denied himself some selfish indulgence, any more than on having washed his hands? May we roll the rejection of a villainy as a sweet morsel under our tongues? They were the worst villains of all who could be proud of not having committed a villainy; and their pride would but render them the more capable of the villainy, when next the temptation to it came. Even if our supposed merit were of the positive order, and we did every duty perfectly, the moment we began to pride ourselves upon the fact, we should drop into a hell of worthlessness. What are we for but to do our duty? We must do it, and think nothing of ourselves for that, neither care what men think of us for anything. With the praise or blame of

men we have nought to do. Their blame may be a good thing, their praise cannot be. But the worst sort of the praise of men is the praise we give ourselves. We must do nothing to be seen of ourselves. We must seek no approbation even, but that of God, else we shut the door of the kingdom from the outside. His approbation will but quicken our sense of unworthiness. What! seek the praise of men for being fair to our own brothers and sisters? What! seek the praise of God for laying our hearts at the feet of him to whom we utterly belong? There is no pride so mean-and all pride is absolutely, essentially mean-as the pride of being holier than our fellow, except the pride of being holy. Such imagined holiness is foulness. Religion itself in the hearts of the unreal, is a dead thing; what seems life in it, is the vermiculate life of a corpse.

There is one word in the context, as we have it in the authorized version, that used to trouble me, seeming to make its publicity a portion of the reward for doing certain right things in secret: I mean the word openly, at the ends of the fourth, the sixth, and the eighteenth verses, making the Lord seem to say, 'Avoid the praise of men, and thou shalt at length have the praise of men.'

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