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Verses 2-4

Matthew 6:2-4. Therefore, &c. The caution is so important, that our Lord illustrates it in various particulars. When thou doest thine alms Exercisest thy charity by performing works of mercy; do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do From this it would appear that, in our Lord’s time, persons who affected the reputation of being extremely charitable, sometimes sounded a trumpet when they distributed their alms, on pretence, no doubt, of calling together the poor to receive them, while their real intention was to proclaim their own good works, and receive glory of men. Wherefore, as his disciples were to do no work of charity from the motive of vanity, he absolutely forbade this custom of the hypocrites. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward All they will have; for they shall have none from God. Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth A proverbial expression for doing a thing secretly. Do it as secretly as is consistent, 1st, with the doing it at all; 2d, with the doing it in the most effectual manner. And never speak of it afterward, unless there be good reasons for making it known. That thine alms may be in secret May be known to none but God, whose glory thou must have in view in all thy works, whether of piety, justice, or charity, and whose will it must be thy intention to obey in all things. And thy Father, which seeth in secret Who knows every circumstance of mews most retired and private actions; himself shall reward thee openly Viz., before men and angels, at the day of final judgment. For, though it be true, as Grotius here observes, that God often visibly rewards the charitable actions of pious persons, performed from true love to him, with temporal blessings in this life; yet will he chiefly do it in the sight of men and angels in the world to come. See Matthew 25:34; Luke 14:14.

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