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C H A P. VI. 16 Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a fad countenance : for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face :
18 That thcu appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret
i and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee 0penly.
19 Laynor up for your felvés treasures upon earth, where moch and rust doch corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
20 But lay up for your selves treasures in heaven, where neither moth ner rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be allo.
When you fast in private upon some religious account, do not, like the Hypocrites, appear abrcad with a squallid Look, that all may pry into the occasion of it. These certainly shall obtain no other Reward than that Praise they court. You therefore, when you fast, make it your business to conceal it; appear abroad as at other times, in your usual Dress, with your Head anointed, and your Face washid, according to the Custom of the Place. Men indeed will know nothing of your Fasting : Suffice it, that your Father is not ignorant of it, who observing what you have thus done privately, will one day publickly reward your Devotion.
Seek not for Riches here on Earth, which are liable to Rust and Moth, and the Rapaciousness of Thieves; but be follicitous after Riches in Heaven, where nothing of this nature is to be fear'd. In this happy Temper you will not be disturba with the ulual Care and Anxiety after Riches; for since the Mind generally accompanies the Riches, if these are thought to be in danger, your Mind will neceffarily be molested with care and concern for them.
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore chine eye be single, thy whole budy Thall be full of light.
23. But if thine eye be c. vil, thy whole body Thall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thce be darkness, how great is char darkness :
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannor serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you,Take no chought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink ; nor for your body what ye shall put on : Is not the life more
The Eyes do as it were illustrate the whole Body of Man, and if they are clouded with no mark of Envy or Disingenuity, the whole Body will seem to be brigḥten'd by them : But if the Eyes disclose any thing ungenerous and base, the whole Body will be then in Darkness. Now if that Member by which the rest are fuppos'd to be enlighten'd, be it self involv'd in Darkness, how great must the Obscurity of those other members be which shine only by a borrowed Light? When you design to appear generous, and make ostentation of your Liberality (that most fplendid Light by which all other Virtues are illustrated) if then you appear to be base and fordid to every one that hath a true Relish of that Virtue, how intolerably deform'd must your Vices be?
No man can serve two Masters with the same Chearfulness : for he will unavoidably prefer the one, and obey his Orders, while those of the other are neg. lected by him. In like manner is your Service of God inconsistent with a lavish defire of heaping up Riches. If you would therefore serve God with all your heart, you must throw off that Anxiety after worldly Riches, which interferes with your Obedience to the Divine Commands; and this Obedience will secure you from the fear of ever wanting necessary Food or Raiment : for God who has given you
CH A P. VI.
than meat, and the body that raiment ?
26 Behold the fowls of the air : for they fow not, neither do they reap, nor gacher into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought add one cubit unto his stature ?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment ? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.
29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Life and a Body, will also bestow upon you whatever is necessary for the fustenance of that Life, and defence of your Body from the Injuries of the Weather and he who is the bountiful Author of your Being, will not refuse you those leffer Benefits which conduce to the preservation of it. Reflect upon the condition of the Birds, who fill no Storehouses against a time of Scarcity, and yet are abundantly fupplied by the Providence of God : You have no reason then to fear that he will neglect you, the condition of whose Being is so vastly preferable to theirs. You ought then to rest satisfied, that while you perform those Duties God requires of you, you shall by him be supplied with all Necessaries of Life. If God fix the Period of your continuance here on Earth, there is not a man of you can with his utmost thoughtfulness lengthen it by one Moment. ought not to be so careful about the preservation of your Life, as thereby to neglect any of God's Precepts, who is able without the least care of yours to preferve it, and can also, whenfoever he pleases, deprive those of it who are over follicitous about it. Consider also the Lilies and other Flowers of the Field, which grow up and flourish without any human Art or Labour, neither do they themselves acquire that Beauty we discover in them by their own Skill or Industry ;. and yet I tell you, that Solomon, heretofore the most glorious Monarch in the East, did not equal the natural. Ornament of these Flowers with his most magnificent Attire. You
30 Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and morrow is cast into the oven, Mall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31
Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we ear? or what shall we drink? or wherewichal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. 34
Take therefore no thought for the morrow : for the morrow shall take thought for the things of it self: sufficient unto the day is the evil chereof.
have then no reason to dread the want of Raiment ; for if God provide so bountifully for these Plants, which after a short duration are burnt up and consumed, how much greater care will he take of Men, who are design'd by him to be eternally happy, provided they live in obedience to his Laws ? Think you that he will suffer them to fall into fo miserable a condition, as to be deftitute of neceffary Food and Raiment? They who entertain these Thoughts, have no very religious sense of the Deity. Be not then fo follicitous after these things, as to omit any moral or religious Duty, if you desire to excel other Nations in Virtue and Religion, who only feek after earthly Happiness. Let your great business be to acquaint yourselves with the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven, and to live in perfect obedience to them and then rely on the good Providence of God, who is acquainted with your Wants, and will provide for you, and bestow even more upon you than you defire of him.
Negle&t not the exercise of any Virtue out of a follicitous care for what may hereafter happen, and content your selves with using the present opportunity : Every Day. is attended with its own trouble, which you have no reason to anticipate.
Condemn no one ralhly, left hereafter you be punish'd for your rash Cenfure, rather acquit all that may be acquitted, that you yourselves in like manner may be absalv'd by God : For Judgment shall pass against you with the fame Severity that you have exercis'd; and as you have treated others, you must expect to be treated by God.
Be liberal to others, that God may be liberal to you, in restoring to you not only what you have thus parted with, but bestowing on you. much more valuablé Benefits, in which he will have respect to the Charity you have showed to wards others.