Of alms

Of alms

Sermon on the Mount. St Matthew.

(The Gospel History, Section 43*)

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

When therefore thou doest alms, sound not 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 received 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 shall recompense thee.

Of alms

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book III Poem XLIV)

But there is more to say; not yet her way
The Church might find, through all the days to come,
By light of luminous words the Master spake:
Her prayers, her alms, her fastings, anxious cares
For little matters of the daily life—
What rule to follow? Do as do the Jews?

The Lord spake:—
Your light shall shine ’fore men, ye know not how;
No goodness shall ye do that it be seen.
There be who when they give an alms away
Sound out a trumpet, give in public place,
And idle men praise them who bid for praise;
Glory these get from men, nor seek from God.
But wilt thou give an alms? Thy heart is sore
For that thy brother lacks what thou hast got;
Thou wilt not shame him by an open boon,
Wilt scarce to thine own self reveal thine act,
And blush to think upon it; who art thou,
What better than the brother needs thy help?
So taking heed to find a quiet place
With bashful kindness offerest thou thy gift,
And he takes brother’s love as well as meat,—
Thus his lean heart is nourished, God is pleased.

St. Matthew vi. 1-4