6:1 Take heed that ye do not your 1 alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no a reward of your Father which is in heaven.
(1) Ambition makes alms vain.
(a) This word "reward" is always taken
in the scriptures for a free recompense, and therefore the schoolmen fondly
set it to be answerable to a deserving, which they call "merit".
6:2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not
sound a trumpet before thee, as the b
hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of
men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(b) Counterfeits, for hypocrites were players
that played a part in a play.
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.
(2) He rebukes two revolting faults in prayer,
ambition, and vain babbling.
6:7 But when ye pray, use not c
vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard
for their much speaking.
(c) Long prayers are not condemned, but vain,
needless, and superstitious ones.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be
(3) A true sum and form of all christian prayers.
6:11 Give us this day our (d)
(d) That which is suitable for our nature for our
daily food, or such as may suffice our nature and complexion.
6:13 And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from e evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
(e) From the devil, or from all adversity.
6:14 4 For
if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
(4) They that forgive wrongs, to them sins are
forgiven, but revenge is prepared for them that take revenge.
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they
f disfigure their faces, that they may
appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
(5) That is, those that desire a name of holiness
(f) They do not let their original pallor to be
seen, that is to say, they mar the natural colour of their faces, that they
may seem lean and palefaced.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth
corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
(6) The labours of those men are shown to be
vain, which pass not for the assured treasure of everlasting life, but spend
their lives in scraping together stale and vain riches.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine g
eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
(7) Men maliciously and wickedly put out even the
little light of nature that is in them.
(g) The judgment of the mind: that as the body is
with the eyes, so our whole life may be ruled with right reason, that is to
say, with the Spirit of God who gives light to us.
No man can serve h 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 cannot serve God and i
(8) God will be worshipped by the whole man.
(h) Who are at odds with one another, for if two
agree they are as one.
(i) This word is a Syrian word, and signifies all
things that belong to money.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or
what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the
life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
(9) The perverse burdensome carefulness for
things of this life, is corrected in the children of God by an earnest
thinking upon the providence of God.
6:26 Behold the fowls of the k
air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your
heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
(k) Of the air, or that line in the air: in
almost all languages the word "heaven" is taken for the air.
6:27 Which of you by l
taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
(l) He speaks of care which is joined with
thought of mind, and has for the most part distrust yoked with it.
6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider
the lilies of the field, how they grow; they m
toil not, neither do they spin:
(m) By labour.