THE ALTAR OF FAITH
Again, Jesus tells us that our gifts, brought to the altar of life, are unacceptable while there is aught between us and our fellow man. Here is a hard saying. We cannot always please our fellow men. Human experience has taught that this is impossible. What attitude, then, are we to assume? This, whether we please, or, whether we displease, we need have no personal animosity toward others; we can keep any thoughts of other's hatred towards us away by refusing to recognize it.
The altar of faith is approached only through peace and good will toward all. We cannot disrupt heaven by our tales of woe. The Divine Ear is attuned to harmony alone, and cannot be approached through discord.
When we agree with our adversaries quickly, we shall cease to recognize them as adversaries and they will disappear as such. There can be no reality to us, unless we recognize it. But if we recognize that which is false, giving (page 40) it life and apparent being by our acceptance of it, we shall be delivered to the judgment whereby we have, ourselves, judged, and the utmost farthing must be paid until we see no error and no longer indulge in it.
Jesus tells us to resist not evil, to love our enemies, and do good to them who would do us evil, for this is to manifest the spirit of love, which is God. God loves all alike and causes His rain and sun to come alike to all. Divine love encompasses everything, in arms which are all inclusive.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them;
Otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound 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 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 himself shall reward thee openly.
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.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the
heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.
After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Moreover, when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and Thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye
be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
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 cannot serve God and mammon.
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?
Behold the fowls of the 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?
Which of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, 0 ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Where-withal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the
morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.