The Right Motive
To be praised, and to have the reputation of liberality, is the way many people have of taking interest in what they lend to the Lord.
It is probable that benevolence is only the cat’s paw of vanity, when our obscure and casual kindness seem to us like pale, inodorous flowers grown in a solitary wood, and only public charities have color and fragrance. A man should fear when he only enjoys what good he does publicly.
Is it not the publicity rather than the charity he loves? Is it not vanity, rather than benevolence, that gives such charities? A man must be very rich in secret charities before he can bear the strain of public beneficence.—BEECHER.