As regards almsgiving, however 1 Citra sanguinis effusionem.
It strongly commends meritorious almsgiving to the church.
" Deadly " sins were those for which formal ecclesiastical penance was held to be necessary, in order to save the sinner from eternal damnation; for " venial " sins he might obtain forgiveness, through prayer, almsgiving, and the observance of the regular fasts.
But Proverbs seems not to go the length of identifying righteousness with almsgiving, as is done in Dan.
He was a regular observer of religious rites, took great pains to secure decorum in the services of the church, and was generous in almsgiving both within his empire and without.
By a true instinct the early Christian writers called widows and orphans the altar of God on which the sacrifices of almsgiving are offered up. 4 Such works of charity, however, represent only one of the channels by which self-sacrifice is ministered, to which all prayers and thanksgiving and instruction of psalms, prophecy and preaching contribute.
The motive of the story has been variously regarded as a desire to insist upon the duty of tithe-paying, upon that of almsgiving, and upon that of burying the dead.
Among the laity, on the other hand, the ideal of holiness found realization in the observance of the ordinary principles of morality recognized by the world at large, in attendance upon the means of grace provided by the Church, in fasting at stated intervals, in eschewing various popular employments and amusements, and in almsgiving and prayer.