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fighting and contending for our Religion ; it is now high Time to practise it; and a better Foundation we cannot lay than in the Duties of the Text, To fear the Lord, and the King, and not to meddle with them that are given to change.
Matthew x. 41, 42. He that receiveth a Prophet, in the Name
of a Prophet, shall receive a Prophet's Reward: And he that receiveth a righteous Man, in the Name of a righteous Man, shall receive a righteous Man's Re
ward. And whosoever Mall give to drink unto one
of these little Ones, a cup of cold Water only, in the Name of a Disciple, verily, I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his Reward.
TOWARDS the Beginning of this
1 Chapter we read, that our Saviour sent forth his Disciples to preach the Kingdom of God. That they might preach with Authority, he endowed them with Power from
above, and with the manifold Gifts of the Spirit. That they might attend upon their Ministry without Distraction, he eased them of the Care of providing for themselves ; and gave them Power to demand and receive of those under their Instruction, whatever their Wants required. Provide, says he, neither Gold, nor Silver, nor Brass in your Purses; nor Scrip for your Fourney, neither two Coats, neither Shoes, nor yet Staves; for the Workman is worthy of his Meat, v. 9, 10, Or as St. Luke expresses it, The Labourer is worthy of his Hire, ch. x. 7. This Reason shews the true Sense of the Precept that it was not meant to take from them the Necessaries and Conveniencies of Life, or to make Poverty a Part of their Profeffion; but only to discharge them of the Care and Solicitude of providing for themselves; for they had a Right to be provided for, by those whom they served in the Gospel: For the Labourer is worthy of his Hire.
And this further appears to be the Sense of this Precept in Luke xxii. 35. And he faid unto them, When I sent you without Purse, and Scrip, and Shoes, lacked ye any Thing? And they said, Nothing. Had it
been his Intent to make Poverty a necessary Qualification for the Ministry, he would not have asked this Question, or received this Answer. But so little did he intend it, that his Care supplied the Want of theirs throughout their journey, and enlarged the Hearts of the People towards them : fo that their Poverty was turned into Plenty; and they preached the Gospel, without the Incumbrance of worldly Cares, as having Nothing, and yet pollefing all Things.
As the Office of preaching the Gospel was to be perpetual in the Christian Church, so this Right of Maintenance was for ever to attend it; for the Lord ordained, as St. Paul tells us, that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel, 1 Cor. ix. 14. A Right on one Side infers a Duty on the other: if the Ministers of the Gospel have a Right to be provided for, it is the Duty of the Faithful to provide for them; but the Proportion of this Maintenance being no where determined, but Men left to give as their Circumstances enable them, and as their Love and Honour for the Ministry incline them ; what is given upon this Account, comes to be considered as a Charity freely offered, rather than as a Debt duly
discharged: and as such, our Saviour has
To receive a Prophet, sometimes signifies
First, Our Saviour himself distinguishes this Reception of a Prophet from the other Reception, which is obeying and hearkening to his Voice, in the 14th Verse: WhoSoever shall not receive you, nor hear your Words; when you depart out of that House, or City, shake off the Dust of your Feet. Had the same Thing been intended by receiving and bearing a Prophet, the Words would have been thus connected : Whosoever shall not receive you, and hear your Words ; but the disjunctive Particle nor, shews that they are here spoken of as different Things. The 11th Verse, compared with this 14th, will