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for a support with their own hands, rather than be a burden to those who were not affluent, or be exposed to the calumnies of the malevolent. By these means were the doctrines of the gospel promulgated throughout the world; from which, says Grotius, how much the manners of following times have departed, is as unnecessary to be mentioned as it is painful to reflect upon.
The clause in this verse in which Christ directs his disciples to raise the dead, is not found in a great many manuscripts; whence it has been inferred that it is an interpolation; which opinion seems to be confirmed by its not being mentioned in the first verse of the chapter, among the other miracles which they were directed to perform; nor does it appear that the apostles raised any person from the dead, before the death of Christ.
9. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses ;
When Christ prohibited his disciples from taking any reward for performing miraculous cures, he did not doubt that it would immediately occur to the minds of the apostles, Then we must not undertake this journey, unless we are furnished with all kinds of provision; at least with money, with which it may be purchased.-Christ, therefore, anticipating this thought, assures them that God, whose business they were engaged in, would take care to provide necessary things for them; and, that they might have a more certain proof of this, he orders them to go forth without making any provision for their journey.
10. Nor scrip for your journey; a wallet, or bag, in which it was usual to carry such things as might be wanted in travelling ; neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves :
Those who thought themselves contented with the least provision for travelling, were accustomed to take a coat, besides that which they wore; a pair of shoes or sandals, besides that which they had on; because they are soon worn out in travelling; and to provide a statt, besides that which they carried in their hand, lest the other should be broken or lost: but Christ does not permit his disciples to make even this moderate provision for their journey; as they would find, wherever they travelled," the things that were necessary for them.
For the workman is worthy of his meat, · Meat is here to be understood, in a more general sense, for food, clothing and lodging: God will take care that you shall have all these things, from those very persons to teach and to heal whom you shall employ your time; and that for the best reason: for what is more just than that those who sow spiritual things, should
carnal things? 11. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide.
Wherever you go, inquire with whom, from his liberal turn of mind, or good character, it is proper for you toʻlodge: here continue till you leave that town or city, and give no occasion, by going from house to house, for a suspicion that you are not easily pleased with what is provided for you, or that you have exhausted the liberality of those by whom you are received, by your fondness for expensive entertainments.
12. And when ye come into an house, salute it.
That is, wish it peace; for that was the form of salutation among the Jews, and continues to be still in eastern countries. Under the word peace they included not merely tranquillity, but all good things; whatever used to be sought after and desired.
13. And, if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it; rather, " your peace will come upon it;" but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you;
your peace will return unto you." That is, the blessings which you wish for others will, if they are unworthy of them, descend upon your own heads.
14. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
This ceremony does not seem to contain a denunciation of divine judgment, but means the same thing as if the apostles should say; We came hither not for our own sake, but for the sake of your salvation; but, since you will not hearken unto our admonitions, take your own things to yourselves; we will have no further intercourse with you; we will not desire so much as the smallest particle from you. This was done from a very opposite reason to that which induced Naaman to carry back with him two mule's loads of earth, from the land of Judæa-----respect to the country where he had received a cure.
15. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for that city.
It has been debated whether Christ here refers to temporal judgments, or future punishment; but the sense will be nearly the same, in which ever way we understand the passage: for if the meaning of it should be, that the judgments inflicted upon those cities of Judæa which rejected the gospel, would be greater than those which befel Sodom and Gomorrah, which were destroyed by fire from heaven, it will follow hence, likewise, that the inhabitants will be liable to severer punishment in another world: since there will be the same reason for making a distinction between them in a future life as in the present. It ought not to appear to us unjust, if severer punishment hangs over the heads. of the despisers of the gospel, than over those who were polluted with the foulest lusts, and with all kinds of vices: for crimes are not to be estimated exactly from their own tendency, but from the circumstances likewise of the persons who commit them. The inhabitants of Sodom enjoyed the benefits of natural notions of propriety of conduct, and the traditions of their parents: the Jews, of the law of Moses, which was much clearer. The Sodomites had Lot as a preacher; but the others, the apostles, bringing along with them great promises, and rendered respectable and corr spicuous by many great miracles.
1. Let us be thankful that the gospel of Christ, which was at first confined to the narrow limits of Judæa, is now preached to all the world, and that there is no distinction made at present between Jew and Gentile. It is by the breaking down of this middle wall of partition that it has reached us in this distant corner of the globe; on a spot which, at that time, was scarcely heard of. How great has been the change, and how wonderful the means by which it has been accomplished! Twelve men, trained up to the ordinary occupations of life; without money in their purses; without any other clothes than what they wore; without knowledge, eloquence or influence, do not seem likely instruments for converting the world; yet by these means was this great change accomplished.-Irresistible must be the power of truth which has conquered all nations; admirable is the wisdom of divine Providence, in bringing about an event of such mag. nitude, by such simple instruments!
2. Let the ministers of religion learn to be contented with their situation, although it may be destitute of that outward splendour which many possess, and which is of so much value in the eyes of the world. The first preachers of the gospel had nothing of this kind to recommend them: they had no means of support but what the justice, the generosity and gratitude of their hearers afforded them: they had nothing to rely upon, for the success of their undertaking, but the force of truth, and the excellence of their characters: with no other advantages than these, they obtained a comfortable subsistence, and spread their doctrine throughout the world. Had they affected the pomp of dress, or sought the aid of those distinctions which wealth confers, they might perhaps have gained more proselytes amongst the higher classes of society; but these would have been professors only in name, not in reality. They would have wanted that conviction of the truth, and that zealous attachment to it, which could alone render their conversion of any value. Let not ministers of religion in the present day aspire after greater honour and worldly emolument: it will lead men to suspect that they are of a mercenary disposition; that they are more desirous of procuring pleasure and profit to themselves, than of promoting the belief of truth, and the practice of duty; a suspicion which will greatly obstruct the success of their designs. Let them chearfully submit to the want of the common accommodations of life, where it may be necessary to convince the world of the purity of the motives by which they are actuated, and to promote the cause of religion.