Matthew 10:9
Do not carry any gold or silver or copper in your belts.
The Enthusiasm of PovertyE. H. Plumptre.Matthew 10:9
Without a PurseMatthew 10:9
The Commanding of the TwelveP.C. Barker Matthew 10:1-42
Christ's Charge to His ApostlesJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 10:2-15
Freely ye have received, freely give. Some of our Lord's directions were suitable only for the occasion, and only after much forcing can they be made illustrative of permanent principles; but our text gives succinctly the absolute law on which Christian work must be done and always done. We are monuments of mercy; we must be dispensers of mercy. We are saved by grace; we must be ready to save and help others, "hoping for nothing again," "without money and without price." St. Paul is the most striking after-instance of this law. He was, if we may so say, jealous, in quite an exaggerated way, of the freeness of his gospel service. It was with difficulty he could be persuaded to receive a gift; he never did receive a payment. And our Lord most resolute! - refused to associate his acts of grace and power with money matters. Foreshadowings of this feeling may be found in Elisha, who utterly refused to take any acknowledgment of his cure from grateful Naaman. It is not necessary to controvert the doctrine that "the labourer is worthy of his hire," or that "they who preach the gospel should live of the gospel," or that they "who are ministered unto in spiritual things should minister in carnal things." The point is that if a man becomes conscious of any gift or power unto edification which has come to him by sovereign grace, that man will find his true joy in using his gift freely, "not seeking a reward."

I. OUR GIFTS ARE NOT OURS. This is the point which needs to be brought home to us. Men have no possession in their abilities. They have no right to trade with them for their own benefit. Our gifts are trusts. We trade with them for our Master, and the products of the trading should be such spiritual things as honour him. "What hast thou that thou hast not received?"

II. OUR GIFTS COST US NOTHING. Reference is to spiritual gifts. God distributeth to every man severally as he will. One talent, two, or ten, according as he pleases. No man can purchase, or earn, or win, a spiritual gift. This Simon Magus learned by a most severe rebuke.

III. OUR GIFTS MUST BE USED FOR NOTHING. Our characteristic spiritual power, to help, heal, inspire, or comfort others must never be sold. - R.T.

Provide neither gold.
It is impossible not to admire the noble enthusiasm of poverty which showed itself in the literal adoption of such rules by the followers of , and, to some extent, by those of Wiclif; but the history of the , and other like fraternities, forms part of that teaching of history which has led men to feel that in the long-run the beggar's life will bring the beggar's vices. Yet here, as in the case of the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, the spirit is binding still, though the letter has passed away. The mission work of the Church has ever prospered in proportion as that spirit has pervaded it.

(E. H. Plumptre.)

The word purse here literally signifies girdle, those worn by the Jews were made hollow, so as to contain money. A sort of purse convenient, light, and secure. In like manner, the long sleeves worn by the Japanese serve them in lieu of purses. This custom of missionaries going out with little store of money is carried out in its greatest literality among the Moravians. who give their missionaries the incredibly small salary of five pounds a year. For anything they require beyond what this sum will procure, they have to apply to the committee of the missionary society. Once, when St. Antony was on a journey, he saw an immense piece of gold. He admired the size of the piece of metal, and ran as fast as he could to his mountain, as though he were running from a fire. Whenever money was offered to St. Vincent as he was preaching through the villages, he refused it, and forbade his companions accepting it. St. Francis was wont to say that "money to the servants of God is nothing else than a devil and a poisonous snake." Our Lord gave His disciples this precept for three reasons;(1) That being free from all earthly affections and cares, they should depend entirely upon God's providence;(2) That they should be wholly intent upon preaching the gospel, and give all their thoughts and cares to that;(3) That they might give to all nations an illustrious example of simplicity, poverty, and contempt of riches, whereby they might draw all men to love and admiration of the heavenly life.

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