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Rule v. Maintenance for them and their families, by the administration of earthly things suitable to the state and condition of the churches, is required from their flocks.

1 Tim. v. 17, 18, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.”

Gal. vi. 6, 7, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

1 Cor. ix. 7, 9–11, 13, 14, “Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? It is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no 60doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” Matt. x. 9, 10, “Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.”

Add to these and the like places the analogy of the primitive allowance in the church of the Jews.

Explication v. It is a promise to the church under the gospel, that “kings should be her nursing fathers, and queens her nursing mothers,” Isa. xlix. 23. To such it belongs principally to provide food and protection for those committed to them. The fruit of this promise the churches in many ages have enjoyed; laws by supreme and kingly power have been enacted, giving portions and granting privileges to churches and their pastors. It is so in many places in the days wherein we live. On this ground, where equitable and righteous laws have allowed a supportment in earthly things to the pastors of churches, arising from such as may receive spiritual benefit by their labour in the gospel, it is thankfully to be accepted and embraced, as an issue of God’s providence for the good of his. Besides, our Saviour warranteth his disciples to take and eat of their things, by their consent, to whomsoever the word is preached, Luke x. 8. But it is not always thus; these things may sometimes fail: wherefore, the continual care, and frequently the burden, or rather labour of love, in providing for the pastors, lies, as in the rule, upon the churches themselves; which they are to do in such a manner as is suitable to the condition wherein they are, and the increase given them of God. This the whole in general, and each member in particular, is obliged unto; for which they have as motives, —

1. God’s appointment as in the texts cited.

2. The necessity of it. How shall he go on warfare if he be troubled about the necessities of this life? They are to give themselves wholly to the work of the ministry, 1 Tim. iv. 15.

Other works had need to be done for them.

3. The equity of the duty. Our Saviour and the apostles plead it out from grounds of equity and justice, and all kinds of laws and rules of righteousness, among all sorts of men, Matt. x. 9, 10, 1 Cor. ix. 10; allowing proportionable rectitude in the way of recompense to it with the wages of the labourer, which to detain is a crying sin, 61James v. 4, 5, — the wretched endeavours of men of corrupt minds to rob and spoil them of all that, by the providence of God, on any other account, they are righteously possessed of.

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