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8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment.

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8. Cure the diseased As he has bestowed on them power, so he enjoins them to be faithful and liberal in dispensing it, and charges them not to suppress that power, which had been lodged with them for the common benefit of all. By those miracles he shows why he was sent by the Father, and what was the design of his Gospel. It is not without design that he enjoins them to raise the dead and heal the sick, instead of bringing diseases on the healthy and inflicting death on the living. There is an analogy and resemblance, therefore, which those miracles bear to the office of Christ; and this is intended to inform us, that he came to bestow upon us every blessing, to rescue us from the tyranny of Satan and of death, to heal our diseases and sins, and to relieve us from all our miseries.

Freely you have received572572     “Vous l'avez receu pour neant;” — “you have received it for nothing.” That they may be more willing to communicate the gifts which he had bestowed on them, he declares that they were not entrusted to them for their own individual renown, but in order that they might be, as it were, a sort of channels for transmitting the free bounty of God. “Consider whence you derived this power. As it flowed without any merit of yours from the pure grace of God, it is proper that, through your agency, it should flow freely to others.”

We know how unwilling every man is to communicate to others what he considers to belong to himself, and how any one who excels the rest of the brethren is apt to despise them all. No higher commendation could have been given to a liberal communication of spiritual gifts, than by the warning which Christ gives them, that no man surpasses another through his own industry, but through the undeserved kindness of God. Now Christ has presented to us in his ministers a proof of that grace which had been predicted by Isaiah, (55:1)

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milh without money and without price.

At the same time he shows, that no man will be a sincere minister of his word or dispenser of his grace, till he is prepared to bestow his labor gratuitously,573573     “S'il n'est prest de s'y employer, et d'y mettre son labor gratuitement, et sans consideration de son profit;” — “if he is not ready to be employed in it, and to bestow his labor on it gratuitously, and without regard to his own gain.” and that all hirelings basely corrupt and profane the sacred office of teaching. Yet it is not inconsistent with this gratuitous dispensation, that the teachers of the church receive public salaries, provided that they willingly and generously serve Christ and his church, and that their support is, in some sort, an accessory of their labor.




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