Observe here, The humble modesty and holy prudence of the apostle, in what he demanded of the Corinthians by way of charity for the poor saints in Judea. He tells them freely, he did not design to lay a load upon them to ease others, or to make others rich by making themselves poor; but that there might be an equality in supplying the wants of one another, that now you abound, you may supply them; and when they abound, they may supply you; yet mark, We must not, by the equality mentioned here, understand it so, as if the wisdom of the divine providence had ordained levelling, or making all men equal in their portion of the good things of this life: But so far Christianity seems to require this equality, that we should not suffer others to lack the necessary comforts of this life, whilst we abound with them, and can spare them, and suffer them to sink in their sorrows, whilst we sin in fulness.
Learn hence, There is a debt of mercy and pity, of charity and compassion, of relief and succour, due to human nature, and payable from one man to another; and such as deny to pay it the distressed in the time of their abundance, may justly expect it will be denied themselves in the time of want.
To confirm this, the apostle draws an allusion from the gathers of manna in the wilderness; some gathered, more, and others less; but they that had more, were to give them that had less: In like manner would Almighty God have it, that they which have great riches, should impart of their abundance, to them that are in want; otherwise, Almighty God will shrink their heap into some equality with them whom they refused to relieve. With what measure we mete, in acts of charity, as well as in acts of justice, it shall be measured to us again.