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ceed. And it is reason in intellectual nature and choice, that makes it an action of virtue.

Secondly, When we avoid fin and evil out of respect to God, because we will not give him an offence. For this is religion, to have the fear of God before our eyes : and 'tis but the religion a heathen, to avoid fin upon any other account. Now because God is invisible, if any should ask how he might know what he doth, is with respect to God: you may know by that which is materially the same with it. To do a thing because it is confonant to reason and to avoid a thing because it is contrary to reason, is materially the same as to do, or forbear with respect to God. And I will make this out, because two things are matter of easy knowledge, and the great things of religion.

ift. That there is a God. And,

2dly. That there is a difference between good and evil. And if we have not funk ourselves into brutishness, by sensuality, or into devilishness, by malice, envy, and ill-will į a man cannot be ignorant

either of these.
That there is a God

every man must
cause he did not call himself into being out of no-
thing. This is plain, because he cannot continue
himself in that being which he hath. For to call a
thing into being out of nothing, is an act of much
greater power, than to continue a being that we
have.

And for the difference of good and evil, nothing is more knowable. Will not every man grant, that there is great difference between living in fobriety

and

grant, be

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and temperance, and living in luxury and wantonness ; that the one is far better than the other ? That it is better for a man to govern his passion, and to be affable and courteous, than to be furious, infolent, arrogant, and tumultuous ?

But thirdly and lastly, a man may be said to turn from his wickedness, when he conceives displeasure against it, and fully purposes never to return to it again, whatsoever temptations or provocations he may meet withal. Otherwise it may be but only forbearance of the act; unless a man withdraws from it through dislike, and take up resolutions never to do the like.

Now if the wicked man do thus turn away from his wickedness, and doth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his foul alive.

DISCOURSE XVII.

The true Valuation of MAN.

LUK E xvi. 25. But Abraham said, fon, remember that thou in thy life

time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Hether this were a story, or a parable, I will not dispute or determine. It will be all

one as to our instruction ; for our rule is, comparisons make facts ; history contains matter of fact, and parables are representations only; there

fore

W

fore every thing in parables is not to be observed, for some things are put in for decorum's sake, and to make it look like a history. All things in parables that make an appearance, are not intended therefore there is great caution to be used, and if there be any point of religion, or any matter of faith grounded upon a parable, it must also have other foundation. For parables and fimilitudes are rather for illustration, than confirmation.

But, before I come to speak to the words themfelves, I will a little look back, and glofs upon the verses precedent.

Ver. 19. There was a certain rich man which was cloathed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.

Ver. 20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate full of fores, &c.

Upon these two verses' I observe the different disposition of providence, as to mens estate and af. fairs: one rich, over-rich ; the other poor, miferably poor. For this, you need not look after any other account, but refer it to God's sovereignty and good pleasure. For neither doth the one make a man certainly happy, nor the other truly miserable.

21. And defiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table ; moreover, the dogs came and licked his fores.

Hereupon I observe, that it is highly commendable in every one, to comply with the necessity of his.condition, and to supply himself as he lawfully may, and to be contented with his lot and portion,

and

and to make as good a shift as he can, and to go through this world as well as he may. Thus did the poor man ;

for his diet, he was content with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table, and for his phyfick, he was content that the dogs should lick his fores.

22. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bofom : the rich man also died and was buried.

From hence I observe, that all sorts of men die : and after death a great

difference. The rich man had all the advantages that this world could afford, of himn it is said, that he died and was buried. The poor man died also, but we have nothing of his funeral : the world had no such kindness for him. But where this world ends, a better world begins. For, though it is not faid the beggar was buried, yet it is said that he was carried into Abraham's bosom ; and that by Gods messengers, the angels.

Ver. 23. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bofom.

These words declare a future state, and the existence of the foul after the body moulders away and tumbles into the dust.

Ver. 24. And he cried and said, father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue ; for I am tormented in this flame.

From whence I obferve, that there is no great hope or expectation for bad men, in the future state. See how little he asks : Jend Lazarus that he may

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dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. One would think that it was but a small request ; yet we do not read that it was granted him. Where fore, there is very little hope or expectation for bad men in the future state.

Ver. 25. But Abraham faid, fon, remember that thou in thy-time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

From which words I observe thefe things in general.

First, That Abraham gives reason for what he faith; therefore we should not take upon us to dictate and impofe on others, but it becomes us to Thew cause and to satisfy men by reason and argument: and this is the direction of the apostle, who charges it upon christians, to be ready to render a reason of the hope that is in them.

Secondly, Where we reprove, we should use good language; we see here Abraham faith, fon ; though the man was in a deplorable state, yet Abraham gives him no hard language. Son remember that thou in thy life-time had'st thy good things. He rubs up his memory, and reproves him by rcafon : and thus we ought to resolve, neither to provoke others, nor be provoked ourselves : and this would tend to the quiet of the world, Let us not provoke any one, for there is some good nature in every body ; but if you provoke any man, you put him to act upon the worst principle. Neither be you provoked, for then you are not sure of yourself; for in this case a man loses self-government ; for every man in a

passion

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