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The difference between them when they died. 22 And it came to But so it was, that in a little time the poor seci. pass that the beggar beggar worn out with

beggar, worn out with the load of so great a“ died, and was carried 188 ur, word out with by the angels into A- calamity, died; and, being a favourite of hea- Lu braham's bosom : the ven, notwithstanding all his distresses on earth, XVI. 22 rich man also died, and he was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, Tas buried.

the abode of happy spirits in a separate state c:
the rich man also died quickly after him ; for
all his riches were not suihicient to procure the

least continuance of his life ; and he was buried 23 And in hell he with great funeral solemnity and pomp. But 23 lift up his eyes, being observe the difference of their circumstances bein torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and

and yond the grave. This poor sensual creature was

on
Lazarus in his bosom. by God's righteous vengeance condemned to

everlasting misery ; and in the unseen world «,
being in the midst of torments, aggravated by
all the indulgence and delicacy of his former
life, he lifted up his weeping and despairing eyes,
and saw Abraham from afar, and the poor des-
pised Lazarus lying in his bosom, as a newly ·
received guest at the heavenly banquet, placed

next the father of the faithful himself.
04 And he cried, And calling out with the greatest earnestness 24
and said, Father A nd immortnite boeid i fachon Anhan
braham, have mercy and importunity, he said, O father Abraham.
on me.' and send La- have compassion upon me,a poor unhappy descen-
zarus, that be may dip dant of thine, and send Lasarus, not to reach
the tip of his finger in out to me any of the dainties of heaven, for I
water, and cool my
tongue : for I am tor: presume not to ask so great a favour, but only
mented in this flame, to bring me a little water ; and if I may not have

a draught of it, I should be thankful if he might
be permitted to dip the tip of his finger in water
to refresh my tongue", though it were but for

Carried by angels into Abraham's bosom.] telling us that he was placed next to AbraThe Jews assign this office to angels (see ham, and so lay in his bosom. (Compare Drusius in loc.) and, no doubt, with the John xiii. 23. sect. clxx.) Thus Casayutmost propriety, considering how suitable bon and Grotius well explain it.-As for it is t their benevolent nature, and to the the rich man's seeing him there, Mr. L'Enfant circumstances of a deparled spirit. The thinks the Jews borrowed this manner of Greeks (as Elsner. Observ. Vol. I. p. 255. speaking from the Greeks, who described and many others have observed) assign the seats of the blessed as separated from guides to the souls of the dead, to conduct those of the damned by a great impassable den to their respective seats. It is river, from the opposite banks of which strange any should render TOV XATOV TÉ they might converse. Many of them also Abracad, Abraham's bower, or (with Jac. expressly speak of a great chasm interCappellus) Abraham's hauen. Our trans- posed. See Elsner. Obseru. Vol. I. p. lation is in all respects much more just. 256, 257, and Grotius in loc. It alludes to the way of representing the d In the unseen world.] This seems gene. entertainments of heaven, by sharing a mag- rally the sense of the Greek word, adns, as Dificent banquet with Abraham, and the was observed before, in note f, on Mat. xvi. other patriarchs, (compare Mat, viii. 11. 19. Vol. VI. 462. Both the rich man and and Luke xxii. 30.) And nothing can Lazarus were in Hades, though in different better describe the honour and happiness regions of it. See Grotius's learned and of Lazarus, who had lain in so wretched a judicious note here. condition before the glutton's gate, than e Dip the tip of his finger in water, &c.]

The

50

The rich man begs for a drop of water to cool his tongue.

SECT. a moment ; for I am so tormented in this flame,
CXXV. that it excites an intolerable thirst, which is

Luke continually raging and preying on my very
XVI. 24 soul.

25 But Abraham said, with awful and inflexible 25 But Abraham severity, Son, remember the former days when said, Son, remember

that thou in thy lifethou and Lazarus were upon earth, that thou time receivedst thy didst then in thy life-time receive thy good things gond things, and likewhich thou wast so foolish as to choose for thy wise Lazarus evil

things : but now he is portion, in the neglect of God and of thy soul"; a

; comforted, and thou and likewise Lazarus then received (his) evil are tormented. things, of which thou wast witness : but now the scene is changed, so that he in his turn is comforted, and thou art justly tormented ; and

neither bis joy, nor thine anguish, can admit of 26 any end or interruption. And besides all this, 26 And besides alt as to the favour thou desirest from the hand of this, between us and

d you there is a great Lazarus, it is a thing impossible to be granted ;

possible to be granted i gulph fixed : so that for between us and you there is a great chasm fixed; they which would pass a vast unmeasurable void is interposed; so that from hence to you,

if any cannot; neither can they who would go from hence to you, if any,

Y they pass to us, that should be so compassionate as to desire to help would come from thence, you, cannot ; neither can they who are there come unto us; but we are still to continue at an unap

proachable distance from each other. 27 Then the rich man, as he perceived that his 27 Then he said, I

own case was irretrievable, said unto Abraham, pray thee therefore, There may however be a passage from you to the east send him to

father, that thou would. other world, as it is plain there is from thence father's house ; to you ; I beseech thee therefore, O Father, that thou wouldst please to send him to my father's

house, on an errand of the utmost importance; 28 For I have there five brethren, thoughtless young 28 For I have fire creatures like myself, who are now revelling on bu

revelling on brethren; that he may those possessions which were once mine' and are they also come into

testify unto them, lest Jikely ere long to fall into the same misery with this place of torment. me : I earnestly entreat thee therefore that he may be sent to testify to them the reality and im

portance

The Hebrews drank their wine mingled thren also might know him an his appear.
with water ; and large quantities of water, ing to them.
on one occasion or other, were used at I have five brethren, &c.] As no men.
their feasts : (see John ï. 6.) There tion is made of any surviving wife and
seems therefore in this petition a proper children, but his five brethren are described
allusion to that.- Archbishop Tillotson ob- as living still together in his father's house,
serves, with his usual yivacity, that this is one would imagine that our Lord intended
the only instance we meet with in scrip- to represent this wretched creature as a
ture of any thing that looks like a prayer young man, who (unhappily for himself,
put up to a glorified saint, (Tillots. Works, like many modern rakes,) coming early
Vol. II. p. 142.) and even here the appli- to the possession of his estate, soon broke
cation was in vain, and no relief was the his constitution by debauchery, and so left
saint capable of giving. It is observable, his riches to the younger children of the
the rich man speaks as knowing Lazarus, family, having no other heirs.
and as supposing (ver. 28.) that his bre-

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Moses and the pro

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Reflections on the case of the rich sinner and the poor saint. 51

portance of this invisible world, that they may be SECT.
awakened to avoid those evil courses that have
been my ruin, and may not also come into this Luke
place of torment.

. XVI. 23 29 Abraham saith But Abraham said in reply to him, Thou 29 unto him, They have knowest they have an excellent Divine revelation phets; let thein bear

af in the writings of Moses and the prophets; let them.

them bút hearken to the warnings and instructions
that are given by them, and they have means

sufficient to secure them from that danger.
30 And he said, And when the poor tormented creature found 30
Xav, father Abraham, this also was objected to, he pleaded still in their
them from the dead,

i behalf, and said, Nay, father Abraham, they will tey will repent. slight these as I foolishly did ; but surely if one

go to them from the dead, they cannot withstand
so awful a messenger, but will undoubtedly re-

pent, and reform their lives. 31 And he said, un- But Abraham put an end to the discourse, 31 to him, If they hear with not Moses and thc

ar with an assurance of the fruitlessness of any such pomphets, neither will extraordinary means for their conviction; and he they be persuaded, said to him, The evidences of the Divine revelahough one rose from tion are such, thut if they hearken not to Moses the dead.

and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded to
a thorough repentance and reformation though
one should arise from the dead to visit thems. For
though it might indeed alarm them for a time,
the same prejudices and lusts which led them to
despise those methods of instruction that God has
given them, would also lead them ere long to
slight and forget such an awful apparition as
you desire they might see.

IMPROVEMENT.

Most evidently may we learn from this parable, that it is im- Ver. possible to know either love or hatred by any thing that is before 19--21 us under the sun ; (Eccles. ix. 1.) Who that had seen the pomp and plenty of this rich sinner, and compared it with the indi

gence

& If they hearken not to Moses, &c.] It on this tert. (See his Sermons, Vol. II. is true, Moses no where expressly asserts serm. 2.) The impenitence of many who a future state of rewards and punishments; saw another Lazarus, raised from the dead, yet the facts recorded by him strongly en- (Jobo xi. 46.) and the wickedness of the force the natural arguments in proof of soldiers who were eye-witnesses to the It; and the prophets speak plainly of it in resurrection of Christ, and yet that very many places. See Psal. xvi. 9, 10, 11. day suffered themselves to be hircit to bear xvij. 15. xxiii. 6. xlix. 14, 15. lxxiii. 17. a false testimony against it. (Mat. xxv11. 4. & seq. Prov. xiv. 32. Eccles. ii. 17, 21, 15.) are most affecting and astonishing il. Xi. 9. xii. 7, 13, 14. and Ezek. xviii. lustrations of this truth : for each of those 19, 20, 21.-Bishop Atlerbury has excel. miracles was far more convincing than such lently shewn the justice of Gibraham's as- an apparition as is here referred to would tertion here, in his incomparable discourse have been.

VOL. VII

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$2 Reflections on the case of the rich sinner and the poor saint.

SECT. gence and misery of Lazarus, would have imagined that tlie cxxv.

latter had been the child, and the former the enemy, of God? But Luke let us judge nothing before the time ; (1 Cor. iv. 5.) Our Lord XVI. 21 Jesus Christ shews us the period of all the prosperity of the wicked,

and of all the calamities with which good men may be exercised.

And what availed the luxuries of life, or the magnificence of burial, 23, 24 to a ivretch tormented in flames? Surely the fierceness of those

flames would be proportionable to the luxury in which he had formerly lived, and the sense of bis torment be heightened by the delicacy he had once indulged. May God awaken those unhappy persons, whatever their rank in the present life may be, who place their happiness and glory in being clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day! May they lift up their enchanted deluded eyes, and see that pointed sword of the Divine vengeance which is suspended over them by so weak a thread; and may they take this warning from one greater than Moses and the prophets, from one that came from the dead to enforce it, that they

pass not into that place of torment ! 22 Let poor afflicted saints take comfort in what has now been read,

though they may be despised and slighted by men. The time will shortly come, when those angels who not descend in an invisible

form to minister to them, will appear as their guard to convoy 23 them to the regions of glory. Abraham's bosom, will be opened to

them, and the dainties of heaven be set before multitudes, who, perhaps, while on this side the grave, hardly knew how to procure even the necessaries of life.

May we never view those seats of glory, as this wretched seria sualist did, at an unapproachable distance! Let us think seriously

of his deplorable circumstances, when he asked a drop of water 25 from the tip of Lazarus's finger, and yet was denied. Dreadful

representation ! yet made by Christ himself, who surely knew how to describe the case with the utmost propriety. Behold, o our souls, this son of Abraham, in that flaming prison, in all the restless agonies of torment and despair: and we may judge what dependance to place on a descent from pious ancestors, or a parti

cipation of external privileges. 27, 28 We enquire not curiously into the motives which engaged him

to request that so extraordinary a warning might be sent to his brethren; whether it might proceed from a remainder of natural affection, from a fear of meeting them in the same misery, or

from a mixture of both. It is enough to observe how and upon 31 what principles it was denied, If they hear not Moses and the

prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Let none vainly excuse themselves from believing the evi. dence of the revelation God has given, on a pretence that if they

saw

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Christ warns his disciples against giving offence. Saw signs and wonders they would believe. The heart of man secr. may be hardened against the most sensible and immediate miracle ; _but if that evidence were irresistible, it would ill become us to Ver dictate to God when and to whom it should be given. Let us 29 examine and acquiesce in such as he has seen fit to afford ; and pass through our various scenes of life as those that have eternity in view, and are persuaded we must each of us, in a few years at farthest, be with Lazarus in Abraham's bosom, or with the rich man in thai tormenting flame.

SECT. CXXVI.
Christ repeats his exhortations to an inoffensive conduct and a for.

giving temper; and warns his disciples not to arrogate any merit
to themselves, Luke XVII. 1-11.

Luke XVII. 1,

Luke XVII. 1. THEN said he unto

OUR Lord also about this time repeated to the sect, the disciples, It is impossible but that of. numerous attendants who were then around cxxvi. fences will come : but him several things which he had formerly said woe unto him through in a more private way to the disciples ; and parti- yvil. 1.

2 Luke whom they come.

cularly addressed them in terms like these: Con-
sidering the general corruption of human nature,
the snares of the world, and the temptations of
Satan, it is impossible but one way or other
offences should come ; many professing my reli-
gion will, no doubt, aft unworthy of themselves,
and disgrace the holy name they bear : Never-
theless, woe (be to him] by whom they come; and
let me warn you therefore, as you love your

own souls, to guard against the guilt and danger
9 It were better for of being a stumbling-block to others. For I %

Stone assure you, it were better for such a one, even
were banged about bis
neck, and he cast into for him that by an immoral life proves a re,
the sea, than that he proach and scandal to my cause, that he should
should offend one of die by the hand of violence, and suffer the most
these little ones.

shocking execution; yea, that a huge mill-stone
should be hanged about his neck, and he should
be thrown into the sea, than that he should offend
and insnare one of these little ones that believe in
me, so as to draw the meanest of them into sin
and ruin. (See Mat. xpiii. 6, 7. and the nates

there, sect. xciii. Vol. VI. p. 188, 489.)
* Take heed to your. Take heed to yourselves therefore, that you 3
selves:

may

him

that a miil-s

a Take heed to yourselves.] This contains ruptions of those with whom they contend, * strong and important intimation, how but leads others to think meanly of a promuch sin, and scandal is occasioned, by a fession, which has so little efficacy, to severe quarrelsome temper in the disciples soften, and sweeten the tempers, of those of Christ; as it not only stirs up the cor- who maintain it.

G 2

b Increase

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