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17 And it is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass, than one Tittle of the Law to fail.

172 Heaven and'Earth jhallpass', before a Tittle of the L aw pall fail.

Sect. 124. into it (i); considerable Numbers, notwithstanding all your Sophistry, stand well disposed to receive it, and are willing to secure its Blessings at any Rate. (Compare Mat. xi. 12, 13. Vol. i. pag. 353, 354.) set I would not be understood, as if I intended by what I fay, to put any Slight on former Revelations; for I rather establish and vindicate them, and again declare it to you as a most solemn Truth, that it is much easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away, and the whole System of created Nature to be destroyed, than for one Tittle of the Law of God to fail, or the least Precept of it to be set aside as faulty. (See Mat. v. 18. Vol. i. pag. 227.) And far from doing any Thing to lessen or abate the Force of it, I rather assert it, in its utmost Extent and Spirituality; insomuch that you know I have before declared, in spight of all your boasted, but dangerous Traditions, that whosoever puts away, his Wife, and marries another, unless it be on Account of a Breach of the most fundamental Article of the Marriage-Covenant j commits Adultery j and whosoever marries her that is put away from her former Husband for any less important Cause, commits. Adultery with her, as the first Contract still continues in Force, by which she is the Wife of another. (Compare Mat. v. 32. Vol. i.

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18 Whosoever putteth away his Wife, and married) another, committeth Adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her Husband, committeth Adultery.

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IMPROVEMENT.

MAY the Wisdom of the Children os this World'in their comparatively trifling Concerns, excite a holy Emulation in the Children of Light! Is it not much better worth our while, to employ all the Attention of our Thoughts in observing Opportunities for the Good of our Souls, and to exert all the Force of our Resolutions in improving them; than to labour merely for the Meat which perishes, for that deceitful Mammon, that treacherous Friend, which will at best only amuse us for a few Years, and will for ever forsake us in our greatest Extremity?

Let

(1) Forces his Way into it, «< nvjtiy £/a£s7*/.] Some think this intimates, that those who should have been readiest to open the Door, rather attempted to keep them out: It certainly implies, that there were Jlrong Obstacles in the Way.

Refle&ions on a due Improvement of our Stewardship. 173

Let us take Occasion from this Parable, to think, how soon we must Sect. 124. part with all our present Possessions; how soon we must give an Account o^^^O of our respective Steward/hips, as those who must be no longer Stewards. cr" ** 2" Let us therefore manage them in such a Manner, as may most effectually promote the great Purposes of our everlasting Happiness. To this End let us remember, how absolutely necessary it is, that we abound in Works of Charity and Benevolence, and that we endeavour to abstract our Hearts from an over-eager Attachment to these lying Vanities; for surely the Trifles of Earth are no better. Let us not imagine, that our particular Address can find out the Secret of serving GOD and Mammon-, since Ver. 13. drift represents it as an Impossibility and Contradiction.

May we be found faithful in what God hath committed to us, whe- Ver. 10,-12. ther it be little or much -, and govern ourselves, not by the Maxims of this vain World, but by those of the Gospel! And if the same Temper, that led the covetous Pharisees to deride our Lord, engage the Children of this Ver. 14. World to pour Contempt upon us as Vifionaries and Enthusiasts, we have much greater Reason to be grieved for them, than for ourselves. Their Censures can be Matter of but little Account to us, when we consider, that the Things which are highly esteemed by Men, are often an Abomination in the ver. 15. Sight of GOD. His Law is sacred, and the Constitutions of his Kingdom Ver. 16,17. are unalterable: May the Temper of our Minds be so altered and disposed, as may suit it! for another Day, and another World, will shew, that real Christianity is the only Wisdom; and that all the Refinements of human Policy without it, are but specious Madness, and laborious Ruin.

SECT. CXXV.

Our Lord, to in force the preceding Admonitions, delivers the Parable of the Rich Glutton and Lazarus. Luke XVI. 19, to the End.

Luke XVI. 19. LuKE XVI. ro,

'"THERE was a certain ' I ^HAT his Hearers might be more essectu-Sect. 125;,. * Rich Man, which was j any dissuaded from addicting themselves v^->/-vj

clothed in Purple and fine . Iji n /-•_ J I r»i r 1 r Luke XVI.

Linen t0 worldly Pursoits and carnal Pleasures, Jesus ^"
added another Parable, which might have been
sufficient to convince the covetous Pharisees, of
their Madness in deriding what he had before said.
And he addressed himself to them in Words to
this Effect: There was a certain Rich Man, who
lived in the greatest Elegance and Pomp j for he

wore

20

174- Christ delivers the Parable of the Rich

Sect. 12 5. wore Robes of Purple, W Vests of fine Linnen,
*~s~^^J and daily feased in a very Jplendid and luxurious
Luke XVI. Manner. And there was in the fame Place
a certain poor Man, named Lazarus {a), a Person
indeed of eminent Piety, but in the utmost Indi-
gence and Distress; who being unable to labour,
or so much as to walk, was laid down at his Gate^
to beg the Rich Man's Charity; and all his Body
being full of Sores and Ulcers, he was a most

21 miserable Spectacle; And being almost fa-
mished with Hunger, he earnestly desired to be

fed, if it were but with the Crumbs, which fell
from the Rich Mans Table -, yea, he was in so
exposed and abandoned a Condition, that the very
Dogs came and licked his Sores (b)t which lay un-
covered in the open Air.

22 But so it was, that in a little Time, the poor
Beggar, worn out with the Load of so great a
Calamity, died; and being a Favourite of Hea-
ven, notwithstanding all his Distress on Earth, he
was carried by Angels into Abraham's Bosom, the
Abode of happy Spirits in a separate State (c):

The

Man and Lazarus.

Linen, and fared sumptuously every Day.

20 And there was a certain Beggar, named Lazarus, which was laid at his Gate full of Sores,

2« And desiring to be fed with the Crumbs which fell from the Rich Man's Table: moreover, the Dogs came and licked his Sores.

22 And it came to pass

that the Beggar died, and

was carried by the Angels

into Abraham's Bosom: the

Rich

(a) A certain poor Man, named Lazarus."] An exceeding proper Name, which seems (as Lud. Cappellus observes,') to be derived from nty Kv, Lo azer, and signifies a helpless Person; an Etymology on all Accounts much more natural, than that so generally followed, which derives it from Eliezer, GOD is my Helper\——Some have imagined, from the Name of Lazarus, and the particular Detail of Circumstances, that this was an History, rather than a Parable; but this must be a groundless Supposition, as it is plain the Incidents are Parabolical. But the Criticism of Lomeirus, who explains it as a mystical Representation

of the 'Jewijh and Gentile Church, is far more extravagant. Dr. Lightsoot, and others,

have shewn, that the Jews in their Gemara have a Parable much to the same Purpose.

{b) Yea, the Dogs came and licked his Sores.} Had the Connection in the Original been attended to, I think there could have been no Debate among Commentators, whether this were mentioned as an Alleviation, or an Addition to his Calamity. For however lenient and healing the Tongue of a Dog may be in such Cases, the Words ahket. x*u should be rendered yea; as Erasmus, Beza, Schmidius, and Calvin contend, and above all, Rapbe/ius abundantly proves. {Annot. ex Xcn. pag. 106, 107.) The Circumstance is surely recorded, to shew that his Ulcers lay bare, and were not (as Isaiah in another Cafe exprefles it, chap.

i. 6.) either closed, or bound up, or mollified with Ointment. Some Versions add, that no

Man gave unto him; which Grotius thinks is intimated, in his wijhing to le fed with the Crumbs which the Dogs used to gather. {Mat. xv. 27.) If so, it was with iingular Propriety, that he who denied a Crumb, is represented as unable to obtain a Drop; but as it is not expressed in the Greek, either here, or in Abraham's Reply, I did not chuse to insert

it. Giving Alms will be no Security to those that live a sensual Life.

(c) Carried by Angels into Abraham's Bosom.] The Jews assign this Office to Angels, (fee Drufiusin loc.) and, no doubt, with the utmost Propriety, considering how suitable it is to their benevolent Natures, and to the Circumstances of a departed Spirit. The Greets (as Eisner, Observ. Vol. i. pag. 255. and many others, have observed,) assign Guides to the Souls

>f

was buried.

23 And in HeHhe lift up his Eye

and leeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bosom.

23.

24. And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have Mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the Tip of

cool my Tongue; for I am tormented in this Flame.

24.

The Rich Man begs in vain for a Drop of Water to cool his Tongue. , 175 Rich Man also died, and The Rich Man also died quickly after him; for all Sect. 125.

his Riches were not sufficient to procure the least O^v^^J Continuance of his Life j and he was buried, with great Funeral Solemnity and Pomp. But ob- Luke XVI> his Eye,, being in Torments, ferve the Difference of their Circumstances beyond the Grave. This poor sensual Creature was by God's righteous Vengeance condemned to everlasting Misery; and in the unseen World (a)y being in the midst of Torments, aggravated by all the Indulgence and Delicacy of his former Life, be listed up his weeping and despairing Eyes, and saw Abraham from asar, and the poor despised Lazarus lying in his Bosom, as a newly received Guest at the heavenly Banquet, placed next the Father of the Faithful himself.

And calling out with the greatest Earnestness and Importunity- he said, Oh Father Abraham, have Compassion upon me, a poor unhappy Descends Finger in Water, and dant of thine, and send Lazarus, not to reach

out to me any of the Dainties of Heaven, for I
presume not to ask so great a Favour, but only 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 (e), tho" it were but for a

Moment;

es the Dead, to conduct them to their respective Seats. It is strange, any should render

7w no^TOf Tb AGpeutfi, Abraham''s Bower; or (with sac. Cappellus,) Abraham's Haven. Our Translation is in all Respects much more just. It alludes to the Way of representing the Entertainments of Heaven, by sharing a magnificent Banquet with Abraham, and the other Patriarchs: ("Compare Mat. viii. II. and Luke xxii. 30.) And nothing can better describe the Honour and Happiness of Lazarus, who had lain in so wretched a Condition before the Glutton's Gate, than telling us that he was placed next to Abraham, and so lay in hi; Bosom.

(Compare "John xiii. 23.1 Thus Casaubon and Grotius well explain it. As for.the Rich

Man's feeing him there, Mr. L'Enfant thinks, the Jews borrowed this Manner of speaking from the Greeks, who described the Seats of the Blejfed as separated from those of the Damned by a great impassable River, from the opposite Banks of which they might converse. Many of them also expressly speak of a great Chasm interposed. See Eisner. Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 256, 257. and Grotius in he.

(d) In the unjetn World."] This seems generally the Sense of the Greek Word, aJW, as was observed before, Vol. i. tag. 546. Note (f). Both the Rich Man, and Lazarus, were in Hades, tho' in different Regions of it. See Grotius's learned and judicieus Note herci

(e) Dip the Tip of bis Finger in Water, &c] The Hebrews drank their Wine mingled with Water; and large Quantities of Water, on one Occasion or other, were used at their Feajis: (See John ii. 6.) There seems therefore in this Petition, a proper Allusion to that.

Archbijhop Tillotfon observes, with his usual Vivacity, that this is the only Instance we

meet with in Scripture, of any thing that looks like a Prayer put up to a glorified Saint ■; [Titlotf. Works, Vol. ii. pag. 142.) and even here the Application was in vain, and no Relief was the Saint capable of giving. It is observable, the Rich Man speaks, as knowing

Lazarus,

176 He begs that Lazarus might be sent to convert his Brethren:

Sect. 125. Moment; jor I am so tormented in this Flame,

<^*~v~^j that it excites an intolerable Thirst, which is continually raging and preying on my very Soul.

Luke XVI. But Abraham said, with awful and inflexible 25 But Abraham said,

25- Severity, Son, remember the former Days, when ^lsstowst

thou and Lazarus were upon Earth; that thou good Things, and likewise
didst then in thy Life-time receive thy good Things, Lazarus evil Things: but
which thou wast so foolish as to chuse, in the J1TM £<; *TMS^* and
Neglect of God, and of thy Soul; and likewise
Lazarus then received [his] evil 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 his Joy, nor thine
Anguish, can admit of any End or Interruption.

26 And befides all this, as to the Favour thou desirest 2o AntJ besides all this,
from the Hand of Lazarus, it is a Thing impos- ab"!Tr"S »t T ^t!!

r, , , , r ,' , ° K a great Gulf fixed: so that

lible to be granted; for between us and you there they which would pass from is a great Chasm fixed; a vast unmeasurable Void hence to you, cannot; neiis interposed; so that they who would go from hence ther,,can thc/ Passus'that

r.r J ,1/ r a- would come from thence.

to you, if any should be lo compaliionate as to
desire to help you, cannot; neither can they who
are there, come unto us; but we are still to con-
tinue at an unapproachable Distance from each
other.

27 Then the Rich Man, as he perceived that his 27 Tnen he said, I pray

own Case was irretrievable, said unto Abraham, ^ec thereres? rFa'he1r.' that ^,1 , i_ n ir r * L thou wouldest send him to

There may however be a Passage from you to the my Father's House:

other World, as it is plain there is from thence

to you j 1 beseech thee therefore, oh Father, that

thou wouldst please to send him to my Father's House,

28 on an Errand of the utmost Importance; For 28 For I have five Bre-
Ihave there five Brethren, thoughtless young Crea- thren J that he may te{tifY
tures like myself, who are now, revelling on those

Possessions which were once mine s/J, and are
likely e'er long to fall into the fame Misery with
me: I earnestly intreat thee therefore, that he

may

Lazarus, and as supposing, (ver. 28.) that his Brethren might know him, if he appeared to them. ,,

(f) I hav five Brethren, &c] As no Mention is made of any surviving Wife and Children, but / five Brethren are dei..ribed as living still together in his Father's House, one would Fli 1 .u,me that our Lord intended, to represent this wretched Creature as a young Man, who [unhappily for himself, like many modern Raies,) coming early to the Possession of his Eltate, soon broke his Constitution by Debauchery, and so left his Riches to the younger Children of the Family, having no other Heirs.

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