Imágenes de páginas


17+ Christ delivers the Parable of the Rich

Sect. 125. wore Robes of Purple, ƻi Vests of fine Linnen,
*^-^~»U and daily feajled in a very Jplendid and luxurious
Luke XVI. Manner. And there ivas 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
bting full of Sores and Ulcers, he was a most

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

fed, if it were but with the Crumbs, which fell
jrom 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):


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,

2i 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 was buried.

(a) A certain poor Man, named Lazarus.] An exceeding proper Name, which seems (as Lud. Cappellus observes,') to be derived from "ity xb, Lo oxer, 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 aXKa. Kou should be rendered yea; as Erasmus, Beza, Schmidius, and Calvin contend, and above all, Rapbelius abundantly proves. (Annot. ex Xen. pag. 106, 107.) The Circumstance is surely recorded, to shew that his Ulcers lay bare, and were not (as Isaiah in another Case expresses 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 be fed with the Crumbs which the Dogs used to gather. {Mat. xv. 27.) If so, it was with singular 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 Jims 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, (see Drufius in 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 Greeks (as £sner, Observ. Vol. i. pag. 255. and many others, have observed,) assign Guides to the Souls

23 And in HeHhe lift up his Eye

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


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.


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


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


[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy Life-time receivedst ihy good Things, and likewise Lazarus evil Th;nas: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

He begs that Lazarus might he sent to convert his Brethren:

, Moment; for I am so tormented in this Flame,

that it excites an intolerable Thirst, which is con-
tinually raging and preying on my very Soul.
But Abraham said, with awful and inflexible

Severity, Son, remember the former Days, when

thou and Lazarus were upon Earth; that thou

didst then in thy Life-time receive thy good Things,

which thou wast so foolish as to chuse, in the

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.

And besides all this, as to the Favour thou desirest

from the Hand of Lazarus, ir is a Thing impos-
sible to be granted; for between us and you there

is a great Chasm fixed; a vast unmeasurable Void

is interposed; so that they who would go from hence

to you, if any should be so compassionate 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

Then the Rich Man, as be perceived that his
own Cafe was irretrievable, said unto Abraham,
There may however be a Passage from you to the my Fathcr'THouse:
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,
on an Errand of the utmost Importance; For
I have there five Brethren, thoughtless young Crea-
tures like myself, who are now revelling on those
Possessions which were once mine (f), and are
likely e'er long to fall into the fame Misery with
me: I earnestly intreat thee therefore, that he


26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great Gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, Father, that thou wouldest send him to

28 For I have five Brethren; that he may testify unto

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

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

But that would have no more EffeSi than Revelation.

unto them,

[ocr errors]

lest they also come into this Place of Torment.

29 Abraham faith unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, Father Abraham : but if one went unto them from the Dead, they will repent.

may be sent, to testify to them the Reality and Sect. 125.
Importance of this Invisible World, that they may f~^£yf'
be awakened to avoid those Evil Courses that have 2g e
been my Ruin, and may not also come into this
Place of Torment.

But Abraham said in Reply to him, Thou know- 29
est they have ari excellent Divine Revelation in the
Writings of Moses and the Prophets; let them but
hearken to the Warnings and Instructions that are
given by them, and they have Means sufficient to
secure them from that Danger.

And when the poor tormented Creature found, 30
this also was objected to, he pleaded still in their
Behalf, and said, Nay, Father Abraham, they
will flight these, as I foolishly did j but surely
if one go to them from the Dead, they cannot with-
stand so awful a Messenger, but will undoubtedly
repent, and reform their Lives.

But Abraham put an End to the Discourse, 31
with an Assurance of the Fruitlefiness of any such
extraordinary Means for their Conviction j and he
said to him, The Evidences of the Divine Reve-
lation are such, that ;/ they hearken not to Moss,
and the Prophets, neither •will they be persuaded to
a thorough Repentance and Reformation, tho' one
should arise from the Dead to visit them (g). For
tho' 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 e'er long
to flight and forget such an awful Apparition, as
you desire they might fee.

■(g) If they hearken not to Moses, &c.] It is true, Moses no where expressly asserts a future State of Rewards and Punijhments; yet the Facts recorded by him strongly inforce the natural Arguments in Proof of it; and the Prophets speak plainly of it in many Places. See P/al. xvi. 9, 10, II. xvii. 15. xxiii. 6. xlix. 14, 15. lxxiii. 17, & feq. Prov. xiv. 32.

Eecles. iii. 17, 21. xi. 9. xii. 7, 13, 14. and Exek. xviii. 19, 20, 21. Bijhop Atterhury

has excellently (hewn the Justice of Abraham's Assertion here, in his incomparable Discourse on this Text. (See his Sermons, Vo\. ii. Serm. 2.) The Impenitence of many, who/a%v another Lazarus raljed from the Dead, (John xi. 46.) and the Wickedness of the Soldiers, who were Eye-witnesses to the Resurrection os Christ, and yet that very Day suffered themselves to be hired to bear a:false Testimony against it, {Mat. xxviii. 4, 15.) are most affecting and astonishing Illustrations of this Truth: For each of those Miracles was far more convincing, than such an Apparition, as is here referred to, would have been.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded, tho' one rose from the Dead.

Vol. IL



178 Reflections on the Cafe of the Rich Sinner and the Poor Saint*


Sect. 125. TV/sOST evidently may we learn from this "Parable, that it is impost "XVX ^hle to know either Love or Hatred by any 'Thing that is before us under the Sun. (EccleJ. ix. 1.) Who that had seen the Pomp and Plenty of this Rich Sinner, and compared it with the Indigence and Misery of Lazarus, would have imagined, that the latter had been the Child, and the former the 'Enemy of GOD? But let us judge nothing before the Time. (\ Cor. iv. 5J Our Lord 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 MagVer. 23, 24. nificence of Burial, to a Wretch 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 his Torment be heightened by the Delicacy he had once indulged. May Gon awaken those unhappy Persons, whatever their Rank in the present Life may be, who place their Happiness and their Glory, in being clothed in Purple and fine Linnen, and faring sumptuously every Day! May they lift up their enchanted deluded Eyes, and fee that pointed Sivord 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 inforce it, that they pass not into that Place of Torment! Ver. 22. Let poor ajflitled Saints take Comfort in what has now been read, tho'

they may be despised and flighted by Men. The Time will shortly come, when those Angels, that now descend in an invisible Form to minister to Ver. 23. them, will appear as their Guard to convoy 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 Sensualist did, at an unapproachable Distance! Let us think seriously of his deplorable Circumstances, when he asked a Drop of Water from the Tip of Lazarus's Ver. 25. 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, oh 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 Ancejlors, or a Participation of external Privileges.

We enquire not curiously into the Motives, which engaged him to

Ver. 27, 28. 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.


« AnteriorContinuar »