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deed, whatever were his thoughts, it was now too late for him to call upon God for Mercy. The day of Grace was now closed in an eternal Nighi of Darknės and Wrath. Prayers may do much good on Earth, but they are of no vertue in Hell. God is become inexorable, and shuts his Ears against all Petitions that are sent unto him thence by what hand soever, O, that whilst we are you through the Mercy of that good God, whom such Men despise, yet alive and out of Hell, where we deferve to be, we would wisely conlider of it. How little care we now for Praying, whilst we may be heard. And how earnelt will we be in Prayer when it is too late? When there will be none to hear nor pity us,then and not before; we would be content to fall down and pray even to a Dog, if we thought it could bring us the least ease.
4. That the Rich Man in Hell, tho' he pray, yet prayeth he to one that can give him no relief. Father Abrabem, faith he, bave Mercy on me.
Abrabam was indeed a great Man on Earth, and he is too a great Saint in Heaven. Abraham was the Friend and Favourite of God when on Earth, and he is not lessened by going to God in Heaven, God promises often to do great things even to a wicked People, for the Covenants fake that he made with Abraham, and he is still the God of Abraham. He had great power with God, and his Prayers for others were very prevalent. He is fill the Father of all them that believe, and are of his Faith; and will (no doubt of it) do them all the good that is in his power to do them. - But what that is, we cannot tell ; only we are sure, that we have no Commission at all to pray unto him for mercy, either from Eartbor Hell. Whilft we are on Earth, we have one powerful Media
tor between God and Man, even the Seed of Abraham, in whom all the Nations of the Earth shall be Blessed, the Man Christ JESUS, whatsoever we ask the Father in his name, he will give it us, Abraham is the Father of the Faithful, but there is another Father of Mercies, the God of all Consolation, he hath not intrusted the destribution of his Mercy to Father Abraham. Whatever pity and compafsiun the Saints in Heaven may be supposed to have towards those in Hell, it is certain they are not able to afford 'em any relief ; neither will be that made them, then have Mercy on them. The Rich Man would now have Lazarus sent by Abraham unto him with a little refreshment. He that had 30 mercy on that Poor Man whilft he stood in need of some refreshment from bine, would now have him fent to cool his Tongue. But to him that shewed no mercy to the Poor, no mercy sball be shewed of God. Neither hath Abrabam any power to command Lazaru, neither hath Lazarus leave to go on such an Errand; as will appear from Abraham's Answer in the next Verse.
LUKE XVI. Ver. 25.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thox
in thy Life time receiveds thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now He is comforted, and thou art tormented.
TE have heard the earnest Petition which the Rich Man put up
from Hell to Father Abraham. His request was but for a very small favour in all appearance, a mercy, which if he might have obtained, would have done him little good in so sad a condition, and yet as small a matter as it was, could not then be granted. When wicked men are once by Death departed out of this World, the time of mercy is quite at an end. In vain then are all Prayers made, either by themselves in Hell, or by their Friends on Earth for them. And the reason of this, Abraham here tells the Rich Man. Such Men receive theirwhale portion of good things whilst they live ; and therefore must expect no more. Let us consider the whole answer more distinctly.
But Abraham said, that is, supposing that Abrabam had heard fuch Words from the Rich Man in Hell, as here he is fupposed to speak, thus he would have answered him ; that is, the Rich Man should be made sensible, that all his defires of eafe were now in vain, he must expect the quite contrary to what he would have had.
Some gracious Answer, something of Comfort he hop'd for from such a Fatber, from the Head of his Progenitors ; surely, might he think, Farber Abraham so good a Man, hath a mind to do his miserable Son all the good he can; and one fo much in God's favour as he, must needs be able to do something for me. But the case is ftrangely alter'd, Father Abraham can no longer own him for his son, nor is he allow'd to speak one Syllable of comfort to him. Abrabam was always ready to do what good he could for all Men, he had an universal charity for all Mankind; he interceded with God for Wicked Sodom, and no Stranger could pass by his Gate to his Knowledge without a feasonable Relief, and liberal Entertainment. Yet had he not now a drop of Water to bestow on him that was tormented in Hell. All the World of Angels and Men, cannot administer the least degree of comfort to one in that Condition. His nearest Relations, his dearest Friends, who always wish'd him well, and endeavour'd his Happiness equally with their own; the best and swee. teft natur'd Men, whose delight and Recreation it was on all Occasions to do good, and to fhew mercy, cannot now afford him any kindness at all, not one Tear of Commiseration, not one drop of cooling Water, no not a little Breatb or Air, so much, as to utter a short Prayer to God for him. Those Holy Angels in Heaven that would have rejoiced, and kept a Thanksgiving Day in the presence of God for his Conversation, will now rather rejoice to see God glorified in his juft Condemnation.
All good Men, such as Abrabam was, do always rejoice in the Glory of God. And, O, how glad would they be to see all Men on Earth glorifying
God in boliness of Life and Conversation, and to fee God glorifying his own Goodness in the exercise of his Mercy and Loving Kindness towards them. How do all such holy Persons now mourn with them that mourn, and rejoice with them that rejoice, and grieve at the Heart to see any one Member of the
Body miserable, that is, in any spiritual wart, and in danger of being tormented in the Flames of Hell? How earnestly pray they, and with what weeping Eyes and bleeding Hearts, do they beg of God for him grace and pardon? Why? Now is the time wherein God would be glorified both in his own, and in our mercy and compassion to poor Sinners. But afțer Death, all Tears, all Griefs and Sorrows, of all sorts, are done away from the pious Man's Heart and Eyes, his Heavenly Foys must not be interrupted, or in the least abated, by any trouble of Mind, or Grief of Heart. Then is it the time of God's glorifying his Justice ; and it becomes all his Saints to rejoice, that God is glorified in his Righteous Judgments executed on the defpisers of his Mercy and Long Suffering. God now in the time of this Life rejoiceth in Mercy, and exerciseth much patience towards vile Sinners. He is always calling out unto them, How long, ye fimple ones, will
ye love Simplicity ? Turn you at my reproof, bebold I will pour my Spirit upon you, I will make known my Words unto you.
But there will come a time when he will laugh at their Calamity, and mock when their Fear cometh; when Desolation and Deftruction, Distress and Anguish come upon them, tbó' they call, be will not bear, but have them in Derision. And all holy Souls in Heaven will be so far from pitying them, that they shall triumph in God's Victory over them, and rejoice in the Vengeance whereby God is pleased to glorifie