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we make not chefe good Things our Portion, and if we do not make them so, be sure'we may, that God will not.
And likewise Lazarus evil Things.
We have not yet done with the biting Memento, which Abraham here gives the Rich Man. in Hell. We have heard what he bad him remember concerning his own late flourishing state in his Life Time: But this is nor all, he must be also put in mind of the lare lamentable Condition of Lażarts, the poor distressed Beggar, that used to lie at his Gare craving an Alms; how hardly he. had fared all his Life-time, and whar evil Thing's he had endured. This is it that every unmerciful Rich Man must expect. The Contempt of the poor will be a hot burning Coal, tormenting his Soul and Conscience in Hell.
It is no News indeed to hear, that good Mex receive evil Things in this Life. Neither ought this to discourage any one from being, and continuing good. For whom the Lord loveth, be chafteneth and scourgeth every Son whom he receiveth, Heb. 12.6. Our blessed Saviour hath pronounced them blessed, that hunger and weep now, for they shall be filled and laugh. Luk. 6. 21. Lazarus was no worse Man, for being in the worse Condition, The more evil Thingshe now received, the more good Things had he yet to receive. These evil Things were such as might be born, and such as would do him good; and the good Things he wanted, were but Meat and Drink and Cloaths and good Health: he wanted not Grace and Goodness, and fufficient strength of Soutro bear these Wants; he
Food; and Drink aand Goog vantsinud
had an inward Comforter, and Peace of Conscience, which made all other Wants tolerable. But why must the Rich Man be put in mind of this?
First, to this end, That he might by this means call his own Sins to remembrance, that Sin, espe-' cially of not considering and commiserating the poor Man's evil Condition when he faw it, and adding to his Affliction by his denying him a feasonable relief. This must needs, at any time, be a very great Afliction to the Poor, to find no Comfort or Succour there, where, in all reason, he ought chiefly to expect it; and where alone, in all Appearance, it is not to be had. To go away Hungry from a Rich-man's Door is a great Disappointment, and a greater Grief of Mind, than to be denied a little Bread by one that hath but a little for bimself. To see the Rich Man's Dogs fed with that which himself was almost faa' mith'd for want of, mult needs bite him more than his Hunger did. Neither yet doch a vertu-' OMS Poor Man's missing his hop'a for relief fo greatly Afflict him, as the Rich Man's want of Charity. His Afiction is heightned by that Chai rity himself, which he fees the other want, and he grieves more for the Rich Man's fake than his own. To think in how fad a Condition this Richa Man was because of his unmerciful Temper, and in how much worse a condition he wou'd shortly be, without a timely Repentance, whereof his pre. sent churlijbness was bue a bad fign, this cut poor Lazarus to the Heart. Remember this ( faith Abraham) look upon Lazarus, and remember, how much now this addsah to thy Torments, that without any Mercy or Compassion thou didst lec him lie Groaning all his Days under those Evils
hechen suffer'd, when it was in thy power to re-. lieve him.
Again, this was tu make him more sensible of God's Justice, and Righteous Judgments in dealing with the wicked according to their unmerciful dealings with others, and in taking care that his faithful Servants be in the end no losers by his Service; but that he hath laid up such a Reward for them in Heaven, That all the sufferings of shis present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which all be revealed in them. Rom. 8. 18. Yea, That the light Affli&tion which is but for a moment, worketh for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, 2. Cor. 4. V. 17..
i . . These are the things which Abraham bids the Rich Sinner call to remembrance in Hell. And now we are farther, to consider, what he here especially commends to his Notice. And that is, the great Change made in the condition both of Good and Bad Men by Death, in these Words, But now he is Corsforted, and thou aft Tormented.
These Words of Abraham we should all have very much in our Thoughts. We are all of us 100 incent upon things present, and upon the earthly Comforts, which now we Taste and Feel, to think so much as it concerns us, on things Future, and on the NOW here in this Text. Now, in this Life we are in haft to be happy, Now, we would have our good Things, we cannor well endure to be told, that we should wait and continue with Patience in doing well, and suffering ill till this Life shall be at end. The NOW of this Life runs still in our mind, that other of the Life to come is 100 feldomu in our Thoughts." Tho
that's an Eternal now, and this just nothing. This ends at Death, and is no more, and that begins at Death, and is for ever. This is it of which Abrabam here fpeaks, the State of the Dead immediately after Death, and before the Resurrection of the Body, and so before the great Day of Judgment, and the final State of all afrer Sentence shall be given. All the while betwixt the departure of our Souls out of our Bodies, and the rising again of these Bodies from the Dead, we must be either in comfort, or in torments. Our Souls then, as was faid, sleep not, nor lie in a Senseless Condition, neither find we here, or in any o'her part of Holy Writ, any such ching as a Purgatory, a place of torment for a middle fort of Souls, which being neither of the belt, nor of the worst, are supposed by some to go neither immediately to Heaven nor to Hell; but into the Skirts or Suburbs of Hell, there by torments to be purged, as with Fire, from all their drofs; and that done, to be sent into Heaven. We have mention made of a State of Comfort call’d Abraham's Bofom; and another of torment called Hell; neither of which shall ever end; but both of them shall admit of augmentatie on, as we shall fee anon. These in the mean time are the things which we are here taught.
1. That there is a future state after Death for all Men, good and bad. Death when it comes, and disolves the Bond of Union 'twixc Soul and Body, doch not make an end of either. This is both lo frequently, and so plainly taught us in the Holy Scripture, that I shall not need to point out the Texts for it. For indeed, the whole Scripture would be a vain and insignificant Thing, if this were not true. All the Holy Scripture was given us to this end, of making us wife unto Salvation,
through Faith, that is in Christ JESUS; so wise, as to be able by the Rules of God's Word, to govern our selves in such fort so long as this Life lasts, that we may be happy when we die. And indeed, the wiser fort of Heathen Men were generally of this Beliet, that the Souls of Men continued after Death, and that so, as to be sensible of their Condition; whereof, to spare the quoting of Authors, the Idolatry of the World hath ever been a fufficient Evidence. For most of the Idols, which they worshipped, were nothing else but the Souls of Men, which they believed to be alive efter Death, and to have a power to do them good or hurt. Men were not in the darkness of Heathenism arriv'd at that height of Infidelity, which is now by too many in this Age, esteemed the bight of Wisdom. They neither denied, that Men have Souls distinct from their Bodies ; nor that those Soúls subsist after their departure out of their Bodies. Whosoever therefore denieth a future state of Souls after Death, is one of those conceited Fools, who for the love he hath to his Sin, hath facrificed his Modesty together with his Reason to his Lusts, and worshipping nothing but the Brutilla part of himself, thinks it Wit to be impudent, and the hight of Gallantry to own himself a Beast, and to have as little of Concern for the future, as a Swine. Herein is his Glory, that he thinks himself wiser for this than all Mankind, be they Cbristians, Jews, Mahometans or Heathens; for all these do generally believe the Souls Immortality. And that which demonstrates his Folly beyond all Dispute is this, That whilst he so confidently denies, what the generality of Mankind believes, and what the wiseft of Men have ever thought they could sufficiently prove, to the Conviction of all