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oners for a better state hereafter; we are a perfect ing Holiness in the fear of the Lord, that we may be meet for the Inheritance of the Saints in Light. We are now at School, and under discipline, and as we improve, we shall be advanc'd. Our Heavenly Father knows what we most need, and what will best fit us for the Inheritance which he hath provided for us; and such is his goodness, that he doth always what's beft, tho'we, like foolish Cbildren, do not think so. We are rot therefore to look only on the present, but much more on that which is to come. VVere the time of this Life all that God had made us for, our Condition in this Life were all that we should be concern'd for. But if there be a Life to ceme design'd us by God, and he hath made that the end of our present Life here, when we are to expect our Reward or Punishment; in that Life, must needs be the Revelation of the Righteous Fudgment of God. Rom. 2, And then he will make it appear, whatever we foolish Men now think, that be order'd all Things wisely in this world. We are to judge of nothing before the end come, the methods of God's Providence, how unaccountable foever they now may seem, will then be laid open, fo as fully to fatisfie us of the Justice and Wisdom and Good. ness of all his Doings. He that hath now given us Laws to live by, bath appointed a Day, wherein be will Judge the World in Righteousnifs .....and will reader to every one according to his Works. Te them, who by patient continuance in well doings (how much soever their patience is now tried by the Evils.chey suffer; whilst they are doing well) Seek for Glory and Honour and Immortality, eternal Life. But unto ihem that are contentious, and do not obey the Truth, but obey Unrighteousness, (how much
foever they now thrive and flourish ) indignatich and wrath. Rom. 2. 6. Thus the devout Pfalu mift overcame all the Difficulties of reconciling the good Providence of God with the present Profperity of the Wicked, and the Sufferings of the Righteous, when I thought to know this (faith he ) it was too painful to me, until I went into the Sanctita. ary of God, then understood i their end. Surely thors didit fer them in slippery places; thou cafted their down to destruction. How are they brought into de-, jolation as in a moment ? They are atterly consumed. with Terrors. Pfal. 73. 16. The Lord Mall laugh ai bim, for he feeth that his Daj is coming. Psal. 37.10. I have seen ( faith he) the Wicked in great power and spreading bimself like a green Bay Tree. Yet be passed away, and lo he was not; I fought hiin, but be could not be found. Mark the perfect Man, and bebold the Upright ; for the End of that Man is Peace. But the Transgresors shall be destroy'd togeiher, the End of the Wicked shall be cut off. v. 35: Bc. The Wicked (faith Job) is referu'd to the Day of Destruction, they fall be brought forth to the Daire of Wrath. Job 21. 30. The Lord knoweth (saich Sr. Peter ) how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Fudgment to be punish’d. 2 Pet. 2. 9.
If then this present Life be no oiher than a time of Probation and Triai, of Service and Exeta cise, Düty and Discipline: and a Day of Judgment be appointed after death, when we must all appear before the Judgment Seat' of Christ, and shall have then the final Sentence given upon us, to receive Reward or Punishment, according to the Works, which here we have done, whether good or evil. and if wicked Men, the more good Things they here enjoy and abuse, shall then suffer fo much
the severer Torments; and good Men, the more evils they here suffer, shall have so much the greater Reward, and share in glory, and if all that the Wicked can now enjoy be but for this short Life, which is but for a very few Years at most, and the Torments that follow shall be eternal; and what the good Man suffers is but for a moment, and yet in that moment through grace and mer.cy of God, worketh for him a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, what can any one that considers this, have left him to say against the good Providence and righteous Government of God, tho' he suffer the Wicked to flourish, and the Righteous to lie under Afflictions so long as they live in this World? In short, all Things work together for good to them that love God. Rom. 8. And Tho' their Sufferings for a time be grievous, yet will they bring forth in the end the comfortable Fruit of Righteoufness to them who are exercis'd therewith.
tho’he futidence and rich him to san any one thing
LUKÈ XVI. Ver. 26. And besides all this, between us and you there
is a great gulf fixed; so that they which would pass froni hence to you; cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
THIS Verfé concludes the Answer which A
I braham made to the Rich Man's Request; which he made for bimself now in Hell. He dem. nied him the Thing he ask'd of him, that is, to fend Lazarus to cool his Tongue. And in these words he gives him a Reason for it, which must be fac. tisfactory, the Thing desir'd is a Thing impossible to be done; how little foever it amounted to; or how:willing foever-Abtahami might be to do it for him, :ye was it not in bis power to do it.
Abraham had, in the immediately : foregoing Words, put him in mind, how little he had by his Behaviour in his Life-time deferved che favour he now requested. He bids him remember, how he had then demean'd himself, and how he had then receiv'd a great deal more than he had deserv'd, and indeed all the good Things that fell to his share, no more good is now therefore to be expected, by, him. And yet, left * after all this, the Rich Man might conceive some kind of hope, that notwithstanding his great demerit, he might by much import xinity yet prevail, and move Father I. 3
Abraham to have some compassion on him; he Cells him very plainly, that'cisto no purpose ro hope for any such thing as he desir'd. As he was already tormented, so tormented he must for ever be.
They who live wickedly, and die impenitently, are at Death put into a desperate Condition, paft all hape of receiving any relief or abatement of their Torments.
This appears abundantly from this part of A. braham's Answer. Besides all this, saith he. Over and above what I have yer said to make thee sensible of ihy Folly, and of the Justice of God in thus giving thee up to be tormented, I have this moreover to add for the aggravation of thy. Mifery, That thou canst not now have any help or ease given thee by me or any other. For between us, who are here comforted, and you, who are there formenred, there is a great gulf, an unpaslable distance, no way left to pass over. This gulf is fixed unalterably. The immutable decree of God is this, that there shall be no way whereby one of us, who are thus once separated, shall ever any more come at the other. So that they that would pass from bence to you, cannot. . That is,
erfor hendes mer...? supposing that any of us, who here through the special grace and mercy of God in JESUS Christ our Saviour, are in a most comfortable rest, have a mind, or shall be willing in compassion to 204, who are in Torment, to deny our "selves so far for your sakes, as to leave this comfortable Atate for a while, to bring you all the relief and ease you desire; yet you must know, that we áre restrain'd herein by God, he will by no means allow of it. And if any one of you would never to fain break loose from that wretched Society;