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Gates, and despise your drudging Tenants, as tho they were made for no other end than to be your Slaves. Whoever honour you now, or whomsoever you are pleated either to honour or to contemn,yer know fur certain, That thus it shall be done to every one whom God delights to honour, even as it was here done to poor despised Lazarus. See this, you poor despised Creatures, who wear the Liverie of Christ in your Rags, and Feast on Him in your Hunger; thus shall every pious Soul, how poorly foever he now live, and how weakly foever he now crawl, and how despicable foever he is now to the Rich Man, be bonour'd of God when he dies. The great and glorious King of Kings owns you for his beloved Children, whom the Rich Men now use worse, than they do their Dogs. Every one of you, thar hath by Faith received Cbrist, to him katt be given power, even the inestimable Privilege and Dignity of being one of the Sons of God. Joh. 1. 2. If we be sincerc Christians, whatever our prefent Sufferings be, yet are we all the Children of God by Faith in Cbrift JESUS. Gal. 3. 26. and if Sons, then Heirs, jea, joint Heirs with Chrilt. Rom. 8. 17. When God brought the First begotten, even our blessed JESUS into the World, he said, bet all the Angels of God worship him. Hebr. F. And the poorest and most despised of us all; having this Love of the Father for Christ's fake beftowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God; the same holy Angels that worship the Lord our Saviour, are sent to Minister unto us. Are they not all Ministring Spirits, sent forth to Minister for them who mall be Heirs of Salvation? Heb. 1. They that scorn us now so much, as that they would count it a disgrace to them to keep Company with us, or to entertain in their families any
such Servants as we are, had they Eyes to see, or Faith to believe, how these heavenly Spirits, the choice Favourites of God in the Court of Heaven, with much pleasure and Joy daily Minister unto us; would hang down their Heads at the light; yea, and tremble too, could they at the same time behold those black and foul Spirits, that haunt their Houses, and every where accompany them; they could hardly, I am confident, be pleas'd ( as now they seem to be with those of another fort) to have such Blacks among their Attendants. The Heavenly Host of blessed Spirits have a charge given them by their Lord and ours, to watch abour. us. He hath given bis Angels charge over thee, whosoever thou art that fearest God, to keep thee in all thy ways of Righteousness, and to bear thee up in their Hands, left thou dasha thy Foot against a Stone. Psal. 91. 11. 12. What, cho Men cast us out like Carrion when we die, and hold us not worthy of a winding Sheet; che holy Angels of God stand ready to conduct and carry us into the presence of God, into the Kingdom prepared for us from the beginning of the World. This Honour bave all bis Saints.
Secondly, Thefe Angels carry Lazarus into Abrabam's Bofom. And that we may be very sure of it, is a place of Ease, Comfort, Safety and Honour. What is meant by Abraham's Bofome is not very hard to conceive, when we understand, That the Jews were wont to use this phrase of being in Abraham's bofome, whenfoever they would fignifie one to be in great Happiness. Abraham was the great Exemplar to the World of a very won. derful Faith in God; leaving cheerfully all his vi. fible Earthly Enjoyinents, and hopes, io obey the Call of God; tho' be knew not ( as the Apo
Atle faith) whither he went. He trusted God with all, never fearing to be a loser by it. Therefore is he called the Father of all them that believe. And all they thar imitate him in his Faith, are called the Children of faithful Abraham.
Now render Parents use to express their love to their Children, by laying them in their BoSomes. And they that lie in the Bosome of loving Parenrs, are no doubt of it as happy, as it is in the power of their parents to make them. They are sure to fare as well as their Parents do. Now
Abraham being himselt in a very happy state, having Blessedness enraild by God upon himself, and all his faithful Children, when our Saviour faith, That Lazarus was carried into Abraham's Borome, his meaning must be, that he was lodged among the Faithful Children of Abraham, who are all in the fame stare of Blessedness, whatever that be, which he their Father now enjoyeth. It was also a custom at Feasts to lie on Beds, so as that the Head of one might lean on the Bofome of another ; whence St. John, the Difciple whom Jesus loved, lying next unto him on the Bed, as they did ear the Pallover, is said to have leaned on Jesus bis Bosome, Joh. 13. 28. Now the Joys of Heaven being compared in a Feast, they that go to Heaven, are said to sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven. Mar. 8. 1. when therefore our blested Saviour faith, that the Beggar was carried into Abraham's Bofome, his meaning is, that he was entertain'd no worse than Abraham was, but feasted cogether with him. Abraham is noted in his History for his great Hospitality, and liberal Entertainment of Strangers and poor Travellors, and therefore is the
faith, that's when there the Kingdoms with Abra
to him lt bis spiritual piritual Ble line, Thould now
poor Man's happiness after death, most patly exprefled by his lying in the Bosome of one as fainous for his Charity, as for his Faith. However, he wanged the 7 emporal Blesings of Abraham, whilft he lay at the rich Man's Gate, he should now have the eternal and Spiritual Blessings of Abraham, as one of his spiritual Seeds communicated freely to him lying in his Bosome.
'This is spoken to the great Honour of faithful Abraham, ihat they who are happiest after death are said to lie in bis Borome. Let us all therefore endeavour to be as like Abraham as we can upon Earth, that we may be like him too in another World.
Let us all labour to be like him in his Faith, being ready to part cheerfully with all Earthly Comforts, whensoever it pleasech God by his Providence to call us to it. If Lazarus had not been contented with his povertie and fores, submir ting to God in the worst condition, and trusting him for a better, if not in this, yer in a better World; he had not been carried into Abraham's Bosome. Here is the Trial of our Faith, if we can patiently continue in well doing, what Hardships foever we now lie under, stedfastly trusting that God will make good all his promises to his faithful Servants, tho our Reward come not till after we are dead.
Let us also labour to be like him in his Charity and Hospitality to the Poor; taking pitty on them, and compassionately with a cheerful Heart, a ploalani Countenance, and a wide Hand liberally relieving to our utmost power the wants of the . Needy. Had the Rich Man learn'd this good Leffon of relieving the poor, at his Gare plentifully, out of the rich stock and substance which F 3
God had bestowed upon him; had he not spared from the Poor, to feed his Lusts and Dogs; but done good with all, and to all, as he had Opportunity; in faith relying upon God for a gracious Reward, he had been carried when he died into the Bofome of Abraham too.
Again, this is spoken to the great comfort of all pious People, how afflicted foever their present condition be. Let all such therefore as are in any afflition, be sure to keep up their Religion and Piety; hold fast their faith and love ; that they may be entertain'd after Death with the Children of faithful Abraham. Let them constantly trust in God, and walk on in the Paths of Righteousness, carefuly shunning Stealth, Fraud, Robbery, and every evil way; depending entirely on the promise and providence of God; patiently bearing his Fatherly Chastisements, and with a contented Heart and Thankfulness to God, kindly accepting the relief, how small soever, that they find from any charitable Hand; not doubting, but God will either, when he fees 'iis time, mend their Allowance and Portion here, or remove them hence into Abraham's Bofome, a quiet, plentiful, and honourable state, which by Death they řhall go into.
Thus have we considered the Life and Death of these two Persons, how it fared with each of them afterwards, we fhall be inform'd in the following Verses.