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LUKE 16. v. 23.
And in Hell he lift up his Eyes, being in Tore ments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his Bolome,
II. INTE are now to see in what Condition
VV thefe two Persons, the Rich Man and the Beggar were, immediately after their Death, And this we may understand in some good mea. sure from what is told us of them in this Verle; and more we shall discover in those which follow: Something hath been caught us already of the comfortable state of the poor Man; and here are we taught something of the miserable ftare of the Rich Man. And the Things which we are exprelly caught of it, are these three.
1. That immediately after hisDeath he was in Hell. 2. That being in Hell, he was there in Torments.
3. That in Torments, he beheld Abrabam and Lazarus in his Bosome. And these three Things do all of them deserve our serious Consideration.
1. So soon as the Rich Man died, he was in Hell. The Rich Man (faith our Saviour ) also died, and was buried ; and being in Hell, be lift up bis Eyes, being in Torments. Nothing comes betwixt his Death and Burial, and his Torments in Hell. But before we consider this any farther, les us observe something from the whole Verse,
of universal Concernments to be well Learn'd, and firmly believ'd, and it is this.
When Men die, or depart out of this World by Death, whether they be good or bad, their Souls die not; but continue still alive, and passinto another State, wherein they are sensible of Good and Evil. The Rich Man's Soul after Death is said to be in Torments, and we shall afterwards find, that he was sensible of his Torments, or indeed they were no Torments. He was sensible of the condition of Abraham also, and Lazarus, as well as of his own; and thar Lazarus his Soul was in Abraham's Bosom is plain, and that he was there in joy and comfort is as plain, from what is said of him afterwards. And hence we conclude against our Somatists, that Men are not only Bo-' dies, or mere Machines, Things that consist of nothing else but Matter put into motion ; and also against another Seet, thar our Souls sleep not after Death, or lie in an insensible condition till the Resurrection. And this helps us to understand our own Nature, what we are ; and also confirms our Faith, touching che Immortality of our Souls, which are such Things as shall not die, but in one state or other live for ever..
Some Men are grown so quire out of love with Holiness, and all manner of Goodness;'and are fallen so deeply in love with Sin and impurity; and are so extreamly fond of their Bodies, and mad to fulfil all the Lusts of the Flesh; that for the sake of their Sins, they are quite faln out with their own Nature, and cannot endure to think any longer that they are Men, or that they have any such Things in their Bodies as rational Souls. And indeed, it is no great wonder, that they, who are busy, continually to spoil the Work of.
God in themselves, and have made themselves such deform'd Creatures; should ( to conceal their own folly and madness herein) be willing to have all Men believe, that God never made any Man more beautiful, perfe&t and lovely than themselves now are. We are told, and it cannot be hard to believe it, of such Men as these, that they are Men walking afrer their own Lufts, and glorying in their Sbame. And it is for their Lusts fake, and for the delight they have in those carnal pleasures, which God hath forbidden; that they in the first place fall our with God himself, and would make all the World, if they could, believe, that there is no such Being as God is. Hence they sec all their Wits on Work; to contrive by what means they may persuade Men to think it a Thing not impossible, that this World might be luch as it is without a God; and if they can buç bring them to believe so much, they will hope by degrees to bring them to a Belief, of what they suppose all Men would be as well content to have true, as they are ; to wit, that there is no God, for then might they sin merrily, without all fear of being call'd to any account for it ; which, if there be a God, they cannot do; God having, as their own reason tells them he must, given them Laws to live by, and told them, that he will reward the Keepers, and punish the Breakers of his Laws. Now if they find either their own, or other Men's Reason too strong for them in this point; and if they find it too hard a Thing to be believ'd, that all Things can be as they are, and have long been, without some One Being of so great Power, Wils dom, and Goodness, as to make them what they are, and so cannot prevail wich Men to be down right Atheists; they will yet try one Experiment
more in favour of their Lusts, and do all they can to make them Deists; who granting the Name of God due to Sometbing, they know not well what, suppose themselves to be indeed very fine pieces of Workmanship; not wisely designed or contriv'd by a voluntary free Agent, take heed of that; but either by the necessary Operation of natural Causes, eternally working by a constant and immutable Law: or by fome lucky bit and chance, no Body knows how; any thing you imagine possible shall be allowed of, so you do nor hold Man to be the work of one that governs him by Moral Laws ; or to have a Spirit within him các pable of understanding the goodness of those Laws; and of governing the Man by them. If they cannot rid the World of God the Maker and Goverpor of it fome way or other, they will do their utmost to free Men from such troublesom things as their Souls, that they fo may be incapable of Moral Government. For as long as Men are suppofed to have rational Souls, and such Souls are found by all their Faculties fitted for such Government, they cannot get rid of those Laws, and so dare not live as they lift. - We live in an Age, wherein the World swarms with these Men-and-no-Men, who would be calo led Men, yea, and thought the only wise Men of the World 100; and yet would have it believ'd, they have nothing in them which makes one either a Man, or Wife. There are but few indeed that are Philosophers enough, to reason and difpute much about these things; but there are enow, who have love enough for their Sins IQ wed them to fuch Opinions, be they right or wrong. Tho' they have not Wit enough to apprehend either the strength or weakness of
the Arguments wherewith they are main. tain'd.
We, who have taken upon us in good carnell the profession of Christian Religion, are content to be wise unto Sobriety; and to submit our felves to be taught of God, rather than by the World's Wife Men;who, by their ownWisdom know not God, tho' cho' they call us Fools for it. We willingly confefs, that we liave not Wit enough to conceive how all Things in the World could come to be wbat, and as we see them, without a wife and powerful Maker, which is God. Neither yet, whilft we feel something in us, thinking, and reasoning about Things past, present and to come, and contriving for the Happiness which we long for, and arguing for a God in our Breasts against our Lusts; dare we pretend to understand, how we should feel all chis, without Souls; or how in animate Matter can thus work of its self. Yet, tho' we pretend not to such a measure of Wildom, as to think our felves wiser than all that have been before us, who have sufîciently declared themselves convinced, both of the Existence of Souls distinct from Bodies, and of the being of a Supreme Power, causing and governing all things; we are loath to be so much Fools, as to believe we are but a hanfomer fort of Brutes. So long as we have any use of Reason, we think it very rea. ronable we should use it, and judge of our felves, and of all things by the best Light and Evidence we can come by. And seeing our blessed JESUS, hath reveald unto us things most highly deserve ing of our notice, and njoft serious Thoughts, and hath given us the greatest Light into the misterious Things of God, and of our Selves too, that the World ever law; and hath so strongly confirm'd