« PreviousContinue »
that we may not now be troubled with the thoughts of them. To be daring and confident, to be careless and live at random, to do what now pleasech us beft, and take all the Liberty we can get, is a very sure way not to miss of Hell arul its Torments. Let us cherefore cake heed of going the way that's smoot best and easiest, most abounding with the pleasures and delights of the World; the high Way of the vain Gentleman, and the broad Path wherein we see the Multitade, daily going in great crowds. Let us be sure to walk in the narrow way with the few and defpiled, keep close to the Commandments of God, and not wander as our own Lufts and fond Affections lead us.
Again, seeing that immediately after Death we shall cither be with che Rich Manin Hell, or with poor Lazarus in Abraham's Bofome in Torment cor in joy : Ler us make all the bast we can to repent, and to live well, because we koow not how loon we must die. If we dic this night, and be not prepared by an unfeigned Repentance, and a Holy Life for Heaven; we shall be sure this night also to be in Hell and in Torments, If this were well thought on as it deserves, we would be sure to do all that we can to make up our accounts, and to set all straight betwixc God and us before we go to Bed. We would not venture to lie down 1o Sleep with one Sin unrepented of, least we hould awake in torments. O, how comfortably goeth that Man to take his reft, who lives always in the fear of God all the day long, Prov.-.-And hach ihe Teftimony of a good conscience i har in all Godly fimplicity, he hath bad bis conversation in the World S uch an one can comfort himlelf in this, that tho'hę fhould never awake again to
fee the light of this Life ; yet he is sure that he Thall find himself in Abraham's Bofom, and in the sweetest Society of the Blessed, in joys which Thall never end. Let us well consider this now in the time of our Health, in the days of our Youth, and our prosperity, in the affluence of our Worldly Wealth, in the height of our pleasures and joys, our recreations, ports and merry meetings : What a great change may there be with us on a sudden, e're we can be aware of it? How quickly may we drop down dead, whatever we are a doing? And in what a confternation will our Souls be, if not prepared for Heaven, when they see the the Devils coming to snatch them away from all their delights at once, and hurrying them in háste to Hell, striving which shall out do the other in exercising their Malice and Cruelty in tormenting them ? .
0! What ado make we most of us to get into the way of the many, and to put our selves into the fashion of the most ! No way but the broad wan. of destruction is pleasani to Us; what a fir make we in striving who Ihall go fastest in it ? How do we justle and molest one another to get foremost, as if every one were afraid of nolling more, chan- of coming baft to Hell ? We seem to be of nothing more Ambitious; than . of getting à place as near this Rich Gentleman, as we can in Hell, by following his fashion as much as we can on Earth. - What a bustle do we inake about these Mort al, and every day dying Bodies of ours, deftroying their Health' often with an exceflive care to keep them in Health, and even killing them out of hand, to keep thetn from dying? The short time of our living here is most of it spent by many of us, in nothing else, but either in providing for
our Bodies, or else in entertaining and caresling them with the Provifion we have made. Fain would we keep them always out of the grave. And when we fee that there is no hope of doing that, but the old House will drop down at last, after we have done all that is in our power, and a great deal more than ir deferves, or is fit to be done, to uphold, dawb and furnish it ; what care and cost is usually bestow'd upon it, even when 'tis fain? And what ado is there to have it honouras bly laid up to rott? In the mean while, how lite tle care take wę to preserve our Souls in good Health, or to keep them from going down to Hell when we die? Little do we think, whilst We are very busy in making too much of our Bodies; that we are even thereby fitting our Souls for torments. Little do we consider, that whilst we are so very follicitous how to keep our Bodies in Health, we thereby not only kill them, buc our Souls too? Do wein earnest ever think, that whilst we are so much concerned to provide by our last Will and Teftament, to have our dead Bodies waited on by people in Black ; as cho' the World had lof som:ching in loling us, that's worth the Mourning for ; the black Divels, not without our own invitation of them, by a voluptuous and vain Life, are ready waiting for our Souls; as soon as they are out of their Bodies; char whilst this Honour is done to our Bodies, they may carry our Souls to be tormented in Flames. Fools that we are! Our dead Bodies will not be at all sensible what Mourners follow it to the Church,whac Lies are for a piece or two of our Gold, cold of us to our Friends there, but our Souls will be sadly sensible of. the torments they shall endure thar While in Hell: What a folly is it to be careful that we have ihac relpect paid us, whereof we cannot have any
Sense at all; and to take no care at all to prevent those torments which all that while, yea, and for ever after, we must most fadly feel?
The Rich Man when he dy'd went to Hell, and was there tormented, and then it follows, that be lift up bis Eyes, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in bis Bosome. This is it that we are next to consider.
He lift up his Eyes and law; fo speakech our Saviour of the Rich Man in Hell. But how can this be? What Eyes could the Soul of the Rich Man in Hell have to lift up? His Bodily Eyes had loft all sight, if not before, yet so soon as he was dead, and now they lay closed up in the Grave. His Soul only was in Hell, and carried nothing of its Body along with it thither. It had a power of Commanding the Eyes, and other parts of the Body, whild it dwelt in the Body; but now being out of it, hath nothing to do with them, in what Sense then is the Rich Man said to have lift np bis Eyes.
In Answer to this, we must covsider, that as the Holy Ghost in Scripture often speakerh of God after the manner of Men, fo our Saviour speaks here of the Dead after the manner of the Living, or of the Soul separate after the manner of Saul dwelling in a Body; as cho' it were fill in the Body, and us'd it as before. In our prefant state of Mortality, we are capable of understanding very lircle of the Nature of Spirits, or of the manner, how they act and work, and therefore Expressions are borrow'd from material Things, and applied to Spirits in a figurative way of speaking, to help us in our Understanding, as far as we are now capable of it. Thus, God's Eyes in Scripture
are borrow. To fiourative way for as we are
sites, and feein by the Richly know; an only; the
dignifie his Knowledge; and his seeing is his knowing, and in like manner do the Spirits or Souls of Men, when departed out of their Bodies fee, that is, they know. They see not with Bodily Eyes as formerly, but with intellectual or mental only; they perceive, discern, and clearly know; and this is all that's meant by the Rich Man's lifting up of his Eyes, and seeing. He knew and considered the condition wherein both Abraham and Lazarus were, and how much better it was than his own. How happy they both were, whilst he was in Torments. And, to be sure, this was no pleasing light to him. There was nothing that he saw, which added not to his Torment. It well deserves our Consideration.
1. He lift up his Eyes to see. Abraham and Lazarus were now above, and he below them, he must look up, to get a sight of them. O what a tormenting fight must this needs be to the proud Rich Man. This humbling light makes his own Pride his Tormenter. Wicked Men carry their Vices along with them when they go out of this World, and these will make it Hell to them wherever they go, and torment them worse than the Devils can do ; they need nothing else to make them eternally miserable, unless they can fiy from themselves they must be so. Seeing they never were converted, and changed in their affe&ions whilst they lived, but carried all their worldly, carnal and ambitious Inclinations of Mind along with them out of this world, and these in another World meet with nothing that's suitable, but all things contrary to them, they must even in this alone find Hell enough, were there nothing else to torment them. To bunger and third als ways after that which is not to be had, is vexari,