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with his caft Clothes: but his ftrutting in Purple and fine Linen, when Lazarus was naked and fhivering, and ready to die with the cold; his denying him the Crumbs of his Table, when he was juft perifhing at his doors, was fuch a piece of Hardheartedness, as juftly deferv'd the greatest Torments. However, Riches are not to be blamed for the Faults of the Owners; for they are the Bleflings of God, and capable of ferving many good Ends. If we ufe the good things of this Life well, they will bring us to much better in the next; 'tis only the Abufe of them here, that dooms us to evil things hereafter. And therefore our Care fhould be, not only to get the Wealth and Subftance of this World, but to have Hearts to use and employ it aright, that it may tend to our prefent Comfort, and the Increase of our future Felicity.


3dly, We may obferve farther, that as 'tis not the pof feffing, but the abufing of Riches, that brings on future Torments; fo 'tis not Poverty only, but a pious and patient Behaviour under it, that intitles to future Comforts, Twas not Poverty alone that carry'd Lazarus into Abra ham's Bofom, but a Poverty attended with an honeft, meek, and contented Mind: for he did not open his mouth in Murmuring, Lying, or Blafpheming, nor reach out his Hand to Picking and Stealing; but quietly refign'd himself to God's Difpofal, and trufted in his Providence for a Deliverance when he fhould fee fit. If a poor Man be a Thief or a Lyar, proud and impatient, and a Contemner of God and good things, his unfanctify'd Poverty will not help him, he hath forfeited all title to Favour; and to the evil things he hath receiv'd here, will be added much worfe hereafter. In fhort, Dives was tormented, not for being rich, but for being hard-hearted and unmerciful, for fpending all his Wealth upon his own Vanities, and fparing nothing to the Relief of Lazarus's Neceffities: And Lazarus was comforted not barely for being poor, but for patiently fubmitting to God's Will, cafting his Care upon him in well-doing, and waiting for a Recompence of his Sufferings in God's due time,

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The Senfe then of Abraham's Answer to Dives is, to fhew that wicked Men, who profper in their Wickedness, have all their Portion in the good things of this Life; and for their abufing and mifpending of them now, fhall receive nothing but the evil things of Mifery and Punishment in the World to come and likewife that they who have

their Portion in the Afflictions and Troubles of this World, fhall be recompens'd with better things at the Refurrection of the Juft.

As to that part of Dives's Requeft, to fend Lazarus with a little Relief to eafe his Torments, Abraham replies farther, that between us and you there is a great Gulf fixed, fo that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, neither ean they pafs to us, that would come from you. Which words relate either to the Distance of the Places between them, which would admit of no Correspondence, or paffing from the one to the other; or elfe to that irreversible Decree paft upon them, whereby 'twas utterly impoffible to give them any Relief in their Condition, or to get them a Releafe for one moment out of their miferable State; for the Gates of Mercy were then fhut, and 'twas in vain to ask for that now, which fhould have been done fooner. Here


Dives finding his Torments to be endless, easeless, and remedilefs, faid unto Abraham, I pray thee therefore, Father, that thou wouldst fend him to my Father's Houfe, for I have five Brethren, that he may teftify unto them, left they also come into this place of Torment. Which words are still parabolical, and fignify, not that there is fo much Charity and Goodness in Hell, as to call Men to Repentance, and to caution others to avoid that place of Torment, in which they had unhappily plung'd themselves: but the Design of those words was, to enhance the Mifery and Torments of the Damned, that they were fo great, that they could not bear them themselves, nor would they wish them to their greatest Enemies, and much lefs to their Friends and Relations. However, Abraham replies to him, that they have fufficient warning already in thofe matters; for they have Mofes and the Prophets, let them hear them. They may daily read or hear thefe expounded to them, and by God's Minifters are frequently call'd upon to reform and amend their Lives out of the Scriptures. Nay, but Father Abraham, (faith he) if one went unto them from the Dead, they will repent. Such an unusual thing would prevail more with them, than all the common and ordinary Means are wont to do. A Meffenger from the Dead, that related to them, from his own Sight and Knowledg, the dreadful Punishments of the Wicked in the other World, would be `much more minded and hearken'd to, than the remote and filent Notices of Mofes and the Prophets; yea, fuch an


Eye-witness to teftify these things, would in all probability work more, and leave deeper Impreffions upon Mens Minds, than all the Difcourfes of those that never faw them. To which Abraham rejoin'd again;

If they hear not Mofes and the Prophets, neither will they be perfuaded, tho one rofe from the Dead. Which words plainly fuppofe,


If, That they had fufficient Revelations of a future State, together with the Happiness and Mifery that follows and belongs to it.

2dly, That 'tis our Duty to hearken to and be directed by them, without feeking or defiring any new or farther Revelations. And,



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3dly, If we are not convinc'd by the Revelations already made in God's Word, we fhall not be perfuaded by any other, no not if one rife from the Dead. For the

1f, I fay, that God hath made fufficient Discoveries to us of the Happiness and Mifery of a future State, and fumm'd up the whole of our Duty with relation to both, notify'd and confirm'd to us in the Holy Scriptures. They have Moles and the Prophets (faith Abraham) which was a far better Light than that of natural Reafon; by which yet the Heathens had fome, tho obfcure, Notices of the Rewards and Punishments of another Life: but we, befide them, have Chrift and his Apostles, who have given us much clearer and brighter Revelations of these Truths than they had, and have brought Life and Immortality to light by the Gospel, 2 Tim. 1. 10. He hath fhew'd, O Man, (faith the Prophet) what is good, and what the Lord thy God requires of thee, namely, to do justly, to love Mercy, and to walk bumbly with thy God: Mic.6.8. So that he hath not been wanting to us in delivering his Mind and our Duty to us, having plainly fhew'd us both our Work and our Wages, And therefore,

2dly, 'Tis manifeftly our Duty to receive and hearken to what God hath already told us, without feeking or defiring any new Revelations. They have Mofes and the Prophets (faith Abraham) let them hear them; and we have Chrift and his Apoftles, let us much more hear and attend to them. Now by hearing of both, is here meant,

(1.) A thorow and ftedfaft Belief of what they have deliver'd to us. For 'tis not the bare hearing or the outward profeffing of it, that Abraham here fpeaks of; but 'tis to have our Understandings thorowly convinc'd of the


Truth of it, and to have this Belief firmly rooted and fettled in our Minds. The Jews heard Chrift and his Apoftles expounding Mofes and the Prophets to them, but it had no effect upon them, because they believ'd it not. So the Author to the Hebrews tells us, that the Word preach'd profited not, because it was not mix'd with Faith in them that heard it. And there are many ftill, who are not fo therowly perfuaded of Divine Truths as they ought: And therefore,

(2.) To hear Mofes and the Prophets, and other prefent Revelations, is not only to believe, but ferioufly to confider and to be directed by them and they that are fo, will foon find that there will be no need or ufe of any


And this is the laft Thing here to be briefly fpoken to, viz. That if we are not convinc'd by the ordinary standing Revelations of God's Word, we fhall not be perfuaded by one that comes from the Dead. Some are apt to think, that a Meffenger from the Dead would work more upon them, than all the Books and Exhortations of the Living: And that becaufe fuch a Meffenger would give them the Certainty of another Life, of which they cannot be otherwife fo well perfuaded.

Again, One coming from Hell would teftify the Truth of fuch a Place, and the Torments thereof.

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Moreover, One coming from Abraham's Bofom, may certify us of the Reft and Happiness of fuch a Place.

But that all these things are otherwife, appears, firft, Because this Experiment hath been already try'd without effect; for Chrift the Son of God rofe from the Grave, and came from the Dead, to confirm his Doctrine, and to acquaint us with the Affairs of the other World, and yet the Jews would neither receive or believe in him.

Befide, The coming of any from the Dead, is no likely or proper means of giving any fatisfaction: for this is a way liable to great Doubts and Uncertainties, and many have been impos'd upon by Tales of Ghofts and Apparitions.

Again, The coming of any from the Dead is more apt to terrify and affright, than to convince any. When our Saviour first appear'd to his Difciples after his Refurrection, 'tis faid they were terrify'd and affrighted, as if they had feen a Spirit: and that put him to as much pains to fatisfy them of the Reality of his Perfon, as of the Truth of his Doctrine. Befide, Men may and will eafily find Shifts and

Evafions to mar the Force of fuch Arguments. Add to this, that God hath no where promis'd to fend any from the Dead upon fuch an Errand, nor will'd us to truft or hearken to them, and much lefs to defire or expect these Expreffes. In a word, a fettled ftanding Revelation is of more certainty and better ufe, than any fuch Meffages from the Dead; the former being well confirm'd to us by Miracles and a Voice from Heaven, the latter liable to all the Cheats and Impoftures of Hell. And therefore let us reft fatisfy'd and contented with the Revelations that God hath given us in the Holy Scriptures, and make a right Ufe of them; and then there will be no need of any other to guide us into Truth, and to bring us to Heaven.


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The EPISTLE for the Second Sunday after Trinity.

1 John iii. 13, to the end.

Marvel not, my Brethren, if the World hate you We know that we have paffed from Death to Life, because we love the Brethren: he that loveth not his Brother, abideth in Death; whosoever hateth his Brother, is a Murderer, &c.

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HE Collect for this Day minds us of the never-failing Care of God Almighty, to help and govern them, whom he brings up in his ftedfaft Fear and Love; and thence befeeches him to keep us under the Protection of his good Providence, and to make us have a perpetual Fear and Love of his Holy Name.

To which end, the beloved Difciple, in the Epistle for this Day, first warns all good Chriftians of the Hatred and Malice of the World against them; after which, he fhews the bleffed Fruits of a true Love to the Brethren, together with the mischievous Effects of Hatred and Ill-will towards


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