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The parable of the rich man and Lazarus.


Our Lord, lo enforce the preceding admonition, delivers the parable

of the rich glutton and Lazarus. Luke XVI. 19, to the end.


Luke XVI, 19.

HAT his hearers might be more effectually THERE was a certain

dissuaded from addicting themselves to was clothed in purple Luke worldly pursuits and carnal pleasures, Jesus and fine linen, and XVI. 19. added another parable, which might have been fared sumptuously sufficient to convince the covetous Pharisees of

every day.
their madness in deriding what he had before
said. And he addressed himself to them in
words to this effect: There was a certain rich
man who lived in the greatest elegance and pomp;
for he wore robes of purple, and vests of fine li-

nen, and daily feasted in a very splendid and lux-
20 urious manner. And there was in the same 20 And there was

place a certain poor man named Lazarus, a per- a certain beggar namson indeed of eminent piety, but in the utmost ed Lazarus, which was

laid at his gate full of indigence and distress; who being unable to labour, or so much as to walk, was laid down at his gate, to beg the rich man's charity ; and all

his body being full of sores and ulcers, he was a 21 most miserable spectacle : And, being almost

21 Aud desiring to famished with hunger, he earnestly desired to be which fell from the

be fed witb the crumbs fed, if it were but with the crumbs which fell rich man's, table: from the rich man's table ; yea, he was in so

morcorer, the dogs

came and licked his exposed and abandoved a condition, that the very dog's came and licked his sores, " which lay uncovered in the open air.




a A certain poor man named Lazarus.] this were mentioned as an alleviation, or An exceeding proper name, which seems an addition to his calamity. For however (as Lud. Cappellus observes) to be de- lenient and healing the tongue of a dog may rived from 71y xs, lo azer, and signifies be in such cases, the words arna rau should a helpless person ; an etymology on all ac

be rendered, yca ;

as Erasmus, Beza, counts much more natural than that so Schmidius, and Calvin contend, and, above generally followed, which derives it from al, Raphelius abundautly proves. (Annot. Eliezar, God is my helper.--Some have ex Xcn. p. 106, 107.) The circumstance imagined, from the name Lazarus, and is surely recorded, to shew that his ulrers the particular detail of circumstances, that lay bare, and were not (as Isaiah in another this was an history, rather than a parable; case expresses it, chap. i. 6.) either closci, but this must be a groundless supposition, or bound up, or mollified with ointment.--as it is plain the incidents are parabolical. Some versions add, that no man give unlo But this criticism of Lumeirus, who ex- him ; which Grotius thinks is intimated in plains it as a mystical representation of the his wishing to be fed with the crumbs which Jewish and Gentile church, is far more ex the dogs used to gather ; (Mat. XI. 27.) travagant.-Di. Lightfoot, and others, If so, it was with singular propricly that he have shewn, that the Jews in their Ge who denied a crumb is represented as unable mara have a parable much to the same

to obtain a dro'); but as it is not expresspurpose.

ed in the Greck, either here, or in AbraYen, the dous came and liched his sores.] ham's reply, I did not choose to insert it. Had the connection in the original been Giving aims will be no security to those attended to, I think there could have been that live a sensual life. no debate among conmentators, whether

c Carried



The difference between them when they died.

49 22 And it came to But so it was, that in a little time the

poor pass that the beggar beggar, worn out with the load of so great a by the angels into A- calamity, died; and, being a favourite of beabraham's boson: the ven, notwithstanding all his distresses on earth, XVI. 22 rich man also died, and he was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, was buried.

the abode of happy spirits in a separate state o:
the rich man also died quickly after him ; for
all his riches were not suflicient to procure the

least continuance of his life ; and he was buried
23 And in hell be with great funeral solemnity and pomp. But 23
lift up his eyes, being observe the difference of their circumstances be.
in torments, and seeth
Abraham afar off, and yond the grave. This poor sensual creature was
Lazarus in his bosom. by God's righteous vengeance condemned to

everlasting misery ; and in the unseen world 4,
being in the midst of torments, aggravated by
all the indulgence and delicacy of his former
life, he lifted up his weeping and despairing eyes,
and saw Abraham from afar, and the poor des-
pised Lazarus lying in his boson, as a newly
received guest at the heavenly banquet, placed

next the father of the faithful himself.
21 And he cried, And calling out with the greatest earnestness 24
and said, Father As and importunity, he said, () father Abraham,
on me, and send La- have compassion upon me a poor unhappy descen-
zarus, that he may dip dant of thine, and send Lazarus, not to reach
the tip of his finger in out to me any of the dainties of heaven, for I
tongue ; for I am tor- presume not to ask so great a favour, but only
mented in this flame. to bring me a little water ; and if I may not have

a draught of it, I should be thankful if he might
be permitted to dip the tip of his finger in water
to refresh my tongue", though it were but for

Carried by angels into Abraham's bosom.) telling us that he was placed next to AbraThe Jews assign this office to angeis (see ham, and so lay in his bosoin. (Compare Drusius in loc.) and, no doubt, with the John xii. 23. sect. clxx.) Thus Casau. utmost propriety, considering how suitable bon and Grotius well explain it.-As for it is to their benevolent nature, and to the the rich man's seeing him there, Mr. L'Enfant circumstances of a departed spirit. The thinks the Jews borrowed this manner pf Greeks (as Elsner. Observ. Vol. I. p. 255. Speaking from the Greeks, who described and many others have observed) assign the seuls of the blessed as separater frorn guides to the souls of the deal, to conduct those of the dained by a great impassable them to their respective seats.-It is river, from the opposite banks of which strange any should render Tox xa1 TON 8 they might converse. Many of them also Amazott, Ábrahan's bower, or (with Jac. expressly speak of a great chorum interCappellus) Abraham’s haven. Our trans- posed. Sce Elsner. Obsato, Vol. I. p. lation is in all respects much more just. 256, 257, and Grotius in loc. It alludes to the way of representing the d In the unseen world.] This seems geneentertainments of heaven, by sharing a mag- rally the sense of the Greek word, ains, as nificent banquet with Abraham, and the was observed before, in note f, or Mat. xvi. other patriarchs, (compare Mat, viii. 11. 18. Vol. VI. 469.-Both the rich man and and Luke xxii. 30.) And nothing can Lazarus were in Hades, though in different better describe the honour and happiness regions of it. See Grotius's learned and of Lazarus, who had lain in so wretched a judicious note here. condition before the glutton's gate, tlian e Dip the tip of his finger in water, &c.]




26 And besides all

so that

50 The rich man begs for a drop of water to cool his tongue.

a moment ; for I am so tormented in this flame,

that it excites an intolerable thirst, which is Luke

continually raging and preying on my very XVI. 24 soul.

25 But Abraham said, with awful and inflexible But Abraham severity, Son, remember the former days when said, Son, remember

that thou in thy lifethou and Lazarus were upon earth, that thou time receivedst thy didst then in thy life-time receive thy good things gond things, and likewhich thou wast so foolish as to choose for thy things : but now he is portion, in the neglect of God and of thv soul; comforted, and thou and likewise Lazarus then received [his) evil are tormented. things, of which thou wast witness : but now the scene is changed, so that he in his turn is comforted, and thou art justly tormented ; and

neither bis joy, nor thine anguish, can admit of 26 any end or interruption. And besides all this,

as to the favour thou desirest from the hand of this, between us and
Lazarus, it is a thing impossible to be granted; you there is a great
for between us and you there is a great chasm fixed; they which would pass
a vast unmeasurable void is interposed ; so that from hence to you,
they reho would go from hence to you, if any they pass to us, that
should be so compassionate as to desire to help would come from thenge.
you, cannot ; neither can they who are there come
unto us; but we are still to continue at an unap-

proachable distance from each other. 27 Then the rich man, as he perceived that his 27 Then he said, I

own case was irretrievable, said unto Abraham, pray thee therefore, There may however be a passage from you to the father, that thou would

est send him to my other world, as it is plain there is from thence father's house ; to you ; I beseech thee therefore, O Father, that thou reouldst please to send him to my father's

house, on an errand of the utmost importance; 28 For I have there five brethren, thoughtless young 28 For I have fire

creatures like myself, who are now revelling on brethren ; that he may
those possessions which were once mine' and are they also come into
likely ere long to fall into the same misery with this place of torinent.
me : I earnestly entreat thee therefore that he
may be sent to testify to them the reality and im-


The Hebrews drank their wine mingled thren also might know him on his appcar-
with water ; and large quantities of water, ing to them.
on one occasion or other, were used at I have five brethren, &c.] As no men,
their feasts : (sce John ii. 6.) Therç tion is made of any surviving wife and
seems therefore in this petition a proper children, but his fire brethren are described
allusion to that.--Archbishop Tillotson ob. as living still together in his father's house,
serves, with his usual vivacity, that this is one would imagine that our Lord intended
the only instance we meet with in scripc to represent this wretched creature as a
ture of any thing that looks like a prayer young man, who (unhappily for himself,
put up to a glorified saint, (Tillots. Il'orks, like many modern rahes,) coming early
Vol. 11. p. 142.) and even here the appli- to the possession of his estate, soon broke
cation was in vain, and no relief was the his constitution by debauchery, and so left
saint capable of giving:- It is observable, his riches to the younger children of the
the rich man speaks as knowing Lazarus, family, having no other heirs."
and as supposing (ver. 28.) that his bre-

& If



Reflections on the case of the rich sinner and the poor saint. 51

portance of this invisible world, that they may be sect.
awakened to avoid those evil courses that have
been my ruin, and may not also come into this
place of torment.

XVI. 23 29 Abraham saith But Abraham said in reply to him, Thou 29 unto bim, They have knowest they have an excellent Divine revelation Moses and the pro- in the writings of Moses and the prophets ; let phets; let them hcar them.

them but hearken to the warnings and instructions
that are given by them, and they have means

sufficient to secure them from that danger. 30 And he said, And when the poor tormented creature found 30 Nay, father Abraham, this also was objected to, he pleaded still in their them from the dead, behalf, and said, Nay, father Abraham, they will they will repent.

slight these as I foolishly did ; but surely if one

them from the dead, they cannot withstand so awful a messenger, but will undoubtedly re

pent, and reform their lives. 31 And he said, un But Abraham put an end to the discourse, 31 to him, If they hear with an assurance of the fruitlessness of any such not Moses and the prophets, neither will extraordinary means for their conviction; and he they be persuaded, said to him, The evidences of the Divine revelathough one rose from tion are such, that if they hearken not to Moses the dead,

and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded to
a thorough repentance and reformation though
one should arise from the dead to visit them. For
though it might indeed alarm them for a time,
the same prejudices and lusts which led them to
despise those methods of instruction that God has
given them, would also lead them ere long to
slight and forget such an awful apparition as
you desire they might see,


Most evidently may we learn from this parable, that it is im- Ver. possible to know either love or hatred by any thing that is before 19--21 us under the sun ; (Eccles. ix. 1.) Who that had seen the pomp and plenty of this rich sinner, and compared it with the indi.


& If they hearken not to Moses, &c.] It on this text. (See his Sermons, Vol. II. is true, Moses no where expressly asserts scrm. 2.) The impenitence of many who a future state of rewards and punishments ; saw another Lazarus, raised from the dead, yet the facts recorded by him strongly en- (Jobn xi. 46.) aod the wickedness of the force the natural arguments in proof of soldiers who were eye-witnesses to the it; and the prophets speak plainly of it in resurrection of Christ, and yet that very many places. See Psal. xvi. 9, 10, 11. day suffered themselves to be hired to bear xvii. 15. xxiii. 6. xlix. 14, 15. lxxiii. 17. a false testimony against it. (Mat. xxviii. 4. & seq. Prov. xiv. 32. Eccles. iii. 17, 21. 15.) are most affecting and astonishing ilxi. 9. xii. 7, 13, 14. and Ezek. xviii, lustrations of this truth : for each of those 19, 20, 21.–Bishop Atterbury has exccl- miracles was far more convincing than such lently shewn the justice of Abraham's as an apparition as is here referred to would sertion here, in his incomparable discourse bave been.



52 Reflections on the case of the rich sinner and the poor saint. SECT: gence and misery of Lazarus, would have imagined that the

latter had been the child, and the former the enemy, of God? But Luke let us judge nothing before the time; (1 Cor. iv. 5.) Our Lord XVI. 21 Jesus Christ shews us the period of all the prosperity of the wicked,

and of all the calamities with which good men may be exercised.

And what availed the luxuries of life, or the magnificence of burial, 23, 24 to a wretch tormented in flames? Surely the fierceness of those

flames would be proportionable to the luxury in which he had formerly lived, and the sense of his torment be hcightened by the delicacy he had once indulged. May God awaken those unhappy persons, whatever their rank in the present life may be, who place their happiness and glory in being clothed in purple and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day! May they lift up their enchanted deluded eyes, and see that pointed sword of the Divine vengeance which is suspended over them by so weak a thread; and may they take this warning from one greater than Moses and the prophets, from one that came from the dead to enforce it, that they

pass not into that place of torment ! 22 Let poor afflicted saints take comfort in what has now been read,

though they may be despised and slighted by men. The time will shortly come, when those angels who now descend in an invisible

form to minister to them, will appear as their guard to convoy 23 them to the regions of glory. Abraham's bosom, will be opened to

them, and the dainties of heaven be set before multitudes, who, perhaps, while on this side the grave, hardly knew how to procure even the necessaries of life.

May we never view those seats of glory, as this wretched sensualist did, at an unapproachable distance! Let us think seriously

of bis deplorable circumstances, when he asked a drop of water 25 from the tip of Lazarus's finger, and yet was denied. Dreadful

representation! yet made by Christ himself, who surely knew how to describe the case with the utmost propriety. Behold, o our souls, this son of Abraham, in that flaming prison, in all the restless agonies of torment and despair: and we may judge what dependance to place on a descent from pious ancestors, or a parti

cipation of external privileges. 27, 28 We enquire not curiously into the motives which engaged him

to request that so extraordinary a warning might be sent to his brethren ; whether it might proceed from a remainder of natural affection, from a fear of meeting them in the same misery, or

from a mixture of both. It is enough to observe how and upon 31 what principles it was denied, If they hear not Moses and the

prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Let none vainly excuse theinselves from believing the evidence of the revelation God has given, on a pretence that if they


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