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they have Moses and the prophets ; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham ; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.'

This parable is the most awful and alarming, and the most fully demonstrative of the immortality of the soul, and it's existence in a separate state, of any we meet with in the sacred volume: the imagery is so beautiful, and it is drawn in such lively colours, that it has rather been looked upon as an history than a parable in all ages of the church; many of the most affecting, the most awful and important lessons may be learned from it, and such sentiments are here displayed, as are not to be found in any other part of the gospel.

In the first place, we learn the shortness and uncertainty of this present state, and how little the attainment of vast possessions, in this world, conduces to the best interest of mankind. We have here held up to our view, a rich man, in all the grandeur, glory, and profusion of opulence, surrounded with all the honours, and partaking of all the pleasures which earth can give: The rich man's wealth, the wisest of men informs us, is his strong city: and as an high wall in his own conceit. The rich inan thinks that his riches entitle him to every honour, and to the participation of every thing which can be enjoyed: but how is he pained to find himself most deplorably mistaken, when the mind, satiated with enjoyment, and surfeited with pleasure, grows sick of delight; amidst the abundance of riches, the soul starves, it finds nothing that is consistent with its spiritual nature, and would pine for want of solid enjoyment in the possession of a whole material world.

But how short and uncertain are those sickly joys,

those surfeiting pleasures which the rich man is able to partake of: The rich man, we are informed, died, and was buried. The pomp and pageantry, the luxury and all the consequence in the world which riches give their possessor, will not enable him to face the great king of terrors, Death: and as the utmost protusion of riches, cannot enable their possessor to face the pale tyrant with composure, neither can they bribe him to one moment's delay: No man hath power to retain the spirit in the day of death : the soul, all black and horrid with guilt, trembles at the approach of the eternal world, and with vast amazement and terror, strives to evade the awful stroke, but all in vain: there is no discharge in that war: the case admits of no refusal or delay: the unhappy mortal falls, and all that his riches can do, is only to carry him with prodigious pomp and splendour to the grave.

From this awful and affecting parable, we likewise learn the state of the dead, and the capacity of the separated soul, to receive happiness or misery before the resurrection of the body; The rich man died, and was buried, we are informed, and what then? Did he erter into rest, or did he remain in a state of insensibility until the day of resurrection? Neither of these: but in hell he lifted up his eyes. The unhappy mortal's pleasures and sensual gratifications are all past; and now, all naked, defenceless, and forlorn, he falls headlong into the depths of misery and woe: the black regions of horror and despair are now his portion: he lies in inexpressible torment, and, amidst these fiery regions, sees nothing but what tends to increase and aggravate his woes: He lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus.in his bosom. The poor beggar that lay at his gate, all covered with sores, died and was buried, and in the dust lost all his meanness, and was equal to the richest man on earth: there is no pre-eminence in the grave, for the small and great are there, and the servant is free from his master. But how great the

difference between the poorest saint and richest sinner; Lazarus, at his death, was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom, wbile the rich man descended into hell, and lift up his eyes in torment.

Thus having reprimanded the Pharisees, he took occasion to speak of affronts and offences, described their evil nature, and their areadful punishment: “ It * is impossible, said he, but that offences will come: but woe unto him through whom they come. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Our Lord spake also against a quarrelsome temper in his servants, especially in the ministers and teachers of religion, prescribed a seasonable and prudent reprehension of the fault, accompanied with forgive. ness on the person injured, as the best means of disarming the temptations that may arise from thence : Take heed to yourselves : if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn to thee, saying, I repent; thou shall forgive him.'

This discourse on forgiveness, uttered at a time when the Pharisees had just upbraided him, by calling him a false teacher, sufficiently proves how truly he forgave them all the personal injuries they had committed against him; and should be a powerful recommendation of that amiable virtue, the forgiveness of injuries.

However beautiful these discourses of our Saviour appear, when examined with attention, they seem to have staggered the faith of his disciples and followers; perhaps they still imagined, that he would shortly erect a temporal kingdom, and distribute among them the rewards they expected for their services. If so,

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they might well desire their Master to increase their faith: as discourses like these had a very different tendency from what might naturally have been expected from one who was going to establish the throne of Da vid, and extend his sceptre over all the kingdoms of the earth; but however this be, our Saviour told them, that if they had the smallest degree of true faith, it would be sufficient for overcoming all temptations, even those which seem as difficult to be conquered, as the plucking up trees and planting them in the ocean: If ye had faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye might say unto this sycamine

tree, be thou plucked up by the root and be thou planted in the sea, and it shall obey you. Luke xvii.-6.

CHAPTER XXV.

The Sickness and Death of Lazarus: Jesus receives

an Account thereof; and, in his Way to Bethany, he heals ten Lepers in a village of Samaria: He arrives at Bethany, and raiseth Lazarus to Life, after he had been dead four Days: Many Jews believe: The Pharisees hold a council against Jesus: Caiaphas prophesieth: Jesus retireth to Ephraim, a City on the Borders of the TVilderness, where he sheweth the spiritual Nature of the Kingdom of God, foretelleth the Destruction of the Jewish State, and instructeth his Disciples concerning the coming of the Son of Man. Jesus delivers the Parable of the unjust Judge, and importunate Widow, and that of the Phar.. isee and the Publican: He answereth the Question of the Pharisees concerning Divorces: He receiveth the little Children with Tenderness, that were brought

unto him, and blesseth them. SHORTLY after our blessed Saviour had finished these discourses, one of his friends, named Lazarus, fell sick at Bethany, a village two miles from Jerusalem, but at a great distance from the countries beyond Jordan, where JESUS was now preaching the gospel. The sisters of Lazarus, finding his sickness was of a dangerous kind, thought proper to send an account of it to Jesus; being firmly persuaded, that he who had cured so many strangers, would readily come and give health to one whom he loved in so tender a manner; Lord, said they, behold he whom thou lovest is sick: they did not add, come down and heal him, make haste and save him from the grave; it was sufficient for them to propose their necessities to their Lord, who was both able and willing to help them in their distress.

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IVhen Jesus heard that, he said, this sickness is not unto death; words which were doubtless carried to

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