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would never miss, there would be fewer like this rich man in the parable, fewer like Lazarus. The state to which disease and hunger, which must be laid to the rich man's charge, had reduced him, is graphically represented by this action of the dogs “ without a master, that wander through the streets of an Eastern city," I which he had no strength left to fray away.
THE SAME SUBJECT —continued.
St. Luke xvi. 22-26.
And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich man also died, and was buried. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue ; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot ; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Of the rich man and of Lazarus we read each died; for so far there is one event to the rich and to the poor, to a good man and to an evil one. But Lazarus seems to have been soon released from his misery; conveyed by Angelic ministrants (whom the Lord is ever bringing before our eyes) as some long-lost heir from a far country to his father's bosom ; ? while to the rich man more time seems to have been accorded for opportunity of repentance. But he also died, “ and was buried.” This in his case is added. The pompous funeral
| Abp. Trench. Ps. lix. 14, 15. used it is in the plural, denoting ? The second time the phrase is perhaps the constancy of the access,
vainly follows the unprofitable life. It was all they could do for him. The solemn parable hints to us somewhat of the state of separate spirits, the place and manner of their refreshment or of their retribution. The Hell here, as in the Creed, is Hades, the place of departed spirits; which yet has its two divisions, separated by a chasm too wide for either to cross to other. That part where “the souls of the faithful after they are delivered from the burden of the flesh are in joy and felicity, described by our Lord as Paradise, was called by the Jews“ Abraham's bosom ;" the place where the true sons of Abraham would rejoin their father, and be admitted into closest union with him. “To this haven of rest and consolation, Lazarus after all his troubles was safely borne.”The poor neighbour whom he had so unfeelingly neglected seems to have been the only one of his acquaintance that the once rich man recognised there. He asked for a mitigation of his misery who had never cared to alleviate the miseries of others. He expected that Lazarus from whom he had withheld relief to be the messenger of relief to him. But “Son, remember," so the Father of the faithful addresses this degenerate and therefore disinherited one, who, unmindful of the duties which flowed from that relation, yet fondly boasted with his self-flattering brethren, “We have Abraham to our father.” 6 But this plea now avails him nothing. Rather it adds to his condemnation. In vain he pleads that he is a son of Abraham who is found destitute of the faith of Abraham.? The height to which he had been raised makes, through his neglect of its advantages, but a deeper fall. He has already had all that he can expect. His fortune was of his own choosing, and, such as it was, he has, as it were, run through it all, and there is now nothing left for him but the emptiness that follows. One cannot
See the impressive commentary quiet after the storms and tribulations upon this parable in Ps. xlix.
of life. This escapes us in the Eng? The Order for the Burial of the lish, but might be suggested equally Dead.
by the Latin ... as the Greek.” 3 St. Luke xxiii. 43.
5 St. Luke xiii, 25–28. * Abp. Trench, who adds in a note, 6 Josh. vii. 19; St. Matt. xxvi. 50. Theophylact assumes the image to
; Gal. ii. 9. be rather that of a barbour, where 8 St. Luke xii. 48. the faithful cast anchor and are in
spend it and have it too. As Lazarus had “exhausted his evils," so he his good things. The crop must be as the seed
There is but one thing we can take with us into another world, and that is the character, whether good or bad, which we have gradually acquired and built up in this.
THE SAME SUBJECT-continued.
St. Luke xvi. 27-31.
Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house : for I have five brethren ; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, 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.
As we have seen the lesson for those who are richer, so now those that are poorer must take care to remember that the condition of Lazarus hereafter depended not upon his condition but upon his conduct here. There was a great gulf between the characters of the two men as between their condition. The rich man was condemned, not for his riches but for his selfishness ; even as Lazarus is commended, not for his poverty but for his patience. We are not to imagine that wealth of itself shuts out from the bliss of Heaven, or that poverty of itself entitles us to the same. There are poor who would not become pious if suddenly made rich. There are rich who could be patient even if made poor. It is no Bp. Wordsworth.
mingled and confounded, begins. Like ? Gal. vi. 7, 8; Col. iii. 2; 1 St. is gathered to like, good by natural John ii. 17. “ With death the separa- affinity to good, and evil to evil.”tion of the elements of good and evil, Abp. Trench. elements which in this world are
crime to be rich; but it is criminal, fatal, to be selfish. Wealth by itself may, we learn from this parable, become a bane. Poverty, in itself an evil, may become a blessing. Each is a test or trial which, according as the one or the other is allotted to us, we must strive to stand. And it is only faith, this persuasion of things not seen as yet, that can enable us to stand the test whether of riches or of poverty,-according as God has appointed the manner of our trial,-unmoved by the one, uncorrupted by the other; and
so to pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal.”? Upon the rich man's further request
2 it may be observed that in the case of a person of sensibility, the sight of suffering produces pain, as the relief of it gives pleasure. From this pain however a selfish person exempts himself, shutting his eyes to all those sights that might interrupt or interfere with his own ease and comfort. But in that other world to which he is hastening, this will be impossible for him. He will be keenly alive to the condition of others, without being able to give himself the luxury of relieving it. It is no light pain to see others in danger from which we are powerless to deliver them. From Abraham's reply we may learn the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for salvation; and how little those know the human heart who imagine that they who will not hear these, would be moved to real repentance by a miracle. Such an apparition might scare, but not convert. To these same Pharisees was vouchsafed more than the rich man desired for his brethren. A Lazarus not just went to them, but rose, from the dead; and so far from repenting, they were not even persuaded. It only | Heb. xi. 1, 7, 25-27.
him was, “ This too shall pass away.” ? Collect for the Fourth Sunday It may serve to illustrate the twofold after Trinity. 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. There teaching of the Parable. is a story of an eastern prince who Abp. Trench notes in the rich desired one of the sages of his country. man's request “a secret justifying of to give him a legend which he might himself, and accusing of God;" as if have graven on his ring, and which he had not been duly warned. “The (according to the vicissitudes of those contempt of God's word, which this times and countries) might equally man manifested on earth, follows him apply to the state of prosperity in beyond the grave.” St. John vi. 30; which he was, and to any state of Is. viii, 19, 20. On the number of adversity in which he might be; and brethren specified, compare Is. xix. the legend which the sage supplied 18.
moved them to more hostility. God has given us means enough. If they are enough for others, it is our own fault if they are not enough for us. If we will not use what we have, in vain should we have more.” “Faith is satisfied with such proofs as God vouchsafes to afford it; incredulity never has enough.” 3
OF SCANDALS, OF FORGIVENESS, OF FAITH.
St. Luke xvii. 1-6.
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible 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. 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 again to thee, saying, I repent ; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, 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 should obey you.
The Lord addressing now the general body of disciples, those who professed to follow Him, refers to sayings He had uttered before, of which they need to be reminded. “The fact that the same sayings have already been met with elsewhere, should only serve the more to awaken our attention.” 4
St. John xi. 46, 53; xii. 10. ? The Christian Year, Monday before Easter, “ So dreams the heart self-flattering,
of which justly reproves those who imagine that these sayings were only uttered once. • The jewels may exactly resemb]
fondly dreams,” &c. 3 Quesnel. * A Plain Commentary. The author
ach other, and yet the threads on which they were once strung may be wholly distinct.”