« AnteriorContinuar »
"And desiring to be fed with the crumbs from the rich man's table morcover the dogs came, and licked his sores.
"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 torment, 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 life time receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
"And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
"Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldst 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.”
We will dwell a moment upon the following particulars,
1. The rich man.
2. His apparel. Purple and fine linen.
3. His provision.
4. His death.
5. His burial.
6. Hell. In Hell he lift up his eyes.
7. His torment, and particularly his tongue.
8. His calling on his father Abraham for relief. 9. Abraham's reply.
He fared sumptuously every day.
He was buried.
10. The rich man's request for his brethren.
11. Abraham's reply. Neither would they be persuaded though
one rose from the dead.
12. The beggar.
13. His place, at the rich man's gate
14. His condition. Full of sores.
15. His request. The crumbs from the rich man's table.
16. The dog's licking his sores.
17. His death.
18. The angels; He was carried by angels into
19. Abraham's bosom.
20. He is comforted.
1st. The rich man. By the rich man I humbly conceive is intended the Jewish nation. This nation is often spoken of in the singular character under the figure of a child, it is described in circumstances the most wretched. Ezekiel, xvi. beginning at the 4th verse. "And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
"None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born:" yet when this child, this Israel was in the wretched circumstances, thus impressively delineated, God loved him. Hosea, chapter xi. 1. "When Israel was a child then I loved him and called my son out of Egypt." Deuteronomy, chapter i. verse 31. And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee as a man doth bare his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came unto this place. Chapter xxxii. 12, 13, 14, 15. "So the Lord He alone did lead him, and there was no strange God with him. made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields, and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock.
"Butter of kine and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat, and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.
"But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxed fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation."
From these memorable passages it is manifest that the Holy Ghost speaks of the posterity of Abraham in the singular character which perfectly corresponds with the language of the parable; A certain rich man.
He is not only a man, but he is a rich man, and the truth of this representation will abundantly appear in the grant made to this man. Sundry places in sacred history, give the rent roll of this rich man's inheritance. He was blessed with a good land flowing with milk and honey, with the fatness of the earth and with the dew of Heaven. But this was not all. When the apostle asketh, what advantage hath the Jew, or what profit of circumcision he decisively replies Romans, chapter iii. 2. "Much every way, chiefly because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." Romans chapter ix. 4, 5, contain a more detailed account of Israelitish wealth. "Who are Isralites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen."
Thus it appears the epithet man, rich man, is proper to the Jewish Nation.
2d. His apparel. The sacred writings give us a minute description of his apparel, Ezekiel, chapter xvi. 10, 11, 12, 13.
"I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badger's skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
"I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thine hands, and a chain on thy neck.
"And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and ear-rings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
"Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver, and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk and broidered work: and thou wast exceeding beautiful and thou didst prosper into a kingdom."
We find every person who possessed blue, and purple, and fine linen surrendered those articles. Exodus, chapter xxxv. 25. "And all the Women that were wise hearted, did spin with their hands and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen."
The 21st, 22d, and 23d verses of this chapter, are in point-But the 39th chapter of Exodus exhibits this gorgeous apparel in a superb style.
"And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made clothes of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the Holy Garments for Aaron; as the Lord commanded Moses.
Now as all the tribes of Israel presented themselves before the divine glory, on the mercy seat, in this great high priest, thus adorned in purple, and fine linen, is not the purpose of our Lord fully evinced, when he describes this man as rich, and clothed in purple and fine linen?
Sd. His provision. He fared sumptuously every day. And if we consider the grandeur of the prescribed sacrifices, and the account which was made of them, we shall have no hesitancy in pronouncing that Israel did indeed, fare sumptuously every day.
Abundant provision was made, and made by divine appointment. Morning and evening sacrifices called the people unto the mountains, where they offered sacrifices of righteousness, partaking of the abundance of the sea, and of treasures hid in the sands. King Solomon appears, (2 Chronicles, chapter vii. 5.) offering a sacrifice which consisted of twenty and two thousand oxen, and one hundred and twenty thousand sheep, and he and all Israel with him, is said to have kept the feast seven days. But instances, I had almost said, countless instances, of this sort, are to be found in the sacred records.
Our Saviour, speaking to this people (John, chapter vi. 32, 33, 35.) when they told him their Fathers did eat manna in the desert said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." And on their asking for this bread, Jesus answered "I am the bread of Life. Yea assuredly Emmanuel was the true substantial provision made for them by the Father, first, by promise, second, in figure, third, in covenant, and fourth, in person, when he gave them his son, and in him all spiritual blessings; for as all fulness dwells in him, He never can be given empty. View, then, this rich man, thus provided for, and tell me if he did not fare sumptuously every day.
4th. His death. The rich man died. This life, thus dignified, finds a period. The dispensation is closed, and at the memorably eventful era, when the sons of Israel, judging themselves unworthy of eternal life, the messengers of the Most High turned to the Gentiles; that elevated life, during which the Jewish world received their good things, was finished. The RICH man therefore is now no more; He is indeed very poor; dead with respect to that hereditary opulence in which he had so much reason to exult,
while to him pertained the adoption, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises, whose are the Fathers, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. But, we repeat, this distinguished life, as peculiar to that nation, is closed, the middle wall is broken down, and when the Redeemer triumphantly exclaimed, "It is finished," the veil of the temple was rent in twain, from the top, to the bottom, that long standing emblem of separation, and whatever gave Israel the character of rich, in contradistinction to the rest of mankind, expired: the rich man died, and
5th. He was buried. As when a body is dead, it is closed in the earth, from whence it was taken, so the Jewish dispensation having terminated, that nation is shut up in as thick darkness, as that from which they were called, when it pleased God to name them his chosen people. This event was clearly predicted by our general head, in Luke, chapter xiii. from the 25th to the 28th verse. "When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence you are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart from me all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and vou yourselves thrust out.
But, as the body when buried, must remain in that state till the resurrection, so must this once opulent man continue in durance, until the fulness of the Gentiles is brought in. Romans, xi. 25, 26. "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits) that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the deliverer and turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
6th. In Hell he lift up his eyes. The learned inform us that the radical signification of the term Hell, is darkness, and such darkness as may, or may not be felt. There is a Hell spoken of as proper to the body, the Grave, in which there is darkness without