[ocr errors]


people of God? Why do you look on them as if you would eat them up? Yet at the very same

Verse 22.—' And it came to pass that the beggar died, and time if you can but meet your dog, or a drunken

was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the

rich man also died, and was buried.' companion, you can fawn upon them, take acquaintance with them, to the tavern or ale house with The former verses do briefly hold forth the car. them, if it be two or three times in a week. But riage of the ungodly in this life toward the saints. if the saints of God meet together, pray together, Now this verse doth hold forth the departure, both and labour to edify one another, you will stay till of the godly and ungodly, out of this life. doomsday before you will look into the house where Where he said, •And it came to pass, that the they are. Ah! friends, when all comes to all, you beggar died, and was carried - into Abraham's will be found to love drunkards, strumpets, dogs, bosom,' and the rich man also died;'—the beggar anything, nay, to serve the devil, rat?ier than to died, that represents the godly; and the rich man liare loving and friendly society with the saints of died, that represents the ungodly. From whence God.

observe, neither godly nor ungodly must live always Moreover, “the dogs came and licked his sores.' without a change, either by death or judgment; TIere again you may see, not only the afflicted state the good man died and the bad man died. That of the saints of God in this world, but also that scripture doth also back this truth, that good and even dogs themselves, according to their kind, bad must die, marvellous well, wliere it is said, are more favourable to the saints than the sinful • And it is appointed unto men once to die, but world; though the ungodly will have no mercy on after this the judgment.' He. ir. 27. the saints, yet it is ordered so that these creatures, Mark, lie doth not say it is so that men by chance dogs, lions, &c. will. Though the rich man would may die; which might beget, in the hearts of the not entertain him into his house, yet his dogs will ungodly especially, some hope to escape the bittercome and do him the best good they can, even to ness of it. But he saith it is a thing most certain, lick his running sores. It was thus with Daniel it is appointed; mark, it is appointed unto men when the world was mad against bim, and would once to die, but after this the judgment.' God have him thrown to the lions to be devoured, the hath decreed it, that since men have fallen from lions shut their mouths at him, or rather the Lord that happy estate that God at the first did sét did shut them up, so that there was not that hurt them in, they shall die. Ro. vi. 23. Now when it is befel to him as was desired by the adversaries. said the beggar died and the rich man died, part

And this I am persuaded of, that would the of the meaning is they ceased to be any more in creatures do as some men would have them, the this world; I say partly the meaning, but not alsaints of God should not walk so quietly up and together. Though it be altogether the meaning down the streets and other places as they do. And when some of the creatures die, yet it is but in as I said before, so I say again, I am persuaded part the meaning when it is said that men, women, that, at the day of judgment, many men's con- or children die; for there is to them something ditions and carriages will be so laid open, that it else to be said, more than barely agoing out of the will evidently appear they have been very merci. world. For if when unregenerate men and women less and mad against the children of God, inso- die there were an end of them, not only in this much, that when the providence of God did fall world but also in the world to come, they would out so as to cross their expectation, they have be happy over they will be now, for when ungodly been very much offended thereat, as is very evi- men and women die there is that to come after dently seen in them who set themselves to study death that will be very terrible to them, namely, how to bring the saints into bondage, and to thrust to be carried by the angels of darkness from their them into corners, as in these late years. Ps. xxxi. 13. death-beds to hell, there to be reserved to the And because God hath in his goodness ordered judgment of the great day, when both body and things otherwise, they have gnashed their teeth soul shall meet and be united together again, and thereat. Hence then let the saints learn not to made capable to undergo the uttermost vengeance commit themselves to their enemies; beware of of the Almighty to all eternity. This is that, I men.' Mat. . 17. They are very merciless men, and say, which doth follow a man that is not born will not so much favour you, if they can help it, as again, after death, as is clear from that in 1 Pe. iii. you may suppose they may. Nay, unless the over- 18, 19, where, before speaking of Christ being raised ruling hand of God in goodness do order things again, by the power of his eternal Spirit, he saith, contrary to their natural inclination, they will not By which, that is, by that Spirit, he went and · favour you so much as a dog.

preached unto the spirits in prison.' But what is * Alluding to the awsul sufferings of Leighton, and all Chris- souls who were once alive in the world in the time

the meaning of this? Why, thus much, that those tions of his time, under that bigoted demon in huinan shape, Laud.(ED.)

or days in which Noah lived, being disobedient in

Ds. vi.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

their times to the calls of God by his Spirit in ness in the world, he lost his soul before he was Noah, for so I understand it, was, according to aware, supposing that death had been many years that which was foretold by that preacher, deprived off. But God said unto him, Thou fool,' thou of life and overcome by the flood, and are now in troublest thyself about things of this life, thou prison. Mark, he preached to the spirits in prison; puttest off the thoughts of departing this world, he doth not say, who were in prison, but to them when this night thy soul shall be taken from thee; in, that is, now in prison, under chains of dark- or, this night, they, that is, the devil, will fetch ness, reserved, or kept there in that prison, in away thy soul from thee. And here it comes to which now they are, ready, like villains in the pass, men's not being exercised with the thoughts jail, to be brought before the judgment-seat of of departing this life, that they are, so unexpectedly Christ at the great day. But of this I shall speak to themselves and their neighbours, taken away further by and by.

from the pleasures and profits, yea, and all the enNow if this one truth, that men must die and joyments they busy themselves withal while they depart this world, and either enter into joy or else live in this world. And hence it is again, that into prison, to be reserved to the day of judg- you have some in your towns and cities that are ment, were believed, we should not have so many so suddenly taken away, some from haunting the wantons walk up and down the streets as there ale-houses, others from haunting the whore-houses, do, at least it would put a mighty check to their others from playing and gaming, others from the filthy carriages, so that they would not, could not cares and covetous desires after this world, unlooked walk so basely and sinfully as they do. Belshaz- for as by themselves or their companions. Hence zar, notwithstanding he was so far from the fear it is also that men do so wonder at such tidings of God as he was, yet, when he did but see that as this. There is such a one dead, such a one is God was offended and threatened him for his wick- departed; it is because they do so little consider edness, it made him hang down his head and knock both the transitoriness of themselves and their bis knees together. Da. v. 5, 6. If you read the neighbours. For had they but their thoughts well verses before you will find he was careless, and exercised about the shortness of this life, and the satisfying his lusts in drinking and playing the danger that will befall such as do miss of the Lord wanton with his concubines. But so soon as he Jesus Christ, it would make them more wary and did perceive the finger of a hand-writing, 'then,' sober, and spend more time in the service of God, saith the scripture, the king's countenance was and be more delighted and diligent in inquiring changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that after the Lord Jesus, who is the deliverer from the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees the wrath to come.' 1 Th. i. 10. For, as I said before, smote one against another.' And when Paul told it is evident, that they who live after the flesh in Felix of righteousness, temperance, and judgment the lusts thereof, do not really and seriously think to come, it made him tremble. And let me tell on death, and the judgment that doth follow after: thee, soul, whosoever thou art, that if thou didst neither do they indeed endeavour so to do; for did but verily believe that thou must die and come they, it would make them say with holy Job, 'All into the judgment, it would make thee turn over a the days of my appointed time will I wait till my new leaf. But this is the misery, the devil doth change come.' Job xiv. 14. Avd as I said before, that labour by all means as to keep out other things not only the wicked, but also the godly have their that are good, so to keep out of the heart, as much time to depart this life. And the beggar died. as in him lies, the thoughts of passing from this The saints of the Lord, they must be deprived of life into another world; for he knows, if he can this life also, they must yield up the ghost into the but keep them from the serious thoughts of death, hands of the Lord their God; they must also be he shall the more easily keep them in their sins, separated from their wives, children, husbands, and so from closing with Jesus Christ; as Job friends, goods, and all that they have in the world, saithı, • Their houses are safe from fear, neither is For God hath decreed it; it is appointed, namely, the rod of God upon them.' Which makes them by the Lord, for men once to die, and • say to God, • Depart from us, for we desire not all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ,' as the knowledge of thy ways.' Job xxi. 14. Because it is, 2 Co. v. 10, 11. there is no fear of death and judgment to come, But it may be objected, if the godly do die as therefore they do put off God and his ways, and well as the wicked, and if the saints must appear spend their days in their sins, and in a moment, before the judgment-seat as well as the sinners, that is, before they are aware, go down to the then what advantage have the godly more than the grave. Job xxi. 17. And thus it fared also with the ungodly, and how can the saints be in a better man spoken of in Lu. xii. 20. The man, instead of condition than the wicked ? thinking of death, he thought how he might make Answ. Read the 22d verse over again, and you his barns bigger. But, in the midst of his busi- will find a marvellous difference between them, is


we must

[ocr errors]

much as is between heaven and hell, everlasting view of the soul; nay, rather hell stands before it,
joy and everlasting torments; for you find that and the devils ready, as if they would carry it
when the beggar died, which represents the godly, thither. But this is the comfort, the angels do
he was carried by the angels into Abraham's always appear at the last, and will not fail the soul,
bosom, or into everlasting joy. Ps. i. But the un- but will carry it safe into Abraham's bosom. Ah
godly are not so, but are hurried by the devils into friends, consider, here is an ungodly man upon his
the bottomless pit, drawn away in their wickedness, death-bed, and he hath none to speak for him, none
Pr. xiv. 32, for he saith, ' And in hell he lifted up his to speak comfort unto him; but it is not so with
eyes.' When the ungodly do die, their misery the children of God, for they have the Spirit to
beginneth, for then appear the devils, like so many comfort them. Here is the ungodly, and they
lions, waiting every moment till the soul depart have no Christ to pray for their safe conduct to
from the body. Sometimes they are very visible glory; but the saints have an intercessor. Ja. xvii. 9.
to the dying party,' but sometimes more invisible; Here is the world, when they die, they have none
but always this is certain, they never miss of the of the angels of God to attend upon them; but the
soul if it do die out of the Lord Jesus Christ; but saints have their company. In a word, the uncon-
do hale it away to the prison, as I said before, verted person, when he dieth, he sinks into the
there to be tormented and reserved until that great bottomless pit; but the saints, when they die, do
and general day of judgment, at which day they ascend with, and by the angels, into Abraham's
must, body and soul, receive a final sentence from bosom, or into unspeakable glory. La. xxiii, 43.
the righteous Judge, and from that time be shut Again, it is said, that the rich man when he
out from the presence of God into everlasting woe died was buried or put into the earth; but when
and distress. But the godly, when the time of the beggar died, he was carried by the angels into
their departure is at hand, then also are the angels Abraham's bosom. The one is a very excellent
of the Lord at hand; yea, they are ready waiting style, where he saith he was carried by angels
upon the soul to conduct it safe into Abrahanı's into Abraham's bosom ; it denotes the excellent
bosom. I do not say but the devils are ofttimes condition of the saints of God, as I said before ;
very busy doubtless, and attending the saints in and not only so, but also the preciousness of the
their sickness: ay, and no question but they would death of the saints in the eyes of the Lord. Ps. cxvi 15.
willingly deprive the soul of glory. But here is That after-generations may see how precious in the
the comfort, as the devils come from hell to devour sight of the Lord the death of his saints is, when
tho soul, if it be possible, at its departure, so the he saith they are carried by the angels into Abra-
angels of the Lord come from heaven, to watch ham's bosom.
over and conduct the soul, in spite of the devil, Thus many times the Lord adorneth the death
safe into Abraham's bosom.

and departure of his saints, to hold forth unto David had the comfort of this, and speaks it after-generations, how excellent they are in his forth for the comfort of his brethren, Ps. xxxiv. 7, say- eyes. It is said of Enoch, that God took him; of ing, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about Abraham, that he died in a good old age; of Moses, them that fear him, and delivereth them.' Mark, that the Lord buried him; of Elijah, that he was the angel of the Lord encampeth round about his taken up into heaven; that the saints sleep in Jesus; children, to deliver them. From what? From that they die in the Lord; that they rest from their their enemies, of which the devil is not the least. labour, that their works follow them; that they This is an excellent comfort at any time, to have are under the altar; that they are with Christ; that the holy angels of God to attend a poor man or they are in light; that they are to come with the woman; but especially it is comfortable in the time Lord Jesus to judge the world. All which sayings of distress, at the time of death, when the devils signify thus much, that to die a saint is very great beset the soul with all the power that hell can af- honour and dignity. But the ungodly are not so. ford them. But now it may be, that the glorious The rich or ungodly die and are buried; he is carried angels of God do not appear at the first, to the from his dwelling to the grave, and there he is

buried, hid in the dust; and his body doth not so 1 It is a very ancient and prevailing opinion, that man is fast moulder and come to nought there, but his always attended by invisible spirits, whose powers or mode of intercourse with our spirits is unkuown. These attendants are

name doth stink as fast in the world, as saith the most active at the hour of death. They cannot be seen unless holy scripture: •The name of the wicked shall rot.' the eyes are made to possess new or miraculous powers. It

And indeed, the names of the godly are may be that, when dying, the spirit, before it entirely quits its mortal habitation, has a glimpse of spiritual existences.

not in so much honour after their departure, but so, how awful for the sinner to see the infernal demons ready the wicked and their names do as much rot. What to drag away his soul; but most joyful for the Christian to

a dishonour to posterity was the death of Balaam, embrace his celestial guides. This is illustrated in the Pilgrim's Progress, during Christiau's contlict at the hour of death.– Agag, Ahithophel, Haman, Judas, Herod, with the Vol. iii., p. 163.-(Ed.)

rest of their companions ?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Pr. x. 7.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

Thus the wicked have their names written in which cannot stand with such a dead state as is the earth, and they do perish and rot, and the here mentioned; for he saith, “The rich man name of the saints do cast forth a dainty savour to died;' that is, his soul was separated from his following generations; and that the Lord Jesus body. “And in hell he lifted


eyes.' doth signify where he saith the godly are carried If it be again objected that there is no hell but by the angels into Abraham's bosom ;' and that in this life; that I do also deny, as I said before: the wicked are nothing worth, where he saith the after he was dead and buried, • In hell he lifted up ungodly die and are buried.

his eyes.' And let me tell thee, O soul, whoever

thou art, that if thou close not in savingly with Verse 23.-'And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, the Lord Jesus Christ, and lay hold on what he

and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.' hath done and is doing in his own person for sin. The former verse speaks only of the departure ners, thou wilt find such a hell after this life is of the ungodly out of this life, together with the ended, that thou wilt not get out of again for ever glorious conduct that the godly have into the king- and ever. And thou that art wanton, and dost dom of their Father. Now our Lord doth show, in make but a mock at the servants of the Lord, when this verse, partly what doth and shall befal to the they tell thee of the tornents of hell, thou wilt find reprobate after this life is ended, where he saith, that when thou departest out of this life, that hell, • And in hell he lifted up his eyes.' That is, the even the hell which is after this life, will meet theo ungodly, after they depart this life, do lift up their in thy journey thither; and will, with its hellish eyes in hell.

crew, give thee such a sad salutation that thou From these words may be observed these things, wilt not forget it to all eternity. When that scripFirst. That there is a bell for souls to be tormented ture comes to be fulfilled on thy soul, in Is. xiv. 9, 10, in, when this life is ended. Mark, after he was liell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee dead and buried, 'In hell he lifted up his eyes.' at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, Second. That all that are ungodly, and do live and even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised die in their sins, so soon as ever they die, they go up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. into hell: he died and was buried; •And in hell All they,' that is, that are in hell, shall


* Art he lifted up his eyes.' Third. That some are so thou also become weak as we? art thou become fast asleep, and secure in their sins, that they like unto us ?' O sometimes when I have had but scarce know well where they are till they come thoughts of going to hell, and cousider the everinto hell; and that I gather froin these words, 'In lastingness of their ruin that fall in thither, it hath hell he lifted up his eyes.' He was asleep before, stirred me up rather to seek to the Lord Jesus but hell makes him lift


Christ to deliver me from thence, than to slight it, [First] As I said before, it is evident that there and make a mock at it. •And in hell he lifted up is a hell for souls, yea, and bodies too, to be tor- his eyes.' mented in after they depart this life, as is clear, [Second.] The second thing I told you was this, first, because the Lord Jesus Christ, that cannot that all the ungodly that live and die in their sins, lie, did say that after the sinner was dead and so soon as ever they depart this life, do descend into buried, “In hell he lifted up his eyes.'

hell. This is also verified by the words in this paraNow if it be objected that by hell is here meant ble, where Christ saith, He died and was buried, the

grave, that I plainly deny: 1. Because there and in hell he lifted up his eyes.' As the tree falls, the body is not sensible of torment or ease; but in so it shall be, whether it be to heaven or hell. Ec. xi. 3. that hell into which the spirits of the damped de- And as Christ said to the thief on the cross, • Topart, they are sensible of torment, and would very day thou shalt be with me in paradise.' Even so willingly be freed from it, to enjoy ease, which they the devil in the like manner may say unto thy are sensible of the want of; as is clearly discovered soul, To-morrow shalt thou be with me in hell. See in this parable, “Send Lazarus, that he may dip then what a miserable case he that dies in an unthe tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.' regenerate state is in; he departs from a long sick2. It is not meant the grave, but some other place, ness to a longer bell; from the gripings of death, because the bodies, so long as they lie there, are to the everlasting torments of hell. • And in hell not capable of lifting up their eyes, to see the lie lifted up his eyes.' Al friends! If you were glorious condition of the children of God, as the but yourselves, you would have a care of your souls; souls of the damned do. “In hell he lifted up his if you did but regard, you would see how nad they eyes.' 3. It cannot be the grave, for then it must are that slight the salvation of their souls. O what follow that the soul was buried there with the body, will it profit thy soul to have pleasure in this lifo,

and torments in hell ? Mar. viii. 36. Thou hadst bet? Guard, convoy, or escort. See Pilgrim's Progress, the ter part with all thy sins, and pleasures, and come entrance into the celestial city.-(En.)

panions, or whatsoever thou delightest in, than to



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]


have soul and body to bo cast into hell. O then | ignorant of their state; and when death comes it do not now neglect our Lord Jesus Christ, lest thou strikes them as it were into a swoon, especially if drop down to hell. IIe. ii. 3. Consider, would it not they die suddenly, and so they are hurried away, wound thee to thine heart to come upon thy death- and scarce know where they are till in hell they bed, and instead of having the comfort of a well lift up their eyes: this is he who dieth in his full spent life, and the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.' Job xxi. 23. together with the comforts of his glorious Spirit: Of this sort are they spoken of in Ps. lxxiii., where to have, first, the sight of an ill-spent life, thy sins he saith, * There are no bands in their death: but flying in thy face, thy conscience uttering itself their strength is firm.' They are not in trouble with thunder-claps against thee, the thoughts of as other men, neither are they plagued like other God terrifying of thee, death with his merciless men. And again, they spend their days in paw scizing upon thee, the devils standing ready wealth, and in a moment,' mark, in a moment,' to scramble for thy soul, and hell enlarging her before they are aware, they go down to the self, and ready to swallow thee up; and an eternity grave.' Job xxi. 13. of misery and torment attending upon thee, from Indeed this is too much known by woeful and which there will be no release. For mark, death daily experience; sometimes when we go to visit doth not come alone to an unconverted soul, but them that are sick in the towns and places where with such company, as wast thou but sensible of we live, O how senseless, how seared in their conit would make thee tremble. I pray consider that sciences are they! They are neither sensible of scripture, Re. vi. 8. •And I looked and behold a heaven nor of hell, of sin nor of a Saviour; speak pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, to them of their condition, and the state of their and hell followed with him.' Mark, death doth souls, and you shall find them as ignorant as if not come alone to the ungodly, no, but hell goeth they had no souls to regard. Others, though they with him. O miserable comforters! O miserable lie ready to die, yet they are busying themselves society! Ilere comes death and hell unto thee. about their outward affairs, as though they should Death goeth into thy body, and separates body and certainly live here, even to live and enjoy the soul asunder; hell stands without, as I may say, same for ever. Again, come to others, speak to to embrace, or rather, to crush thy soul between them about the state of their souls, though they its everlasting grinders. Then thy mirth, thy joy, have no more experience of the new birth than a thy sinful delights will be ended when this comes beast, yet will they speak as confidently of their to pass. Lo it will come. Blessed are all those eternal state, and the welfare of their souls, as if that through Christ Jesus his merits, by faith, do they had the most excellent experience of any man escape these soul-murdering companions. *And or woman in the world, saying, “I shall have in hell he lifted up his eyes.'

peace.' De. xxix. 19. When, as I said even now, the [Third.] The third thing you know that we did Lord knows they are as ignorant of the new birth, observe from these words was this, That some are of the nature and operation of faith, of the witness so fast asleep, and secure in their sins, that they of the Spirit, as if there were no new birth, no scarce know where they are, until they come into faith, no witness of the Spirit of Christ in any of hell. And that I told you I gather by these words, the saints in the world. Nay, thus many of them •In hell he lifted up his eyes.' Mark, it was in hell are, even an hour or less before their departure. that he lift


Now some do understand | Ah, poor souls! though they may go away here by these words that he came to himself, or began like a lamb, as the world says, yet, if you could to consider with himself, or to think with himself but follow them a little, to stand and listen soon in what an estate he was, and what he was deprived after their departure, it is to be feared, you should of; which is still a confirmation of the thing laid hear them roar like a lion at their first entrance down by me. There it is that they come to them into hell, far worse than even did Korah, &c., selves, that is, there they are sensible where they when they went down quick into the ground. are indeed. Thus it fares with some men that they No. xvi. 31–35. scarce know where they are, till they lift up their Now, by this one thing doth the devil take eyes in hell. It is with those people as with those great advantage on the hearts of the ignorant, that fall down in a swoon; you know if a man do suggesting unto them that because the party defall down in a swoon in one room, though you take ceased departed so quietly, without all doubt they him up and carry him into another, yet he is not are gone to rest and joy; when, alas! it is to be sensible where he is till he cometh unto himself, feared the reason why they went away so quietly, and lifteth up eyes.

was rather because they were senseless and harTruly thus, it is to be feared, it is with many dened in their consciences ; yea, dead before in poor souls, they are so senseless, so hard, so seared sins and trespasses. For, had they had but some in their conscience [1 Ti. iv. 2), that they are very | awakenings on their death-beds, as some have had,

[ocr errors]



« 上一页继续 »