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The Rich Man In Hell
Christ’s Parable of Dives and Lazarus, for all called Christians, and others, to consider. All people in Christendom, and elsewhere, consider in your lifetime the parable of Christ, concerning the rich man, and Lazarus the beggar. For Christ said, ‘there was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.’
‘And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gates, (namely, at the rich man’s), full of sores; and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, (namely, the poor man Lazarus), moreover, the dogs came and licked the sores of the poor man.’
‘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 lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: and the rich man cried, and said, father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, (namely, the beggar), that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, (namely, the rich man’s), for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said to the rich man, son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and had your pleasure; and likewise Lazarus the beggar, the evil things, but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.’
And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, (between, Abraham and the beggar, and the rich man in hell), so that they who would pass from here to you cannot, neither can they pass to us, that would come from there,’ (namely, the rich man that has lived in pleasures upon the earth.)
‘Then he said, (he being the rich man in hell), I beg of you, therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, for fear that they also come into this place of torment.’
‘And Abraham said unto the rich man in hell, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them,’ (that is, while they are upon the earth.)
And the rich man in hell said, ‘my father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent; and Abraham said unto him, if they do not hear Moses, nor the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one come from the dead.’ Luke 16:19-31.
Nor now those who will not hear Christ and his gospel; and if they will not hear Christ and his gospel, they will not hear one that comes from the dead. So the Christians in profession without possession, are like the Jews that would not hear Moses and the prophets, nor one who has come from the dead.
But the Jews sought to put Lazarus to death, (whom Christ had raised from the dead), because by reason of Lazarus, many people had turned to Christ, and believed on him, that Christ had raised him from the dead. They were as mad against Christ and his miracles, as they are now against his light, which is his life in the word.
Now all you great and rich men upon the earth, that fare sumptuously every day, of whatever sort, Jews, Heathens, Turks, or Christians, consider the parable of Christ on the rich man, who did not have compassion on poor Lazarus; and the rich man’s kindred nor himself regarded not the law, nor the prophets, neither would they regard one if he came from the dead, to tell them of the misery that this rich man was in, when he was in hell.
Now you who are called Christians, and others, that fare sumptuously every day, who are the rich men, do you regard the poor Lazaruses? Do you regard the life and practice of the law and prophets? Do you regard the life of Christianity, and the life and practice as Christ and the apostles command?
But, have you not slighted God’s messengers and prophets, and servants, sons, and daughters, and hand-maids, that have been moved of the Lord God to warn you in your lifetime, of the torment and misery of hell fire that this hard-hearted rich man fell into when he was dead.
And such as have exhorted you who are alive, and would have turned you to the Lord, you have imprisoned, persecuted and banished; and do you not think that your end will be like this rich man’s, when he died, who went into hell fire? And poor Lazarus, whom did not have compassion on, went into heaven.
And do you not think, that all these poor Lazaruses, whom you have persecuted, and do persecute, that when they die, they will not be carried into Abraham’s bosom? When you are tormented in hell, will you not cry like this rich man in hell, to Abraham to send one of his poor Lazaruses to dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool your tongues, which are scorched with the flames of hell fire?
But then consider what Abraham’s answer will be to you, you who have received the good things in your lifetime, and had your pleasure, and the poor Lazaruses the evil things.
But Abraham tells you, though he calls you sons, ‘there is a great gulf between you and him; and he cannot come to you, neither can you come to him.’ And Abraham will say unto you, ‘remember, how in your lifetime you fared sumptuously every day, and received the good things, and likewise the poor Lazaruses the evil things from you, who had no comfort among you.’
But now the poor Lazaruses are comforted in Abraham’s bosom, after they are dead, and after you are dead, you are tormented in hell fire, for all your purple coats, and gorgeous apparel, and your faring sumptuously every day. And therefore, all you hard-hearted rich men, be warned, and mind the law and the prophets, and Christ and the apostles, and walk as they commanded.
Mind the poor Lazaruses, and not only talk about the poor, if you will escape hell fire. You must mind this in your lifetime, or else when you are dead you must go to hell fire, and there be tormented, as the rich man was when he was dead, and could not come out to Abraham, nor Abraham to him.
And do you not think that the rich man was a jolly fellow, while he was upon the earth, with his dogs and his sumptuous fare, and apparel of purple and fine linen. Now this parable Christ spoke to the covetous Pharisees, which justified themselves, and derided Christ.
And therefore, consider, all you rich men that are called Christians, and others that eat sumptuously every day, and are clothed in purple and fine linen, that deride the life that is in Christ, which lights every man that comes into the world.
Do you regard the poor Lazaruses, the poor beggars that lie in your gates full of sores? And do you consider where you must go when you die? Do you think upon this rich man where he is; and where poor Lazarus is? You, who have received the good things in your lifetime, remember now while you are alive, and do not eat and drink without the fear of God, to make yourselves want- for fear that you are lifted up, and regard not the poor, and look loftily and disdainfully upon your fellow creatures that are in misery, for fear that the time comes that you come into torment with the rich man, when the poor are comforted in Abraham’s bosom.
For you hear what Christ said in his parable, and what Abraham said: Abraham tells the rich man that is tormented in hell, that ‘there is a great gulf fixed between the rich man in hell, and Lazarus and Abraham. So that they who would pass from Abraham to the rich man in hell cannot, neither can they from hell pass unto Abraham, that would come from there.’
So this does manifest, that when the wicked die they go to hell; so there is no purgatory, nor middle place, as some imagine; and they in hell cannot pass to Abraham, nor Abraham to them, so there is no prayers that will get them out of hell fire. And therefore, consider you this, that fare sumptuously every day, and are clothed in your purple and fine linen, and regard not the poor, for fear that the day of your visitation passes over your heads, and you continue in your wickedness and die in your sins; for the wicked must be turned into hell, and all that forget God.
For this rich man in hell cried unto Abraham to have mercy upon him, and for him to send poor Lazarus that he might dip the tip of his finger in water to cool his tongue; for he was tormented in the flame in hell fire. Now Abraham could show him no mercy, that was in hell fire, nor Lazarus, they could not comfort this rich man with as much water as they could take up on the tip of their finger; so there was no comfort to be shown to him.
And though Abraham called him son, this was a parable to the Jews, who professed themselves children of Abraham, and did not do the works of Abraham.
So this parable may stand to them that profess themselves Christians, and do not the works of Christianity. And when they are in hell, what good will all their riches, and their sumptuous fare, and their fine linen and purple do them? When they live without mercy and compassion in their lifetime, and without the fear of God, and go to hell fire, and be in torment when they die. And therefore, for them to see the poor despised beggar Lazarus in happiness in Abraham’s bosom, and a great gulf fixed between them in hell, and the poor that be in Abraham’s bosom, that Abraham and the beggar cannot pass to them in hell, neither can they pass to them in heaven.
And therefore, what does all your pleasures and sumptuous fare and apparel avail you, whose dogs have more compassion upon the poor than you in your lifetime. Abraham tells you the reason, how that there is a great gulf fixed between you and them, as before said; and therefore remember this in your lifetime, and be warned, and repent, and while you have time prize it. This is the day of your visitation, who lived in pleasures and fullness, and wantonness, despising the poor, and persecuting the just and innocent; and comforting yourselves with your pleasures, and things of this world; and nourishing your hearts, as in a day of slaughter, and living wantonly upon the earth.
And live neither according to the law of Moses, nor the prophets, nor according to the gospel of Christ Jesus; though they all tell you what misery will be your end, yet you will not hear them, nor obey them.
And therefore, if you will not hear, neither the gospel, the law, nor the prophets, then hear what the rich man in hell said to you in his torment, as in Lk.16.
For neither Abraham nor Lazarus could help him, nor comfort him, nor show him any mercy, who had showed no mercy in his lifetime. So you may see plainly by Christ’s own words, here is no purgatory or middle place; but when the wicked die they go to hell, and the just are carried into Abraham’s bosom with the angels.
And when this rich man could get no hope of any comfort in hell from Abraham and Lazarus, he was so tormented, that he desired Abraham that he would send to his father’s house; for he had five brethren, that they might testify unto them, for fear that they should come into that place of torment, namely, hell. And Abraham told the rich man in hell, ‘that they had Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.
So now you have Christ to hear, and his apostles, and if you do not hear Christ’s voice that speaks from heaven, and follow him who is the way to God, the truth and the life.
Then consider and see if your way is not the rich man’s to hell, to his place of torment; but is it not your principle to say, that there is no hearing Christ’s voice while you are alive here upon the earth?
Oh! Therefore, be warned, and be serious, and consider your latter end, and now you have time prize it, for fear that you say, you had time, when it is past. For if you do not prize your time while you are upon the earth, Christ tells you, you must go to hell. No, though you call Christ Lord, and say you have preached in the streets, yet if you are found workers of iniquity; though you may have preached Christ’s death and resurrection, and prophesied in his name, yet, if you are found workers of iniquity, Christ will say unto you, ‘depart from me, I know you not; go you cursed into everlasting punishment, prepared for the devil and his angels.’
And though you may say as many prayers, as the babbling Pharisees three times a day, and call Christ Lord, and do not the things which he commands, he tells you, ‘you shall not enter into the kingdom of God.’
For Christ tells you, it is those that ‘do the will of his Father, which is in heaven, that enter into the kingdom of God.’
And therefore, do not vex, nor quench, nor grieve the spirit of God, which is given unto you, to instruct you to shun the ways of sin and evil, and pleasures, which lead to hell.
And do not hate the light that Christ has enlightened you withal, that shines in your dark hearts, which would give you the knowledge of your lost state, and of your sins, and of Christ that saves you from your sins.
And do not walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, nor turn it into
wantonness; which grace of God that brings salvation, has appeared unto all men, to teach them, and to bring them salvation.
I say, to teach you to live soberly, and godly, and to deny all unrighteousness, and ungodliness, which leads to hell. And if you do hate the light, and quench his spirit, and walk despitefully against the spirit of grace, and turn it into wantonness, God and Christ will be clear of you, when you are condemned to hell fire, and in it roar.
For, what could God do more for you, who sent his Son to die for you, and sent his grace, which has appeared to all men to teach them, and bring their and your salvation; and poured out of his spirit upon all flesh; and his Son has enlightened every man that comes into the world; and he bids them ‘believe in the light, that they may become children of the light.’
And sent his apostles and disciples into all nations, to preach the gospel unto every creature freely, as they had received it freely; and yet you do hate his light, and quench his spirit, and resist it, and turn his grace into wantonness, and not obey his gospel but persecute his free messengers of it, and so do not the thing which God and Christ commands; but live in pleasure and wantonness, and despise the poor, and persecute the just; how can you expect any other end, but this rich man’s in hell?
And acknowledge that God and Christ were just and merciful all your lifetime to you, before he gave you up to your heart’s lusts, which you walked after, who resisted his grace and spirit, and his servants and messengers, that admonished you, within and without.
Now if any should imagine, that by giving money to priests, that they can pray your souls out of purgatory, or middle place, Abraham and Christ tell you no such thing; but tell you, you cannot come to Abraham, nor Abraham unto you, when you are dead, and in hell. And therefore, be warned in your lifetime, for there is no repentance in the
grave, it must be in your lifetime, and before you go to the grave: for, ‘as the tree falls so it lies,’ therefore, consider this while you are alive.
For all Masters of Ships, and Seamen to read over; and to see whether you are in the true faith that the true Christians and Holy Men of God were in, and if you are not, then turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of the Holy, Divine, and Precious Faith; and then by this faith your hearts may be purified, and with your hearts you may believe, and with your mouths you may make confession unto Salvation. (Roms.10)
And Christ said, ‘everyone that is of the truth, hears his voice,’ Jn. 18:37. And now everyone that is not of the truth hears not his voice, and say, there is no hearing of it nowadays. And here you may see how Christ called Fishermen and Seamen to be his disciples, as follows; and how Christ commanded the winds, and they obeyed him; and how that the Lord God holds the winds in his fist, and raises a storm, and makes a calm, so that all are to serve and fear him. ‘Quench not the Spirit, despise not prophesying; prove all things, hold fast that which is good.’ 1Thess.5:19-21.
Those who quench the Spirit, and despise Prophesying are not like to prove all things, nor hold fast that which is good. ‘After that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent, and believe the gospel.’ Mk.1:15
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ‘And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea, (for they were fishers.) And Jesus said unto them, ‘follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,’ and they straightway left their nets and followed him.
‘And Jesus going on from there, he saw two brethren, James the son of
Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them.’
‘And immediately they left the ship and their father, and followed Jesus.’ Matt.4:17-22, Mk.1:19-20. Now here all you seamen and fishermen, and all people may see, these four disciples of Christ their call, and what trades they were of, fishermen, and seamen; these and such were more like to follow Jesus then, and now, than the high priests that had the tithes, and such as have great benefices.
But Christ is the same today, as he was yesterday, and so forever; for it was not many, mighty and rich, but the poor that received the gospel.
‘And when Jesus was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him, and behold! there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with waves; but Jesus was asleep.’
‘And his disciples came to him and awoke him, saying Lord save us, we perish.’ Mark, in the time of a storm these fishermen came to Christ, and so should all seamen do now. ‘And he said to them, why are you fearful, O you of little faith? then he arose and rebuked the winds, and the sea, and there was a great calm.’ ‘But the men marveled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him.’
Now all you seamen and fishermen, let your eyes be to Christ, and your faith in him that has all power in heaven and in earth given to him, and he can still the storms, and tempests, and waves of the sea, and make it calm. And so Christ it is who saves you from perishing outwardly, and eternally, as you may see, Matt.8:23-27, Mk.4:36-41, Lk.8:22-25. For both the winds and the sea do obey Christ, by whom they were made; therefore, fear God, and let your faith stand in him, who is the author and finisher of it.
‘And Jesus began to teach by the sea side, and there was gathered unto great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and there sat in the sea, (namely, in the ship), and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land,’ as you may see, Matt.13:10-15, Mk.4:1, ‘and he taught them many things by parables.’
Now would not many say, that it was not a consecrated place to teach the word of God in; but I must tell you, Christ consecrates and makes all things and places holy.
Now Peter, who was a fisherman, Christ said unto him, and the rest of his company of fishermen, that he would make them fishers of men, and told them follow him, which they did. And you may see in Acts. 2:14-41, how Peter the fisherman, by one sermon that he preached, converted three thousand souls, as you may see from the 14th verse to the 41st, the beginning and end of his sermon.
And now all you seamen and fishermen, consider this call of Christ, who is the same today as yesterday, and so forever to you, if you will hear his voice; for he stands at the door of your hearts and knocks, and if any will hear my voice, said Christ, and open his door, (namely, of his heart, by joining to his grace, light, power, and spirit), ‘I will come in and sup with him, and he with me.’ Rev.3:21.
And so the sheep of Christ hear his voice and follow him, Jn.10:27, for Peter the fisherman said to the Jews, how that in the last days ‘God would pour out his spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters, shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants, and on my hand-maids I will pour out in those days of my spirit, and they shall prophesy said the Lord,’ … And now if God has poured out of his spirit upon all flesh, and you grieve it, and quench it, and vex it; then how can you prophesy, or have any of God’s dreams or visions, or believe, or receive this fisherman’s sermon, who was a disciple of Christ?
And again, in Matt.14:22-33, ‘and Jesus constrained his disciples to go into a ship, and to go before him,… But the ship was now in the midst of the sea tossed with waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them walking on the sea; and when the disciples saw him walk on the sea, they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit, and they cried out for fear; but Jesus spoke unto them, saying, be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid: and Peter answered him, and said, Lord, if it be you, bid me come unto thee on the water, and he said, come; and when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus: but when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me: and immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him, and said unto him, O you of little faith, therefore did you doubt? and when they had come into the ship, the wind ceased: then those who were in the ship, worshipped him, saying, of a truth, you are the Son of God.’
And now here all seamen and others, you may see it is Christ that saves, and stills the boisterous winds and waves, and makes them to cease; and therefore, you are not to doubt, but be steadfast in faith in all storms and tempests, and see and feel Jesus to lay hold upon you, as he did upon Peter, to save you from sinking in time of storms, who stills the waves of the sea, who is the same today, as he was yesterday, and so forever: a rock of your age, and a foundation of your generation, as was of former ages, as you may see, Mat 14:22-33, John 6:17-21.
And again in Mark 6:47-51, there you seamen may see, ‘when Christ’s disciples entered the ship, they had forgotten to take bread, neither had they in the ship with them, more than one loaf.’ ‘And Christ charged them, saying, take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.’
‘And the disciples reasoned among themselves, saying, it is because we have no bread.’ ‘And when Jesus knew it, he said unto them, why reason you because you have not bread? perceive you not, neither understand? have you your hearts yet hardened, having eyes, and see you not? and having ears, and hear you not?’
‘For do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took you up? and they said, twelve.’ ‘And when the seven (namely, loaves), among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took you up? and they said, seven. And Jesus said unto his disciples, how is it that you do not understand?’
Now consider you seamen, and fishermen, and others, that are not disciples of Christ; for sometimes in your ships you have been in scarcity of bread; and now here was Christ and his disciples who had only one loaf in the ship, and Christ convinced them that they had enough, by his former miracles. And therefore, those who have Christ, they have enough, they have by whom all things were made, who gives the increase, as you may see by his miracles.