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probably reason learnedly on accountableness, and prove that man is a machine ; that all his volitions are governed irresistibly by motives; that those motives are presented to him without his contrivance, or concurrence; and, therefore, that all his actions are necessary and mechanical. Of course, they are neither right nor wrong, neither good nor evil. It is indeed probable, that at times he complained, like other such men, of the faults and sins of his servants ; and that he cursed them for their omissions of duty, and their trespasses on his property and convenience. He may also, have followed the customs of the age, and at times whipped and tortured them, for their crimes, as he himself styled them. But, whatever was the case with servants, and however wicked they might be, or however accountable to him ; he certainly was not accountable to God, nor capable of being a sin
A saint he never pretended nor wished to be. Upon the whole, he was satisfied with his allotments in life; and he presumed that God, who gave them, would, and must, be satisfied also.
If men lived beyond the grave, he had concluded, and in his own view proved, that they must be happy. Otherwise God must be unjust and malevolent. This, all men denied, as well as himself: the consequence therefore must be admitted.
Around his board, as around those of others of the same character and condition, there doubtless swarmed a multitude; who were bozzing in the sunshine of opulence, and feasting on the honey which it yielded. All these united in approving his arguments, applauding his ingenuity, and adopting without a question his conclusions. These were all equally necessary and comforting to them, as to him. None therefore called them in question ; but all united to confirm him in the conviction, that his doctrines were certain, and his arguments unanswerable.
Nor was he probably less persuasive on other favourite topics of Infidelity. The want of chastity he could prove, like Hume to be, when known, of little consequence; and, when unknown, to be nothing. Adultery he could exhibit also, like Hume and Bolingbroke, as not forbidden by the law of nature, and as ne
cessary to the real enjoyment of life. The innocence of Gambling and Profaneness he could display with arguments, fraught with the same ingenuity and conviction; and when argument failed could rout his antagonists with a jest, applauded of course by all his dependents and associates in pleasure.
Thus he withheld not his heart from any joy. Life was to him a period of sunshine, and a circuit of vernal seasons only. Light and gaiety, verdure and bloom, abundance and pleasure, frolicsome companions and laughing amusements; were his constant round of happy existence. Every day brought its brilliancy and its enjoyments. Every sun rolled round only a succession of good. In his bosom conscience, early silenced and finally discouraged, ceased to reprove ; and, during his life, no gloomy preacher or melancholy enthusiast embittered happiness by unseasonable and unwelcome suggestions concerning sin, or judgment, or future retribution.
But in the midst of this joyous career, Death pointed the fata} arrow at his heart. His wealth, his grandeur, his gaiety, his sports, his flatterers, his physicians; could not defend him from this conflict, nor prevent his fall. Perhaps his stupidity and grossness of mind continued to the last ; and he died, as he had lived, a brute. Perhaps, like many other proud, hardened, and guilty wretches, he awaked on a dying bed to sense and reason, for the first time; and now found, that all his former conduct was madness, that his pleasures were nothing, and that his dangers were real and dreadful. Now, perhaps for the first time, he began to feel that he was dependent on God, and accountable to him. Now, perhaps, he made the first essay towards a prayer. But the day of grace was past to him. His prayers were the cries of hardened guilt, extorted by danger and fear; and they were disregarded and rejected! The Mercy he had so long slighted and so impiously mocked, now laughed at his calamity, and mocked when his fear came. He called, but God would not answer: he stretched out his hand, but God would not regard.
At Death his situation was in all respects reversed.
All his pleasures in this life came to him through the body, They were all pleasures of sense, and arose from animal indul
. gence. They consisted in pampering the lust of the flesh, in satiating the lust of the eyes, and in fulfilling the demands of the pride of life. Eating and drinking, sloth and lewdness, wealth and splendour, gaiety and amusement; were his whole list of enjoyments; the amount of all which he considered as real good.
But his Body was now gone. His face and limbs, so delicately fed and adorned, were turned into a pale and lifeless corpse, divested of all its former beauty and splendour, and clothed with deformity and corruption. The form, which he once idolized, was now carried out of the palace which it so long and so proud. ly inhabited, and laid in the solitary grave. There it was proved to have been pampered only for the feast of worms. Worms were now its only companions, and reigned over the great and proud man with absolute dominion, All, that remained of him, was turned into dust, undistinguishable from the earth around him.
2dly. Ile was now in the absolute want of all things.
As his body had been the means of all his enjoyments ; its destruction all his enjoyments vanished. In the vast universe he could find nothing, which he could call his own. All was a wide and solitary waste ; where no good sprang up, no spring of pleasure flowed, and no living verdure rose. An Arabian desert, boundless and hopeless, it presented nothing to his eye but barrenness and death.
3dly. He was despised.
In the future world the treasures of the mind only make rich; and the dignity of the mind only confers honour. Of these treasures he had none. Of course he was wholly destitute of the means of conferring enjoyment on others. He was unable to befriend any; and wanted therefore the means of awakening gratitude, or creating dependence ; of engaging flatterers, or securing services The respect and deference, produced by affluence and splendour, he could not command ; because he possessed nothing. Personal worth he had none. Of course he could not be respected. The
attributes and actions which commanded respect, he had always despised and rejected. On the contrary he chose a character, in itself contemptible ; and he scorned and loathed all real dignity. He could claim, therefore, no regard for what he was, or what he possessed. As all this was the result of his own choice, he appeared only as a madman and a profligate ; and he was of course regarded only with scorn and derision. The contempt, with which he had formerly treated all good men, now rebounded on his own head. Eye he had, in this respect, paid to him for an eye, and tooth for a tooth ; and his gross conduct to others, causeless and insolent, was now repaid sevenfold.
4thly. He was miserable.
All his good things, the whole stock destined for him throughout eternity, he had received in this life. Like a giddy prodigal be had spent his whole estate ; and he was now a bankrupt forever. He was dreadfully disappointed of all his expectations. He had fully intended, and firmly resolved, not to be, beyond the grave. But in spite of himself he existed. He had as firmly resolved, if he should exist, to be happy; and had often proved to himself and to his companions, that God could not, consistently with his character, make him unhappy.
In hell he was forced to reside ; and there he was tormented by all the ingredients of misery. The world of woe spread immensely before his sight; and through its melancholy regions he was now beginning an everlasting journey. All around him was dreary and desolate: all before him was forlorn and dreadful. He was without friends, without enjoyments, and without hope. He confesses himself to be friendless in the world where he dwelt; for he appeals not to any of his companions, but to Lazarus and to Abraham, for relief. In the request which he makes to them, he also declares himself to be utterly destitute of enjoyments; for he asks for the least of all enjoyments only; and even this was denied.
He saw at the same time Lazarus, in heaven, in the bosom of Abraham ; the man, whom above all others he pitied and despised, as the wretch pre-eminently outcast from heaven, and forgot
ten and miserable in this world. To this forsaken wretch, who. a few days before, had desired to be fed from the crumbs which fell from his own table, he now becomes a suppliant for a single drop of water. This prayer he found with full conviction could not be granted ; and the refusal put an end to his hopes and his
I shall now consider,
II. The Circumstances of Lazarus ; in the present world, and in the future.
In this world, Lazarus was
He was a beggar, proverbially the poorest of mankind, and perfectly destitute of property ; of comforts and necessaries alike. He was poor, even for a beggar; and in want of those things which beggars usually obtain. He desired to be fed from the crumbs, which fell from the rich man's table. Even the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table were an object, and it would seem the highest object, of his desires. Beyond the possession of these, it does not appear that he even raised or cherished a wish ; and it would seem, that even these were sparingly given to him. He was laid at the gate of the rich man by those, who, not improbably, wished to free themselves from the burden of seeing and relieving him; and who cast him down here, with that cold compassion, which was satisfied if it did not see him die of want. Here he lay under the naked heaven, and had no bed but the ground.
He was also full of sores. A malignant and incurable leprosty appears to have infected and overcome him; so that he was unable to walk, and was therefore carried by others to this place. Of course he was unclean; an outcast from the congregation ; and an object of loathing to all who saw him.
There he had neither physician, nor nurse. The dogs were the only assistants which he found, or who had feeling enough to attempt his relief. They came, and licked his sores, and fixnished him with his only earthly comfort, except the crumbs on which he meagerly subsisted.