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having no connection with the preceding portion of the chapter; and whether given as a parable, or as a historic fact, men have been unable to decide. But as it came from the lips of One who never spake an idle word, and whose every expression was fraught with a purpose, we must conclude that it was given for our instruction.
In this narrative, the miserable and emaciated beggar, Lazarus, is represented as lving at the rich man's gate, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from his table: that in time 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 seeing Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom, he implored Father Abraham to send Lazarus to relieve him in his torment.
But Abraham replied, “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 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.”
The inference drawn from this picture is that, aside from the conditions already considered in the intermediate state, it may also be the place where the wrongs of this world are in a measure righted; and that they w ho have known extreme poverty and suffering here, as well as they who, by inflicting such suffering on others, have been enabled to fare sumptuously, shall each of them receive his proper reward; while the two, in their changed conditions, are separated by a gulf more exclusive and impassable than the social barrier which separates them here.
This inference finds further support in the words of our Savior, as recorded in the 6th chap. of St. Luke, the 21st verse reading thus: “Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now; for ye shall laugh.” The 24th verse also reading-"But woe unto you that are
rich! for ye have received your consolation."
Several passages of Scripture however confirm my belief that the latter quotation refers only to those rich people who lead selfish and ungodly lives, and not to the noble few who are faithful stewards of God's bounty.
Of the second, and final death of the unbelieving, after the general resurrection and great judgment day, and the everlasting punishment of Satan and the false prophets that deceived the people, enough has already been said, I trust, to make plain my opinion on those important questions.
But when I come to write of the unspeakable glory and happiness of the eternal life awaiting those who will be found worthy to enter the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem, I feel that pen and brain are inadequate to discuss the glowing descriptions of the inspired writers. And I can only conceive that it will be the complete gratifying and satisfying of that constant longing for some
thing better and higher and nobler, which is an inseparable part of the normal earthly life: and the thought that it will be forever should render light and insignificant all the sacrifice to gain it which we are called upon to make in this life, whose duration, as compared with eternity, is as a single drop to the great Ocean.
In conclusion then, I most reverently commend to every unbeliever the words of promise and hope uttered by our Savior, “He that believeth in me hath everlasting life.”', and to every believer, his words of comfort and encouragement, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved!"
From the foregoing discussion of religious faith, I deduce the following, which is
MY ACCEPTED CREED.
I believe in God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth; in Christ the Savior, in his divine origin, and in his power and willingness to forgive and save all who diligently seek him: also in the Holy Spirit,
which the Lord sendeth to those whom he receiveth.
I believe in an intermediate state wherein all souls wait, either unconsciously, or in some degree of happiness or unhappiness, the General Resurrection: that in the great Judgment Day the conscious existence of unbelievers will finally end, which is the Second Death: but that Satan and the false prophets will live under God's displeasure forever.
I believe that they whose names are found written in the Book of Life will then be received into a blest Immortality, and a home in the Beautiful Heaven wherein the Father dwells; there to live in peace and happiness forever.