Page images

store for the Land of the living. And of evil: If it must
come here or there, with St. Augustine, Domine, hic ure, hic

parce ;

Let my searing and smart be here; there let me be spared ;' and from cruciaris, the torment' to come, libera me, Domine.

To very good purpose said the ancient Father; Quisque dives, quisque pauper; Nemo dives, nemo pauper; Animus omnia facit. It is somewhat to be rich or poor, it is nothing to be rich or poor; it is as the mind is; the mind maketh all.' Now, saith St. Chrysostom, what mind he carried is gathered out of Abraham's doubling and trebling, Tu, tua, and tuâ : recepisti tu, bona tua, in vitâ tuâ; which words are working words, as he taketh them, and contain in them great emphasis. Understanding by tua, not so much that he had in possession, as that he made special reckoning of, for that is most properly termed ours; Animus omnia facit.

This life is called “his life;' not because he lived in it, but 1. because he so lived in it as if there had been no other life but it. And in his account there was no other; Δός μοι το oņuepov, Náße ooi aŭplov, 'give him this life, let this day be his day, take to-morrow who will.' This did not Abraham; for he “saw a day," and that after this life, that rejoiced him Joh. 8. 56. more than all the days of his life.

This life as it was his life, so the good of it his goodbona tua. This his life, these the portion of his life; these he chose for his good; they his, and he theirs. They that make such a choice, their recepisti may well end in cruciaris.

This way St. Chrysostom, by the mind. St. Augustine taketh another by the memory, more proper to the Patriarch's meaning; and that four ways.

1. For, saith he, Abraham willing him to remember he had received such things, implieth, in effect, that he had clean forgotten that any such things he had ever received. Look how Esau speaketh, Habeo bona plurima, I have enough, Gen. 33. 9. my brother;" and, as his pew-fellow here, Anima habes, Lu. 12. 19. “Soul, thou hast goods enough;" even so for all the world it seemeth this party here he had them, sure he was he had them; but that he “received” them he never remembered. Now he is put in mind, quia recepisti; “ Now, therefore, thou art tormented.”



sost. de Lazar.


2. Now, not remembering he had received them, no marvel if he forgat why he received them, or with what condition ; forgetting God in Heaven, no marvel if he remembered not

Lazarus on earth. Verily, neither he nor any man receive [S. Chry- them as proprietaries, but as stewards and as accountants, as

Christ telleth us above in this chapter. Not for ourselves con. 2.)

only, or for our own use, but for others too; and among others, for Lazarus by name.

If Lazarus receive not, it was his fault and not God's, Who gave him enough to supply his

uses and Lazarus' want too. For both which two, he and all receive that receive at God's hands. But he, it seemeth, received them to, and for himself, alone, and nobody else; that Abraham saith truly, Recepisti tu-tu et nemo alius; • You and yours and nobody besides.' For his recepisti ended in himself, and he made himself summam omnium receptorum. For if you call him to account by the writ of redde rationem, this must be his audit: In purple and linen so much, and in belly-cheer so much; so much on his back, and so much on his board, and in them endeth the total of his receipt ; except you will put in his hounds too, which received of him more than Lazarus might. This is indeed recepisti tu solus. This did not Abraham, for his receipt reacheth to strangers, and others besides himself; and Lazarus he received in his bosom on earth, or else he had never been in Heaven to have him there.

Will you see, “Now therefore," the consequent in kind? Therefore is this party now in the gulf, because living himself was a gulf; it is now gurges in gurgite, but one gulf in another.' While he lived, he was as a gulf swallowing all : “ Now therefore,” the gulf hath swallowed him. Remember this, for it is a special point. For if our purple and fine linen swallow up our alms ; if our too much lashing on, to do good to ourselves, make us in state to do good to none but ourselves; if our riotous wasting on expenses of vanity, be a gulf and devour our Christian employing in works of charity; there is danger in recepisti, even the danger of "Now therefore;" gurges eras et in gurgitem projicieris, “a gulf thou wert, and

into the gulf shalt thou go.' Ever, for the most part, you Ezek. 16. shall find these two coupled. In Sodom“ pride, and fulness of bread,” with not stretching the hand to the poor.




Judah great bowls of wine, and rich “beds of ivory," with Amos 6. 4. little compassion on the misery of Joseph. And here, going richly, and faring daintily, with Lazarus’ bosom and belly both empty. The saying of St. Basil is highly commended, that ákóvn rîs áowtlas ń pilotipia, 'Pride is prodigality's whetstone.' And so it is sure; and sets such an edge upon it in our expenses, that it cuts so deep into our receipt, and shares so much for purple and linen, as it leaves but a little for Lazarus' portion. Sure so it is: less purple must content us, and somewhat must be cut off from quotidie splendide, if we will have Lazarus better provided for. This I have stood a little on, that it may be remem

It is Christ's special drift, both in the parable before and in this story here; and “ remember” it we must, if ei ther as in that we will be received into “everlasting ta bernacles,” or as in this we will be delivered from

everla sting torments.”

3. Now I add that, in thus forgetting Lazarus to remember himself, he remembered not himself neither, but failed in that too. For whereas he consisted of two parts, 1. a body, and 2- a soul, he remembered the one so much as he quite left the other out of his memento. For his recepisti tu was his ody, and nothing else. Now reason would, the body should vot take up the whole receipt, but that the poor soul should e thought upon too. Purple and silk, and Ede, bibe, they Je but the body's part; but alms and works of mercy, they, hey, be the souls.

May not our souls be admitted suitors, that we would remember them, that is, remember Lazarus ? for that is the soul's portion; for the other part, he and we all remember fast enough.

4. Thus remembering neither God nor Lazarus, nay, nor

is own soul ; his memory thus failing him, God provided and sent some to put him in mind. Sure, as he had received those former “good things,” so also had he received “ Moses and the Prophets” by his own confession; and in receiving them, he had received a great benefit, and peradventure greater in this than the other; and Moses had told him as much as Abraham tells him now. Utinam novissima provide- Deu.3229. rent, “Would God, saith Moses, men would remember the four novissima ;” 1. That there is a death ; 2. there is a judg



[ocr errors]

Deu. 32.22.

SERM. ment; 3. there is a Heaven; 4. there is a hell. But of all

the four, Novissima inferni, in the same chapter, “the nether

most;" Nunc igitur cruciaris, the place of torments. The Jer. 5. 31. Prophets said as much. Jeremy-Ever think that an end there

will be, Et quid fiet in novissimo, “what shall become of us in Isa. 33. 14. that end ?” “Who among us,” saith Esay, “can endure devour

ing fire ?” who can dwell with ardores sempiterni, “everlasting burnings?” These he had, and if he had heard these, it is plainly affirmed, Audiant ipsos would have done it ; they would have kept him for ever coming in that place. But these also, living, he strove to forget, and as ingenderers of melancholy to remove them far away. And that he might the more easily do it, it was thought not amiss to call their authority in question, whether they were worth the hearing or no. It is in effect confessed by him, that his “five brethren" and he were of opinion, that the hearing of Moses and the Prophets was a motive far unworthy to carry such men as they. An Angel from Heaven, or “one from the dead,” might perhaps; but the books of Moses should never move them. It was not for nothing he complaineth of his “tongue:" illâ linguâ, ‘with that tongue' he had scorned the holy oracles; peradventure that place wherein he now lay, with that tongue which in that place feeleth the greatest torment, and from that place the smallest comfort; both which it had before profanely derided.

Thus then you see his scalam inferni, the brief of his faults,

for which his receipt endeth in this bitter receipt of torments [S. Chry- without end.

1. Epicurism: no life but this, no good but these here, good attire, good cheer. 2. This was his reward; conc.2.3.] Amen, dico vobis, recepistis. St. Chrysostom's two. 1. Re

membering neither God in Heaven, nor Lazarus on earth; 2. but being a gurges, “a gulf of all that he received, himself. 3. No, not his own soul; 4. nor last of all, this place of torments before he was in it, and scorning at Moses for remembering him of it. This you see; and in him you see who they be over whom Abraham shall read the like sentence: Qui habet aures, &c.

Now then we have set up both sides of this cross, and

fastened each part to other with “ Now therefore;" let us fili. affix the inscription and so an end. That is recordare fili


sost, de Lazar.

Mat. 6. 2.

II. The title : Recordare

the want of which brought him thither, the supply of it shall keep us thence.

Fili recordare-optime dictum sed sero, “excellently well said, but too late,' saith St. Bernard. For, alas! cometh Abraham in now with recordare? doth he now affix the title ? why, it is too late. True it is so, but till now he would not suffer

any to set it up. Before, while it was time, and when it might have done him good, then he would not endure it; now he is fain, when it is out of time, to know what in time might have done him good; and may do others, if in time they look to it. Indeed, to him now it is of no use in the world, but only to let him see by what justice he is where he is, and what he suffereth he suffereth deservedly. The best is, Abraham hath more sons than this son, and they may take good by it, and have use of that whereof he had none. With this son it is too late, with some other it is not. Not with us; we are yet upon the stage, our jam vero is not yet

And for us is this inscription set up, and for our sakes both Christ reported, and St. Luke recorded this recordare.

If you ask, What good is that? What is the good of exemplary justice? What good is it to see a melefactor punished, or to read in a paper the crime wherefore ? What, but only that by reading what brought him thither, we may remember what will keep us from thence. The neglect of recordare is the cause he is there; why then recordare fili, and keep thee from thence. So with one view of this inscription, we read both his ruin and our own remedy.

This is the right use of this title ; God forbid we should have no use of it, till we come where he is! But it is therefore set over his head in that life, that we may read it in this ; read it and remember it; remember it, and never have title


set over ours.

It will be good then sometimes to keep some day holy to the exaltation of this cross, and to set this title before our eyes; to approach it and read it over; yea not once, but often to record this recordare. Indeed, it is that St. Gregory saith ; [S. Greg. Recordatione magis eget versus iste quam expositione ; 'indeed it in. Eyang. more needs a disposition to remember it, than an exposition to Hom: 40.

6. init.) understand it.

« PreviousContinue »