THE RICH MAN (DIVES) AND THE POOR MAN (LAZARUS).
--LUKE 16:19-31.--NOV. 11.--
THIS PARABLE is a continuation of the series, a part of the table-talk at the banquet at the Pharisee's house. It is the culmination, so to speak, of the entire series of parables. The first represents mankind in general, as the lost sheep, and the Lord's interest therein, and its final recovery to the fold; the second respecting the lost coin, represents the same thought, with the additional feature of the diligent sweeping and bringing in of the light in order to the recovery or restitution of the lost race. The third applies this same principle to the Jewish nation, and reproves the Pharisee class, the elder brother, for not having the Lord's spirit of love and mercy in respect to the sinner class, the prodigal. The fourth represents the unwisdom of this Pharisee class in hypocritically pretending to others that they kept the Law and were acceptable stewards, whereas they themselves were well aware that they came short of the glory of God, came short of fulfilling their stewardship, and must therefore be ejected from it; and points out to them a proper course, which they did not, however, take. And now, finally, this parable of Dives and Lazarus, the fifth of the series, brings the instruction to a climax by picturing the favored class as the rich man, who enjoyed, but did not rightly appreciate the blessings showered upon him,--selfishly shutting up his heart against the poor sinner at his gate; not acknowledging that he himself also was imperfect and came short of the glory of God and the perfect keeping of his Law.
This parable shows what the results would be as respects both classes--the final outcome. We will not deal with it here, since we have already treated it with considerable elaboration in our issue of March 15 and April 1, 1900. But inasmuch as some may have loaned or given away that copy, and since we have a good supply of them on hand, we conclude to send an extra copy of that one with this issue to supplement this lesson. Those who find themselves possessed of two copies will no doubt have good opportunity for using the extra one to the Lord's praise and to the blessing of some who in more or less darkness are "feeling after God [his plan], if haply they may find him."