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charity to their souls (for that is not found in hell), but because his punishments were increased to the same degree that his evil example did spread upon earth, by which we must suppose his brethren and nearest acquaintance to be chiefly infected, this will be a lerrible consideration to those who do corrupt others.

What I have said, as to fornication, that is betwixt two single persons, will operate more strongly against that new notion of adultery which you heard advanced, viz. That adulterium is quasi, ad alterius thorum, i. e, to go to another's bed; and therefore that, betwixt a single and a married person, it is adultery only in the single person, who invades the bed of another.

But this poor quibble, upon the Latin word, adulterium, is lost in the Greek original of the text, morgríc. But, as to the reason of the thing, if the single person invades, the married does defile and betray the bed of another; and moreover adds the breach of the solemn vow to God, which is enacted in the office of matrimony. Besides, if one be guilty, both must; because it is a sin to be accessary to the sin of another.

Wretched are these shifts, which men, bent to their own destruction, have found out to delude themselves! but they will stand them in no stead at the bar of the great tribunal; no nor qualify their desponding consciences upon their death-bed; upon which men have a notion of sinful pleasures, when they are to be for ever separated from them, very different from that which they had, while they were in the pursuit of them; and those arguments, which then appeared favourable to the gratification of their lusts, will now be seen in their true colours, to be nothing but deceit and fatal delusion; like promises which are said to be made to witches by their familiars, which are not discovered, till their death, to have a double meaning ; a false one to delude them with hopes while they lived; but the true one always verified in their destruction, when it is too late to prevent it.

When men sin out of human infirmity, there is a sting of conscience always remains; which, by the blessing of God, may some time or other reclaim them; though it is the most extreme danger and madness, to go on in our sins trusting to this; for, when habits are grown strong, it is the utmost difficulty to return from them. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard bis spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil,' Jer. xiij. 23.

But some, to get rid of that terrible monitor, a wounded conscience (when they are resolved not to part with their vices) do study and greedily catch at arguments, to alter the nature of their sin (which cannot be altered) and so come at last to persuade thenselves that they are persuaded of the lawfulness, at least tolerableness of a darling sin; which therefore they indulge, if not without all reluctance, yet with less than they had before ; and therefore think this a happy conquest.

But alas ! it is a miserable one over themselves; and their condition then is most desperate, for this is a corrupting of their principles; and there is no repenting or returning from that sin, which

they think not to be a sin, or can find excuses for it, such as, for the present, shall satisfy them; at least stop the mouth of a clamorous conscience. Balaam sought such an excuse, and be found it; and he that seeks shall find' in this wicked sense, as well as in the contrary sense of which our Saviour spoke it.

And now let me reason a little with you upon the merits of this cause. God is a spirit, and therefore spirit is more real, more substantial than body; and the true pleasure is indeed but spiritual, in that low degree, by which our spirit or soul partakes of pleasure by the mediation of the body; or the body only by the powers of the soul, which enliven and actuate it; and from which it receives its sensation; and therefore, when our soul is gone, the body is no longer sensible either of pleasure or pain; because the soul acts no more by it. But those pure souls, which act without the incumbrance of bodies, have a perception much more quick and delicate, than can be conveyed by such gross and elementary bodies, as ours are rendered since the fall. And therefore the happiness, which is laid up for us, is to be freed from the dull and terrestrial bodies; and to have spirutual bodies given to us, fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body. This is our utmost happiness, and thither all our endeavours should tend. And this is the great end of our religion, to wean us from the body; to fit and prepare us for the spiritual state; for we must be, in some sort, made like unto it before we enter into it; and lbat is to be done, while we are in this life. Now, of all sins, those of the flesh are the most opposite to the spiritual enjoyment, and therefore the flesh is to be kept under, even in our lawful allowances; we may sin by excess in them; how much less then are forbidden pleasures to be allowed of? For all these do proceed from an inordinale affection ; which of itself is a sin. Therefore, taking this matter from the bottom, you see the reason of the severe prohibitions against the sins of the flesh; they are utterly inconsistent with a spiritual estate ; they do, the most of all other sins, incapacitate us from the spiritual delight; they put us into a frame quite opposite to it; and that is, to God, whom the pure hearts and minds do only see (Matth, v. 8.) for be is spiritually discerned. Therefore it is said, Gal. v. 17. • That the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other. And i Pet. ii. 11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, ab. stain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Observe they war against the soul; and the reason why we should subdue them is, because we are strangers and pilgrims, that is, in this world ; our rest, our enjoyment, is not here; but we are ordained to be made partakers of the divine nature, but this shall be only to those who have escaped the corruption that is in the world though lust, 2 Pet, i. 4. That is, either those who have not been guilty of it; or who have sincerely repeated, and returned from it; as Mary Magdalen, out of whom Christ cast seven devils, Mar. xvi. 9, There are evil spirits (believe it) wbich possess those who give theme selves up to uncleanness; and these must be dispossessed

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holy spirit of God will enter; which will never descend to a foul and polluted soul. This is the great argument used, i Cor, vi.

That our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost; and chap. iii. 17. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. We are members of Christ, shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot?' This consideration is dreadful ! • The body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.' Here is great honour given to our bodies; the Lord has reserved them for himself, and himself for them. This is a great mystery, and should strike us with astonishment! And from hence it may be argued, that, when we abuse our bodies, we commit adultery even against God; who is married to us, Jer. iii. 14. And, to shew the hatefulness of this sin, idolatry is all along through the prophets called going a whoring from the Lord, committing adultery against him. And, as this is most provoking to God, so it comes nearest to ourselves, it affects us most of any other sin. •Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he, that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. It is like putting hand on one's self, assaulting of uur own bodies. And God hath punished this sin severely, in Sampson, in David, in Solomon; the greatest, the wisest, the bravest of men. this sin of lust, for which the world was drowned, Sodom burned, and the Canaanites utterly destroyed, Lev. xviii. 27. God hath poured greater vengeance upon no sort of sin. Many late examples might be given. King James I. in his Batihendr sãpov to prince Henry, particularly observes that this sin is often punished with want of lawful issue, or the death of those we bave; and he gives his grandfather king James V. for an instance, who was much subject to incontinency, and lost both his sons most unfortunately, and left his crown to an infant daughter. And, on the other hand, he observes how God had blessed himself with a greater gift of continency, and a numerous issue. As he did in both respects to his son king Charles I. But king Charles II. had no lawful issue ; and his unlawful was a grief of heart to him, joining with the seditious party against him. How many noble families in England might be brought as instances, to confirm this observation, whose honours are fallen, or gone into collateral families, for want of lawful heirs, from the most remarkable corrupters of the marriage bed? But I will not take up time in this. I refer you, for the hejuousness of this sin, and God's punishments upon it, to the Homily against adultery, and The whole duty of man, upon this head.

I shall only observe, that there is a kind of evil spirits, as oor Saviour tells us, which will not be got out but by prayer and fasting ; and certainly this of lust is one of that kind. For, while we pamper our body to that degree, that it is grievous to us to deny it a meal of meat; when shall we subdue it, and bring it under, that it may serve us, but not master us; not overcome cur reason, to lay aside the care of the soul, which is eternal, to gratify its beastly desires, which are bui for a moment? But the guilt never dies, tho' the body be laid in the dust. llow foolish then, low dreadful, how

sottish is it to neglect the eternal welfare both of soul and body, for nothing else but to give the body a little swing now after childish and transitory follies! And how reasonable is it, how manly, how Christian, to keep it under a fit discipline; to feed, but not to pamper it; not to destroy it, but to hinder it from destroying itself, and us, that is, our soul with it! Whoredom, and wine, and new wine take away the heart,' Hos. iv. 11. they incapacitate it from serious consideration, or any business that requires thought, though even of this world; how much more then of spiritual things! These are so opposite, that they cannot come into the same mind together.

And if a man would be justly laughed at, and despised, who could not leave his wbore, or his bottle, to save his estate, or any worldly matter of great moment; or to serve his friend, in a point of honour: if the pleasures of the body must be sacrificed to such considerations as these; is it then so monstrously unreasonable that they should give place, but a little, to matters of eternal moment! If we venture the health of our bodies, to sit up whole nights upon business; or it may be goodfellowship, cards, or dice; reading plays, or a romance; with what face can we pretend our health, as an excuse against watching one night, or but part of one, in divine exercises, to trim our lamps, and fit us for the coming of the Lord! No, then we cannot keep our eyes from closing; and we grow sick, that is, weary of that employment. And the reason is, sensuality takes away the relish for divine things; which cannot be apprehended but by a strong and settled thought: and, of all things, sensuality does most weaken the mind, enervates, and takes all strength from it. “How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou dost all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman 'Ezek. xvi. 30. See a further description of this, Prov. vii. And then read an account of that wbich is opposite to it, the true wisdom, in the vijith chapter. St. Paul said, i Cor. ix. 27. 'I run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast away.' You see,

he esteems it but an uncertain fighting, and beating of the air, to use all other exercises of religion, if we add not that of mortifying the body; and that, without this, he himself, notwithstanding of his great labours in preaching, his travels and persecutions, would be in danger of being a cast away. And if he needed it, who can excuse himself? He, who was, (one would think) in a continued state of mortification : For, 'even unto this present hour (says he, 1 Cor. iv. 11.) we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling-place; and labour, working with our own hands', &c. And yet to hear men excuse themselves, from fasting one day in a week, who live in plenty and ease ; if that was all; but who plead the vigour of their body, and strength of their constitution, as an excuse for gratifying their lusts; which, by these neans, grow tov strong for them ! and therefore there is no hopes of per. suading any man by reason, to forsake his lusts, unless he will first consent to mortify his body. The least measure can be advised are all the fasts of the church; and let each man's zeal add to these, as he sees cause. Without this, your lusts will never give you leave to be heard; but keep you in perpetual hurry, and want of thought. This is the deaf adder that stoppeth your ears, and her own, against the voice of the charmer. It is not words will do it; this is a more stubborn devil. We must set too our whole strength, and all our application, and fast, and pray, and beg God's assistance ; we fight for our souls! we must not do it indifferently; and we must not be discouraged, if we do not presently prevail. God

may think fit to try us, and to shew us the danger, we were in, and the bitterness of sin, by the difficulty of returning from it, and overcoming long habits; and to let us see our own weakness, that we have no power of ourselves, to help ourselves; and thence to teach us to put our whole trust in him; and apply diligently unto him, by earnest prayer, and a careful attendance upon all his holy ordinances: And then he will not fail us ; we shall presently perceive that we have gained ground of our enemy, and we shall overcome in the end. We have gone a great length, when we are brought seriously to reckon our lust as our enemy: for then we shall begin to stand upon our guard against it; and never till then can we deny it any thing, but follow its impetuosity, as a horse rusheth to the battle; and violently pursue our own destruction ; and nothing can stop us, but a stronger than this strong man; an higher relish of divine than of sensual things: till when, sensual things must prevail: and this true knowledge of heavenly pleasure is obtained in fasting and retirement. Then it is that God works with us, when we are at leisure to hear him; and shall we deny him such an opportunity?

All this may seem an excursion, and leaving of the argument ; but it is not. Their arguments for this sin are easily answered; and I have, in few words, answered them, for more needed not ; but that which they most want is to be stirred up, and shaken out of their lethargy. If once they come to consider, their conversion is half effected; towards which, I can only add my prayers to what I have said in the small compass to which I confine myself. And I will now go on to consider the other point, which you heard discoursed of, that is, polygamy.

This is bottomed upon the same loose principles as the other ; to give the range to our lusts, and let them endure no limits. But it has more pretence than the other; because God did dispense with it, as with arbitrary divorces, in many ages of the world. But our blessed Saviour reduces both back again to the original institution, Matth. xix. from verse 3, to the 10th. From the beginning (says he) it was not so.' How was it then? God at the beginning made only one male, and one female. And, · for this cause, a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife ; and they twain shall be one flesh. They twain, here, were but two ; this was the original institution; and this is applied to the mystical

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