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act the filthiness in words when they cannot do it otherwise. Neither will the art some have in dressing up their filthy notions in figurative terins excufe; but these in fome fort are most dangerous, because the devilish wit desplayed in them makes them more sticking ; and so by means of the like phrases occurring in holy exercifes, they are the readier even to defile these. Of this fort are filthy fongs and ballad singing; and the delightful liftening to such things, as the simple youth did to the speeches of the adulterous whore, Prov.vii. 18.–21.
3. Uncleanness in actions. Belides the gross acts, there are others leading thereunto, which are here also forbidden. As,
(1.) Wanton looks: there are eyes full of adultery, 2 Pet. ii. 14. wanton eyes, If. iii. 16. Even a look for unlawful carnal delight is the venting of the impurity of the heart; and though it be only from levity and curiosity, it is sinful, as a mean leading to evil.
(2.) Impudent and light behaviour, and immodeft gestures, If. ii. 16. indecent postures, contrary to religion and good manners. These are hellish matters of sport, that defile the actors, and those that are witnefles to them without abhorrence. And on this ground stage plays and filthy pictures are a. mongst the things forbidden in this command, Ezek, xxiii. 14. 15. 16.
(3.) Luxurious embraces and dalliances. These are as smoke going before the flame, and were practised by the adulterous whore, Prov. vii. 13.
Now, as all these are here forbidden, so all occasions and incentives to lust are forbidden, all that has a tendency to corrupt our own or neighbour's chastity.
(1.) Immodest apparel, Prov. vii. 10. pointed apparel, 1.) for necefsity, to cover our thame and nakedness; 2.) to distinguish sexes; 3.) to distinguish callings, the more noble from the
meaner fort. The devil has found out the fourth,
This has been the
This exposeth to many temptations ; for Satan will be ready to find idle people work. Gadding and vaguing abroad can hardly miss to have an unsavoury end. (4.) Intemperance, gluttony, and drunkenness. These have a tendency to murder, which is forbidden in the sixth command, and to uncleanness, forbidden in the one under consideration, Prov. xxiii. 30. 31. 33. Notable to this purpose is that scripture, Jer. v. 8. They were as fed horses in the morning : every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.
(5.) Promiscuous dancing, or dancing of men and women together. This entertainment, however reckoned innocent among many, is evidently an incentive to lust, if. xxiii. 15. 16. 17. It is fup. posed, that it was to a dancing match among the daughters of the land that Dinah went forth, when she was dealt with as an harlot. This practice feenis to be ftruck at by these scriptures, Rom. xii. 13. Let us walk--not in chambering and wantonness. 1 Pet. iv. 3. where mention is made of walking in revelling; It is offensive to the grave and pious, is condemned by our church, yea and has been condemned by some fober Heathens,
(6.) Undue delay of marriage, 1 Cor. vii. 7. 8. 9.; for they that refuse the remedy, strengthen the disease.
(7.) Unjust divorce, Matth. v. 331 ; wilful defertion, I Cor. vii. 12. 13. ; want of conjugal affec
tion, and all harshness and unkindness betwixt mar. ried persons. These are to be avoided, as incitements to uncleanness.
(8.) Lastly, The Popish doctrine and practice of forbidding lawful marriages, 1 Tim. iv. 3.; dispenfing with unlawful marriages, Mark vi. 18.; tolerating of stews or bawdy-houses, Deut. xxiii. 17.; and entangling vows of single life, Matth. xix. 10.
I shall next make some improvement of this subject.
1. Let those that have fallen into the fin of uncleanness, repent, and walk humbly all the days of their life under the sense of it. There are alas! not a few amongst us to whom this exhortation belongs. And perhaps, if their eyes were opened, they would see something in their lot that God has fent to go along with them, as a mark of his displeasure against that their fin; wherein they might with no great difficulty read their old fin in a continued punishment. That sin may be forgotten with us that is not so with the Lord.
2. Let those that stand take heed left they fall. Labour to get your hearts possessed with a dread of this fin, and watch against it, especially ye that are young people, seeing it is a sin moft incident to youth, when the passions are most vigorous; which yet may stick fast with the blue marks of God's difpleasure upon you when you come to age. For motives, consider,
(1.) It is not only a sin, but ordinarily, if not al. ways, a plague and punishment for other lins. It is a mark of God's anger against the person that is permitted to fall into it, Prov. xx. 14. The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord, mall fall therein. This is a heavy mark of God's indignation, which is worse than to fall into a fever or some lingering distemper; for a perfon may
tecover of these in a short time, but it is not so easy to recover of the other. (2.) It is a sin that very few ever get grace to re
It stupifies the conscience, and wastes all sense of fin from it, Hof. iv. 11. . I have seen alas! too many that have made public fatisfaction for that fin; but allow me to say, I have seen very few by whose repentance I was much edified. Hear what the Spirit of God says of these unhappy people, Prov. ii. 19. None that go unto her, return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. Nonë, that is, very few ; but some indeed do, as among the Corinthians, 1 Cor. vi. 9: 11. And be not offended, but cautioned, if I say, that few women particularly ever get grace to repent of it. Solomon faid it before me, Eccl. vii. 28. A woman among all those bave I not found. And obferve what is said Acts xxiv. 2 5. that Felix trembled when Paul preached, though he repented not; but there is not a word of Drusilla's being moved. 3.
Ít dishonours and debases the body, i Cor. vi. 18. Vur bodies are the members of Christ or should be; but how are they debased, being made members of a harlot? And how low and contemptible a thing is fuch a wretched crcature even in the eyes of those that join with them?
(4.) It leaves an indelible ftain upon their reputation; their honour is sunk, and there is no recovering of it, Prov. vi. 33. Though the fin may be pardoned before God, yet the blot lies on their name, while they have a name on the earth. Yea, and when they are dead and gone, their bastard posterity ftill lie under the ftain, whereof they could be no cause:
(5.) Poverty and want oft-times follow it. It natively tends to poverty, Prov. v. 10.; and there is a secret curse of that nature that often accompanies it, Prov. vi. 26. By means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread. How
many Vol. III.
have been made miserable by it, who have had occasion as long as they lived to remember they had ruined themselves ?
(6.) Laftly, It is ruining to the foul, Prov. vi. gz. He that doth it [commit adultery with a woman), destroyeth his own foul. It ruins it here, in so far as it defiles the conscience, fetters the affections, blinds the mind, utterly: unfits for communion with God, till the guilt be walhed off by the application of Christ's blood, after a frightful a. wakening of the conscience. And if they do not repent of this sin, it will destroy the foul for ever. Let thefe fcriptures imprint a horror of it in the minds of all, Heb. xiii. 4. i Cor. vi. 9. Gal. v. 19. 21. Rev. xxi. 8.
I close with a few directions, in so many words.
1. Give yourselves away soul and body to Jesus Christ, and learn to live by faith, sensible of your own weakness, and relying on his promised strength; for without him ye can relift no fin, nor temptation to fin.
2. Beware of a carnal frame, of floth and lazi. ness. Labour to be spiritual and heavenly in the frame of your heart, Gal. v. 16. Walk in the Spirit, and ge shall not fulfil the luft of the flesh.
3. Watch over your heart and tenies. Make a covenant with your eyes, as Job did, that ye may avoid unlawful looks; and never venture on the devil's ground, otherwise ye will fall into the snare.
4. Study mortification of all your unruly lufts and pafsions, and beware of all occasions and incentives to this wickedness.
5. Keep at a distance from immodest company, and be not too frolicsome and foolish, light and airy in your discourse.
6. Lally, Pray fervently and importunately, that the Lord may save you from this foul fin, and all temptations io it; faying with David, Pfal. cxix. 37.
mine eyes from beholding vanity.