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tion, and all harshness and unkindness betwixt married persons. These are to be avoided, as incitements to uncleanness.
(8.) Lastly, The Popish doctrine and practice of forbidding lawful marriages, i 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 fubject.
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 sent 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 sin, and watch against it, especially ye that are young people, seeing it is a fin most' 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, conlider,
(1.) It is not only a fin, but ordinarily, if not always, a plague and punishment for other fins. 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 ftrange woman is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord, fall 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 person may
recover of these in a short time, but it is not so easy to recover of the other.
(2.) It is a fin that very few ever get grace to repent of. It stupifies the conscience, and wastes all sense of fin from it, Hof. iv. Il. I have seen alas! too many that have made public satisfaction for that fin; but allow me to say, I have feen 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. None, 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 said it before me, Eccl. vii. 28. A woman among all those have 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. It 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 such 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 funk, 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. 1o.; and there is a secret curse of that nature that often accampanies 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. 32. He that doth it [commit adultery with a woinan], 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 washed off by the application of Christ's blood, after a frightful awakening 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 sin, nor temptation to sin.
2. Beware of a carnal frame, of floth and lazinefs. Labour to be fpiritual and heavenly in the frame of your heart, Gal. v. 16. Walk in the Spirit, and je fball not fulfil the lust 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 lusts and pafsions, and beware of all occafions, and incentives to this wickedness.
5. Keep at a distance from immodest company, and be not too frolicfome and foolish, light and airy in your discourse.
6. Lastly, Pray fervently and importunately, that the Lord may save you from this foul fin, and all temptations to it ; faying with David, Psal. cxix. 37. Turn away mine
eges from beholding vanity.
Of the eighth Commandment.
EXODUS Xx. 15.
Thou shalt not steal.
ward etate in the world, and the scope of it is to procure and further the same by all good means. And the law of God respecting this plainly says, that religion is highly concerned in our civil actions, working, buying, and selling, and all the ways of advancing of the outward estate. In these we are hedged about by this command, as well as in natural things by the sixth and seventh. God's law follows us where ever we go, to the house or field, bed or board, church or market. This command allo plainly establishes distinct properties, and that there is no universal community of goods, but every one has his own portion.
This being a command of the second table, it re. spects ourselves as well as our neighbour. And so the meaning is, Thou shalt not Iteal from thyself nor any other; thou shalt not wrong thyself nor others. And as in every negative is implied an affirmative, fo while stealth or theft is here forbidden, the contrary is required, namely, the procuring and furthering of our own and others welfare in these things, but by means only that are lawful. .
In discoursing further from this subject, I shall
I. What is required in this command, viz. “ the “ lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and $ outward estate of ourselves and others."
II. What is forbidden, viz. “ Whatsoever doth 4 or may unjustly hinder our own or our neigha « bour's wealth or outward estate." III. Make application.
I. I am to lhew what is required in this command, And,
First, God requires us in this command by law. ful means to procure and further our own wealth and outward estate. We may take up this in these seven things.
1. We should look unto God for things necessary and convenient for us. Here we should begin our care about temporal things; for he it is that giveth thee power to get wealth, Deut. viii. 18. and without his appointment our endeavours will not fucceed, Psal. cxxvii. All the creatures depend on God's provision, as caged birds on those to whose care they are committed, Prov. xxx. 8. And so our Lord teaches us to pray every day, Give us this day our daily bread, Matth. vi. 11. feeing God has comprehended this in the promise.
2. A provident care and study to get things neceffary and suitable to our condition, 1 Tim. v. 8. To pray and cast off means is presumption; to use means, but negelect praying and looking to the Lord, is Atheism. We should keep the middle way betwixt carelefsness and anxiety, and hold in the way of moderate care in these things; for we are not to expect to be like the lilies that toil not, neither spin, and yet are clothed.
*3. For this cause every body must have a lawful calling and employment, and duly use it, that fo he may be useful to himself and worth his room in the world, and not like mice and rats, good for nothing but to devour what others labour for. Adam in innocency had a calling, that of dressing and keeping the garden of Eden, Gen. ii. 15.; and fo had his fons afterwards, though born to greater eflate than any now can pretend to, the one being a keeper of sheep, and the other a tiller of the ground, Gen. iv. 2. But we must be sure it be a lawful calling, Eph. iv. 28. But what avails it if it be not duly used? Therefore God requires of