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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, 1 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 niembers of Christ, shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an barlot?' 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, il 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 our own bodies. And God hath punished this sin severely, in Sampson, in David, in Solomon; the greatest, the wisest, the bravest of men. It was 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 Basilièr Aõpor to prince Henry, particularly observes that this sin is often punished with want of lawful issue, or the death of those we have; 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 bimself 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. bad 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 tbe most remarkable corrupters of the marriage bed? But I will not take up time in this. I refer you, for the heinousness of this sin, and God's punishments upon it, to the Homily against adultery, and The whole duty of man, upon this head. 1
I shall only observe, that there is a kind of evil spirits, as our 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 our reason, to lay aside the care of the soul, which is eternal, to gratify its beastly desires, which are but for a moment? But the guilt never dies, tho' the body be laid in the dust. How foolish then, how 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 binder 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 whore, 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 ther 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 diviné 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 i Ezek. xvi. 30. See a further description of this, Prov. vii. And then read an account of that which is opposite to it, the true wisdom, in the vijith chapter. St. Paul said, i Cor. ix. 27. 'Irun, 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, be 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 : Por, 'even unto this present hour (says he, i 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 bands', &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 wigour of their body, and strength of their constitution, as an excuse for gratifying their lusts ; which, by these means, grow too 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 ad. vised 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 wbole 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 babits; 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 bim, by earnest prayer, and a careful attendance upon all bis holy ordinarices: And then he will not fail us; we shall presently perceive that we have gajoed 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 wc 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 op. portunity?
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 wbich I confine myself. And I will now go on to consider the other paint, 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 dispepse 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. xxix. 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
marriage betwixt Christ and his church; even as to the number two, and 10 more. Eph. V. 31, 32. . They two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church. This parallel is made up by two, being joined in one; but not in one being joined to many; it can hardly be said to be one with many. There is a rivalship of the many to that one, and there is a dispersion of the love of the one among many; and they cannot all partake of the one alike. This is no perfect union; like the union of one and one, which is a full perfect union ; and a true emblem of the union betwixt Christ and the Church : 'My love, my ondefiled is but one,' Cant, vi. 9.
The first who broke in upon the original constitution was La. mech, of the posterity of Cain, who took two wives, Gen. iv. 19. But we find not that it prevailed in the posterity of Seth; for, at the flood, Noah, and his three sons, had but each of them one wife, who made up the eight persous in the ark.
And even when polygamy was most in use, it was thought, though (in strictness) lawful, because then dispensed with, yet an imperfect, a miserable, and inconvenient state. Therefore Laban adjures Jacob thus, Gen. xxxi. 50. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters,
God is witness,' &c. And Lev. xviii. 18. It is written, • Thou shalt not take a wife to her sister, or, as our margent reads it, One wife to another.' This was a more perfect state, though the other, ' for the hardness of their hearts,' was dispensed with, till Christ came to restore all things, who gives a plain rule, Mark x. 11. against polygamy, when he made it adultery to put away one wife, and marry another. For, if polygamy be lawful, how comes it to be adultery to marry another wife, whether he put away the first or not? To put away a wife unjustly, is a crime; but it is not adultery; the adultery is the marrying of another, while the first wife is alive.
• Let every man have his own wife, and every woman her own husband,' 1 Cor. vii. 2. and the reason given for it, ver. 2, 3, and 5, is only applicable to monogamy. If it be said, that that was for the time to come; but did it dissolve the polygamies before contracted ? I suppose not; so that, if a man, wbo had several wives, were converted to the Christian religion, it did not divorce from them all, or from all of them but one; but that he might keep those wives which he married before his conversion; yet such a man should not be preferred to any office in the ministerial function, and this I take to be no improbable construction of those commands, 1 Tim. iii. 2. and 12, that .bishops and deacons must be the husbands of one wife,' that is, though polygamy did not incapaci. tate a man to become a Christian, yet it did to be a clergyman; at least it was so thought expedient by the apostle,
And from the apostles times, to this day, there is no one doctrine of Cbristianity, which has descended by a more universal consent, and uninterrupted tradition, than this of 'monogamy, polygamy having never been allowed in any Christian church or nation : and yet
against the doctrine of Christ, as understood and practised by the apostles, and the church of that age, and all the ages since, our tb n beaux would oppose their little criticisms; and cover themselves with cobwebs; who one day, if they repent not, will call to the hills and mountains to fall upon them, and hide them from their judge, and their guilt. Who now, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned of Christ, Eph. iv. 19. For, chap. v. 5, this ye know, that no whoremonger (@ógr@ it is, not only posyès adulterer) nor unclean person bath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.'
THE PARABLE OF THE THREE JACKDAWS, &c.
Printed in the Year 1696. Quarto, containing four Pages.
great disorder, about chusing a successor to the eagle, whose advanced years portended the fall of his scepter; and the disputes, which harpened amongst the several pretenders, did mightily per. plex the kingdom of birds, who were in doubt, whether the eagle had any genuine offspring. The magpies, who had an inveterate malice against the black-birds, and nightingales, because they were better liked than then selves, on the account of their harmonious notes, and innocent nature, improved the opportunity,to makeinterest with the jackdaws aud cuckows, to settle the succession on a poted bird, which wa- reckoned brother to the eagle, because hatched in the same nest ; but a mortal enemy to the nightingales, and blackbirds, and accused of a confederacy with the storks and kites, to betray the winged nation to the birds of prey. The magpies were frequently told of this, and remonstrances were entered against their proceedings, as destructive to the whole volatile empire; but they turned the deaf ear to every thing, that was said to them; for being used to feed upon carrion, they delighted in slaughter. In process of time, the eagle died, and his brother, the friend to the magpies, succeeded. As soon as he mounted the throne, the mag. pies chattered for joy, the jackdaws cawed, and the cuckows made protestatious of loyalty in their usual note; but he' was scarcely seated on the throne, when the region of the air was filled with birds of prey ; the screech-owls began to quarrel with the jackdaws, and the cormorants pretended a right to the nests of the mag.