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fome great Obftruction in the Patient, yet when thofe Obftructions are removed, or the Dofe encreafed, will work at laft to fome Purpose.
To go on then firft with the Spiritual Dangers of the Sins of Uncleanness; there are on this Account these few Things, if Time would permit, I would offer to your Confideration.
1. That in their own Nature they are altogether inconfiftent with the Spirit of Christianity. 2. That they banish the Spirit of Grace. 3. That they are commonly attended with a long Train of other Sins, both of Omiffion and Commiffion.
4. That they are very Tenacious, and hard to be overcome.
5. That they involve the Ruin of others as well as of our felves.
6. That upon all these Accounts, in all the Catalogues which are given us in Scripture of Damning Sins, they never fail to make a Part.
7. Lastly, They have very bad Effects on the Understanding, Memory, Executive Powers, and good Refolutions and Endeavours of all forts.
But I perceive Time will not allow my Handling of these Things as they ought; and therefore recommending what has been faid to your ferious Meditation, and God's Bleffing, I shall refer what remains of this Subject to a further Opportunity.
Now to God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, let us return, as is due, all Praife, Honour and Glory, Might, Power and Dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
MATT. V. 27.
Ye have heard, that it was faid by them of old
The Second Sermon on this Text.
HE Meaning of these Words I fhewed you in a former Discourse, to be, as if our Saviour had faid to his Hearers, "Ye have been taught by your Doctors, that the Seventh Com"mandment forbids the grofs Acts of Uncleanness; "but there is a great deal more ye must learn from "it, if ye intend to be my Difciples, namely, that "whofoever either outwardly Looks on a Woman "with a luftful Eye, or inwardly contemplates ber "in his Mind, with a lustful Heart, though he "fhould go no further, he is already guilty of the "Breach of the Seventh Commandment with her."
From these Words there were three Things I proposed to caution you againft. Namely,
1. Against all grofs Acts of Uncleanne's. 2. Against all Seeking Occafion of this Sin, efpecially by lustful Looks and Conversation.
3. Against all Mental Uncleanness, by Looking and Lufting after Women in your Heart.
As to the First, the Cautioning you against the grofs Acts of Uncleanness, there are Three Sorts of Dangers, I told you, I intended to have laid before you of that Sort of Sins, but had not then Time to do it, and fhall therefore now go on where we left off. The Three Sorts of Dangers
1. The Spiritual and Internal Dangers.
All which I fhall endeavour now to represent.
1. The First I would offer to your Confideration is, that in their own Nature, these Sins are altogether inconfiftent with the Spirit of Chriftianity. There is nothing more contrary to Repentance, and that Spirit of Mourning for Sin, and for the Abfence of Grace, and Peregrination from our Lord, than thofe Unlawful Pleafures are, which bewitch the Mind with falfe Joys, and make it utterly forget it's Condition and true Circumstances. There is nothing more contrary to Faith, which feeds itself with the Promises of an unseen Happiness; for these unlawful Pleafures incline us to fet up our Reft here. There is nothing more contrary to the Love of God, for that would raise the Affections to thofe Things which are in Heaven but these clip their Wings, and clog them that they cannot mount Up; they vitiate our Palate, like much eating of Trafh, that we cannot relish wholfom Food. And there is nothing more contrary to the Love of our Neighbour; not only those Neighbours whom we involve in the fame Sin and
Guilt, and are the Occafion, for ought we know, of their Eternal Perdition; but of all our other Neighbours, whom we are very apt to neglect; thefe Unlawful Pleasures fo Drowning the Thoughts of others, and of all the Duties we owe to them, that all must lie neglected. In fhort, as the Apoftle fays, The Carnal Mind is Enmity to God.
2. Another Confideration I would offer to fhew the Spiritual Danger of these Carnal Pleasures, is, that they banish the Spirit of Grace. But ye will fay, do not all Sins, at least all finful Habits, the fame? Why then is this particularly laid to the charge of this fort of Sins? I answer, that all Sins are not equally obftructive of Grace. Sins of Ignorance and Error are not fo Obftructive of it as Wilful Sins; Nor Sins of Omiffion as Sins of Commiffion. And in general whatsoever Sins draw away the Heart moft, and indifpofe most for Prayer and Meditation, and have the moft of a bewitching and enfoaring Faculty; these, till they are repented of, and amended, are the greatest Enemies to Grace. Now there is no fort of Sins take fafter hold, or more enfnare, and are harder to get rid of. This Solomon found and complains of, from fad Experience. I find, fays he, more bitter, than Death, the Woman whofe Heart is Snares and Nets, and her Hands as Bands. Eccl. vii. 26. The Schoolmen deliver it as a general Doctrine of all Mortal Sin, that it deftroys Grace; and that our Church, after the Example of the Sacred Writers, reckons this fort of Sins of the Mortal Kind, fhe teaches us in our Litany, where we pray for deliverance from Fornication and all other Deadly Sin.
3. Thefe Sins of Uncleanness are commonly attended with a great many other Sins, both of Omiffion and Commiffion.
1. First, As to the Sins of Omiffion; these Sins take fuch violent hold of the Heart, and do fo Drown the Thoughts of other Things, that whereever they Reign, no good Bufinefs can be Minded. If a Man was before engaged ever fo eagerly in any good Thing, fo foon as his Mind comes to be poffeffed with thefe irregular Paffions, all is left at Sixes and Sevens, Pendent opera interrupta; his own Bufinefs, and every one's under his Charge, is utterly neglected. Nay, which is more, if he has a Mind to shake off this Sluggishness, and. ftirs up himself ever so refolutely to Duty, he fhall find all his Endeavours fo retarded and clogged with his Lufts, like fo many dead Weights, that he can make no confiderable Progrefs, nor either contrive or execute any thing as he ought. And the Reafon is plain, because whatever he fets about, his Mind is abfent, his Heart is drawn away after other Objects, and fo he minds his Bufiness but by halves, and it profpers accordingly. He's like Sampon coming out of Delilah's Lap, with his Hair fhaved, and his Strength gone, his good Parts benummed, his Endeavours after good Things all Dormant, and in fhort, quite loft as to all good and useful Purposes of Life. This Difference St Paul obferves between those whom he calls Widows indeed, and another fort that live in carnal Pleafures. 1 Tim. v. 5. 6. The one minds diligently the Duties moft proper for one in her Circumftances, particularly the Duties of Devotion; She trufts in God, fays he, and continues in Supplications and Prayers Night and Day. VOL. II.