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fome great Obstruction in the Patient, yet when those Obstructions are removed, or the Dose encreased, will work at last to some Purpose.
To go on then first 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 Consideration.
1. That in their own Nature they are altogether inconsistent 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 Omission and Commision.
4. That they are very Tenacious, and hard to be overcome.
5. That they involve the Ruin of others as well as of our selves. 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 Resolutions and Endeavours of all sorts. But I perceive Time will not allow my
Handling of these Things as they ought; and therefore recommending what has been said to your serious Meditation, and God's Blessing, 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 Praise
, Honour and Glory, Might, Power and Dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
MATT. V. 27. Ye have heard, that it was said by them of old
Time, Thou shalt not commit Adultery. Ver, 28. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh
on a Woman to Lust after her, häth committed Adultery with her already in his Heart.
The Second Sermon on this Text.
you in a former Discourse, to be, as if our Saviour had said to his Hearers, “ Ye have been
taught by your Doctors, that the Seventh Com“ mandment forbids the gross Acts of Uncleanness; “ but there is a great deal more ye must learn from
it, if ye intend to be my Disciples, namely, that “ wholoever either outwardly Looks on a Woman " with a lustful Eye, or inwardly contemplates ber “ in his Mind, with a lustful Heart, though he " should 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 against. Namely,
1. Against all gross Acts of Uncleanness.
2. Against all Seeking Occasion of this Sin, especially by luftful Looks and Conversation.
3. Against all Mental Uncleanness, by Looking and Lusting 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 shall therefore now go on where we left off. The Three Sorts of Dangers
1. The Spiritual and Internal Dangers.
1. The First I would offer to your Confideration is, that in their own Nature, these Sins are altogether inconsistent with the Spirit of Christianity. There is nothing more contrary to Repentance, and that Spirit of Mourning for Sin, and for the Absence of Grace, and Peregrination from our Lord, than those Unlawful Pleasures are, which bewitch the Mind with false 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 Pleasures incline us to set up our Rest here. There is nothing more contrary to the Love of God, for that would raise the Affections to those 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 Trash, that we cannot relish wholsom Food. And there is nothing more contrary to the Love of our Neighbour ; not only those Neighbours whom we involve in the same sin and
Guilt, and are the Occasion, for ought we know, of their Eternal Perdition; but of all our other Neighbours, whom we are very apt to neglect; these Unlawful Pleasures fo Drowning the Thoughts of others, and of all the Duties we owe to them, that all must lie neglected. In short, as the Apostle says, The Carnal Mind is Enmity to God.
2. Another Consideration I would offer to shew the Spiritual Danger of these Carnal Pleasures, is, that they banish the Spirit of Grace. But ye will say, do not all Sins, at least all sinful Habits, the fame? Why then is this particularly laid to the charge of this sort of Sins ? I answer, that all Sins are not equally obstructive of Grace. Sins of Ignorance and Error are not so Obstructive of it as Wilful Sins ; Nor Sins of Omission as Sins of Commission. And in general whatsoever Sins draw away the Heart most, and indispose most for Prayer and Meditation, and have the most of a bewitching and enfoaring Faculty; these, till they are repented of, and amended, are the greatest Enemies to Grace. Now there is no sort of Sins take faster hold, or more ensnare, and are harder to get rid of. This Solomon found and complains of, froin sad Experience. I find, says he, more bitter, than Death, the woman whojë 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 destroys Grace ; and that our Church, after the Example of the Sacred Writers, reckons this sort of Sins of the Mortal Kind, she teaches us in our Litany, where we pray for deliverance from Fornication and all other Deadly Sin.
3. These Sins of Uncleanness are commonly attended with a great many other Sins, both of Omision and Commission.
1. First, As to the Sins of Omision; these Sins take such violent hold of the Heart, and do so Drown the Thoughts of other Things, that whereever they Reign, no good Business can be Minded. If a Man was before engaged ever so eagerly in any good Thing, so soon as his Mind comes to be poffefsed with these irregular Paffions, all is left at Sixes and Sevens, Pendent opera interrupta ; his own Business, 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 . stirs up himself ever so resolutely to Duty, he shall find all his Endeavours fo retarded and clogged with his Lusts, like so many dead Weights, that he can make no considerable Progress, nor either contrive or execute any thing as he ought. And the Reason is plain, because whatever he fets about, his Mind is absent, his Heart is drawn away after other Objects, and so he minds his Business but by halves, and it prospers accordingly. He's like Sampson coming out of Delilah’s Lap, with his Hair shaved, and his Strength gone, his good Parts benummed, his Endeavours after good Things all Dormant, and in short, quite loft as to all good and useful Purposes of Life. This Difference St Paul observes between those whom he calls Widows indeed, and another sort that live in carnal Pleasures. 1 Tim. v. 5. 6. The one minds diligently the Duties most proper for one in her Circumstances, particularly the Duties of Devotion; She trusts in God, says he, and continues in Supplications and Prayers Night and Day. VOL. II.