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flame of life that do not feed it. We should then put on bowels of mercy and charity, in imitation of Job, chap. xxxi. 16. &c. It is observable, that the fentence against the wicked runs on unmercifulness to the poor members of Christ, Matth. xxv.41. &c.
2dly, By way of commission. And fomen are guilty, ? (1.) As they strike against the living of others, their means and way of fubfiftence. This goes under the general name of oppression, a crying lin, Ezek. xxii. 7. Thus this command is broken by extortion, landlords racking of their lands so as labourers cannot live on them, tenants taking others lands over their heads sometimes to the ruin of honest tamilies, masters not allowing fervants whereupon to live; and generally by all kind of oppression, which in God's account is murder, Il. iii. 14. 15. Micah jii. 3.
(2.) As they strike against the body and life itself. Thus men are guilty by fighting, striking, and wounding others, Exod. xxi. 18. 22. How many have been guilty as murderers in the fight of men, that have had no design to go the full length, when they fell to fighting ?
Persecution is a complication of all these; and therefore the better the cause is, the worse is the deed. It is a main engine of him that was a murderer from the beginning. And God will reckon with them as murderers at the great day, Matth. xxv. 41. 42. &*c.
Lasily, Men may be guilty of the blood of others otherwise. As,
(1.) By sinful occasioning in others those things whereby our neighbour fins against his own soul, Quod eft caufa cause, est etiam caufa causati. So people fin by occasioning in others discontent, fretful. nefs, immoderate forrow, 6c, i Sam. i. 6. Wherefore we should beware of that, as we would not be guilty of their blood.
(2.) By all the ways we said men co-operate to the deltroying of others fouls, they may be gụilty of
killing others bodies: as by commanding, counfelling, or any wise procuring the taking away of mens living or lives unjustly. So David murdered Uriah by the sword of the Arnmonites. So informers against the Lord's people in time of persecution are murderers in God's fight, Ezek. xxii. 9. Yea, the approving or any way consenting to it makes men guilty, Acts viji. 1.
Now, Sirs, examine yourselves in this matter ; and who will not be brought in blood-guilty, guilty of their own and their neighbours blood, the blood of their fouls and bodies ! God's law is spiritual, and fees the guilt of blood where we plead Not guilty. Let us be humbled and convinced, and apply to the blood of Christ, that we may be washed from it.
Of the seventh Commandment.
EXODUS XX. 14.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
of our own and our neighbour's chastity and purity. God is a hoiy God, and the devil'is an unclean spirit; we mult therefore ftudy purity in all manner of conversation. Our Lord puts this command before the fixth, Mark X. 19. because our chastity should be as dear to us as our life, and we should be as much afraid of that which defiles the body as that which destroys it.
This command is a negative precept, and expreffly forbids adultery: but under that is comprehended all manner of uncleanness whatsoever, with all the causes and occasions leading thereunto. And the positive part of this command is, that we must preserve our own and our neighbour's chastity by all due means,
In discoursing further, I shall consider,
I. Our first business is to consider what is required in this command; and the catechism, agreeably to holy scripture, tells us, that it “ requires the pre“ fervation of our own and our neighbour's chastity “ in heart, speech, and behaviour.” The duties of this command may therefore be reduced to two general heads. 1. The preservation of our own chaftity, 2. The preservation of that of our neighbour.
FIRST, This command requires us to preserve our own chastity and purity. There is a twofold chastity. 1. In single life; when it is led in purity, it is like the angelical ; when in impurity, it is devilish. 2. There is conjugal chastity, when married persons keep themselves within the bounds of the law of that state. This lies in two things. (1.) With respect to all others, keeping themselves pure and uncorrupted. (2.) With respect to anc, ther, keeping themselves within the bounds of Christian fobriety and moderation. In whatsoever ftate we are, this is the will of God, even our fančtification, that we should abstain from fornication ; that every one of us should know how to poljefs his vessel in janctification and honour, not in the luft of concupiscence, 1 Theff. iv. 3. 4. 5.
Now, there is a threefold chastity required of us, and to be preserved by us.
First, Chastity in heart, 1 Theff. iv. 5. forecited, . God knows the heart, and therefore his laws reach the heart, and he will judge for heart-fins. We mult keep our minds pure, that the thoughts be not led afiray and corrupted. Hence Job made a covenant zeith his eyes, chap. xxxi. 1. And we must keep our affections pure, that they be not vitiated. Job faw
this when he appeals to God, If mine heart have been deceired by a woman, ver. 9. This is co be
This is to be pure before God, who seeth in secret, and searcheth the hidden things of darkness. The least glance of the heart over this hedge is a crime.
Secondly, Chastity in fpeech, Col. iv. 6. Let your speech be always with grace, seafoned with salt. As there is tongue-murder, there is tongue-adultery. But our speeches must favour of fobriety and purity; and so they will if the heart be pure ; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, The Holy Ghost in the scriptures gives us a pattern to be imitated in our speeches concerning those things that have a natural turpitude with them, vailing the same in modeft expressions.
Thirdly, Chastity in behaviour, which comprehends both the keeping of the body undefiled by any gross act, and a modest carriage every way, 1 Pet. iii. 2. Modesty must appear in the whole of our behaviour, that the purity of the heart may shine forth thereby, as the candle gives light through the lantern.
Now, as this threefold chastity is required here, so the froper means for preserving it are also required,
1. Watching over our senses. These are the ports at which Satan breaks in and ruins people's purity. The heart and the senses are like a candle-wick, at the end of which lies a heap of powder. Objects fet fire to the senses at the wick, and these carry it along to the heart, where the corruption lies as a heap of powder. Particularly,
(1.) The eyes, Job xxxi. 1. These were the gates at which fin first entered into the world, and these have been the gates of destruction to many, whereby their fame, body, and souls have been destroyed together. It is remarkable that the Sodomites :vere smitten with blindness, who took so little care to watch their eyes while they had the use of them, Curious glances of the eye have been fatal to many, as to David, 2 Sam. xi. 2. and to Joseph's mistress, Gen. xxxix. 7.
(2.) The ears. The corruption of the heart makes people liable to be chained with Satan's fetters by the ears as well as the eyes; as appears from Prov. vii. 2 I. 22. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the fattering of her lips the forced him. He goeth, after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the paughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks. And curious listening to rotten speeches, or whatsoever has a tendency to corrupt the heart, is to open the door to let out our purity.
2. Temperance, a fober use of meat, drink, sleep, and recreations. Hence our Lord warns his difciples, Luke xxi. 34. Take heed to yourselves left at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness. Temperance is a necessary hedge for chastity, and the breaking over that hedge is a near way to facrifice the other. See Acts xxiv. 24. 25. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Chrift. And as be reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgement to come, Felix trembled. Why did the apottle chule that subject before these great persons? Why, truly it was very fit. Historians tell us, that this Drú. filla was a most libidinous woman, and had left her husband Aziz king of Emeneffa ; and while he was yet living, she was married to Felix, who was taken with her beauty; and so they lived together in adultery. The body being pampered becomes a luxuriant beast; and those that cram their bellies with meat or drink, are but: one remove from and in near disposition to filthiness; for one sensuality makes way for another.
On this account it is that fasting and prayer may be to people a duty of this command; for as fome devils are not caft out, so some are not held out but by tasting and prayer. They that would keep them