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with Innocence and Integrity both of Body and Mind.
So much for the Second Thing I proposed to caution you against, namely, the Seeking or Embracing the Occasions for this Sin, by lustful Looks or Conversation. - III. Í come now to the Third Thing which I proposed; namely, to caution you against all mental Uncleanness, by Looking and Lusting after Women in your Heart. There is nothing more common in all Authors, and in all Languages, than for Words of Seeing and Looking to be used not only for Seeing and Looking with the Eyes of the Body, but for Looking and Contemplating with the Eye of the Mind. Now this differs from what we just now spoke of, in regard that that related all to Bodily Looking and Conversation, but this to the Thoughts of the Mind; and is principally the Work of the Imagination and Me mory; a Forge, in which the Devil first-contrives, Frames and Models all Vices, and often Experiments and puts them in Execution in the Sight of God, when the World abroad knows nothing of the Matter. And there is no Sort of Vices perhaps of which there is more tranfacted in this inward Shop of Wickedness, than this Sort of Uncleanness, the Lufting and committing Fornications and Adulteries in the Heart. It was therefore an Improvement worthy of our Saviour, to vindicate this principal part of this Law, from the defective Glosses and Interpretations of the Jewish Doctors. For though it must be confessed that outward Gross Acts of Uncleanness have many more Aggravations, to encrease the Sinfulness of them, than these only mental Impurities have;
particularly in that they both give a greater Scandal to the World, and engage another Partner in the Crime; yet that these inward Pollutions too defile the Person, and make him Guilty in the Sight of God, and have abundance of Mischievous Consequences, will appear, if we consider these two or three Things. 1. First, As to all that I formerly reprefented to you, concerning the Spiritual and Internal Dangers of the grofs Acts of Uncleanness, bating the Guilt of involving others in the Crime, it is all true likewise of these mental Impurities. They are most directly opposite to the Spirit of Christianity; they are certain Signs of an unregenerate Carnal Mind. To be Carnally minded is Death, says the Apostle, Rom. viii. 6. but to be Spiritually minded is Life and Peace ; because the carnal Mind is Enmity against God. And elsewhere he tells us that They who are Christ's have Crucified the Flejh with the Affe&tions and Lusts (a). These mental Impurities are very great Enemies to Faith and Repentance, and the Love of God and our Neighbour ; they do as much banish the Spirit of Grace, and tie down the Heart to carnal Objects; they make us as negligent and sluggish in all Duties, and engage us in as many sinful Designs ; they are as tenacious and hard to get rid of; they are as odious in the sight of God, and have as bad Effects upon the inner Man, bringing as great a Sottishness and Senfuality upon his Spirit, and filling his Mind with as bad Ideas ; they are as great Pull-backs in Devotion, and occasion as great wandring and absence of Mind in all good Exercises; they cast down the Spirit, and damp it's (a) Gal. v, 24. - R 4
Hope Hope in God as much as those other groffer Acts. 2. As to the other external evil Confequences, which they do not directly reach, they are yet far from being clear or innocent of them, lending an Head to contrive them, and an Heart like a Fruitful Womb to conceive them, and bring them to Maturity. So that whatever Mischiefs the gross Acts of Uncleanness do cause or Occasion, mental Impurity is the Cause of that Cause, and the Occasion of that Occasionif it does not actually Ruin the Man's Body, and Estate, and Reputation, and Posterity, it puts him upon those other grosier Sins which do ; So that in some Sort the impure Mind is like the Principal in a Tranfgreffion, and the External Acts are like his Tools and Slaves. The impure Mind prepares the Soil, and lows the Seed of those grofs Vices, which afterwards bring a plentiful Harvest of Sin and Misery; which no doubt will be laid to it's Charge. 3. It is no small Aggravation of mental Impurities, that there is commonly more Expence of Time and Thought about them, than about the grosser Acts ; 'a longer Contrivance, a more leisurely Contemplation, a more permanent sinful Delectation; whereas the grosser Acts are momentany and sudden, like a Bee, when it Stings, which immediately flies away, and leaves the · wounded Person to the smart of Sorrow and Re
pentance. In this then the mental Impurity is rather more guilty than some sudden gross Acts, as Murder is a more heinous Sin than Manslaughter ; the one being guilty of a leisurely Compassing and Imagining, and the other of a sudden Acting the Death of his Neighbour.
But to prevent Mistakes, I must again put you in Mind, that from this mental Impurity, and all the evil Consequences of it, I except those sudden evil Thoughts which are just presented to the Imagination, and not permitted to harbour there ; but are immediately thrown out, without obtaining any Aflent from the Heart. In that Case I judge they are Temptations, not Sins ; and that the sudden expelling them is a great Act of Virtue. The only mental Impurity then which I mean, when I caution you thus against it, is that which is joined with an inward Assent, and leifurely Delectation, which truly constitutes the carnal Mind, and is the Original of other impure Contrivances and Actions.
Thus now I have done what I proposed, in cautioning you against the several Transgressions of the Seventh Commandment, mentioned in the Text ; Namely, the gross Acts of Uncleanness ; the Seeking and Embracing Occasions of them; and mental Impurity. But before I dismiss the Subject, there is some Use by wáy of Exhortation, I must make of what has been said upon it, and I fall quickly have done.
Upon Occasion then of the Duties here recommended, let me exhort you first to humble your selves under a Sense of the manifold Transgressions of them. I might here justly take up the Lamentation of the Prophet er?miah, bewailing the Judgments of God for the like Sins of his People, Fer. ix, 1. O that my Head were Waters, and mine Eyes a Fountain of Tears, that I might weep Day and Night for the pain of the Daughter of my. People. o that I had in the Wilderness a Lodging-Place of Way-faring Men, that I might leave my People and go from them,
for they be all Adulterers, an Assembly of treacherous Men. The Sins against this Seventh Commandment are so daringly committed, as if they were no Sins at all ; Men are not ashamed of them ; they declare their Sin as Sodom, and hide it not. One can hardly reprove the gross Acts of this Sort of Vices, without running the hazard of having his Reproofs made the more Ridiculous of the two. And if it is thus with the gross Acts, what shall we say of the Mental Impurities ? In this respect certainly 2011 have Sinned, and have come short of the Glory of God. Who can fay, I have made my Heart clean, I am pure from my Sin? Alas, if none are to see God, but The Pure in Heart, as our Saviour describes, have we not all Reason to be afraid that we shall not be admitted to that Blessed Vision ? But if we have not the Purity of Innocence, let us endeavour at least after the Purity of Repentance. Let us wash away our Sins in Tears of godiy Sorrow; and pray to God with the Psalmist, Pl. li. 9. Hide thy Face from my Sins, and blot out all mine Iniquities ; Create' in me a clean Heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me. And to our Prayers let us add our fervent Endeavours for acquiring a Spirit of Purity ; for it is not lazy Prayers that God hears; it is not such Prayers as I remember St Austin tells us of himself, that in his Youth before his Conversion, he used to pray to God to bestow upon himn the Gift of Chattity, but he added secretly in his own Mind, Hot yet awhile. If we are come to a through, full, and immediate Desire after Pu. rity, and pray heartily for it, and endeavour diligently after it, God will bless both our Prayers