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an unkindness and injury is this to God, that when he that dwelleth in the highest heavens condescendeth to take up a dwelling in thy heart, thou shouldst bring these toads and snakes into the same room with him. Take heed lest he take it unkindly and be gone. He hath said he will dwell with the humble and contrite heart; but where said he, I will dwell in a lustful heart? 3. Think how unfit it makes thee for prayer, or any holy address to God. What a shame, and fear, and deadness it casts upon thy spirit. 4. And think how it tends to worse. Lust tendeth to actual filthiness, and that to hell: cherish not the eggs if thou wouldst have none of the brood. It is an easy step, from a lustful heart to a defiled body, and a shorter step thence to everlasting horror than you imagine. As St. James saith, “Every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of his own lust and enticed ; then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death".” “If ye sow to the flesh, of the flesh ye shall reap corruption *.” Remember that lust is the spawn of sin, and sin is the way to hell. Direct. xiv. ‘Be sure to keep up a holy, constant government over thy thoughts.” Suffer them not to go after tempting, filthy, sensual things. As soon as ever a thought of lust comes into thy mind, abhor it and cast it out. Abundance of the cure and of thy safety lieth upon thy thoughts. They that let their thoughts run uncontrolled, and feed on filthiness, are already fornicators in the heart; and are hatching the cockatrice eggs; and no wonder if from thoughts they proceed to deeds. O what a deal of uncleanness is committed by the thoughts, which people are little ashamed of, because they are unseen of men ' If the thoughts of many were open to beholders, what wantonness and lust would appear in many adorned sepulchres! Even in the time of holy worship; when once such give the unclean spirit possession of their thoughts, how hardly is he cast out? they can scarce look a comely person in the face without some vicious thought. If Hierome confess, that in his wilderness his thoughts were running among the ladies at Rome, what may we think of them that feed such filthy fantasies? Say not, you cannot rule your thoughts: you * Jam. i. 13, 14. * Gal. vi. 8.
can do much if you will, and more than you do. If money and honour can make an ungodly preacher command his thoughts to holy things, in the studies of divinity through much of his life, you may see that your thoughts are much in your power. But of this before. Direct. xv. ‘If other means serve not, open thy case to some friend, and shame thyself to him,’ as I advised under the former title. Confession, and shame, and advice will help thee. Direct. xvi. “Above all go to Christ for help, and beg his Spirit, and give up thy heart to better things:’ O, if it were taken up with God, and heaven, and the holy life that is necessary thereto, these things are so great, and holy, and sweet, and of such concernment to thee, that they would leave little room for lust within thee, and would make thee abhor it as contrary to those things which have thy heart. No such cure for any carnal love as the love of God; nor for fleshly lusts, as a spiritual, renewed, heavenly mind. Thou wouldst then tell satan that God had taken up all the room, and thy narrow heart is too little for him alone; and that there is no room for lust, or the thoughts that serve it. A true conversion which turneth the heart to God, doth turn it from this with other sins, though some sparks may still be unextinguished. It was once noted that many turn from other sects to the Epicureans, but none from the Epicureans to any other sect: the reason was because nature is inclined to sensuality in all, and when it is confirmed by use and doctrine, philosophy is too weak to master it. But Christ calleth and saveth epicures, and publicans, and harlots, and hath cleansed many such by his grace, which teacheth men to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world.” Philostratus tells us of a sudden change upon one Isaeus, that turned him from luxury to exceeding temperance: so that when one asked him, ‘Is not yonder a handsome woman o' he answered, “The diseases of my eyes are cured;’ when they asked him which dish was the pleasantest, he answered, ‘Desii curare;’ ‘I have done regarding such things:’ and told them the reason, that marvelled at his change, “Because he found that he did but gather fruits out of Tantalus' garden: they are “deceitful lusts “:” and satan himself will reproach thee for ever, if he can deceive thee by them. As Alexander when he had taken Darius, his gallantry, and sumptuous houses, and furniture, reproaches him with it saying, ‘Hoccine eratimperare” Was this to rule 2 So satan would shew thee thy lusts and say, Was this to be a Christian and seek salvation?
PART VI. Directions against sinful Ercess of Sleep.
Of this, something is said already, Chap. v. Part 1., and more afterwards in the Directions against Idleness. Therefore I shall say but little now. 1. I shall shew you when sleep is excessive. 2. Wherein the sinfulness of it consisteth. 3. What to do for the cure of it. I. Sleep is given us for the necessary remission of the animal operations, and of the labour or motion of the exterior parts, by the quieting of the senses, or shutting them up; that the natural and vital operations may have the less disturbance. It is necessary, H. To our rest. 2. To concoction. Therefore weariness and want of concoction are the chief indications, to tell us how much is needful for us. Sleep is sinfully excessive, 1. When it is voluntarily more than is needful to our health. 2. When it is unseasonable, at forbidden times. It is not all weariness or sleepiness that maketh sleep lawful or needful: for some is contracted by laziness, and some by many diseases, and some by other constant causes which make men almost always weary. Nor is it all want of concoction that sleep is a remedy for : some may be caused by excess of eating, which must be cured a better way; and many diseases may cause it, which require other cure. Therefore none must indulge excess upon these pretences. Nor must a present sense of the pleasure of sleeping, or the displeasure of waking be the judge : for sluggards may think they feel it do them good, and that early rising doth them hurt; but this good is but their present ease, and this hurt is but a little trouble to their head, and * Eph. iv. 22.
eyes, and lazy flesh, just at the time. But reason and experience must judge what measure is best for your health, and that you must not exceed. To some five hours is enough : to the ordinary sort of healthful persons six hours is enough: to many weak, valetudinary persons seven hours is needful : to sick persons I am not to give Directions. 2. Sleep is excessive at that particular time when it is unseasonable. As 1. When we are asleep when we should be doing some necessary business which calls for present dispatch. 2. Or when we should be hearing the sermon, or praying, in public or private. In a word, when it puts by any greater duty which we should then perform. As, when the disciples slept when Christ was in his agony: “Could ye not watch with me one hour? watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation *.” It is a foppery and abuse of God and ourselves, to think that the breaking of our sleep is a thing that of itself pleaseth God: or that rising to pray at midnight is more acceptable to God than at another hour: usually such rising to pray is sinful, 1. Because it is done in an erroneous conceit that God accepts it better than in the day time. 2. Because they waste time in dressing and undressing. 3. Or else hurt their health by cold in the winter, and so lose more time than they redeem by shortening their lives. 4. And usually they are more drowsy and unfit. But to rise in the night to prayer is meet, on some extraordinary occasion that calls for it: as to pray with, or for a dying person, or such like; or when an extraordinary fervor and fitness prepareth us for it; and when we can stay up when we are up, and not lose time in going to bed again. But ordinarily that way is to be chosen that best redeemeth time; and that is, to consider just how much sleep our health requireth, and to take it if we can together without interruption, and to rise then and go about our duties. But those that cannot sleep in the night, must redeem that time as discretion shall direct them. It is the voluntariness of the excess that the sinfulness principally consisteth in : and therefore the more voluntary the more sinful. In a lethargy or caros it is no sin: and when long watching, or some bodily weakness or distemper * Matt. xxvi. 40,41.
make it almost unavoidable, the sin is the smaller: therefore in case of long watching and heaviness, Christ partly excused his disciples, saying, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak'.” But when it cometh from a flesh-pleasing sloth, or from a disregard of any holy exercise that you are about, it is a grievous sin. And though it be involuntary just at the time, and you say, ‘I would fain forbear sleeping now if I could ; yet if it be voluntary remotely and in its causes, it is your sin. You would now forbear sleeping ; but you would not forbear that pampering the body, and stuffing your guts which causeth it: you would not deny the flesh its ease to avoid it. II. The sinfulness of excess of sleep lieth in these particulars: 1. That it is a sinful wasting of every minute of that time which is consumed in it". And this is a very grievous thing, to a heart that is sensible of the preciousness of time: when we think how short our lives are, and how great our work is, it should tell us how great a sin it is to cast away any of this little time in needless sleep. And yet what abundance of it with many is thus spent. Almost half their whole lives is spent in bed, by many drones, that think they may sleep because they are rich, and have not a necessity of labouring to supply their wants. I was never tempted (that I remember,) so much to grudge at God's natural ordering of man, in any thing, as that we are fain to waste so much of our little time in sleep : nor was I ever tempted to grudge at my weakness so much on any account as this, that it deprived me of so much precious time, which else might have been used in some profitable work. The preciousness of time makes excessive sleeping to be a great sin, according to the measure of the excess. 2. It is a neglect of all our powers and parts which should all that time be exercised. Reason is idle and buried all that while : all your wisdom and knowledge are of no use to you". All the learning of the greatest scholar in the world, is of no more service than if he were illiterate; nor all the prudence and policy of the wisest, than if they were mere idiots. All the strength and health of the strongest are of
f Matt. xxvi. 41. * Nil temporis tamperit de vita nostra quam quod somno deputatur. Ber. * Dormiens nemoullius pretii est. Plato in Diog. Laert.