תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

into prison. Verily, I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Death is certain. You must all die, and you know not how soon. Therefore, make up any quarrel you may have with another, while God continues your life, lest death should find you in a state of animosity and ill will, and deliver you over into that prison of eternal darkness, where weeping and gnashing of teeth will be the portion of sinners. Oh, then, I beseech you, by the love of your own souls, to attend to your tempers; to be ready to forgive, to bear no malice nor hatred in yourselves. Pardon all that have said or done any thing wrong to you: live in peace with all : and be kind, tender-hearted, and merciful, forgiving one another as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

And now to God, &c.

LECTURE VIII.

Sr. MATTHEW v. 27, 28. Ye have heard that it was said by them

of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

I have been telling you a great deal of what our Saviour, Jesus Christ, taught his disciples, and all of us who believe in bim. There is still mucb more for you to hear, for he was good enough to give us such advice, that if we follow it, and beg God's blessing on us, we shall be Christians indeed. It is advice, which, if we follow, we shall behave well towards God, ourselves, and each other; we shall love

E

God and one another, and we shall keep ourselves holy and good.

He says, Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery, and it was very proper in them to say so, it is a crime which they did very right to forbid, it is a sin at once against God, your neighbour, and yourselves. Adultery is, when a man having a wife, or a woman having a husband, takes up with and attaches himself or herself to another man or another woman, and forms a connexion with them forbidden by the laws of God and man. This is the sin, wbich was forbidden by them of old time, and a great sin it is. It makes the one, who suffers by it, jealous and unhappy, it breaks his or her peace of mind, sometimes causes his or her death, and is, in every respect, contrary to the duty of a Christian. St. Paul tells us, that whoremongers and adulterers God will judge, that is, will most certainly punish. I could

wish to see you all, my hearers, made Christians and married, as white people are to each other: but till that can take place, let me beseech you to be satisfied with one wife, (I believe no instance occurs of a woman having two husbands) to be faithful and constant to her, to love and to cherish her, to consider her as yourself and to take the same care of her, as you would of yourself. For no man, says the Bible, ever hated himself, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, so ought every man his wife, and the wife should see that she reverence her husband, not only takes care of him, but honours and obeys him. Unless you do all this, Christ will not love you, nor will you ever be Christians.

Our Saviour himself, who never did sin, who was pure without fault, knew however what was in man, knew how strong those passions are within you, which tempt you to disobey him in this respect. He therefore says: Bat I say unto you, that

whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already with her in his heart. You see, my friends, that your Saviour tells you to set a guard on your thoughts, to watch over your hearts, to take care, especial care, that you do not look on other men's wives and other women besides your own wives with the evil eye of lust. And he was right in thus cautioning us; for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adulteries as well as murders. If you wish the river to be pure, you will not make its spring dirty, for, if you do, the dirty waters which flow from thence, will make filthy the whole stream through which they pass. In like manner, if

you wish to keep yourselves clean from evil actions, you will, with God's blessing, keep your hearts pure and clean from evil thoughts: if you do not wish to commit murder, you will not bear malice in your hearts : if

you

do not wish to commit adultery, you will not have evil and wicked thoughts in your hearts, you will not even

« הקודםהמשך »