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ten thousand talents, forgive your fellowservant a hundred pence ? See Matt. xviii. 24-35. I therefore exhort you with Paul from Eph. iv. 31, 32. V. 1, 2. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evilspeaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." See this same exhortation, Col. iii. 12-14. These sins ought certainly to be pursued with a deadly hatred, and to be slain; for they are murderers of your souls, yea, they killed the Prince of life; therefore nail them to bis cross, that it may appear that ye belong to Christ; for "such have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts," Cal. v. 24. We may not kill any man, because he is our neighbour, but we must kill our old man, who is nearer to us than our neighbour. Ought we to conduct in this manner toward our neighbour, we ought then much more to take care of our own lives. We have obtained our lives of the Lord, as a precious treasure; we ought then `to take care of them, and to preserve them for him, and for his service. It becomes us therefore not only to beware of rashness, and of all iniquity, by which our lives are endangered, but also to be industrious according to the will of God, in order that we may provide ourselves by all lawful means with whatever is necessary to sustain our lives. Hear and practise what Paul saith, 2 Thess. iii. 10-12, "When we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any man would not work, neither should he eat; for we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not st all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." Are we not in health, but sick, we should then make use of medicines for our recovery, for the Lord hath ap appointed them for healing: we ought not then to be averse from them, but to make use of them according to his will. When the Lord would prolong the life of Hezekiah, who was visited with a deadly disease, fifteen years, he commanded that "they should lay Depend not however a plaister upon the bile," Isaiah xxxviii. 21. for the preservation of your lives on your own care, nor on those outward means, but only on the Lord, living from his hand: it was a blot on the religious character of Asa, that "he sought not to the Lord in his sickness, but to the physicians," 2 Chron. xvi. 12. "He who either suffers," or is in danger of losing his life in this, or ja

any other way, according to the will of God, must commit his soul in welldoing to the faithful Creator." as Peter admonisheth, 1 Pet. iv. 19. And are we in want of daily food and clothing, let us not be too much discouraged: God. our father, our life, and the length of our days, who giveth us life, who feeds the fowls, who clothes and adorns the grass of the field, will provide us with both food and raiment, as the mouth of truth teacheth, Matt. vi. 25-34. It is true, believers, ye also must die; but ye will die, that ye may become heirs of life, and may be settled there, where there will not be any more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain," Rev. xxi. 4. for, as Paul hath foretold, "corruption will put on incorruption, and mortal will put on immortality." Amen.





Exod. xx. 4. "Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Q. 108. What doth the seventh commandment teach us?

A. That all uncleanness is accursed of God, and that therefore we must with all our hearts detest the same, and live chastely and temperately, whether in holy wedlock, or in a single state.

Q. 109. Doth God forbid in this command only adultery, and suchlike gross sins?

A. Since both body and soul are temples of the Holy Ghost, he commands us to preserve them pure and holy; therefore he forbids all unchaste actions, gestures, words, thoughts, desires, and whatever can entice men thereto.


F the various kinds of love, with which men cleave, and are united to one another, the conjugal love of two persons, who are connected in wedlock, is the strongest, and the most agreeable. Is there indeed a stronger love, than that which the Son of God beareth to his church, as his bridle and wife, and which she ought to bear to

him, as her bridegroom and husband? but this love is proposed to persons connected in wedlock, as a pattern for their imitation. See Eph. v. 23-33. Exceedingly strong was the love of Jonathan to David, 1 Sam. xviii. 1. "His soul was knit with the soul of David, and he loved him as his own soul." But wedded love ought to exceed even that. David saith indeed in his song of lamentation for the death of Jonathan, 2 Sam. i. 26, "My brother Jonathan, very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." But he doth not say that the love of Jonathan was greater than that of women, but that he was better pleased with Jonathan's love to him, than with the love of his wives. The law commands a man to love his neighbour "as himself," but by his conjugal love, a man loves his consort not only as himself, but he even loves himself in her; for as the apostle saith, Eph. v. 28, "He that loveth his wife loveth himself." Are human beings obliged to love one another heartily; then children are obliged to love their parents so; but the husband is still more bound to love his wife so. The Lord God therefore created the woman for the man, as his other self, yea, of his flesh, and of his bone, and enjoined on him to "leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife, and to be with her one flesh." Therefore he also forbids us to dissolve this love and wedlock, when he proclaims to every one from heaven, "Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

The Lawgiver had indeed enjoined in the fifth commandment, that children should honour their parents, and in the sixth commandment, that men should love their neighbour as themselves, and therefore preserve his life; but he provides particularly in the seventh commandment for the inviolate preservation of conjugal love and of wedlock.

If it be true concerning any sin, that "taking occasion by the commandment, it worketh all manner of concupiscence" in the sinner, as Paul speaks, Rom. vii. 8, it is true concerning this sin : we may nevertheless not forbear to speak of it; for this sin must be "manifested to be sin, working death" to the sinner "by that which is good," as the same holy man speaks, Rom. vii. 13. Let therefore the fear of the Lord fall on you, and let his excellency make you afraid, while we set this sin before you.

I. With respect to its head,

II. With respect to its members,

III. With respect to its soul.

I. The headsin is called in the text naaph, "breaking wedlock, but in Deut. v. 18, that Hebrew word is rendered "committing


adultery," which breaks wedlock. It is clear, that the Lord doth not speak here of that spiritual adultery, which Israel and Judah, who were married to the Lord, "committed with wood and stone," as he complains, Jer. iii. 6-9, but he hath respect here to a proper and corporal wedlock-breaking and adultery.

Wedlock, which is broken by adultery, is the state of marriage, in which one man is united to one woman, as one flesh, for their mutual assistance, and the propagation of the human race. This union by wedlock cannot and ought not to be effected by force; but it is contracted by a mutual consent, and covenanting, and it is confirmed, as it were, by an oath of the Lord: and thus "the Lord is a witness between a man and the wife of his youth," according to what we read, Mal. ii. 14. Although the solemn and public confirmation, whether by the magistrate, or by the church, doth not constitute marriage, it is nevertheless necessary, that all may know whose husband and wife a person is, and that the children are notbastards, but the offspring of a lawful marriage.

The instructor calls the married state with propriety holy it was instituted by a holy God: it is also contracted and confirmed in the presence of the Lord, as a witness, with calling upon his name, and it serves for a holy purpose, even to propagate a seed for God: this hath place especially in the marriage of godly persons, who have the premises for them and their seed. See Mal. ii. 15. Gen. xvii. 7. But although wedlock is so holy, every person is not therefore obliged to enter into it: the Lord hath left marriage to the free choice of men; when a person marries, he doth not sin, and when he forbears to marry, the I.ord will not take it ill of him. He who can contain, and doth not need a help, and foresees an ap proaching calamity, doth best when he forbears to marry: but he who hath not the gift of continence, will do better, if he marry, that he may avoid shameful desires and fornication. These are the rules which the apostle prescribes with respect to marriage, 1 Cor. vii. But how shall we understand the conduct of the Papists, who consider marriage as a sacrament, and nevertheless do not permit their pretended spiritual persons, their churchmen, to marry; yea, these vain men have such an aversion from marriage, that they reckon it better to retain a mistress, or harlot, than to have a lawful wife. But how! is marriage a holy sacrament, and yet so detestable, that they who marry are in the flesh and cannot please God," as these men abuse the words of Paul? Rom. viii. 8. "Marriage is honourable in all and the bed undefiled," Heb. xiii. 4. Why is it then prohibited to persons, who would be honourable, and why

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