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jealousies, burning desires and impatient waitings, tediousness of delay, and sufferance of affronts, and amazements of discovery.".
3. Most of its kinds are of that condition, that they involve the ruin of two souls; and he that is a fornicator or adulterous, steals the soul, as well as dishonours the body, of his neighbour; and so it becomes like the sin of falling Lucifer, who brought a part of the stars with his tail from heaven.
4. Of all carnal sins it is that alone, which the devil takes delight to imitate and counterfeit; communicating with witches and impure persons in the corporal act, but in this only.
5. Uncleanness with all its kinds is a vice, which hath a professed enmity against the body. "Every sin which a man doth, is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body."
6. Uncleanness is hugely contrary to the spirit of government by embasing the spirit of a man, making it effeminate, sneaking, soft and foolish, without courage, without confidence. David felt this after his folly with Bathsheba, he fell to unkingly arts and stratagems to hide the crime; and he did nothing but increase it, and remained timorous and poor-spirited, till he prayed to God once more to establish him with a free and princely spirit". And no superior dare strictly observe discipline upon his charge, if he hath let himself loose to the shame of incontinence.
7. The Gospel hath added two arguments against uncleanness, which were never before used, nor indeed could be since God hath given the Holy Spirit to them that are baptized, and rightly confirmed, and entered into covenant with him, our bodies are made temples of the Holy Ghost, in which he dwells; and therefore uncleanness is sacrilege and defiles a temple. It is St. Paul's argument, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost"?" and "He that defiles a temple, him will God destroy. Therefore glorify God in your bodies," that is, flee fornication. To which, for the likeness of the argument, add, "that our bo
Appetitus fornicationis anxietas est, satietas verò pœnitentia. St. Hieron. * 1 Cor. vi. 18. ν φθαρτικαὶ τῶν ἀρχῶν.
Spiritu principali me confirma. Psal. li. a 1 Cor. vi. 19.
b 1 Cor. iii. 17.
dies are members of Christ; and therefore God forbid, that we should take the members of Christ, and make them members of a harlot." So that uncleanness dishonours Christ, and dishonours the Holy Spirit: it is a sin against God, and in this sense a sin against the Holy Ghost.
8. The next special argument, which the Gospel ministers especially against adultery, and for the preservation of the purity of marriage, is that marriage is by Christ hallowed in a mystery, to signify the sacramental and mystical union of Christ and his church. He therefore that breaks this knot, which the church and their mutual faith have tied, and Christ hath knit up into a mystery, dishonours a great rite of Christianity, of high, spiritual, and excellent signification.
9. St. Gregory reckons uncleanness to be the parent of these monsters, blindness of mind, inconsideration, precipitancy or giddiness in actions, self-love, hatred of God, love of the present pleasures, a despite or despair of the joys of religion here, and of heaven hereafter. Whereas a pure mind in a chaste body is the mother of wisdom and deliberation, sober counsels and ingenious actions, open deportment and sweet carriage, sincere principles and unprejudicate understanding, love of God and self-denial, peace and confidence, holy prayers and spiritual comfort, and a pleasure of spirit infinitely greater than the sottish and beastly pleasures of unchastity. "For to overcome pleasure is the greatest pleasure; and no victory is greater than that, which is gotten over our lusts and filthy inclinations"."
10. Add to all these, the public dishonesty and disreputation, that all the nations of the world have cast upon adulterous and unhallowed embraces. Abimelech, to the men of Gerar, made it death to meddle with the wife of Isaac: and Judah condemned Thamar to be burnt for her adulterous conception: and God, besides the law made to put the adulterous person to death, did constitute a settled and constant miracle to discover the adultery of a suspected woman, that her bowels should burst with drinking the waters of jealousy. The Egyptian law was to cut off the nose of the adulteress, and the offending part of the adulterer. The Locrians put out the adulterer's both eyes. The Germans (as Tacitus
e Ephes. v. 32. d Moral. • St. Cyprian. de bono pudicitiæ. Numb. v 14.
reports), placed the adulteress amidst her kindred naked, and shaved her head, and caused her husband to beat her with clubs through the city. The Gortynæans crowned the man with wool, to shame him for his effeminacy; and the Cumani caused the woman to ride upon an ass, naked and hooted at, and for ever after called her by an appellative of scorn, "a rider upon the ass." All nations, barbarous and civil, agreeing in their general design, of rooting so dishonest and shameful a vice from under heaven.
The middle ages of the Church were not pleased, that the adulteress should be put to death: but in the primitive ages, the civil laws, by which Christians were then governed, gave leave to the wronged husband to kill his adulterous wife, if he took her in the facti: but because it was a privilege indulged to men, rather than a direct detestation of the crime, a consideration of the injury rather than of the uncleanness, therefore it was soon altered, but yet hath caused an inquiry, Whether is worse, the adultery of the man or the woman?
The resolution of which case, in order to our present affair, is thus in respect of the person, the fault is greater in a man than in a woman, who is of a more pliant and easy spirit, and weaker understanding, and hath nothing to supply the unequal strengths of men, but the defensative of a passive nature and armour of modesty, which is the natural ornament of that sex. "And it is unjust that the man should demand chastity and severity from his wife, which himself will not observe towards herk," said the good emperor Antoninus: it is as if the man should persuade his wife to fight against those enemies, to which he had yielded himself a prisoner. 2. In respect of the effects and evil consequents, the adultery of the woman is worse, as bringing bastardy into a family, and disinherisons or great injuries to the lawful children, and infinite violations of peace, and murders, and divorces, and all the effects of rage and madness. 3. But in respect of the crime, and as relating to God, they are equal,
h Concil. Tribur. c. 49. Concil. Aurel. 1. sub. Clodovæo.
Cod. de adulteriis, ad legem Juliam, l. 1. et Cod. Theod. de adulteriis, e. placuit.
k Apud Aug. de adulter. conjug. Plut. conjug. præcept.
intolerable, and damnable: and since it is no more permitted to men to have many wives, than to women to have many husbands, and that in this respect their privilege is equal, their sin is so too. And this is the case of the question in Christianity. And the Church anciently refused to admit such persons to the holy communion, until they had done seven years' penances in fasting, in sackcloth, in severe inflictions and instruments of charity and sorrow, according to the discipline of those ages.
Acts of Chastity in general.
The actions and proper offices of the grace of chastity in general, are these.
1. To resist all unchaste thoughts: at no hand, entertaining pleasure in the unfruitful fancies and remembrances of uncleanness, although no definite desire or resolution be entertained.
2. At no hand, to entertain any desire', or any fantastic, imaginative loves, though by shame, or disability, or other circumstance, they be restrained from act.
3. To have a chaste eye and hand": for it is all one with what part of the body we commit adultery: and if a man lets his eye loose, and enjoys the lust of that, he is an adulterer. "Look not upon a woman to lust after her." And supposing all the other members restrained, yet if the eye be permitted to lust, the man can no otherwise be called chaste, than he can be called severe and mortified, that sits all day long seeing plays and revellings, and out of greediness to fill his eye, neglects his belly. There are some vessels, which if you offer to lift by the belly or bottom, you cannot stir them, but are soon removed, if you take them by the ears. It matters not, with which of your members you are taken and carried off from your duty and severity.
4. To have a heart and mind chaste and pure; that is, detesting all uncleanness; disliking all its motions, past actions, circumstances, likenesses, discourses: and this ought
-Casso saltem delectamine amare quod potiri non licet. Poeta. Patellas luxuriæ oculos, dixit Isidorus. 'Aλyndóvaç àvIçáræv, alius quidam. m Time videre unde possis cadere, et noli fieri perversà simplicitate securus. St. Aug.
to be the chastity of virgins and widows, of old persons and eunuchs especially, and generally of all men, according to their several necessities.
5. To discourse chastely and purely "; with great care declining all indecencies of language, chastening the tongue, and restraining it with grace, as vapours of wine are restrained with a bunch of myrrh.
6. To disapprove by an after-act all involuntary and natural pollutions: for if a man delights in having suffered any natural pollution, and with pleasure remembers it, he chooses that, which was in itself involuntary; and that which, being natural, was innocent, becoming voluntary, is made useful.
7. They that have performed these duties and parts of chastity, will certainly abstain from all exterior actions of uncleanness, those noonday and midnight devils, those lawless and ungodly worshippings of shame and uncleanness, whose birth is in trouble, whose growth is in folly, and whose end is in shame.
But besides these general acts of chastity, which are common to all states of men and women, there are some few things proper to the severals.
Acts of Virginal Chastity.
1. Virgins must remember, that the virginity of the body is only excellent in order to the purity of the soul; who therefore must consider, that since they are in some measure in a condition like that of angels, it is their duty to spend much of their time in angelical employment: for in the same degree that virgins live more spiritually than other persons, in the same degree is their virginity a more excellent state. But else it is no better than that of involuntary or constrained eunuchs; a misery and a trouble, or else a mere privation, as much without excellency as without mix
2. Virgins must contend for a singular modesty; whose first part must be an ignorance in the distinction of sexes, or their proper instruments; or if they accidentally be in
" Sp. Minucius Pontifex Posthumium monuit, ne verbis vitæ castimoniam non æquantibus uteretur. Plut. de cap. ex inim. utilit.