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fut fornicalion and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints ; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient ; bus rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremon, ger por unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.

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Our Apostle is still describing the Christian kife, inculcating the virtues which belong to it, and dissuading from the vices which oppose it.

The preceding verses, in this and part of the former į chapter, state the Christian temper, as it respects our

fellow men. The words now read inculcate Christian

sobriety; and warn those who are called saints against to imitating heathens and sinners in uncleanness, covetpusness and foolish jesting.

I shall, first, distinctly consider the several sins $ which the Apostle here mentions. And, then, I shall ý open and apply the argument subjoined.

First : We will consider the several vices here menI tioned. “ Fornication and all uncleanness, and coyct. * Vol. III.

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ousness, let them not be once named among you, neither filthiness, nor foolish talking and jesting.”

Let them not be once named in a way of approbation or extenuation. Let them not be subjects of conversation in such a manner as to encourage you in them, of inflame the criminal passions in others. Let them not appear among you, so as to give occasion for you to lament them, or for heathens to reproach you for them.

I. The first sin here mentioned is impurity.

Let not fornication or uncleanness be named among you.

The word fornication is sometimes used in scripture to comprehend the grosser kinds of uncleanness, as in. cest, adultery and prostitution ; but in common speech it is usually appropriated to intimacy between unmarried persons, who are not within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity. In this limited sense we also find it used in the sacred writings.

To secure the proper nature and education of children, and to prevent confusion in private families, and in more public societies, God has instituted marriage, and ordained, that a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife. That fornication may be avoided, it is required, that every man should have his own wife, and every woman her own husband. And this relation, where it subsists, ought to be publicly known. Private contracts, generally admitted as marriage, would expose the contracting parties to dangerous frauds and impositions, the helpless offspring to fatal neglect, and society to endless confusion and disorder. Though God has not instituted any particular ceremony, by which marriage shall be solemnized, but has left it with every people to adopt such forms as they please ; yet, that it should be formal and public, the scripture every where supposes, reason itself dictates, and the custom of all nations confirms.

It will not be pretended, that carnal intimacy bce tween persons, who have deliberately agreed on mar.

riage, is equally criminal with common prostitution; but that is really criminal in the sight of heaven, no man can doubt, when he considers what consequences would ensue from such a practice generally prevailing. Prostitutions, under pretext of private contracts, would plead excuse ; honest persons would be ensnared by those who were under previous engagements; infants, from the circumstances of their birth, would often per. ish through neglect ; a great part of the youth would grow up in ignorar.ce and idleness; families would be subject to dissolution without remedy from law ; and the depravity and confusion of families would spread through larger societies.

If the acts of uncleanness are criminal, so also are all impure thoughts and desires; for these proceed from a corrupt heart, and lead to the external acts. David prays Áot only that he may be kept from presumptuous sins ; but that a clean heart may be created in him. The thought of foolishness is sin. He who deviseth to do evil is called a mischievous person. He who looketh on woman to lust after her, committeth adultery in his heart.

Under the name of uncleanness the gospel forbids filthy communication, which indicates a vicious disposition in the speaker, and tends also to corrupt the manners of others. The Apostle cautions saints, that

uncleanness be not once named among them. He exĮ horts them to put away all filthy communication out of

their mouths; and to have their speech always with grace, seasoned with salt ; decent, modest and savory. What is more than this cometh of evil.

Farther : Christians must not make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof; but on the contrary, abstain from fleshly lusts ; yea, even from the very appearance of evil; from every thing that tends to sug- . gest wanton ideas, to excite impure desires and to

strengthen the power of temptation. They must withi draw themselves from all unnecessary connexion with

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those, who, with eyes full of adultery, beguile unstable souls, and, with their fair speeches and flattering words, cause the simple to yield. They must hate even the garments spotted with the flesh.

II. The next sin which saints are warned to avoid is covetousness.

This usually intends an immoderate desire of riches. Our Saviour says, “Beware of covetousness, for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things, which he possesseth.” The desire of possessing an abuns dance, is covetousness.

The scripture allows us to desire and seek the good things of the world; for these are necessary to our comfort and usefulness; but it always teaches us to restrain our worldly desires within narrow bounds, and keep them in a reasonable subordination to heavenly designs. The Apostle says, Let your conversation be without cooetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content, in opposition to the temper of those, who will be rich, and who indulging that love of the world which is the root of evil, fall into temptation and a snare arid ma. ny foolish and hurtful lusts. Our Saviour instructs us to pray, not for abundance, but for our daily bread. the prayer of Agur was, that God would feed him with food convenient for him. Similar to this was the

prayer of the patriarch, that God would give him food to eat and raiment to put on. In opposition to worldly anxiety and carefulness, the gospel requires us to seek first the kingdom of God, leaving it with our heavenly Father to give us other things as he sces to be needful.

From hence it appears that men stand chargeable in the eye of heaven, with the sin of covetousness, not only when they practice unjust and dishonest means to accomplish their worldly ends, but when they indulge such eager and insatiable desires of riches, as make them discontented with their condition, and envious of i the superior condition of others—such desires as di: : vert them from the care of their souls, and extinguish

å sense of futurity--such desires as urge them to a restless pursuit of riches, and fill them with tormenting ånd distrustful cares for the supplies of life-such desires as render them incapable of enjoying what they possess, and make them unfeeling to the necessities of others.

of The nature of covetousness our Saviour illustrates in the parable of a rich man, whose fields brought forth plentifully, and who thereupon resolved to enlarge his storehouses, and, having laid up goods for many years, to spend the residue of his days in mirth and pleasure.

The parable charges him with no injustice, fraud or oppression, with no indirect measures to increase or preserve his substance; but only with a heart devoted to the world, and dead to religion. “He laid up treasure for himself, and was not rich toward God.”

III. The other sin mentioned in our text, is foolish zalking and jesting:

It is not every kind of jesting, which is to be denom. inated foolish talking, or pronounced sinful.

The gospel is not so rigid and austere, as to debar us from innocent pleasures and harmless amusements. Whatever may contribute to the improvement of happiness, and is not productive of evil to ourselves or others, is not only innocent, but really good. Providence, merely for our pleasure and enjoyment, bestows many delicacies, which are not immediately necessary to the support of life ; so religion tolerates, for the amusement of the mind, some diversions which have no immediate connexion with our salvation. If it is innocent to refresh the body by a social walk, it is as innocent to exhiler. ate the mind by humorous discourse. If vocal or in strumental music, abstract from sentiment, and more. ly as an entertainment, is not inconsistent with piety; no more is a little wit and gaiety among friends in their free and social visits. There is a time to laugh,

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