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SETEMBA ' CHA P. VII. ... Of the good and bad Consequences of the
Observance, or Non-Observance of the Seventh Commandment, :.:iit THou shalt not commit Adultery. What is exa'
presly and liierally forbidden by this Comas mandniens, namely, the impure Embraces of the Husband or Wife of our Neighbour, if we are fingle, or sicfiling our own Marriage Bed if we are in the State of W dlock, muft necessarily we think be underitqod by every one ; though sorry are we to say it, sh se is great Reason to fear it is very lita tle regarded by the Generality of Mankind; and especial y amongst Persons of Distinction, or those commonly caled the Beau Monde.
But, though this is certainly the literal Mean;" ing of this Precepr, any one who should imagine there was no other Way of violuring this Law, than by the actual Como ffion of that Sin, would be most grievously mistakeo: For, not only actual Foroicution is also comprehended under this Head, but ali kinds of inordinate Luft, and consequent. ly Incest, Sodomny, and. Beftiali'y are likewise ina cluded ; and this must be evident to every confie', derate Per on), Tince the former is worse than Auul-'• tery irrelf, and she two latier'not oniy more abo, minabię ihan either, but against Narure, and such Sins as dew dow Fire from Heaven We have laid nothing u Rares, because they must come urder the Head of Adultery, or Fornication. Neither is this all, for all Self-Pollution, a Vice, which by
reason of the Secrefy wherewith it may be committed, we fear, is but too much practised amongst young Perlons of both Sexes; (especially in such Places where a great Number of them meet together, as in large Boarding Schools, and the like,) is equally forbidden thereby.
Nay, of such grear Extent is this Command. ment, ihere is too great Reason to believe, that Scarce a Man or Woman, even of the moft modest, we may almost add, scarce a Boy or Girl that is palt fifreen, but who has been guilty of transgreffing is. For, what says our Saviour ? Wbesoever looketh on a Woman to lust after ber, barb committed Adultery with ber already in bis Heart Who then can wipe their Mouths, and say they are free? Again, all obscenc Discourse, even such as is called amongst the Gay and Polite, double Entendres, which are generally efecmed, even by Women of Reputation, not only to be innocent Mirth, but cven witry and entertaining; all singing of immodeft Songs, or even hearkening to them with Pleasure ; with all reading lascivious Books, or gazing on filthy Piąures, and what is yet more, ali indulging unclean Thoughts, is likewise forbidden by, and a downrighe contravention of this Law: Who then can plead Not Guilty ?
But, neither is this the whole Extent thereof, for all d:elling or dancing, so as to provoke Delire, with all wanton Giances of the Eye, as also ali rich Wines, ftimu.aring Cordials, and luxurious Diet, and above all, as being the Cause of every Vice, ail Id cuess, and indulging our Eafe, arc Transgreffions of the same Precept. What then mult we think of our present fashionable Ladies with their Tote de Moutors, and encrmous Hoops, fitter for the Stage chan modeft Women? Whar of most of our Gentry and Nobility, with their Viper Wipes and Broths, Cray-fith Soups, and other rich Sauces and
Provocatives? Io Tort, what muft' we think of Mankind in general? Why truly, as the Scripture faith, that they are all gone afray, they are all roa. gether become filtby; there is none that doeth Good, no, not one. Such then being the great Extent of this Commandment, that no one can fay he is clear of transgreffing it, and such the Proneness of Man. kind to Gallanıry, as Whoredom and Adultery are now modifhly called, that it is reckoned no Srain in a Man's Character, especially if he be of Falhion, and begins to be pretty much overlooked in the Ladies, the most likely Way we can think on to deter them from this so prevalent, so bewi.chę ing a Sin, is to ser before their Eyes, in a trong Light, the dangerous Consequences, and manifest Ruin, generally attendant thercon.
Of this, were the Scripture regarded now-a days. we need not a more convincing Proof chan the Words of Solomon, a Prince who was not only the wiseft and moft experienced of all Mankind, but was also divinely inspired. It cannot be said there fore of such a one, that he did not know the World, for this would be an egregious Fallhood; he not only kocw it better, but bad indulged him. felt more in all manner of Vanities, than any one who comes after him can ever have the Opportunity or Power of doing. For what Account does he give of himself, whatsoever mine Eyes defred I keps not from them, I with-beld not my Heart from any Joy: For my Heart rejoiced in all my Labour, and this was my Portion of all my Labour. Now, after all his Experience, what faith this wife Man of one Bena: viour, Subtlery, Wiles, and incicing Ways of Har. lors, and of the destructive Conlequcaces of fol. lowing after them ?
Does he nor declare plainly, she Lips of a strange Woman drop as an Honey Comb, and ber Mouth is . moother than Oil; but ber End is bitter as Worms
wood, Narp as a twaredged Seword; her Feet go down to Death; her Steps, take, hold on Hell. . La boa Anguldeft ponder the path of Life, her Ways are move able, ikoy canf not knazw them. Therefore, continues he, remove thy Way far from her, and come not nigb the Door of her House : Left thou give thine Honour unto others, and tby Years into the Cruel Left Ştran. gers be filled with thy Wealib, and thy Lerous be in the House of a Stranger. . And thoy mourn at the laf, quhen thy Fliso and Body are consumed, Whas a ft ong Description is here of thar Dettruction of Healih, and Wealthy of Body and Saul, that are the ne. ceffary Effects of pursuing such vicious Courses ! 1. And yet, in another Place, he is rather more expressive ; for, speaking of a young Man, who had been weak enough to listen to the reducing Tongue of one of those aritul Creatures, Wirb her much fair Speech, says he, the caused bime to yield, with the flattering of her Lips the forced bim. He goeth. after ber Araitway, as an Ox goeth to the Slaughter, or as a Fool la the Correction of the Stocks: Till a Durt Arike tbrough bis Liver, as a Bird bafieth, to the Snare, and knoweth not that it is for his Life, Hearken unta me, now therefore, Oye Ghildren, and attend to the Words of my Manıb. Let not thine Heart incline to ber Ways, go nat afray in-ber Paths. For the hath coft dugun many It'ounded ; jea, many strong Men bare been pain by ber. Her House is the Way to Hell, gia ing down to the Chambers of Death.
With such a lively Picture of evident Ruin bez fore our Eyes, is it not altonishing, that any Men should be drawn away by such Women ? Elpeça. lly when we daily fee every part of this Account veria fied in our own Streces. The poor youpg Maq who went into James Day's with one of his Piyers, and was there thrown out at the Window, and bar. baroudly murdered by them, updoubredly, thought himself very. fafc, in a barrow Alley, where the
opposire Neighbours might have seen and heard every thing that paffed ; but nevertheless he was there miserably butchered, and sent our of the World in such a Condition as no considerate Per. son would be willing to die io : And numberless other melancholy Instances of the fame Kind might be produced, besides Hundreds which, we fear, are never brought to Light.
And if such are the Dangers of following com mon Harlots, in whom no one can claim a Propere ty preferable to another, we may be well affured, from the very Narure of Things, that invading the Bed of another must be yet more fo ; accordingly, the same wise Man declares, char Whole committerbi
Adultery with a Woman lacketh Understanding ; be that doeth it defroyeth his own Sout. A Wound and Difoonour fall be get, and bis Reproach foall not be wia ped away For Jealousy is the Rage of a Man, there fore he will not spare in the Day of Vengeance. He will not regard any Ransom ; neither will be reft con tent, though thou giveft many Gifts! .
But setting Religion for once afide, and suppofing no Danger were to be apprehended to our Souls, from such vicious Practices; and fuppofiue also Men could be affured their Lives would be in Safety both from any violent and tecret Attempts against them, though quite the Reverse is true, are there no other Inconveniences to be apprehended from such diffolute Courses? Yes (urely, and they of such a shocking Nature, as might be alone luf:
ficient to deter any considerate Perfon from them. - For ler any one step into our Hospitals, and contem.
plate the miserable Spectacles he will there meet with of those unhappy Wrerches, who are dying by Inches, a Nuisance to themselves, and all around them, and let him then say whether chese Martyrs to impure Embraces, are not greater Sufferers chan those who dié in the Cause of Honour, or Religion,