Imatges de pÓgina

wards to loathing. But if these duties have been sinfully neglected, yet 4. Remember that justice commandeth you to love one that hath, as it were, forsaken all the world for you, and is contented to be the companion of your labours and sufferings, and be an equal sharer in all conditions with you, and that must be your companion until death. It is worse than barbarous inhumanity to entice such a one into a bond of love, and society with you, and then to say, you cannot love her. This was by perfidiousness to draw her into a snare to her undoing. What comfort can she have in her converse with you, and care, and labour, and necessary sufferings, if you deny her conjugal love? Especially, if she deny not love to you, the inhumanity is the greater. 5. Remember that women are ordinarily affectionate, passionate creatures, and as they love much themselves, so they expect much love from you. And when you joined yourself to such a nature, you obliged yourself to answerable duty: and if love cause not love, it is ungrateful and unjust contempt. 6. Remember that you are under God's command; and to deny conjugal love to your wives, is to deny a duty which God hath urgently imposed on you. Obedience therefore should command your love. 7. Remember that you are relatively, as it were, one flesh; you have drawn her to forsake father and mother, to cleave to you; you are conjoined for procreation of such children as must bear the image and nature of you both; your possessions and interests are in a manner the same. And therefore such nearness should command affection; they that are as yourselves, should be most easily loved as yourselves. 8. Take more notice of the good, that is in your wives, than of the evil. Let not the observation of their faults make you forget or overlook their virtues. Love is kindled by the sight of love or goodness. 9. Make not infirmities to seem odious faults, but excuse them as far as lawfully you may, by considering the frailty of the sex, and of their tempers, and considering also your own infirmities, and how much your wives must bear with you. 10. Stir up that most in them into exercise which is best, and stir not up that which is evil; and then the good will most appear, and the evil will be as buried, and you will more easily maintain your love. There is some uncleanness in the best on earth; and

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if you will be daily stirring in the filth, no wonder if you have the annoyance; and for that you may thank yourselves : draw out the fragrancy of that which is good and delectable in them, and do not by your own imprudence or peevishness stir up the worst, and then you shall find that even your faulty wives will appear more amiable to you. 11. Overcome them with love; and then whatever they are in themselves, they will be loving to you, and consequently lovely. Love will cause love, as fire kindleth fire. A good husband is the best means to make a good and loving wife. Make them not froward by your froward carriage, and then say, we cannot love them. 12. Give them examples of amiableness in yourselves; set them the pattern of a prudent, lowly, loving, meek, self-denying, patient, harmless, holy, heavenly life. Try this a while, and see whether it will not shame them from their faults, and make them walk more amiably themselves.


Direct. 11. Another duty of husbands and wives is, cohabitation and (where age prohibiteth not) a sober and modest conjunction for procreation.' Avoiding lasciviousness, unseasonableness, and whatever tendeth to corrupt the mind, and make it vain and filthy, and hinder it from holy employment. And therefore lust must not be cherished in the married; but the mind be brought to a moderate, chaste, and sober frame; and the remedy must not be turned into an increase of the disease, but used to extinguish it. For if the mind be left to the power of lust, and only marriage trusted to for the cure, with many it will be found an insufficient cure; and lust will rage still as it did before, and will be so much the more desperate and your case the more miserable, as your sin prevaileth against the remedy. Yet marriage being appointed for a remedy against lust, for the avoiding all unlawful congress, the apostle hath plainly described your duty. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman: nevertheless to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband; let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence; and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud you not one the other, except it be with consent for

a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and come together again, that satan tempt you not for your incontinency"." Therefore those persons live contrary to the nature of their relation, who live a great part of their lives asunder, as many do for worldly respects; when they have several houses, possessions or trades, and the husband must live at one, and the wife at another, for their commodity sake; and only come together once in a week, or in many weeks; when this is done without great necessity, it is a constant violation of their duties. And so it is for men to go trade or live beyond sea, or in another land, and leave their wives behind them; yea, though they have their wives' consent; it is an unlawful course, except in a case of mere necessity, or public service, or when they are able on good grounds to say, that the benefits are like to be greater to soul and body than the loss; and that they are confirmed against the danger of incontinence. The offices which husband and wife are bound to perform for one another are such as, for the most part, suppose their cohabitation, like the offices of the members of the body for each other, which they cannot perform, if they be dismembered and divided.

Direct. 111. Abhor not only adultery itself, but all that tendeth to unchasteness and the violation of your marriagecovenant". Adultery is so contrary to the conjugal bond and state of life, that though 'de facto' it do not actually dissolve the bond, and nullify the marriage; yet it so far disobligeth the wronged innocent party, that 'de jure' it is to such a sufficient ground to warrant a divorce. And God required, that it be punished by death. When lust is the chiefest cause of marriage, and when married persons live not in the fear of God, but pamper the flesh and live licentiously, no wonder if marriage prove an insufficient remedy against such cherished lust. Such carnal, beastly persons are still casting fuel on the fire; by wanton, unbridled

e 1 Cor. vii. 2-5.

d Matt. v. 31, 32. xix. 9. John viii. 4, 5. Of Adultery. Heb. xiii. 4. Prov. xxii. 14. Hos. iv. 2, S. Prov. ii. 17. 1 Cor. vi. 15.19. Mal. ii. 15. Prov. vi. 32, 35. Deut. xxiii. 2. Lev. xxi. 9. xviii. 28. Numb. xxv. 9. Jer. v. 7— Gen. vi. 2, 3, &c. xxxiv. 27. 2 Sam. xiii. 22. xii. 10. Judg. xx. 10. Jer. xxiii. 14.

e Lev. xx. 10.


thoughts and speeches, by gluttony, drinking, sports, and idleness, by vain, enticing company, and not avoiding occasions, opportunities, and temptations, they burn as much when they are married as they did before. And the devil that bloweth up this fire in their flesh, doth conduct and accommodate them in the satisfying of their lusts; so that their brutish concupiscence is like a fire burning in the sea; water itself will not quench it. One woman will not satisfy their bestiality; and perhaps they loathe their own wives, and run after others, though their own (in the eye of any impartial man) be the more comely and amiable, and their whores be never so deformed, or impudent, filthy lumps of dirt. So that one would think that they had no other reason, to love and follow such unlovely things, but only because God forbiddeth it; as if the devil did it to shew his power over them, that he can make them do that, as in despite of God, which else they would abhor themselves. When once their sensuality and their forsaking of God, hath provoked God to forsake them, and give them up to the rage of that sensuality, an unclean spirit sometimes takes possession of them, and wholly inclineth them to wallow in uncleanliness: they can scarce look a comely person in the face, that is of the other sex, but unclean thoughts are rising in their hearts; they think of filthiness when they are alone; they dream of filthiness in the night; they talk of filthiness with others: the tongues of the dogs that licked Lazarus his sores, were not used in such a filthy employment as theirs are. 66 They are as fed horses in the morning; every one neigheth after his neighbour's wife." "They declare their sin as Sodom, and hide it not "." And usually when they are given over to this filthy sin, it utterly debaucheth their consciences, and maketh them like blocks or beasts, insensible of their misery and the wrath of God, and given over to all other villanies, and even to hate and persecute godliness, if not civility itself". Some few adulterers I have known, that sin so much against their consciences, that they live in continual despair; tormented in the sense of their own unhappiness, and yet sinning still, as if the devil would make them a derision: and yet these

f Jer. v. 8.

g Isa. iii. 9.

h Rev. xxi. 8. Prov. v. 20. Read before Parti. Chap. 8. Part. v. Tit. 1.

are the better sort, because there is some testimony for a better life remaining in their minds; but others of them "being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." "They have eyes full of adultery that cannot cease from sin.- As natural brute beasts that are made to be taken and destroyed." Take heed therefore of the causes of this odious sin, and of all appearance of it; suffer not your eye or thought to go after a stranger, nor to begin a breach in your covenant and conjugal fidelity.



Direct. IV. Husband and wife must take delight in the love, and company, and converse of each other.' There is nothing that man's heart is so inordinately set upon as delight; and yet the lawful delight allowed them by God, they can turn into loathing and disdain. The delight which would entangle you in sin, and turn you from your duty and from God, is it that is forbidden you: but this is a delight that is helpful to you in your duty, and would keep you from sin. When husband and wife take pleasure in each other, it uniteth them in duty, it helpeth them with ease to do their work, and bear their burdens; and is not the least part of the comfort of the married state. "Rejoice with the wife of thy youth, as the loving hind and pleasant roe, let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with her love1." Therefore a wife is called The desire of the eyes "." Avoid therefore all things that may represent you unpleasant or unlovely to each other; and use all lawful means to cherish complacency and delight: not by foolish, ridiculous, or proud attire, or immodest actions; but by cleanness, and decency, and kind deportment. Nastiness, and uncleanness, and unseemly carriage, and foolish speech, and whatever is loathsome in body or mind, must be shunned as temptations which would hinder you from that love, and pleasure, and content, which husband and wife should have in one another. And yet it is a foolish, fleshly person, that will continue love no longer than it is cherished with all this care. If there be any deformity of the body, or any thing unseemly in behaviour, or if God should visit them with any loathsome sores or sickness, they

k 2 Pet. ii. 10-12.

Prov. v. 18, 19.

i Eph. iv. 19.
m Ezek. xxiv. 16.

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