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are all the Prejudices and Mischiefs they bring upon us in our Bodies, Estates, Reputation, and Relations of all Sorts. For in all Capacities we shall find how extremely hurtful and pernicious they are.
As to the Body, whether we regard the Health or Strength, or Comeliness, or Long Life, or the Children and Issue of it ; upon all these Accounts we shall find the great Benefits of Purity and the bad Effects of the Sins of Impurity. (1.) As to Health, it is impossible to reckon up the many Diseases attending that Sort of Intemperance ; and some of them so vile, that we can think no otherwise but that God inflicts them on purpose, to deter Men from that Sort of Sins. It is certain whosoever is seized with these, is brought to a fad Repentance, by the Pains and Aches, and Consumption of the vital Moisture, attending commonly those vile Diseases. And therefore this is one Thing Solomon recommends to the Consideration of Youth, to abstain from the Company of those wicked Companions in Sin, left thou mourn at the last, says he, when thy Flesh and thy Body are consumed, Prov. V. II. And this Mourning he speaks of, is not the kindly Mourning of Repentance, but purely a Sense of Bodily Pain and Sickness, mixed with a Sort of Desperation ; for this Mourning is described here to be late, left thou mourn at the last ; Then the Cause of it is not so much the Sin, as the Misery it has brought upon us, like the Mourning in Hell ; when thy Fieji and thy Body are consumed. (2.) As these Sins are great Enemies to the Health, so they are Enemics likewise to the Strength of the Body. And therefore we find
this is the first Lesson given to that young Prince, Prov. xxxi. 3. Give not thy Strength unto Women, nor thy Ways unto that which destroyeth Kings. It is true, it is a hard Matter to perswade strong young. Men of this ; they do not quickly feel the Wounds which these Sins give to the firmest Constitutions; but old Sinners will confess it, when they come to feel the Sins of their Youth hastening on the Decays of Nature. Solomon disswading the young Man from these Courses, Prov. vii. 26. assures him, that the Strange Woman bath.cast down many wounded, and that many strong Men kave been sain by her. (3.) The fame may be said of the Beauty and Comeliness, which has been said of the Health and Strength of the Body, as proceeding from the self-fame Causes; what ruins the Constitution will likewise ruin the Complexion, and bring on Deformity, Wrinkles, and gray Hairs and make such miserableHavock in the best built Bodies and most delicate Complexions, as all the Arts of Patching and Painting will never be able to repair. (4.) The same may be faid of long Life ; for tho’ there are innumerable Accidents to cut off the strongest built Bodies ; yet humanly speaking, nothing preserves a Man or Woman better to extreme old Age, than Chastity, and Temperance. And this the World seems to be sufficiently sensible of, when they call the contrary Vices Living Fast ; as if a Man were making haste to cut off and destroy himself. And therefore Solomon makes no Scruple to promise long Life to his Son, upon the Observation of these his Precepts. Prov. iii. 1. My fon, says he, forget not nzy Law; but let thine
Heart keep my Commandments : for Length of Days, and long Life and Peace Mall they add to thee. And at the 16th Verse of the fame Chapter, speaking of Wisdom, that is, the practical Knowledge of Virtue, he says, Length of Days is in her Right Hand, and in her Left Hand Riches and Honour. (5) Lastly, As for our Posterity, there are none of our Vices whatsoever, which affect them worse than those Sins of Uncleanness. It is to these Sins of their parents that they often owe their Gouts and Rheumatisms, and Pox, and other hereditary Distempers, which bring along with them an uneasie Life, and an accelerated Death, and are derived down, as Original Sin is, to their late Posterity. So that the Generations to come will have Reason to Curse the Sins of their Fore-fathers, for entailing fo much Sickness, Weakness, Pain and Misery, upon them.
2. That this sort of Sins is very prejudicial to the Estate, as well as the Body, the fame Solomon frequently observes; for one of the Arguments 'he makes use of to diffwade from them, Prov. v. 10. is this, lést Strangers be filled with thy Wealth, and thy Labours be in the House of a Stran*ger.
And Prov. vi. 26. he says, By means of a Whorish Woman a Man is brought to a piece of Bread. And Chap. xxix. 3. He that keepeth Company with Harlots spendeth his Substance. And so the Prodigal Son, Luke xv. 30. is represented as one that devoured his Living with Harlots. And there are many Reasons why it is fo. For First, The Man's Mind being carried away with his Lufts, he cannot mind the Business of his House and Calling, as he might otherwise do.
This Negligence alone will quickly eat out all his Profit: If he's a Tradesman, People observing how he flights his Affairs, will leave him off, and be no more concerned with him : If he's a Nobleman'or Gentleman, or any other Man that lives upon the Produce of his Land, or Rents and Revenues, his Bailiffs, Stewards, Overseers, and Servants, observing his Negligence, will quickly make a Prey of him. Then the Necefsities, and not only the Necessities, but the Superfluities of his Mistresses must be maintained; and it is no small Matter will do that; for according to the Degrees of Ascendency they acquire over him, their Demands will rise higher and higher. The Disorders and ill Temper of his Mind too encreasing upon him with his Sin and Poverty, and Shame, and the Necessities perhaps of a Fa. mily, are enough to distract him, that he has neither the Judgment to contrive, nor the Memory to retain, nor the Diligence to execute his Business. Then Bastards and Nurses, and Relations, and Retinue, a Train of expenceful and wasteful Attendants, help to eat him out; and, which is worst of all, there is a Curse of God entailed upon those Courses, which like a Canker eats out all the Profit of the Man's Labour. So that it is no Wonder if Ruin most commonly attends those Ways. And,
3. Which is of great Affinity with the former, a Man's Credit and Reputation sinks all the while, Solomon speaking of the Adulterer, Prov. vi. 33: A Wound and Dishonour Mall he get, says he, and his Reproach Mall not be wiped away. These foul Sins are called Works of Darkness, which will not bear the Light ; undecent, dishonourable Actions,
which Men strive to hide and conceal: But yet, like God's Revenge against Mựrder, they commonly break out some how or other, and reflect Dishonour and Disgrace on the Guilty. Whether it is that the Sinners themselves, who in the beginning are more Modest and Cautious, in time
grow more Shameless and Impudent, and declare their Sin as Sodom, and hide it not ; nay brag of their Conquests : Or whether the jealous and watchful Eye of the injured Party is ready to spy them out; or whether the malicious World, which is censorious enough, is ready to suspect the worst, and spread their Censures in Confidence to one another; or lastly, whether Pregnancy and Bastards do at last betray what shameful Work has been in Hand; so it is, that by one Means or other, Disgrace, and Loss of Reputation comes upon them : And a good Name, once lost, is so hard to be retrieved, that commonly this drives the guilty Parties to a worse Inconvenience, namely, a Hardness and Impudence, which usually bars all Retreat from vitious Courses, and makes them Proof against all Endeavours to reclaim them: But they go on then from Evil to Worse, till the Devil gets sure Possession, without any great Hopes that ever they will be reclaimed. 4.
The last external Inconvenience I mentioned of those Sins is, the Mischief they bring upon us in all our Relations, by that means embittering all the Comforts of Life. They make Parents so ashamed of their Children, that they would be glad if they could disown them, and would choose much more willingly to see them laid in their Graves, than live to be a Disgrace to all that belong to them. These Sins bring Jealousie, Hatred,