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nesses of household affairs, or to endear each other;" but never with a purpose, either in act or desire, to separate the sensuality from these ends which hallow it. Onan did separate his act from its proper end, and so ordered his embraces that his wife should not conceive, and God punished him.
3. Married persons must keep such modesty and decency of treating each other', that they never force themselves into high and violent lusts, with arts and misbecoming devices: always remembering, that those mixtures are most innocent, which are most simple and most natural, most orderly and most safe.
4. It is a duty of matrimonial chastity, to be restrained and temperate in the use of their lawful pleasures: concerning which although no universal rule can antecedently be given to all persons, any more than to all bodies one proportion of meat and drink; yet married persons are to estimate the degree of their license according to the following proportions. 1. That it be moderate, so as to consist with health. 2. That it be so ordered as not to be too expensive of time, that precious opportunity of working out our salvation. 3. That when duty is demanded, it be always paid (so far as is in our powers and election) according to the foregoing
4. That it be with a temperate affection, without violent transporting desires, or too sensual applications. Concerning which a man is to make judgment by proportion to other actions, and the severities of his religion, and the sentences of sober and wise persons; always remembering, that marriage is a provision for supply of the natural necessities of the body, not for the artificial and procured appetites of the mind. And it is a sad truth, that many married persons, thinking that the flood-gates of liberty are set wide open without measures or restraint (so they sail in that channel), have felt the final rewards of intemperance and lust, by their unlawful using of lawful permissions. Only let each of them be temperate, and both of them be modest. Socrates was wont to say, that those women to whom nature had not been indulgent in good features and colours, should make it up themselves with excellent manners; and those who were beautiful and comely, should be careful, that so fair a body be not polluted with unhandsome 'usages. To which Plutarch adds, that a wife, if she be unhandsome, should consider how extremely ugly she would be, if she wanted modesty ; but if she be handsome, let her think how gracious that beauty would be, if she superadds chastity.
Non rectè est ab Herodoto dictum, simul cum tunicâ mulierem verecundiam exuere. Quæ nam casta est, positâ veste, verecundiam ejus loco induit, maxi. mèque verecundiâ conjuges tesserâ maximi invicem amoris utuntur. Plut. conjug. præcept.
5. Married persons by consent are to abstain from their mutual entertainments at solemn times of devotion; not as a duty of itself necessary, but as being the most proper act of purity, which in their condition they can present to God, and being a good advantage for attending their preparation to the solemn duty and their demeanour in it. It is St. Paul's counsel, that " by consent for a time they should abstain, that they may give themselves to fasting and prayer!.”. And though when Christians did receive the holy communion every day, it is certain they did not abstain, but had children; yet when the communion was more seldom, they did with religion abstain from the marriage-bed during the time of their solemn preparatory devotions, as anciently they did from eating and drinking, till the solemnity of the day was past.
6. It were well if married persons would, in their penitential prayers, and in their general confessions, suspect themselves, and accordingly ask a general pardon for all their indecencies, and more passionate applications of themselves in the offices of marriage : that what is lawful and honourable in its kind, may not be sullied with imperfect circumstances ; or if it be, it may be made clean again' by the interruption and recallings of such a repentance, of which such uncertain parts of action are capable.
But, because of all the dangers of a Christian, none more pressing and troublesome than the temptations to lust, no enemy more dangerous than that of the flesh, no accounts greater, than what we have to reckon for at the audit of con
• De conjug. præcept.
t 1 Cor. yii. 5. * Hoc etiam ex more Christianorum. Tertul. suadens foeminis Christianis ne Paganis nubant ait, Quis denique solennibus Paschæ abnoctantem securus sustinebit ? Tertul. ad uxor. 2. 1. Et ex more etiam Gentilium. Plut. sympos. 3. q. 6. Nobis autem, si leges civitatis rectè colimus, cavendum est, ne ad templa et sacrificia accedamus, paulò antè re venereâ usi. Itaque expedit, nocte et somno interjecto, justoque intervallo adhibito, mundos rursum quasi de integro, et ad novum diem nova cogitantes (ut ait Democritus) surgere. VOL. IV.
cupiscence, therefore it concerns all, that would be safe from this death, to arm themselves by the following rules, to prevent, or to cure all the wounds of our flesh made by the poisoned arrows of lust.
Remedies against Uncleanness. 1. When a temptation of lust assaults thee, do not resist it by heaping up arguments against it, and disputing with it, considering its offers and its dangers, but fly from it ", that is, think not at all of it; lay aside all consideration concerning it, and turn away from it by any severe and laudable thought of business. Saint Jerome very wittily reproves the gentile superstition, who pictured the virgin-deities armed with a shield and lance, as if chastity could not be defended without war and direct contention. No; this enemy is to be treated otherwise. If you hear it speak, though but to dispute with it, it ruins you; and the very arguments you go about to answer, leave a relish upon the tongue. A man may be burned, if he goes near the fire, though but to quench his house; and by handling pitch, though but to draw it from your clothes, you defile your fingers.
2. Avoid idleness, and fill up all the spaces of thy time with severe and useful employment: for lust usually creeps in at those emptinesses, where the soul is unemployed, and the body is at ease. For no easy, healthful, and idle person was ever chaste, if he could be tempted. But of all employments bodily labour is most useful, and of greatest benefit for the driving away the devil.
3. Give no entertainment to the beginnings, the first motions and secret whispers of the spirit of impurity. For if you totally suppress it, it dies w: if you permit the furnace to breathe its smoke and flame out at any vent, it will rage to the consumption of the whole. This cockatrice is soonest crushed in the shell; but if it grows, it turns to a serpent, and a dragon, and a devil.
4. Corporal mortification, and hard usages of our body,
Contra libidinis impetum apprehende fugam, si vis obtinere victoriam.
Quisquis in primo obstitit
hath, by all ages of the church, been accounted a good instrument, and of some profit against the spirit of fornication. A spare diet, and a thin coarse table, seldom refreshment, frequent fasts, not violent, and interrupted with returns to ordinary feeding, but constantly little, unpleasant, of wholesome but sparing nourishment: for by such cutting off the provisions of victual, we shall weaken the strengths of our eneiny. To which if we add lyings upon the ground, painful postures in prayer, reciting our devotions with our arms extended at full length, like Moses praying against Amalek, or our blessed Saviour hanging upon his painful bed of sorrows, the cross, and (if the lust be upon us, and sharply tempting) by inflicting any smart to overthrow the strongest passion by the most violent pain, we shall find great ease for the present, and the resolution and apt sufferance against the future danger. And this was St. Paul's remedy, “ I bring my body under;" he used some rudenesses towards it. But it was a great nobleness of chastity, which St. Jerome reports of a son of the King of Nicomedia®, who being tempted upon flowers and a perfumed bed, with a soft violence, but yet tied down to the temptation, and solicited with circumstances of Asian luxury by an impure courtesan, lest the easiness of his posture should abuse him, spit out his tongue into her face: to represent, that no virtue hath cost the saints so much as this of chastityy
5. Fly from all occasions, temptations, loosenesses of company, balls, and revellings, indecent mixtures of wanton dancings, idlė talk, private society with strange women, starings upon a beauteous face, the company of women that are singers, amorous gestures, garish and wanton dresses, feasts and liberty, banquets and perfumess, wine and strong drinks, which are made to persecute chastity; some of these * In vita S. Pauli.
Benedictus in spinis se volutavit ; S. Martinianus faciem et manus. S. Johannes, cognomento Bonus, calamos acutos inter ungues et carnem digitorum intrusit. S. Theoctistus in silvis more ferarum vixit, ne inter Arabes pollueretur.
2 Στέφος πλέκων ποθ' ευρον
being the very prologues to lust, and the most innocent of them being but like condited or pickled mushrooms, which if carefully corrected, and seldom tasted, may be harmless, but can never do good : ever remembering, that it is easier to die for chastity than to live with it; and the hangman could not extort a consent from some persons, from whom a lover would have entreated it. For the glory of chastity will easily overcome the rudeness of fear and violence; but easiness and softness and smooth temptations creep in, and, like the sun, make a maiden lay by her veil and robe, which persecution, like the northern wind, makes her hold fast and clap close about her.
6. He that will secure his chastity, must first cure .his pride and his rage. For oftentimes lust is the punishment of a proud man", to tame the vanity of his pride by the shame and affronts of unchastity; and the same intemperate heat that makes anger, does enkindle lust.
7. If thou beest assaulted with an unclean spirit, trust not thyself alone; but run forth into company, whose réverence and modesty may suppress, or whose society may divert thy thoughts : and a perpetual witness of thy conversation is of especial use against this vice, which evaporates in the open air, like camphire, being impatient of light and witnesses.
8. Use frequent and earnest prayers to the King of purities, the first of virgins, the eternal God, who is of an essential purity, that he would be pleased to reprove and cast out the unclean spirit. For beside the blessings of prayer by way of reward, it hath a natural virtue to restrain this vice: because a prayer against it is an unwillingness to act it; and so long as we heartily pray against it, our desires are secured, and then this devil hath no power. This was St. Paul's other remedy: “ For this cause I besought the Lord thrice.” And there is much reason and much advantage in the use of this instrument; because the main thing, that in this affair is
Venus rosam amat propter fabellam, quam recitat.-Labanius. Venter mero æstuanus citò despumatur in libidines. St. Hieron. Il fuoco che non mi scalda, non voglio che mi scotti.
numquid ego à te Magno prognatam deposco consule Velatâque stolâ mea cùm conferbuit ira ? --Horat. sorm. I. i. Sat. 2.