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structed in that, it must be supplied with an inadvertency or neglect of all thoughts and remembrances of such difference; and the following parts of it must be pious and chaste thoughts, holy language, and modest carriage.
3. Virgins must be retired and unpublic: for all freedom and looseness of society is a violence done to virginity, notin its natural, but in its moral capacity; that is, it loses part of its severity, strictness, and opportunity of advantages, by publishing that person, whose work is religion, whose company is angels, whose thoughts must dwell in heaven, and separate from all mixtures of the world.
4. Virgins have a peculiar obligation to charity: for this is the virginity of the soul; as purity, integrity, and separation is of the body: which doctrine we are taught by St. Peter: "Seing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." For a virgin, that consecrates her body to God, and pollutes her spirit with rage, or impatience, or inordinate anger, gives him what he most hates, a most foul and defiled soul.
5. These rules are necessary for virgins, that offer that state to God, and mean not to enter into the state of marriage for they that only wait the opportunity of a convenient change, are to steer themselves by the general rules of chastity.
Rules for Widows, or vidual Chastity.
For widows, the fontinel of whose desires hath been opened by the former permissions of the marriage-bed, they must remember,
1. That God hath now restrained the former license, bound their up their heart into a narrower and shut eyes up compass, and hath given them sorrow to be a bridle to their desires. A widow must be a mourner; and she that is not, cannot so well secure the chastity of her proper state.
2. It is against public honesty to marry another man, so long as she is with child by her former husband: and of the same fame, it is in a lesser proportion to marry, within the year of mourning; but anciently it was infamous for her to
• 1 Pet. i. 22.
marry, till by common account the body was dissolved into its first principle of earth.
3. A widow must restrain her memory and her fancy, not recalling or recounting her former permissions and freer licenses with any present delight: for then she opens that sluice, which her husband's death and her own sorrow have shut up.
4. A widow, that desires her widowhood should be a state pleasing to God, must spend her time as devoted virgins should, in fastings, and prayers, and charity.
5. A widow must forbid herself to use those temporal solaces, which in her former estate were innocent, but now are dangerous.
Rules for married persons, or matrimonial Chastity.
Concerning married persons, besides the keeping of their mutual faith and contract with each other, these particulars are useful to be observed P.
1. Although their mutual endearments are safe within the protection of marriage, yet they that have wives or husbands, must be, as though they had them not; that is, they must have an affection greater to each other, than they have to any person in the world, but not greater than they have to God: but that they be ready to part with all interest in each other's person rather than sin against God.
2. In their permissions and license, they must be sure to observe the order of nature, and the ends of God." He is an ill husband, that uses his wife as a man treats a harlot"," having no other end but pleasure. Concerning which our best rule is, that although in this, as in eating and drinking, there is an appetite to be satisfied, which cannot be done without pleasing that desire; yet since that desire and satisfaction was intended by nature for other ends, they should never be separate from those ends, but always be joined with all or one of these ends, "with a desire of children, or to avoid fornication, or to lighten and ease the cares and sad
P Nisi fundamenta stirpis jacta sint probè, Miseros necesse est esse deinceps posteros. Eurip.
4 Non debemus eodem amico uti et adulatore; nec eâdem uti uxcre et scorto, Plut. conjug. præcept.
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 measures. 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 restraints (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
Non rectè est ab Herodoto dictum, simul cum tunicâ mulierem verecundiam ex-' uere. Quæ nam casta est, positâ veste, verecundiam ejus loco induit, maximèque verecundiâ conjuges tesserâ maximi invicem amoris utuntur. Plut. conjug. præcept.
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.
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.
↑ 1 Cor. vii. 5.
■ Hoc etiam ex more Christianorum. Tertul. suadens fœminis 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.
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 danger, 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 ": 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. St. Aug. Nella guerra d' amor chi fuge vince.
Quisquis in primo obstitit
Senec. Hippol. 134.