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a man take fire in his boson, and his clothes not be burnt? For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase. The mouth of strange women is a deep pit; he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein. For by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread". He goeth after her as an ox to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks, as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Let not thine heart decline to her ways; go not astray in her paths. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these, things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience: for this ye know, that no whoremonger nor unclean person hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. The Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished, but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness". Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; cursed children, they shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, and utterly perish in their own corruption'. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire*.
SECT. 3. Considerations why Christians particularly ought to abstain from it.
Walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind; having the understanding darkened, who being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness". Be not ye partakers with them: for ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of the
b Prov. vi. 27.
• Prov. vi. 26.
hy Pet. ii. 9, 10.
§ 3. Eph. iv. 17-19.
e Job, xxxi. 12.
Prov. vii. 22,23,25,27. i 2 Pet.ii. 14, 13, 12.
d Prov. xxii. 14.
Eph. v. 6, 5.
light'. Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof. If a man therefore purge himself from these things, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work". Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid ". Know ye not, that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God? And ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in vour body, and in your spirit, which are God's". If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are". Blessed are the pure in spirit; for they shall see God1*.
OF INDUSTRY AND DILIGENCE, IN OPPOSITION TO SLOTH AND IDLENESS.
SECT. 1. Sloth is an evil, productive of the greatest calamities; and, when compared with industry, its disadvantages are fully seen.-2. Industry is indispensably necessary in all the affairs of life.-3. It is enjoined by the gospel in all our secular concerns.— 4. A zealous activity in the ways of religion was required under the law.-5. The greatest diligence and watchfulness are to be exercised in our spiritual concerns.-6. Various motives and incitements to this diligence and watchfulness.—7. The subject continued.-8. In the labours of St. Paul we have a
Eph. v. 7, 8.
1 Cor. vi. 15.
1 Cor. iii. 17.
• See further on this subject, the preceding chapter on PURITY.
Rom. xiii. 14.
f 1 Cor. iii. 16.
2 Tim. ii. 21.
1 Cor. vi. 19, 20.
proper example of sacred diligence.-9. The blessedness of those that labour and overcome. 10. The Apostle's joy in diligent and steadfast Christians, and his prayers for them.
SECT. 1. Sloth is an evil, productive of the greatest calamities; and, when compared with industry, its disadvantages are fully seen.
LOVE not sleep, lest thou come to poverty"; for drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. As the door turneth upon its hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed; he hideth his hand in his bosom, it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger. The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing". The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorus; he saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets. He also that is slothful in his work, is brother to him that is a great waster1. Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. The ants are a people not strong; which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest'. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall thy poverty come as one that travaileth, and thy want as an armed man". I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well; I looked upon it, and received instruction". By much slothfulness, the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands, the house droppeth
§ 1. Prov. xx. 13.
d Prov. xix. 15.
through. As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him. Behold this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her, and in her daughters1.
He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son; but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame'. He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread; but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding', and shall have poverty, enough. The hand of the diligent shall bear rule; but the slothful shall be under tribute". The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting; but the substance of a diligent man is precious. The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat'. The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep*.
SECT. 2. Industry is indispensably necessary in all the affairs of life.
Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men*. He that diligently seeketh good, procureth favour. In all labour there is profit; and the labour of the righteous tendeth to life. The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work'. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goests. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they shall be alike good".
Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds'; for the lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance of thy maidens*.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies'. She seeketh wool and flax; and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength". She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff". She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her°.
SECT. 3. It is enjoined by the gospel in all our secular
Put them in mind to be ready to every good work". Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's free man; likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant'. And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Furthermore, we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us, how ye ought to walk, and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive®.
Prov. xxvii. 23. Prov. xxxi. 13-17. a Tit. iii. 1.
1 Thess. iv. 1.
* Prov. xxvii. 26, 27.
I Prov. xxxi. 10.