Monday, January 5, 2009

7th Commandment part2

This is the rest of Thomas Watson's look at the 7th commandment. He gives us the ways
to avoid commiting this Sin against a Holy God.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Come not into the company of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. 'Come not nigh the door of her house.' Prov 5: 8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to beware of the occasion of sin, and yet pray, 'Lead us not into temptation,' is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt.

(2) Look to your eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. 'Having eyes full of adultery.' 2 Pet 2: 14. The eye tempts the fancy, and the fancy works upon the heart. A wanton amorous eye may usher in sin. Eve first saw the tree of knowledge, and then she took. Gen 3: 6. First she looked and then she loved. The eye often sets the heart on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. 'I made a covenant with my eyes, why then should I think upon a maid?' Job 31: 1

(3) Look to your lips. Take heed of any unseemly word that may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. 'Evil communications corrupt good manners.' I Cor 15: 33. Impure discourse is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the heart by the tongue. 'Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth.' Psa 141: 3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your heart. 'Keep thy heart with all diligence.' Prov 4: 23. Every one has a tempter in his own bosom. 'Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts.' Matt 15: 19. Thinking of sin makes way for the act of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near, keeps his head, so keep your heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Prov 7: 10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. Cuttings and braidings of the hair, a painted face, naked breasts, are allurements to vanity. Where the sign is hung out, people will go in and taste the liquor. Jerome says, they who by their lascivious attire endeavour to draw others to lust, though no evil follows, are tempters, and shall be punished, because they offered the poison to others, though they would not drink.

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very catching disease; one tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords that draw men to adultery: the inclination of the heart, the persuasion of evil company, and the embraces of the harlot; and this threefold cord is not easily broken. 'A fire was kindled in their company.' Psa 106: 18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. Ludi praebent semina nequitiae [Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness]. We are bid to avoid all appearance of evil: and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there that are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. Both Fathers and Councils have shown their dislike to going to plays.
In our modern world this could translate to what movies are you watching? Do they contain
the sensuality of the world??? Remember we have a Love of the World the Love of the Father is not in us.

(8) Take heed of mixed dancing. From dancing, people come to dalliance with another, and from dalliance to uncleanness. 'There is,' says Calvin, 'for the most part, some unchaste behaviour in dancing.' Dances draw the heart to folly by wanton gestures, by unchaste touches, and by lustful looks. Chrysostom inveighed against mixed dancing in his time. 'We read,' he says, 'of a marriage feast, and of virgins going before with lamps, but of dancing there we read not.' Matt 25: 7. Many have been ensnared by dancing; as the duke of Normandy, and others. Saltatio adadulteras non ad pudicas pertinet [Dancing is the province not of the chaste woman, but of the adulteress]. Ambrose. Chrysostom says, where dancing is, there the devil is. I speak chiefly of mixed dancing. We read of dances in Scripture, but they were sober and modest. Exod 15: 20. They were not mixed dances, but pious and religious, being usually accompanied with singing praises to God.

(9) Take heed of lascivious books, and pictures that provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading bad books stirs up the mind to wickedness. I could name one who published a book to the world full of effeminate, amorous, and wanton expressions, who, before he died, was much troubled for it, and burned the book which made so many burn in lust. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust. They secretly convey poison to the heart.

(10) Take heed of excess in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, chambering and wantonness bring up the rear. Vinum fomentum libidinis; 'any wine inflames lust;' and fulness of bread is made the cause of Sodom's uncleanness. Ezek 16: 49. The rankest weeds grow out of the fattest soil. Uncleanness proceeds from excess. 'When I had fed them to the full, every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.' Jer 5: 8. Get the 'golden bridle of temperance.' God allows recruits of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in the creature clouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. Paul did 'keep under his body.' I Cor 9: 27.

(11) Take heed of idleness. When a man is out of a calling, he is ready to receive any temptation. We do not sow seed in fallow-ground; but the devil sows most seed of temptation in such as lie fallow. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and uncleanness. Ezek 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and took her to him. 2 Sam 11: 4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God's vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(12) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire love to his own wife. Ezekiel's wife was the desire of his eyes. Chap 24: 16. When Solomon had dissuaded from strange women, he prescribed a remedy against it. 'Rejoice with the wife of thy youth.' Prov 5: 18. It is not having a wife, but loving a wife, that makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his fountain, will not go abroad to drink of muddy, poisoned waters. Pure conjugal love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be cherished, that it go not out. He who loves not his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a stranger.

(13) Labour to get the fear of God into your hearts. 'By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.' Prov 16: 6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out uncleanness. Such as want the fear of God, want the bridle that should check them from sin. How did Joseph keep from his mistress's temptation? The fear of God pulled him back. 'How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' Gen. 39: 9. Bernard calls holy fear, janitor animae, 'the door-keeper of the soul.' As a nobleman's porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(14) Take delight in the word of God. 'How sweet are thy words unto my taste.' Psa 119: I03. Chrysostom compares God's word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the 'forbidden fruit.' Sint castae deliciae meae scripturae [Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure]. Augustine. The reason why persons seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures, is because they have no better.

(15) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration. Consider, [1] God sees thee in the act of sin. He sees all thy curtain wickedness.Thou canst not sin, but thy Judge looks on. 'I have seen thy adulteries and thy neighings.' Jer 13: 27. 'They have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord.' Jer 29: 23. [2] Few that are entangled in the sin of adultery, recover from the snare. 'None that go to her return again.' Prov 2: 19.. [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may ponere obicem, 'lay a bar in the way' to this sin. 'I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.' Mal 3: 5. It is good when God is a witness 'for us', when he witnesses to our sincerity, as he did to Job's; but it is sad to have God a 'witness against us.' 'I,' says God, 'will be a witness against the adulterer.' And who shall disprove his witness? He is both witness and judge. 'Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.' Heb 13: 4. [4] Consider the sad farewell the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. 'The lips of a strange woman drop as a honeycomb, but her end is bitter as wormwood.'
Prov 5: 4.

(16) Pray against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armour of proof; it quenches the wild fire of lust. If prayer will 'cast out the devil,' why may it not cast out those lusts that come from the devil?

These are just a few of the ways for us to avoid the sin of adultery...remember that the sin is not
only the physical act it is also the thought life we have...Matt 5:27-28

Saturday, January 3, 2009

7th Commandment part 1

This is a look at the 7th commandment by Thomas Watson a puritan writer from times past.
I think we really need to get back to looking at scripture the way the Puritans did. We spend
too much time "bringing the world into the Word and not bringing the Word into the world".

'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' Exod 20: 14.
The thing forbidden in the commandment is infecting ourselves with bodily pollution and uncleanness. 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' The fountain of this sin is lust. Since the fall, holy love has degenerated to lust. Lust is the fever of the soul.

There is a twofold adultery.

[1] Mental. 'Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.' Matt 5: 28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding, so he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it be not mortified.
{2] Corporal (physical); as when sin has conceived, and brought forth in the act. This is expressly forbidden under a sub poena. 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' This commandment is set as a hedge to keep out uncleanness; and they that break this hedge a serpent shall bite them. Job calls adultery a 'heinous crime.' Job 31: 2: Every failing is not a crime; and every crime is not a heinous crime; but adultery is flagitium, 'a heinous crime.' The Lord calls it villany. 'They have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives.'
Jer 29: 23
Wherein appears the greatness of this sin?
(1) It is a breach of the marriage-oath. When persons come together in a matrimonial way, they bind themselves by covenant to each other, in the presence of God, to be true and faithful in the conjugal relation. Unchastity falsifies this solemn oath; and herein adultery is worse than fornication, because it is a breach of the conjugal bond.
(2) The greatness of the sin lies in this: that it is a great dishonour done to God. God says, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' The adulterer sets his will above God's law, tramples upon his command, affronts him to his face; as if a subject should tear his prince's proclamation.
1 Cor 6:15,19,20
(3) The sin of adultery lies in this: that it is committed with mature deliberation. There is contriving the sin in the mind, then consent in the will, and then the sin is put forth into act. To sin against the light of nature, and to sin deliberately, is like the dye to the wool, it gives sin a tincture, and dyes it of a crimson colour
(4) That which makes adultery so sinful is, that it is needless. God has provided a remedy to prevent it. 'To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife.' I Cor 7: 2.
That I may deter you from adultery, let me show you the great evil of it.
(1) It is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbour that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him, who is flesh of his flesh.
(2) Adultery debases a person; it makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse neighing. 'Every one neighed after his neighbour's wife.' Jer 5: 8.
(3) Adultery pollutes. The devil is called an unclean spirit. Luke 11: 24. The adulterer is the devil's first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. And, as for the adulteress, who can paint her black enough? The Scriptures calls her a deep ditch. Prov 23: 27.
(4) Adultery is destructive to the body. 'And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed.' Prov 5: 11.
(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only, but the estate. 'By means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread.' Prov 6: 26. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers, and so left him. He that lives in luxury, dies in beggary.
(6) Adultery destroys reputation. 'Whoso committeth adultery with a woman, a wound and dishonour shall he get, and his reproach shall not be wiped away.' Prov 6: 32, 33. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground.
(7) This sin impairs the mind; it steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. 'Whoredom and wine take away the heart.' Hos 4: 11. It cats out all heart for good. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.
(8) This sin incurs temporal judgements. The Mosaic law made adultery death. 'The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;' and the usual death was stoning. Lev 20: 10; Deut 22: 24. The Salons commanded persons taken in this sin to be burnt. The Romans caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion, this sin carries a sting in its tail. The adultery of Paris and Helen was the death of both, and the ruin of Troy. 'Jealousy is the rage of a man.' Prov 6: 34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. Adultery cost Otho the emperor, and Pope Sixtus IV their lives. Laeta venire Venus, tristis abire solet [Lust's practice is to make a joyful entrance, but she leaves in misery]. I have read of two citizens in London, in 1583, who, having defiled themselves with adultery on the Lord's-day, were immediately struck dead with fire from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would rain fire again, as on Sodom
(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 'Neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, shall enter into the kingdom of God.' I Cor 6: 9. The fire of lust brings to the fire of hell. 'Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.' Heb 13: 4. Though men may neglect to judge them, yet God will judge them. But will not God judge all other sinners? Yes. Why then does the apostle say, 'Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge'? The meaning is, he will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and he will punish them severely. 'The Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust to the day of judgement to be punished, but chiefly them that walk in the lust of uncleanness.' 2 Pet 2: 9, 10.
(10) The adulterer not only wrongs his own soul, but does what in him lies to destroy the soul of another, and so kills two at once. He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yea, takes away his life, the man's soul may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and deprives her of salvation so far as in him lies. Now, what a fearful thing is it to be an instrument to draw another to hell!
(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God. 'The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.' Prov 22: 14. What can be worse than to be abhorred of God? God may be angry with his own children; but for God to abhor a man, is the highest degree of hatred.
(12) Adultery sows discord. It destroys peace and love, the two best flowers that grow in a family. It sets husband against wife, and wife against husband; and so causes the 'joints of the same body to smite one against another.' This division in a family works confusion; for 'A house divided against a house falleth.' Luke 11: 17.
These 12 points of how the sin of adultery affects us are definitely worth the time for us to meditate on them and the scripture in the points. In my next post I will go over some things we can do to avoid this grievous sin.