Jezebel

a showily-dressed woman of suspected character; derived, of course, from 2 Kings ix. 30, but applied in this sense from the time of the Puritans. Also, a hot-tempered female.

Prov. 5. vers. 3, 4

The lips of a strange woman drop as an honey-comb, and her mouth is smoother then oyl: But her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword.



The Text here presents you with a strange woman ; with whom though I desire not to procure you a familiar acquaintance, yet I'le give you such cognizance of her, and excite that abhorrency of her baseness in all your minds, that if any have heretofore been sick for want of her company, he shall now be as sick of it; after I have made it appear that this [1]beautiful Siren, having a Womans face, ends in the Serpents tail; and discovered, not onely the Virgins-face  of this unsatiable Harpye, but her cruel talons also shrowded under her wings. That you may therefore (as [2] Amnon  did upon Tamar ) bolt the door upon this strange woman, and no longer endure the whoredoms  of this painted Jezebel ; I'le endeavour to characterize her to you, and by the infallible clue of Truth conduct you through all her intricate and winding Labyrinths. Be pleased therefore, for the explication of the word [Strange ] to take notice, that this Epithite was by the Græcians attributed to their common Prostitutes, which they called ξεναςstrangers : And hence, I conceive, it was that the Comœdian called [3]Glycerium  who was thought to live by the unlawful submission of her body,Peregrinam, a stranger, a strange woman. But I have onely hitherto told you her name; I shall now therefore proceed further to describe her to you by her sordid actions, which will ascertain you of those miseries which are her constant waiting-women or attendants. That I may therefore speedily prosecute my design, She is one whom not Argus 's hundred eyes, nor brazen  walls, nor the most vigilant Guards can secure from her lascivious incontinency: the bars and [4]hedges which Nature has made for her tongues confinement are not sufficient to restrain it within the limits of a modest discourse; and should we lock up her impure lips with a command of silence, yet could we never limit the infiniteness of her lascivious thoughts, with which she would as freely commit fornication, as if she were at liberty, and in the enjoyment of the greatest voluptuary; and we may say of her what Scipio  in another case said of himself, [5]She is never less alone than when alone. She tricks her self up with such variety of gauderies as if she were to expose her body to bring the Devil to her lure, and tempt the Tempter himself  to love her; and were that opinion of Tertullian  true, That the Devils  and fallen Angels  had carnal commerce with the Daughters of Men, and they should desire one to satisfie their lustful appetite, I'de recommend the strange woman in the Text unto them; who (like Circe ) is an amiable Sorceress, and when she hath once  charmed her Gallant  with youthful blood sparkling in his veins, and beauty dancing in his face, into the endless Circle of her lust, hee'l find a difficult [6]recovery.[7]Physitians tell us, that the reason we have in Feverish distempers our Paroxysme  but every second, third, or fourth day, and not at every circulation of the blood about the body, is, because the blood when it arrives to the heart must acquire such a degree of corruption before it can effect it, and therefore because this corruption is not sensible before many circulations have been performed, it cannot so soon create a Paroxysme : But in this impure and libidinous strumpets heart 'tis far otherwise; for she endures the Paroxysmes of the Fever  of Lust  every hour and moment, and the circulation  of her lusts in her heart is sooner performed then that of her blood. Medea  had not more damnable Arts to preserve youth and beauty then she, who has perfectly attain'd the Art of making new beauty, new hair, and counterfeit teeth; and not thinking she hath charms enough to render her amiable, has recourse to the Merchants, as unto Natural Magick, to buy there what Nature would not give her, and to make her self liked in spight of Nature's disfavours; and being accustomed to varnish over her decayed Cheeks, and the ruines of a good Face, with the fresh colours of an adventicious Paint, she by her licentiousness seems to usurp the power and liberty of Painters, who (according to the Poet) [8]were priviledg'd to do what they pleased; and (to say truth) she is an exact Painter in all her actions; for the varnishes over the deformed and execrable Name of Whore, with the flourishing Title  and Colour  of a Lady of pleasure : and whilest she discourses to her Gallant of the unlawful use of her body, she colours it over with the title of a great and incomparable favour; and (Mahomet -like) perswades all her adorers, that there's no Paradise  but that of carnal fruition, and the gratification to a domineering Lust : But I fear that this Paradise  she puts them in will prove but a Fools Paradise ; for I believe they'l quickly conclude, That the sulphureous flames which Ætna's  fiery paunch continually vomits into the Air bear not so forcible and durable a heat as the Calentures of her lustful blood; and that the poyson'd garment dipt in the Centaur's  blood, which caused Hercules  to burn in living flames, had had not such vigour and vehemency as her enflamed Lust. Whilest I hear one Historian talk of Sempronia, and give her this character, [9]That she oftner courted men to her embraces then she was courted by them, I fancy he makes mention of the strange woman in the Text: and whilest I hear another report, that Julia  arrived to that heighth of licentiousness, [10]That she would leave nothing undone which she could basely commit, either by Action or Passion, judging that lawful which pleased her humour best, me thinks he characterizes our strange woman to us. King Solomon  (understanding a hot Prostitute) tells us, Prov. 6. 27. a man cannot take fire into his bosom, but he must be necessarily burnt; and I believe that many of the Gallants of our time, who have thought onely to warm  and cherish their lusts at this she-fire, have at last been soundly burnt  by taking her into their bosomes: for this strange Woman is not like the Glow-worm, that carries only a counterfeit heat, nor of so cold a constitution as the Moon  was when she embraced Endymion ; but he thatembraces her shall find the same entertainment the Satyr did, that kiss'd the fiery coal and burnt his lips; and we may say of her, what the tyrant Nero  once said of himself and his mother Agrippina, "[11]That there can nothing come of her into the world but what is detestable and accursed." This Helena  is hot enough to inflame  Troy; this Hecuba  can bring forth nothing but a Fire-brand. Though the Toad hath a precious Stone in her head, yet her body is poysonous: And so, though this Strange Woman may wear a handsome countenance, and for her superficial and skin-deep beauty seem an inestimable Jewel, yet, if we view her throughly, we shall discover the venom of her impure body; for, though her lips drop as an honey comb, and her mouth is smoother then oyl, yet her end is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edg'd sword. Upon which two Verses of the Text, as upon two pillars, I build this practical Proposition,

That the short and transitory pleasures which the strange woman affords us, are accompanied with the sharpest and most permanent evils.

And that, First, Because she'l wound and stain our reputation. How full is the adulterer of fears and jealousies, scorching desires, and impatient waitings, tedious demurrs, sufferance of indignities, and amazements of discoveries, and his uncleanness is ever attended by shame which is its eldest daughter; for let us consider how infamous it has ever been, to be noted for a common Pathick, or a lustful Amoretto, how opprobriously Adulterers have been used by most Nations. The Law of the Ægyptians  was to cut off the Nose of an Adulterer; the Locrians  put out the Adulterers Eyes; and (the more notoriously to intimate his effeminacy) others cloathed him with wool; and Solons  Law was this, If any man take an Adulterer in the fact, he may use him how he pleases : And in the Twelve Tables, [12]If you take a man in the act of Adultery, you may kill him without danger of punishment; Impunity was intailed upon the murther of him. You may observe, that this sin of Adultery is in Scripture called a sin of darkness ; intimating to us, how the Adulterer, asham'd of the light, sneaks up and down in obscure recesses, and is onely active and vigilant when others are quiet and taking their repose. Other sinners iniquities are in Scripture numbred by the hairs of the head; but we cannot number the Adulterers so, because as his sins increase his hairs do fall ; the Spring  of his sins is his hairs Fall o' th' leaf. The second account upon which the Adulterer will conclude, That the transitory pleasures which the strange woman affords us are accompanied with the sharpest evils, is,

2. Because hee'l finde she will impair the health of his body; for though her Lips drop as an Honey-comb, and she distil the Quintessence of Rhetorick in every expression; though she does amorously caress and embrace him, yet 'tis but as the encircling Ivie does the Oak, to make him rot, wither, and decay. Though he may think himself in Heaven, and imagine her curled Arms  about him to be his Celestial Zodiack, yet hee'l (at length) finde them but as chains and fetters to enslave and captivate him to her insatiable Lust; the gratifications whereof whilest he endeavours to shew her, he must undergo as many gripes  in his guilty Conscience, as Aches  in his impure and vitious Body. She, it may be, will foment and cherish the flames of his Lust with these pleasing Blasts, by telling him that the Virgin Spring  does not appear less chaste because many thirsts are there quenched; and that those Waters stink soon that continue long in one place, but remain sweet and wholsome whilest they leave one bank and kiss another. But let us (like a prudent Ulysses ) stop our ears to the fatal voice of this dangerous Siren, least, while we sail in the Ocean  of this World, we suffer shipwrack  of Grace and a good Conscience: Don't let us stand to dispute the case, and parley with her, but rather flie from her, and avoid her company: For, we must be extremely cold, not to be warmed by so fair a fire, and very strong, to make defence against so charming an Enemy. Nor can we touch Pitch with our hands, but a foul impress will be received from it: One rotten kernel of the Pomgranate infects the fellows; and St. Paul  made that Verse Canonical, Evil communication corrupts good manners. And it is noted of Joseph, that as soon as his Mistress had laid her impure hands upon his garment, he leaves it behinde him, that he might be sure to avoid the danger of her contagious touch. And we shall assuredly finde, that she who but now compared her self to a pleasant Spring, will at last serve us with the bitter Waters  of Marah. For I appeal to the common Adulterer, Whether he be not a walking Hospital  and Pest-house  of Diseases ? Whether he is not alwayes possest with a Πειραζων, a Devil that first tempts him to all Uncleanness, and afterwards terrifies and exanimates him with the greatest horrour imaginable? and whether the violent and fervent heat of his lustfull appetite be not as unquenchable as Hell-flames? Could we have Lynceus  his eyes, and look through the decayed walls of his Body, what rottenness should we discover in his exhausted Bones? how would the whole Fabrick of his Body appear invalid and unnerved, and represent it self to us as the Embleme of a Sack of dry Bones, whose every part, were it anatomized and opened, it would corrupt and infect the Air, and store the World with as many Diseases as the opening of Pandora's  Box: insomuch that he who shall be besotted with so Lethargick a stupidity as to harbour and caress this strange woman, He (like the Hyrcanians ) may be said to keep a Dog to devour himself, or (like the mad Romans  in Arrian ) court the Fever of his own Lust, that will soon consume him, and render him as meager and pellucid as the meerest Skeleton; causing withal a no less decay in his Estate then in his Body; and this I conceive induced Solomon to say, [13]That by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread, and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. But if this be not sufficient to deter the Adulterer from this Prostitutes company, I'le advance a step higher, and press him with a third Argument, to prove, That those transitory pleasures the strange Woman affords us are accompanied with the sharpest and most permanent evils: and that

3. Because by her means an irreparable and irrecoverable damage will accrue to his immortal Soul. And in this St. Paul  shall be my President, who [14]bids us not be deceived, assuring us, That neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate persons, shall enter into the Kingdome of God[15]It was not permitted to a Dog to enter into the Acropolis, because of his excessive heat in Venery; and so neither will it be permitted to those that (like the Dog) indulge themselves in the excessive heat of Venery, to enter into Heaven, which may for its heighth be called an Acropolis, which (being interpreted) is, a City built upon a Hill. Let us consider how impossible it is that our Prayers and Oblations should be acceptable to God, when they are offered with impure hands, reeking in lust: How can we expect to look God in the face (whose eyes are purer then to behold iniquity) with our impure eyes? How can we hope to be Eagle-ey'd enough to look up to God, whose eyes are ten thousand times brighter then the Sun, when we have so weakned our eyes by the Works of Darkness, that (like Night-birds) we dread to behold the Light? How should Chamberings  and Wantonness hope to get room in Heaven, whence all kind of Marriage is excluded? When the two opposite Poles of the World meet together, and two Contradictions at the same time prove true, then, and not till then, will I believe that the Fornicator and Heaven can kiss each other. How can we call God Father, who utterly renounces those spurious off-springs of our sinful lusts, which have not their Original, nor derive their Pedegree from God, but the World and our depraved Natures? Which S. John [16] intimates to us; who making an Inventory of the Goods, or rather of the Evils  of this World, besides the Lust of the Eye, and the Pride of Life, he tells us, that the Lust of the Flesh is not of God, but of the World.

It remains now that I should prescribe you some few Recipe's  and Antidotes; which if you'l make use of, I'le warrant to cure you of the Fever of Lust, into which the Strange Woman  will endeavour to cast you: And my first is this.

First then, Let every one make a Covenant with his eyes, never to look upon any object with a lustfull and impure inclination. Job  31. 1. I have made a Covenant with my eyes, why then should I look upon a maid?Shut your Eyes, those Windows  of your Soul, through which you receive the Species  from all sinful Objects; for, through those windows  a little sin (like a little Boy) may creep in, and open the Door of your Heart to the rest. An eminent Historian of our own Nation tells us, That whilest the Earl of Salisbury  was at the Battel of Orleance, opening a little window of the Castle, where he was to view the Enemy, a little Lad killed him with a Cannon planted and discharg'd against the Windows. So, it may be, whilest thou openest thy Souls windows, thy Eyes, to look upon a beautiful Object, a small Lust may chance to shoot thee with a temptation, and leave thee dead in sin  for ever. Scipio  and Alexander  both of them are reported to have taken fair Captives: Scipio  would not suffer his to come into his sight, lest he himself might be captivated by their beauty; but Alexander  gave his Captives admittance into his presence: And though Alexanders  was the greater continency, yet Scipio  took the wisest course; for, [17]'Tis dangerous to look upon that by which we may at length be ensnared; the exposing of Beauty to be seen, and the loss of Modesty and Chastity follow one another. Let us therefore attend to our blessed Saviours words, who tells us, [18]That whosoever looks upon a woman  with an intention to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. When we come into the presence of moving Beauties, we must do as men usually do when the Summer Sun grows potent and vehement; though we admire their Beauties greatness, yet we must shun it's heat; each place can afford us a shadow to hide us from it. The Poets tell us, that when some young men had beheld the three equal beauty'd Gorgones, they were thereby deprived and divested of their human shape, and metamorphosed into stones: So, if we be not cautious how we too lasciviously gaze upon powerful Beauties, who knows how soon we may be so callous and obdurate, and our hearts be rendred so stony, that without the least regret or remorse we may first fall into the profound Abyss of Adultery, and thence to that bottomless one of Hell. We must not do by a beautiful Object as by the Crocodile, but quite contrary; for we must be sure not to look first upon it, and then we shall remain secure from its killing glances : for, he who is still looking, and always gazing, acts like him who drinks Wine in the very heighth of a Fever. But if still men will look upon fair Objects, let the same use be made of them which the wiser sort of Catholicks do of Pictures; let their beautiful features serve to raise our Devotion to God, and make us admire his curious workmanship. And since Women are of late grown so proud and licentious as to expose and prostitute themselves to the eyes of men in unseemly and immodest gestures, and they onely shew themselves true Britains  in this, that, like the ancient Britains, they delight to paint their bodies, and (like the Rain-bow) display their transient and fading colours; let us, when we see such as these, call to mind these Considerations to allay those inordinacies which may otherwise arise in our thoughts from the contemplation of so vicious objects. Let us consider, That they are but vain Dames, to bestow such curious cost on so woful and sordid a piece of dirt, which (it may be) would otherwise resemble the clay Prometheus  us'd before it was inform'd and animated; That 'tis their folly to guild a clay Wall, and enamel a Bubble, when they can give no other then a Womans  Reason for it. Let us consider, That Women have no beauty but what we are pleased to give them; and that if we call them fair, 'tis but in the way of Poetry or Complement: And that these dim Cynthia's  would be very obscure, if they borrowed not that light they have from the Sun of mens favour. Or suppose we are so candid and ingenuous as to grant them beautiful, yet we may see by experience, that their Beauty is like a sweet and much coveted Banquet, which is no sooner tasted but its delicious Luxury is swallowed up by Oblivion. Let us think with our selves, That there's no conformation of lineaments, no composition of features, no symmetry of parts so exactly combin'd and compacted in one person, but a critical eye may discover some imperfection: fairest Cynthia  is not without her spots, nor beautiful Venus  without her moles.

2. If you would be cured of the Fever of Lust, into which the Strange Woman  will endeavour to cast you, use a moderate, slender and ascetick Diet. Be content with that with which Nature her self wil be contented, and then [19]a little will suffice you; and if you do this, [20]you will act according to the Rules of Discretion and Prudence. Use Fasting and severe Abstinence, which are the proper Abscissions of the instruments and temptations of lust. And to this is reducible a restraint from all morose delectation, and looser banquetting: You must not desire to be fed at Vitellius  his board; you must not desire Nero's  effeminate baths, nor Tiberius  his naked Pictures to incite your lust; you must not hunt all grounds, draw all seas, search everybrook and bush, or dispeople the four Elements to please your wanton lusts, and try experiments upon your judicious palates; but as you must abstain from [21]things unlawful, so also from lawful  too: You must not onely take care you transcend not the Bounds  of Temperance and Moderation, but you must sometimes abridge your selves of your necessary repast; assuring your selves, That the more [22]you deny your selves, the more you shall receive from God. 'Tis storied of Richard Nevil  Earl of Warwick, (stiled also Make-King,) that in the great Battel at Ferrybrigg  between Henry  the Sixth and Edward  the Fourth, when he perceived his side almost worsted by Henry  the Sixth, he slew his Horse with his own Sword, and then uttered these Heroick expressions, Let all that will fight stay with me ; and then (according to the Ceremony of those times) kissing the Cross upon his Sword, he fought with singular courage and prowess: So in the conflict between our Lusts and us, let us kill and mortifie our Bodies, which (in the language of Socrates ) are our Soul's Horses, and then excite every Faculty of our Souls with these words, Let all that will fight stay with me ; and when we have done thus, let us kiss and take up our Cross, and fight stoutly under Christ the Captain of our Salvation against our Lusts; it being impossible to keep the Spirit pure, whilest 'tis overburdened with too much Flesh, and exposed to all entertainments of Enemies by fomentations and pamperings; remembring the divine counsel of the [23]Philosopher, That we must not take care for the Body simply as the Body, but as subservient to the Soul. And that you may be the better induced to do this, remember (as the fore-cited Author [24]has well said), That your Soul is your self, but your Body yours; for 'tis the Soul which uses, but that which is used by it is the Body : And by this separation of the Soul from the Body, you will preserve your nature from confusion, nor think that things τὰ εντὸς which are without concern you, nor contend for those as for your self, and so consequently avoid too much care of your body; not resembling those, that, so that Sumpter-horse the Body be hung with gaudy Trappings, and pamper'd, care not with what rags they cloath the Soul. We may also consider that these high pamperings and feasting our selves have no real pleasure in them; and this I am sure was the Orators judgment, when he said, [25]I would not fancy or imagine with my self as if luxurious gluttons lived pleasantly, and such who vomit upon the table again what but now they took off, and with their crude stomacks, carried from Feasts, the next day ingurgitate themselves into them again; who, by reason of their laziness and surfeiting, see the Sun neither rise nor set, and are in indigency of those Estates which they have profusely expended: none of us  (saith he) ever thought such gluttons as these live a pleasant life. And the same Author tells us, [26]That there is no less pleasure to be taken in a slender and spare diet, then in the most exquisite dainties; there being no less delight in the Persian Nasturtium, then in the richly furnished Syracusan  Tables, so much cry'd down and discommended by Plato. But this shall suffice for the second Recipe : and my third is this.

3. Secure your Heart so well that no ill thought creeps into it, and proves an incentive to lust; let not the smallest ventricle of your heart conceive an evil thought, lest at last it bring forth sin. One little Flie will taint and corrupt a great quantity of flesh; and so one little thought hovering about thy heart (like a little Flie) will quickly taint it. Be sure therefore (like the Emperour Domitian [27]) alwayes to be catching and killing these Flies. Consider, that if you indulge your selves in wicked thoughts and lustings, there wants nothing to the consummation of the act but some convenient circumstances, which because they are not then attainable, the act is for a time impeded, but the malice nothing abated: For [28]the Law of Not coveting  no less forbids sinful desires and concupiscences then sinful actions; for no man desires or lusts after any thing but what pleases him: But every complacency or delight in an unlawful matter, although short and transient, nay, although at last repulsed and cohibited from breaking out into an external act, hath contracted by that very motion the blemish and spot of an internal sin. And hence S. Augustin, following the Doctrine of S. Paul, affirms, [29]That the concupiscence of the flesh  is sin in a good man, Because he has in him a disobedience and reluctancy against the government of the rational faculty. Again, He sins that inwardly lusteth or desires, although he follow not those desires by a consequent act, Because such motions are not pure passions, but involve negations of due acts which ought to have been in lieu thereof: A man may be incestuous [30]that never bodily commits the act; and from these impure fires, which men kindle and cherish within them, they are usually in love with their deformed lusts, as Alcæus  was with the warts [31]in his Boys face, though they are deformed marks. When Brutus  and Cassius  assaulted Cæsar  with a design and resolution to murther him, we read, that as soon as he saw Brutus  he cryed out, Και συ τεκνονAnd art thou here my Son, my Darling ? and opened his breast to him. So when any Lust comes to assault us with a design to make us dead in sin, we court and caress it in Cæsars  words, Art thou here, my Darling? and open our hearts and breasts unto it; whereas we should alwayes be prepared with preservatories against it.

4. Let your discourse be alwayes chast and pure: Decline with great care all undecent obscenity in your language, chastening and confining your tongue, and restraining it with Grace; for, as St. James  tells us, Jam. 3. 2. If any man offend not in word  (tongue) the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Either be silent, or speak those things which are better then silence, is a good Rule here. Every bad tree is known by its bad fruit, and an unclean man may be trac'd by his unclean discourse; it being a shrewd symptom the Will is depraved, when our Discourse is unchaste and obscene. And in this [32]Hierocles concurrs with me; The Will of man  (saith he) adhering long neither to Virtue nor Vice, utters forth expressions inclining to both, as resembling the contrary affections in it. This advice therefore of Tyrius Maximus  is very soveraign; [33]I require such a pleasure in words which Virtue may not disdain to make her Waiting-woman and attend upon her. St. James  calls the Tongue a fire, Jam. 3. 6. And the School-men call the Lusts of the Flesh (Fomes ) Tinder. Let us therefore be careful that the Fire of our Tongue light not upon this Tinder, and kindle it. Modesty and a becoming Blush is the Fence  of all Virtue; and when this is broken down by obscene talk, the Banks  will overflow with impure Streams. A Rose, when it hath lost its blush, and begins to look pale, by those symptoms you may conclude that 'tis a dying. It hath ever been accounted a true Rule, Qualis Vir, talis Oratio. We know the Bird by the Tune, the Beagle by his Mouth, and a Man by his Words. We cannot expect that he that hath lost his voice  with his Chastity  should sing Praises to God so melodiously  as another that is chaste, virtuous, and continent. A stinking breath is not a more sure symptom of putrid Lungs, then an obscene Tongue of an unclean Heart. 'Twere better that this Clapper  stood still, except it could give a purer sound ; it were better this Clock  never struck, except it were for other ends then to awaken our Lusts, and put them in motion. And I look upon obscene discourse but as an impure Breath coming out of the mouth, which is fit for nothing but to make an Exhalation  or Ignis fatuus, which (if we follow it) will lead us into Bogs and precipices of Uncleanness ; but if we fall down, and prostrate our selves before God in Prayer, it will quickly be dissolved: Wherefore,

5. Let us use frequent and earnest Prayers to God, to give us the assistance of his holy Spirit; for this Devil of Lust sometimes cannot be cast out but by Prayer. When the Romans  were in great distress, & surprized with a sudden assault of their Enemies, they ran to the Temple to get Arms, which were laid there against an extraordinary occasion: So, if we shall be at any time assaulted by our Lusts let us have recourse to theTemple of God, and take up the Arms of the Church, which are Prayers and Tears. We must not (as Nero  did at the burning of Rome ) sing Pæans  and rejoyce, when our Bodies (those Temples of the Holy Ghost) are burning with the flames of Lust. Numa Pompilius, when news was brought him that his Enemies were ready to surprize him, put off the Messenger with this ready memorable Speech, Εγω δε θυωI am offering a sacrifice to God : So, when we have any news of being surprized by our Lusts, we may return  the same answer; 'Tis enough if we are at our Prayers, which will secure and guard us from them. Plutarch  reports of a Boy, who though he was burnt with a coal that fell from the Altar, yet continued his oblation of Sacrifice without intermission: So let us (though we are sometimes burned with the fire of Lust) be so fervent in our Prayers to God, that the fervency  of them may exceed and draw away the heat of our Lusts, as a great Fire does the heat which was caused by a less.

6. Avoid Idleness, and be sure alwayes to be well employed. I may give an idle man that character one [34]gives of Themistocles  when out of imployment, That he will be luxurious, dissolute, lustful, and intemperate. Mans heart is a Mill ever grinding some grist or other; and I may add, If there be no grain for it to work upon, it sets itself on fire with lust. Let us consider, that whilest we are idle, and not imployed, we can expect no assistance from God, if we should be assaulted by Lust: according to that of the Historian:[35]When we once give our selves over to idleness, we shall in vain implore the aid and assistance of God, for then he is angry and offended at us. No, no, let us rather be in continual action and imployment, and be diligently conversant in our several lawful vocations: For (as the same Author tells us) [36]We cannot by a few weak prayers only and faint Supplications obtain aid and assistance from God; but by watching, and being in continual action and consultation, all things will succeed prosperously unto us. It was a saying of Appius Clodius[37]That it were better for the Romans  to be busied and imployed, then remiss and idle; Because great Empires by agitation and motion are excited to Vertue. And it was anothers complaint,[38]That Idleness (that great enemy to Discipline ) corrupted and spoiled the Roman  Souldiers. And so may we complain, that Idleness hinders us in our Spiritual Warfare against our Lusts. Whilest Atalanta  was imployed in hunting with Diana, she kept her Virginity pure and immaculate; but when she fell into Idleness, she indulg'd her self in the gratification of her insatiable Lusts: So, whilest our Souls are employed in hunting after knowledge, and other things which are commendable and praise-worthy, they may preserve themselves from Lust and Uncleanness. It was a saying of a Latine  Poet, [39]Take away Idleness, and you break Cupids  Bow : And I may say, with more then Poetical Authority, Take away Idleness, and you break the Devils Bow; for Idleness is the Bow out of which the Devil shoots the fiery Darts of his Temptations at us. And if, after all these Means used, you cannot contain your selves within the bounds of Chastity, then

7. Enter the sacred Bonds of Matrimony : 'Tis far better thou shouldest marry then burn. Take St. Pauls counsel, who, [40]to avoid fornication, bids every man have his own Wife, and every woman have her own Husband. And though I cannot but esteem a single life and holy Cælibate (which was consecrated by the holy Jesus  in his proper person) to be an excellent Virtue; yet since every one hath not that gift of continence which our Saviour had, and God hath instituted Matrimony as an Ordinance, and the holy Jesus  hallowed it and made it honourable with the expence of the first Miracle (we read) he ever performed on Earth, and made it more sublimate by making it a Representation of the Union betwixt Him and his Spouse the Church; it is a thing highly commendable in it self, and to be made use of as a great Preservative against inordinacies in our Affections and unruly Passions: And a Learned Author puts it in the Catalogue of such Arts [41]without which a man cannot live well and happily ; and says, "That although to live a single life is not totally repugnant to Humane Nature, yet it is repugnant to the Nature of most Men; Because a single life and cælibate are onely fitted for the most excellent Minds, and such as are refined from the dross of impure concupiscence." And another Author brings in Romulus  speaking to his neighbouring Nations, [42]That they would not grudge to mix themselves together in a joynt Allyance and Consanguinity. And though the Roman State seemed to countenance a single life, because they afforded Dignities to certain Vestal Virgins, yet the number of those Vestals was but small; and then the Dignities and Priviledges which they had were no other but that they were made equal in State to married Wives; they were preferred before all that lived unmarried, but not before married persons.

But whilest I am speaking of this Order of Vestal Nuns, I cannot but endeavour to excite in you an abhorrency of those destructive Nunneries into which the Papists cast their Virgins in their infancy, and before they come to maturity of years, or are (which they can never be) able to judge of the strength of their own continency. Into what Stews have these Nunneries been frequently converted, by reason of restraining those from the sacred Ligament of Marriage who have not so absolute a command over themselves as to abstain from unlawful carnality? How is that sacred Fire, which among the Romans  of old was preserved by their Vestal Virgins, by these changed into Flames of Lust, which all their Holy-water  will never allay or extinguish? Oh! that these sottish abusers of the Holy Ordinance of God called Marriage would but call to minde how the blessed and immaculate Virgin (our Saviours Mother) was betrothed to Joseph, lest honourable Marriage might be disreputed, and seem inglorious, by a positive rejection from any participation of that transcendent honour! I could heartily wish that these our Romanists  would but imitate the brave example of the old Romans, who thought none eligible to be Jupiters  Priests but such as were Married; and (as Tacitus  and Suetonius  tell us) set a Fine upon their heads who refused to be united in the holy Bonds of Matrimony. It was out of respect to this, that the Emperour Augustus  sent for Germanicus  his Children, and hugging and caressing them in his Royal breast, signified by his countenance, and other signes of his hand, that others ought to imitate Germanicus  in marrying with joy and alacrity.

And thus you see I have asserted and maintained the laudable Priviledge and Ordination of Marriage; and now cannot but be convinced that you think, in this my last Recipe  of Marriage I have prescribed you pleasanter Physick then in any of the former: If therefore you cannot obtain a cure from them, you may from this joyned to them. Suetonius  tells us, that Galba  selected a Jewel to beautifie and adorn the Goddess Fortune ; which (on the sudden) as if it deserved a more sacred Deity, he dedicated to Venus. But I hope, that we, after we have selected those Pearls of price our Souls for Gods service, shall not dedicate them to Venus and our sensual appetites; for we are most certainly informed by the Text, That the end thereof is bitter as wormwood, and sharp as a two-edged sword.



F  I  N  I  S



N  o  t  e  s

[1] Mulier formosa supernè definit in piscem. Hor. de arte Poët.

[2] 2 Sam. 13. 18.

[3] Terent. in Glycerio.

[4] ἑρκος ο δοντωνHomer.

[5] Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus. Tull. de Offic.

[6] Sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras ——Hic labor hoc opus est —Virg.

[7] Bartholin. in Tractatu de motu Chyli.

[8] —Pictoribus——Quidlibet audendi semper fuit æqua potestas. Hor. de arte Poët.

[9] Sæpius petiit viros quàm petebatur. Salust.

[10] Nihil quod turpiter facere aut pati posset infectum relinqueret, quicquid liberet pro licito judicans. Suet.

[11] Sueton. in vit. Neron.

[12] Mœchum in adulterio deprehensum impunè necato.

[13] Prov. 6. 26.

[14] 1 Cor. 6. 9.

[15] Rouse  in Archæolog. Attic.

[16] 1 Joh. 2. 16.

[17] Periculosum est illud per quod quis aliquando captus sit videre; propè se consequuntur proponi formam & exponi pudicitiam. Senec.

[18] Matth. 5. 28.

[19] Natura paucis contenta. Sen.

[20] Nunquam aliud natura aliud sapientia dicit. Hor.

[21] Ut semper abstineas ab illicitis aliquando etiam a licitis. Sen.

[22] Quanto quisque sibi plura negaverit a diis plura feret. Horat.

[23] Ου γαρ σωματος ἁπλως επιμελεισθαι δει αλλα σωματος διανοια ὑπερημενου.Hierocl.

[24] Ευ εις ἡ ψυχη το δε σωμα σον το γαρ χρωμενον ἡ ψυχη, το δε ὡ χρηται το σωμα.

[25] Nolim mihi fingere asotos, qui in mensam vomant, & qui de conviviis auferantur, crudiq; se postridiè rursus ingurgitent, qui Solem (ut ajunt) nec Occidentem unquam viderint nec Orientem, qui consumptis patrimoniis egent, nemo nostrum istius generis asotos jucundè putat vivere. Tull.de Finibus Bonor. & Malor.

[26] In tenuissimo ego victu, i.e. escis contemptissimis & potionibus non minorem voluptatem percipi arbitror quam rebus exquisitissimis ad epulandum. Tull. ibid.

[27] Sueton. in vit. Domitian.

[28] Lex non concupiscendi, origines delictorum, i.e. concupiscentias & voluntates non minùs quàm facta condemnat. Tertull. de Pudicit.

[29] Peccatum est, quia illi inest inobedientia contrà dominatum mentis. Aug. lib. 5. c. 3. contràJulian.

[30] Incesta est sine stupro anima quæ stuprum quærit. Sen.

[31] Nævus in vultu delectat Alcæum, erat deformitas, at illi placebat. Cic.

[32] Ἡ ανθρωπι νυ προαιρεσις μητ' εν αρετη αιει εστωσα, μητ' εν κακια, και του δια φωνης προιοντας λογους επαμφοτεριζοντας απεγενησιν ὡς εοικοτας ταις εναντιαις αυτης διαθεσι. Hierocl.

[33] Τοι αυτης δεομαι ἡ δο νης λογου ἡν ουκ απαξιωσει ἡ αρετη ὁπαδον αυτη γινεσθαι. Tyr. Maxim.

[34] Simul ac se remiserat, nec causa suberat quare laborem serret luxuriosus, dissolutus, libidinosus, ac intemperans reperiebatur.

[35] ubi socordiæ atque ignaviæ te dederis, nequicquam Deos implores, irati atq; in festi sunt.Salust.

[36] Non votis neque supplicationibus muliebribus auxilia Deorum parantur, vigilando, agendo, bene consulendo, prosperè omnia cedent. Sal. de Bel. Lat.

[37] Negotium meliùs populo Romano quam otium committi quòd imperia præpotentia agitatione rerum ad virtutem capessendam excitarentur. Flor. lib. 3.

[38] Res disciplinæ inimicissima otium milites corrupit. Paterc. lib. 2.

[39] Otia si tollas periere Cupidinis arcus. Ovid. de Remed. Amor.

[40] 1 Cor. 7. 2.

[41] Sine quibus vita commodè duci nequit. Grot. de Jur. Bel. & Pac.

[42] Ne graventur homines cum hominibus genus & sanguinem miscere. Liv. Decad. lib. 1.