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COMMANDMENT VII.


Evan. Well, then, I pray you, consider that in the seventh commandment there is

a negative part expressed in these words, "Thou shalt not commit adultery"; that

is, though shalt not think, will, speak, or do anything whereby thine own chastity

or the chastity of others, may be hurt or hindered. And an affirmative part

included in these words, "But thou shalt every way, and by all good means,

preserve and keep the same."


Neo. I pray you, sir, begin with the negative part, and first tell us what is that

inward uncleanness that is forbidden in this commandment.


Evan. That we may not be guilty of the inward uncleanness of the heart, in this

commandment are forbidden all filthy imaginations, unchaste thoughts, and

inward desires and motions of the heart to uncleanness, (Matt 5:28, Col 3:5); with

all causes and occasions of stirring up and nourishing of these in the heart.


Neo. And what are the causes and occasions of stirring up and nourishing these

things in the heart which we are to avoid?


Evan. That we may not stir up and nourish inward uncleanness in our hearts, is

forbidden in this commandment gluttony, or excess in eating and pampering of the

belly with meats, (Jer 5:8); and so also is drunkenness, or excess in drinking,

(Prov 23:30,31,33); and so also is idleness, (2 Sam 11:12); and so also is the

wearing of lascivious, garish, and new fangled attire, (Prov 7:10, 1 Tim 2:9); and

so also is keeping company with lascivious, wanton, and fleshly persons, (Gen

39:10); and so also is immodest, unchaste, and filthy speaking, (Eph 4:29); and so

also is idle and curious looking of men on women, or women on men, (Gen 6:2,

39:7); and so also is the beholding of love matters, and light behaviour of men and

women represented in stage plays, (Eze 23:14, Eph 5:3,4); and so also is

immoderate and wanton dancing of men and women together, (Job 21:11,12,

Mark 6:21,22); and so also is wanton kissing and embracing, with all unchaste

touching and dalliance, (Prov 7:13).


Neo. And what is that outward actual uncleanness which is forbidden in this

commandment?


Evan. The actual uncleanness forbidden in this commandment is fornication,

which is a fleshly defilement of the body, committed between man and woman,

being both of them single and unmarried persons, (1 Cor 10:8); and so also is

adultery, which is a defilement of the body, committed between man and woman,

being either one or both of them married persons, or at least contracted, (1 Cor

6:9,18, Hosea 13:4).


Neo. I pray you, sir, proceed to the affirmative part, and tell us what the Lord

requires in this commandment.


Evan. The Lord in this commandment requires purity of heart, (1 Thess 4:5); and

he also requires speeches savouring of sobriety and chastity, (Col 4:6, Gen 4:1);

and he also requires that we keep our eyes from beholding vanity and lustful

objects, (Psa 119:37, Job 31:1); and he also requires that we be temperate in our

diet, in our sleep, and in our recreations, (Luke 21:34); and he also requires that

we possess our vessels in holiness and honour, (1 Thess 4:9); and if we have not

the gift of chastity, he requires that we take the benefit of holy marriage, (1 Cor

7:29); and that the man and wife do in that estate render due benevolence each

towards the other, (1 Cor 7:5). Thus have I also endeavoured to satisfy your

desires concerning the seventh commandment; and now, neighbour Nomologista,

I pray you tell me whether you think you keep it perfectly or no.


Nom. Sir, I thank the Lord I am free from actual uncleanness, so that I am

neither fornicator nor adulterer.


Evan. Well, but though you be free from the outward act, yet if you have had in

your heart filthy imaginations, unchaste thoughts, or inward desires, or motions of

the heart to uncleanness, you have notwithstanding transgressed this

commandment; or if you have been guilty of gluttony, or drunkenness, or

idleness, or delight to keep company with lascivious and wanton persons, or have

with your tongue uttered any unchaste or corrupt communication, or have been a

frequenter of stage plays, or have used immoderate dancing with women, or have

used wanton dalliance with kissing and embracing, then have you broken this

commandment.


Neo. I beseech you, sir, proceed to speak of the eighth commandment, as you

have done of the rest.



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