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Evil Consequences of Voluptuousness or Sensuality.

1. A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man, and makes it loose, soft, and wandering; unapt for noble, wise, or spiritual employments; because the principles upon which pleasure is chosen and pursued are sottish, weak, and unlearned, such as prefer the body before the soul,6161   Tu sia nimum vicisi potius quam animus te, est quod gaudeas.
   Qui animum vincunt, quam quos animus, semper prokiores cluent.—Triuum 2.2. 29.
the appetite before reason, sense before the spirit, the pleasures of a short abode before the pleasures of eternity.

2. The nature of sensual pleasure is vain, empty, and unsatisfying, biggest always in expectation, and a mere vanity in the enjoying, and leaves a sting and thorn behind it when it goes off. Our laughing, if it be loud and high, commonly ends in a deep sigh; and all the instances of pleasure have a sting in the tail, though they carry beauty on the face, and sweetness on the lip.

3. Sensual pleasure is a great abuse to the spirit of a man, being a kind of fascination or witchcraft, blinding the understanding and enslaving the will. And he that knows he is free-born, or redeemed with the blood of the Son of God, will not easily suffer the freedom of his soul to be entangled and rifled.6262Μουου σκιψσυ ποσου πωλεις τλυ σεαυτου πραιρεαιυ, αμφρωπε ει ρηοτυ αλλο, ρη ολιγου αυτπυ πωλπαδς.—Arrian, c. 2.1 i.

4. It is most contrary to the state of a Christian, whose life is a perpetual exercise, a wrestling and warfare, to which sensual pleasure disables him, by yielding to that enemy with whom he must strive if ever he will be crowned.6363φιλεες ολυγπια υεκηασι: Δει σε ευτακτειυ, αυαγκοτροφειυ απεχεσφαυ περατων, γερμαζεσξατ πμαγκημ, etc. Epict. c. 29. 2. ed.Schw. And this argument the apostle intimated: “He that striveth for masteries to temperate in all things: now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible.”64641. Cor. ix. 25.

5. It is by a certain consequence the greatest impediment in the world to martyrdom: that being a fondness, this being a cruelty to the flesh; to which a Christian man, arriving by degrees, must first have crucified the lesser affections: for he that is overcome by little arguments of pain, will hardly consent to lose his life with torments.

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