The Glorious Victory of Chastity; in Joseph’s Hard Conflict, and His Happy Escape (From Potiphar’s Wife) Jenks (1646–1724), divine, eldest son of John Jenks, vicar of Eaton-under-Haywood, Shropshire. This book was mentioned in Pike and Haywards Cases of Conscience – 1755, and by George Herbert, in a letter. It was not easy to find an online copy to narrate, and finding it to read, and in reading it to put it into more modern English at the same time, but it was certainly worth it!
When men enter into a course of sin, they have no intention to be damned. They intend only to indulge the selves in the pleasures of sin for a time, and then to return to the paths of life. Millions of souls have been seduced to everlasting destruction by this one temptation of the old serpent,— “Ye shall not die although you eat; grace is free, and there is abundance of time to repent.” The wise man gives what may repel is temptation, by letting us know how foolish it is for men to flatter themselves with the hope, that they shall be truly disposed and enabled to repent of their sin.
This is a sermon from the Collected Works of Matthew Henry Volume 1. From Four Discourses Against Vice and Profaneness. Henry wrote, “That is a miserable calling which lust only lives by, and which soul and body will certainly be ruined by. That is a miserable service wherein the devil is the master, sin’s drudgery is the work, and hell-fire the wages, for the end of those things is death.
Such houses, and their inhabitants and maintainers, are the scandal of a Christian nation, the pests of the towns and countries where they are, the slaughter-houses of precious souls, the rendezvous of the vilest of creatures ; and more frightful habitations of devils, holds of foul spirits, and cages of unclean and hateful birds, than Babylon the great will be when it is fallen, Rev. 18:2.
If thou wouldst be free from lust, keep far enough from the tempting object. If possible, dwell not in the house with any person that thou feelest thyself endangered by; if that be not possible, avoid their company, especially in private: abhor all lascivious and immodest actions. Dost thou give thyself the liberty of wanton dalliance, and lustful embracements, and yet think to be free from lust? wilt thou put thy hand into the fire, when thou art afraid of being burnt? Either thou hast the power of thy own heart, or thou hast not: if thou hast, why dost thou not quench thy lust? if thou hast not, why dost thou cast it upon greater temptations, and put it further out of thy power than it is? Fly from a tempting object for thy safety, as thou wouldst fly from an enemy for thy life. These loving enemies are more dangerous than hating enemies: they get the key of our hearts, and come in and steal our treasure with our consent, or without resistance; when an open enemy is suspected and shut out…..If you think this course too dear a cure, and had rather cherish your flesh and lust, you are not the persons that I am now directing; for I speak to such only as are willing to be cured, and to use the necessary means that they may be cured. If you be not brought to this, your conscience had need of better awakening.
Potiphar had left the management of his affairs entirely in his hands. But now there came a terrible trial, before which multitudes would have fallen, but out of which he came blighted, indeed, for a season in reputation, but strengthened and ennobled in character, and so the better fitted for the performance of the work which he had still to do.
Temptations have several degrees. Some arise to such an height, do so press on the soul, so cruciate and disquiet it, so fight against all opposition that is made to it, that it is a peculiar power of temptation that he is to wrestle withal. When a fever rages, a man knows he is sick, unless his distemper have made him mad.
I much question what assistance he will have from God in his temptation who willingly enters into it, because he supposes God hath promised to deliver him out of it. The Lord knows that, through the craft of Satan, the subtlety and malice of the world, the deceitfulness of sin, that doth so easily beset us, when we have done our utmost, yet we shall enter into divers temptations. In his love, care, tenderness, and faithfulness, he hath provided such a sufficiency of grace for us, that they shall not utterly prevail to make an everlasting separation between him and our souls.
From their book, Cases of Conscience. In their answer they mention a book by Benjamin Jenks, Victory of Chastity.
This chapter, from Preston’s book Sin’s Overthrow, is an exposition of Colossians 3:5 written in 1633
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