SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D. REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
§ II.—If you would now be acquainted with the power of this tyrant, you may easily gather it, by observing what effects he has wrought in the world in all ages. I will not, to this purpose, represent to you the fictions of the poets, or set before you the example of their famous Hercules, who, after having killed or tamed all the monsters in the world, was himself at last so subdued by the unchaste love of a woman as to lay down his club for a distaff, and to leave his adventures to sit and spin amongst a company of maids, in compliance to his haughty mistress commands. It is a pretty invention of the poets, to show what arbitrary power this passion exercises over us. Nor will I allege the authority of the Holy Scripture in proof of this truth; nor bring the example of Solomon, a man of such extraordinary wisdom and sanctity at one time, whilst at another he was prostrating himself before his idols, and building temples to them, in complaisance to his concubines; 3 Kings xi. It is an example, indeed, that comes very home to our present purpose, but we will only take notice of those instances that occur to us daily. Consider, therefore, what dangers an adulteress exposes herself to, for the satisfying of an inordinate appetite. I choose this passion before any of the rest, that by this you may discover the force of the other. She knows that, should her husband surprise her in the crime, she is a dead woman, and that she shall in one moment lose her life, her honor, her riches and her soul, nay, and whatever else she is capable of losing, either in this world or in the next, which is the greatest loss can be sustained. She knows that, besides all this, she shall disgrace her children and her whole family, and that she shall herself find subject of eternal sorrow; and yet, such is the force of this passion, or rather such is the tyrant, that it makes her break through all these difficulties, and swallow down so many bitter draughts so easily, for the executing all it commands her. Was there ever any master so cruel as .to expose even his slave to so much danger, for the performance of his orders ? Can you think of any slavery more hard and miserable than this?
This is the state the wicked generally live in, according to the royal prophet's remark, when he says, "They are seated in darkness and in the shadow of death; they suffer hunger, and are bound down with chains of iron;" Ps. cvi. 10. What can the prophet mean by this darkness, but the dark blindness the wicked live in, who neither know themselves nor God as they ought to do, nor understand what it is they live for, ,or what is the end of their creation. They are unacquainted with the vanity of what they love, and are not sensible of the slavery with which they are oppressed. And what are the chains that bind them down but the force of those irregular affections, by which their hearts are so close linked to all things they have such an unlawful love for? And what can this hunger signify but the insatiable desire they have of many things which there is no possibility of obtaining ? Is there any slavery so troublesome as this ?