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Degrees of Sobriety.

Against this voluptuousness, sobriety is opposed in three degrees.

1. A despite or disaffection to pleasures, or a resolving against all entertainment of the instances and temptations of sensuality; and it consists in the internal faculties of will and understanding, decreeing and declaring against them disapproving and disliking them, upon good reason and strong resolution.

2. A tight and actual war against all the temptations and offers of sensual pleasure in all evil instances and degrees: and it consists in prayer, in fasting, in cheap diet and hard lodging, and laborious exercises, and avoiding occasions, and using all arts and industry of fortifying the spirit, and making it severe, manly, and Christian.

3. Spiritual pleasure is the highest degree of sobriety; and in the same degree in which we relish and are in love with spiritual delights, the hidden manna,6565Apoc. ii. 17. with the sweetness of devotion, with the joys of thanksgiving, with rejoicing in the Lord, with the comforts of hope, with the deliciousness of charity and alms-deeds, with the sweetness of a good conscience, with the peace of meekness, and the felicities of a contented spirit; in the same degree we disrelish and loathe the husks of swinish lusts, and the parings of the apples of Sodom, and the taste of sinful pleasures is unsavoury as the drunkard’s vomit.

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