None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.…
There are times when and conditions under which it is both our right and our duty to speak on this subject. We may offend delicacy by speech, and must therefore be careful what we say. But we may neglect obligation and opportunity by silence, and must therefore use fitting occasion for speech. There is a time to warn the young against an evil which may slay them with a mortal wound. We may glance, and only glance, at -
I. THE FEARFUL LENGTH TO WHICH IMPURITY MAY PASS. God made man male and female that, related to one another thus, they might be happy in one another's fellowship; that husband, wife, and child might complete the harmony of human life. But for the confusing and disturbing element of sin, there would have been nothing but holy conjugal affection and happy human homes. How dark and sad a contrast to this does society present! How melancholy the thought that impurity should Dot only have tainted so many souls, but should have taken so may forms! that not only have the natural relations of the sexes been too unlimited, too unrestrained, but that sin of this description has taken unnatural, shocking, and abominable forms! that its dark and shameful manifestations are such as we hardly like to Dame, and do not dare to think of (verses 22, 23)! Only a holy compulsion will induce us even to make passing reference to such things. So low, to such dark depths, into such a "far country" of vileness does the sin of impurity extend.
II. THAT GUILTY INDULGENCE IS THE ONLY EXPLANATION OF THIS EVIL PROGRESS. How can such things be? is the simple question of the pure heart. How by any possibility can human nature sink into such a gulf of depravity? How can we account for it that the soul which once knew the innocency of childhood finds an awful pleasure in such shameful deeds? The answer is undoubtedly here. The very possibility of it is a part of the penalty of the sins which have been committed. Sins of impurity leave a stain upon the soul; the seducer has not only to suffer the rebuke of God, the reproaches of the one he has wronged and ruined, and the stings of his own conscience - some day to be awakened, but he has to "bear his iniquity" in a depraved taste, in a stained and injured nature, in a lowered and baser appetite. In this, as in other matters, perhaps more fearfully than in most, "he that sinneth against God wrongeth his own soul" (Proverbs 8:36). Let the man who gives way to impurity remember that he is traveling on a downward course that ends in saddest depravation of soul, and that will leave him open to those more vile temptations which would disgrace and even disgust him now.
III. THE TRUE TREATMENT OF THIS DESTROYING SIN. Trace the evil back from its worst developments to its mildest form; from its fullest crime to its source in the soul. Incest, adultery, fornication, seduction, indecency, indelicate conversation, the impure thought. This last is the source of all. It is that which must be assailed, which must be expelled. In this matter of the relation of the sexes, there are three main truths.
1. God gives to most of us the joy of conjugal love, and this is to be sanctified by being accepted as his gift (James 1:17). Where it is denied we must be well satisfied with other mercies so freely given.
2. Its lasting happiness is only assured to the pure of heart. With all others its excellency will soon fade and die.
3. Therefore let us, by all possible means, guard our purity:
(1) by avoidance of temptation (evil company, wrong literature);
(2) by energetic expulsion of unworthy thoughts;
(3) by realization of the presence of the heart-searching Holy One;
(4) by earnest prayer; let us "keep our heart beyond all keeping," etc. (Proverbs 4:23). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.