The great cement of society!
(Samuel Miller, "The Guilt, Folly, and Sources of Suicide" 1805)
Wedded love is the source of rich and extensive benefits to mankind. Constituted by our all-wise Creator as the great cement of society, it sheds numberless blessings on our sinful world. It lays the foundation of domestic union, peace, and happiness. It creates the tenderest relations. It gives rise to the purest affections, and binds those who partake of its comforts by the strongest and most interesting ties. It elevates the character of the individual, by nourishing some of the noblest virtues. It extends at once our enjoyments and our usefulness, by multiplying our interests, our cares, and our hopes. Marriage does more to soften the heart, to cultivate social affection, to promote humanity, sympathy, and kindness, and to unite and harmonize society—than a volume would be sufficient to display.
But that passion which, when held in subjection to the law of God, is productive of such blessed effects—is no sooner given up to the depraved and capricious will of man, than it pours on society evils countless in number, and immeasurable in extent. However lightly the indulgence of sexual immorality may be regarded by the worldly and the licentious—there is scarcely any species of sin which more certainly and unavoidably gives rise to an enormous mass of depravity and misery. Sexual immorality . . .
corrupts the whole moral character;
pollutes the imagination;
hardens the heart;
nourishes selfishness, falsehood, baseness, and the tyranny of flesh;
destroys the peace of families;
vitiates and convulses the social system;
degrades the reputation;
bankrupts the finances of its votaries;
entails infamy and misery on posterity;
and brings multitudes to untimely graves.
By the indulgence of sexual immorality, who can tell . . .
how many marital relationships have been violated;
how many fair prospects have been blasted;
how many promising and endearing hopes have been withered;
how many consciences have been wrecked;
how many bosoms, once the seats of virtue and peace—have been converted into the residence of shame, remorse, and despair!
Great Searcher of hearts—You alone know!
These mischiefs fall with peculiar weight on the tender gender. It is true, the vile seducer himself is often brought into disgrace and suffering by his sin, and sometimes sunk into the deepest infamy and woe. But this is more frequently the portion of her who criminally yields to his seductive arts.
Could we trace the sorry history of those wretched females who become the prey of ungoverned passion, what a series of melancholy pictures would be presented to our view! We would behold some anticipating the approach of disgrace and, in the tumult of grief and despondency, destroying their own lives by self-murder. We would see others passing through successive scenes of prostitution, disease, poverty, abandonment, and complicated misery—to an end more degrading and more dreadful than language can describe! We would contemplate a third class living only to deceive and corrupt the innocent, and dragging many an unsuspecting victim into the same gulf of vice and eternal perdition!
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God!" 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
"Flee from sexual immorality!" 1 Corinthians 6:18