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move it if we can; much more if it be a dangerous temptation withal; much more yet, if it be certainly a temptation, and not certainly a punishment though a pain. As for what they say we must oear with patience; to bear with patience, and to seek effectual remedies, implies no contradiction. It may no less be for our disobedience, our unfaithfulness, and other sins against God, that wives become adulterous to the bed; and questionless we ought to take the affliction as patiently as Christian prudence would wish yet hereby is not lost the right of divorcing for adultery. No, you say, because our Saviour excepted that only. But why, if he were so bent to punish our sins, and try our patience in binding on us a disastrous marriage, why did he except adultery? Certainly to have been bound from divorce in that case also had been as plentiful a punishment to our sins, and not too little work for the patientest. Nay, perhaps they will say it was too great a sufferance; and with as slight a reason, for no wise man but would sooner pardon the act of adultery once and again committed by a person worth pity and forgiveness, than to lead a wearisome life of unloving and unquiet conversation with one who neither affects nor is affected, much less with one who exercises all bitterness, and would commit adultery too, but for envy lest the persecuted condition should thereby get the benefit of his freedom. It is plain therefore, that God Enjoins not this supposed strictness of not divorcing either to punish us, or to try our patience.

Moreover, if man be the image of God, which consists in holiness, and woman ought in the same respect to be the image and companion of man, in such wise to be loved as the church is beloved of Christ; and if, as God is the head of Christ, and Christ the head of man, so man is the head of woman; I cannot see by this golden dependence of headship and subjection, but that piety and religion is the main tie of Christian matrimony: so as if there be found between the pair a notorious disparity either of wickedness or heresy, the husband by all manner of right is disengaged from a creature, not made and inflicted on him to the vexation of his righteousness: the wife also, as her subjection is terminated in the Lord, being herself the redeemed of Christ, is not still bound to be the vassal of him, who is the bondslave of Satan: she being now neither the image nor the glory of such a person, nor made for him, nor left in bondage to him; but hath recourse to the wing of charity, and protection of the church, unless there be a hope on either side: yet such a hope must be meant, as may be a rational hope, and not an endless servitude. Of which hereafter.

But usually it is objected, that if it be thus, then there can be no true marriage between misbelievers and irreligious persons. I might answer, let them see to that who are such; the church hath no commission to judge those without: 1 Cor. v. But this they will say perhaps, is but penuriously to resolve a doubt. I answer therefore, that where they are both irreligious, the marriage may be yet true enough to them in a civil relation. For there are left some remains of God's image in man, as he is merely man; which eason God gives against the shedding of man's blood, Gen. ix. as being nade in God's image, without expressing whether he were a good man or a bad, to exempt the slayer from punishment. So that in those marriages where the parties are alike void of religion, the wife owes a civil homage and subjection, the husband owes a civil loyalty. But where the yoke is misyoked, heretic with faithful, godly with ungodly, to the grievance and manifest endangering of a brother or sister, reasons of a higher strain than matrimonial bear sway; unless the gospel, instead of freeing us, debase itself to make us bond-men, and suffer evil to control good.

"Male and female created he them."] This contains another end of matching man and woman, being the right and lawfulness of the marriagebed; though much inferior to the former end of her being his image and help in religious society. And who of weakest insight may not see, that this creating of them male and female cannot in any order of reason, or Christianity, be of such moment against the better and higher purposes of their creation, as to enthral husband or wife to duties or to sufferings, unworthy and unbeseeming the image of God in them? Now whenas not only men, but good men, do stand upon their right, their estimation, their dignity, in all other actions and deportments, with warrant enough and good conscience, as having the image of God in them, it will not be difficult to determine what is unworthy and unseemly for a man to do or suffer in wedlock and the like proportionally may be found for woman, if we love not to stand disputing below the principles of humanity. He that said, "Male and female created he them," immediately before that said also in the same verse, “in the image of God created he him," and redoubled it, that our thoughts might not be so full of dregs as to urge this poor consideration of male and female, without remembering the nobleness of that former repetition; lest when God sends a wise eye to examine our trivial glosses, they be found extremely to creep upon the ground: especially since they confess, that what here concerns marriage is but a brief touch, only preparative to the institution which follows more expressly in the next chapter: and that Christ so took it, as desiring to be briefest with them who came to tempt him, account shall be given in due place.

Ver. 28. "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth," &c.

This declares another end of matrimony, the propagation of mankind; and is again repeated to Noah and his sons. Many things might be noted on this place not ordinary, nor unworth the noting; but I undertook not a general comment. Hence therefore we see the desire of children is honest and pious; if we be not less zealous in our Christianity than Plato was in his heathenism; who in the sixth of his laws, counts offspring therefore desirable, that we may leave in our stead sons of our sons, continual servants of God: a religious and prudent desire, if people knew as well what were required to breeding as to begetting; which desire perhaps was a cause, why the Jews hardly could endure a barren wedlock: and Philo, in his book of special laws, esteems him only worth pardon, that sends not barrenness away. Carvilius, the first recorded in Rome to have sought divorce, had it granted him for the barrenness of his wife, upon his oath that he married to the end he might have children; as Dionysius and Gellius are authors. But to dismiss a wife only for barrenness, is hard and yet in some the desire of children is so great, and so just, yea sometimes so necessary, that to condemn such a one to a childless age, the fault apparently not being in him, might seem perhaps more strict than needed. Sometimes inheritances, crowns, and dignities are so interested and annexed in their common peace and good to such or such lineal descent, that it may prove of great moment both in the affairs of men and of religion, to consider thoroughly what might be done herein, notwithstanding the waywardness of our school doctors.

GENESIS ii. 18.

And the Lord said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him."

Ver. 23. "And Adam said," &c. Ver. 24. "Therefore shall a man leave." &c.

This second chapter is granted to be a commentary on the first, and these verses granted to be an exposition of that former verse, "Male and female created he them :" and yet when this male and female is by the explicit words of God himself here declared to be not meant other than a fit help, and meet society; some, who would engross to themselves the whole trade of interpreting, will not suffer the clear text of God to do the office of explaining itself.

"And the Lord God said, It is not good."] A man would think, that the consideration of who spake should raise up the intention of our minds to inquire better, and obey the purpose of so great a speaker: for as we order the business of marriage, that which he here speaks is all made vain; and in the decision of matrimony, or not matrimony, nothing at all regarded. Our presumption hath utterly changed the state and condition of this ordinance God ordained it in love and helpfulness to be indissoluble, and we in outward act and formality to be a forced bondage; so that being subject to a thousand errors in the best men, if it prove a blessing to any, it is of mere accident, as man's law hath handled it, and not of institution.

"It is not good for man to be alone."] Hitherto all things, that have been named, were approved of God to be very good: loneliness is the first thing, which God's eye named not good: whether it be a thing, or the want of something, I labour not; let it be their tendance, who have the art to be industriously idle. And here "alone" is meant alone without woman; otherwise Adam had the company of God himself, and angels to converse with; all creatures to delight him seriously, or to make him sport. God could have created him out of the same mould a thousand friends and brother Adams to have been his consorts; yet for all this, till Eve was given him, God reckoned him to be alone.

"It is not good."] God here presents himself like to a man deliberating; both to show us that the matter is of high consequence, and that he intended to found it according to natural reason, not impulsive command; but that the duty should arise from the reason of it, not the reason be swallowed up in a reasonless duty. "Not good," was as much to Adam before his fall as not pleasing, not expedient; but since the coming of sin into the world, to him who hath not received the continence, it is not only not expedient to be alone, but plainly sinful. And therefore he who wilfully abstains from marriage, not being supernaturally gifted, and he who by making the yoke of marriage unjust and intolerable, causes men to abhor it, are both in a diabolical sin, equal to that of Antichrist, who forbids to marry. For what difference at all whether he abstain men from marrying, or restrain them in a marriage happening totally discommodious, distasteful, dishonest, and pernicious to him, without the appearance of his fault? For God does not here precisely say, I make a female to this male, as he did before; but expounding himself here on purpose, he saith, because it is not good for man to be alone, I make him therefore a meet help. God supplies the privation of not good, with the perfect gift of a real and positive good it is man's perverse cooking, who hath turned this bounty of God into a scorpion, either by weak and shallow constructions, or by proud arrogance and cruelty to them who neither in their purposes nor in their actions have offended against the due honour of wedlock.

Now whereas the apostle's speaking in the spirit, 1 Cor. vii. pronounces quite contrary to this word of God, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman," and God cannot contradict himself; it instructs us, that his com

mands and words, especially such as bear the manifest title of some good to man, are not to be so strictly wrung, as to command without regard to the most natural and miserable necessities of mankind. Therefore the apostle adds a limitation in the 26th verse of that chapter, for the present necessity it is good; which he gives us doubtless as a pattern how to reconcile other places by the general rule of charity.

"For man to be alone."] Some would have the sense hereof to be in respect of procreation only: and Austin contests that manly friendship in all other regard had been a more becoming solace for Adam, than to spend so many secret years in an empty world with one woman. But our writers deservedly reject this crabbed opinion; and defend that there is a peculiar comfort in the married state beside the genial bed, which no other society affords. No mortal nature can endure either in the actions of religion, or study of wisdom, without sometime slackening the cords of intense thought and labour: which lest we should think faulty, God himself conceals us not his own recreations before the world was built; "I was," saith the eternal wisdom, "daily his delight, playing always before him." And to him indeed wisdom is as a high tower of pleasure, but to us a steep hill, and we toiling ever about the bottom: he executes with ease the exploits of his omnipotence, as easy as with us it is to will: but no worthy enterprise can be done by us without continual plodding and wearisomeness to our faint and sensitive abilities. We cannot therefore always be contemplative, or pragmatical abroad, but have need of some delightful intermissions, wherein the enlarged soul may leave off a while her severe schooling; and, like a glad youth in wandering vacancy, may keep her holidays to joy and harmless pastime: which as she cannot well do without company, so in no company so well as where the different sex in most resembling unlikeness, and most unlike resemblance, cannot but please best, and be pleased in the aptitude of that variety. Whereof lest we should be too timorous, in the awe that our flat sages would form us and dress us, wisest Solomon among his gravest Proverbs countenances a kind of ravishment and erring fondness in the entertainment of wedded leisures; and in the Song of Songs, which is generally believed, even in the jolliest expressions, to figure the spousals of the church with Christ, sings of a thousand raptures between those two lovely ones far on the hither side of carnal enjoyment. By these instances, and more which might be brought, we may imagine how indulgently God provided against man's loneliness; that he approved it not, as by himself declared not good; that he approved the remedy thereof, as of his own ordaining, consequently good and as he ordained it, so doubtless proportionably to our fallen estate he gives it; else were his ordinance at least in vain, and we for all his gifts still empty handed. Nay, such an unbounteous giver we should make him, as in the fables Jupiter was to Ixion, giving him a cloud instead of Juno, giving him a monstrous issue by her, the breed of Centaurs, a neglected and unloved race, the fruits of a delusive marriage; and lastly, giving him her with a damnation to that wheel in hell, from a life thrown into the midst of temptations and disorders. But God is no deceitful giver, to bestow that on us for a remedy of loneliness, which if it bring not a sociable mind. as well as a conjunctive body, leaves us no less alone than before; and if it bring a mind perpetually averse and disagreeable, betrays us to a worse condition than the most deserted loneliness. God cannot in the justice of his own promise and institution so unexpectedly mock us, by forcing that upon us as the remedy of solitude, which wraps us in a misery worse than any wilderness, as the Spirit of God himself judges, Prov. xix., especially

knowing that the best and wisest men amidst the sincere and most cordial designs of their heart, do daily err in choosing. We may conclude therefore, seeing orthodoxal expositors confess to our hands, that by loneliness is not only meant the want of copulation, and that man is not less alone by turning in a body to him, unless there be within it a mind answerable; that it is a work more worthy the care and consultation of God to provide for the worthiest part of man, which is his mind, and not unnaturally to set it beneath the formalities and respects of the body, to make it a servant of its own vassal: I say, we may conclude that such a marriage, wherein the mind is so disgraced and vilified below the body's interest, and can have no just or tolerable contentment, is not of God's institution, and therefore no marriage. Nay, in concluding this, I say we conclude no more than what the common expositors themselves give us, both in that which I have recited, and much more hereafter. But the truth is, they give us in such a manner, as they who leave their own mature positions like the eggs of an ostrich in the dust; I do but lay them in the sun; their own pregnancies hatch the truth; and I am taxed of novelties and strange producements, while they, like that inconsiderate bird, know not that these are their own natural breed.

"I will make him a help meet for him."] Here the heavenly institutor, as if he laboured not to be mistaken by the supercilious hypocrisy of those that love to master their brethren, and to make us sure that he gave us not now a servile yoke, but an amiable knot, contents not himself to say, I will make him a wife; but resolving to give us first the meaning before the name of a wife, saith graciously, "I will make him a help meet for him." And here again, as before, I do not require more full and fair deductions than the whole consent of our divines usually raise from this text, that in matrimony there must be first a mutual help to piety, next to civil fellowship of love and amity, then to generation, so to household affairs, lastly the remedy of incontinence. And commonly they reckon them in such order, as leaves generation and incontinence to be last considered. This I amaze me at, that though all the superior and nobler ends both of marriage and of the married persons be absolutely frustrate, the matrimony stirs not, loses no hold, remains as rooted as the centre: but if the body bring but in a complaint of frigidity, by that cold application only this adamantine Alp of wedlock has leave to dissolve; which else all the machinations of religious or civil reason at the suit of a distressed mind, either for divine worship or human conversation violated, cannot unfasten. What courts of concupiscence are these, wherein fleshly appetite is heard before right reason, lust before love or devotion? They may be pious Christians together, they may be loving and friendly, they may be helpful to each other in the family, but they cannot couple; that shall divorce them, though either party would not. They can neither serve God together, nor one be at peace with the other, nor be good in the family one to other, but live as they were dead, or live as they were deadly enemies in a cage together; it is all one, they can couple, they shall not divorce till death, not though this sentence be their death. What is this besides tyranny, but to turn nature upside down, to make both religion and the mind of man wait upon the slavish errands of the body, and not the body to follow either the sanctity or the sovereignty of the mind, unspeakably wronged, and with all equity complaining? what is this but to abuse the sacred and mysterious bed of marriage to be the compulsive style of an ingrateful and malignant lust, stirred up only from a carnal acrimony, without either love or peace, or regard to any other thing holy or human? This I admire how possibly

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