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GEN. i. 27, 28, COMPARED AND EXPLAINED BY GEN. ii. 18, 23, 24. DEUT. xxiv. 1, 2. MATT. v. 31, 32, WITH MATT. XIX. FROM VER. 3 TO 11. 1 Cor. vii. FROM VER. 10 TO 16.


Σκαιοῖσι καινὰ προσφέρων σοφή

Δόξεις ἀχρεῖος, κοὐ σοφὸς πεφυκέναι.
Τῶν δ' αὖ δοκούντων εἰδέναι τι ποικίλον,
Κρείσσων νομισθεὶς ἐν πόλει, λυπρὸς φανῇ.

Euripid. Medea.




THAT which I knew to be the part of a good magis- holds ever with hardest obstinacy that which it took trate, aiming at true liberty through the right infor- up with easiest credulity; I do not find yet that aught, mation of religious and civil life, and that which I saw, for the furious incitements which have been used, hath and was partaker of, your vows and solemn covenants, issued by your appointment, that might give the least parliament of England! your actions also manifestly interruption or disrepute either to the author, or to the leading to exalt the truth, and to depress the tyranny book. Which he who will be better advised than to mour and ill custom, with more constancy and call your neglect or connivance at a thing imagined prowess than ever yet any, since that parliament which so perilous, can attribute it to nothing more justly, put the first sceptre of this kingdom into his hand than to the deep and quiet stream of your direct and whom God and extraordinary virtue made their mon- calm deliberations, that gave not way either to the arch; were the causes that moved me, one else not fervent rashness or the immaterial gravity of those placing much in the eminence of a dedication, to pre- who ceased not to exasperate without cause. sent your high notice with a discourse, conscious to it- which uprightness and incorrupt refusal of what ye self of nothing more than of diligence, and firm were incensed to, lords and commons! (though it were affection to the public good. And that ye took it so done to justice, not to me, and was a peculiar demonas wise and impartial men, obtaining so great power stration how far your ways are different from the rash and dignity, are wont to accept, in matters both doubt-vulgar,) besides those allegiances of oath and duty, ful and important, what they think offered them well which are my public debt to your public labours, I meant, and from a rational ability, I had no less than have yet a store of gratitude laid up, which cannot be to persuade me. And on that persuasion am returned, exhausted; and such thanks perhaps they may live to as to a famous and free port, myself also bound by be, as shall more than whisper to the next ages. Yet more than a maritime law, to expose as freely what that the author may be known to ground himself upon fraughtage I conceive to bring of no trifles. For al- his own innocence, and the merit of his cause, not upthough it be generally known, how and by whom ye on the favour of a diversion, or a delay to any just cenhave been instigated to a hard censure of that former sure, but wishes rather he might see those his detractors book, entitled, “The Doctrine and Discipline of Di- at any fair meeting, as learned debatements are privivorce," an opinion held by some of the best among re-leged with a due freedom under equal moderators; I formed writers without scandal or confutement, though shall here briefly single one of them, (because he hath now thought new and dangerous by some of our severe obliged me to it,) who I persuade me having scarce read Gnostics, whose little reading, and less meditating, the book, nor knowing him who writ it, or at least

feigning the latter, hath not forborn to scandalize him, | that solemn place and meeting, it served him further

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to inveigh opprobriously against the person, branding him with no less than impudence, only for setting his name to what he had written; I must be excused not to be so wanting to the defence of an honest name, or to the reputation of those good men who afford me their society, but to be sensible of such a foul endeavoured disgrace: not knowing aught either in mine own deserts, or the laws of this land, why I should be subject, in such a notorious and illegal manner, to the intemperances of this man's preaching choler. And indeed to be so prompt and ready in the midst of his humbleness, to toss reproaches of this bulk and size, argues as if they were the weapons of his exercise, I am sure not of his ministry, or of that day's work. Certainly to subscribe my name at what I was to own, was what the state had ordered and requires. And he who lists not to be malicious, would call it ingenuity, clear conscience, willingness to avouch what might be questioned, or to be better instructed. And if God were so displeased with those, Isa. lviii. who "on the solemn fast were wont to smite with the fist of wickedness,” it could be no sign of his own humiliation accepted, which disposed him to smite so keenly with a reviling tongue. But if only to have writ my name must be counted "impudence," how doth this but justify an

late discourse of "Scripture and Reason," which is certain to be chiefly his own draught, was published without a name, out of base fear, and the sly avoidance of what might follow to his detriment, if the party at court should hap to reach him? And I, to have set my

unconferred with, unadmonished, undealt with by any pastorly or brotherly convincement, in the most open and invective manner, and at the most bitter opportunity that drift or set design could have invented. And this, when as the canon law, though commonly most favouring the boldness of their priests, punishes the naming or traducing of any person in the pulpit, was by him made no scruple. If I shall therefore take licence by the right of nature, and that liberty wherein I was born, to defend myself publicly against a printed calumny, and do willingly appeal to those judges to whom I am accused, it can be no immoderate or unallowable course of seeking so just and needful reparations. Which I had done long since, had not those employments, which are now visible, deferred me. It was preached before ye, lords and commons! in August last upon a special day of humiliation, that "there was a wicked book abroad,” and ye were taxed of sin that it was yet ❝ uncensured, the book deserving to be burnt;" and "impudence" also was charged upon the author, who durst" set his name to it, and dedicate it to yourselves! First, lords and commons ! I pray to that God, before whom ye then were prostrate, so to forgive ye those omissions and trespasses, which ye desire most should find forgiveness, as I shall soon shew to the world how easily ye absolve your-other, who might affirm with as good warrant, that the selves of that which this man calls your sin, and is indeed your wisdom, and your nobleness, whereof to this day ye have done well not to repent. He terms it "a wicked book," and why but " for allowing other causes of divorce, than Christ and his apostles mention ?" and with the same censure condemns of wicked-name, where he accuses me to have set it, am so far ness not only Martin Bucer, that elect instrument of reformation, highly honoured, and had in reverence by Edward the Sixth, and his whole parliament, whom also I had published in English by a good providence, about a week before this calumnious digression was preached; so that if he knew not Bucer then, as he ought to have known, he might at least have known" impudence" therefore, since he weighed so little what him some months after, ere the sermon came in print; wherein notwithstanding he persists in his former sentence, and condemns again of wickedness, either ignorantly or wilfully, not only Martin Bucer, and all the choicest and holiest of our reformers, but the whole parliament and church of England in those best and purest times of Edward the Sixth. All which I shall prove with good evidence, at the end of these explanations. And then let it be judged and seriously considered with what hope the affairs of our religion are committed to one among others, who hath now only left him which of the twain he will choose, whether this shall be his pal-sonal worth assembled in that place? With the same pable ignorance, or the same wickedness of his ownbook, which he so lavishly imputes to the writings of other men: and whether this of his, that thus peremptorily defames and attaints of wickedness unspotted churches, unblemished parliaments, and the most eminent restorers of christian doctrine, deserve not to be burnt first. And if his heat bad burst out only against the opinion, his wonted passion had no doubt been silently borne with wonted patience. But since, against the charity of

from recanting, that I offer my hand also if need be, to make good the same opinion which I there maintain, by inevitable consequences drawn parallel from his own principal arguments in that of " Scripture and Reason:" which I shall pardon him if he can deny, without shaking his own composition to pieces. The

a gross revile that was to give his equal, I send him back again for a phylactery to stitch upon his arrogance, that censures not only before conviction, so bitterly without so much as one reason given, but censures the congregation of his governors to their faces, for not being so hasty as himself to censure.

And whereas my other crime is, that I addressed the dedication of what I had studied to the parliament; how could I better declare the loyalty which I owe to that supreme and majestic tribunal, and the opinion which I have of the high entrusted judgment, and per

affections therefore, and the same addicted fidelity, parliament of England! I here again have brought to your perusal on the same argument these following expositions of Scripture. The former book, as pleased some to think, who were thought judicious, had of reason in it to a sufficiency; what they required was, that the Scriptures there alleged might be discussed more fully. To their desires thus much further hath been laboured in the Scriptures. Another sort also,

who wanted more authorities and citations, have not | though unconfuted, must therefore be mistrusted, therebeen here unthought of. If all this attain not to satisfy fore not received for the industry, the exactness, the lathem, as I am confident that none of those our great bour in it, confessed to be more than ordinary; as if controversies at this day hath had a more demonstrative wisdom had now forsaken the thirsty and laborious inexplaining, I must confess to admire what it is: for quirer, to dwell against her nature with the arrogant doubtless it is not reason now-a-days that satisfies or and shallow babbler; to what purpose all those pains suborns the common credence of men, to yield so and that continual searching required of us by Soloeasily, and grow so vehement in matters much more mon to the attainment of understanding? Why are disputable, and far less conducing to the daily good men bred up with such care and expense to a life of and peace of life. Some whose necessary shifts have perpetual studies? Why do yourselves with such enlong enured them to cloak the defects of their unstudied deavour seek to wipe off the imputation of intending years, and hatred now to learn, under the appearance to discourage the progress and advance of learning? of a grave solidity, (which estimation they have gained He therefore, whose heart can bear him to the high among weak perceivers,) find the ease of slighting pitch of your noble enterprises, may easily assure himwhat they cannot refute, and are determined, as I self, that the prudence and far-judging circumspectbear, to hold it not worth the answering. In which ness of so grave a magistracy sitting in parliament, number I must be forced to reckon that doctor, who have before them the prepared and purposed act who in a late equivocating treatise plausibly set afloat of their most religious predecessors to imitate in this against the Dippers, diving the while himself with a question, cannot reject the clearness of these reasons, more deep prelatical malignance against the present and these allegations both here and formerly offered state and church-government, mentions with ignominy them; nor can overlook the necessity of ordaining "the Tractate of Divorce;" yet answers nothing, but more wholesomely and more humanely in the casualinstead thereof (for which I do not commend his marties of divorce, than our laws have yet established, if calling) sets Moses also among the crew of his Ana- the most urgent and excessive grievances happening baptists; as one who to a holy nation, the commonin domestic life be worth the laying to heart; which, wealth of Israel, gave laws "breaking the bonds of unless charity be far from us, cannot be neglected. mariage to inordinate lust." These are no mean And that these things, both in the right constitution, surges of blasphemy, not only dipping Moses the di- and in the right reformation of a commonwealth, call vine lawgiver, but dashing with a high hand against for speediest redress, and ought to be the first conthe justice and purity of God himself: as these ensu- sidered, enough was urged in what was prefaced to ing scriptures plainly and freely handled shall verify, that monument of Bucer, which I brought to your reto the launching of that old apostemated errour. Him membrance, and the other time before. Henceforth, therefore I leave now to his repentance. except new cause be given, I shall say less and less. Others, which is their courtesy, confess that wit and For if the law make not timely provision, let the law, parts may do much to make that seem true which is as reason is, bear the censure of those consequences, not; as was objected to Socrates by them who could which her own default now more evidently produces. bot resist his efficacy, that he ever made the worst And if men want manliness to expostulate the right of Pase seem the better; and thus thinking themselves their due ransom, and to second their own occasions, discharged of the difficulty, love not to wade further they may sit hereafter and bemoan themselves to have into the fear of a convincement. These will be their neglected through faintness the only remedy of their excuses to decline the full examining of this serious sufferings, which a seasonable and well-grounded So much the more I press it and repeat it, speaking might have purchased them. And perhaps Jords and commons! that ye beware while time is, ere in time to come, others will know how to esteem what l's grand secret, and only art of ignorance affecting is not every day put into their hands, when they have any, grow powerful, and rule among us. For if marked events, and better weighed how hurtful and Motyl argument and reason shall be thus put off, either unwise it is, to hide a secret and pernicious rupture un37 an undervaluing silence, or the masterly censure of der the ill counsel of a bashful silence. But who railing word or two in the pulpit, or by rejecting the would distrust aught, or not be ample in his hopes of te of truth, as the mere cunning of eloquence and your wise and christian determinations? who have the synistry; what can be the end of this, but that all prudence to consider, and should have the goodness, od learning and knowledge will suddenly decay? like gods, as ye are called, to find out readily, and by Ignorance, and illiterate presumption, which is yet just law to administer those redresses, which have of ut our disease, will turn at length into our very conold, not without God ordaining, been granted to the station, and prove the hectic evil of this age: worse adversities of mankind, ere they who needed were put to be feared, if it get once to reign over us, than any to ask. Certainly, if any other have enlarged his fit monarchy. If this shall be the course, that what thoughts to expect from this government, so justly unWas wont to be a chief commendation, and the ground dertaken, and by frequent assistances from Heaven so of other men's confidence in an author, his diligence, apparently upheld, glorious changes and renovations his learning, his elocution, whether by right or by ill both in church and state, he among the foremost might meaning granted him, shall be turned now to a disad- be named, who prays that the fate of England may Vantage and suspicion against him, that what he writes, tarry for no other deliverers.





GENESIS i. 27.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them,

contenting, or rather priding themselves in a specious humility and strictness bred out of low ignorance, that never yet conceived the freedom of the gospel; and is therefore by the apostle to the Colossians ranked with no better company than will worship and the mere

28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, shew of wisdom. And how injurious herein they are, Be fruitful, &c.

GEN. ii. 18.

And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him. 23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of a man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.

GEN. i. 27.

"So God created man in his own image."] To be informed aright in the whole history of marriage, that we may know for certain, not by a forced yoke, but by an impartial definition, what marriage is, and what is not marriage: it will undoubtedly be safest, fairest, and most with our obedience, to inquire, as our Saviour's direction is, how it was in the beginning. And that we begin so high as man created after God's own image, there want not earnest causes. For nothing now-a-days is more degenerately forgotten, than the true dignity of man, almost in every respect, but especially in this prime institution of matrimony, wherein bis native pre-eminence ought most to shine. Although if we consider that just and natural privileges men neither can rightly seek, nor dare fully claim, unless they be allied to inward goodness and sted fast knowledge, and that the want of this quells them to a servile sense of their own conscious unworthiness; it may save the wondering why in this age many are so opposite both to human and to christian liberty, either while they understand not, or envy others that do;

if not to themselves, yet to their neighbours, and not to them only, but to the all-wise and bounteous grace offered us in our redemption, will orderly appear.

"In the image of God created he him."] It is enough determined, that this image of God, wherein man was created, is meant wisdom, purity, justice, and rule over all creatures. All which, being lost in Adam, was recovered with gain by the merits of Christ. For albeit our first parent had lordship over sea, and land, and air, yet there was a law without him, as a guard t over him. But Christ having cancelled the band writing of ordinances which was against us, Col. i 14, and interpreted the fulfilling of all through charity. hath in that respect set us over law, in the free custody of his love, and left us victorious under the guidan of his living spirit, not under the dead letter; to foll that which most edifies, most aids and furthers a r gious life, makes us holiest and likest to his immorta image, not that which makes us most conformable an captive to civil and subordinate precepts: whereof the strictest observance may ofttimes prove the destruction not only of many innocent persons and families, but whole nations. Although indeed no ordinance huma or from heaven can bind against the good of man: that to keep them strictly against that end, is all with to break them. Men of most renowned virt have sometimes by transgressing most truly kept law; and wisest magistrates have permitted and d pensed it; while they looked not peevishly at the lett but with a greater spirit at the good of mankind. always not written in the characters of law, yet engra in the heart of man by a divine impression. This he thens could see, as the well-read in story can recou Solon and Epaminondas, whom Cicero in his first b



of Invention" nobly defends. "All law," saith he, | because already he hath lost by her means. Oft it "we ought to refer to the common good, and interpret | happens, that in this matter he is without fault; so that by that, not by the scroll of letters. No man observes his punishment herein is causeless: and God hath the law for law's sake, but for the good of them for whom praise in our speeches of him, to sort his punishment in it was made." The rest might serve well to lecture the same kind with the offence. Suppose he erred; it these times, deluded through belly doctrines into a de- is not the intent of God or man, to hunt an errour so vout slavery. The Scripture also affords David in the to the death with a revenge beyond all measure and shewbread, Hezekiah in the passover, sound and safe proportion. But if we argue thus, this affliction is betransgressors of the literal command, which also dis- fallen him for his sin, therefore he must bear it, without pensed not seldom with itself; and taught us on what seeking the only remedy: first, it will be false, that all just occasions to do so: until our Saviour, for whom affliction comes for sin, as in the case of Job, and of the that great and godlike work was reserved, redeemed man born blind, John ix. 3, was evident: next, by that 4s to a state above prescriptions, by dissolving the reason, all miseries coming for sin, we must let them whole law into charity. And have we not the soul to all lie upon us like the vermin of an Indian Catharist, understand this, and must we against this glory of which his fond religion forbids him to molest. Were God's transcendent love towards us be still the servants it a particular punishment inflicted through the anger of a literal indictment? of God upon a person, or upon a land, no law hinders us in that regard, no law but bids us remove 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 bear 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.

"Created he him."] It might be doubted why he saith, "In the image of God created he him,” not them, as well as "male and female" them; especially since that image might be common to them both, but male and female could not, however the Jews fable and please themselves with the accidental concurrence Plato's wit, as if man at first had been created hermaphrodite but then it must have been male and female created he him. So had the image of God been qually common to them both, it had no doubt been d in the image of God created he them. But St. Paul ends the controversy, by explaining, that the was not primarily and immediately the image of God, but in reference to the man, "The head of the woman," saith he, 1 Cor. xi. " is the man ;" "he the mage and glory of God, she the glory of the man;" he not for her, but she for him. Therefore his precept is, Wives, be subject to your husbands as is fit in the Lord, Col. iii. 18; in every thing," Eph. v. 24. Wertheless man is not to hold her as a servant, but eves her into a part of that empire, which God proams him to, though not equally, yet largely, as his image and glory: for it is no small glory to him, luat a creature so like him should be made subject to Not but that particular exceptions may have lire, if she exceed her husband in prudence and dexty, and he contentedly yield: for then a superior more natural law comes in, that the wiser should ver the less wise, whether male or female. But that which far more easily and obediently follows from This ferse is, that, seeing woman was purposely made heman, and he her head, it cannot stand before the breath of this divine utterance, that man the portraiture of God, joining to himself for his intended good and to be loved as the church is beloved of Christ; and if, lace an inferior sex, should so become her thrall, as God is the head of Christ, and Christ the head of use wilfulness or inability to be a wife frustrates the man, so man is the head of woman; I cannot see by sional end of her creation; but that he may acquit this golden dependance of headship and subjection, self to freedom by his natural birthright, and that but that piety and religion is the main tie of christian archile character of priority, which God crowned him matrimony: so as if there be found between the pair a with If it be urged, that sin hath lost him this, the notorious disparity either of wickedness or heresy, the swer is not far to seek, that from her the sin first husband by all manner of right is disengaged from a preceded, which keeps her justly in the same propor- creature, not made and inflicted on him to the vexation the transgression, that man should further lose to her, terminated in the Lord, being herself the redeemed of Le still beneath. She is not to gain by being first in of his righteousness: the wife also, as her subjection is



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

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