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His explanation done, he charges me with a wicked gagloss, and almost blasphemy, for saying that Christ in teaching meant not always to be taken word for word; but like a wise physician, administering one excess against another, to reduce us to a perfect mean. Certainly to teach us were no dishonest method: Christ himself hath often used hyperboles in his teaching; and gravest authors, both Aristotle in the second of his "Ethics to Nichomachus," and Seneca in his seventh "de Beneficiis," advise us to stretch out the line of precept ofttimes beyond measure, that while we tend further, the mean might be the easier attained. And whoever comments that 5th of Matthew, when he Comes to the turning of cheek after cheek to blows, and the parting both with cloak and coat, if any please to be the rifler, will be forced to recommend himself to the same exposition, though this chattering lawmonger dbe bold to call it wicked. Now note another precious piece of him; Christ, saith he, "doth not say that an unchaste look is adultery, but the lusting after her;" as if the looking unchastely could be without lusting. This a is gear is licensed for good reason; Imprimatur." Next he would prove, that the speech of Christ is not uttered in excess against the Pharisees, first," because he speaks it to his disciples," Matth. v. which is false, for he spake it to the multitude, as by the first verse is evident, among which in all likelihood were many Pharisees, but out of doubt all of them pharisean disciples, and bred up in their doctrine; from which extremes of errour and falsity Christ throughout his whole sermon labours to reclaim the people. Secondby, saith he, " because Christ forbids not only putting away, but marrying her who is put away." Acutely, if the Pharisees might not have offended as much in marrying the divorced, as in divorcing the married. The precept may bind all, rightly understood; and yet the vehement manner of giving it may be occasioned only by the Pharisees.
Finally, he winds up bis text with much doubt and trepidation; for it may be his trenchers were not raped, and that which never yet afforded corn of sayour to his noddle, the saltcellar was not rubbed: and therefore in this haste easily granting, that his answers fall foul upon each other, and praying, you, would not think he writes as a prophet, but as a man, he runs to the black jack, fills his flagon, spreads the table, and serves ap dinner.
teous grace of the gospel we are tied by cruellest com- | stancing in circumcision, sacrifices, washings. But
After waiting and voiding, he thinks to void my second argument, and the contradictions that will follow both in the law and gospel, if the Mosaic law were abmgated by our Saviour, and a compulsive prohibition fixed instead: and sings his old song, "that the gospel counts unlawful that which the law allowed," in
what are these ceremonial things to the changing of a moral point in household duty, equally belonging to Jew and Gentile? Divorce was then right, now wrong; then permitted in the rigorous time of law, now forbidden by law, even to the most extremely afflicted, in the favourable time of grace and freedom. But this is not for an unbuttoned fellow to discuss in the
his trestle, and dimension of candle by the snuff; garret at which brought forth his scullionly paraphrase on St. Paul, whom he brings in discoursing such idle stuff to the maids and widows, as his own servile inurbanity forbears not to put into the apostle's mouth, "of the soul's conversing:" and this he presumes to do, being a bayard, who never had the soul to know what conversing means, but as his provender and the familiarity of the kitchen schooled his conceptions.
He passes to the third argument, like a boar in a vineyard, doing nought else, but still as he goes champing and chewing over, what I could mean by this chimæra of a "fit conversing soul," notions and words never made for those chops; but like a generous wine, only by overworking the settled mud of his fancy, to make him drunk, and disgorge his vileness the more openly. All persons of gentle breeding (I say gentle," though this barrow grunt at the word) I know will apprehend, and be satisfied in what I spake, must needs be between those whose minds cannot be how unpleasing and discontenting the society of body sociable. But what should a man say more to a snout in this pickle? What language can be low and degenerate enough?
The fourth argument which I had was, that marriage being a covenant, the very being whereof consists in the performance of unfeigned love and peace; if that were not tolerably performed, the covenant became broke and revocable. Which how can any, in whose mind the principles of right reason and justice when the true essence thereof is dissolved? Yet this he are not cancelled, deny? For how can a thing subsist, denies, and yet in such a manner as alters my assertion; for he puts in, in full measure:" but my position is, if it be not tolethough the main end be not attained rably attained, as throughout the whole discourse is apparent.
Now for his reasons:
and solace which is the main end of communion with "Heman found not that peace God, should he therefore break off that communion?" certainly his own; but in marriage it happens far that if Heman found it not, the fault was otherwise sometimes the fault is plainly not his who seeks divorce; sometimes it cannot be discerned whose fault it is; and therefore cannot in reason or equity be the matter of an absolute prohibition.
His other instance declares, what a right handicraftsman he is of petty cases, and how unfit to be aught else at highest, but a hackney of the law. "I change houses with a man; it is supposed I do it for my own ends; I attain them not in this house; I shall not therefore go from my bargain." How without fear might the young Charinus in Andria now cry out,
“What likeness can be here to a marriage?" In this marriage or divorce, he breaks the ordinance of marbargain was no capitulation, but the yielding of pos-riage least. And what in religious prudence can be session to one another, wherein each of them had his charity to himself, and what to his wife, either in conseveral end apart. In marriage there is a solemn vow tinuing or in dissolving the marriage-knot, hath been of love and fidelity each to other: this bargain is fully already oft enough discoursed. So that what St. Paul accomplished in the change; in marriage the covenant saith of circumcision, the same I stick not to say of a still is in performing. If one of them perform nothing civil ordinance, made to the good and comfort of man, tolerably, but instead of love, abound in disaffection, not to his ruin; marriage is nothing, and divorce is disobedience, fraud, and hatred; what thing in the nothing, "but faith which worketh by love." And nature of a covenant shall bind the other to such a this I trust none can mistake. perdurable mischief? Keep to your problems of ten groats, these matters are not for pragmatics and folkmooters to babble in.
Concerning the place of Paul," that God hath called us to peace," I Cor. vii. and therefore, certainly, if any where in this world, we have a right to claim it reasonably in marriage; it is plain enough in the sense nse which I gave, and confessed by Paræus, and other orthodox divines, to be a good sense, and this answerer doth not weaken it. The other place, that "he who hateth, may put away," which if I shew him, he promises to yield the whole controversy, is, besides Deut. xxiv. 1, Deut. xxi. 14, and before this, Exod. xxi. 8. Of Malachi I have spoken more in another place; and say again, that the best interpreters, all the ancient, and most of the modern, translate it as I cite it, and very few otherwise, whereof perhaps Junius is the chief.
Against the fifth argument, that a Christian, in a higher order of priesthood than that Levitical, is a person dedicate to joy and peace; and therefore needs not in subjection to a civil ordinance, made to no other end but for his good, (when without his fault he finds it impossible to be decently or tolerably observed,) to plunge himself into immeasurable distractions and temptations, above his strength; against this he proves nothing, but gads into silly conjectures of what abuses would follow, and with as good reason might declaim against the best things that are.
Against the sixth argument, that to force the continuance of marriage between minds found utterly unfit and disproportional, is against nature, and seems forbid under that allegorical precept of Moses, "not to sow a field with divers seeds, lest both be defiled; not to plough with an ox and an ass together,” which I deduced by the pattern of St. Paul's reasoning what was meant by not muzzling the ox; he rambles over a long narration, to tell us that "by the oxen are meant the preachers:" which is not doubted. Then he demands,
if this my reasoning be like St. Paul's." And I answer him, yes. He replies, that sure St. Paul would
Another thing troubles him, that marriage is called "the mystery of joy." Let it still trouble him; for what hath he to do either with joy or with mystery? He thinks it frantic divinity to say, it is not the outward continuance of marriage that keeps the covenant of marriage whole; but whosoever doth most accord-be ashamed to reason thus. And I tell him, no. He grants that place which I alleged, 2 Cor. vi. of unequal yoking, may allude to that of Moses, but says, “I cannot prove it makes to my purpose," and shews not first how he can disprove it. Weigh, gentlemen, and consider, whether my affirmations, backed with reason, may hold balance against the bare denials of this ponderous confuter, elected by his ghostly patrons to be my copesmate.
ing to peace and love, whether in marriage or divorce, he breaks marriage least. If I shall spell it to him, he breaks marriage least, is to say, he dishonours not marriage; for least is taken in the Bible, and other good authors, for, not at all. And a particular marriage a man may break, if for a lawful cause, and yet not break, that is, not violate, or dishonour the ordinance of marriage. Hence those two questions that follow are left ridiculous; and the maids at Aldgate, whom he flouts, are likely to have more wit than the serving-man at Addle-gate.
Whereas he taxes me of adding to the Scripture in that I said love only is the fulfilling of every commandment, I cited no particular scripture, but spake a general sense, which might be collected from many places. For seeing love includes faith, what is there that can fulfil every commandment but only love? and I meant, as any intelligent reader might apprehend, every positive and civil commandment, whereof Christ hath taught us that man is the lord. It is not the formal duty of worship, or the sitting still, that keeps the holy rest of sabbath; but whosoever doth most according to charity, whether he works or works not, be breaks the holy rest of sabbath least. So marriage being a civil ordinance, made for man, not man for it; he who doth that which most accords with charity, first to himself, next to whom he next owes it, whether in
Proceeding on to speak of mysterious things in nature, I had occasion to fit the language thereafter; matters not, for the reading of this odious fool, who thus ever, when he meets with aught above the cogitation of his breeding, leaves the noisome stench of his rude slot behind him, maligning that any thing should be spoke or understood above his own genuine baseness; and gives sentence that his confuting hath been employed about a frothy, immeritous, and undeserving discourse. Who could have believed so much insolence durst vent itself from out the hide of a varlet, as thus to censure that which men of mature judgment. have applauded to be writ from good reason? But this contents him not, he falls now to rave in his barbarous abusiveness; and why? a reason befitting such an ar tificer, because he saith the book is contrary to all haman learning; whenas the world knows, that all both human and divine learning, till the canon law, allowed divorce by consent, and for many causes without con
sent. Next, he dooms it as contrary to truth; whenas it hath been disputable among learned men, ever since it was prohibited: and is by Peter Martyr thought an opinion not impious, but hard to be refuted; and by Erasmus deemed a doctrine so charitable and pious, as, if it cannot be used, were to be wished it could; but is by Martin Bucer, a man of dearest and most religious memory in the church, taught and maintained to be either most lawfully used, or most lawfully permitted. And for this, for I affirm no more than Bucer, what censure do you think, readers, he hath condemned the book to? To a death no less impious than to be burnt by the hangman. Mr. Licenser, (for I deal not now with this caitiff, never worth my earnest, and now not seasonable for my jest,) you are reputed a man discreet enough, religious enough, honest enough, that is, to an ordinary competence in all these. But now your turn is, to hear what your own hand hath earned ye; that when you suffered this nameless hangman to cast into 15 public such a despiteful contumely upon a name and person deserving of the church and state equally to yourself; and one who hath done more to the present advancement of your own tribe, than you or many of them have done for themselves; you forgot to be either honest, religious, or discreet. Whatever the state might do concerning it, supposed a matter to expect evil from, I should not doubt to meet among them with wise, and honourable, and knowing men: but as to this brute libel, so much the more impudent and lawless for the abased authority which it bears; I say again, that I abominate the censure of rascals and their licensers.
Against the seventh argument, that if the canon law and divines allow divorce for conspiracy of death, they may as well allow it to avoid the same consequence from the likelihood of natural causes.
First, he denies that the canon so decrees.
I answer, that it decrees for danger of life, as much as for adultery, Decret. Gregor. 1. 4, tit. 19, and in other places: and the best civilians, who cite the canon law, collect, as Schneidewin in Instit. tit. 10, p. 4, de Divort. And indeed, who would have denied it, but One of a reprobate ignorance in all he meddles with? Secondly, he saith the case alters; for there the offender," who seeks the life, doth implicitly at least act
to release us from our duties. But shall we take no advantage to save ourselves from the faults of another, who hath annulled his right to our duty? No, says he, "let them die of the sullens, and try who will pity them." Barbarian, the shame of all honest attorneys! why do they not hoise him over the bar and blanket him?
Against my tenth argument, as he calls it, but as I intended it, my other position, "That divorce is not a thing determinable by a compulsive law, for that all
With difficulty I return to what remains of this ig-law is for some good that may be frequently attained
noble task, for the disdain I have to change a period more with the filth and venom of this gourmand, swelled into a confuter; yet for the satisfaction of others I endure all this.
without the admixture of a worse inconvenience: but the law forbidding divorce never attains to any good end of such prohibition, but rather multiplies evil; therefore the prohibition of divorce is no good law." Now for his attorney's prize: but first, like a right cunning and sturdy logician, he denies my argument, not mattering whether in the major or minor: and saith, "there are many laws made for good, and yet that good is not attained, through the defaults of the party, but a greater inconvenience follows."
But I reply, that this answer builds upon a shallow foundation, and most unjustly supposes every one in default, who seeks ivor from the most injurious
wedlock. The default therefore will be found in the law itself; which is neither able to punish the offender, but the innocent must withal suffer; nor can right the innocent in what is chiefly sought, the obtainment of love or quietness. His instances out of the common law are all so quite beside the matter which he would prove, as may be a warning to all clients how they venture their business with such a cockbrained solicitor. For being to shew some law of England, attaining to no good end, and yet through no default of the party, who is thereby debarred all remedy, he shews us only how some do lose the benefit of good laws through their own default. His first example saith, "it is a just law that every one shall peaceably enjoy his estate in lands or otherwise." Does this law attain to no good end? The bar will blush at this most incogitant wood
And I answer, that here nature, though no offender, doth the same. But if an offender, by acting a divorce, shall release the offended, this is an ample grant against himself. He saith, nature teaches to save life from one who seeks it. And I say, she teaches no less to save it from any other cause that endangers it. He saith, that here they are both actors. Admit they were, it would not be uncharitable to part them; yet sometimes they are not both actors, but the one of them most lamentedly passive. So he concludes, we must not take advantage of our own faults and corruptions
Against the eighth argument, that they who are destitute of all marriageable gifts, except a body not plainly unfit, have not the calling to marry, and consequently married and so found, may be divorced: this, he saith, is nothing to the purpose, and not fit to be answered. I leave it therefore to the judgment of his masters.
Against the ninth argument, that marriage is a human society, and so chiefly seated in agreement and unity of mind: if therefore the mind cannot have that due society by marriage, that it may reasonably and humanly desire, it can be no human society, and so not without reason divorcible: here he falsifies, and turns what the position required of a reasonable agreement in the main matters of society into an agreement in all things, which makes the opinion not mine, and so he leaves it.
At last, and in good hour, we are come to his farcwell, which is to be a concluding taste of his jabberment in law, the flashiest and the fustiest that ever corrupted in such an unswilled hogshead.
cock. But see if a draught of Littleton will recover | those who incite them? And what defence can prohim to his senses. "If this man, having fee simple in perly be used in such a despicable encounter as this, his lands, yet will take a lease of his own lands from but either the slap or the spurn? If they can afford another, this shall be an estopple to him in an assize me none but a ridiculous adversary, the blame belongs from the recovering of his own land.” not to me, though the whole dispute be strewed and Mark now and register him! How many are there scattered with ridiculous. And if he have such an of ten thousand who have such a fee simple in their ambition to know no better who are his mates, but sconce, as to take a lease of their own lands from an- among those needy thoughts, which, though his two other? So that this inconvenience lights upon scarce faculties of serving-man and solicitor should compound one in an age, and by his own default; and the law into one mongrel, would be but thin and meagre, if in of enjoying each man his own is good to all others. this penury of soul he can be possible to have the lustiBut on the contrary, this prohibition of divorce is goodness to think of fame, let him but send me how he calls to none, and brings inconvenience to numbers, who lie himself, and I may chance not fail to indorse him on under intolerable grievances without their own default, the backside of posterity, not a golden, but a brazen through the wickedness or folly of another; and all Since my fate extorts from me a talent of sport, this iniquity the law remedies not, but in a manner which I had thought to hide in a napkin, he shall be maintains. His other cases are directly to the same my Batrachomuomachia, my Bavius, my Calandrino, purpose, and might have been spared, but that he is a the common adagy of ignorance and overweening: tradesman of the law, and must be borne with at his nay, perhaps, as the provocation may be, I may be first setting up, to lay forth his best ware, which is driven to curl up this gliding prose into a rough sotadic, only gibberish. that shall rhyme him into such a condition, as instead of judging good books to be burnt by the executioner, he shall be readier to be his own hangman. Thus much to this nuisance.
I have now done that, which for many causes I might have thought could not likely have been my fortune, to be put to this underwork of scouring and unrubbishing the low and sordid ignorance of such a But as for the subject itself, which I have writ and presumptuous lozel. Yet Hercules had the labour once now defend, according as the opposition bears; if any imposed upon him to carry dung out of the Augean man equal to the matter shall think it appertains him to stable. At any hand I would be rid of him: for I had take in hand this controversy, either excepting against rather, since the life of man is likened to a scene, that aught written, or persuaded he can shew better how all my entrances and exits might mix with such per- this question, of such moment to be throughly known, sons only, whose worth erects them and their actions may receive a true determination, not leaning on the to a grave and tragic deportment, and not to have to old and rotten suggestions whereon it yet leans; if his do with clowns and vices. But if a man cannot peace- intents be sincere to the public, and shall carry him on ably walk into the world, but must be infested; some-without bitterness to the opinion, or to the person distimes at his face with dorrs and horseflies, sometimes senting; let him not, I entreat him, guess by the beneath with bawling whippets and shin barkers, and handling, which meritoriously hath been bestowed on these to be set on by plot and consultation with a junto this object of contempt and laughter, that I account it of clergymen and licensers, commended also and re- any displeasure done me to be contradicted in print: joiced in by those whose partiality cannot yet forego but as it leads to the attainment of any thing more true, old papistical principles; have I not cause to be in shall esteem it a benefit; and shall know how to return such a manner defensive, as may procure me freedom his civility and fair argument in such a sort, as he shall to pass more unmolested hereafter by those encum-confess that to do so is my choice, and to have done brances, not so much regarded for themselves, as for thus was my chance.
TENURE OF KINGS AND MAGISTRATES:
THAT IT 18 LAWFUL, AND HATH BEEN HELD SO THROUGH ALL AGES, FOR ANY, WHO HAVE THE POWER, TO CALL TO ACCOUNT A TYRANT, OR WICKED KING, AND, AFTER DUE CONVICTION, TO DEPOSE, AND PUT HIM TO DEATH; IF THE ORDINARY MAGISTRATE HAVE NEGLECTED, OR DENIED TO DO IT.
THAT THEY, WHO OF LATE SO MUCH BLAME DEPOSING, ARE THE MEN THAT DID IT THEMSELVES."
[FIRST PUBLISHED 1648-9.]
If men within themselves would be governed by reason, and not generally give up their understanding to a double tyranny, of custom from without, and blind affections within; they would discern better what it is to favour and uphold the tyrant of a nation. But being slaves within doors, no wonder that they strive so much to have the public state conformably governed to the inward vitious rule, by which they govern themselves. For indeed none can love freedom heartily, but good men: the rest love not freedom, but licence: which never hath more scope, or more indulgence than under tyrants. Hence is it, that tyrants are not oft offended, nor stand much in doubt of bad men, as being all naturally servile; but in whom virtue and true worth most is eminent, them they fear in earnest, as by right their masters; against them lies all their hatred and suspicion. Consequently neither do bad men hate tyrants, but have been always readiest, with the falsifred names of Loyalty and Obedience, to colour over their base compliances. And although sometimes for shame, and when it comes to their own grievances, of parse especially, they would seem good patriots, and side with the better cause, yet when others for the deliverance of their country endued with fortitude and bervie virtue, to fear nothing but the curse written against those " that do the work of the Lord negligently," would go on to remove, not only the calamities and thraldoms of a people, but the roots and causes whence they spring; straight these men, and sure belpers at need, as if they hated only the miseries, but not the mischiefs, after they have juggled and paltered with the world, bandied and borne arms against their king, divested bim, disanointed him, nay, cursed him all over in their pulpits, and their pamphlets, to the engaging of sincere and real men beyond what is possible or honest to retreat from, not only turn revolters
This tract, which was first published in February 1648-9, after the execution of king Charles, and is a defence of that action against the objecs of the Presbyterians, was, in the year 1650, republished by the author the wathor's works, are here carefully inserted in their proper places. The conderable additions, all which, omitted in every former edition of
from those principles, which only could at first move them, but lay the strain of disloyalty, and worse, on those proceedings, which are the necessary consequences of their own former actions; nor disliked by themselves, were they managed to the entire advantages of their own faction; not considering the while that he, toward whom they boasted their new fidelity, counted them accessory; and by those statutes and laws, which they so impotently brandish against others, would have doomed them to a traitor's death for what they have done already. It is true, that most men are apt enough to civil wars and commotions as a novelty, and for a flash hot and active; but through sloth or inconstancy, and weakness of spirit, either fainting ere their own pretences, though never so just, be half attained, or, through an inbred falsehood and wickedness, betray ofttimes to destruction with themselves men of noblest temper joined with them for causes, whereof they in their rash undertakings were not capable. If God and a good cause give them victory, the prosecution whereof for the most part inevitably draws after it the alteration of laws, change of government, downfall of princes with their families; then comes the task to those worthies, which are the soul of that enterprise, to be sweat and laboured out amidst the throng and noses of vulgar and irrational men. testing for privileges, customs, forms, and that old entanglement of iniquity, their gibberish laws, though the badge of their ancient slavery. Others, who have been fiercest against their prince, under the notion of a tyrant, and no mean incendiaries of the war against them, when God, out of his providence and high disposal hath delivered him into the hand of their brethren, on a sudn-den and in a new garb of allegiance, which their doings have long since cancelled, they plead for him, pity him, extol him, protest against those that talk of bringing
copy which I use, after the above title, has the following sentence; "Pub-