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which notwithstanding if we fhall ftill avouch to be a command, he palpably denying it, this is not to expound St.Paul, but to outface him. Neither doth it follow, that the Apostle may interpofe his judgment in a cafe of Chriftian liberty, without the guilt of adding to God's word. How do we know marriage or fingle life to be of choice, but by fuch like words as thefe, "I fpeak this by permiffion, not of commandment; I have no command of the Lord, yet I give my judgment." Why fhall not the like words have leave to fignify a freedom in this our prefent queftion, though Beza deny ? Neither is the Scripture hereby lefs infpired, becaufe St. Paul confeffes to have written therein what he had not of command: for we grant that the fpirit of God led him thus to exprefs himfelf to Chriftian prudence, in a matter which God thought beft to leave uncommanded. Beza therefore must be warily read, when he taxes St. Auftin of blafphemy, for holding that St. Paul fpake here as of a thing indifferent. But if it must be a command, I fhall yet the more evince it to be a command that we should herein be left free; and that out of the Greek word ufed in the 12 ver., which inftructs us plainly, there must be a joint affent and good liking on both fides: he that will not deprave the text muft thus render it; "If a brother have an unbelieving wife, and fhe join in consent to dwell with him" (which cannot utter lefs to us than a mutual agreement) let him not put her away from the mere furmise of judaical uncleannefs: and the reafon follows, for the body of an infidel is not polluted, neither to benevolence, nor to procreation. Moreover, this note of mutual complacency forbids all offer of feducement, which to a person of zeal cannot be attempted without great offence: if therefore feducement be feared, this place hinders not divorce. Another caution was put in this fuppofed command, of not bringing the believer into bondage' hereby, which doubtlefs might prove extreme, if Chriftian liberty and confcience were left to the humour of a pagan ftaying at pleasure to play with, and to vex and wound with a thousand fcandals and burdens, above ftrength to bear: If therefore the conceived hope of gaining a foul come to nothing, then charity commands that the believer be not wearied out with endless waiting under many grievances fore

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fore to his fpirit; but that respect be had rather to the prefent fuffering of a true Chriftian, than the uncertain winning of an obdured heretic. The counsel we have from St. Paul to hope, cannot countermand the moral and evangelic charge we have from God to fear feducement, to feparate from the mifbeliever, the unclean, the obdurate. The Apostle wifheth us to hope, but does not fend us a wool-gathering after vain hope; he faith, "How knoweft thou, O man, whether thou fhalt fave thy wife?" that is, till he try all due means, and fet fome reasonable time to himself, after which he may give over washing an Ethiop, if he will hear the advice of the gofpel; “Caft not pearls before swine," faith Chrift himself. "Let him be to thee as a heathen. Shake the duft off thy feet" If this be not enough, "hate and forfake" what relation foever. And this also that follows must appertain to the precept, "Let every man wherein he is called, therein abide with God," v. 24, that is, fo walking in his inferior calling of marriage, as not by dangerous fubjection to that ordinance, to hinder and disturb the higher calling of his christianity. Laft, and never too oftremembered, whether this be a command, or an advice, we must look that it be so understood as not to contradict the leaft point of moral religion that God hath formerly commanded; otherwise what do we but set the moral law and the gofpel at civil war together? and who then shall be able to ferve these two masters !

CHAP

IX.

That adultery is not the greatest breach of matrimony: that there may be other violations as great.

Now whether idolatry or adultery be the greatest violation of marriage, if any demand let him thus confider ; that among Chriftian writers touching matrimony, there be three chief ends thereof agreed on : godly fociety, next civil, and thirdly, that of the marriage-bed. Of these the first in name to be the highest and most excellent, no baptized man can deny, nor that idolatry fmites directly against this prime end; nor that fuch as the violated end

is, fuch is the violation: but he who affirms adultery to be the highest breach, affirms the bed to be the highest of marriage, which is in truth a grofs and boorish opinion, how common foever; as far from the countenance of Scripture, as from the light of all clean philofophy or civil nature. And out of queftion the cheerful help that may be in marriage toward fanctity of life, is the pureft, and fo the nobleft end of that contract: but if the particular of each perfon be confidered, then of those three ends which God appointed, that to him is greatest which is moft neceffary; and marriage is then most broken to him, when he utterly wants the fruition of that which he most sought therein, whether it were religious, civil, or corporal fociety. Of which wants to do him right by divorce only for the last and meaneft is a perverse injury, and the pretended reafon of it as frigid as frigidity itself, which the code and canon are only fenfible of. Thus much of this controverfy. I now return to the former argument. And having fhown that difproportion, contrariety, or numbness of mind may juftly be divorced, by proving already the prohibition thereof oppofes the exprefs end of God's inftitution, fuffers not marriage to fatisfy that intellectual and innocent defire which God himfelf kindled in man to be the bond of wedlock, but only to remedy a fublunary and beftial burning, which frugal diet, without marriage, would easily chaften. Next, that it drives many to tranfgrefs the conjugal bed, while the foul wanders after that fatisfaction which it had hope to find at home, but hath miffed; or else it fits repining, even to atheism, finding itself hardly dealt with, but mifdeeming the cause to be in God's law, which is in man's unrighteous ignorance. I have fhown alfo how it unties the inward knot of marriage, which is peace and love (if that can be untied which was never knit) while it aims to keep faft the outward formality: how it lets perifh the christian man, to compel impoffibly the married man.

CHAP.

CHA P. X.

The fixth reafon of this law; that to prohibit divorce fought for natural cafes, is against nature.

THE fixth place declares this prohibition to be as refpectlefs of human nature, as it is of religion, and therefore is not of God. He teaches, that an unlawful marriage may be lawfully divorced: and that those who have thoroughly difcerned each other's difpofition, which ofttimes cannot be till after matrimony, fhall then find a powerful reluctance and recoil of nature on either fide, blasting all the content of their mutual fociety, that fuch perfons are not lawfully married, (to use the Apoftle's words) "Say I these things as a man, or faith not the law alfo the fame? For it is written, Deut. xxii, Thou shalt not fow thy vineyard with different feeds, left thou defile both. Thou shalt not plough with an ox and an ass together;" and the like. I follow the pattern of St. Paul's reasoning; "Doth God care for affes and oxen," ," how ill they yoke together, "or is it not said altogether for our fakes? for our fakes no doubt this is written." Yea the Apostle himself, in the forecited 2 Cor. vi, 14, alludes from that place of Deut. to forbid mifyoking marriage, as by the Greek word is evident; though he inftance but in one example of mifinatching with an infidel, yet next to that, what can be a fouler incongruity, a greater violence to the reverend fecret of nature, than to force a mixture of minds that cannot unite, and to fow the forrow of man's nativity with feed of two incoherent and incombining difpofitions? which act being kindly and voluntary, as it ought, the Apostle in the language he wrote called eunoia, and the Latins, benevolence, intimating the original thereof to be in the understanding, and the will; if not, furely there is nothing which might more properly be called a malevolence rather; and is the most injurious and unnatural tribute that can be extorted from a perfon endued with reafon, to be made pay out the best substance of his body, and of his foul too, as fome think, when either for just and powerful causes he cannot like, or from unequal causes finds not recompenfe. And that there is a hidden efficacy of love and hatred in man as well as in other kinds, not VOL. I. Bb moral

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moral but natural, which though not always in the choice, yet in the fuccefs of marriage will ever be moft predominant; befides daily experience, the author of Ecclefiafticus, whofe wisdom hath fet him next the Bible, acknowledges, xiii, 16, "A man, faith he, will cleave to his like,' But what might be the caufe, whether each one's allotted Genius or proper ftar, or whether the fupernal influence of schemes and angular aspects, or this elemental crafis here below; whether all these jointly or fingly meeting friendly, or unfriendly in either party, I dare not, with the men I am like to clafh, appear fo much a philofopher as to conjecture. The ancient proverb in Homer lefs abftrufe, entitles this work of leading each like perfon to his like, peculiarly to God himfelf: which is plain enough alfo by his naming of a meet or like help in the firft efpoufal inftituted; and that every woman is meet for every man, none so absurd as to affirm. Seeing then there is a twofold feminary, or stock in nature, from whence are derived the iffues of love and hatred, diftinctly flowing through the whole mafs of created things, and that God's doing ever is to bring the due likeneffes and harmonies of his works together, except when out of two contraries met to their own deftruction, he moulds a third exiftence; and that it is errour, or fome evil angel which either blindly or maliciously hath drawn together, in two perfons ill embarked in wedlock, the fleeping difcords and enmities of nature, lulled on purpofe with fome falfe bait, that they may wake to agony and ftrife, later than prevention could have wished, if from the bent of just and honeft intentions beginning what was begun and fo continuing, all that is equal, all that is fair and poffible hath been tried, and no accommodation likely to fucceed; what folly is it fill to fiand combating and battering against invincible causes and effects, with evil upon evil, till either the best of our days be lingered out, or ended with fome speeding forrow? The wife Ecclefiafticus advifes rather, xxxvii, 27, "My fon prove thy foul in thy life, fee what is evil for it, and give not that unto it." Reafon he had to fay fo; for if the noisomeness or disfigurement of body

* The first edition has fupernatural.

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