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the ftate had ordered and requires. And he who lifts not to be malicious, would call it ingenuity, clear confcience, willingness to avouch what might be queftioned, or to be better inftructed. And if God were fo difpleafed with thofe, Ifa. lviii, who "on the folemn faft were wont to fmite with the fift of wickedness," it could be no fign of his own humiliation accepted, which difpofed him to fmite fo keenly with a reviling tongue. But if only to have writ my name must be counted "impudence," how doth this but juftify another, who might affirm with as good warrant, that the late difcourfe of "Scripture and Reason," which is certain to be chiefly his own draught, was published without a name, out of bafe fear, and the fly avoidance of what might follow to his detriment, if the party at court fhould hap to reach him? And I, to have fet my name, where he accufes me to have set it, am fo far from recanting, that I offer my hand alfo if need be, to make good the fame opinion which I there maintain, by inevitable confequences drawn parallel from his own principal arguments in that of "Scripture and Reafon:" which I fhall pardon him if he can deny, without fhaking his own compofition to pieces. The "impudence" therefore, fince he weighed fo little what a grofs revile that was to give his equal, I fend him back again for a phylactery to ftitch upon his arrogance, that cenfures not only before conviction, fo bitterly without fo much as one reafon given, but cenfures the congregation of his governors to their faces, for not being fo hafty as himfelf to cenfure.

And whereas my other crime is, that I addreffed the dedication of what I had ftudied to the parliament; how could I better declare the loyalty which I owe to that fu preme and majestic tribunal, and the opinion which I have of the high entrusted judgment, and perfonal worth affembled in that place? With the fame affections therefore, and the fame addicted fidelity, parliament of England! I here again have brought to your perufal on the fame argument thefe following expofitions of feripture. The former book, as pleafed fome to think, who were thought judicious, had of reafon in it to a fufficiency; what they required was, that the fcriptures there alleged 1 2 might

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might be difcuffed more fully. To their defires thus much further hath been laboured in the fcriptures, Another fort alfo, who wanted more authorities and citations, have not been here unthought of. If all this attain not to fatisfy them, as I am confident that none of thofe our great controverfies at this day hath had a more demonftrative explaining, I must confefs to admire what it is for doubtlefs it is not reafon now a days that fatisfies or fuborns the common credence of men, to yield fo eafily, and grow fo vehement in matters much more difputable, and far lefs conducing to the daily good and peace of life. Some whofe neceffary fhifts have long enured them to cloak the defects of their unftudied years, and hatred now to learn, under the appearance of a grave folidity (which eftimation they have gained among weak perceivers,) find the eafe of flighting what they cannot refute, and are determined, as I hear, to hold it not worth the answering. In which number I must be forced to reckon that doctor, who in a late equivocating treatife plaufibly fet afloat against the Dippers, diving the while himfelf with a more deep prelatical malignance against the prefent fiate and church-government, mentions with ignominy "the Tractate of Divorce;" yet anfwers nothing, but inftead thereof (for which I do not commend his marthalling) fets Mofes alfo among the crew of his Anabaptifts; as one who to a holy nation; the commonwealth of Ifrael, gave laws " breaking the bonds of marriage to inordinate luft." Thefe are no mean furges of blafphemy, not only dipping Mofes the divine lawgiver, but dashing with a high hand against the juftice and purity of God himfelf: as thefe enfuing fcriptures plainly and freely handled fhall verify, to the launching of that old apoftemated errour. Him therefore I leave now to his repentance.

Others, which is their courtefy, confefs that wit and parts may do much to make that feem true which is not; as was objected to Socrates by them who could not refift his efficacy, that he ever made the worft caufe feem the better; and thus thinking themfelves difcharged of the difficulty, love not to wade further into


the fear of a convincement. Thefe will be their excufes
to decline the full examining of this ferious point. So
much the more I prefs it and repeat it, lords and com-
mons! that ye beware while time is, ere this grand fe-.
cret, and only art of ignorance affecting tyranny, grow
powerful, and rule among us.
For if found argument
and reafon fhall be thus put off, either by an under-
valuing filence, or the afterly cenfure of a railing
word or two in the pulpit, or by rejecting the force of
truth, as the mere cunning of eloquence and fophiftry;
what can be the end of this, but that all good learning
and knowledge will fuddenly decay? Ignorance, and
illiterate prefumption, which is yet but our difeafe, will
turn at length into our very conftitution, and prove
the hectic evil of this age: worfe to be feared, if it get
once to reign over us, than any fifth monarchy. If this
fhall be the course, that what was wont to be a chief
commendation, and the ground of other men's confi-
dence in an author, his diligence, his learning, his elo-
cution whether by right, or by ill meaning granted him,
fhall be turned now to a difadvantage and fufpicion
against him, that what he writes, though unconfuted,
muft therefore be miftrufted, therefore not received for
the industry, the exactnefs, the labour in it, confeffed
to be more than ordinary; as if wifdom had now for-
faken the thirfty and laborious inquirer to dwell against
her nature with the arrogant and thallow babbler; to
what purpose all those pains and that continual search-
ing required of us by Solomon to the attainment of
understanding? Why are men bred up with fuch care
and expenfe to a life of perpetual ftudies? Why do
yourselves with fuch endeavour feek to wipe off the
imputation of intending to difcourage the progrefs and
advance of learning? He therefore, whofe heart can
bear him to the high pitch of your noble enterprises,
may eafily affure himfelf, that the prudence and far-
judging circumfpectness of fo grave a magiftracy fitting
in parliament, who have before them the prepared and
purposed act of their most religious predeceffors to imi-
tate in this question, cannot reject the clearness of thefe
reasons, and these allegations both here and formerly

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offered them; nor can overlook the neceffity of ordaining more wholefomely and more humanely in the cafualties of divorce, than our laws have yet established, if the most urgent and exceffive grievances happening in domeftic life be worth the laying to heart; which, unless charity be far from us, cannot be neglected. And that these things both in the right conftitution, and in the right reformation of a commonwealth call for speedieft redress, and ought to be the first confidered, enough was urged in what was prefaced to that monument of Bucer, which I brought to your remembrance, and the other time before. Henceforth, except new cause be given, I fhall fay lefs and lefs. For if the law make not timely provifion, let the law, as reafon is, bear the cenfure of thofe confequences, which her own default now more evidently produces. And if men want manliness to expoftulate the right of their due ranfom, and to fecond their own occafions, they may fit hereafter and bemoan themfelves to have neglected through faintness the only 1emedy of their fufferings, which a feafonable and wellgrounded speaking might have purchased them. And perhaps in time to come, others will know how to esteem what is not every day put into their hands, when they have marked events, and better weighed how hurtful and unwife it is, to hide a fecret and pernicious rupture under the ill counsel of a bashful filence. But who would diftruft aught, or not be ample in his hopes of your wife and christian determinations? who have the prudence to confider, and should have the goodness, like Gods, as ye are called, to find out readily, and by just law to adminifter thofe redreffes, which have of old, not without God ordaining, been granted to the adverfities of mankind, ere they who needed, were put to afk. Certainly, if any other have enlarged his thoughts to expect from this government, fo juftly undertaken, and by frequent affiftances from heaven fo apparently upheld, glorious changes and renovations both in church and state, he among the foremost might be named, who prays that the fate of England may tarry for no other deliverers. JOHN MILTON,




The four chief places in Scripture which treat of Marriage, or Nullities in Marriage.

Genefis I, 27.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, 28. And God blessed them, and God faid unto them, Be fruitful, &c.

Gen. II, 18.

And the Lord God faid, It is not good that man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him. 23. And Adam faid, this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; fhe fhall be called woman, because fhe was taken out of man.

24. Therefore fhall a man leave his father and his mother, and fhall cleave unto his wife, and they fhall be one fleth.

Gen. I, 27.

"SO God created man in his own image."] To be informed aright in the whole hiftory 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 fafett, faireft, and moft with our obedience, to inquire, as our Saviour's direction is, how it was in the beginning. And that we begin fo high as man created after God's own image, there want not earnest causes. For nothing nowadays is more degenerately forgotten, than the true dignity of man, almost in every respect, but especially in this prime infti

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