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LITTLE NON-SUCH: OR, Certaine new Queſtions Moved out of ANCIENT TRUTHS.

I. Concerning the words, Let us make man after our own Image.

II. Whether that was a materiall Apple which Adam did eate.

III. Whether the forbidding of marriage be not a Popiſh injunction onely, and not rightly grounded from the Scripture.

Newly publiſhed with intent to finde out the truth, if it be not here already.

Magna eſt veritas & prevalent.

London, Printed for H. P. 1646.

2

Advertiſement.

IF any will prejudicate, or have not patience to examine a truth, how long ſoever concea­led or obſcured; or if he be fantaſticall and will laugh at his ſhadow, not diſcerning from whence it proceeds, let him put a part this ſerious (though little) diſcourſe; it is in­tended for better judgements.

Since theſe late eruptions in Church and State the minds of men are become much diſtracted; and no mar­vell, ſeeing the various opinions concerning civill Government in the firſt place, whether Monarkia, Ariſtocratia, or neither but a mixt; and ſome perhaps affecting Oligarchia, which is the worſt. Then as touching the rents in the Church, what ſhall ſuffice to be ſaid? ſince many both grave and learned Divines doe avouch, that all the hereſies fomented at ſeverall times, informer ages, and con­demned by ſeverall Councels, are now extant, attended with as many more; and how ſhall it be otherwaies? when both Fathers and Councels are derided and contemn'd (without controle) by the very off-ſcouring of the people; yea, even ſuch as ſetled and confirmed our Chriſtian faith (by refuting errors and hereſies the firſt 400 yeeres) which till now the Chriſtian world hath received for Orthodox: yet is it no wonder to ſee the Scripture abuſed and miſ-interpreted by every Mechanicke, miſ-applying the ſence to their fantaſticke humors; ſeeing there was never hereſie broached, but came with verbum Dei Scripture in the mouth: the divell him­ſelfe could finde no fitter way to vent his impoſtury, when he came to tempt our Saviour. Although it may be doubted whether or3 no there be any thing new, that never was; for nihil dictum quod non dictum prius, nothing ſaid that was not ſaid before; yet many matters are daily opened, which have been ſhut up and clouded by the Romiſh Church ſince the time of Phocas the Emperour when that Hierarchy begun to uſurp upon the reſt: And likewiſe many errors and hereſies that ſeeme to be new are but the ſame in ſubſtance, they were in former times, yet perhaps with ſome additions as abſurd as the principall. Now to reduce the Primitive purity will be a worke too hard for mans capacity; it muſt be God onely in his good time, who for our pride, vainglory, hypocriſie, and perhaps infidelity, hath ſuffered us to fall into theſe fractions and diſtem­pers. But in the mean time if ſome grave and learned man will a little trouble himſelfe to reſolve a few following queſtions, it may give comfort to weake conſciences that are in doubt, and per­chance afflicted.

And herein we deteſt to be curiouſly inquiſitive in things not neceſſary, but onely covet the health of our ſoules, and the bettering of our underſtandings.

BEginning then with the firſt Booke of Moſes called**Ch. 7. v. 26. Geneſis. And God ſaid, Let us make man after our likeneſſe, V. 27. in the Image of God created he him, male and female created, &c. Some then (ſeeing the ſhape and forme that man beares in his perſonall appearance) doe conceive, that God the Creator beareth the ſame form in ſhape and perſon: ſome others ſay, this Image is meant, in the likeneſſe to our maker in ſoule and ſpirit; and therefore blame them that imagine, or ſet him forth in the likeneſſe of any humane ſhape: To that is anſwered againe, that the Text formerly cited cannot be meant of ſoule and ſpirit, becauſe at that time man was not a living ſoule; for proofe they ſay that God finiſhed his work in ſix daies, whereof the making of man was part, and reſted the**Ch. 2. v. 3. ſeventh, and hallowed it: but after the ſeventh day he breathed life into man, and made him a living ſoule, Chap. 2. v. 7. Therefore he was made according to the likeneſſe of God in perſonall ſhape, becauſe at his firſt making he was not a living ſoule, till after God had reſted the ſeventh day, and then breathed life into him, as is formerly proved: And long after his tranſgreſſion, God ſaid**Ch. 3. v. 22. the man is become like one of us; ſo it ſeems at firſt he had not a ſpirituall4 underſtanding: It is likewiſe ſaid, God ſhewed unto Moſes his back parts, but his face ſhould not be ſeen**Exod. 33.23.; therefore if he have back parts, and a face, he hath a ſhape, which when he pleaſeth he can make viſible, as then he did. And the Lord ſpake to Moſes face to face, as a man ſpeaketh to his friend**Ch. 33. v. 7.: Moreover what were the three men that appeared to Abraham as he ſate in the tent? if not the Trinity**Ch. 18. v. 2. which did afterwards eate of the Cake that Sara made, and the Calfe which Abraham fetch'd from the fold, as appeares, v. 8. Now though it is, and muſt be acknowledged, that God is ſo infinite in wiſdome and power, that therein he cannot be cir­cumſcribed nor comprehended; yet (ſay ſome) that doth not hinder a perſonall ſhape or proportion: But ſome others (notwithſtan­ding thoſe plaine ſeeming proofes, doe not allow that God hath any bodily ſhape at all; which if it be ſo reſolved, and theſe things reconciled, to better proofs and reaſons out of Scripture by one that is wiſe and learned it will ſatisfie.

THe ſecond queſtion ariſeth out of Geneſis. And the Lord**Gen. 2.16, 17 ſaid, of every Tree of the garden thou mayſt eate, but of the Tree of the know­ledge of good and evill: for in the day that thou eateſt thereof thou ſhalt ſurely die. Now ſome make a queſtion whether it were a materiall Apple that Adam did eate at the inſtance of his wife Eue. And if the queſtion be of the Species, it may well be doubted, for it doth not appeare in the Text to be an Apple more then a Figge, or other Fruit; onely in generall tearmes it is called the fruit of the**Ch. 3. v. 2, 3. Tree in the middeſt of the Garden: But I ſuppoſe the queſtion is not of the Species, but whether it were a materiall fruit, and ſo to be under­ſtood in literall ſence. It ſeems it ſhould be ſo underſtood in the ſixt verſe, When the woman ſaw the tree was good for food, and to be de­ſired to make one wiſe, ſhe did eate, and gave unto her husband, &c. What can be plainer for a literall conſtruction? yet ſome will have the whole matter to be an Allegory; and underſtand by the Serpent in this place no other then concupiſcence, and by the fruit of the Tree in the midſt of the Garden, ſome other thing then the eating of a materiall Apple, becauſe of ſome other words in the ſtory that ſeems to carry a ſpirituall ſence, as verſ. 15. I will put enmity betwixt thy ſeed and the womans ſeed; ſhall this be underſtood of the old ſer­pent the Divel? we ſuppoſe that he and his Angels were caſt out of Heaven before the creation of man; but in this Chapter the Ser­pent5 here is expreſly called a beaſt of the field. But if by this beaſtVerſ. 1. you will underſtand concupiſcence, it may perhaps in a ſpirituall ſenſe be ſaid to be the ſeed of the Divell, becauſe it works in the fleſh by his inſtigation. The day thou eateſt thereof, ſaith the Lord, thou ſhalt ſurely**Ch. 2. v. 17. die. And the Serpent ſaid, ye ſhall not ſurely die, Chap. 3. v. 4. Now we ſee in the verſes following, they did not die the day they did eate, but had mulcts, and puniſhments threatned, as the Ser­pent to goe on his belly, and lick the duſt; the woman to bring forth children in ſorrow; the man to get his living by the ſweat of his brow, the earth to be curſed, &c. And Chap. 3. v. 22, 23. Leaſt he put forth his hand and take of the tree of life, and live forever. There­fore the Lord God ſent them forth of the Garden, &c. This ſeems alſo to have ſome other ſence, for we are not taught to live for ever by carnall eating. Reſolve if you pleaſe the doubt of this queſtion with the former.

THe next queſtion is of marriage, Geneſis**Ch. 2. v. 18.. And the Lord God ſaid it is not good for man to be alone, I wil make him a help meet for him. verſ. 21, 22. God tooke one of Adams ribs, made a woman, and brought her unto him, v 23. Adam ſaid, this is bone of my bone, and fleſh of my fleſh, which is one fleſh, v. 24. How comes it then that there are forbidden degrees in marriage? or is it not ſo in truth, but a Popiſh injunction for their profit? for in that reſpect they have given their diſpenſations ad infinitum to the neereſt kindred. To recite particulars in a matter ſo well known (as the houſes of Au­ſtria, Burbon, and many others) where profit or State policy is at ſtake) were onely to ſpend Inke and Paper. Then if it may be done by diſpenſation, and for money, which is but an Ordinance of man; why may it not much more be done without, ſeeing it is the Ordinance of God himſelfe? You know what Peter ſaid to Simon Magus, Thou and thy money periſh, becauſe thou thinkeſt that theſe things may be bought for money. And here we ſee the woman is not of the man derivatively, and by deſcent, but of his own proper ſub­ſtance; then in regard there can be no more matches of this nature, the very next of kin were to joyn in marriage, and that both by cuſtome and command. For example, we finde that Sara was A­brahams ſiſter, whom he took to wife; a better preſident we can not have, for he was the father of the faithfull; his ſeed ſhould be multiplied as the Stars in Heaven; all the Nations of the earth be bleſſed therein**Gen: 22. 17, 18., &c.

6If it be ſaid, that when Abraham went down to ſojourne in Aegypt becauſe of the famine, he wiſh'd his wife to ſay ſhe was his ſiſter, leſt the Aegytians ſhould kill him and take her to themſelves, for ſhe was a faire woman to looke upon**Gen. 12. v. 1, 12, 13.. And from thence you will argue, that to be but ſimulation betwixt them to ſave his life; then it will appeare in the ſame book of Geneſis that in his returne to the South Countrey, they uſed the like practice, in ſaying ſhe was his ſiſter In ſo much that Abimelech King of Gerar tooke Sara, but the Lord kept Abimelech from touching her, and reproved him for taking another mans wife; whereupon Abimelech blam'd Abraham, ſaying, What ſaweſt thou that thou haſt done this thing? Abraham replied, I thought the feare of God is not in this place, and they will kill me for my wifes ſake: yet to let him know that he had not diſſembled totally, he ſaid, indeed ſhe is my ſiſter, for ſhe is the daugh­ter of my father, and ſhe became my wife**Gen. 20 12.. Moreover Cha. 24. v. 4. A­braham cauſed his ſervant to ſweare, charging him to goe to his owne Countrey, and to his kindred to chuſe a wife for his ſonne Iſaac. And ſo naturally confident were the ſervants of God in pro­pagating by the next of kin, that Lots daughters (when they fled out of Sodome with their father, where the reſt of their kindred peri­ſhed) did not doubt to raiſe up ſeed to their father, ſaying, There is not a man alive to come in unto us after the manner of the earth, there­fore let us lie with him, &c. Now there were thouſands (not to be**Gen. 19 31, 32. numbred) left alive, but there was none of their Tribe and kindred, for ſo the Text ſeems to infer. We know alſo that many things are writ for our inſtruction not for our imitation; and ſo Lot might juſtly be blamed for drinking ſo liberally, that he perceived not what he did (which we ought not to imitate) yet we finde no reproofe upon the daughters, becauſe (it ſeems) what they did was onely for propagation, according to the inſtitution, and not to ſatisfie appetite. This appeares by their interchange; yet Dr Willet ſaith they did offend, and brings with him Auguſtines opinion, which is, that they ſhould have done far better to have acquainted their father, ſo then (belike) all had been well enough: But with­all in the ſame Annotations of Levit. 18.) he brings againſt him­ſelfe a Jury of Doctors that juſtifies their intention to be good and lawfull in their caſe, viz. Soto, Lopes, Ledeſma, Bellarmine, L••inus, with three of the Fathers alſo, Chryſoſtome, Theodores, and Origen,7 and (we ſee) God gave a bleſſing unto their act, for the Text ſaith, they were with child, and there proceeded from them two great Nations, the Moabites and the Ammonites. And that theſe children were bleſſed appeares more plainly, where the children of Iſrael in their warfaring journey were forbidden to diſtreſſe them, and not to meddle with them, for the Lord would not give them of the Land which he had given to the foreſaid children of Lot for a poſ­ſeſſion**Gen. 13. 37, 38.: If you ſay that notwithſtanding they were afterwards ſmitten and warred againſt: ſo was it likewiſe with the moſt cho­ſen people (according to the covenant) for their Idolatry, infide­lity, &c. The Ephramites fell by the men of Gilead,**Deut. 2.18, 19. 42000 at one time, and it were ſupererrogate to cite the ſeverall places of Scrip­ture, where the Iſraelites were puniſhed, and carried captive, and caſt off into a reprobate ſenſe, as now they are at this day for their tranſgreſſion; but that will be no argument to prove that propa­gating by their neereſt kindred (which they were commanded) was the cauſe: but moſt certaine their hardneſſe of heart, infidelity, and idolatry, which was forbidden. For was not Moſes the meekeſt man, and Aaron, the ſonnes of Amram, who married Jocabed his Aunt?

The next place that ſeems to fortefie this opinion againſt all op­poſition, is that of Judagh and Tamar his daughter in law, which you have in Geneſis 38. throughout the whole Chapter; there ſhall you finde the wilfull and unnaturall treſpaſſe of Onan in refuſing to performe the kinſmans duty, and therefore the Lord deſtroyed him: but what ſhall we thinke of Judahs intention? can we ap­prove of it? no verily; he tooke her for**Judges 12.6. a Harlot: yet was the ſincerity and integrity of Thamar ſo ſublime, that from her IſſueVerſ. 15. upon that conjunction came the Saviour of the world; for from Phares deſcended Boas, David, and conſequently our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt according to the fleſh: and now old Judah could ſay, (be­cauſe I have not performed what I ought of my part) ſhe hath been more righteous then I.

Well, yet let us object Levit. 18. the prohibition there, with the gloſſe upon the Text, entituled unlawfull marriages; but we ſup­poſe it is a Popiſh gloſſe, and of purpoſe miſ-interpreted to in­creaſe his coffers: for it will appeare hereafter that the uncovering of nakedneſſe there mentioned, is meant of fornication onely, and not of marriage: yet the Popes purſe upon that pretence hath pickt8 up many large fees, eſpecially where the joyning of Kingdomes or Dukedomes together hath been ſought more for politick ends, (and chiefly if his owne cauſe hath been intereſted) then the par­ties owne particular liking. But now who is ſo ignorant to believe that any ſinfull man can diſpenſe with what God hath comman­ded or forbidden. In the beginning men gave gifts and preſents for fit wives of their owne Linage; as appeares,**Gen. 24.22. where Abrahams ſervant gave Rebecca the Earings and the Bracelets: now ſince mens owne covetouſneſſe, or the Popes, have forbid ſuch wives as is moſt naturall; the cuſtome is to barter and exchange for ſtrangers ſo much money, ſo much land, &c. as you doe for other things in fayre or market.

But to returne, the Anſwer to the foreſaid prohibition in Levi­ticus 18. is, that the many Lawes given in that booke were not perpetuall, but onely given to buſie the minds of the children of Iſrael for that preſent, and to divert their inclination from Idolatry, unto which they were ſo ſubject from their deliverance out of Aegypt, in their march to Canaan, and perhaps for ſome other rea­ſons known to men of learning: for who doth believe it is not lawfull to eate Hare or Coney, Swines fleſh, &c. or to weare linnen and woolen, plow with beaſts of ſeverall kinds; with many other prohibitions, whereof that Booke is full, as well as in the degrees in kindred: They were alſo peculiar to that people, and therefore not binding elſewhere, eſpecially to Chriſtians under the Goſpel. But to make the matter more cleare, let us ſee how we can prove the prohibition in theſe degrees, to be meant of Fornication, as is formerly mentioned, and not of the holy inſtitution of mar­riage, for inſtance in the foreſaid, 18 ch. & 16. ver. it is ſaid, Thou ſhalt not uncover the nakedneſse of thy brothers wife, it is thy brothers nakedneſſe: uncover the nakedneſſe, marke that; though the Pope and ambitious men would delude us, the holy Ghoſt is very wary; the Text here ſpeaks not of marriage, but uncovering nakedneſſe: and now repaire to Deut. 25. verſ. 5. There you ſhall finde that if a brother die the wife of the dead ſhall not marry unto a ſtranger, her husbands brother ſhall goe in unto her, take her to wife, and performe the duty of a husbands brother unto her. The reſt of the verſes fol­lowing ſhewes how diſgracefully, and with what reproach he was to be uſed that refuſed to perform this duty. So you ſee there is a9 vaſt difference betwixt uncovering of nakedneſſe, and taking to wife; for elſe did not theſe two Texts controvert each other point-blanke, if they were meant of one and the ſelfeſame matter? what is then the right expoſition? no other then this; by uncovering of nakedneſſe is meant fornication, as is formerly ſaid, which in kindred is utterly forbidden; but the other Text in Deutronomy ſpeakes expreſly of marriage, and taking to wife, which is like­wiſe in kindred as directly commanded. One other gradation may here be added, to wit, that the taking of ſtrange women was ſome­times in cuſtome, for it was no wonder before nor after to ſee men have children by concubines, which they kept beſides their wives. And the children of Iſrael were commanded to kill all the males among the Midianites, but to keepe the women to themſelves**Num. 31.18.: we likewiſe read the Levite had by him two Aſſes ſadled, his con­cubine was alſo with him, Judges 19. 10. but in regard that mar­riage is honourable, and the free woman more Noble then the bond-woman, that great duty we ought to performe to our next of kin; for ſo did Abraham to Sara that was his wife and ſiſter; but his coneubine was Hagar the bond woman, which Sara after­wards dealt hardly with, and cauſed her to flie**Gen. 16. 6.. Here we are to note, that Sara the kinſwoman was a Type of the true Church, and Hagar the contrary: Moreover you ſhall finde what curſes were threatned to ſuch as married with ſtrangers (out of their Tribes) as namely, they ſhould be ſnares and traps unto them,**Jeſh. 23. 12, 13. ſcourges in their ſides, and thorns in their eyes, with many other of this kind, which whoſo pleaſe to ſtudy may finde at large. And that this practice of marriage with kindred was in uſe, not onely be­fore the prohibition in Leviticus, already anſwered, but everſi­thence, and never forbid, in the Law or Goſpell, for ought we can finde, is the next thing we ſhall endeavour to prove: alledging then ſome preſidents after the foreſaid booke of Leviticus, (perhaps omitting many) we will begin with the marriage of the daughters of Selophabad, who married with their kindred by the Lords ſpe­ciall appointment**Num, 36.. Then the foreſaid Text in Deutronomy, tou­ching the marriage of the brothers wife, Ch. 25. v. 5. And Othinel the valiant man was rewarded with Achſah his next kinſwoman, who alſo obtained a further boon of her father**Judges 1. 13.. The ſtory of Boas and Ruth is worthy our obſervation, it is ſo full of goodneſſe and10 charity, conducing alſo to our argument; firſt, we ſee that Naomy, Ruths mother in law inſtructed her how to behave herſelfe towards Boas, that ſhe might not be unprovided, as knowing, (it ſeems) the inflexible nature of her very next kinſman: whereupon (after Ruth had uttered theſe words unto Boas, Spread therefore thy skirt over thy handmaid, for thou art a neere kinſman) Boas replied, Bleſſed be thou of the Lord, for thou haſt not followed young men, whether poore or rich. Then Boas called into judgement the next kinſman, who out of covetouſneſſe ſuffered the accuſtomed diſgrace, for refuſing to performe the duty he ought to have done: And Boas (as the next in degree) tooke Ruth to be his**Ruth 4.10. wife. In this ſtory we diſcerne the many vertues of Ruth; it is to be obſerved alſo that ſhe was a Moa­biteſſe, of the line of Lot, and of the iſſue he had by his daughters of this off-ſpring, ſhortly after came the Prophet David, from whom alſo in proceſſe of time) proceeded the Saviour of mankind.

Next we obſerve the paſſage betwixt Ammon and Tamar, where it is ſaid, that Ammon loved Tamar in an unlawfull manner, which the mayd as diſcreetly reproved, deſiring him not to force her, but to aske her of the King for a wife, in that ſence ſhe knew the King would not withhold her**2 Sam. 4.13.; but Ammon after his luſt was ſatisfied, deſpiſed her, which act turned to his confuſion, and was the occa­ſion of his ſlaughter. Still we ſee the ſiſter did not doubt to be her brothers wife, but did deteſt the act of fornication, (which certain­ly is the thing meant in the forbidden degrees formerly mentioned. And aſſuredly alſo that act proceeding from luſt in kindred, is the higheſt degree of fornication, and of ſome perhaps not improperly termed inceſt, if there be ſuch a diſtinction: But for the holy in­ſtitution of marriage with the next of Kindred. We ſee (by all ex­amples before and after, it hath not onely been permitted but com­manded.

Neither doe we finde any thing to the contrary in the whole progreſſe of the Goſpell, but ſtill reproofe of fornication, and eſpecially amongſt kindred, which ſeems to confirme what is for­merly ſaid; for ſo St. Paul, It is reported commonly that there is forni­cation**1 Cor. 5. amongſt you, and ſuch as is not uſed among the Gentiles, that one ſhould have his fathers wife. But the ſame Saint Paul hath theſe fol­lowing words in the ſame booke, Ch. 7, v. 3. touching marriage. To avoyd fornication, let every man (excepting no degree or profeſſion)11 have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. And in verſe 4. the wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; nor the husband power of his own body, but the wife, in the ſingular number. From hence may be inferred, that men ſince the Goſpell ought not to have plurality of wives; but neither there, nor in any other place where the like precept is given, is there any exception to the next of kin, but in caſe of fornication aforeſaid. Then let every man have his own wife; this doth moſt and beſt repreſent the miſtery betwixt Chriſt and his Spouſe the Church; elſe where it is ſaid, the man and his wife is one fleſh, not the man and his wives. Although the Patriarks and Prophets (under the Law) had plurality of wives for the greater increaſe of a good Tribe, or for other rea­ſons and miſteries, which here we have not time to diſcuſſe. And though the Turks and other Nations doe allow themſelves plura­lity of wives (perhaps alleaging the foreſaid cuſtome of the Patri­arks) as alſo to uphold the vaſtneſſe of their Empire, having ſuch uſe for unmerous Armies, yet we take their reaſons to be more ſen­ſuall and politick then religious; for we that live under the Goſpell ought to conforme our ſelves unto that rule; Let every one have his own wife, in the ſingular mumber aforeſaid; but then (ſeeing there is not one word in the Goſpell to the contrary) that any Popiſh Ordinance or other ſhould bar a man to chooſe that ſingle woman he liketh beſt to be his wife (if ſhe be alſo conſenting, and of ripe judgement) ſeems to be both againſt the law of nature and reaſon. Wherefore we conclude this point with the Apoſtles words, that the forbidding of marriage is the doctrine of devils. Again, marriage**1 Tim. 4.3. is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adul­terers God will judge, Heb. 13.4. in all; marke this: here's no excep­tion; yet it would have been here or ſomewhere if it had been un­lawfull, either in kindred or Miniſters, as the Popiſh doctors teach, for lucres ſake, as is formerly mentioned. But we are to beware of ſuch as would ſpoile us through vaine deceipt, that fol­low the traditions of men, the rudiments of the world, and not after Chriſt**Coloſ. 28., ſo then the works of the fleſh are manifeſt, which are theſe, Adultery, fornication, uncleanneſſe, laſciviouſneſse, idolatry, witch­craft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, ſtrife, ſeditious hereſies envy­ings murders, drunkenneſse, with many others, &c. But as touching**Gal. 5.19,20. the holy inſtitution of marriage intended, according to the Ordi­nance12 with true love and ſincerity of heart; we finde no exception in any degree or profeſſion. And if the prohibition in the law for­merly mentioned, were meant of marriage, as it is fully and amply proved to intend fornication onely, becauſe of the practice in mar­rying with their next of kin, as well after as before, for­merly proved alſo: yet were it not binding now, for we under­ſtand the Law contained in Ordinances to be**Epheſ. 2.15. aboliſhed. And againe, blotting out the hand-writing of Ordinances that was a­gainſt us, nayling it to the Croſſe, Coloſ. 2. 14. for the Prieſthood being changed, there is made of neceſſity alſo a change of the Law, Heb. 7. 12. obſerve alſo the ſecond of the Corinthians, There is a veile in reading of the old Teſtament, which veile is taken away in Chriſt, and**Ch. 3. v. 14, 17. where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But how, what liberty? to doe the works of the fleſh, formerly touched; no, God forbid, The holy Ghoſt will witneſſe with thoſe that the Lord hath made his Covenant with, he will put lawes into their hearts, and in their minds will he write them, their ſinnes and iniquities will he remember no**Heb 10.16, 17. more. And in 1 Tim 4.9. The law is not made for a righteous man, (ſuppoſing ſuch a one as contriveth not againſt a good conſcience) but for the lawleſſe, diſobedient, ungodly, whore­mongers, liers, ſtealers, &c. And in 2 Tim. 3. we have a large de­ſcription of ſuch as have no teſtimony of the good Spirit, but are called perilous, viz. Lovers of themſelves, covetous, boaſters, proud, blaſphemers, diſobedient, unthankefull, unholy, truce-breakers, falſe ac­cuſers, incontinent, fierce, traytors, highminded, having a forme of god­lineſſe, but denying the power thereof: And of this ſort are they which creep into houſes, leading captive ſilly women laden with ſins, led away with divers luſts, ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as James and Jambres withſtood Moſes, ſo doe theſe alſo reſiſt the truth, men of corrupt minds, &c. Then was the chiefe Magiſtrate withſtood; how is it now; if this portion of Scripture ſtrike not point blanke at this very age and time wherein we live, let ſome that are learned informe us better.

So then we perceive by this Tract and all the reſt, it is fornication, uncleanneſſe, and theſe forenamed works of the fleſh, which is for­bidden; but for that excellent and ſacred inſtitution of marriage, from which Ordinance the bleſſed elect of Gods children doe pro­ceed; that holy Order, we ſee, is honourable amongſt all with­out13 exception, as is formerly proved. Now then without all diſpute that marriage is moſt juſt, which is made without any ambitious or covetous end; and if this liking and mutuall cor­reſpondency happen betwixt the neereſt of kindred, then is it alſo the moſt naturall, the moſt lawfull, and according to the primitive purity and practice: nor is there now any Popiſh Canons to reſtraine it, which perhaps ſome conſciences might boggle at in regard of the precept, you are to obey the Magiſtrate for conſcience ſake. And in­deed we would not argue any thing here againſt higher powers that are in true orthodox authority; but onely deſire that no Law or prohibition ſhould bind the conſcience in matters that the Goſ­pell of Chriſt hath left free unto Chriſtian people: And if we can judge aright all theſe works of the fleſh formerly recited, from ſe­verall Texts in Seripture, did never ſo much abound; and no mar­vell, for what fruit can be expected from baſtard Plants? or what match is made amongſt a thouſand, or perhaps amongſt ten thou­ſand without ambition covetouſneſſe, inordinate appetite, or ſome collaterall reſpect; pardon the plainneſſe of the phraſe, for I have read of a Law (as I now remember) amongſt the Spartans, viz. No man ſhould give a dower in marriage with his daughter; then did the beſt men ſeeke to acquire the moſt vertuous women: and who, (then they) flouriſhed more in Arts and Armes? Now if the Patri­arks, our fore-fathers, choſe their kindred in obedience to a duty commanded; the Heathens tooke wives for their vertues; and yet we Chriſtians will have none but for money, the attribute aforeſaid deſerves the leſſe rebuke.

Well then, let us avoyd communities, which is reported to be maintained by ſome late ſects: let us avoyd fornication with all, and by all meanes, with our kindred; for that is the higheſt de­gree of fornication, as is formerly declared: But for holy wedlock, where there is hope of propagation, and hearts conſenting, as is proved to be the duty of the next kinſman, ſo was there never more cauſe to ſhake off the Popiſh thraldome, and to revive that Pri­mitive cuſtome, ſeeing by theſe late and common calamities) ſo many thouſand families are forced from their habitations, which they have honeſtly laboured for, and for ought they know, muſt ſtarve and periſh, at ſome have already done, if they cannot finde a dwelling more remote: therefore we muſt be of opinion with ſuch14 as do account mulct and puniſhments an Antichriſtian yoke, where they are impoſed upon the conſcience, but moſt eſpecially when there is neither act nor intention againſt the ſervice of God, or pre­judice to our Chriſtian brethren; and here we remember the ſaying2 Cor. 13.2. of Saint Paul, Be of one mind, live in peace.

Now then, to cloſe up all by asking of a queſtion: If in ſuch a caſe honeſt women (that have no portion to beſtow them, thorough the cauſes aforeſaid) ſhould require this duty from the next of kin, whether (upon refuſall) their ſaid kinſman deſerve not the re­proach mentioned in the ſtory of Boas and Ruth; and as touching the**Deut. 25.5. raiſing of ſeed from one brother to another formerly recited at large in the beginning of this diſcourſe; ſurely they doe and muſt anſwer in their great account for the miſearriage of their kinſwomen, if ſo it happen; yet we are not ignorant the Civill law ſaith, an Ʋnkle to his Neece is in loco parentis, and that they ſay is a bar in marriage; but (ſetting Law and evill Cuſtome aſide) we demand (in reaſon) how he can ſtand her in better ſteed then to marry her if ſhe be willing, and hath no means to be otherwaies provided.

We are commanded to feare God and the King, and not to meddle with them that are ſeditious. Neither are theſe things mo­ved out of nicety, or by way of paradox, or as St Paul ſpeaks, of**1 Tim. 6. doting queſtions, or ſtrife of words, whereof comes envy, and perverſe diſputings or as ſome cite Scripture to cloake their deceipt and hypocriſie: but onely to finde out the truth, which if thoſe that are Orthodoxly learned will take paines to reſolve, it will be a charitable worke, to ſatisfie the conſciences of ſome leſſe learned, who are likely to ſeeke habitations in forrain Countreys, and would in diſcharge of their duties doe that which they conceive to be moſt juſt, viz. without ambitious or covetous ends, adventure upon the firſt Inſtitution.

Now we know the vulgar ſort (that lookes no further then the times they live in) will bogle at this doctrine, and thinke it a Na­vell. Then here we will put you in mind of what ſome of you do yet remember; namely, a quality of two eminent men eſteemed very wiſe (eſpecially in the lawes) the one would not abide a ſhol­der of Veale, the other did not love a Duek: what would you have thought theſe men wiſe to proclaime it unlawfull for any other15 to eate theſe kind of meats, becauſe they did not love them? ſurely no, you would have held them rediculons: So our queſtion is not how any mans appetite likes, or diſlikes; we onely deſire to know yea, or no, whether the matter in it ſelfe be unlawfull, or where it is repugnant to Scripture, when all places of this ſubject are com­pared together. And if it be controverted (not with Heathen fa­bles, or mens bare opinions, but by Scripture proofe) by one that is learned, and of a refin'd wit, it may ſatisfie; but if it come from a young head not halfe codled, or from one that is old andNote. doting, or from any that is popiſh or illiterate, tis ten to one ſuch judgement will be renounced, or at leaſt ſuſpected.

Some other queſtions we intended to move, as namely, thoſe at the latter end of Mr Smiths Sermon, entituled, The loſt ſheep is found, which yet we have not heard any anſwer unto; and why through Popiſh ſuperſtition on the one ſide, and diverſity of Schiſms and Sects of the other ſide, there is yet no certaine frame of Diſcipline ſetled to confirme the weake and wavering Chriſtian: Or (ſeeing we have found ſo much fault with Turke and Pope for their bloody tenents; and that the weapons of the Church are preces & lacrymas, prayers and teares) whether that will prove a good Religion which is ſetled or maintained by the Sword; but if theſe be firſt reſolved to be as they are here conceived, or otherwiſe convinc'd of errour by Scripture proofe; we may then have encouragement to move ſome other things neceſſary for the confirmation of our ſelves and others LAƲS DEO.

POSTSCRIPT.

1. WE have lately ſeen a little Booke which ſaith, the ſinne againſt the holy Ghoſt hath hitherto been miſtaken.

2. We have ſeen another maintaine that Independency is no Schiſm.

3. We have ſeen another maintaine (out of Scripture) that our Saviour Chriſt ſhall live 1000 yeers with his Saints upon earth.

4. We have ſeen books writ againſt baptizing of Infants, though the cuſtome hath been ſo for 1400 yeeres.

5. We ſee the Office of Biſhops of no repute, though their Function hath16 continued ſince the time of the Apoſtles; and what Hereſies were by them refuted in the firſt four generall Counſels?

6. We know our own King Henry the 8. married his brothers wife, and put her away, and tooke another, which we cannot approve of.

7. We have heard that Martin Luther married a Nun, (which in the Popes opinion) was a greater treſpaſſe then if he had married his naturall ſiſter; And in feare of the preſident the holy Father thundered out his Ex­communications; but the honeſt Doctor (to requite him) ſaid he would open a gap that all the buſhes in St Peters patrimony ſhould not ſtop a­gaine, and〈◊〉as good as his word.

Theſe things conſidered, our little Diſcourſe (that maintaines nothing poſitively, but asketh queſtions, under correction) will not be ſtrange to them that are judicious, however it ſeem ſtrange to ſuch as will laugh at their ſhadow.

Salo.Nothing remains certain under the Sunne.
FINIS.

About this transcription

TextLittle non-such: or, Certaine new questions moved out of ancient truths. I. concerning the words, let us make man after our own image. II. Whether that was a materiall apple which Adam did eate III. Whether the forbidding of marriage be not a Popish injunction onely, and not rightly grounded from the Scripture. Newly published with intent to finde out the truth if it be not here already.
Author[unknown]
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Edition1646
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A88370)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 159866)

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Bibliographic informationLittle non-such: or, Certaine new questions moved out of ancient truths. I. concerning the words, let us make man after our own image. II. Whether that was a materiall apple which Adam did eate III. Whether the forbidding of marriage be not a Popish injunction onely, and not rightly grounded from the Scripture. Newly published with intent to finde out the truth if it be not here already. 16 p. Printed for H.P.,London, :1646.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Sept: 3d".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
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  • Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
  • Bible. -- O.T. -- Genesis -- Commentaries.
  • Bible -- Evidence, authority, etc.
  • Marriage -- Religious aspects.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
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  • STC Wing L2552
  • STC Thomason E353_8
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  • EEBO-CITATION 99872436
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