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COLASTERION: A REPLY TO A NAMELES ANSVVER AGAINST The Doctrine and Diſcipline of Divorce. WHEREIN The trivial Author of that Anſwer is diſco­ver'd, the Licencer conferr'd with, and the Opinion which they traduce defended.

By the former Author, J. M.

Prov. 26. 5.

Anſwer a Fool according to his folly, leſt hee bee wiſe in his own conceit.

Printed in the Year, 1645.


COLASTERION: A Reply to a nameleſs Anſwer againſt the Doctrine and Diſcipline of Divorce.

AFTER many rumors of confutations and convictions forth comming againſt The Doctrine and Diſcipline of Divorce, and now and then a by-blow from the Pulpit, featherd with a cenſure ſtrict indeed, but how true, more beholding to the au­tority of that devout place which it borrowd to bee utterd in, then to any ſound reaſon which it could oracle, while I ſtill hop'd as for a bleſſing to ſee ſom peece of diligence, or lerned diſcretion come from them, it was my hap at length lighting on a certain parcel of Quaeries, that ſek and finde not, to finde not ſeeking, at the taile of Anabaptiſtical, Antinomian, Heretical, Atheiſtical epithets, a jolly ſlander, call'd Divorce at pleaſure: I ſtood a while and wonder'd, what wee might doe to a mans heart, or what anatomie uſe, to finde in it ſincerity; for all our wonted marks every day fail us, and where wee thought it was, wee ſee it is not, for alter and change reſidence it cannot ſure. And yet I ſee no good of body or of minde ſecure to a man for all his paſt labours without perpetual watchfulnes, and per­ſeverance. When as one above others who hath ſuffer'd much and long in the defence of Truth, ſhall after all this, give her cauſe to leav him ſo deſtitute and ſo vacant of her defence, as to yeild his mouth to bee the common road of Truth and Falshood, and ſuch falſ­hood as is joyn'd with the raſh and heedles calumny of his neigh­bour. For what book hath hee ever met with, as his complaint is, Printed in the City, maintaining either in the title, or in the whole per­ſuance, Divorce at pleaſure? Tis true, that to divorce upon extreme neceſſity, when through the perverſnes, or the apparent unfitnes of either, the continuance can bee to both no good at all, but an into­lerable2 injury and temptation to the wronged and the defrauded, to divorce then, there is a book that writes it lawfull. And that this Law is a pure and wholſom national Law, not to be with-held from good men, becauſe others likely anough may abuſe it to thir pleaſure, can not bee charg'd upon that book, but muſt bee enterd a bold and impious accuſation againſt God himſelf; who did not for this abuſe withhold it from his own people. It will bee juſt therfore, and beſt for the reputation of him who in his Subitanes hath thus cenſur'd, to recall his ſentence. And if, out of the abundance of his volumes, and the readineſs of his quill, and the vaſtneſs of his other imploi­ments, eſpecially in the great audit for accounts, hee can ſpare us ought to the better underſtanding of this point, hee ſhall bee thankt in public, and what hath offended in the book, ſhall willingly ſub­mitt to his correction. Provided he bee ſure not to come with thoſe old and ſtale ſuppoſitions, unleſs hee can take away cleerly what that diſcours hath urg'd againſt them, by one who will expect other argu­ments to bee perſwaded the good health of a ſound anſwer, then the gout and dropſy of a big margent, litter'd and overlaid with crude and huddl'd quotations. But as I ſtill was waiting, when theſe light arm'd refuters would have don pelting at thir three lines utterd with a ſage delivery of no reaſon, but an impotent and wors then Bonner­like cenſure to burn that which provokes them to a fair diſpute, at length a book was brought to my hands, entitl'd An Anſwer to the Doctrine and Diſcipline of Divorce. Gladly I receiv'd it, and very at­tentively compos'd my ſelf to read; hoping that now ſom good man had voutſaft the pains to inſtruct mee better, then I could yet learn out of all the volumes which for this purpos I had viſited. Only this I marvel'd, and other men have ſince, when as I, in a Subject ſo new to this age, and ſo hazardous to pleaſe, conceal'd not my name, why this Author defending that part which is ſo creeded by the people, would conceal his? But ere I could enter three leaves into the Pam­flet, (for I deferr the peaſantly rudenes, which by the Licencers leav, I met with afterwards) my ſatisfaction came in abundantly, that it could bee nothing why hee durſt not name himſelf, but the guilt of his own wretchednes. For firſt, not to ſpeak of his abrupt and bald beginning, his very firſt page notoriouſly bewraies him an illiterat, and arrogant preſumer in that which hee underſtands not; bearing us in hand as if hee knew both Greek and Ebrew, and is not able to3 ſpell it; which had hee bin, it had bin either writt'n as it ought, or ſcor'd upon the Printer. If it bee excus'd as the careleſnes of his de­puty, bee it known, the lerned Author himſelf is inventoried, and ſumm'd up, to the utmoſt value of his Livery cloak. Who ever hee bee, though this to ſom may ſeem a ſlight conteſt, I ſhall yet conti­nue to think that man full of other ſecret injuſtice, and deceitfull pride, who ſhall offer in public to aſſume the skill, though it bee but of a tongue which hee hath not, and would catch his readers to be­leeve of his ability, that which is not in him. The Licencer indeed, as his authority now ſtands, may licence much; but if theſe Greek Orthographies were of his licencing; the boyes at School might reck'n with him at his Grammar. Nor did I finde this his want of the pre­tended Languages alone, but accompanied with ſuch a low and home-ſpun expreſſion of his Mother Engliſh all along, without joynt or frame, as made mee, ere I knew furder of him, often ſtop, and con­clude, that this Author could for certain bee no other then ſom me­chanic. Nor was the ſtile flat and rude, and the matter grave and ſo­lid, for then ther had bin pardon, but ſo ſhallow and ſo unwary was that alſo, as gave ſufficiently the character of a groſs and ſluggiſh, yet a contentious and overweening pretender. For firſt, it be­hooving him to ſhew, as hee promiſes, what divorce is, and what the true doctrine and Diſcipline therof, and this beeing to doe by ſuch principles and prooffs as are receav'd on both ſides, hee performes neither of theſe; but ſhews it firſt from the Judaical practice, which hee himſelf diſallows, and next from the practice of Canon Law, which the Book hee would confute, utterly rejects, and all Laws depending theron; which this puny Clark calls The Laws of England, and yet pronounces them by an Eccleſiaſtical judge: as if that were to bee accounted the Law of England, which depended on the Popery of England; or if it were, this Parlament hee might know hath now damn'd that judicature. So that whether his meaning were to inform his own party, or to confute his adverſary, inſtead of ſhewing us the true Doctrin and Diſcipline of Divorce, hee ſhews us nothing but his own contemptible ignorance. For what is the Moſaic Law to his opinion, and what is the Canon utterly now antiquated, either to that or to mine? Yee ſee already what a faithfull definer wee have him. From ſuch a wind egg of definition as this, they who expect any of his other arguments to bee well hatcht, let them enjoy the4 vertu of thir worthy Champion. But one thing more I obſerv'd, a ſingular note of his ſtupidity, and that his Trade is not to meddle with Books, much leſs with Confutations. When as the Doctrin of Di­vorce had now a whole year bin publiſht the ſecond time, with many Arguments added, and the former ones better'd and confirm'd, this idle pamſlet comes reeling forth againſt the firſt Edition only; as may appear to any by the pages quoted. Which put me in minde of what by chance I had notice of to this purpos the laſt Summer, as nothing ſo ſerious, but happns oft times to bee attended wih a ridiculous ac­cident, it was then told mee that the Doctrin of divorce was anſwerd, and the anſwer half Printed againſt the firſt Edition; not by one, but by a pack of heads; of whom the cheif, by circumſtance, was intima­ted to mee, and ſince ratifi'd to bee no other, if any can hold laugh­ter, and I am ſure none will gueſs him lower, then an actual Serving­man. This creature, for the Story muſt on, (and what though hee bee the loweſt perſon of an interlude, hee may deſerv a canvaſing,) tranſplanted himſelf, and to the improvment of his wages, and your better notice of his capacity, turn'd Solliciter. And having con­vers'd much with a ſtripling Divine or two of thoſe newly fledge Probationers, that uſually come ſcouting from the Univerſity, and ly heer no lame legers to pop into the Betheſda of ſom Knights Chaplain­ſhip, where they bring grace to his good cheer, but no peace or be­nediction els to his houſe; theſe made the Champarty, hee contri­buted the Law, and both joynd in the Divinity. Which made mee intend, following the advice alſo of freinds, to lay aſide the thought of mi- ſpending a Reply to the buzze of ſuch a Drones neſt. But find­ing that it lay, what ever was the matter, half a year after unfiniſht in the preſs, and hearing for certain that a Divine of note, out of his good will to the opinion, had takn it into his reviſe, and ſomthing had put out, ſomthing put in, and ſtuck it heer and there with a clove of his own Calligraphy, to keep it from tainting, and furder when I ſaw the ſtuff, though very cours and thred-bare, garniſht and trimly fac't with the commendations of a Licencer, I reſolv'd, ſo ſoon, as leiſure granted mee the recreation, that my man of Law ſhould not altogether looſe his ſolliciting. Although I impute a ſhare of the making to him whoſe name I find in the approbation, who may take, as his mind ſervs him, this Reply. In the mean while it ſhall bee ſeen, I refue no occaſion, and avoid no adverſary, either to main­tane5 what I have begun, or to give it up for better reaſon.

To begin then with the Licencer and his cenſure. For a Licencer is not contented now to give his ſingle Imprimatur, but brings his chair into the Title leaf; there ſits and judges up or judges down what book hee pleaſes; if this bee ſuffer'd, what worthles Author, or what cunning Printer will not bee ambitious of ſuch a Stale to put off the heavieſt gear; which may in time bring in round fees to the Licen­cer, and wretched miſ-leading to the People. But to the matter: he approves the publiſhing of this Book, to preſerv the ſtrength and honour of Mariage againſt thoſe ſad breaches and dangerous abuſes of it. Belike then the wrongfull ſuffering of all thoſe ſad breaches and abuſes in Mariage to a remedileſs thraldom, is the ſtrength and honour of Mariage; a boiſtrous and beſtial ſtrength, a diſ-honourable honour, an infatu­ated Doctrine. wors then the ſalvjure of tyrannizing, which wee all fight againſt. Next hee ſaih that common diſcontents make theſe breaches in unſtaid mindes, and men givn to change. His words may be apprehended, as if they diſallow'd only to divorce for common diſcon­tents in unſtaid mindes, having no cauſe, but a deſire of change, and then wee agree. But if hee take all diſcontents on this ſide adultery, to bee common, that is to ſay, not difficult to endure, and to affect only un­ſtaid mindes, it might adminiſter juſt cauſe to think him the ufitteſt man that could bee, to offer at a comment upon Job; as ſeemingy this to have no more true ſenſe of a good man in his afflictions, then thoſe Edomitiſh Freinds had, of whom Job complains, and againſt whom God teſtiſies his anger. Shall a man of your own coat, who hath eſpous'd his flock; and repreſents Chriſt more, in beeing the true huſband of his Congregation, then an ordnary man doth in beeing the huſand of his wife, and yet this repreſentment is thought a cheif cauſe why Mariage muſt bee inſeparable, ſhall this ſpiritual man ord­narily for the increaſe of his maintenance, or any ſlight cauſe forſake that wedded cure of ſouls, that ſhould bee deareſt to him, and marry another, and another, and ſhall not a perſon wrongfully afflicted, and perſecuted eevn to extremity, forſake an unfi, injurious, and peſtilent mate, ty'd only by a civil and fleſhly covnant? If you bee a man ſo much hating change, hate that other change; if your ſelf bee not guilty, counſel your brethren to hate it; and leav to bee the ſupercilious judge of other mens miſeries and changes, that your own bee not judg'd. The reaſons of your licen't pamflet, you ſay6 are good; they muſt bee better then your own then, I ſhall wonder els how ſuch a trivial fellow was accepted and commended, to bee the confuter of ſo dangerous an opinion as yee give out mine.

Now therfore to your Atturney, ſince no worthier an adverſary makes his appearance, nor this neither his appearance, but lurking under the ſafety of his nameles obſcurity: ſuch as yee turn him forth at the Poſtern, I muſt accept him; and in a better temper then A­jax, doe mean to ſcourge this Ramme for yee, till I meet with his Ʋ­lyſſes.

Hee begins with Law, and wee have it of him as good cheap, as a­ny hucſter at Law, newly ſet up, can poſſibly afford, and as imper­tinent; but for that hee hath receiv'd his hanſel. Hee preſumes alſo to cite the Civil Law, which, I perceav by his citing never came within his dormitory, yet what hee cites makes but againſt him­ſelf.

His ſecond thing therfore is to refute the advers poſition, and very methodically, three pages before hee ſets it down; and ſets his own in the place, that diſagreement of minde or diſpoſition, though ſhewing it ſelf in much ſharpnes is not by the Law of God, or man, a juſt cauſe of divorce.

To this poſition I anſwer, that it lays no battery againſt mine, no, nor ſo much as faces it, but tacks about, long ere it come neer, like a harmles and reſpectfull confutement. For I confeſs that diſagree­ment of minde or diſpoſition, though in much ſharpnes, is not alwaies a juſt cauſe of divorce; for much may bee endur'd. But what if the ſharpnes bee much more then his much? To that point it is our miſ-hap wee have not heer his grave deciſion. Hee that will con­tradict the poſitive which I alleg'd, muſt hold that no diſagreement of minde, or diſpoſition, can divorce, though ſhewn in moſt ſharp­nes; otherwiſe hee leaves a place for equity to appoint limits, and ſo his following arguments will either not prove his own poſition, or not diſprove mine.

His firſt Argument, all but what hobbles to no purpos is this. Wher the Scripture commands a thing to bee don, it appoints when, how, and for what, as in the caſe of death or excommunication. But the Scripture directs not what meaſure of diſagreement or contrariety may divorce; Therfore, the Scripture allows not any divorce for diſagreement.

Anſwer, Firſt I deny your major, the Scripture appoints many things,7 and yet leaves the circumſtance to mans diſcretion, particularly, in your own examples; Excommunication is not taught when, and for what to bee, but left to the Church. How could the Licencer let paſs this childiſh ignorance and call it good. Next, in matter of death, the Laws of England, wherof you have intruded to bee an opiniaſtrous Sub advocate, and are bound to defend them, conceave it not enjoyn'd in Scripture, when or for what cauſe they ſhall put to death, as in adultery, theft, and the like; your minor alſo is fals, for the Scripture plainly ſets down for what meaſure of diſagreement a man may divorce, Deut. 24. 1. learn better what that phraſe means, if ſhee finde no favour in his eyes.

Your ſecond Argument, without more tedious fumbling is breifly thus. If diverſity in Religion, which breeds a greater diſlike then any na­tural diſagreement may not cauſe a divorce, then may not the leſſer diſagree­ment: but diverſity of Religion may not; Ergo.

Anſwer, Firſt, I deny in the major, that diverſity of Religion, breeds a greater diſlike to mariage duties, then natural diſagreement. For between Iſraelite, or Chriſtian and Infidel more often hath bin ſeen too much love: but between them who perpetually claſh in na­tural contrarieties, it is repugnant that ther ſhould bee ever any ma­ried love or concord. Next, I deny your minor, that it is comman­ded not to divorce in diverſity of Religion, if the Infidel will ſtay: for that place in St. Paul, commands nothing, as that book at large affirm'd, though you over-skipt it.

Secondly, if it doe command, it is but with condition, that the Infidel bee content, and well pleas'd to ſtay, which cuts off the ſup­poſal of any great hatred or diſquiet between them; ſeeing the In­fidel had liberty to depart at pleaſure; and ſo this compariſon avails nothing.

Your third Argument is from Deut. 22. If a man hate his wife, and raiſe an ill report, that hee found her no virgin, if this were fals, he might not put her away, though hated never ſo much.

Anſwer, This was a malicious hatred bent againſt her life, or to ſend her out of dores without her portion. Such a hater looſes by due puniſhment that privilege, Deut. 24. 1. to divorce for a natu­ral diſlike, which though it could not love conjugally, yet ſent away civilly, and with juſt••nditions. But doubtles the Wife in that for­mer caſe had liberty to depart from her fals accuſer, leſt his hatred8 ſhould prove mortal; els that Law peculiarly made to right the wo­man, had turn'd to her greateſt miſcheif,

Your fourth Argument, One Chriſtian ought to bear the infirmities of another, but cheifly of his Wife.

Anſwer, I grant, infirmities, but not outrages, not perpetual de­fraudments of trueſt conjugal ſociety, not injuries and vexations as importunat as fire. Yet to endure very much, might doe well an ex­hortation, but not a compulſive Law. For the Spirit of God him­ſelf by Solomon declares that ſuch a conſort the earth cannot bear, and better dwell in a corner on the houſe top, or in the Wildernes. Burdens may bee born, but ſtill with conſideration to the ſtrength of an ho­neſt man complaining. Charity indeed bids us forgive our enemies, yet doth not force us to continue freindſhip and familiarity with thoſe freinds who have bin fals or unworthy toward us; but is con­tented in our peace with them, at a fair diſtance. Charity commands not the husband to receav again into his boſom the adulterous Wife, but thinks it anough, if hee diſmiſs her with a beneficent and peace­full diſmiſſion. No more doth Charity command, nor can her rule compell, to retain in neereſt union of wedloc, one whoſe other groſ­ſeſt faults, or diſabilities to perform what was covnanted, are the juſt cauſes of as much greevance and diſſention in a Family, as the pri­vate act of adultery. Let not therfore under the name of fulfilling Charity, ſuch an unmercifull, and more then legal yoke, bee padlockt upon the neek of any Chriſtian.

Your fifth Argument, If the husband ought love his Wife, as Chriſt his Church, then ought ſhee not to bee put away for contrariety of minde.

Anſwer, This ſimilitude turnes againſt him. For if the husband muſt bee as Chriſt to the Wife, then muſt the wife bee as the Church to her husband. If ther bee a perpetual contrariety of minde in the Church toward Chriſt, Chriſt himſelfe threatns to divorce ſuch a Spouſe, and hath often don it. If they urge, this was no true Church, Purge again, that was no true Wife.

His ſixth Argument is from the 5 of Matthew 32. which hee ex­pounds after the old faſhion, and never takes notice of what I brought againſt that expoſition; Let him therfore ſeek his anſwer there. Yet can hee not leav this Argument, but hee muſt needs firſt ſhew us a curvet of his madnes, holding out an objection, and running him­ſelf9 upon the point. For,aith hee,f Chriſt〈…〉cauſe but adul­tery, then all other cauſes as frigidity, in•••••ous mariage, &c. are no cauſes of divorce; and anſwers that the ſpeech of Chriſt holds univerſally, at hee intended it namely to condemn ſuch divorce;〈◊〉was groundlſly pra­ctiz'd among the Jews, for every cauſe which they thought ſufficient; not checking the law of conſanguinities or a••inities, or forbidding other cauſe which makes mariage void, Ipſo facto.

Anſw. Look to it now you be not found taking fees on both ſides, for if you once bring limitations to the univerſal words of Chriſt, an­other will doe as much with as good autority, and affirm, that nei­ther did hee check the Law Deut. 24. 1. nor forbid the cauſes that make mariage void actually; which if any thing in the world doth, unfitnes doth, and contrariety of minde; yea, more then adultery, for that makes not the mariage void, nor much more unfit, but for the time, if the offended party forgive; but unfitnes and contrariety fru­ſtrates and nullifies for ever, unleſs it bee a rare chance, all the good and peace of wedded converſation; and leaves nothing between them enjoyable, but a prone and ſavage neceſſity, not worth the name of mariage, unaccompanied with love. Thus much his own objection hath don againſt himſelf.

Argu. 7. Hee inſiſts, that man and wife are one fleſh, therfore muſt not ſeparat. But muſt bee ſent to look again upon the 35. pag. of that book, where hee might have read an anſwer, which hee ſtirrs not. Yet can hee not abſtain, but hee muſt doe us another pleaſure ere hee goes; Although I call the Common Pleas to witneſs, I have not hir'd his tongue, whatever men may think by his arguing. For be­ſides adultery, hee excepts other cauſes which diſſolv the union of beeing one fleſh, either directly, or by conſequence. If only adultery bee excep­ted by our Saviour, and hee voluntarily can adde other exceptions that diſſolv that union both directly and by conſequence, theſe words of Chriſt, the main obſtacle of divorce, are open to us by his own invi­tation to include what ever cauſes diſſolv that union of fleſh, either di­rectly or by conſequence. Which, till hee name other cauſes more like­ly, I affirm to bee don ſooneſt by unfitneſs and contrariety of minde. For that induces hatred, which is the greateſt diſſolver, both of ſpiritual and corporal union, turning the minde and conſequent­ly the body to other objects. Thus our doubty adverſary, either directly, or by conſequence yeilds us the queſtion with his own mouth,10 and the next thing hee does, recants it again.

His eighth Argument ſhivers in the uttering, and hee confeſſes to bee not over confident of it, but of the reſt it may bee ſworn hee is. St. Paul, 1 Cor. 7. ſaith, that the married have trouble in the fleſh, ther­fore wee muſt bear it, though never ſo intolerable.

I Anſwer, if this bee a true conſequence, why are not all troubles to bee born alike? why are wee ſuffer'd to divorce adulteries, de­ſertions, or frigidities? Who knows not that trouble and affliction is the decree of God upon every ſtate of life? follows it therfore, that though they grow exceſſive, and inſupportable, wee muſt not avoid them? if wee may in all other conditions, and not in mari­age, the doom of our ſuffering ties us not by the trouble, but by the bond of mariage; and that muſt bee prov'd inſeparable from other reaſons, not from this place. And his own confeſſion declares the weaknes of this Argument, yet his ungovern'd arrogance could not bee diſſwaded from venting it.

His ninth Argument is, That a husband muſt love his wife as himſelf, therfore hee may not divorce for any diſagreement, no more then hee may ſe­parat his ſoul from his body.

I Anſwer, if hee love his wife as himſelf, hee muſt love her ſo farre as hee may preſerv himſelf to her in a cherfull and comfortable man­ner, and not ſo as to ruin himſelf by anguiſh and ſorrow, without a­ny benefit to her. Next, if the husband muſt love his wife as himſelf, ſhee muſt bee underſtood a wife in ſom reaſonable meaſure, willing, and ſufficient to perform cheif duties of her Covnant, els by the hold of this argument, it would bee his great ſin to divorce either for adultery, or deſertion. The reſt of this will run circuit with the uni­on of one fleſh, which was anſwer'd before. And that to divorce a relative and Metaphorical union of two bodies into one fleſh, cannot bee likn'd in all things to the dividing of that natural union of ſoul and body into one perſon, is apparent of it ſelf.

His laſt Argument hee fetches from the inconveniences that would follow upon this freedom of divorce, to the corrupting of mens mindes, and the overturning of all human ſociety.

But for mee, let God and Moſes anſwer this blaſphemer, who dares bring in ſuch a ſoul endightment againſt the divine Law. Why did God permit this to his people the Jewes, but that the right and good which came directly therby, was more in his eſteem, then the wrong11 and evil which came by accident. And for thoſe weak ſuppoſes of In­fants that would be left in their mothers belly, (which muſt needs bee good news for Chamber-maids, to hear a Serving-man grown ſo pro­vident for great bellies) and portions, and joyntures likely to in­curr imbezlement heerby, the ancient civil Law inſtructs us plentiful­ly how to award, which our profound oppoſite knew not, for it was not in his Tenures.

His Arguments are ſpun, now follows the Chaplain with his An­tiquities, wiſer if hee had refrain'd, for his very touching ought that is lerned, ſoiles it, and lays him ſtill more and more open a conſpicu­ous gull. There beeing both Fathers and Councels more ancient, wherwith to have ſerv'd his purpos better then with what hee cites, how may we doe to know the ſuttle drift that mov'd him to begin firſt with the twelfth Councel of Toledo? I would not undervalue the depth of his notion, but perhaps he had heard that the men of Toledo had ſtore of good blade-mettle, and were excellent at cuttling; who can tell but it might bee the reach of his policy, that theſe able men of deci­ſion, would doe beſt to have the prime ſtroke among his teſtimonies in deciding this cauſe. But all this craft avails him not; for ſeeing they allow no cauſe of divorce but fornication, what doe theſe keen Doctors heer but cut him over the finews with thir Toledo's, for holding in the precedent page other cauſes of divorce beſides, both directly, and by conſequence. As evil doth that Saxon Councel, next quoted, beſtead him. For if it allow divorce preciſely for no cauſe but fornication, it thwarts his own Expoſition: and if it underſtand fornication largely, it ſides with whom hee would confute. How­ever the autority of that Synod can bee but ſmall, beeing under Theo­dorus, the Canterbury Biſhop, a Grecian Monk of Tarſus, revolted from his own Church to the Pope. What have wee next? The Ci­vil Law ſtufft in between two Councels, as if the Code had bin ſom Synod; for that hee underſtood himſelf in this quotation is incredi­ble; where the Law, Cod. l. 3. tit. 38. leg. 11. ſpeaks not of divorce, but againſt the dividing of poſſeſſions to divers heires, wherby the maried ſervants of a great family were divided perhaps into diſtant Countries, and Colonies, Father from Son, Wife from Husband, fore againſt thir will. Somwhat lower hee confeſſes, that the Civill Law allows many reaſons of divorce, but the Cannon Law decrees otherwiſe. A fair credit to his Cauſe; and I amaze me, though the fancy of this12 doult bee as obtuſe and ſad as any mallet, how the Licencer could ſleep out all this, and ſuffer him to uphold his opinion by Canons, & Gregorian decretals, a Law which not only his adverſary, but the whole reformation of this Church and ſtate hath branded and rejected. As ignorantly, and too ignorantly to deceav any Reader but an unlern­ed, hee talks of Juſtin Martyrs Apology, not telling us which of the twain; for that paſſage in the beginning of his firſt, which I have cited els-where, plainly makes againſt him: So doth Tertullian, ci­ted next, and next Eraſmus, the one againſt Marcion, the other in his Annotations on Matthew, and to the Corinthians. And thus yee have the Liſt of his choice Antiquities, as pleaſantly choſen as yee would wiſh from a man of his handy Vocation, puft up with no luck at all, above the ſtint of his capacity.

Now hee comes to the Poſition, which I ſett down whole; and like an able text man flits it into fowr, that hee may the better come at it with his Barbar Surgery, and his ſleevs turn'd up. Wherin firſt hee denies that any diſpoſition, unfitneſs, or contrariety of minde is un­changeable in nature, but that by the help of diet and phyſic it may be alter'd.

I mean not to diſpute Philoſophy with this Pork, who never read any, But I appeal to all experience, though there bee many drugs to purge thoſe redundant humors, and circulations that commonly im­pair health, and are not natural, whether any man can with the ſafe­ty of his life bring a healthy conſtitution into phyſic with this de­ſigne, to alter his natural temperament, and diſpoſition of minde. How much more vain, and ridiculous would it bee, by altering and rooting up the grounds of nature, which is moſt likely to produce death or madnes, to hope the reducing of a minde to this or that fit­nes, or two diſagreeing mindes to a mutual ſympathy. Suppoſe they might, and that with great danger of thir lives and right ſenſes, alter one temperature, how can they know that the ſucceeding diſpoſiti­on will not bee as farre from fitnes and agreement? They would per­haps change Melancholy into Sanguin, but what if fleam, and cho­ler in as great a meaſure come inſtead, the unfitnes will be ſtill as dif­ficult and troubleſom. But laſtly, whether theſe things bee change­able, or not, experience teacheth us, and our Poſition ſuppoſes that they ſeldom doe change in any time commenſurable to the neceſſi­ties of man, or convenient to the ends of mariage. And if the fault b••in the one ſhall the other live all his daies in bondage and miſery13 for anothers perverſnes, or immedicable diſaffection? To my freinds, of which may feweſt bee ſo unhappy, I have a remedy, as they know, more wiſe and manly to preſcribe: but for his freinds and followers (of which many may deſerv juſtly to feel themſelvs the unhappines which they conſider not in others) I ſend them by his advice to ſit upon the ſtool and ſtrain, till their croſs diſpoſitions and contrarieties of minde ſhall change to a better correſpondence, and to a quicker ap­prehenſion of common ſenſe, and thir own good.

His ſecond Reaſon is as heedles, becauſe that grace may change the diſ­poſition, therfore no indiſpoſition may cauſe divorce.

Anſw. Firſt, it will not bee deniable that many perſos, gracious both, may yet happn to bee very unfitly marryed, to the great di­ſturbance of either. Secondly, what if one have grace, the other not, and will not alter, as the Scripture teſtifies ther bee of thoſe, in whom wee may expect a change, when the Blackamore changes his co­lour, or the Leopard his ſpots, Jer. 13. 23. ſhall the gracious therfore dwell in torment all his life, for the ungracious? Wee ſee that ho­lieſt precepts, then which ther can no better phyſic bee adminiſterd to the minde of man, and ſet on with powerfull preaching, cannot work this cure, no not in the family, not in the wife of him that Preaches day and night to her. What an unreaſonable thing it is that men, and Clergy-men eſpecially, ſhould exact ſuch wondrous chan­ges in another mans houſe, and are ſeen to work ſo little in thir own?

To the ſecond point of the poſition, that this unfitnes hinders the main ends, and benefits of mariage, hee anſwers, if I mean the unfit­nes of choler, or ſullen diſpoſition, that ſoft words according to Solomon, pacify wrath.

But I reply, that the ſaying of Salomon, is a Proverb frequently true, not univerſally, as both the event ſhews, and many other ſen­tences writtn by the ſame Author particularly of an evill woman, Prov. 21. 9. 19. and in other Chapters, that ſhee is better ſhun'd then dwelt with, and a deſert is preferr'd before her ſociety. What need the Spirit of God put this chois into our heads, if ſoft words could alwaies take effect with her? How frivolous is, not only this diſpu­ter, but hee that taught him thus, and let him come abroad.

To his ſecond anſwer I return this, that although there bee not eaſi­ly found ſuch an antipathy, as to hate one another like a toad or poiſon, yet14 that there is oft ſuch a diſlike in both, or either, to conjugal love, as hinders all the comfort of Matrimony, ſears any can bee ſo ſimple, as not to apprehend. And what can be that favour, found or not found in the eyes of the Husband, but a natural liking or diſliking, wherof the Law of God, Deut. 24. beates witnes, as of an ordnary accident, and determins wiſely, and divinely therafter. And this diſaffection happning to bee in the one, not without the unſpeakable diſcom­fort of the other, muſt hee bee left like a thing conſecrated to cala­mity, and deſpair without redemption?

Againſt the third branch of the poſition hee denies that ſolace, and peace, which is contrary to diſcord and variance, is the main end of mariage. What then? Hee will have it the ſolace of male, and female. Came this doctrin out of ſom School, or ſom ſtie? Who but one forſak'n of all ſenſe and civil nature, and cheifly of Chriſtianity, will deny that peace contrary to diſcord, is the calling and the general end of every Chriſtian, and of all his actions, and more eſpecially of mariage, which is the deareſt league of love, and the deareſt reſemblance of that love which in Chriſt is deareſt to his Church; how then can peace and comfort, as it is contrary to diſcord, which God hates to dwell with, not bee the main end of mariage? Diſcord then wee ought to fly, and to purſue peace, farre above the obſervance of a civil covnant, already brokn, and the breaking dayly iterated on the other ſide. And what better teſtimony then the words of the inſtituti­on it ſelf, to prove, that a converſing ſolace, & peacefull ſociety is the prime end of mariage, without which no other help, or office can bee mutual, beſeeming the dignity of reaſonable creatures, that ſuch as they ſhould be coupl'd in the rites of nature by the meer compul­ſion of luſt, without love, or peace, wors then wild beaſts. Nor was it half ſo wiſely ſpokn, as ſome deem, though Auſtin ſpake it, that if God had intended other then copulation in Mariage, he would for Adain have created a freind, rather then a wife, to convers with; and our own writers blame him for this opinion; for which and the like paſſages, concerning mariage, hee might bee juſtly taxt of ru­ſticity in theſe affairs. For this cannot but bee with eaſe conceav'd, that there is one ſociety of grave freindſhip, and another amiable and attractive ſociety of conjugal love, beſides the deed of procreation, which of it ſelf ſoon cloies, and is deſpis'd, unleſs it bee cheriſht and ie incited with a pleaſing converſation. Which if ignoble and15 ſwainiſh mindes cannot apprehend, ſhall ſuch merit therfore to be the cenſurers of more generous and vertuous Spirits?

Againſt the laſt point of the poſition, to prove that contrariety of minde is not a greater cauſe of divorce, then corporal frigidity, hee enters into ſuch a tedious and drawling tale of burning, and burning, and luſt and burning, that the dull argument it ſelf burnes to, for want of ſtirring; and yet all this burning is not able to expell the frigidity of his brain. So long therfore, as that cauſe in the poſition ſhall bee prov'd a ſufficient cauſe of divorce, rather then ſpend words with this fleamy clodd of an Antagoniſt, more then of neceſſity, and a little mer­riment, I will not now contend whether it bee a greater cauſe then frigidity, or no.

His next attempt is upon the Arguments which I brought to prove the poſition. And for the firſt, not finding it of that ſtructure, as to bee ſcal'd with his ſhort ladder, hee retreats with a bravado, that it deſervs no anſwer. And I as much wonder what the whole book deſerv'd to bee thus troubl'd and ſollicited by ſuch a paltry Solliciter. I would hee had not caſt the gracious eye of his duncery upon the ſmall deſerts of a pamflet, whoſe every line meddl'd with, uncaſes him to ſcorn and laughter.

That which hee takes for the ſecond Argument, if hee look better, is no argument, but an induction to thoſe that follow. Then hee ſtumbles that I ſhould ſay, the gentleſt ends of Mariage, confeſſing that hee underſtands it not. And I beleev him heartily: for how ſhould hee, a Servingman both by nature and by function, an Idiot by breeding, and a Solliciter by preſumption, ever come to know, or feel within himſelf, what the meaning is of gentle? Hee blames it for a neat phraſe, for nothing angers him more then his own pro­per contrary. Yet altogether without art ſure hee is not; for who could have devis'd to give us more breifly a better deſcription of his own Servility?

But what will become now of the buſines I know not; for the man is ſuddenly takn with a lunacy of Law, and ſpeaks revelations out of the Atturneys Academy, only from a lying ſpirit: for hee ſaies that where a thing is void, ipſo facto, there needs no legal proceeding to make it void. Which is fals, for mariage is void by adultery, or frigidity, yet not made void without legal proceeding. Then asks my opinion of John a Nokes, and John a Stiles; and I anſwer him, that I for my16 part think John Dory, was a better man then both of them: for cer­tainly, they were the greateſt wranglers that ever liv'd, and have fill'd all our Law-books with the obtunding ſtory of thir ſuits and trials.

After this hee tells us a miraculous peece of antiquity, how two Ro­mans, Titus, and Sempronius made feoffments, at Rome ſure, and levied Fines by the Common Law. But now his fit of Law paſt, yet hardly come to himſelf, hee maintains, that if Mariage bee void, as beeing neither of God nor nature, there needs no lgal proceeding to part it, and I tell him, that offends not mee; Then, quoth hee, this is no thing to your book, beeing the Doctrin and Diſciplin of Divorce. But that I deny him; for all Diſcipline is not legal, that is to ſay juridical, but ſom is perſonal, ſom Economical, and ſom Eccleſiaſtical. Laſtly, if I prove that contrary diſpoſitions are joyn'd neither of God nor nature, and ſo the mariage void, hee will give mee the controverſy. I have prov'd it in that book to any wiſe man, and without more a doe the Inſtitution proves it.

Where I anſwer an Objection uſually made, that the diſpoſition ought to bee known before mariage, and ſhew how difficult it is to chooſe a fit conſort, and how eaſie to miſtake, the Servitor would know what I mean by converſation, declaring his capacity nothing refin'd ſince his Law-puddering, but ſtill the ſame it was in the Pan­try, and at the Dreſſer. Shall I argue of converſation with this hoy­d'n to goe and practice at his opportunities in the Larder? To men of quality I have ſaid anough, and experience confirms by daily ex­ample, that wiſeſt, ſobreſt, juſteſt men are ſomtimes miſerably miſta­k'n in thir chois. Whom to leav thus without remedy, toſt and tem­peſted in a moſt unquietſea of afflictions and temptations, I ſay is moſt unchriſtianly.

But hee goes on to untruſs my Arguments, imagining them his Maiſters points. Only in the paſſage following, I cannot but admire the ripenes, and the pregnance of his native trechery, endeavouring to bee more a Fox then his wit will ſuffr him. Wheras I breifly men­tion'd certain heads of Diſcours, which I referr'd to a place more pro­per according to my method, to bee treated there at full with all thir Reaſons about them, this Brain-worm againſt all the Laws of Diſ­pute, will needs deal with them heer. And as a Country Hinde ſom­times ambitious to ſhew his betters that hee is not ſo ſimple as you take him, and that hee knows his advantages, will teach as a new17 trick to confute by. And would you think to what a pride hee ſwels in the contemplation of his rare ſtratagem, offring to carp at the lan­guage of a book, which yet hee confeſſes to bee generally com­mended; while himſelf will bee acknowledg'd by all that read him, the baſeſt and the hungrieſt endighter, that could take the boldnes to look abroad. Obſerv now the arrogance of a groom, how it will mount. I had writt'n, that common adultery is a thing which the rankeſt Politician would think it ſhame and diſworſhip that his Law ſhould countenance. Firſt, it offends him that rankeſt ſhould ſigni­fy ought, but his own ſmell; who, that knows Engliſh, would not underſtand mee, when I ſay a rank Serving-man, a rank petti-fog­ger, to mean a meer Servingman, a meer and arrant petti-fogger, who lately was ſo hardy, as to lay aſide his buckram wallet, and make himſelf a fool in Print, with confuting books, which are above him. Next the word Politician is not us'd to his maw, and therupon hee plaies the moſt notorious hobbihors, jeſting and frisking in the luxu­ry of his non-ſenſe with ſuch poor fetches to cog a laughter from us, that no antic hobnaile at a Morris, but is more hanſomly faceti­ous.

Concerning that place Deut. 24. 1. which hee ſaith to bee the main pillar of my opinion, though I rely more on the inſtitution then on that. Theſe two pillars I doe indeed confeſs are to mee as thoſe two in the porch of the Temple, Jachin and Boaz, which names import eſtabliſhment, and ſtrength; nor doe I fear, who can ſhake them. The expoſition of Deut. which I brought, is the receav'd Expoſi­tion both ancient and modern, by all lerned men, unleſs it bee a Mon­kiſh Papiſt heer and there: and the gloſs which hee and his obſcure aſſiſtant would perſwade us to, is meerly new, and abſurd, preſuming out of his utter ignorance in the Ebrew, to interpret thoſe words of the Text, firſt in a miſtakn ſenſe of uncleanneſs, againſt all approved Writers. Secondly, in a limited ſenſe, when as the original ſpeaks without limitation, ſome uncleannes, or any; and it had bin a wiſe Law indeed to mean it ſelf particular, and not to expreſs the caſe which this a cute Rabbie hath all this while bin hooking for. Wherby they who are moſt partial to him, may gueſs that ſomthing is in this doc­trin which I allege, that forces the adverſary to ſuch a new & ſtrain'd Expoſition, wherin hee does nothing for above foure pages, but founder himſelf to and fro in his own objections, one while denying18 that divorce was permitted, another while affirming, that it was per­mitted for the wives ſake. and after all diſtruſts himſelf. And for his ſureſt retirement, betakes him to thoſe old ſuppoſitions, that Chriſt a­boliſht the Moſaic Law of divorce; that the Jews had not ſufficient know­ledge in this point, through the darknes of the diſpenſation of heavnly things; that under the plenteous grace of the Goſpel, wee are ty'd by cruelleſt com­pulſion, to live in mariage till death, with the wickedeſt, the worſt, the moſt perſecuting mate. Theſe ignorant and doting ſurmiſes, he might have read confuted at large, eevn in the firſt Edition; but found it ſafer to paſs that part over in ſilence. So that they who ſee not the ſottiſhnes of this his new and tedious Expoſition, are worthy to love it dearly.

His Explanation don, hee charges mee with a wicked gloſs, and al­moſt blaſphemy, for ſaying that Chriſt in teaching meant not always to bee tak'n word for word; but like a wiſe Phyſician adminiſtring one exceſs againſt another, to reduce us to a perfet mean. Certainly to teach thus, were no diſhoneſt method: Chriſt himſelf hath often us'd hyperbolies 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 oft times beyond meaſure, that while wee tend furder, the mean might bee the eaſier attain'd. And who-ever comments that fifth of Matthew, when hee comes to the turning of cheek after cheek to blows, and the parting both with cloak and coat, if any pleaſe to bee the••fler, will bee forc ' to recommend himſelf to the ſame〈◊〉though this ca­tering Law-monger bee bold to call iwicked. Now note another pretious peece of him; Chriſt,〈◊〉hee, doth not ſay that an unchaſt look is adultery, but the luſting alter her; as〈◊〉the looking unchaſt­ly, could bee without luſting. This gear is Licenc't for good rea­ſon: Imprimatur.

Next hee would prove that the ſpeech of Chriſt is not utter'd in ex­ceſs againſt the Phariſes, Firſt, Becauſe hee ſpeaks it to his Diſciples, Matth. 5. which is fals, for hee ſpake it to the multitude, as by the firſt verſ. is evident, among which in all likelihood were many Pha­riſes, but out of doubt, all of them Phariſaean diſciples, and bred up in their Doctrin; from which extremes of error and falſity, Chriſt throughout his whole Sermon labours to reclaim the people. Se­condly, ſaith hee, Becauſe Chriſt forbidds not only putting away, but19 marrying her who is put away. Acutely, as if the Phariſes might not have offended as much in marrying the divorc'd, as in divor­cing the maried. The precept may bind all, rightly underſtood; and yet the vehement manner of giving it, may bee occaſion'd only by the Phariſes.

Finally, hee windes up his Text with much doubt and trepidation; for it may bee his trenchers were not ſcrap't, and that which never yet afforded corn of ſavour to his noddle, the Salt-ſeller was not rubb'd: and therfore in this haſt eaſily granting, that his anſwers fall foule upon each other, and praying, you would not think hee writes as a profet, but as a man, hee runns to the black jack, fills his flagon, ſpreds the table, and ſervs up dinner.

After waiting and voiding, hee thinks to void my ſecond Argu­ment, and the contradictions that will follow, both in the Law and Goſpel, if the Moſaic Law were abrogated by our Saviour, and a compulſive prohibition fixt inſtead: and ſings his old ſong, that the Goſpel counts unlawfull that which the Law allow'd, inſtancing in Cir­cumciſion, Sacrifices, Waſhings. But what are theſe Ceremonial things to the changing of a morall point in houſhold dutie, equally belonging to Jew and Gentile; divorce was then right, now wrong; then permitted in the rigorous time of Law, now forbidd'n by Law eevn to the moſt extremely afflicted in the favourable time of grace and freedom. But this is not for an unbutton'd fellow to diſcuſs in the Garret, at his treſsle, and dimenſion of candle by the ſnuffe; which brought forth his cullionly paraphraſe on St. Paul, whom he brings in, diſcourſing ſuch idle ſtuff to the Maids, and Widdows, as his own ſervile inurbanity forbeares not to put into the Apoſtles mouth, of the ſoules converſing: and this hee preſumes to doe beeing a bayard, who never had the ſoul to know, what converſing means, but as his provender, and the familiarity of the Kitchin ſchool'd his conceptions.

Hee paſſes to the third Argument, like a Boar in a Vinyard, doing nought els, but ſtill as hee goes, champing and chewing over, what I could mean by this Chimera of a fit converſing Soul, notions and words never made for thoſe chopps; but like a generous Wine, on­ly by overworking the ſettl'd mudd 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) I20 know will apprehend and bee ſatisfy'd in what I ſpake, how unplea­ſing and diſcontenting the ſociety of body muſt needs be between thoſe whoſe mindes cannot bee ſociable. But what ſhould a man ſay more to a ſnout in this pickle, what language can be low and degene­rat anough?

The fourth Argument which I had, was, that Mariage beeing a Covnant, the very beeing wherof conſiſts in the performance of un­fained love and peace, if that were not tolerably perform'd, the Covnant became broke and revocable. Which how can any in whoſe minde the principles of right reaſon and juſtice are not cancell'd, de­ny; for how can a thing ſubſiſt, when the true eſſence ther of is diſ­ſolv'd? yet this hee denies, and yet in ſuch a manner as alters my aſſertion, for hee puts in, though the main end bee not attain'd in full meaſure: but my poſition is, if it be not tolerably attain'd, as through­out the whole Diſcours is apparent.

Now for his Reaſons; Heman found not that peace and ſolace, which is the main end of communion with God, ſhould hee therfore break off that communion?

I anſwer, that if Heman found it not, the fault was certainly his own: but in Mariage it happns farre otherwiſe: Somtimes the fault is plainly not his who ſeeks Divorce: Somtimes it cannot bee diſcern'd, whoſe fault it is: and therfore cannot in reaſon or equity bee the matter of an abſolute prohibition.

His other inſtance declares, what a right handicrafts man hee is of petty caſes, and how unfitt to bee ought els at higheſt, but a hac­ney of the Law. I change houſes with a man; it is ſuppos'd I doe it for mine own ends; I attain them not in this houſe; I ſhall not therfore goe from my bargain. How without fear might the young Charinus in Andria now cry out, what likenes can bee heer to a Mariage? In this bargain was no capitulation, but the yeilding of poſſeſſion to one an­other, wherin each of them had his ſeveral end apart: in Mariage there is a ſolemn vow of love and fidelity each to other: this bargain is fully accompliſht in the change; In Mariage the covnant ſtill is in performing. If one of them perform nothing tolerably, but inſtead of love, abound in diſaffection, diſobedience, fraud, and hatred, what thing in the nature of a covnant ſhall bind the other to ſuch a perdu­rable miſcheif? Keep to your Problemes of ten groats, theſe matters are not for pragmatics, and folkmooters to babble in.

21Concerning the place of Paul, that God hath call'd us to peace, 1 Cor. 7. and therfore certainly, if any where in this world, wee have a right to claim it reaſonably in mariage, tis plain anough in the ſenſe which I gave, and confeſs'd by Paraeus, and other Orthodox Divines, to bee a good ſenſe, and this Anſwerer, doth not weak'n it. The other place, that hee who hateth, may put away, which, if I ſhew him, he promiſes to yeeld the whole controverſie, is, beſides, Deut. 24. 1. Deut. 21. 14 and before this, Exod. 21. 8. Of Malachy I have ſpo­k'n more in another place; and ſay again that the beſt interpreters, all the ancient, and moſt of the modern tranſlate it, as I cited, and very few otherwiſe, wherof perhaps Junius is the cheif.

Another thing troubles him, that mariage is call'd the myſtery of Joy. Let it ſtill trouble him; for what hath hee to doe either with joy, or with myſtery? He thinks it frantic divinity to ſay, It is not the outward continuance of mariage, that keeps the covnant of mariage whole, but whoſoever doth moſt according to peace and love, whe­ther in mariage or divorce, hee breaks mariage leſt. If I ſhall ſpell it to him, Hee breaks mariage leſt, is to ſay, hee diſhonours not mariage; for leaſt is tak'n in the Bible, and other good Authors, for, not at all. And a particular mariage a man may break, if for a lawfull cauſe, and yet not break, that is, not violate, or diſhonour the Ordnance of Mariage. Hence thoſe two queſtions that follow, are left ridicu­lous; and the Maids at Algate, whom hee flouts, are likely to have more witt then the Servingman at Addlegate.

Whereas hee taxes mee 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 bee collect­ed from many places. For ſeeing love includes Faith, what is ther that can fulfill every commandment but only love? And I meant, as any intelligent Reader might apprehend, every poſitive, and civil commandment, wherof Chriſt hath taught us that man is tho 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 hee work, or work not; hee breaks the holy reſt of Sabbath leaſt. So Mariage beeing a civil Ordinance made for man, not man for it; hee who doth that which moſt accords with charity, firſt to himſelf, next to whom hee next ows it, whether in mariage or di­vorce, hee breaks the Ordinance of mariage leaſt. And what in Re­ligious22 prudence, can bee charity to himſelf, and what to his Wife, either in continuing, or in diſſolving the mariage knot, hath bin al­ready oft anough diſcours'd. So that what St. Paul ſaith of circum­ciſion, the ſame I ſtick not to ſay of a civil ordinance, made to the good, and comfort of man, not to his ruin; mariage is nothing, and divorce is nothing, but faith, which worketh by love. And this I truſt none can miſtake.

Againſt the fifth Argument, That a Chriſtian in a higher order of Preiſt-hood, then that Levitical, is a perſon dedicat to joy and peace; and therfore needs not in Subjection to a civil Ordinance, made to no other end but for his good (when without his fault hee findes it impoſſible to bee decently or tolerably obſerv'd) to plunge himſelf into immeaſurable diſtractions and temptations, above his ſtrength; againſt this hee proves nothing, but gadds into ſilly conjectures of what abuſes would follow, and with as good reaſon might declaim againſt the beſt things that are.

Againſt the ſixt Argument, that to force the continuance of mari­age between mindes found utterly unfit, and diſproportional, is againſt nature, and ſeems forbidd under that allegorical precept of Moſes, Not to ſow a field with divers ſeeds, leſt both bee defil'd, not to plough with an Oxe and an Aſs together, which I dedue'd by the pattern of St. Pauls reaſoning what was meant by not muzzling the Oxe, hee ram­bles over a long narration, to tell us that by the Oxen are meant the Preachers: which is not doubted. Then hee demands, if this my rea­ſoning bee like St. Pauls, and I anſwer him, yes. Hee replies that ſure St. Paul would bee aſham'd to reaſon thus. And I tell him, No. Hee grants that place which I alleg'd, 2 Cor. 6. of unequal yoking, may allnde to that of Moſes, but ſaies, I cannot prove it makes to my purpos, and ſhews not firſt, how hee can diſprove it. Waigh, Gentlemen, and conſider, whether my affirmations, backt with reaſon, may hold bal­lance againſt the bare denials of this ponderous confuter, elected by his ghoſtly Patrons to bee my copes-mate.

Proceeding on to ſpeak of myſterious things in nature, I had oc­ſion to fit the language therafter, matters not for the reading of this o­dious fool, who thus ever when hee meets with ought above the co­gitation of his breeding, leavs the noyſom ſtench of his rude ſlot be­hind him, maligning that any thing ſhould bee ſpoke or underſtood, above his own genuine baſenes; and gives ſentence that his confu­ting23 hath bin imploy'd about a frothy, immeritous and undeſerving diſ­cours. Who could have beleevd ſo much inſolence durſt vent it ſelf from out the hide of a varlet, as thus to cenſure that which men of mature judgement have applauded to bee writ with good reaſon. But this contents him not, hee falls now to rave in his barbarous abuſive­nes; and why? a reaſon befitting ſuch an Artificer, becauſe he ſaith the Book is contrary to all human lerning; When as the world knows that all, both human and divine lerning, till the Canon Law, allow'd divorce by conſent, and for many cauſes without conſent. Next he dooms it, as contrary to Truth; when as it hath bin diſputable among lerned men, ever ſince it was prohibited: and is by Peter Martyr thought an opinion not impious, but hard to bee rfuted; and by Eraſ­mus deem'd a Doctrin ſo charitable and pious, as, if it cannot bee us'd, were to bee wiſht it could; but is by Martin Bucer, a man of deareſt and moſt religious memory in the Church, taught and maintan'd to bee either moſt lawfully us'd, or moſt lawfully permitted. And for this, for I affirm no more then Bucer, what cenſure doe you think, Readers he hath condemn'd the book to? To a death no leſs infamous then to be burnt by the hangman. Mr. Licencer, for I deal not now with this caitif, never worth my earneſt, & now not ſeaſonable for my jeſt, you are re­puted a man diſcreet anough, religious anough, honeſt anough, that is, to an ordnary competence in all theſe. But now your turn is, to hear what your own hand hath earn'd ye, that when you ſuffer'd this nameles hangman to caſt into public ſuch a deſpightfull contumely upon a name and perſon deſerving of the Church and State equally to your ſelf, and one who hath don more to the preſent advancement of your own Tribe, then you or many of them have don for them­ſelvs, you forgot to bee either honeſt, Religious, or diſcreet. What ever the State might doe concerning it, ſuppos'd a matter to expect evill 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 abus'd autority which it bears, I ſay again, that I abominat the cenſure of Raſcalls and their Li­cencers.

With difficulty I return to what remains of this ignoble task, for the diſdain I have to change a period more with the filth and venom of this gourmand, ſwell'd into a confuter. Yet for the ſatisfaction of others, I endure all this.

24Againſt 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 naturall cauſes;

Firſt, hee denies that the Canon ſo decrees.

I Anſwer, that it decrees for danger of life, as much as for adultery. Decret. Gregor. l. 4 tit. 19. and in other places: and the beſt Civi­lians who cite the Canon Law, ſo collect, as Schneidewin in inſtitut. tit. 10. p. 4. de divort. and indeed who would have deny'd it, but one of a teprobate ignorance in all hee meddles with.

Secondly, hee ſaith, the caſe alters, for there the offender who ſeeks the life, doth implicitly at leaſt act a divorce.

And I anſwer, that heer 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. Hee ſaith, nature teacheth 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, Hee ſaith, that heer they are both actors. Admit they were, it would not be uncharitable to part them; yet ſomtimes they are not both actors, but the one of them moſt la­mentedly paſſive. So hee concludes, Wee muſt not take advantage of our own faults and corruptions to releaſe us from our duties. But ſhall wee take no advantage to ſave our ſelvs from the faults of ano­ther, who hath anull'd his right to our duty? No, ſaith hee, Let them die of the ſullens, and try who will pitty them. Barbarian, the ſhame of all honeſt Atturneys, why doe they not hoiſs him over the barre, and blanket him?

Againſt the eighth Argument, that they who are deſtitute of all mariageable guifts, except a body not plainly unfit, have not the cal­ling to marry, and conſequently married and ſo found, may bee di­vorc'd, this, hee ſaith, is nothing to the purpoſe, and not fit to bee anſwer'd. I leav it therfore to the judgement of his Maiſters.

Againſt the ninth Argument, that mariage is a human ſociety, and ſo cheifly ſeated in agreement and unity of minde: If therfore the minde cannot have that due ſociety by mariage, that it may reaſona­bly and humanly deſire, it can bee no human ſociety, and ſo not with­out reaſon divorcible, heer hee falſifies, and turnes what the poſiti­on requir'd of a reaſonable agreement in the main matters of ſociety, into an agreement in all things, which makes the opinion not mine, and ſo hee leavs it.

25At laſt, and in good howr we are com to his farewell, which is to hee a concluding taſte of his jabberment〈◊〉in Law, the flaſhieſt and the fuſtieſt that ever corrupted in ſuch an unſwill'd hogshead.

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 Law is for ſom good that may be frequently at­tain'd without the admixture of a wors inconvenience; but the Law forbidding divorce, never attains to any good end of ſuch prohibi­tion, but rather multiplies evill; therfore, the prohibition of divorce is no good Law. Now for his Atturneys priſe: but firſt, like a right cunning and ſturdy Logician, hee 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 attain'd, 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 divorce from the moſt injurious wedloc. The default therfore will bee found in the Law it ſelf; which is neither able to puniſh the offender, but the innocent muſt withall ſuffer; nor can right the innocent, in what is cheifly ſought, the obtainment of love or quietnes. His inſtances out of the Common Law, are all ſo quite beſide the matter which hee would prove, as may bee a warning to all clients how they ven­ture thir buſines with ſuch a cock-braind Solliciter. For beeing to ſhew ſom Law of England, attaining to no good end, and yet through no default of the party, who is therby debarr'd all remedy, hee ſhews us only how ſom doe loos 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 Barr will bluſh at this moſt incogitant woodcock. But ſee if a draft of Littleton will recover him to his ſen­ſes. If this man having Fee ſimple in his Lands, yet will take a Leas of his own Lands, from another, this ſhall bee an Eſtoppel to him in an Aſſiſe from the recovering of his own Land. Mark now, and regiſter him. How many are there of ten thouſand who have ſuch a Fee ſimple in their ſconſe, as to take a Leas of their own Lands from another? So that this inconvenience lights upon ſcars one in an age, and by his own default; and the Law of enjoying each man his own, is good to all others. But on the contrary, this prohibition of divorce is good26 to none, and brings inconvenience to numbers, who lie under into­lerable greevances, without thir own default, through the wicked­nes or folly of another; and all this iniquity the Law remedies not. but in a manner maintains? His other caſes are directly to the ſame purpos, and might have bin ſpar'd, but that hee is a tradſman of the Law, and muſt be born with at his firſt ſetting up, to lay forth his beſt ware, which is only gibbriſh.

I have now don that, which for many cauſes I might have thought, could not likely have bin my fortune, to bee put to this under-work of ſeowring and unrubbiſhing the low and ſordid ignorance of ſuch a preſumptuous lozel. Yet Hercules had the labour once impos'd upon him to carry dung out of the Augean ſtable. At any hand I would bee ridd of him: for I had rather, ſince the life of man is likn'd to a Scene, that all my entrances and exits might mixe with ſuch perſons only, whoſe worth erects them and their actions to a grave and tragic deportment, and not to have to doe with Clowns and Vices. But if a man cannot peaceably walk into the world, cut muſt bee infeſted, ſomtimes at his face, with dorrs and hotsflies, ſom­times beneath, with bauling whippets, and ſhin-barkers, and theſe to bee ſet on by plot and conſultation with a Junto of Clergy men and Licencers, commended alſo and rejoye't in by thoſe whoſe par­tiality cannot yet forgoe old papiſticall principles, have I not cauſe to bee in ſuch a manner defenſive, as may procure mee freedom to paſs more unmoleſted heerafter by theſe incumbrances, not ſo much regarded for themſelvs, as for thoſe who incite them. And what de­fence can properly bee us'd in ſuch a deſpicable encounter as this, but either the ſlp or the ſpurn? If they can afford mee none but a ri­diculous adverſaty, the blame belongs not to mee, though the whole Diſpute bee ſtrew'd and ſcatter'd with ridiculous. And if hee have ſuch an ambition to know no better who are his mates, but among thoſe needy thoughts, which though his two faculties of Serving­man and Solliciter, ſhould compound into one mongrel, would bee but thin and meager, if in this penury of Soul hee can bee poſſible to have the luſtineſs to think of fame, let him but ſend mee how hee calls himſelf, and I may chance not fail to endorſe him on the back­ſide of poſterity, not a golden, but a brazen Aſſe. Since my fate ex­torts from mee a talent of ſport, which I had thought to hide in a napkin, hee ſhall bee my Batrachomuomachia, my Bavius, my Ca­landrino,27 the common adagy of ignorance and over-weening. Nay perhaps, as the provocation may bee, I may bee driv'n to curle up this gliding proſe into a rough Sotadic, that ſhall rime him into ſuch a condition, as inſtead of judging good Books to bee burnt by the executioner, hee ſhall be readier to be his own hangman. Thus much to this Nuiſance.

But as for the Subject it ſelf which I have writt, and now defend, according as the oppoſition beares, if any man equal to the matter ſhall think it appertains him to take in hand this controverſy, either excepting againſt ought writt'n, or perſwaded hee can ſhew better how this queſtion of ſuch moment to bee throughly known may re­ceav a true determination, not leaning on the old and rott'n ſugge­ſtions wheron it yet leanes, if his intents bee ſincere to the public, and ſhall carry him on without bitternes to the opinion, or to the perſon diſſenting, let him not, I entreate him, gueſs by the handling, which meritoriouſly hath bin beſtowd on this object of contempt and laugh­ter, that I account it any diſpleaſure don mee to bee contradicted in Print: but as it leads to the attainment of any thing more true, ſhall eſteem it a benefit; and ſhall know how to return his civility and faire Argument in ſuch a ſort, as hee ſhall confeſs that to doe ſo is my choiſe, and to have don thus was my chance.

The End.

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TextColasterion: a reply to a nameles ansvver against The doctrine and discipline of divorce. Wherein the trivial author of that answer is discover'd, the licencer conferr'd with, and the opinion which they traduce defended. / By the former author, J.M.
AuthorMilton, John, 1608-1674..
Extent Approx. 72 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 15 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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Bibliographic informationColasterion: a reply to a nameles ansvver against The doctrine and discipline of divorce. Wherein the trivial author of that answer is discover'd, the licencer conferr'd with, and the opinion which they traduce defended. / By the former author, J.M. Milton, John, 1608-1674.. [4], 27, [1] p. s.n.],[London? :Printed in the year, 1645.. (J.M. = John Milton.) (The first leaf is blank.) (A reply to: An answer to a book, intituled, The doctrine and discipline of divorce (Wing A3304).) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "March 4th 1644"; the 5 in imprint date is crossed out.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Caryl, Joseph, 1602-1673 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Milton, John, 1608-1674. -- Doctrine and discipline of divorce -- Early works to 1800.
  • Prynne, William, 1600-1669 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Answer to a book, intituled, The doctrine and discipline of divorce -- Early works to 1800.
  • Divorce -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Marriage law -- England -- Early works to 1800.

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