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the state had ordered and requires. And he who lists not to be malicious, would call it ingenuity, clear conscience, willingness to avouch what might be questioned, or to be better instructed. And if God were fo difpleased with those, Ifa. lviii, who "on the folemn faft were wont to smite with the fist of wickedness,” it could be no sign of his own humiliation accepted, which disposed him to smite so keenly with a reviling tongue. But if only to have writ my name must be counted “impudence,” how doth this but justify another, who might affirm with as good warrant, that the late discourse of

Scripture and Reason,” which is certain to be chiefly his own draught, was published without a name, out of base fear, and the fly avoidance of what might follow to his detriment, if the party at court should hap to reach him? And I, to have set my name, where he accuses me to have set it, am so far from recanting, that I offer my hand also if need be, to make good the same opinion which I there maintain, by inevitable consequences drawn parallel from his own principal arguments in that of “Scripture and Reason:" which I shall pardon him if he can deny, without shaking his own composition to pieces. The “impudence" therefore, since he weighed so little what a gross revile that was to give his equal, I fend him back again for a phylactery to stitch upon his arrogance, that censures not only before conviction, fo bitterly without so much as one reason given, but

hip his governors to their censures the congregation faces, for not being so hasty as himself to censure.

And whereas my other crime is, that I addreffed the dedication of what I had studied to the parliament; how could I better declare the loyalty which I owe to that su preme and majestic tribunal, and the opinion which I have of the high entrusted judgment, and personal worth assembled in that place? With the same affections therefore, and the same addicted fidelity, parliament of England! I here again have brought to your perufal on the same argument these following expositions of fcripture. The former book, as pleased fome to think, who were thought judicious, had of reason in it to a fufficiency; what they required was, that the scriptures there alleged I 2

inight might be discussed more fully. To their desires thus much further hath been laboured in the scriptures. Another fort also, who wanted more authorities and citations, have not been here unthought of. If all this attain not to satisfy them, as I am confident that none of those our great controversies at this day hath had a more demonstrative explaining, I must confefs to admire what it is : for doubtless it is not reason now a days that fatisfies or suborns the common credence of men, to yield so easily, and grow fo vehement in matters much more disputable, and far less conducing to the daily good and peace of life. Some whose necefsary shifts have long enured them to cloak the defects of their unstudied years, and hatred now to learn, under the appearance of a grave folidity (which estimation they have gained among weak perceivers,) find the eafe of flighting what they cannot refute, and are determined, as I hear, to hold it not worth the answering. In which number I must be forced to reckon that doctor, who in a late equivocating treatise plausibly set afloat against the Dippers, diving the while himself

with a more deep prelatical malignance against the present ftate and church-government, mentions with ignominy “the Tractate of Divorce;" yet answers nothing, but instead thereof (for which I do not commend his marthalling) fets Mofes also among the crew of his Anabaptists; as one who to a holy nation; the commonwealth of Israel, gave laws “ breaking the bonds of marriage to inordinate luft." These are no mean furges of blafphemy, not only dipping Moses the divine lawgiver, but dashing with a high hand against the justice and purity of God himself as these ensuing fcriptures plainly and freely handled shall verify, to the launching of that old apoftemated errour.

Him therefore I leave now to his repentance.

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

the

the fear of a convincement. These will be their excufes to decline the full examining of this serious point. So much the more I press it and repeat it, lords and commons! that ye beware while time is, ere this grand fecret, and only art of ignorance affecting tyranny, grow powerful, and rule among us.

For if found argument and reason shall be thus put off, either by an undervaluing filence, or the masterly cenfure of a railing word or two in the pulpit, or by rejecting the force of truth, as the mere cunning of eloquence and fophiftry; what can be the end of this, but that all good learning and knowledge will suddenly decay? Ignorance, and illiterate presumption, which is yet but our disease, will turn at length into our very constitution, and prove the hectic evil of this age: worse to be feared, if it get once to reign over us, than any fifth monarchy. If this shall be the course, that what was wont to be a chief commendation, and the ground of other men's confidence in an author, his diligence, his learning, his elocution whether by right, or by ill meaning granted him, shall be turned now to a disadvantage and fufpicion against him, that what he writes, though unconfuted, must therefore be mistrusted, therefore not received for the industry, the exactness, the labour in it, confessed to be more than ordinary; as if wisdom had now forsaken the thirsty and laborious inquirer to dwell against her nature with the arrogant and shallow babbler; to what purpose all those pains and that continual searching required of us by Solomon to the attainment of understanding? Why are men bred up with such care and expense to a life of perpetual ftudies? Why do yourselves with such endeavour seek to wipe off the imputation of intending to discourage the progress and advance of learning? He therefore, whose heart can bear him to the high pitch of your noble enterprises, may easily assure himself, that the prudence and farjudging circumspectness of fo grave a magiftracy fitting in parliament, who have before them the prepared and purposed act of their most religious predeceffors to imitate in this question, cannot reject the clearness of these reasons, and these allegations both here and formerly

offered

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offered them; nor can overlook the necessity of ordaining inore wholefomely and more humanely in the casualties of divorce, than our laws have yet established, if the most urgent and excessive grievances happening in domestic life be worth the laying to heart; which, unless charity be far from us, cannot be neglected. And that these things both in the right constitution, and in the right reformation of a commonwealth call for speedieft redress, and ought to be the first considered, enough was urged in what was prefaced to that monument of Bucer, which I brought to your remembrance, and the other time before. Henceforth, except new cause be given, I shall say less and less. For if the law make not timely provision, let the law, as reason is, bear the censure of those consequences, which her own default now more evidently produces. And if men want manliness to expostulate the right of their due ransom, and to second their own occasions, they may sit hereafter and bemoan themselves to have neglected through faintness the only lemedy of their sufferings, which a seasonable and wellgrounded speaking might have purchased them. And perhaps in time to come, others will know how to esteem what is not every day put into their hands, when they have marked events, and better weighed how hurtful and unwise it is, to hide a secret and pernicious rupture under the illcounsel of a bashful silence. But who would distrust aught, or not be ample in his hopes of your wife and christian determinations? who have the prudence to consider, and thould have the goodness, like Gods, as ye are called, to find out readily, and by just law to administer those redresses, which have of old, not without God ordaining, been granted to the adversities of mankind, ere they who needed, were put to ask. Certainly, if any other have enlarged his thoughts to expect from this government, so justly undertaken, and by frequent assistances from heaven. fo apparently upheld, glorious changes and renovations both in church and state, he among the foremost might be named, who prays that the fate of England may tarry for no other deliverers.

JOHN MILTON,

TE TRA CHORD ON:

EXPOSITIONS

UPON

The four chief places in Scripture which treat of Marriage,

or Nullities in Marriage.

Genesis 1,27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of

God created he him ; male and female created he them, 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them,

Be fruitful, &c.

Gen. II, 18. And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should

be alone, I will make him a help meet for him. 23. And Adam faid, this is now bone of my bone, and

flesh of my fleth; she shall be called woman, because

The was taken out of man. 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother,

and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.

Gen. I. 27.

“SO God created man in his own image."] To be informed aright in the whole history of marriage, that we may know for certain, not by a forced yoke, but by an impartial definition, what marriage is, and what is not marriage: it will undoubtedly be safeft, faireft, and most with our obedience, to inquire, as our Saviour's direction is, how it was in the beginning. And that we begin so high as man created after God's own image, there want not earneft caufes. For nothing nowadays is more degenerately forgotten, than the true dignity of man, almoft in every respect, but especially in this prime infti

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tution

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