evil, argues an improvident and careles deliverer. And thus all occasions, which way so ever they turn are not unofficious to administer somthing which may conduce to explain, or to defend the assertion of this book touching divorce. I complain of nothing, but that it is indeed too copious to be the matter of a dispute, or a defence, rather to be yeelded, as in the best ages, a thing of common reason, not of controversie. What have I left to say? I fear to be more elaborat in such perspicuity as this; lest I should seem not to teach, but to upbraid the dulnes of an age; not to commun with reason in men, but to deplore the loss of reason from among men: this only, and not the want of more to say, is the limit of my discours.
Who among the fathers have interpreted the words of Christ concerning divorce, as is heer interpreted; and what the civil law of Christian Emperors in the primitive Church determin'd.
Although testimony be in Logic an argument rightly call'd inartificial, & doth not solidly fetch the truth by multiplicity of Authors, nor argue a thing false by the few that hold so, yet seeing most men from their youth so accustom, as not to scanne reason, nor cleerly to apprehend it, but to trust for that the names and numbers of such, as have got, and many times undeservedly, the reputation among them to know much, and because there is a vulgar also of teachers, who are as blindly by whom they fancy led, as they lead the people, it will not be amiss for them who had rather list themselves under this weaker sort, and follow authorities, to take notice that this opinion which I bring, hath bin favour'd, and by som of those affirm'd, who in their time were able to carry what they taught, had they urg'd it, through all Christendom; or to have left it such a credit with all good men, as they who could not bouldly use the opinion, would have fear'd to censure it. But since by his appointment on whom the times and seasons wait, every point of doctrin is not fatall to be throughly sifted out in every age, it will be anough for me to find, that the thoughts of wisest heads heertofore, and hearts no less reverenc't for devotion have tended this way, and contributed their lot in some good measure towards this which hath bin heer attain'd. Others of them and modern especially, have bin as full in the assertion, though not so full in the reason; so that either in this regard, or in the former, I shall be manifest in a middle fortune to meet the praise or dispraise of beeing