man may leave her husband not for only fornication, but for Apostacy, and inverting nature, though not marry again; but the man may: heer are causes of divorce assign'd other then adultery. And going on he affirms, that the cause of God is greater then the cause of matrimony; that the reverence of wedloc is not due to him who hates the author thereof; that no matrimony is firm without devotion to God; that dishonour don to God acquitts the other being deserted from the bond of matrimony; that the faith of mariage is not to be kept with such. If these contorted sentences be ought worth, it is not the desertion that breaks what is broken, but the impiety; and who then may not for that cause better divorce, then tarry to be deserted? or these grave sayings of St. Ambrose are but knacks.
Jerom on the 19. of Matthew explains, that for the cause of fornication, or the suspicion thereof a man may freely divorce. What can breed that suspicion, but sundry faults leading that way? by Jeroms consent therefore divorce is free not only for actual adultery, but for any cause that may encline a wise man to the just suspicion therof.
Austin also must be remember'd among those who hold that this instance of fornication gives equal inference to other faults equally hateful, for which to divorce: & therfore in his books to Pollentius he disputes that infidelity, as being a greater sin then adultery, ought so much the rather cause a divorce. And on the Sermon in the Mount, under the name of fornication will have idolatry, or any harmfull superstition contain'd, which are not thought to disturb matrimony so directly as som other obstinacies and dissaffections, more against the daily duties of that cov'nant, & in the eastern tongues not unfrequently call'd fornication, as hath bin shew'n. Hence is understood, saith he, that not only for bodily fornication, but for that which draws the mind from Gods law, and fouly corrupts it, a man may without fault put away his wife, and a wife her husband, because the Lord excepts the cause of fornication, which fornication we are constrain'd to interpret in a general sense. And in the first book of his retractations chap. 16. he retracts not this his opinion, but commends it to serious consideration; and explains that he counted not there all sin to be fornication, but the more detestable sort of sins. The cause of fornication therefore is not in this discours newly interpreted to signify other faults infringing the duties of wedloc, besides adultery.
Lastly the councel of Agatba in the year 506. can. 25. decreed, that if lay men who divorc't without some great fault, or giving no probable cause, therfore divorc't, that they might marry som unlawfull person, or som other