impatient, it will be the same doctrin which this treatis hath defended.
Wicklef that Englishman honor'd of God to be the first preacher of a general reformation to all Europe, was not in this thing better taught of God, then to teach among his cheifest recoveries of truth, that divorce is lawfull to the christian for many other causes equall to adultery. This book indeed through the poverty of our Libraries I am forc't to cite from Arnisæus of Halberstad on the right of mariage, who cites it from Corasius of Toulouse c. 4. Cent. Sct. and he from Wicklef. l. 4. Dial. c. 21. So much the sorrier, for that I never lookt into author cited by his adversary upon this occasion, but found him more conducible to the question, then his quotation render'd him.
Next, Luther, how great a servant of God, in his book of conjugal life quoted by Gerard out of the Dutch, allowes divorce for the obstinate denial of conjugal duty; and that a man may send away a proud Vasthi, and marry an Esther in her stead. It seemes, if this example shall not be impertinent, that Luther meant not onely the refusall of benevolence, but a stubborn denial of any main conjugal duty; or if he did not, it will be evinc't from what he allowes. For out of question, with men that are not barbarous, love and peace, and fitnesse, will be yeelded as essential to mariage, as corporal benevolence. Though I give my body to be burnt, saith Saint Paul, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. So though the body prostitute itselfe to whom the mind affords no other love or peace, but constant malice and vexation, can this bodily benevolence deserv to be call'd a mariage between Christians and rationall creatures.
Melanchton, the third great luminary of reformation in his book concerning marriage, grants divorce for cruell usage, and danger of life, urging the authority of that Theodosian law, which he esteemes written with the grave deliberation of godly men; and that they who reject this law, and thinke it disagreeing from the Gospel, understand not the difference of law and Gospel; that the Magistrat ought not only to defend life, but to succour the weake conscience, lest broke with greif and indignation it reliquish praier, and turn to som unlawful thing What if this heavy plight of despaire arise from other discontents in wedloc which may goe to the soule of a good man more then the danger of his life, or cruel using, which a man cannot bee liable to, suppose it be ingratefull usage, suppose it be perpetuall spight and disobedience, suppose a hatred, shall not the Magistrat free him from this disquiet which interrupts his prayers, and disturbs the cours of his service to God and his Country all as much, and brings him such a mise-