Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/20

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ing first in the transgression, that man should furder loose to her, because already he hath lost by her means. Oft it happens that in this matter he is without fault; so that his punishment herein is causeles: and God hath the praise in our speeches of him, to sort his punishment in the same kind with the offence. Suppose he err'd; it is not the intent of God or man, to hunt an error so to the death with a revenge beyond all measure and proportion. But if we argue thus, this affliction is befaln him for his sin, therefore he must bear it, without seeking the only remedy; first it will be false that all affliction comes for sin, as in the case of Job, and of the man born blind, Joh. 9.3. was evident: next by that reason, all miseries comming for sin, we must let them all lye upon us like the vermin of an Indian Catharist, which his fond religion forbids him to molest. Were it a particular punishment inflicted through the anger of God upon a person, or upon a land, no law hinders us in that regard, no law but bidds us remove it if we can: much more if it be a dangerous temptation withall; much more yet, if it be certainly a temptation, and not certainly a punishment, though a pain. As for what they say we must bear with patience, to bear with patience, and to seek effectuall remedies, implies no contradiction. It may no lesse be for our disobedience, our unfaithfulnes, and other sins against God, that wives becom adulterous to the bed; and questionles we ought to take the affliction as patiently as christian prudence would wish; yet hereby is not lost the right of divorcing for adultery. No you say, because our Saviour excepted that only. But why, if he were so bent to punish our sins, and try our patience in binding on us a disastrous Mariage, why did he except adultery? Certainly to have bin bound from divorce in that case also had bin as plentifull a punishment to our sins, and not too little work for the patientest. Nay, perhaps they will say it was too great a sufferance: And with as slight a reason, for no wise man but would sooner pardon the act of adultery once and again committed by a person worth pitty and forgivenes, then to lead a wearisom life of unloving & unquiet conversation with one who neither affects nor is affected, much lesse with one who exercises all bitternes, and would commit adultery too, but for envy lest the persecuted condition should thereby get the benefit of his freedom. 'Tis plain therefore, that God enjoyns not this supposed strictnes of not divorcing either to punish us, or to try our patience.

Moreover, if man be the image of God, which consists in holines, and woman ought in the same respect to be the image and companion of man, in such wise to be lov'd as the Church is belov'd of Christ, and if, as God