Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/27

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tinence to be last consider'd. This I amaze me at, that though all the superior and nobler ends both of mariage and of the maried persons be absolutely frustrat, the matrimony stirs not, looses no hold, remains as rooted as the center: but if the body bring but in a complaint of frigidity, by that cold application only, this adamantine Alpe of wedlock has leav to dissolve; which els all the machinations of religious or civill reason at the suit of a distressed mind, either for divine worship or humane conversation violated, cannot unfasten. What courts of concupiscence are these, wherin fleshly appetite is heard before right reason, lust before love or devotion? They may be pious Christians together, they may be loving and friendly, they may be helpfull to each other in the family, but they cannot couple; that shall divorce them though either party would not. They can neither serv God together, nor one be at peace with the other, nor be good in the family one to other, but live as they were dead, or live as they were deadly enemies in a cage together; tis all one, they can couple, they shall not divorce till death, no though this sentence be their death. What is this, besides tyranny, but to turn nature upside down, to make both religion, and the minde of man wait upon the slavish errands of the body, and not the body to follow either the sanctity, or the soveranty of the mind unspeakably wrong'd, and with all equity complaining? what is this but to abuse the sacred and misterious bed of mariage to be the compulsive stie of an ingratefull and malignant lust, stirr'd up only from a carnall acrimony, without either love or peace, or regard to any other thing holy or human. This I admire how possibly it should inhabit thus long in the sense of so many disputing Theologians, unlesse it be the lowest lees of a canonicall infection liver-grown to their sides; which perhaps will never uncling, without the strong abstersive of som heroick magistrat, whose mind equall to his high office dares lead him both to know and do without their frivolous case-putting. For certain he shall have God and this institution plainly on his side. And if it be true both in divinity and law, that consent alone, though copulation never follow, makes a mariage, how can they dissolv it for the want of that which made it not, and not dissolv it for that not continuing which made it, and should preserve it in love and reason, and difference it from a brute conjugality?

[Meet for him.] The originall heer is more expressive then other

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