Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/35

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



consectary from thence. To the definition these words cheifly contribute; It is not good, &c. I will make, &c. Where the consectary begins this connexion, Therfore informs us, Therfore shall a Man, &c. Definition is decreed by Logicians to consist only of causes constituting the essence of a thing, What is not therfore among the causes constituting mariage, must not stay in the definition. Those causes are concluded to be matter, and, as the Artist calls it, Form. But inasmuch as the same thing may be a cause more waies then one, and that in relations and institutions which have no corporal subsistence, but only a respective beeing, the Form by which the thing is what it is, is oft so slender and undistinguishable, that it would soon confuse, were it not sustain'd by the efficient and final causes, which concurre to make up the form invalid otherwise of it self, it will bee needfull to take in all the fowr causes into the definition. First therfore the material cause of matrimony is man and woman; the Author and efficient, God and their consent; the internal Form and soul of this relation, is conjugal love arising from a mutual fitnes to the final causes of wedlock, help and society in Religious, Civil and Domestic conversation, which includes as an inferior end the fulfilling of natural desire, and specifical increase; these are the final causes both moving the efficient, and perfeting the form. And although copulation be consider'd among the ends of mariage, yet the act therof in a right esteem can no longer be matrimonial, then it is an effect of conjugal love. When love findes it self utterly unmatcht, and justly vanishes, nay rather cannot but vanish, the fleshly act indeed may continue, but not holy, not pure, not beseeming the sacred bond of mariage; beeing at best but an animal excretion, but more truly wors and more ignoble then that mute kindlyness among the heards and flocks: in that proceeding as it ought from intellective principles, it participates of nothing rational, but that which the feild and the fould equalls. For in human actions the soule is the agent, the body in a manner passive. If then the body doe out of sensitive force, what the soul complies not with, how can man, and not rather somthing beneath man, be thought the doer?

But to proceed in the pursute of an accurat definition, it will avail us somthing, and whet our thoughts, to examin what fabric heerof others have already reard. Paræus on Gen. defines Mariage to be an indissoluble conjunction of one man and one woman to an individual and inti-

D 2