that might happ'n. So both Josephus and Philo, men who liv'd in the same age, explain; and the Syriac translater, whose antiquity is thought parallel to the Evangelists themselves, reads it conformably upon any occasion or pretence. Divines also generally agree that thus the Pharises meant. Cameron a late writer much applauded, commenting this place not undiligently, affirmes that the Greeke preposition κατα translated unusually (For) hath a force in it implying the suddennesse of those Pharisaic divorces; and that their question was to this effect, whether for any cause whatever it chanc'd to be, straight as it rose, the divorce might be lawfull. This he freely gives what ever mov'd him, and I as freely take, nor can deny his observation to be acute & learned. If therfore we insist upon the word of putting away, that it imports a constraint without consent, as might be insisted, and may enjoy what Cameron bestowes on us, that for every cause is to be understood, according as any cause may happen, with a relation to the speedinesse of those divorces and that Herodian act especially, as is already brought us, the sentence of our Saviour wil appeare nothing so strict a prohibition as hath beene long conceiv'd, forbidding only to divorce for casuall & temporary causes, that may be soon ended, or soone remedied; & likewise forbidding to divorce rashly, & on the sudden heate, except it be for adultery. If these qualifications may be admitted, as partly we offer them, partly are offer'd them by some of their own opinion, and that where nothing is repugnant why they should not bee admitted, nothing can wrest them from us, the severe sentence of our Saviour will straight unbend the seeming frowne into that gentlenesse and compassion which was so abundant in all his actions, his office and his doctrine, from all which otherwise it stands off at no meane distance.
Vers. 4. And he answered and said unto them, have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning, made them Male and Female? Vers. 5. And said, for this cause shall a man leave Father and Mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twaine shall be one flesh? Vers. 6. Wherefore they are no more twaine but one flesh, What therefore God hath joyned together, let no man put asunder.
[4. and 5. Made them Male and Female, And said, for this cause, &c.] We see it here undeniably, that the law which our Saviour cites to prove that divorce was forbidd'n, is not an absolute and tyrannicall command without reason, as now adaies wee make it little better, but is grounded