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TETRACHORDON.

be as in the beginning, the persons that marry must be such as then were, the institution must make good, in som tolerable sort, what it promises toeeither party. If not, it is but madnes to drag this one ordinance back to the beginning, and draw down all other to the present necessity, and condition farre from the beginning, even to the tolerating of extortions and oppressions. Christ only told us that from the beginning it was not so; that is to say, not so as the Pharises manur'd the busines; did not command us that it should be forcibly so again in all points, as at the beginning; or so at least in our intentions and desires, but so in execution, as reason, and present nature can bear. Although we are not to seek, that the institution it selfe from the first beginning was never but conditional, as all cov'nants are: because thus and thus, therefore so and so; if not thus, then not so. Then moreover was perfetest to fulfil each law in it selfe; now is perfetest in this estate of things, to ask of charity how much law may be fulfill'd: els the fulfilling, oft times is the greatest breaking. If any therefore demand, which is now most perfection, to ease an extremity by divorce, or to enrage and fester it by the greevous observance of a miserable wedloc, I am not destitute to say which is most perfection (although som who beleev they thinke favourably of divorce, esteem it only venial to infirmity) Him I hold more in the way to perfection who forgoes an unfit, ungodly, & discordant wedloc, to live according to peace & love, and Gods institution in a fitter chois, then he who debarrs himself the happy experience of all godly, which is peaceful conversatiõ in his family, to live a contentious, and unchristian life not to be avoided, in temptations not to be liv'd in, only for the fals keeping of a most unreal nullity, a mariage that hath no affinity with Gods intention, a daring phantasm, a meer toy of terror awing weak senses, to the lamentable superstition of ruining themselves; the remedy wherof God in his law voutsafes us. Which not to dare use, he warranting, is not our perfection, is our infirmity, our little faith, our timorous and low conceit of charity: and in them who force us, it is their masking pride and vanity, to seem holier & more circumspect then God. So far is it that we need impute to him infirmity, who thus divorces: since the rule of perfection is not so much that which was don in the beginning, as that which now is nearest to the rule of charity. This is the greatest, the perfetest, the highest commandment.

V. 9. And I say unto you, who so shall put away his wife, except it be for Fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and who so marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adultery.

And