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TETRACHORDON.

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and the reformed Churches at this day permitt, is heer forbid, as adultery. Be she never so wrongfully deserted, or put away, as the law then suffer'd, if thus forsak'n and expulst, she accept the refuge and protection of any honester man who would love her better, and give her self in mariage to him, by what the letter guides us, it shall be present adultery to them both. This is either harsh and cruel, or all the Churches teaching as they doe the contrary, are loos and remiss; besides that the Apostle himselfe stands deeply fin'd in a contradiction against our Saviour. What shall we make of this? what rather the common interpreter can make of it, for they be his own markets, let him now trie; let him trie which way he can wind in his Vertumnian distinctions and evasions, if his canonical gabardine of text and letter do not now sit too close about him, and pinch his activity; which if I erre not, hath heer hamper'd it selfe in a springe fitt for those who put their confidence in Alphabets. Spanheim a writer of Evangelic doubts comes now and confesses that our Saviours words are to be limited beyond the limitation there exprest and excepted beyond their own exception, as not speaking of what happn'd rarely, but what most commonly. Is it so rare Spanheim, to be deserted, or was it then so rare to put away injuriously, that a person so hatefully expell'd, should to the heaping of more injury be turn'd like an infectious thing out of all maried fruition upon pain of adultery, as not considerable to the brevity of this halfe sentence? Of what then speakes our Saviour? of that collusion, saith he, which was then most frequent among the Jews of changing wives and husbands, through inconstancy and unchast desires. Colluders your selves, as violent to this law of God by your unmercifull binding, as the Pharises by their unbounded loosning! Have thousands of Christian souls perisht as to this life, and God knows what hath betided their consciences, for want of this healing explanation, and is it now at last obscurely drawn forth, only to cure a scratch, and leave the main wound spouting? Who so ever putteth away his wife except for fornication committeth adultery; That shall be spoke of all ages, and all men, though never so justly otherwise mov'd to divorce: in the very next breath, And who so marieth her which is put away committeth adultery, the men are new and miraculous, they tell you now you are to limit it to that age, when it was in fashion to chop matrimonies; and must be meant of him who puts away with his wives consent through the lightnes, and leudnes of them both. But what rule of Logic, or indeed of reason is our commission to understand the Antecedent one way and the Consequent another; for in that habitude this whole vers may be

considered,