sensles peece of injustice this would be, to make a civil statute of, in penal courts: whereby the adultresse put away may marry another safely, and without a crime to him that marries her: but the innocent and wrongfully divorc'd shall not marry again without the guilt of adultery both to her selfe and to her second husband. This saying of Christ therefore cannot be made a temporal law, were it but for this reason. Nor is it easie to say what coherence there is at all in it from the letter, to any perfet sense not obnoxious to som absurdity, and seems much lesse agreeable to whatever els of the Gospel is left us written; doubtles by our Saviour spok'n in that fiercenes and abstruse intricacy, first to amuse his tempters, and admonish in general the abusers of that Mosaic law; next to let Herod know a second knower of his unlawfull act, though the Baptist were beheaded; last that his Disciples and all good men might learne to expound him in this place, as in all other his precepts, not by the written letter, but by that unerring paraphrase of Christian Love and Charity, which is the summe of all commands, and the perfection.
Vers. 10. His Disciples say unto him, if the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
This verse I adde, to leave no objection behind unanswer'd: for some may thinke, if this our Saviours sentence be so faire, as not commanding ought that patience or nature cannot brook, why then did the Disciples murmur and say, it is not good to marry. I answer that the Disciples had bin longer bred up under the Pharisæan doctrin, then under that of Christ, and so no marvel though they yet retain'd the infection of loving old licentious customs; no marvel though they thought it hard they might not for any offence that throughly anger'd them, divorce a wife, as well as put away a servant; since it was but giving her a bill, as they were taught. Secondly, it was no unwonted thing with them not to understand our Saviour in matters farre easier. So that bee it granted their conceit of this text was the same which is now commonly conceiv'd, according to the usuall rate of their capacity then, it will not hurt a better interpretation. But why did not Christ seeing their error informe them? for good cause; it was his profest method not to teach them all things at all times, but each thing in due place and season. Christ said, Luke 22. that hee who had not sword should sell his garment and buy one: the Disciples tooke it in a manifest wrong sense, yet our Saviour did not there informe them better. He told