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an occasion taken of evil without the church, therefore we shall set up within the church a lottery of such prizes as are the direct inviting causes of avarice and ambition, both unnecessary and harmful to be proposed, and most easy, most convenient, and needful to be removed. Yea, but they are in a wise dispenser's hand.” Let them be in whose hand they will, they are most apt to blind, to puff up, and pervert the most seeming good. And how they have been kept from vultures, whatever the dispenser's care hath been, we have learned by our miseries.
But this which comes next in view, I know not what good vein or humour took him when he let drop into his paper; I that was erewhile the ignorant, the loiterer, or the sudden by his permission am now granted “to know something." And that “such a volley of expressions” he hath met withal, “ as he would never desire to have them better clothed.” For me, readers, although I cannot say that I am utterly untrained in those rules which best rhetoricians have given, or unacquainted with those examples which the prime authors of eloquence have written in any learned tongue ; yet true eloquence I find to be none, but the serious and hearty love of truth : and that whose mind soever is fully possessed with a fervent desire to know good things, and with the dearest charity to infuse the knowledge of them into others, when such a man would speak, his words, (by what I can express,) like so many nimble and airy servitors, trip about him at command, and in well-ordered files, as he would wish, fall aptly into their own places.
to the remainder of our discourse. Christ refused great riches and large honours at the devil's hand. But why? saith he," as they were tendered by him from whom it was a sin to receive them.” Timely remembered : why is it not therefore as much a sin to receive a liturgy of the masses' giving, were it for nothing else but for the giver ? “ But he could make no use of such a high estate," quoth the confuter, opportunely. For why then should the servant take upon him to use those things which his master had unfitted himself to use, that he might teach his ministers to follow his steps in the same ministry? But “they were offered him to a bad end." So they prove to the prelates, who, after their preferment, most usually change the teaching, la
bour of the word, into the unteaching ease of lordship over consciences and purses. But he proceeds: “God enticed the Israelites with the promise of Canaan ;" did not the prelates bring as slavish minds with them, as the Jews brought out of Egypt, they had left out that instance. Besides that it was then the time, whenas the best of them, as St. Paul
was shut up unto the faith under the law, their schoolmaster," who was forced to entice them as children with childish enticements. But the gospel is our manhood, and the ministry should be the manhood of the gospel, not to look after, much less so basely to plead for earthly rewards.
But God incited the wisest man, Solomon, with these means.” Ah, confuter of thyself, this example hath undone thee; Solomon asked an understanding heart, which the prelates have little care to ask. He asked no riches, which is their chief care ; therefore was the prayer of Solomon pleasing to God: he gave him wisdom at his request, and riches without asking, as now he gives the prelates riches at their seeking, and no wisdom, because of their perverse asking. But he gives not over yet. “Moses had an eye to
. the reward.” To what reward, thou man that lookest with Balaam's eyes ? To what reward had the faith of Moses an eye? He that had forsaken all the greatness of Egypt, and chose a troublesome journey in his old age through the wilderness, and yet arrived not at his journey's end. His faithfül eyes were fixed upon that incorruptible reward, promised
, to Abraham and his seed in the Messiah; he sought a heavenly reward, which could make him happy, and never hurt him; and to such a reward every good may have a respect; but the prelates are eager of such rewards as cannot make them happy, but can only make theni worse. Jacob, a prince born, vowed that if God would " but give him bread to eat, and raiment to put on, then the Lord should be his God.” But the prelates of mean birth, and ofttimes of lowest, making shew as if they were called to the spiritual and humble ministry of the gospel, yet murmur, and think it a hard service, unless, contrary to the tenor of their profession, they may eat the bread and wear the honours of princes : so much more covetous and base they are than Simon Magus, for he proffered a reward to be admitted to that work, which they will not be meanly hired to.
But, saith he, “Are not the clergy members of Christ : why should not each member thrive alike?” Carnal textman! as if worldly thriving were one of the privileges we have by being in Christ, and were not a providence ofttimes extended more liberally to the infidel than to the Christian. Therefore must the ministers of Christ not be over rich or great in the world, because their calling is spiritual, not secular; because they have a special warfare, which is not to be entangled with many impediments; because their master, Christ, gave them this precept, and set them this example, told them this was the mystery of his coming, by mean things and persons to subdue mighty ones; and lastly, because a middle estate is most proper to the office of teaching, whereas higher dignity teaches far less, and blinds the teacher. Nay, saith the confuter, fetching his last endeavour, " the prelates will be very loath to let go their ba
, ronies, and votes in parliament," and calls it “God's cause,”
” with an insufferable impudence. “Not that they love the honours and the means," good men and generous !'" but that they would not have their country made guilty, of such a sacrilege and injustice !"
A worthy patriot for his own corrupt ends. That which he imputes as sacrilege to his country, is the only way left them to purge that abominable sacrilege out of the land, which none but the prelates are guilty of; who for the discharge of one single duty, receive and keep that which might be enough to satisfy the labours of many painful ministers better deserving than themselves; who possess huge benefices * for lazy performances, great promotions only for the execution of a cruel disgospelling jurisdiction; who engross many pluralities under a non-resident and slubbering dispatch of souls; who let hundreds of parishes famish in one diocess, while they, the prelates, are mute, and yet enjoy that wealth that would furnish all those dark places with able supply: and yet they eat, and yet they live at the rate of earls, and yet hoard up; they who chase away all the faithful shepherds of the flock, and
* The love of pluralities descended as an inheritance from the Roman catholic to the protestant church. Even in this matter, however, some reformation has been effected; for no clergyman, we believe, can now be reproached with equalling, in ambition and the love of lucre, Mansel, chaplain to Henry III., who is said to have held seven hundred ecclesiastical livings at once.—Hume, Hist. of England chap. xii.—ED.
bring in a dearth of spiritual food, robbing thereby the church of her dearest treasure, and sending herds of souls starveling to hell, while they feast and riot upon the labours of hireling curates, consuming and purloining even that which by their foundation is allowed, and left to the poor, and to reparations of the church. These are they who have bound the land with the sin of sacrilege, from which mortal engagement we shall never be free, till we have totally removed, with one labour, as one individual thing, prelacy and sacrilege. And herein will the king be a true defender of the faith, not by paring or lessening, but by distributing in due proportion the maintenance of the church, that all parts of the land may equally partake the plentiful and diligent preaching of the faith; the scandal of ceremonies thrown out that delude and circumvent the faith ; and the usurpation of prelates laid level, who are in words the fathers, but in their deeds the oppugners of the faith. This is that which will best confirm him in that glorious title.
Thus ye have heard, readers, how many shifts and wiles the prelates have invented to save their ill-got booty. And if it be true, as în scripture it is foretold, that pride and covetousness are the sure marks of those false prophets which are to come; then boldly conclude these to be as great seducers as any of the latter times. For between this and the judgmentday do not look for any arch deceivers, who in spite of refor. mation will use more craft, or less shame to defend their love of the world and their ambition, than these prelates have done. And if ye think that soundness of reason, or what force of argument soever, will bring them to an ingenuous silence, ye think that which will never be. But if ye take that course which Erasmus was wont to say Luther took against the pope and monks; if ye denounce war against their mitres and their bellies, ye shall soon discern that turban of pride, which they wear upon their heads, to be no helmet of salvation, but the mere metal and hornwork of papal jurisdiction; and that they have also this gift, like a certain kind of some that are possessed, to have their voice in their bellies, which being well drained and taken down, their great oracle, which is only there, will soon be dumb; and the divine right of episcopacy, forth with expiring, will put us no more to trouble with tedious antiquities and disputes.
RESTORED TO THE GOOD OF BOTH SEXES, FROM THE BONDAGE OF CANON LAW, AND OTHER
MISTAKES, TO THE TRUE MEANING OF SCRIPTURE IN THE LAW AND GOSPEL COMPARED.
WABBEIN ALSO ARE SET DOWN THE BAD CONSEQUENCES OF ABOLISHING, OR CONDEMNING
AS SIN, THAT WHICH THE LAW OF GOD ALLOWS, AND CHRIST ABOLISHED NOT.
NOW THE SECOND TIME REVISED AND MUCH AUGMENTED,
IN TWO BOOKS:
MATTH. xiii. 52. “Every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a house, which bringeth out of his treasury things new and old."
PROV. xviii. 13. “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."
EDITOR'S PRELIMINARY REMARKS This great work on Divorce, with the three parasitical treatises, " Tetrachor. don,”
,” 56 The Opinions of Martin Bucer,” and “Colasterion,” may be said nearly to exhaust all the philosophy and learning of the subject. Still it produced no sensible effect on the laws or manners of the country, the Roman catholic theory of marriage, namely, that it is a sacrament, having in reality prevailed ever since, though now at length repudiated by, perhaps a majority of those who are able to think for themselves. Well, however, might Milton inveigh against custom. That which has been long established is usually invested by us with a sacred character ; on which account we continue to submit to it, though conscious of the innumerable evils of which it may be the cause to us and others. In combating the received doctrines on divorce, he had to encounter more difficulties than at present beset us, since we generally content ourselves with investigating the reason of the matter, and trouble ourselves very little about authority. We have the advantage, however, of witnessing among our neighbours the working of a more natural theory of divorce, which, owing to the concurrence of a number of unfavourable circumstances, has not proved so satisfactory as mankind anticipated. In discussing the question therefore, we can expect to derive very little aid from experience, and must rely chiefly on reason and the nature of things, unless we will have recourse to that vast mass of evidence supplied by the history of marriage throughout Europe, with the incalculable evils which havearisen from its being considered indissoluble. The object of marriage must be admitted to be the happiness of those who enter into it, not their mere worldly prosperity, or the well ordering of their household and families, but, in a moral and intellectual sense, their own individual delight and tranquillity of mind; where this is not aimed at, marriage degenerates into a mere social connexion for econonsical purposes, and in which both husband and wife become subservient to the property they bring together, or may happen to amass. The man becomes the steward of the estate, the wife degenerates into a house keeper, and both plod on more or less comfortably together, according to the accidents of their temper, and the value they set on their worldly acquisitions. This, however, is not really marriage, but a partnership in business, of which the husband and wife constitute the firm, the former attending to the external relations of the