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receiver; yet it hath, as they hold, such a secret influence upon the soul, as that it leaves a perpetual bond behind it, never to be dissolved till death : so as those offenders, which, by just censure, are separated from the board and the bed, cannot yet be freed from the bond of marriage.
Upon this ground it is, that they bar the innocent party from the benefit of a second marriage, as supposing the obligation of the former still in force.
In the ordinary Bills of the Jewish Divorce, the repudiated wife had full scope given her of a second choice: as the words ran : “ She was to be free, and to have power over her own soul; to go away ; to be married to any man, whom she would #” They were not more liberal, than our Romish divorcers are niggardly. The Jewish divorce being upon unwarrantable cause, made their liberality so much inore sinful, as their divorce was more unjust : for the divorced woman was still, in right, the lawful wife of that unrighteous husband that dismissed her. The Romish doctrine makes their strait-handedness so much more injurious, as the cause of separation is more just.
Even this question also is expressly determined by our Saviour, in his answer to the Pharisees : Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and marrieth another, committeth adul tery; Matt. xix. 9. Lo then, he, that for so just a cause as fornication putteth away his wife and marrieth another, committeth not adultery. The exception manifestly implies sơ inuch, both in reason and common use.
Neither, indeed, are the words capable of any other probable sense.
That, which Bellarmin would fasten upon it, referring the exception to the former clause of dismission only, so as it might be lawful to divorce only for fornication, but not to marry after divorce; cannot stand without the supply of words of his own, which God never allowed him to intersert; and, besides, utterly destroys the sense, casting such doctrine upon our Saviour, as he would hate to own: for, except that restraint be referred to the marrying again, the sense would run thus,“ Whosoever puts away his wife commits adultery,” which stands not with truth or reason; since it is not the dismission that is adulterous, but the marriage of another. It is, therefore, the plain drift of our Saviour, to teach the Pharisee, that the marriage of a second wife (after dismission of a former, upon any other cause, except for fornication) is no less than adultery ; thereby enforcing, that, upon a just dismission for fornication, a second marriage cannot be branded with adultery.
Neither will it serve his turn, which he would borrow from St. Augustin, that, upon this negative of our Saviour's, we may not look to build an affirmative of our own : for, though it be granted, that he, who, putting away his wife not for fornication, marrietla another, sinneth ; yet, it follows not, that he, who, having dismissed his wife for fornication, marrieth another, sinneth not at all. A sin it may be, though not an adultery: for, surely, if it be a sin, it must be against a commandment; and if against any commandment, it must be against the seventh; and what is the seventh commandment, but Thou shalt not coinmit adultery ? Besides, the Pharisees' question, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause ? was not without a plain implication of liberty to marry another: which our Saviour well knowing, gives a full answer, as well to what he meant, as what he said ; which had not been perfectly satisfactory, if he had only determined that one part concerning dismission, and not the other concerning marriage : which clause, if two other Evangelists express not, yet it must be fetched necessarily from the third ; since it is a sure and irrefragable rule, “That all four Evangelists make up one perfect Gospel.” It is, therefore, a very tottering and unsure ground, which our Rhemists build upon; as if the Apostle meant to cross his Lord and Master, when he saith, The woman, which hath a husband, is bound by the Law to her husband, so long as he liveth ; Rom. vii. 2: therefore, only death can dissolve the bond of marriage; not divorce; not adultery; not divorce, for adultery. For, how plainly do the words carry their answer in themselves! The woman, saith the Apostle, that hath a husband * : but the woman, legally divorced for fornication, hath no husband. St. Paul speaks of a true wife; not a divorced harlot. He had no occasion here, to look aside at matter of divorce; but takes marriage as in its entire right; rather desiring to urge, for clearing the case of our obligation to the law, that the husband being once dead the wife is free to marry again, than to intimate the case of her incapacity to marry till he be dead.
* Maimon. Treat. of Divorce.
As for that bond therefore, which is so much stood upon; if it be taken without all relations to the duties of bed and board, it is merely chimerical, nothing but fantasy. There are, or should be bonds of affection, bonds of mutual respects and reciprocal duties betwixt man and wife; and these must hold firm, notwithstanding any local separation: neither time nor place may so much as slacken, much less loose them: but, where a just divorce intervenes, these bonds are chopped in pieces; and no more are, than if they had never been. And, if all relations cease in death, as they do in whatsoever kind, surely divorce, being, as it is, no other than a legal death, doth utterly cut off, as the Hebrew term imports, all former obligations and respects betwixt the parties so finally se
The adulterous wife, therefore, duly divorced, being thus dead in law as to her husband, the husband stands now as free as if he had never married: so as I know not why the Apostle should not as well speak to him, as to any other, when he saith, Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife ; 1 Cor. vii. 2.
Neither is it otherwise, in the case of a chaste wife, after her se
* So also 1 Cor. vii. 39.
paration from an adulterous husband; Mark x. 12. In these rights, God makes no difference of sexes : both may lawfully claim the same immunities.
Which, certainly, should they be denied to either, must needs draw on very great inconveniences : for, in how hard a condition should the innocent party be, hereupon, left! Either the husband or wife must be forced to live with an adulterous consort : or be tied to a perpetual vecessity of either doing that, which perhaps they cannot do, containing; or of suffering that, which they ought not to endure, burning.
What remedy now can be expected of so great a mischief? Our Romish Doctors propose two: Reconciliation, or Continence : both good, where they may be had.
Reconciliation, in case of a seasonable and submiss repentance : that, which is the Apostle's charge in case of desertion, holds here also; nalanlarýtw, let her be reconciled: the more heinous the wrong is, the more commendable is the remission.
Continence, after such separation, in case of ability so granted : for, surely, this holy disposition is a gift; and therefore is not had, where it is not bestowed: those, that place it in our power, derogate from the thanks of the Giver: yea, he, that gives it, tells us all cannot receive it; Matt. xix. 11. he must not only give it, but give us power to take it.
But, where the offending party is obstinately vicious; and the innocent, after all endeavours, unable to contain, without a supply of marriage; the case is remediless : and we know God's mercy such, as that he leaves no man, for matter of resolution, utterly perplexed.
Shortly, then, I doubt not, but I may, notwithstanding great authorities to the contrary, safely resolve, that, in the case of divorce, it is lawful for the innocent person to marry. But, for that I find the Church of England hitherto somewhat tender in the point *; and this practice, where it rarely falls, generally held, though not sinful, yet of ill report, and obnoxious to various censures. I should, therefore, earnestly advise and exhort those, whom it may concern, carefully and effectually to apply themselves to the fore-mentioned remedies: reconciliation, if it be possible, to prevent a divorce ; holy endeavours of a continued continence, if it may be obtained, to prevent a second marriage, after divorce. But, if these prevail not, I dare not lay a load upon any man's conscience, which God hath not burdened: I dare not ensnare those, whom God will have free.
Decreeing to take bonds of the persons divorced to remain single. Can. et Constit. c. 107.
Il’hether the authority of a father may reach so far, as to command
or compel the child, to dispose of himself in marriage where he
shall appoint. The extent of a paternal power, as we have partly shewed already, bath been wont to be very large; reaching, in some cases, by the Civil Law, to the life of the child; and, by the Jewish Law, to bis liberty : so as it might seem much more overruling in case of marriage; which also seems to be intimated by the Apostle, in that he supposes and gives a power to the parent, either to give or keep his virgin.
And, how apt parents are to make use of this awful authority, in matching their children for their own worldly advantage, contrary to their affections and disposition, we have too lamentable experience every day.
Neither is it easy to set forth the mischievous effects, that have followed upon those compelled marriages: for hence ensue perpetual discontentments to the parties so forcedly conjoined ; an utter frustration of the end of marriage, which should be mutual comfort; and, not seldom, dangerous machinations against the life of the disaffected consort: as it were too easy to instance, every where. But especially if the affections of the young couple hare been before, as it oft falls out, placed elsewhere, what secret heartburnings, what loathing of conjugal society, what adulterous plottings, do straight follow! what unkind defiances pass between them! how do they wear out their days, in a melancholic pining; and wish each other and themselves dead too soon!
Yea, herein, an imperious or covetous parent may be most injurious to himself; in robbing himself of that comfort, which he might receive from a dutiful child, in her person, in her posterity.
For the avoiding of which mischiefs, it were meet and happy, that both parent and child could both know their limits, which God, and nature, hath set; and keep them.
Let the Child, then, know, that he is his parents': that, as he was once a part of them, in respect of his natural being; so he should be still, in his affections and obsequiousness: and, therefore, that he ought to labour, by all means, to bring bis heart unto a conformity to his parent's will and desire; according to that universal rule of the Apostle, Children, obey your parents in all things; for this is well pleasing unto the Lord; Col. iii. 20. The word is coniprebensive: in all things. Things unlawful pass for impossible: we only can do what we ought. In all those things then, which are honest, lawful, just, parents must be obeyed: and the motions for marriage being such, impose upon the child so far a duty of obedience, as that he is bound to work his affections, what he may, to
a compliance with his parent's will: the wilful neglect whereof is no better, than a kind of domestic rebellion.
Let the Parent again consider, that the child, however derived from his loins, is now an entire person in himself: that, though the body came from him, yet the soul was from above: that the soul of his child is endowed with powers and faculties of its own: that, as he is not animated by his parent's spirits; so he is not inwardly swayed by his parents will or affections : that when his reason comes to be improved, there may be differences of judgment betwixt his parent and him; and from thence may arise a diversity or contrariety of affections and desires; and these affections and passions may grow to such strength, as that he himself shall not be able to master them; and, if the parent feel himself subject to such infirmities, well may he be induced to pity those, whom a vigorous heat of youth hath rendered more headstrong and unruly : withal, let him consider, that, though the child should be advised by the parent, yet it is fit that he should like for himself; that the will is to be led, not driven; that no marriage can be happy, but that, which is grounded in love; that love is so altogether voluntary, that it cannot consist with constraint : lastly, let him know, that the power of the father, though great, yet is not unlimited. It is the charge, which the Father of Mercies hath laid upon all earthly fathers, in their carriage towards their children ; Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, or, as the Vulgate reads * it, to indignation, lest they be discouraged. And, surely, if there be any thing, wherein the passion of the child may be like to be inordinately stirred, it is in the crossing of an once-well-settled affection, and diverting the stream of love into another channel: for the avoiding whereof, the Imperial Laws have been so indulgent to the child, as that, according to their best glosses, they permit not the father to disinherit the daughter, for chusing a husband not unworthy of herself, though against her father's mind; yea, some of them have step further : but I forbear. How far it may be lawful and fit for the parent to punish the disrespect of a child, in so important a case, is not for me to determine : doubtless, where the provision is arbitrary, the parent will be apt so to manage it, as to make the child sensible of a disobedience; so as both parts herein suffer, and are put into a way of late repentance.
Briefly, therefore, on the one side, the son or daughter do justly offend, if, without cause or wilfully, they refuse the parent's choice : and are in duty bound to work their hearts to an obedient subjection to those, unto whom they owe themselves. And, for this cause, must be wary in suffering their affections to overrun their own reason and their parent's guidance : either suppressing the first motions of unruly passions ; or, if they grow impetuous, venting them betimes into the tender ears of their indulgent parents, or discreet and faithful friends ; that so they may seasonably prevent their own misery, and their parent's grief.
* Mn tapogayisée. Eph. vi. 4. My šeditele. Col. iii. 21.