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I have discoursed with several worthy Greeks, (especially fome not Poison’d T. p. 219: by the Latin Emissaries, ) who have thus offer’d to Justify their Practice of Di
There are, say they, acknowledged by all good Christians, three ends of Matrimony. First, Procreation of Children. Secondly, to avoid incontinency. Thirdly, mutual Comfort and Society. As to the first, Impotency for three Years in a Man, actual bur incurable Incapacity in a Woman, are allow'd by both Latins and Greeks, nay even by God himself, as a jut Caule of Se- De frig. & paration, because that end of Matrimony is thereby frustrated. Why may not Malef. c. 5.c. Sterility or Barrenness be as well allow'd as a sufficient Cause; especially if both Gen. 1. 2 Parries out of a desire of Children part, Bopâ Gratiâ, by free Will and ConJent? It is evident enough that a Man or Woman, who can have no Children between them, may both have. Children, if they respectively change for others. Besides a Man who gets Children enough by other unlawful Women, but can get none by his Wife, Ihews plainly that the end of his Marriage fail not on his side ; If a vast Estate, or perhaps the welfare of a whole Kingdom depends T. p. 120. upon bis having an Heir, hath he not agáfaoi eurovov, as laitdable and as reaJonable a Cause to put away his Wife and take another, as she would have had against him if he had been proved Impotent? The case of our King Charles the second hath often fallen into theie discourses.
As to the second end of Matrimony; A good Man Marries rather then burn; but his Wife falls ill of a loathsome incurable Disease, fo as he cannot endure her Bed; He burn'd before he had tasted the Pleasure of Fruition, but now he knows what it is be burns more furiously; what must he do? I anfwerd in St. Paul's words, my Grace is sufficient for thee. They reply'd, 2 Cor. 12. 9. that it was no less then a Miracle in St. Paul, and if it were not a great Prefumption in every ordinary Man in this Case to expect the same, it would certainly be one in the Governors of the Church to expose every poor Creature, without distinction in fuch circumstances, inseparably to such violent Temptations as must needs often assault them. The Greeks therefore think it perfect Charity to separate them; and they accuse the Latins as Guilty of unreasonable and intolerable Cruelty, for not only forbidding their separation, and enjoist
De conjug. ing them perpetual Continency, but (what seems to them most extravagant) lepros. c. 1. for obliging the found party to pay due Benevolence to the Infirm one, if it c. 2. be required. The Reverend Fathers of three whole Provinces in the Council of Vaurium surely had another Opinion of this Matter, when they decreed Labb. T. 14;
C. 21. p. 1989. that Lepers should be altogether excluded from found Peoples company, and therefore they were permitted neither to come to Church, nor to Mer. cate, nor Shambles, nor Publick Houfes, (nay they were not suffer'd to be buried with other clear Corps ) and their reason was this, quia morbus ipfe contagiosus existit, because that Disease was Infections and creeps upon found Bodies by touch alone, Now to oblige a found Man or Woman to pay the Marriage Debt to one thus Infected, seems to the Greeks as unreasonable as to force a sound Person to accompany with one that hath the Plague. It is as great Tyranny and Barbarity as that of Mezentius who tied the Living to Æn. 8. 486. the dead, fitting Hands to Hands and Months to Mouths.
As to the third end of Marriage, which is mutual Society, What comfort can there be with a rotten Carcase ? What delight between a harmless Lamb and a furious Tyger? What concord berween a Saint and a Fiend? Between Christ and Belial? What fafety with one perfe&tly Mad or poffest with a Devil? Again, what can be said when the fault or Cause lies on both sides, as when cxtravagant and ungovernable Passions constantly rage in both the Man and the Woman, and the bitterness of their mutual difcord and spite is wroughc up to that height of Hatred and Malice, as to Curse one another and every moment with one anothers Death? The Greeks think it the highest piece of Christian Charity, as well as Christian Prudence, to separate Parlons clogged T. p. 221 with these moft lamentable circumstances especially the latter; rather then
Gen. 2. 18.
T. p. 221. still to chain them together under these daily Tempests and Storms of Hell ic
Baronius seems to them too blindly and too violently atract to the SacramenAnno 566. tal Popish party, when he so unreasonably inveighs against the Emperor Justin $. 11. doc. for restoring the antient Laws of Divorces, and parting by mutual Consent,
which Justinian (as abovesaid) a little before had abrogated. For the weighty Reasons there ser down, for which this was done sufficiently fpeak for themselves to all the World. First he exprest as great a Veneration for Marriages as is possible, and folemnly wished that they might always be fortunate, and thereby seem (as we lay) truly made in Heaven; But since in such a Multitude of People, it is impossible that here and there fome, axóyos Juoleereias, unreasonable Enmities and Quarrels should arise, he thought fitting to contrive fome Remedy for this; especially where, coi tãs quixeconfus xías, the frailties of Mind in the Man and Woman rose to that height as their mutual Hatred could by no means be extinguished or afwaged; The old Laws allow'd a parting, Bonâ Gratiâ, by mutual Confent, but bis Father Justinian, (who, he said, for Piety and Wisdom surpassed all the preceding Emperors) thought fit by a Law to forbid this parting by Consent; and Justin also had a great desire that it should have to remained in full force and vigour. But very many apply'd themselves to him who hated and loathed their Marriage, and (what was most lamentable and very sad and grievous) complain’d of the Quarrels and Fightings which from hence happen'd at home ; and desired to be parted, though none of the Causes (above named) allow'd by the Law were pretended. He maturely consider'd of this matter some time; sometimes admonishing them, sometimes with threats urging them, that they would leave off the unreasonable Hatred which was between them, and come to an agreement and better temper of Mind. But it was all to 110 purpose; for it is a wonderful hard thing to reconcile them who are once seized with unaccountable Passion and Hatred. For it happen'd that some of them fell to Wicked Designs against one another, and used Poison and other deadly Practices. In so much that often their very Children, which were their joint Offspring, could not bring them to one and the same Mind. Upon these considerations be abolished the late Axt
of Justinian, and restored the antient Practice of parting by Confent; Ref. de reg. jur. viving this rule of the Law. If mutual Disposition, or Consept, of Mind
makes Marriages; in like manner a contrary Disposition of Mind may by Consent disolve them; provided it be declared by (the Prelates) Letters of
Divorce. These were Zustin's reasons for his Law, and it hath been Observed Ludol.Coment, and Practised amongst the Greeks and other Eastern Churches ever since to this in Hift. Æth.
The Latins still peremptorily insist upon the words of Christ, Man and Wife, 1. 3. c. 26. say they, must not part, except in the only case of Fornication. To which Mat.'s. 32.c. the Greeks think that many things of very great Moment may be said. First,
it is plain that Christ did not absolutely forbid Divorce, but allow'd it, ev dówo Trogveias, in the case of Fornication, as we render the Greek word, stogreia, in English. The Law for Divorce amongst the Jews was this, If a Man found fome Matter of Uncleanness in his Wife he might put her away. There is no great doubt to be made but that the Jews in Christ's time had corrupted this Law by their false Glosses, as much as they had then done all the others mention'd by our Saviour in his Sermon on the Mount. What we translate matter
of Uncleanness is in the Hebrew 117 niny Nakedness of a thing or matter. Gen. 9.22, 23. And because, gry. Nakedness is often taken for the secret or privy Parts of Lev. 18. Sap. Man and Woman; and because these are counted, in the Apostles Language, tá
ännua xj ta' ágehuova dishonourable and uncomly or shamefull things, the Hebrew Phrase, Nakedness of a Thing, there signify Uncleanness or Filthiness; and it is rendred by the LXX, ägenucor negãyua a filthy Thing or shamefull Matter; and seem there most properly to be meant of moral Turpitude, evil
1. 3. c. 672. Seld. ux. hebr.
Deut. 24. 1.
Mat. 19. 3.
Manners, vitious Inclinations, and Practices, But in the foregoing Chap- T. p. 123, ter, the very fame Hebrew words are plainly used to express Bodily unclean. ness, and filthiness and nastiness; in the Jewish Camp they were to keep themselves from every ill thing: As, by reason of uncleanness that chanced Deut. 23.9,10, to any of them in the night, they were to go out and not return till the 11, 12, 13 next night, first washing themselves. They were to go out of the Camp to ease themselves, and then to dig a hole to cover their Excrements; Both these things were to be done for this reason that the Camp might be Holy and that God should not see, 737 niy, the Nakedness of any thing, or as the LXX agenuosúviw agávrat@ the filthiness of any thing, among them.
them. Here the Phrase is plainly applied to bodily Vncleanness, or any Nastiness or Filthiness. Now the Jews might in time from hence have made not only Immorality, (according to the primitive Sense) but any Mamefull thing, or Indecency, or common Infirmity, (as frequent' making of Water, or Looiness in Sleep, or Vomiting through Intemperance, and the like) a sufficient cause of Ifa. 18.8.9XX Divorce; nay, it upon any account whatsoever at last, the Woman did not orig. in Mat
. find Grace or favour in her Husband's Eyes, he put her away; and this part 2.p.67. 2 gave the occasion of the question made to our Saviour, whether Divorce might be made xeta' Trãrar diríay for every cause? Christ leveld his answer most particularly against this Phrase, as if he had said, you must not upon every Cause Divorce your Wives, that is, upon every pettish humour or dislike, or trifling pretence, as your manner now is yet there remains ftill (even under the Gospel) one substantial Cause or Reason for it, and that is, tóy Fogvélass fome Matter or kind of Fornication ; intimating, that to have been the Primitive and only lotention of Moses his Law, before they had corrupted it out of their illnature and hardness of Heart, and before thaí Corruption was grown T. p. 223. into common Practice, and so was suffer'd and permited.
If this Gospel of St. Matthew was first written in Hebrew, as the common Tradition is, whatever the word was there, which is now rendred in Greek, Togveía, neither that nor this could here signify Adultery properly so called; for that was punished not by Divorce, but by Death, and there was no bill Lev. 20. rò of Divorce given in that Cafe. Now the Greek word progreid, if taken in its full Latitude doth signify, not only simple or plain Fornication, but all filthy fleshly Lufts, and lewd Unclean, obscene Practices; as St. Augustin expressly expounds it, and he faith positively, that for the Practising illicitas concupi-Dulcem.do scentias, such unlawfull Lufts, as well as for ftuprum, plain Whoredom, Man and Wife, fine crimine, without any blame may Divorce one the other, because our Lord hath made Fornication a juft Exception; and it is so explain'd by St. Paul, the will of God is, that you should abstain from For. nication, that every one should possess his Velel in Sanétification and Ho-4, 5. nour; pot év zrábel ért igyuías, in the Luft (the Passion ) of Concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. And the same Apostle elsewhere Rom. 1. 26, explains this Passion, or loathsome Discase, of Concupifcence, by, táin & 7-27. mías, those Mameful Affections, and abominable Lusts, unto which God had given the Gentiles up. The Woman did change the natural use into that which is against Nature. And likewise also the Men leaving the natural use of the Woman, burned in their Lust one toward another; Men with. Men working that which is unseemly, or very shamefull. And thus we find the word Trogrec, extended far beyond simple Fornication, in so much as to take in the unlawfull Marriage, or filthy Fact of the Corinthian, Jeho had, Coresi i taken his Father's Wife, and so Idolatry is again and again called Fornicati-Lev. 13. 8. on; they Sacrificed, faith David, their Children to Devils, and thus they pl.106.37.39 were defiled with their own works, 19119, xý érógverody, and committed For. nication with (or by ) their own inventions; and we meet it many times elsewhere in the same Sense. These old Heathenish words, xivanfol, aige gotovo, ággevoxóttaya: Tráides
, zógross Ezek. 16. 26. μύσερις, ανασεισίφαλο, λεσβιες, τριβές, μυσάχνη, άλιστα, άχυτήριον, εκβόλιον, φίλ- 29.
1 Thes. 4. 3;
2 Chron. 21. 11.
Cor. 6. 16.
11. 12. 27:
Apoc. 17. 2.
In Math part
T. p. 223. Tgov, I say these and a great many more such old words are lost amongst the
present Greeks, but the lewd Practices unto which they relate, (as I am very well informed) remain still too rife amongst them; and ó a Todévortes and á & Todéveoou are equally with all these forbidden, and severely censur’d in their present Nomocanon, and in their Directions to their Confessors. Now πορνεία For .
nication is used (though it is far too mild a name) for all these abominable Eph. 5. 12. and execrable works of Darkness, which are done of them in Secrer,
and it is even shame ever to speak of them. If Idolatry be spiritual Fornication, what must these accurled Actions be which were first learn'd and bor. row'd from the Idolatrous Heathen? And if a Man join'd to a Harlot be one Flesh, any innocent Person forced to be join'd to any of these enormous Sinpers, must be made so too.
But not only these monstrous and unnatural Sinners, but 1745, Rekhekecah, ó paxgúvortes éaBto's
, every one that by wilful Sins withdraws or keeps himself Pf. 13. 27. far from God, is called, 71, Zone, Trogvévov, by David, a Fornicator from T. p. 224. God. And instances of such spiritual Fornicators are there made in the
foregoing part of the Psalm; As the Wicked in general; me proud and Violent; The Corrupt and those that loftily talk of Oppression; The Pro. phane who set their Mouth against Heaven; Saying, how doth God know; Is there any knowledge in the most High; These are the ungodly; How are they brought into Destruction? They that thus Fornicate, and are thus far from God shall Perish. And in this large Sense is trogiese taken in the Re
velations, not only for the Idolatry, but for all the Impieties, and Abomic. 18. 3,4,5. nations, of the Mystical Babylon.
Now the Greeks urge that Question of Origen, what must be done with a 2. p. 76. B. Woman, who though she commits not Fornication, yet doth something more
Heinous; as if she be a Sorceress, or destroys her Children or her Conception ; Lavish out her Husbands goods; Steal from him? Or (you may add) if the Practiseth any of the above hinted horrid Lusts, and unnarural Deeds; or does any of those things expreslly forbidden by Justin as his Nomocaron? If The be for these crimes Divorced, how can it stand with Christ's words, who allows only Fornication as a Cause? There is something, faith he, which seems Inhonestum, dishonest on either side, I know not whether it be truly dishonest; For to endure such Sins of a IVoman, which are worfe then Adulteries and Fornications, will seem to be unreasonable, and yet to act contrary to the will of Christ, every one counts impious.
But since all these foul Sins are plainly declared either Corporal or Spiritual Fornications, the pious Prelate, who (now a days amongst the Greeks) is the only Judge of complaints in these Cases, diligenter requirens, after diligent enquiry pronounce Sentence in the Matter. If the Crime be so Enormous, or the Accusation so directly opposite to any of the three Ends of Matrimony, as he thinks in his fincere Conscience that it is better that the unfortunate Couple fhould be separated, then that they should be daily and hourly exposed to most violent and dangerous Temptations, and perpetually chain’d together under such a burden as meer Flesh and Blood is not able to bear, the Greek and Eastern Churches conclude Divorces made under these circumstances to be plainly al
low'd by the words of Christ; and in Origen's words justam excusationem habent Bufenb. Med. apud Deum, are excusable in the sight of God. And the Latip Casuists comTheolog.l. 6. c. prehend under the name of culpabile Adulterium, sinful Adultery, omnes species 2. dub. 3-resp. Luxuriæ in qua caro cum carne dividitur, all forts of uncleanness, Besiiality, 2. §. 1.
Sodomy and corruption between two of the Same Sex, &c. If therefore it be Lawfull before God to part in case of single Fornication, how can it be unlawful in case of those other unnatural and abominable crimes, (elpecially when they are multiply'd or complicated) which are far more heinous and more into. lerable.
Next the Greeks think that there is very great weight in that Phrase, Mato 5. 32. Tragextos dóye sogreías, saving for the Cause, or rather upon consideration, of
of Fornication ; for many cases may happen where Divorce seems necessary for T. p. 224. preventing it. They take occasion from fome biats which Origen hath gives Us supra. them thus to argue. When either Party being Young and Healthful canoot enjoy by reason of Impotency, or fome loathsome and incurable Disease or the T. •p 225. like; it seems absolutely necessary that the sound Person Mould be separated rather then burn; if for a Man only to look and lust after a Woman (or a Woman after a Man) be Adultery; how often, without almost a Miracle, must Mat. 5. che found Person commit Adultery or Fornication, at least in their Heart? If a Man in time cares fo little for his Wife, as to suffer her to do what she will, and to Gofop abroad, and to keep company with other Men; had be not better put her away, then that she should continually nourish such vici. ous and lewd thoughts in her Heart as must needs arise there? If either Perfon be, Tây ővwv ácenyéstecs, fired with excessive Luft, and one is not able or willing (perhaps out of Sanctity or Chastity) to gratify the others desires; there is the same reason for their parting, rather then that the unsatisfied Perfon should fall into unoatural gratifications of their Lust, or commit real or mental Adultery or Fornication ; for eveu this continual mental uncleanness seems to the Greeks a more reprehensible Evil, then what can happen, if they part, and chuse others more agreeable to their Natures ; aod they think it better to hazard onė disputable point (as they at most count all fuch Divorces so,) then for any one to live in continual burnings, or in repetition of any known Sin. Or (as it is said to have been Fabiola's case in St. Hierom) to venture Ep. 30. T. 1. one Night wound to avoid many more from the Devil.
Origen plainly tells us that this was Practised in his time; scio enim quof. ut supra.p.75. dam, I know fome Bishops, faith he, who contrary to the letter of the Scripture have permitted a Woman to Marry another Man, her first Husband being fill alive ; yet they have not permitted this altogether without a Cause; for perhaps for the Infirmities of Incontinent Men, they have permitted what was bad in comparison of what was worse, contrary to what bad been written from the beginning. And he instances a little before in several such things permitted in Scripture to prevent what is worfe; non fecundum veram Justitiam, fed fecundum duritiam cordis hominum ; not according to strict Justice, but in condescension to the Infirmities of Men and the hardness of their Hearts. It is good for a Man not to touch a Woman, but to avoid Fornication let every Man and Woman Marry. It is good for Widdows, and Maidens, and Batchelors so to abide, but if they cannot contain let them Marry; for it is better to Marry then burn. Now containing and
verf. 8. 9. burning are of the very fame nature in a Single or a Married State; though they both appear much stronger in this latter, for what hath been said before. Therefore in the many Cafes beforemention'd, and many others which may p. 220. §. 1. be brought concerning those who are Married, the same words in all parity of Realon may be said, If they cannot contain, let them part and Marry again to others.
Wher two defire to part bonâ gratiâ, by good will, for none of the caufes before mention'd, but perhaps only that one or both, might live a reclufe Life, as a Monk, or a Nun, or a Hermit, separated from all Society of the contrary fex, to give themselves wholly to Devotion and Prayer, furely (as is laid bé- T. p. 126. fore, it is as justifiable that they should part upon this score for ever as for a time ; and even here is, aóra Trogueias, consideration of Fornication, or Uacleanness; should they lie together, or live together, or see one another, or others of different fex daily, it is impossible, that their thoughts should always be so
pure and free from all Caroality and Vanity, or fo entirely taken up with Heavenly contemplations, as if they were confin'd to a Cell or Hermirage; thus Turks aever fuffer Women to come to their Mofch's or publick Prayers. they say where Men and Women are together it is impossible to offer up a pure spiritual Sacrifice, and neither Greeks nor Jews fuffer Men and Women to fit together at their publick Devotions; and all this is, dóyos nog
i Cor. 7. 1.