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Author himself had done before to our Edward the fixt. Yet did not Bucer in that Volume only declare what his constant opinion was herein, but also in his Comment upon Matthew, written at Strasburgh divers years before, he treats diftinctly and copiously the fame Argument in three feveral places; touches it also upon the 7th to the Romans, and promises the fame Solution more largely upon the 1ft to the Corinthians, omitting no occafion to weed out this last and deepest mischief of the Canon-law, fown into the Opinions of modern Men, against the Laws and Practice both of God's chofen People, and the best primitive Times. Wherin his faithfulnes and powerful evidence prevail'd so far with all the Church of Strasburg, that they publisht this doctrine of Divorce, as an Article of their Confeffion, after they had taught fo eight and twenty years, through all those times, when that City flourisht, and excell'd moft, both in Religion, Learning, and good Government, under those first restorers of the Gospel there, Zelius, Hedio, Capito, Fagius, and those who incomparably then govern'd the Common-wealth, Farrerus and Sturmius. If therfore God in the former Age found out a Servant, and by whom he had converted and reform'd many a City, by him thought good to restore the most needful Doctrine of Divorce from rigorous and harmful mistakes on the right hand, it can be no strange thing if in this age he stir up by whatsoever means whom it pleases him, to take in hand and maintain the fame affertion. Certainly if it be in man's difcerning to fever Providence from Chance, I could allege many instances, wherin there would appear cause to esteem of me no other then a paffive inftrument under fome power and counsel higher and better then can be human, working to a general good in the whole cours of this matFor that I owe no light, or leading receiv'd

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from any man in the discovery of this truth, what time I first undertook it in the doctrine and difcipline of Divorce, and had only the infallible grounds of Scripture to be my guide; he who tries the inmost heart, and faw with what severe industry and examination of my self, I fet down every period, will be my witnes. When I had almost finisht the first Edition, I chanc'd to read in the Notes of Hugo Grotius upon the 5th of Matth. whom I strait understood inclining to reasonable terms in this Controverfie: and fomething he whisper'd rather then difputed about the Law of Charity, and the true end of Wedloc. Glad therfore of fuch an able Affiftant, however at much distance, I refolv'd at length to put off into this wild and calumnious World. For God, it seems, intended to prove me, whether I durft alone take up a rightful Cause against a World of disesteem, and found I durft. My Name I did not publish, as not willing it should fway the Reader either for me or against me. But when I was told, that the stile, which what it ails to be fo foon distinguishable, I cannot tell, was known by moft Men, and that some of the Clergy began to inveigh and exclaim on what I was credibly inform'd they had not read; I took it then for my proper season both to fhew them a Name that could easily contemn fuch an indiscreet kind of Cenfure, and to reinforce the Question with a more accurat diligence: that if any of them would be fo good as to leave railing, and to let us hear fo much of his Learning and Christian Wisdom, as will be ftrictly demanded of him in his answering to this Problem, care was had he should not spend his Preparations against a nameless Pamphlet. By this time I had learnt that Paulus Fagius, one of the chief Divines in Germany, fent for by Frederic the Palatine, to reform his Dominion, and after that invited hither in King Edward's days to be Profeffor of Divinity in

Cambridge, was of the fame Opinion touching Divorce, which these Men fo lavishly traduc'd in me. What I found, I inferted where fitteft place was, thinking fure they would refpect so grave an Author, at last to the moderating of their odious Inferences. And having now perfected a fecond Edition, I referr'd the judging therof to your high and impartial Sentence, honour'd Lords and Commons. For I was confident, if any thing generous, any thing noble, and above the Multitude, were left yet in the Spirit of England; it could be no where fooner found, and no where fooner understood, then in that House of Juftice and true Liberty where ye fit in Council. Nor doth the Event hitherto, for some reasons which I shall not here deliver, fail me of what I conceiv'd fo highly. Nevertheless, being far otherwise dealt with by fome, of whofe Profeffion and fuppos'd Knowledg I had better hope, and esteem'd the devifer of a new and pernicious Paradox, I felt no difference within me from that peace and firmnes of Mind, which is of nearest kin to Patience and Contentment: both for that I knew I had divulg'd a truth linkt infeparably with the most fundamental Rules of Christianity, to ftand or fall together, and was not un-inform'd that divers learned and judicious Men testify'd their daily Approbation of the Book. Yet at length it hath pleas'd God, who had already giv'n me fatisfaction in my self, to afford me now a means wherby I may be fully justify'd also in the eyes of Men. When the Book had bin now the fecond time set forth wel-nigh three Months, as I best remember, I then first came to hear that Martin Bucer had writt❜n much concerning Divorce: whom earnestly turning over, I foon perceiv'd, but not without amazement, in the fame Opinion, confirm'd with the fame Reasons which in that publisht Book, without the help or imitation of any precedent Wri

ter, I had labour'd out, and laid together. Not but that there is fome difference in the Handling, in the Order, and the Number of Arguments, but ftill agreeing in the fame Conclufion. So as I may juftly gratulat mine own mind with due acknowledgment of affiftance from above, which led me, not as a Learner, but as a collateral Teacher, to a fympathy of judgment with no less a man then Martin Bucer. And he, if our things here below arrive him where he is, does not repent him to see that point of Knowledg which he first, and with an uncheckt freedom preacht to those more knowing times of England, now found fo neceffary, though what he admonisht were loft out of our memory; yet that God doth now again create the fame doctrine in another unwritt'n Table, and raises it up immediately out of his pure Oracle to the convincement of a pervers Age, eager in the reformation of Names and Ceremonies, but in realities as traditional and as ignorant as their forefathers. I would ask now the formoft of my profound Accufers, Whether they dare affirm that to be licentious, new and dangerous, which Martin Bucer fo often, and so urgently avoucht to be most lawful, moft neceffary, and most Christian, without the least blemish to his good Name, among all the worthy Men of that Age, and fince, who teftifie fo highly of him? If they dare, they must then set up an Arrogance of their own against all those Churches and Saints who honour'd him without this exception: If they dare not, how can they now make that licentious Doctrine in another, which was never blam'd, or confuted in Bucer, or in Fagius? The truth is, there will be due to them for this their unadvised rafhnes, the best Donative that can be giv'n them, I mean a round Reproof; now that where they thought to be most Magisterial, they have difplay'd their own want, both of reading, and of judg

ment. First, to be fo unacquainted in the Writings of Bucer, which are fo obvious and fo useful in their own faculty; next to be fo caught in a prejudicating weaknes, as to condemn that for lewd, which (whether they knew or not) these elect Servants of Christ commended for lawful; and for new, that which was taught by these almost the first and greatest Authors of Reformation, who were never taxt for fo teaching; and dedicated without fcruple to a royal Pair of the first reforming Kings in Christendom, and confest in the public Confeffion of a most Orthodoxal Church and State in Germany. This is alfo another fault which I must tell them; that they have stood now almost this whole year clamouring a far off, while the Book hath bin twice printed, twice bought up, and never once vouchfaft a friendly Conference with the Author, who would be glad and thankful to be shewn an Error, either by privat Difpute, or public Anfwer, and could retract, as well as wife men before him; might also be worth the gaining, as one who heretofore, hath done good fervice to the Church by their own confeffion. Or if he be obftinat, their Confutation would have render'd him without excufe, and reclam'd others of no mean parts who incline to his Opinion. But now their work is more then doubl'd; and how they will hold up their heads against the sudden aspect of these two great and reverend Saints whom they have defam'd, how they will make good the cenfuring of that for a novelty of licence, which Bucer conftantly taught to be a pure and holy Law of Chrift's Kingdom, let them advise. For against these my Adverfaries, who before the examining of a propounded truth in a fit time of Reformation, have had the confcience to oppose naught els but their blind reproaches and furmises, that a single innocence might not be opprest and overborn by a crew of mouths for the restoring

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