Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/31

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This joyning particle Therefore is in all equity, nay in all necessity of construction to comprehend first and most principally what God spake concerning the inward essence of Mariage in his institution, that we may learn how far to attend what Adam spake of the outward materials therof in his approbation. For if we shall bind these words of Adam only to a corporall meaning, and that the force of this injunction upon all us his sons to live individually with any woman which hath befaln us in the most mistak'n wedlock, shall consist not in those morall and relative causes of Eves creation, but in the meer anatomy of a rib, and that Adams insight concerning wedlock reacht no furder, we shall make him as very an idiot as the Socinians make him; which would not be reverently don of us. Let us be content to allow our great forefather so much wisdom, as to take the instituting words of God along with him into this sentence, which if they be well minded, wil assure us that flesh and ribs are but of a weak and dead efficacy to keep Mariage united where there is no other fitnes. The rib of Mariage, to all since Adam, is a relation much rather then a bone; the nerves and sinews therof are love and meet help, they knit not every couple that maries, and where they knit they seldom break, but where they break, which for the most part is where they never truly joyn'd, to such at the same instant both flesh and rib cease to be in common; so that heer they argue nothing to the continuance of a false or violated Mariage, but must be led back to receive their meaning from those institutive words of God which give them all the life and vigour they have.

[Therefore shall a man leave his father, &c. ] What to a mans thinking more plain by this appointment, that the fatherly power should give place to conjugall prerogative? yet it is generally held by reformed writers against the Papist, that though in persons at discretion the Mariage in it self be never so fit, though it be fully accomplisht with benediction, board and bed, yet the father not consenting, his main will without dispute shall dissolv all. And this they affirm only from collective reason, not any direct law; for that in Exod. 22.17. which is most particular, speaks that a father may refuse to marry his daughter to one who hath deflour'd her, not that he may take her away from one who hath soberly married her. Yet because the generall honor due to parents is great, they hold he may, and perhaps hold not amisse. But again, when the question is of harsh and rugged parents who deferr