Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/42

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26

TETRACHORDON.

it be, as they make this of divorce to be, a custom against nature, against justice, against charity, now, upon this most impure custom tolerated, could the God of purenes erect a nice and precise Law, that the wife marryed after divorce could not return to her former husband, as beeing defiled? What was all this following nicenes worth, built upon the leud foundation of a wicked thing allow'd? In few words then, this custom of divorce either was allowable, or not allowable; if not allowable, how could it be allow'd? if it were allowable, all who understand Law will consent, that a tolerated custom hath the force of a Law, and is indeed no other but an unwritt'n Law, as Justinian calls it, and is as prevalent as any writt'n statute. So that thir shift of turning this Law into a custom wheels about, and gives the onset upon thir own flanks; not disproving, but concluding it to be the more firm Law, because it was without controversy a granted custom; as cleer in the reason of common life, as those giv'n rules wheron Euclides builds his propositions.

Thus beeing every way a Law of God, who can without blasphemy doubt it to be a just and pure Law. Moses continually disavows the giving them any statute, or judgement, but what hee learnt of God; of whom also in his Song hee saith, Deut. 32. Hee is the rock, his work is perfet, all his waies are judgement, a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is hee. And David testifies, the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Not partly right and partly wrong, much less wrong altogether, as Divines of now adaies dare censure them. Moses again of that people to whom hee gave this Law, saith, Deut. 14. Yee are the childern of the Lord your God, the Lord hath chosen thee to bee a peculiar people to himself above all the nations upon the earth, that thou shouldst keep all his Commandements; and be high in praise, in name, and in honour, holy to the Lord, Chap. 26. And in the fourth, Behold I have taught you statutes and judgements, eevn as the Lord my God commanded mee, keep therfore and doe them. For this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of Nations that shall hear all these Statutes and say, surely this great Nation is a wise and understanding people. For what Nation is ther so great, who hath God so nigh to them? and what Nation that hath Statutes and Judgements so righteous as all this Law which I set before you this day? Thus whether wee look at the purity and justice of God himself, the jealousy of his honour among other Nations, the holines and moral perfection which

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