Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/62

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instruct, but if he discerne his willingnesse and candor made use of to intrapp him, will suddainly draw in himselfe, and laying aside the facil vein of perspicuity, will know his time to utter clouds and riddles; If he be not lesse wise then that noted Fish, when as hee should bee not unwiser then the Serpent. Our Saviour at no time exprest any great desire to teach the obstinate and unteachable Pharises; but when they came to tempt him, then least of all. As now about the liberty of divorce, so another time about the punishment of adultery they came to sound him, and what saisfaction got they from his answer, either to themselves or to us, that might direct a law under the Gospel, new from that of Moses, unlesse we draw his absolution of adultery into an edict. So about the tribute, who is there can picke out a full solution, what and when we must give to Cæsar, that which is Cæsars, and all be Cæsars which hath his image, wee must either new stamp our Coine, or we may goe new stamp our Foreheads with the superscription of slaves in stead of freemen. Besides it is a generall precept, not only of Christ, but of all other Sages, not to instruct the unworthy and the conceited who love tradition more then truth, but to perplex and stumble them purposely with contriv'd obscurities. No wonder then if they who would determine of divorce by this place, have ever found it difficult, and unsatisfying through all the ages of the Church, as Austine himselfe and other great writers confesse. Lastly, it is manifest to be the principal scope of our Saviour, both here, and in the 5. of Mat. to convince the Pharises of what they being evill did licentiously, not to explaine what others being good and blamelesse men might be permitted to doe in case of extremity. Neither was it seasonable to talke of honest and conscientious liberty among them who had abused legall and civil liberty to uncivil licence. We doe not say to a servant what we say to a sonne; nor was it expedient to preach freedome to those who had transgrest in wantonnesse. When we rebuke a Prodigal, we admonish him of thrift, not of magnificence, or bounty. And to school a proud man we labour to make him humble, not magnanimous. So Christ to retort these arrogant inquisitors their own, tooke the course to lay their hautinesse under a severity which they deserv'd; not to acquaint them, or to make them judges either of the just mans right and privilege or of the afflicted mans necessity. And if wee may have leave to conjecture, there is a likelyhood offer'd us by Tertullian in his 4. against Marcion, whereby it may seeme very probable that the Pharises had a private drift of malice against our Saviours life in proposing this questi-