Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/70

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other scriptures might be brought to assert the purity of this judicial law, and many I have alledg'd before; this law therefore is pure and just. But if it permit, if it teach, if it defend that which is both unjust and impure, as by the common doctrine it doth, what thinke we? The three generall doctrines of Justinians law, are To live in honesty, To hurt no man, To give every one his due. Shall the Roman civil law observe these three things, as the onely end of law, and shall a statute be found in the civil law of God, enacted simply and totally against all these three precepts of nature and morality?

Secondly, the gifts of God are all perfet, and certainely the law is of all his other gifts one of the perfetest. But if it give that outwardly which it takes away really, & give that seemingly, which, if a man take it, wraps him into sinne and damns him, what gift of an enemy can be more dangerous and destroying then this.

Thirdly, Moses every where commends his lawes, preferrs them before all of other nations, and warrants them to be the way of Life and Safety to all that walke therein, Levit. 18. But if they containe statutes which God approves not, and traine men unweeting to committ injustice and adultery, under the shelter of law, if those things bee sin, and death sins wages, what is this law but the snare of death?

Fourthly, the statutes and judgements of the Lord, which without exception are often told us to be such, as doing wee may live by them, are doubtles to be counted the rule of knowledge and of conscience. For I had not known lust, saith the Apostle, but by the law. But if the law come downe from the state of her incorruptible majesty to grant lust his boon, palpably it darkns and confounds both knowledge and conscience; it goes against the common office of all goodnes and freindlinesse, wich is at lest to counsel and admonish; it subverts the rules of all sober education; and is it selfe a most negligent and debaushing tutor.

Fiftly, if the law permit a thing unlawfull, it permitts that which else where it hath forbid; so that hereby it contradicts it selfe, and transgresses it selfe. But if the law become a transgressor, it stands guilty to it selfe, and how then shall it save another; it makes a confederacy with sin, how then can it justly condemne a sinner? And thus reducing it selfe to the state of neither saving nor condemning, it wil not faile to expire solemnly ridiculous.

Sixtly, The Prophets in Scripture declare severely against the decreeing of that which is unjust, Psal. 94. 20. Isaiah the 10th. But it was done, they