Page:Tetrachordon - Milton (1645).djvu/97

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fill'd by the excellence of the Gospel working through charity. For neither the faithfull is seduc'd, and the unfaithfull is either sav'd, or with all discharge of love, and evangelic duty sought to be sav'd. But contrary-wise if the infirme Christian shall bee commanded here against his minde, against his hope, and against his strength, to dwell with all the scandals, the houshold persecutions, or alluring temptations of an infidel, how is not the Gospel by this made harsher then the law, and more yoaking? Therefore the Apostle ere he deliver this other reason why wee need not in all hast put away an infidel, his mind misgiving him least he should seem to be the imposer of a new command, staies not for method, but with an abrupt speed inserts the declaration of their liberty in this matter.

But if the unbeleeving depart, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

[But if the unbeleeving depart. ] This cannot be restrain'd to locall departure only; for who knows not that an offencive society is worse then a forsaking. If his purpose of cohabitation be to endanger the life, or the conscience, Beza himselfe is halfe perswaded, that this may purchase to the faithfull person the same freedome that a desertion may; and so Gerard and others whom he cites. If therefore he depart in affection, if hee depart from giving hope of his conversion; if he disturb, or scoffe at religion, seduce, or tempt, if he rage, doubtlesse not the weake only, but the strong may leave him; if not for feare, yet for the dignities sake of religion, which cannot be liable to all base affronts, meerely for the worshiping of a civil mariage. I take therefore departing to bee as large as the negative of being well pleas'd: that is, if he be not pleas'd for the present to live lovingly, quietly, inoffensively, so as may give good hope; which appeares well by that which followes.

[A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.] If Saint Paul provide seriously against the bondage of a christian, it is not the only bondage to live unmaried for a deserting infidel, but to endure his presence intolerably, to beare indignities against his religion in words or deedes, to be wearied with seducements, to have idolatries and superstitions ever before his eyes, to be tormented with impure and prophane conversation, this must needs be bondage to a christian; is this left all unprovided for, without remedy, or freedom granted? undoubtedly no, for, the Apostle leavs it furder to be consider'd with prudence, what bondage a brother or sister is not under, not onely in this case, but as hee speaks himselfe plurally, in such cases.