THAT IS, The iniquitie, and vnlawfulnes of vsurie, displayed in sixe Sermons, preached at Saint Edmunds Burie in Suffolke, vpon Prouerb. 28. 8.

By MILES MOSSE, Minister of the worde, and Bacheler of Diuinitie. Seene and allowed by authoritie. The especiall contents of this booke, are declared in the page next before the treatise it selfe.

Reade all, or censure none.

Ambros. lib. de Tobia. Cap. 10.
Nihil interest inter Funus, & Foenus:
Nihil inter mortem distat, & sortem:
Personat funebrem vlulatum, foenoris vsura.

AT LONDON Printed by the widdow Orwin, for Thomas Man. 1595.

TO THE MOST RE­VEREND FATHER IN GOD, IOHN ARCHBISHOP OF CANTVR­burie, Primate of all England, and Metro­politane, and one of the LL. of her Ma­iesties most Honorable priuie Counsell: Miles Mosse wisheth the increase of all the graces of God, necessarie to true godlines in this life, and to euerlasting saluation in the life to come.

THe inscription and dedica­tion of bookes, to men of note and regarde in their time, either for religion, or vertue, or learning, or au­thoritie: is well knowne to your Grace, (Right Hono­rable and most reuerend fa­ther,) for continuance to be very ancient, and for vse to be exceeding profitable. Auncient it is, as appeareth by the writings of the fathers. Damas­cene dedicateth one of his treatises to the Tractat. de Logica. Bishop of Maiume, another to the Introductio dignitatum elementaris. Bishop of Laodicea. Arnobius inscribeth his commentaries vpon the [Page] Psalmes, Arnob. Pro­log. Com. in Psal. Charissimis Patribus, Laurentio & Rustico Episcopis: To his deare fathers Laurenti­us and Rusticus Bishops. Lactant. in­s [...]it. lib. 1. ca. 1. Lactantius his Institu­tions, vnto Constantine the Emperor. Iustinus Martyr, his treatise Iust. Mart. de verit christ re­lig. tom. 2. of the trueth of Christian Religion, to Marcus Pompeius. Saint Augustine, some of his bookes Enchirid. tom. 3. ad Laurentium, some De spirit. & litera tom. 3. ad Marcellinum, some De menda­cio. tom. 4. ad Consentium, some Contra duas Epist. pelagia­norum. tom. 7. ad Bonifacium: some particularlie directed to one man, & some vnto another. Yea S. Luke himselfe, though hee wrote (as did also the other Euange­lists) 2. Tim. 3.16. by speciall inspiration: yet hee entituleth the Actes of the Apostles, Act. 1.1. vnto one Theophilus, Gualther. hom. 1. in Act. 1. some speciall familiar friend of his, or a man of speciall note for his faith & religion in the church, as most learned men haue obserued on that place. That he must needes be a man of great ignorance, and small reading, who wil iudge it to be the new­fanglenes or vaineglorie of this age, for men to consecrate their labours, and dedicate their studies, to the honour and seruice of their supe­riors.

And as this custome is very ancient, so is it also exceeding profitable. For first, the sacred memo­rie of worthie men, is by the continuance of the bookes that are dedicated vnto them, preserued from forgetfulnes, and challenged from the ruine of time. Which time, if it growe to bee [...] . Olde and long continued, Sophocles, Aiax. [...] : (as he saith in Sophocles,) it will [Page] as well ouerwhelme with darkenes, things which are now lightsome and glorious, as it will reueale and bring to light, things that yet lie hidden and vnknowne. The greatest men, for want of memo­rials haue in continuance of time, been buried in obliuion. Secondly, this cannot but cheare vp and encourage men of vertue and of godlines, to perseuer and to grow olde in goodnes, when they see that their persons are regarded of men that now liue, and their names are like (by the bookes which are now dedicated vnto them,) to bee regi­stred, and recorded to the generations to come. For, although vertue be a thing worthie to bee af­fected, and laboured after of and for it selfe, be­cause August. de lib. arbit. lib. 2. Cap. 18. it is one of the greatest good things that fal into the nature of man: and there is not any substance which we possesse, Isocrates pa­raines. ad De­monicum. [...] , Either more honorable, or more durable then ver­tue: Yet such is the corruption and wretchednes of our nature, that we are hardlie induced thereto, or vpholden therein, without casting some eye, to­wards carnall respects, and seeking therein some outward benefite.

Iuuenal. lib. 4. Satyr. 10. ‘Quis enim virtutem amplectitur ipsam, Praemia si tollas?’

The orator said well, Cicero Rhe­tor. lib. 3. ‘Neque solum laudis cau­sa rectum sequi conuenit’, No man should (& wise men will not) follow right and goodnes onely for praise and commendation. Sed si laus consequitur, duplicatur recti appetendi voluntas. But yet, if [Page] commendation and honor doe followe of well dooing, the desire and appetite of goodnes is dou­bled and increased. Thirdly, by the learning and authoritie of those to whome bookes are dedica­ted, the bookes themselues are protected from the causelesse censures of the ignorant, and the biting teeth of the Carper. Hesiode fayned that Hesiod. in Theogonia. Momus was begotten, or brought forth of the night, for that, (as I suppose) he walketh in darknes, & stin­geth in silence as a serpent in the grasse. Now, as the brightnes of the sunne dispelleth the darkenes of the night: so the honor, yea the very name of a mightie man restraineth the malice of the Car­per. Maiestas vindex veritatis: Authoritie wil support that trueth, which otherwise by the ma­lice of men would be troden vnder feete. Hecuba tolde Vlysses, that his worthines and estimation ( [...] ) was such, and so great, that he was able to perswade whatsoeuer he would: yea Euripides tra­ged. Hecuba. [...] , though he spake the things that were euil and vn­iust. How much more then shall the patronage, of a great and honorable man, giue countenance, and credit, and safe conduct to a treatise, the matter whereof is sound, and the publishing whereof is profitable.

These and some other respects haue caused me to resolue, to commend this my poore labour, and endeuour vnto the defense and protection of some worthie personage: yea though I knew right well, that 3. Ez [...]a. 4.14. The trueth is great and preuaileth [Page] of it selfe, and God the author of truth is all suffi­cientlie able to defend it. And among all others, to present it to your Grace and fauor, for these rea­sons and causes following.

First, the question of vsurie, being controuer­ted in these dayes among manie (and those verie learned) diuines: requireth and needeth an arbi­trer of much reading, experience, and moderation. Oecolampadius said, O [...]colam­pad. Epist. 16. lib. 1. De vsuris iudicare non est omnium: Euery man is not a fitte iudge in this cause of vsurie. And Aristot. To­pic. lib. 2. if no man chuseth a young man for a iudge, or a guide: Quia non constat eos esse prudentes, because there is not sufficient eui­dence of their wisdome: then should I haue shew­ed my selfe a very young man, if I had chosen any that is yong, either in yeares, or learning, or experience, to be a determinor of this controuer­sie, or a protector of this cause.

Secondly, your Grace is reported to bee one, who neither lendeth, nor taketh vpon vsurie, which is not in this age euery such mans com­mendation. And therefore being free from the guiltines of this sinne, you may the more freelie giue sentence vpon the vngodlines thereof. Ambros. su­per Beati im­maculati. & habetur 3. quaest. 7. Iudi­cet. Iudi­cet ille de alterius e [...]ore (saith S. Ambrose) q [...] non habet in seipso quod condemnet: Iudicet, qui non agit eadem quae in alio putauerit punienda. Let him iudge of an other mans default, who hath not the same fault to condemne in himselfe: Let him iudge of another, who committeth not the [Page] same things which hee deemeth worthie the pu­nishing in another.

Thirdly, your place and calling hath giuen you a speciall stroke in the maintenance of the lawes of the Church of England: by which lawes, and which Church, vsurie is simply and generally pro­hibited. And therefore you the fittest man to pa­tronize those, whose writings doe condemne it. Polyanth. tit. Lex. [...] saith Menander. The Magistrate is the strength of the lawe: And then shall the Canons of the Church concerning vsurie bee reuerenced and regarded, when by those that are Church gouernors they bee vrged and main­teined.

If it shall please your Grace to take a view of this treatise, you shall find these two things obser­ued throughout the whole course of the same. The one, that in this question of vsurie, I haue not declined (as touching the generall conclusion) frō the receiued iudgement [...] the auncient Diuines: nor deliuered any thing cōtrary to the Canons of our Church. Secondly, that I haue not entred into anie by controuersies not pertinent to this pur­pose. For I deemed it the part of a scholler, to hold him to his taske, (as the Prouerbe is,) and to pur­sue without vnnecessarie digressions, the purpose that hee hath in hand. What labour I haue taken, and what authors I haue turned ouer in studying of this argument my selfe only know, and it were in vaine to brag or to boast of them, especially to [Page] your Grace. What I haue attained vnto herein by my labour and reading, I leaue vnto your graue and reuerend censure. If it please you to accept this mine endeuour, I haue my full desire: If to protect it, the benefite which the Church reapeth thereby (if happily it proue anie) shall be ascribed to your gracious fauour. The almightie God con­tinue and increase vpō you the riches of his grace, to the glorie of his name, to the benefite of his Church, and the publique wealth of this realme, through Iesus Christ our Lord. Bury S. Edmunds this first of Ianuarie. 1595.

Your Graces most humble, alwaies at commandement in the Lord. MILES MOSSE.

To the Christian Reader.

IT is a sound position both ofAugust con­tra mendaciū ad Cōsent. cap. 15 Hieron. contra Iouin. lib 2. the elder, and the Tho. Aquin. 12ae. quaest. 73. art. 2. Bulling. De­cad. 3. ser. 10. latter Diuines, a­gainst the Stoicke Philosophers, and Iouinian heretikes; Peccata non esse paria: that all sinnes are not equall but that there are some greater, some smaller, some ligh­ter, some heauier offences. For, as all sinnes are not of the same na­ture: so all men sinne not in the same measure and degree. Among other degrees, and diuersitie of offences, some sinne of ignorance and know it not: and that is naturall weakenes. Others know that they sinne, and excuse it: and that is little better then presumption. Others cannot excuse their sinne, but rage and storme against those that reproue it: and that differeth not much from malice. Dauid sinned often, and knew it not, therefore he desireth to be Psal. 19.12. clensed from his se­cret faults. Adam saw his sinne and excused it: Gen. 3.12. The wo­man gaue me, and I did eate. 1. King. 13.4. Ieroboam could not ex­cuse his sinne, and yet he stretched out his hand to offer vio­lence, to the Prophet that reproued his Idolatrie.

Now all these degrees, and differences of sinne, are in no one more pregnant or euident, then in this euill of Vsurie. For, some commit vsurie, not knowing it to be sinne: either because they haue not the word, or they vse not the word for the enlightning of their hearts. Those that be ignorant for [Page] want of the word, are without question much to be pitied: and yet is their want that way, the iust punishment of sinne. Those that are ignorant for not vsing the word, are sharplie to be reproued as those whose ignorance acrewing from their owne negligence, is meere sinne vnto them. August. ad Sextum Rom. presbyt. epist. 10 [...]. In vtrisque non est iusta excusatio, sed iusta condemnatio, sayth Au­gustine: Neither of both can iustly be excused: nay, either of both is iustly to bee condemned. Others commit vsurie, and stand to excuse it: alleadging for themselues, either the authoritie of men, which is little, or the example of others, which is lesse. Or againe, either endeuouring to proue the thing good which is fearfull, or pretending that they cannot otherwise liue, which is miserable To them that obiect other mens authoritie, I answer, as Lactantius did to the Gentiles, who grounded their religion vpon the authoritie of their an­cestors: Lactant. de Origine erroris lib. 2. cap. 7. Id solum rectum est, quod ratio praescribit: Not that which men say, but that which reason warranteth, is right and to be approued. To them that alleadge examples, I answer with the ancient prouerbe, Viuitur praeceptis non exemplis: We must liue by precepts, and not by examples. And with that of Moses in Exodus, Exod. 23.2. Thou shalt not fol­lowe a multitude to doe euill. To them which iustifie vsu­rie to be lawfull, I stand not here to make answer: for to that end serueth the treatise following. Only, I applie vnto them, that which Cypriā spake of some teachers of his time, Cyprian. de Simplicitate praelatorum. Am­bulantes in tenebris, habere se lucem existimant: Walk­ing in darknes, they suppose they haue the light. Asserentes noctem pro die, interitum pro salute: They hold the night for day, and destruction for saluation. Vt dum verisimilia mentiuntur, veritatem subtilitate frustrentur: That while they faine and deuise an opinion, somewhat like to bee true, they may adnihilate the trueth it selfe by their subtilties. To them that pretend, they cannot otherwise liue, I replie, that either they must accuse nature for an vniust stepmother, (which one of the Fathers Lactant. de Opificio Dei. cap. 3. counted a poynt of great follie:) or they must accuse their parents for want of frugall educa­tion, [Page] which were vndutifulnes in a child: Or rather them­selues of sloth and idlenes, (which indeede is the vsurers sin:) Or lastly, they must say as those that excuse themselues by destinie, August. in Psal. 91. Fatum m [...]m [...]e duxit▪ It was my destinie, I was borne, or I was ordained to liue by vsurie. Others, yet there are, who knowing the practise to be euill, and themselues not being able to excuse it, they turne their nose vpon the very winde, like the weathercocke, and like mad men rage at those that would binde them for their benefite: and are like the swine of which Christ speaketh in the Gospell, Matth. 7.6. who when they haue pearles throwne before them, turne againe, and all to rent those that cast them.

This third kind of Vsurers, as they are the worst in nature, and in the highest degree of sinne: so are they those of whom I haue most cause to complaine▪ There is no Vsurer about vs (that I knowe) so simple and ignorant, but he can relate what is sayd against vsurie in the word. And on the other side, there is none so well learned about vs, (I dare auouch) that is able to iustifie and defend it by the word. And yet haue they so raged and stormed at me since the preaching of these sermons: that I had almost waxed proude with conceit that I had spoken much against them. For▪ as it is the nature of the greater and stronger beasts, to despise the barking whelpe and then only to turne againe when they feele them­selues bitten and touched indeede: so I began to conceiue of these Vsurers, that because now they stormed therefore they were stung: and because they fretted earnestly, therfore they were touched throughly. If that be true which is reported, (for I haue not vouchsafed to fift and examine the cause) some haue vowed the answere of my booke before it com­meth forth: some are sayd to haue many a reason alreadie deuised against it in their braine▪ some haue threatned that I shall neuer borrowe: some haue slandered mee behinde my backe: some haue spoken foule things to my face: yea, I haue been bitten and backbitten, as one sayd of me publikelie of late,M.K. in mine owne pulpit. The best and most temperate men [Page] of that trade, though before they seemed desirous to heare the cause debated: yet since that time they haue dealt with me, as Laban dealt with Iacob, when he sawe how God had blessed him: Genes. 31.2. their countenance hath not been towards me, Sicut heri & nudiustertius. So dangerous a thing was it to charme a serpent, and to rouse the slumbring lion: and so truely was it sayd of Hierome, Hierom. con­tra Iouin. lib 2 Amara est veritas, & qui eam praedicant replentur amaritudine: The trueth is bit­ter and vnsauerie vnto the corrupt tastes of men: and they that preach it, are filled with bitternes. Veritas odium pa­rit.

Yea, whereas I thanke God, I may say without boasting, as did the Prophet, Iere. 15.10. I haue neither lent nor taken vpon vsurie: (for I haue followed my calling, and not busied my self much with the affayres of the world, which Tremellius rightly noteth to bee the sense of that place) yet haue there not wanted some, that haue charged me with both, and haue vnder that name censured me as one most vnfit to deale in this argument: because (as they say) I haue lent and taken vpon vsurie. Now, God bee mercifull vnto me in mine other offences: but had he no more in other, then they in this sinne to say against me: I might lift mine head full high, & car­rie mine heart full merri [...] ▪ The ioyning of issue with them in this poynt, I deferre, till [...] in a further declaration. All that I will say for the present is this. If I were guiltie of ta­king vsurie, I protest I would not iustifie it: If I were guiltie of giuing vsurie, I would sweare, and vow it was against my will. But, say I were guiltie of the former, and had lent vpon vsurie when my iudgement was lesser, Act. 17.30. The time of this ig­norance God regarded not: And what I haue been in times passed, maketh nothing to them. Say I were guiltie of the latter, and had taken vpon vsurie, when my necessitie was greater: they know the case is ouerruled by the Philosopher, Aristot. Ethic. lib. 5 cap. 11. Qui iniuriam patitur non peccat: He that suffereth the wrong, offendeth not. And the great Schooleman hath de­termined in this poynt, Tho Aquin. 22ae. quaest. 78. art. 4. Vti peccato alterius ad bonum, [Page] licitum est: It is a lawfull thing to vse another mans sinne, to good end and purpose. But the summe of that poynt is this: If I haue done both, or either of both, that helpeth not their cause: If I haue not done both, nor neither of both, the grea­ter is their sinne.

Two things I require of the good Christian reader. The one: that thou stumble not at the title of this treatise. So many hauing written of this argument, it was not the easiest thing to finde a name whereby to distinguish it from other mens labours. All that I haue aimed at therein is, that no­men might be rei notamen, (as August. de Genesi ad lite­ram cap. 6. tom. 3. S. Augustine speaketh) that is, that the title of the booke might deliuer the substāce and matter therein contained. Other quilitie or new deuise I haue affected none.

The other is this: that thou hold it not strange to see, that after The Death of Vsurie, published the last yeare by one man, thou hast now the yeare following his Arraignment and Conuiction by another. For first, many times it falleth out, that malefactors are executed before their examina­tion, Arraignment and Conuiction bee published to the world. Secondly, The death of Vsurie came foorth from Cambridge, where I hope no lesse but it is dead indeede. Schollers haue not so great store of money that they can, nor so little store of learning that they will be practisers of V­surie.

—Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores.

But this Arraignment and Conuiction of Vsurie, com­meth forth from London: where though it hath in former time been pleaded against by D. Wilson, concluded against by M. Caesar, and now of later times reproued by M. Turn­bull, and examined by M. Smith: yet is it not hetherto tho­rowly conuicted in the consciences of the people, much lesse put to death and executed as it should. Thirdly, wee see that Iudges of life and death, doe not all hold their Sessions or Assises at one and the same time. But when some haue exe­cuted [Page] fellons in one shire: some begin their arraignment in another. And therefore what shall let me to follow their ex­ample, and after the Assises ended, and vsurie executed at Cambridge, to proceede on to The Arraignment and Con­uiction thereof, in the citie of London.

This I speake not, as if I could speake nothing els in this case, but as sparing and pitying the Author of that treatise, who hath ploughed with my heifer, and whose bookes haue been published vnder my name, to my great preiudice and discredit. But I remember what Salomon sayth: P [...]o. 29.11. A foole powreth out all his minde: but a wiseman keepeth it till afterward. All therefore that I will adde is this, If this booke benefite thee, thanke God that gaue the meanes. If it offend thee, yet know that I ment well, and aimed at thy good, and haue written without gall vn­to any mans person. And so I bid thee farewell in Christ. This 6. of Februarie 1594.

Thine in the Lord, Miles Mosse.

The names of the speciall Authors vsed in this treatise: besides the bookes of the holie and Canonicall Scriptures.

  • AELianus.
  • Alciatus.
  • Alexander de Ales.
  • Alexand. ab Alexand.
  • Alphonsus.
  • Ambrosius.
  • Anthoninus.
  • Appianus.
  • Aquileius.
  • T. Aquinas.
  • Archidiaconus.
  • Aretius.
  • Aristophanes.
  • Aristoteles.
  • Arnobius.
  • Augustinus.
  • Babington.
  • Baldus.
  • Balsamon.
  • Barnardus.
  • Barthol. Caepol.
  • Basilius.
  • Bastinguius.
  • Bertrandus.
  • Beza.
  • G. Biel.
  • Bodinus.
  • Boemus Aubanus.
  • Brentius.
  • Ioh. Bromyard.
  • Bucerus.
  • Bullingerus.
  • Caelius Secundus.
  • Caietanus.
  • Caluinus.
  • Canones Apost.
  • Canones London.
  • Centuriae.
  • Chemnitius.
  • Chrysostomus.
  • Chytreus.
  • Cicero.
  • Clemens Alexandrinus.
  • Codex.
  • Concilium Agathense.
  • Concilium Arelatense.
  • Conciliū Carthaginēse.
  • Conciliū Elebertinum.
  • Concilium Lateranēse.
  • Concilium Lugdunēse.
  • Concilium Nicenum.
  • M. Cope.
  • Cyprianus.
  • Damascenus.
  • Danaeus.
  • Didacus Couar.
  • Digesta.
  • Erasmus Roterod.
  • H. E [...]banus.
  • Euripides.
  • P. Fagius.
  • B. Fumus.
  • Galatinus.
  • Galenus.
  • Glanuile.
  • Goffredus.
  • Gratianus.
  • Gregorius Naziāzenus.
  • Gregorius Nissenus.
  • Gregorius Theologus.
  • Gualtherus.
  • Hemingius.
  • Herbrandus.
  • Hesiodus.
  • Hieronimus.
  • Homerus.
  • Hostiensis.
  • Hugo Cardinalis.
  • L. Humfredus.
  • B. Iuel.
  • Iosephus.
  • Isocrates.
  • Iuuenalis.
  • Iustinianus.
  • Iustinus Martyr.
  • Io. Knewstub.
  • Lactantius.
  • Io. Langius.
  • Lauaterus.
  • Leo.
  • Lipsius.
  • Ludolphus.
  • Lutherus.
  • Lycosthenes.
  • Lyra.
  • Marloratus.
  • Martinus ab Azpilc.
  • P. Martyr.
  • Mattheus Parisiensis.
  • Melacthon.
  • Menander.
  • Mercerus.
  • Molanus.
  • Molineus.
  • Monumenta patrùm.
  • Musc [...]l [...]s.
  • Natalis C [...]mes.
  • Io. Northbroke.
  • Oecolampadius.
  • Origines.
  • Pagninus.
  • Panormitanus.
  • Pellicanus.
  • F. Petrarcha.
  • Petrus de Anchorano.
  • Philo.
  • Plato.
  • Plautus.
  • Plinius.
  • Plutarchus.
  • [Page]Polyanthea.
  • Pomeranus.
  • Postilla maior.
  • Rainerus.
  • Raimundus.
  • Ruffinus.
  • Sarcerius.
  • Scotus.
  • Selneccerus.
  • R. Selomo.
  • Sextus decretalium.
  • Sophocles.
  • Sozomenus.
  • Statuta Regni Angliae.
  • Ph. Stubs.
  • Suetonius.
  • Suidas.
  • Sūma Angel. de Clauas.
  • Suruey of pretēded dis­cipline.
  • Synodus Hildesheimē ­sis.
  • C. Tacitus.
  • Theophilactus.
  • Tremellius.
  • Vatablus.
  • Viguerius.
  • Virgilius.
  • Vrsinus.
  • B. Westhemerus.
  • Wigandus.
  • D. Wilson.
  • Wittebergenses theses.
  • Wolfius.
  • Xistus Betul [...]ius.
  • Zanchius.
  • Zegedinus.
  • Zuingerus.
  • Zuinglius.


I Desire thee good reader not to ascribe this my recitall of authors to pride or affectation of vaine glorie. I am occa­sioned thereunto by one, who taking the names of my mouth, and not vnderstanding them, hath published them in print farre otherwise then they were deliuered by me, or they are in themselues. Farewell.

In this treatise, are handled these foure principall poyntes.

1. Vsurie is described, what it is, and what are the kindes and branches thereof. Pag. 10.

2. It is proued to be manifestlie forbidden by the worde of God: and sundrie reasons are alledged, why it is iustlie and worthily condemned. Pag. 75.

3. The obiections are answered, which are vsuallie made out of the Scriptures, for the defense of some kinde of vsurie, and towards some kinde of persons. Pag. 112.

4. Diuerse causes are shewed why vsurie shoulde not bee practised of a christian (especiallie not of an English man) no not though it could be proued, that it is not sim­plie forbidden in the Scriptures. Pag. 145.

The Arraignment and Conuic­tion of Vsurie.

Prouerb. 28.8.‘He that increaseth his riches by vsurie and interest, ga­thereth them for him that will be mercifull to the poore.’
The first Sermon: the speciall contents whereof are these:
  • 1 The interpreting and vnfolding of the text.
  • 2 The necessitie and occasion of handling this argument.
  • 3 The name deriuation▪ kinds and branches of Vsurie.
  • 4 The definition of open and actuall Vsurie.

THere hée two things very re­quisite to a Preacher of the word: the one that the Scrip­ture which hée handleth bée soundly interpreted: the other that the doctrine which he de­liuereth from it, be directly and necessarily collected. The neg­lect of the former is the occasiō of errors, and to want the latter is to build without foundation. And therefore before I procéede to the handling of the matter and argument contained in [Page 2] this scripture, some things are of necessitie to be ob­serued concerning the sense and interpretation of the words.

First this is not so fitly translated, by vsurie and in­terest: for neither is vsurie and interest all one (as af­terwards shall appeare) neither is interest condem­ned by the word of God. And besides that, this rea­ding, by vsurie and interest, agréeth not either with the originall, or with any of the interpretors. For the He­brew hath Beneshech vetarbith: and the Greeke hath [...] : Tremellius, Pagnine, and other of the Latines translate it Vsura & foenore. Now neither Tarbith in the Hebrew, nor [...] in the Greeke, nor Foenus in the Latine, can properly be interpreted, Inte­rest in the English: But rather Superabundantia, or In­crementū, or Augmētum, that is, Superabundance, or In­crease, as Vatablus hath well obserued on this place. And yet is this defect fauourablie to be cēsured, yea ea­sily to be pardoned in our English trāslators: partly in regard of the want of our English tōgue, whose penu­rie affoordeth not alwayes two seuerall words to ex­presse one and the same thing: partly because the olde translation readeth it, Vsura & foenore liberali. Now Foenus liberale, is often giuen (at the least it may be gi­uen) in consideration of Interest: and partly also be­cause the vse and custome of speaking hath confounded the sense of these two words in our vsuall language. We say commonly, he taketh vpon Interest, he payeth Interest, he lendeth vpon Interest: when our meaning and intendement is to say, he taketh vpon vsurie, he payeth vsurie, he lendeth for vsurie. And therefore the words being confounded in our common vse of spéech, no meruaile though they be coupled and vnited toge­ther of the interpretors in this place.

Secondly, as touching the meaning of this Scrip­ture, [Page 3] we are to knowe that when Salomon saith here, the vsurer gathereth his riches for him that will bee mer­cifull to the poore, this is not spoken according to the minde and intendment of the vsurer, as if this were his desire or purpose in gathering of his wealth, that hée might haue whereof to be liberall and to giue almes vnto the néedie. For first, the couetous man dooth no­thing well, but when he dyeth, saith the auncient Pro­uerbe. Secondly, vsurie is a sinne which shutteth vp compassion, as after shall appeare. And thirdly, where shall you finde men lesse pittifull then are vsurers to the poore? But this is spoken of Salomon in respect of the prouidence of God, which oftentimes maketh good vse of riches euill gotten: and so disposeth of the issue of things, as that the wealth which the owner hor­deth vp by euill meanes (namelie by vsurie) hée draw­eth foorth to good purpose, namely to the benefite of the poore.

But now, how and by what meanes God conuer­teth the vsurers wealth to the relieuing of the néedie, that is the doubte and question which ariseth to bée re­solued in this place. One of the Rab. Sel. ex Tanhuma, re­ferente Merce­ro. in Pro. 28 8. Rabbins referreth it, ad magistratum & fiscum, to the confiscation of the vsu­rers goods vnto the Magistrate: for thereunto wée sée that the riches and wealth of great men are many times deuolued. God often suffereth men which by e­uill meanes haue gathered their riches, to fall into the danger of politique penall lawes and so to forfeite their goods to the crowne: whereof it commeth (or it may come) to passe, that of those goods so gathered and so forfeited by iniquitie, the poore may be relieued, high waies may bee repaired, publique charges may bee de­frayed, the burden of the Church and of the common weale may be eased to the people. And so, He that in­creaseth his riches by vsurie and interest, gathereth them for [Page 4] him that will be mercifull to the poore. F. Vatablus annot. in Pro. 28.8. Others referre this vnto the gouernement and sentence of the Magi­strate: as if Salomon would speake to this effect and purpose. An vsurer shall by his riches euill gathered together, thus helpe and relieue the poore. The good and godlie magistrate séeing him by so euill and vn­godlie meanes rake wealth together into his hands, will enact such lawes, and take such order as shall de­feate him of his wealth, and will more profitablie, and more righteouslie imploye it: namely (among other particulars) to the relieuing of the poore. L. Lauater comment. in Pro. 28.8. Others re­ferre this spéech vnto the vsurers heyre, or to him to whom the vsurer leaueth and bequeath his goods. Hée shall leaue them to a liberall man that will bee merci­full vnto the poore. Now though I condemne not this sence, yet I doe not so much approue it, partly because an vsurer will hardly be induced to bequeath his goods to him who hee feareth will mercifullie and liberallie imploy them: and partlie because that though the fa­ther that putteth to vsurie may sometimes haue a kinde and a mercifull sonne as appeareth by the Ezech. 18.14 17. Prophet: yet to beholde this is almost as rare a thing as it is to sée a blacke Swan floating on the waters. For com­monly such egge such chickin, such syer such childe: the father an vsurer, the sonne vnmercifull. And therefore I rather follow those Con. Pellican. comment. in Prou. 28.8. who not descending into any particular meanes (because they are infinite in the hand of God) doe generally applie this sentence vnto his holy prouidence. As if hee had saide: God hating the vsurer and condemning his course, doth one way or other defeate him and his of their hope and expectati­on, and the goods which he gathereth by oppressing of the poore, those hée conueyeth to another which of a mercifull minde will be liberall to the poore. So that this sentence of Salomon is almost all one with that [Page 5] which else where he hath in this booke of the Prouerbs. Prou 13.22. The riches of the sinner is laide vp for the iust. And with that which Zophar speaketh in the booke of Iob: Iob. 20.15. Hec hath deuoured substance, and he shall vomite it: for God shall drawe it out of his bellie. And with that which Luther speaketh in his treatise of Vsurie: M. Luther. lib. de taxanda vsura tom. 7. Nec vnquam opes v­suris partae, sunt durabiles & perpetuae, Riches gotten by v­surie are neuer permanent or durable. For one way or other, sooner or later, the Lorde by his prouidence will defeate the vsurer of them: and conuey them into the hands of those, which of charitie will imploy them to the benefite of the poore. That whereas the vsurer careth not who waxeth poore so he may grow rich, nay taketh the way to deuoure the poore, nay is the meanes to make the rich poore: hee himselfe and his substance shall (farre beyond his meaning and expectation) bée made a meanes to ease, and helpe, and relieue the poore. As here Salomon saith: He that increaseth, &c.

So that the drift of the holy Ghost in this Scrip­ture is to disswade from the practising of vsurie: and that he doth by an argument drawne from the misera­ble effect which shall betide such riches so gathered in the ende. Namely, that whereas men gather riches with a purpose and desire that they may abide to them­selues, and to their posteritie: yea and whereas, com­monly and ordinarilie men by the wealth, that they lawfullie procure, doe mainetaine themselues, relieue others, and prouide for their children in time to come: it shall by the hand of GOD fall out farre otherwise with the vsurer, his wealth shall bee taken from him, yea it may be from all that are his, and cast as it were into the lappe of one that will be mercifull to the poore.

This scripture therefore giueth (as we see) direct occasion to intreate of vsurie: then which there are not many arguments more necessarie or profitable to be [Page 6] handled in these dayes. For first, lending vpon vsurie is growne so common and vsuall among men, as that frée lénding to the néedie is vtterly ouerthrowne. M. Bucer cō ­ment in Psal. 15. Eò res abijt (saith Bucer) vt impudens habeatur qui mutuū petat citra foenoris oblationem: The world is growne to that passe, that he is counted a shameles man which ma­keth request to borrow without offering of vsurie. Se­condly, men are growne so cunning and expert to doe euil, that because they know vsurie is forbidden by the lawes both of God and men, Gratian. de­cret. part 2. caus. 14. quaest. 3 Nolunt facere contra le­gem, sed faciunt fraudem legi (sayth Gratian:) They will not breake the law for feare of danger: but they will de­ceiue the law without feare of God. And to defeate the lawe, to bleare the eyes of the world, and to auoyde danger Master Smith Serm. 1. vpon vsurie, fol. 12. they haue deuised more sorts of vsurie then there are trickes at cardes, as one sayth well writing of this argument. Thirdly, men are not only growne to this passe, that they colour and cloake this sinne with a pretence of righteousnes: but some haue so farre for­gotten themselues, as that they runne on openly to defend it. Lauat. com­ment in Ezec. 2. Homil. 5. Nostro tempore (sayth Lauater) non desunt homines à quibus ebriet as, scortatio, vsurae, & alia scelerae impudentissimè defenduntur: Our age wanteth not men of whom drunkennes, whoredome, vsurie, & other heinous crimes are most impudently defended. Defended? nay: Luther de tax vsur. tom. 7 Praedicatur plaenis buccis summam esse virtutem, & opus praeclarum (sayth Luther:) Vsurie is commended with full mouth to be an excellent vertue, a notable worke: a most reasonable gaine: a trade without which no common weale can stand or indure. So déepely haue some men surfetted with feeding vpon the poysoned gaine of vsu­rie. Now when as men are growne to this height and excesse of iniquitie, that they will not lend but vpon vsurie, they will couer and cloake it with pretence of iust dealing, they will defend it, nay they will com­mend [Page 7] it to the world: high time it is that the Lords men of warre take into their hands Ephesi. 6.17. the sword of the spirit which is the word of God, if not to cut the throate of this euill (for that seemeth to some to be impossible) yet to hacke it and maime it in the members, and to make it hang the head: least it be a reproach vnto vs in the generations to come, that so grosse and palpable a sin hath passed vncomptrolled.

If any man demaund a reason why after so many that haue laboured in this argument, and among so many brethren in this countrey more able to deale in such a cause then my selfe: I the most vnworthie and insufficient of a great number haue presumed to set foote into this floore, and to wage battaile with so ma­ny and so mightie aduersaries: him I doe desire with patience and charitie to heare this Apologie in mine owne behalfe. First, I haue béen challenged more then once for the doctrine which sometimes in preach­ing I haue béen supposed to deliuer concerning vsurie. As that I haue called it Theft and Robberie: which not­withstanding I haue not done: but sometimes haue shewed that it is forbidden vnder this commandemēt Exod. 20.15. Thou shalt not steale: sometimes I haue alleadged the iudgement of Io. Iuel Ser. in 1. Thess. 4.6. B. Iewel, who not only calleth it Theft, but maketh it worse then Theft by many degrées. And had I plainly called it Theft, I might haue had the au­thoritie of Ambrose, of Augustine, of Hierome, of Bern­hard, of diuers godly and learned writers to haue sup­ported the trueth of that accusation. Secondly, I haue béen challenged, that sometimes in preaching I haue coupled and recited vsurie with the most grieuous of­fences: as namely with Adulterie, Drunkennes, Per­iurie, Oppression, Extortion, and such like. Now this I haue done I confesse: but I haue not done it of pri­uate malice to any Vsurers person, nor without the pre­sident [Page 8] and example of many notable men both holie and prophane. Tulli. de offic. lib. 1. Tullie reckoneth Vsurers with Toll-ta­kers and Customers, a kinde of men in those dayes of most base accompt and filthie conuersation, as may be gathered euen out of the holie scriptures. D Wilson fol. 147. Aristotle sayth, that Vsurers and Bawdes may well goe together: for they gaine by filthie meanes all that they get. August. de baptis contra Donatist. lib. 4 cap. 2. Saint Augustine coupleth them with Couetous men and Theeues. W. Musculus com. in Ioh. 4.12. Musculus ioyneth Vsurie with Deceit and Periurie: Lauater in Ezech. 2. hom. 5 Lauater reciteth it with Drunkennes and Adulterie. So common a thing hath it alwayes béen among learned men to fetter Vsurers with the vilest offenders, as those that deserued most shamefull dis­grace. Thirdly, I haue béen challenged, that in prea­ching against Vsurie, I haue alleadged nor could al­leadge nothing against it but the 15 Psalme. A chal­lenge most false and vntrue. For in Catechising I haue stood vpon Exod. 22. Leuit. 25. Deut. 23. and some other places to that purpose. And if I could alleadge no more then the 15. Psalme, yet were that alone suf­ficient to stoppe the mouthes of all the Vsurers in the world: seeing that 2. Tim. 3.16. The whole scripture is giuen by in­spiration of God, and 2. Pet. 2.20. no prophecie in the scripture is of any priuate motion. But now, what I am able to alleadge more against vsurie then the 15. Psalme, shall by Gods grace appeare in this treatise following. Last of all, besides that I haue béen thus sundrie waies challen­ged (and so iustly prouoked) to deale more largely and thoroughly in the matter: this also is to be added as not the least spurre to pricke me forward thereunto: namely, that I haue béen called foorth and required to this busines, not onely of many of the common sort of men (which notwithstanding were not to be neglec­ted) but also most of the Brethren about me, and some euen of the best gifts and account, haue exhorted me to [Page 9] begin, and encouraged me to continue this argument and treatise of vsurie.

Thrée things I would require of this Auditorie, during the time of this treatise and the handling of this controuersie. First, that you expect not from me much feruencie of spirit or vehemencie of spéech. For I doe willingly abstaine from all apparance of heate or choller cōceiued against any particular man practi­sing this trade of vsurie. And besides that, feruencie and vehemencie of spéech doe belong more naturallie to admonition, reprehension, and exhortation: where­as I must now bee wholly taken vp in doctrine, and reasons, and allegations. Secondly, my petition is, that I may without offence make recitall of Doctors, of Councels, of Ciuilians, of Canonists, in a word, of writers of all sorts, of all times, of all religions. A thing which I am not woont (you knowe) much to affect in my vsuall ministerie: yet must I now of necessitie vse some libertie in that vaine, not onely because the matter is disputable betwéene the greatest men of learning on both opinions: but also because the question is greater concerning both the scriptures alleadged, and the reasons vsed in this case, then I may presume to define or determine by mine owne authoritie. You shall therefore rather heare what their iudgements and arguments are whose o­pinion I fauour: then what my selfe can say, or might say, or dare say, in so difficult a question. Thirdly, my desire is, that you which are now present, and haue begun with patience to attend vpon this busines, will vouchsafe also your presence at other times when this argument shal be handled, and continue hearers euen vnto the end. For wise men know that all cannot be deliuered at once: especially in so large a field, wherin so many haue runne their race at length with much [Page 10] varietie of stile and plentie of inuention. And besides, that which is wanting in one sermon may be supplied in another: that which is spoken more darkly and slenderly at one time, may be vnfoulded more cléerely and prosecuted more fully at another. Therefore vn­till you haue heard all, I desire that you suspend your iudgement concerning all: yea and when in the end any slippe shall appeare, ascribe it not to wilfulnes, but to ignorance, not to malice, but to ouersight. For I say as he of old:

Errare possum, Haereticus esse nolo.

The first principall poynt, declaring what the word vsu­rie signifieth: how many waies it is taken: what it importeth in this argument: how many kindes and branches there are thereof. Lastly, vsurie is descri­bed, and the parts of the description are examined and vnfoulded.

THe name of vsurie is among diuers writers vsed in diuers significations. Naturally and properly, and as one sayth: Martin. Ab Azpil [...]ueta enchirid. cap 17. num. 206. Prima sui significatione, In the originall signification, It importeth the vse or occupying, or im­ploying of any thing. As Erasmus sayd well, Erasmus Ec­clesiast siue de rat concil. lib. 2 tom. 5. Vsura nobis ab vtendo dicitur: Vsurie is named among vs of v­sing, or vsage. And Molanus sayth, Io. Molanus compēd. Theol. practicae, tract. 2. cap. 26. con­cil. 1. sect. 1. Vsura ab vtendo i­dem est quod vsus: Vsurie commeth of vsing and is the same that vse is, or vsage. And so it appeareth to signi­fie properly, not onely by the Etymologie and deriua­tion of the word, Vsura quasi vsus rei, Vsurie as it were the vse of a thing: but also by the taking of it in verie approued writers. Plautus sayth, Plaut. co­moed. Amphi­tr [...]o in Prol. Alcumenam vxo­rem caepit vsurariam: He tooke Alcumena to vse as his wife. And againe, Plaut. Am­phit. act. 5. Scena. 2. Alcumenae vsuram corporis caepi: I had the vse of Alcumenaes bodie. Euery where we shal [Page 11] reade in Tullie, Quintilian, and other approued Lati­nists, Zuing lius lib. 1. epist. 22. Vsura horae, the vse of an houres space: Cicero. orat. pro Caio Ra­birio. L. Humfred. de vita Iuel. pag. 135. Vsura lu­cis, the vse of the light: Vsura temporis, the vse of the time: Frui vsura, to enioy the vse of a thing: and many such phrases to like purpose. This also may appeare more plainly by the distinction which the Latines doe make betwéene vsuarius and vsurarius: Callopin tit. vsura. Vsuarius they call him which the Graecians name [...]: The man that taketh, receiueth, or enioyeth the vse of a thing. Vsu­rarius they call him which the Graecians name [...]: The man from whom the vse or occupying of a thing is taken and receiued. So that in the natiue and pro­per signification of the word, vsurie is the vse of any thing: and an vsurer is any man from whom or by whō the vse of any thing is had and enioyed. Now this kinde of vsurie and vsurers no man that hath his right wits and senses, will once dare to challenge or con­demne generally as vnlawfull. For the end and per­fection of things is their vse: the benefite and commo­ditie of things consisteth in their vse: yea and men doe therefore liue and dwell together, to the ende that by the mutual vse of the things which they seuerally en­ioy, each one might be more commodious and benefi­ciall to another. And therfore this being so, that spéech of Bullinger may well be receiued in this sense: H. Bullinger. Decad. 3. ser. 1. Vsurae vocabulum inhonestum non est: Abusus reddidit inhone­stum: The name of vsurie is not dishonest of it selfe, or in the owne nature: the abuse of vsurie or vsage is that which hath made it dishonest, and of so bad account among men. For vsurie is properly the vse of a thing: which is of necessitie common to al men in the world. No man can liue without the vse of many things, and consequently not without this kind of vsurie.

But now the name of vsurie is translated by a Trope from his natiue signification, and is commonly taken [Page 12] metonymicè, causa pro effecto: the cause for the effect: vsu­rie for the gaine or increase arising from the vse of a thing. And of vsurie taken in that sense I finde diuers sorts mentioned among learned writers.

1 The first I may call Foenus naturale, naturall vsu­rie. And that is a kind of vsurie B. Aretius. prob. part. 1. loc. 50. Qua negotiantur homi­nes cum ipsa terra matre: In which or by which (sayth A­retius) men traffique with their common mother the earth: namely, in the trade of husbandrie and tilling of the ground. The reason of this Metaphore is, be­cause as the vsurer by putting foorth a summe of money or goods, into the hands of the borrower, doth increase and augment it, and receiueth againe his owne with aduantage: so the husbandman casting foorth his séede into the bowels of the earth, Cicer. lib. de Senect. Terra nunquam sine vsu­ra reddit quod accepit, It neuer returneth that which it re­ceiued without vsurie, or increase. Now this kinde of naturall vsurie, which is nothing els but the tilling and husbanding of the earth vnto gaine and increase, no wiseman did euer condemne: nay, no man can iustlie condemne by the word of God. For it is Gen. 3.23. the ordi­nance of God himselfe: it is the ancientest trade, Gen 4.2. first practised in the beginning of the world: it is the trade Pellican. com. in Pro. 12.11. Patribus sanctis olim in vsu, which the holie fathers of old time followed. Yea, howsoeuer the hus­bandman is now abased and contemned, yet husban­drie in times passed was Ibidem. Labor Romanis Nobilibus glo­riosus: A trade in which the Noblemen and Senatours of Rome imployed themselues without discredite, yea with glorie and renowne. And therefore howsoeuer the Manichees (blasphemous heretiques yt they were) said, August. in Psal 140. It was better to be an vsurer then a husbandman by profession: because (forsooth) the vsurer doth not pull vp or teare in péeces the members of God which are the trees, the hearbes, the apples, the fruites of the earth, as [Page 13] (say they) the husbandman doth: yet it is certaine that as the reason is vngodly, so their assertion is false. For the husbandman as concerning his trade, liueth August. de o­per. monacho­rum cap. 13. Inno­center & honestè: An honest and harmelesse life. Yea husbandrie is August de Haeres cap 46. Omnium artium innocentissima: (saith S. Augustine) The most innocent or harmelesse of all the Artes, Trades, Sciences, Craftes, misteries vsed and practised among men. This Naturall vsurie therefore which consisteth in gaining and increasing by tilling, and compassing, and sowing of the earth, and lastly, in reaping of the fruites which are yéelded from the fame: must passe by vs not so much as once snebbed or controuled, much lesse must it bée condemned from this sentence of Salomon, or any other part of the word of God.

2. There is an other kinde of vsurie which may not vnfitly be called Foenus Spirituale, Spirituall vsurie. And of that there are two sortes. The first is giuing of almes, munificence and liberalitie towards the poore and néedie: of which kind the ancient writers suppose that of Salomon to be spoken: Pro. 19 17. Foeneratur Domino qui miseretur pauperis: He lendeth (as it were) to vsurie to the Lord that is mercifull to the poore. For so the olde translation readeth it from the Greeke: [...] . And the reason thereof is this: Io. Mercerus. com. in Pro. 19.17. Quemadmodum qui homini mutuum dat, expectat vt sibi mutuum reddatur: Sic certissimè expectet quod quis erogat in pauperem, sibi à Domino etiam cum amplissimo foenore reddendum. Euen as hee which lendeth, looketh iustly to receiue his owne againe: so let him that is mercifull to the poore most as­suredly expect that the thinges which hee layeth out shall be rendered againe of God with a most liberall increase, as it were with a thréefolde vsurie. Now Io. Chrysost. hom. 3. in Gen. 1. Vide vsurae raram naturam & admirabilem (saith Chrysostome spea­king of that place of Salomon, and of this kind of vsury) [Page 14] Beholde the rare and wonderfull nature or operation of this vsurie: that where other vsurie is condemned of God, this he promiseth to recompence with abundant increase. This kind of vsurie is D. Wilson. in Prologo. good and praise wor­thie: For God himselfe hath commaunded it, Mat. 5.42. Giue to him that asketh: and againe, Deut. 15.10. Thou shalt giue him, and let not thy heart greeue to giue him. Whereof Saint Au­gustine sayd well, August. in Psal. 36. Ser. 3. Deus noster qui te prohibet esse foene­ratorem, iubet te esse foeneratorem: & dicitur tibi, foenera Deo. God (sayth he) which forbiddeth thee in other cases to be an vsurer, in this case, and in this sence com­maundeth thee to bee an vsurer: and it is sayd vnto thee, Lend vpon vsurie vnto God. And as this vsurie is com­mendable in it selfe, and commanded of God: so is it also verie profitable and commodious to him that v­seth it. For Pro. 19.17. The Lord (sayth the scripture) will recom­pence him, that which he hath giuen. And whereas Chrysost. ho­mil. 5. in Mat. 2. Illae acquirunt gehenuam, Istae vsurae regnum: (sayth Chryso­stome) The common vsuries purchase hell vnto their masters, but this kinde of vsurie obtaineth a kingdome, and glory, and euerlasting saluation. This kind there­fore of putting forth to vsurie and increase, namely to be liberall to the poore, that so God may recompence thée with aduantage: is that whereto all men are to bee exhorted, as to a most commendable, yea a most profitable thing: and therefore no where forbidden in the word of God.

There is another branch of this Spirituall vsurie, and that is the profitable imploying of the giftes which wee haue receiued from God to the aduancing of his glorie, and the benefite of men. Of this vsurie Origen speaketh preaching to the people: Origen. ho­mil. 3. in Psal. 36. Ecce & nunc vos omnes, qui­bus haec loquor, pecuniam accipitis foe [...]eratam, verba mea: haec pecunia Domini est. Behold (sayth he) all ye to whom I speake these thinges, doe take my wordes as money to [Page 15] vsurie: this is the Lords money, which you must vse to increase. Of this vsurie also our Sauiour Christ spea­keth in the parable, Mat. 25.27. Thou oughtest to haue put forth my money to the exchangers, and then at my comming should I haue receiued mine owne with vantage (The Greeke hath [...], the old translation, Cum vsura, M. Beza, Cum foe­nore, that is in english, with vsurie.) Now the money there spoken of is taken Dimisius Carthus com. in Psa. 14. Pro commisso talento, For the talent, or gift, or grace of God committed to a man. The putting, forth of this money signifieth Theophilact. com. in Mat. 25. Operum exhi­bitionem, The yeelding of workes; as Theophilacte doth well expound it: that is, the labouring and endeuo­ring to glorifie God, & to doe good to men by the giftes which wee haue receiued. The aduantage or vsurie there spoken of, is partly Tho. Aquin. 22. ae. Quaest. 78. Artic 1. Superexcrescentia bonorum spiritualium: The increase of the spirituall giftes them­selues by the vse: (for as Iron groweth the brighter by wearing, so doe the giftes of God grow the greater by vsing.) And partly it is Dionis. Car­thus. com in Psa. 14. Fructus scientile datae, vel gratiae, vel beneficij: The fruite and commoditie, which a man reapeth to himselfe, or yéeldeth to another from the knowledge, the grace, the benefite, which God hath bestowed vpon him. And this kinde of vsurie, that is, the imploying and putting forth of Gods giftes with­in vs to the best aduantage of him and our selues, must not be condemned, neither can it bee condemned from the holy scriptures. For GOD himselfe requireth it, Luk. 19 23. Wherefore gauest thou not my money to the bancke? and it is the end why he giueth his gifts to men: for he saith, Luk 19.13. Occupie till I come. And if any man will (like an vn­profitable seruant) hide his talent in a napkin, and bu­ry it in the earth, Mat. 2 [...].28.30. not onely his talent shall be taken from him and giuen vnto an other: but also he shal be cast into vtter darkenes where shall bee wéeping and gnashing of téeth.

[Page 16]3. These two kindes of vsurie being thus shortly passed ouer, as not so pertinent to this present trea­tise; I come vnto the third, which for difference and distinction sake we may call Foenus ciuile, aut politicum: Ciuill, or politique vsurie. Which is when gaine and in­crease is raised from the vse of worldly goods, which are things belonging to the ciuil and politique estates of men. And of this kind of vsurie, I find that there are two sortes: One is Actual or Outward, when by acte & outward deede, increase is made by the vse of a thing. An other is Mental or Inward, which consisteth onely in the hope and purpose, and expectation of the man. So saith Caietanus, Caietanus Cardinal. Sum­mula tit. v­sura. Vsura distinguitur in mentalem tā ­tum, & in vsuram extrinsecam: Vsurie is distinguished into that which is onely mental, or committed onely in the minde, and to that which is outwarde, or which be­wrayeth it selfe by some outward acte. So sayth also Viguerius, Io. Viguerius Instit. Theol. cap. 5. §. 3. ver. 15. Vsura diuiditur in mentalem & extrinsecam: Vsurie is diuided into that which is Mentall, and that which is Outward. So sayth also Io. Molanus comp. Theol. pract. tract. 2. cap. 26. concil. 1 sect. 7. Molanus, and diuers others too tedious to repeate. Of Outward actuall vsu­rie there are also two kinds: The one Voluntarie, the other by Compact. Voluntarie vsurie I take to be that which men commonly call Foenus liberale, and is then performed, when the borrower hauing profited, and benefited himselfe by another mans goods, which he borrowed, doth voluntarilie, vnbound, or vnrequired, yéeld a thankfull, or kind remembrance to the lender: not as a recompence of the other mans lending, but as a testimonie of his owne thankfulnes. Now I am not ignorant that other men haue iudged otherwise of this poynt. Pellicane putteth this difference betwéene Vsu­ra and Foenus: Pellican. com in Pro 28 8. Vsura dicitur quod supra sortem datur ex pacto: Foenus quod libere datur supra sortem sine pacto▪ Vsurie is that which is giuen by couenant aboue the prin­cipall: [Page 17] and Foenorie is that which is giuen freely and without couenant more then the principall. But this distinction I approue not, vnlesse he put to foenus the addition of liberale, to discerne it, and specifie it for a kind by it selfe: because it is euident that vsura and foe­nus are taken promiscuè, both in one sense, and both in the worst part among all writers. Others haue thus distinguished betwéene vsurie, and liberall or voluntarie Foenorie: Hugo Cardi­nalis in Prou. 28.8. Vsura est quod datur supra sortem ex pacto praecedente, scilicet inter vsurarium & debitorem: Foenus liberale est retributio mutuatae pecuniae in debitoris libera voluntate constituta: Vsurie is that which is giuen aboue the principall by couenant, made before betweene the vsurer and the detter: Voluntarie Foenorie is the repay­ment of the money borrowed, consisting in the free will or choyce of the detter. And he addeth: Ita solet definiri: So is it vsually defined. Now vsually it may be, but tru­lie, and soundlie (in my suppose) it cannot be thus defi­ned. For by this meanes Foenorie shall be onely the re­payment of such a debt, as which a man may chuse (be­cause he is not bound) whether he will discharge or no. In which sense I doe not remember that euer I read the word vsed in any kind of writer. And besides that, neither can he be called Foenerator which lendeth with­out couenant or assurance to receiue his owne againe: neither can that bee called mutuata pecunia, which a man so putteth foorth, as he leaueth it frée in ye choyce of the borrower, whether he will euer repay it or no. And therefore without question, Ita nequit desiniri. Vo­luntarie or liberall Foenorie cannot so be defined. Unles per retributionem mutuatae pecuniae, we vnderstand, not the repayment of the principall, but a recompence and consideration made for the lending. I doe therefore so vnderstand voluntarie vsurie, as I haue before descri­bed it: and being so taken and vnderstood, I see not [Page 18] how it can be condemned by the word of GOD. For first, it is onely a testimonie of thankfulnes, and not a recompence of a benefite. Secondly, it is the frée wil of the giuer: now what is fréer then gift? And againe, Volenti non fit iniuria: If he will giue it vnasked or vn­compelled, he hath no iniurie offered in the taking. Thirdly, he that lendeth might lawfully before he lent receiue a frée gift of the borrower. Tho. Aquin. 2 [...] a. quaest. 78. art. 2. Nec peioris conditionis efficitur per hoc quod mutuauit, sayth the Schoole man: His lending hath not put him into a wor­ser condition: but that he may as lawfully take a frée gift after he hath lent, as he might before his lending. And therefore this voluntarie vsurie I leaue also vn­condemned: and doe rather condemne the old transla­tion, which ioyneth together Vsura and Foenus liberale in this sentence of Salomon.

But to procéede: As there is vsurie giuen of free will, so is there also vsurie due by Compact. And that is committed, when he that lendeth Couenanteth with the borrower to receiue againe not onely his owne, and his principal, but also increase and aduantage. Of which Compacting vsurie, some is more open and di­rect, and therefore I call it Vsura explicata, manifest or vnfoulded vsurie: some againe is more close and secret, and therefore I call that, Vsura palliata, cloaked, or co­uert vsurie. According to which diuision Molanus spea­keth thus: Molanus comp. theol [...]ract. tract. 2. cap. 26. conc. 2. sect. 13. Exterior vsura aliquando clara est, aliquando verò titulo honesti palliatur: Outward or actuall vsurie sometimes is cleare, and manifest: but sometimes it is cloaked or couered with the title of honestie. And ano­ther more plainly, Martinus ab Azpilcueta [...]nchirid. cap. 17. num. 207. Contractus mutui est duplex, verus & palliatus. Ita duplex est vsura: vera quae in vero mutuo, & velata seu palliata quae in palliato versatur. The contract of lending is of two sorts: the one direct or indeede: the other cloaked or pretended. And so is vsurie of two sorts [Page 19] also: the one true vsurie, or vsurie indéede which is occu­pied about true lending: the other couert or cloaked vsu­rie, which is occupied about lending cloaked or preten­ded. And these be the speciall kinds of outward or actu­all vsurie.

Then followeth that which is Mentalis vsura: The vsurie of the minde, The practiser whereof is called Didacus Co­uar▪ relect. part. 2. Mentalis vsurarius: A mentall vsurer, or one that com­mitteth vsurie onely inwardly with himselfe and with his owne minde. For Viguer. instit. theol. cap. 5. §. 3 ver. 15. Mentalis consistit in spe lucri abs­que vlla conuentione: Mentall vsurie consisteth in the hope of gaine without any couenant, sayth Viguerius. If a man therefore lend, demaunding no gaine of the bor­rower, nor couenanting with him for vsurie and in­crease: outwardly, in déede, and act he can be no vsu­rer. But if his purpose, and desire, and expectation be, that the borrower should not bring his goods wéeping home, but that he should tender him consideration for the vse of his goods: such a man hath in his mind com­mitted vsurie before God, and commeth within the compasse of Salomons censure in this place. I am not ignorant that there are many other distinctions or di­uisions made of vsurie: as Aret. prob. part. 1, loc. 50. Simplex and Coniuncta: ter­restris and nautica: Centesima, Semissalis, Trientaria, &c. But these either are comprehended vnder those alrea­die specified, or els they are not in vse and practise a­mong vs: and therefore I hold it not necessarie at large to dilate them. But now these branches of vsu­rie being thus expressed, it remaineth that we procéed to the handling of so many of them as fall into contro­uersie and question in these daies. And those are by name, first Outward or Actuall compacting vsurie, and the two branches therof viz. Open and Cloaked vsurie: secondly, that which is onely mentall or committed in the minde. And therefore these onely my purpose is to [Page 20] discusse in the treatise following.

But by the way let me note thus much from that which hath béen alreadie deliuered concerning the name, the diuers acceptions, and the seuerall kindes of vsurie. It is true, and it must bee confessed that there are to be found in diuers godly writers large tolera­tions (that I may not say approbations) of some kind of vsurie. Master Caluin sayth, Io. Caluin. epist. resp. de v­suris. Nullo testimonio scrip­turae mihi satis constat vsuras omnino damnatas esse: It doth not sufficiently appeare to me by any testimonie of scripture, that vsurie is wholly or generally condemned. Bucer sayth, Bucer com. in Mat. 5. Vsura siue foenus, hoc est, quicquid commodi ex data mutuò pecunia vel re alia ad creditorem a de bitone supra sortem redit, per se nulla lege prohibetur▪ Vsurie or foenorie, that is, all kind of commoditie which ariseth by the lending of money, or any other thing, from the bor­rower to the lender ouer and aboue the principall: by it selfe or simplie is forbidden by no law. Bullinger. decad 3. Ser. 1. Bullinger see­meth to bee of the same minde, and some others also, who for their great godlines and learning are much to be regarded. Now I would haue no man to conceiue that my purpose is to neglect or contemne so excellent men, and so well deseruing of the Church of God. No, I acknowledge that Bucer was Theod. Beza de coena Dom. contra Ioach. Wertphal. ad cap. 22. [...]re pius, a very godly man, and Bullinger was Beza respons. ad Franciscum Balduinum. vir doctissimus, a very learned man: as Master Beza, a man very godly, and learned himselfe, hath intituled thē in his writings. But espe­cially, Master Caluin was a man (as Zanchius testi­fieth of him) who is iustly to this day Hieron. Zan­chius miscelan. epist. ad Lant­grauiū pag. 36. honorifice me­moriae, of honorable memorie vt ibi a [...] E [...]ropa, as all Europe witnesseth. Yea further, he was a man praestanti pietate, maxima eruditione, singulari in rebus omnibus iu­dicio, of great godlines, exceeding learning, and singular iudgement in all things. God forbid therefore that I should contemne them and their iudgements. But [Page 21] this is that which I would haue here to bee obser­ued, concerning these men and others of their opi­nion. Sith the name of vsurie is taken so largely, and sith there are so many kindes and branches of v­surie, whereof diuerse haue alreadie béen by mée ac­knowledged to bée lawfull: it is no great maruaile though they haue spoken so fauorablie of some kinde of vsurie, or of vsurie in generall, taking it (it may be) in the largest signification. And why doe I say, it may be they tooke it in the largest signification? When as it is euident that some of them did so take it in déede. For Bullinger defineth vsurie after this sorte, Bullinger. decad 3. Serm. 1. Vsura est, cum alteri concedis vsum tui Peculij, vtpote agri, vel domus, vel pecuniae, vel alterius alicuius rei, vnde in annum percipis fructum aliquem: Vsurie is, when thou yeeldest to another the vse of thy goods, as of thy grounde, of thy house, of thy money, or of any other thing, whereof thou re [...]pest a yearelie commoditie. Now if vnder the name of vsurie, we vnderstand whatsoeuer commoditie ari­seth to a man from the leating of his cattell, of his house, of his land, or such like: then it is euident that (as these learned men and others affirme) all kinde of vsurie, simplie and generallie is not forbidden in the worde of God: neither doe they (taking vsurie so largelie) oppositely and directlie oppugne the drifte of this treatise. I conclude therefore this poynte with that saying of the Schoole man, Gabriel Biel. in quartum senten. dist. 15. quaest. 11. art. 1. c. Vsura quandoque capi­tur multum largè, pro omni acceptione vltra sortem in mu­tuo, & sic non omnis vsura est illicita, Vsurie is taken some­times very largelie in signification viz. for any thing which is taken in lending aboue the principall, and so all vsurie is not vnlawfull. For voluntarie thankefulnes hath béen iustified alreadie, and interest shall be iustifi­ed hereafter in this discourse. Besides that, the name of vsurie includeth the very vse of any thing, and it [Page 22] hath diuerse kindes which before haue béen approoued to be lawfull. So much therefore in this place for those mens opinions. Now I returne to the handling of the branches of vsurie, which are most common among vs and shall bee shewed to be vnlawfull by the worde of God.

And first of that outward and actuall vsurie, which is open and manifest,Out­ward Open Actu­all. vsurie. and apparant to bee such as it is indéede in the eyes and iudgement of men. This is that kinde which hath spred it selfe furthest, and hath growne most common in all places and corners of the world. And therefore of this kinde most writers of all countries doe intreate: giuing (euery man according to the abundance of his owne sence) diuerse definiti­ons or descriptions thereof. All which but once to re­member and relate, would almost make a volume of it selfe. Many therefore shall for breuities sake be onelie quoted in the margent: and those which are recited shall for the better vnderstanding of the simple bee di­uided into foure seuerall rankes.

1. The first sorte of definitions of Vsurie.

The first ranke shall be of those which doe thus define it or to this effect Ludolphus de vita Christi. part 2. cap. 49. Vsura est quod ex mutuo vltra sortem ac­cipitur: Vsurie is whatsoeuer for lending is taken aboue the principall. Or againe, Petrus de An­chorano consil. 49. Quic­quid recipitur vltra sortem v­sura est: Whatsoeuer is taken aboue the principall is vsurie.

To which effect it is also defi­ned of

  • Aret prob. part. 1. loc. 50. tit. De vsuris.
  • Glanuil. lib. 7. cap. 16. & lib. 10. cap. 3.
  • D. Wilson. fol. 34.

These definitions exclude as wee sée the taking or [Page 23] receiuing of any thing for lending, whatsoeuer, or vp­on what occasion soeuer: and therefore are indéede more large then can well bee iustified by the worde of God. For first they exclude Foenus liberale, which hath afore béen approued to bee lawfull. Secondly, they cut off the very giuing and receiuing of thankes and good will betwéene the borrower and the lender. Whereas very nature teacheth a man to bee thankefull for a be­nefite, and to repay good will to him that hath deserued it. Phil. Me­lancthon. Dial. lib. 1. The Persians (wee reade) punished ingratitude with death, and Suetonius Claud. Caes. cap. 25. Claudius Caesar reduced vnthankefull persons into bondage: and why then should vnthanke­fulnes bee tollerated among Christians? No, the Schoole men Tho. Aquin. 22ae quast. 106 art. 1. haue canonized gratitude for a speciall vertue: and so is it certainely to be houlden and repu­ted. These definitions therefore I receiue not, for the reasons before mentioned and alleadged.

2. The second sorte of definitions of Vsurie.

There bee others which describe vsurie after this manner, Concil. Aga­thense decret. 2. Vsura est vbi amplius requiritur quam datur. Verbi gratia: Si dederis solidos decem & amplius quaesieris, vel dederis frumenti modium vnum, & super aliquid exege­ris: Vsurie is when any thing is required, or demaunded, more then was giuen or lent forth. As for example; If thou lendest ten shillings and demaundest more, or len­dest a bushell of corne and demaundest more, this acte is vsurie. This definition steppeth a degrée beyond the former sorte. For where the other spake onely of gi­uing and receiuing more then the principall: this im­porteth a requiring, a demaunding, and an exacting of more then the principall. And yet this definition cannot be sound, nor sufficient to expresse vnlawfull [Page 24] vsurie. For if all kinde of demaunding more then the principall be vsurie, then here is cut off all the taking of the forfeiture of any bande or obligation, for any cause or consideration whatsoeuer: because in so dooing, a man demandeth and receiueth more, yea as much a­gaine as the due debte and principall. Now it is true, that this taking of forfeitures, is a grinding of the fa­ces of the poore too common in this vncharitable age, and it is a kinde of gaine which our fathers in former ages scarse knew, but seldome or neuer practised. Yet no man may simplie and absolutelie forbid another, e­uen by bandes to take securitie of his owne: neither may men peremptorilie bee condemned, when being damnified for want of their owne, they séeke to make themselues whole or to saue themselues harmelesse by the penaltie and forfeiture of bandes.

Prouided alwaies that such bandes, obligations, penalties, and forfeitures, passe not betwéene man and man G. Biel. in quartum sent. dist. 15. quaest. 11. art. 1. c. In fraudem vsurarum: To cloake vsurie with­all, or to preuent the lawes which prohibite vsurie. Quia, si in fraudem vsurarum poenam adijcit, vsurarius est. For if a man lend any thing, and take the borrowers bande for the payment of it, with intent that at the day the penaltie and forfeiture of the bande, shall paye for the forbearing of the money: then certainely hée is an vsurer. Now it is to bee presumed saith the same Schooleman, that the lender imposeth a penaltie vpon the borrower, to cloake the acte or to auoyde the dan­ger of vsurie, when as either Ibidem. The lender wisheth ra­ther, that the borrower woulde passe his daye, and so hee might take the forfeiture: then that he should paye him at his daye, and so auoyde the penaltie. Or else, when the lender knoweth at the time of lending, that the borrow­er is not like to make restitution at his appoynted daye. Or thirdly, If the lender imposeth a greater penaltie vp­on [Page 25] the non payment then, his dammage can possiblie be for the forbearing of his goods. These are thrée rules which if they were well séene into and obserued, would cut off many vsurarious bargaines that passe be­twéene man and man, vnder pretence of billes and bandes, forfeitures and obligations. It being a com­mon practise in these dayes, that when men lende vp­on bandes, with intent of vsurie: when the daye is pas­sed and the bande is forfeited, though they haue for want of their money at the appoynted day susteined no certaine, nay no likely dammage, yet to paye them­selues sometimes double and treble vsurie by the forfei­ture of the band. And if they take not the extremitie, and the whole, they will be of necessitie accounted ve­ry honest and religious dealers. But of that by the way.

As those which define vsurie after this second sort doe thereby cut off all obligations and forfeitures: so doe they also thereby exclude all due and lawfull In­terest. P. Melancth. lib definit. ap­pellat. Interest is (saith Melanchton) a debte which he oweth by the lawe of nature, that hath beene to another an effectuall cause of damage and losse, or hath indeede hindered his iust and lawfull gaine. So that Interest is iustly due Panormitan. c conquest. de vsuris cit. a Gab in 4 sent. dist▪ 15. quaest. 11. art. 1. f. Non solum ex damno contingente, sed etiam ex lucre cessante: Not onely when a man hath lent, and for wāt of receiuing againe of his own in appointed time, he suffereth dammage, but also when wanting his own to employ for his best aduantage his gaine and increase is hindered. As for example, I lent fréely, looking to receiue mine owne againe at a certaine appointed day. The day came, I receiued it not. For want of it, I forfeited at that day a band to an other man, and the forfeiture is exacted of me in part, or to the vtmost. I doubt not but reason and conscience will, that I may demaund such recompence of him to whome I lent [Page 26] fréely, as I am compelled for want of mine owne, to make to another to whome my band and obligation by that meanes is forfeited. And thus is Interest de­manded Ex damno contingente▪ In confideration of the dāmage I haue sustained. Againe, I am (for the purpose) an occupier, and haue money lying by me, which may pleasure an other man for a time, and will serue mine owne turne well enough, if at such a day it be repaied. I lend fréely: I cannot receiue it at my appoynted time. For want of it, I cannot at such a fayre make such prouision for my house, or so furnish my shop with wares, as my necessitie and occupation doth require, whereon my liuing and maintenance dependeth. I doubt not, but I may in equitie & conscience demaund, that hee which borrowed my money, where with I might haue furnished my selfe of these thinges, should make recōpence answerable to ye benefit & aduantage, whereof for want of mine owne I haue béene hindred. And this is Interest demanded Ex lucro oessante: In con­sideration of my gaine which by want of mine owne hath beene abated. The reason of both these is drawne (sayth Melanchton) Melan. lib. definit. appel­lat. Ex naturali aequalitate: From na­turall iustice. For this is a lawe of naturall equitie, Ibidem. Nemo locupletetur cum alterius iniuria: Let no man en­rich himselfe by hindering of an another▪ And the Apo­stle will not that euen in giuing of almes, (much lesse in lending and borrowing) we should so deale as 2. Cor. 8.13. O­ther men should be eased by the grieuing of our selues. Now if I lend to pleasure an other, and for want of mine owne at the appointed time, I am indamaged to my creditour, or hindered of my lawfull gaine: hee is en­riched by my harme, and eased by my griefe, and there­fore recompence due vnto me by the very lawe of na­ture. Interest then is not vniust nor vnlawfull: and consequently the definition of vsurie last aboue named▪ [Page 27] because it excludeth all penall forfeitures, and all rea­sonable Interest, is not to be receiued.

Note by the way for the better discouerie of the v­surers euill dealing, that howsoeuer hee to glose with the world, is wont to confound the names of Interest and vsurie: and men are woont to say, that they take Interest, and lend vpon Interest; when indéed they take vsurie and lend vpon vsurie: yet that there are two ma­nifest and essentiall differences betwéen vsurie and In­terest, which doe so distinguish the one from the other, as that they cannot possibly be confounded. One dif­ference is this: Vsurie is an ouerplus or gaine taken more then was lent: Interest is neuer gaine or ouer­plus aboue the principall, but a recompence demaun­ded, and due for the damage that is taken, or the gaine that is hindered through lending. An other difference is this: vsurie accreweth and groweth due by lending, from the day of borrowing, vnto the appointed time of payment: Interest is neuer due but from the appoin­ted day of payment forward, and for so long as I for­beare my goods after the day, in which I did couenant to receiue them againe. So that, if once I haue lent fréely vnto a certaine day, I shall not demaund Inte­rest for any dammage susteined, or gaine hindered du­ring that tearme of time, for which I haue lent vnto another. But if at the couenanted time I receiue not mine owne againe, then what harme soeuer do betide me after that day for the forbearing thereof, reason will that it be recompenced of the borrower. And so much of Interest, and of the difference betweene it and vsurie.

3. The third sorte of definitions of Vsurie.

A third manner of defining vsurie is this.

Nich. Selnec­cerus instit. christ. rel. part. 2. pag. 615. Selneccerus saith, Vsura est lucrum su­prà sortem exactum: Vsurie is a gaine ex­acted aboue the prin­cipall. And so saith Brentius, Brent. com. in Leuit. 25. Vsuram de finiunt esse lucrū, quod ad mutuum accedit, seu vbi praeter sortem sol­uitur aliquid propter mutuationē: Men (saith he) doe define vsurie to bee a gaine that is added to that which is lent▪ or when ouer and besides the principall, any thing is payed for lending.

To which effect it is also defined of

  • Luther. de taxand. vsurato 7.
  • Melanch. lib. de fin. appel.
  • Tho. Aquin. 22 [...]. quast. 78. in principio.
  • Lauat. in Eze. 18. hom 76.
  • Da. Chytraeus. in Exod. 22.
  • Viguerius. instit. theol. cap. 5. §. 3. ver. 14.
  • D. Wilson. fol. 85.

Now these descriptions are somewhat more per­fect then those that went before: for they doe adde the mention of Gaine vnto Exaction. And whereas the o­ther affirmed that whatsoeuer is exacted more then the principall, that is vsurie: (so condemning both pe­nalties and Interest, thinges which are lawfull in com­mon equitie,) these definitions doe import that vsurie is neither penaltie nor Interest, taken for the forbea­ring of any thing longer then the appointed day: but that it is a gaine, an ouerplus, and increase arising from the very act of lending. And yet these séeme not to me to be perfect and absolute enough to the purpose. For [Page 29] put the case that I lend an hundred poundes to a mer­chant aduenturer, with these conditions: viz. if hee gaine not by imploying of it, I require no gaine: if he loose in the imploying of it (doing his good and honest indeuour, that there bee not Culpalata, as the Ciuli­ans speake) I will beare halfe the losse: if he gaine nothing, but onely saue the principall, I will haue that wholly repayed againe: if hee not onely saue the principall, but gaine by the imploying of it also, I wil not only haue ye principall, but part of the gaine also. In this case I demaund gaine of yt which I lent, euen because I lent it: and yet I take not this gaine to bée vsurie or vnlawfull. First, because I doe herein aduen­ture the principall. Secondly, because I am contented to partake the losse. Thirdly, there is neither certainty of gaine, neither if I do gaine, is there anie measure or proportion of gaine agréed vpon. It may bée some man will iudge this to be Cōtractus societatis. The contract of society, or partnership▪ If it be, yet it differeth very lit­tle from lending. If it be lending, thē doth it annihilate the definitions last aboue mentioned: as those which do not sufficiently describe that kind of vsurie which is vnlawfull and condemned by the word of God.

Not much vnlike or differing from this, is the right Contract of Societie, or partnership in deede: An in­stance whereof may (for examples sake) bee deliuered in a Scholler: who hath readie money left him of his fa­ther, but hath no trade wherein to employ it, because he hath béen continuallie trained vp in learning▪ Hée hauing a friende that is a Marchant, committeth the occupying of his money vnto him: with condition that they shall diuide the gaine equallie betweene them, if it increase, and beare the losse equallie be­twéene them if it decaye. The summe of the couenant is thus much in effect. The Scholler shall after a sorte [Page 30] lend the Marchant his money, and the Marchant shall after a sorte lend the Scholler his labour: both shall be combined, and the losse or gaine shall be equallie diui­ded. This was neuer iudged to be vsurie: neither shall it euer be iustly reproued from the Scriptures.

4. The fourth sorte of definitions of Vsurie.

There are yet others which doe describe vsurie after an other man­ner, and in another forme of words. The Diuines of Wittenberge, haue thus cōcluded of it, Theses Wit­tenberg. de v­sura. thesi. 2. citat. ab Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. Sunt vsurarij seu foeneratores, quicunque ex pecunia mu­tuò data vel minimum etiam obolum, vel haustum frigidae aquae, ex conuenti­one vltra sortem accipiunt. Those are vsurers, who, for money lent forth, doe by couenant receiue euen the leaste halfe pēnie, or a draught of cold water, ouer, or more then the principall. To this effect also is it defined of that reuerend B. of Sarisburie, Laurent. Humfred. epist. nuncupat. in vita Iuelli. pag. 4. Ecclesiae nostrae decus & ornamentum, who was in his time an honour & ornament to our church: as D. Hūfric truly repor­teth. He intreating ex professo of this argumēt: hath left vsury thus defined in his writings. Io. Iuel. Ser. in 1. Thess. 4.6. Vsurie is a kinde of lending of money, or corne, or oile, or wine, or of any other thing, wherin vp­on couenant and bargaine we receiue againe the whole principall which we deliuered, and somewhat more for the vse and occupying of the same.

To which effect it is also defined of

  • Zegeddinus loc. com p. 457.
  • Hugo card. cōment. in Pro. 28.8.
  • Ioh. Mola­nus cōpend. Theol. pra­cticae tract. 2. cap. 26. consil. 3. sect. 14.
  • D. Wilson. fol. 84.
  • M. Smith. ser. 1. vpon Vsurie. fo. 3
  • M. Turnbul serm. 4. in Psalm. 15.
  • M. Perkins. Armil. aur. in praec. 8. cap. 27.
  • Raymundus Goffredus.

[Page 31]Now these definitions doe adde vnto the former the poynt or particular of compact. At the least wise they doe more openly and cléerely explaine that, which the others haue deliuered concerning debte and exaction. For the borrower can owe nothing but by couenant: the creditour can exact nothing but by couenant. And therefore sith in vsurie there is debt, and there may bée exaction: there must of necessitie be also in vsurie, not only lending and gaine, but also couenanting and com­pacting for gaine.

But now because these thrée thinges may concurre viz. 1. Lending 2. Lending for gaine. 3. Couenanting for gaine: and yet not make vnlawfull vsurie (as hath beene before exemplified in the third ranke or order of definitions:) therefore I adde the fourth circumstance vnto the former thrée, and that is, The not aduenturing of the principall. And this fourth point I take vp and adioyne to the former out of the Councell of Laterane. Concil. Late­ran. sub Leone 10. sess. 10. Eapropria est vsurdrum interpretatio, quando videlicet ex vsurei quae non germinat, nullo labore, nullo sumptu, Nullé­ue Periculo luorum foetus (que) conquiri studetur. This is the proper interpretation of vsurie, (say the Fathers assem­bled in that Councel) when men labour to get gaine and increase from the vse of a thing which groweth or in­creaseth not: and that with no labour, with no cost, with no danger, or aduenturing. And therefore conferring al these definitions together, and gleaning out of them all, that which I holde most essentiall to this purpose: I doe thus define that Open, Outward, and Actuall v­surie whereof I now intreate, and which I take to be forbidden by the worde of God.

Vsurie is a lending for gaine, by compact, not aduen­turing the principall.

Or more plainly thus.

Vsurie is, when a man not aduenturing the goodes which hee lendeth, couenanteth to receiue againe [Page 32] more then he lendeth, euen vpon this consideration, because he lent them.

Note by the way, that I here do define the action or sinne of vsurie, and not the vsurie it selfe, as many haue done in the former descriptions. For one sayd rightly, Mar. ab Az­pilcueta enchi­rid. cap. 17. num. 207. Aliud est peccatum vsurae, & aliud vsura: The sinne of vsurie is one thing, and vsurie it selfe is an other thing. The sinne of vsurie is to take or to desire vsurarious gaine: but vsurie it selfe is the gaine which in the owne nature may be valued for money, and is demaunded principally for the dutie either of direct or coloured lending. Now the sinne or fault of vsurie, is the thing which is con­demned in the worde of God, and therefore that is it which I déemed here most fit to bee described. And in this kind of vsurie thus described and layd foorth, I doe obserue foure thinges which must of necessitie concur and méete together. 1. The first is Lending. 2. The second is lending for Gaine. 3. The third is Compa­cting for gaine. 4. The fourth is, The not aduenturing of the principall. Of which foure particulars, as of thinges whereupon dependeth the waight and sub­stance of this controuersie, my purpose is seuerally and largely to intreate in the sermon following.

The ende of the first Sermon Preached March 19. 1592.

The second Sermon: the speciall contentes whereof are these.

  • 1. Vsurie is committed in lending onely.
  • 2. Vsurie is in lending for gaine.
  • 3. Vsurie is compacting for gaine.
  • 4. In vsurie is no aduenturing of the principall.
And so consequently here is discussed.
  • 1. What lending is, and how it differeth from o­ther contractes.
  • 2. What gaine is, and what it is to lend for gaine.
  • 3. What it is to compact, and how many waies a man may couenant.
  • 4. How the vsurer aduentureth, and not aduen­tureth his principall.

THe first of the foure thinges, necessarily required to the defi­nition of this vsurie, is that it be committed in lending. Bullinger. decad 3. Serm. 1. Di­cunt vsuram in solo mutuo (quod debet esse gratuitum) committi: non in reliquis contractibus. Men say that vsurie is onely commit­ted in lending, (which should be free) and not in other contracts. Now indéede, learned men doe say and affirme so. Chemnit. loc. com tom. 2. tit. de paupertate cap. 6. Chemnitius sayth: Fit in [Page 34] contractu mutui: Vsurie is committed in the contract of lending. Brentius sayth: Brent. com. in Leuit. 25. Vsura fit tantum in mutuo: Vsu­rie is committed onely in lending. D. Wilson sayth: D. Wilson fol 86. There cannot bee any vsurie where lending is not. And therefore the scripture sayth, speaking of vsurie: Exod. 22.25. Si pecuniam mutuam dederis. If thou lend money: for so is it read in al old and new translations. And the Greeke interpretor hath; [...]: The same worde which Christ vseth, Luk. 6. and all men translate, Luk 6.35. Mutuum date: Lend looking for nothing againe.

Now sith vsurie is onely in lending, it is necessarie that we consider what lending is: and consequently, that we haue some recourse vnto the lawyers schooles, to whome the handling of contracts doth specially ap­pertaine. And yet so, as that in speaking thereof, wée shall not wholly transgresse the boundes and limites of Diuinitie. For although, Chemnit. loc. com. tom. 2. tit. de pauperta. cap. 6. The matter and forme of contracts be to be deriued from the lawyers and philoso­phers: yet the Diuine addeth to them the efficient cause, which is the ordinance of God: and speaketh more high­ly of the final cause, then either the lawyer, or philosopher by his profession can apprehend. Ibidem. For the rule of Diui­nitie (sayth Chemnitius) is this. Ita exercendos contractus, vt conspiciatur fides, & exerceatur dilectio: Contractes, and bargaines must so be vsed among men, as they may shew their faith, and exercise their loue towardes their brethren. A thing which I thought good the rather to obserue, lest either Diuines should thinke that matters of bargaining and contracting belong no way to their profession: or that in speaking of them at this present, I should bee thought to assume that vnto mee, which be seemeth not my calling.

But to returne to the point: If we wil know what lending is, and what manner of bargaine a man ma­keth when hee lendeth to his neighbour: me thinkes [Page 35] Hemingius hath well described the nature thereof vn­to vs.Hemming. com. in Iac. 5. Mutuatio est contractus quo transfertur rei Domi­nium in alterum, nullo quidem pretio interposito, sed cum pa­cto, vt eadem res reddatur in specie. Lending is such a con­tract, or bargaine, as transferreth the dominion or pro­pertie of a thing, from one vnto an other, for no consi­deration of any price or recompence, but onely with couenant, that the same kinde of thing bee rendered and repayed againe, Now I would haue these wordes of Hemingius to bee throughly waighed and considered. For euery one of them hath his waight and moment: and they doe not onely distinguish lending from all o­ther kind of bargaining: but also doe manifestly shew that an vsurer can practise no other contract, but onely lending: yea, and onely that kinde of lending which is called mutuation. First, in that when we lend, wee couenant with the borrower, that the same thing, or the like thing, shall bee repayed and restored againe: therein and by this poynte is lending distinguished from giuing. For L. 1. & L. Donari. ff. de Donationibus & L. Donari. ff. de Reg. Iur. Donatio proprie est, qua aliquis dat [...]a mente, vt statim velit accipientis fieri, nec vllo casu ad se reuerti. Giuing is, when a man bestoweth a thing vpon an other, with this minde and purpose, that hee would presently haue it become his that doth receiue it, and ne­uer in any wise to be returned againe vnto himselfe. Frō whence then we may easily obserue, that the vsurer gi­ueth not forth his money or his goodes: in as much as he hath no purpose to make them become for euer, the goodes of the receiuer: but couenanteth, that in time they shal againe returne vnto himselfe. And therefore, though sometimes wee reade this phrase or manner of speaking in the holy scripture. Leuit 25.37. Thou shalt not giue him thy money to vsurie: and againe, Psal. 15.5. He that giueth not his money to vsurie, and such like: yet wee must not bee so simple, as to gather from thence, that the vsurer prac­tiseth [Page 36] the contract and couenant of giuing: for as much as he indenteth for the returne, and repaying againe of such thinges as are deliuered. Whereof it is that though the prophet Ezechiel do vse also the same phrase of Ezech. 18.13. giuing forth to vsurie: yet he addeth thereunto, the taking of increase: which noteth, that it is such a kinde of giuing, that is practised in vsurie, as caryeth taking with it. As if a man would say in this case, and in this sense, as it is sayd in Authors of some kinde of contra­cting. Gratian. de­cret. Part. 2. Caus. 14. Quaest. 3. Do vt des, vel do vt facias: I giue thee, that thou maiest giue me: or I giue thee this, that thou maiest doe me that. Thus then wee sée howe lending and giuing differ: and that the vsurer doth not in putting foorth of his money, exercise the contracte of giuing vnto men.

From giuing then, let vs procéede to letting: and let vs consider whether the vsurer doth let foorth his goodes or no. For that is also a phrase of spéech which they haue among themselues: namely, that they doe let their money, or put it forth to lettage or loane, Now what is letting? Melancthon. lib. defin. appel­lat. Et L. a ff. loca­ti. L. i. §. Si quis seruum. ff. deposit. Locatio est contractus, in quo res transfertur ad certum tempus, quoad vsum, procerto pretio. non quoad dominium, &c. Letting (sayth Melancthon) is a contract, in which a thing is transferred or made ouer from one man to another, as touching the vse, but not as touching the propertie for a certaine price, and for a certaine time. As for example, I let thee my seruant by the day, to labour in thy haruest: I let thée my horse by the wéeke, to ride vpon, my howse by the yeare to dwell in, my land to occupie, &c. not that my seruant, or horse, or howse, or land should become thine owne in propertie, and should abide by thée for euer: but that thou shouldest haue the vse, and profite, and benefite of them for a certaine season. So that herein lending and letting differ. Lending maketh a translation of the pro­pertie: [Page 37] letting doth onely make an alienation of the vse. Whereof it commeth to passe, that in lending L Pignus C. de Pignorat. act. Transfertur periculum in accipientem. The hazard, or ad­uenturing of the thing which is lent, is conueyed from the lender, to the borrower or receiuer. So as, if that which he borroweth doe perish or decay: the borrow­er is bound to make it good againe. And why? Because the propertie or dominion of a thing was in him: now the casualtie of things belongeth to the owner. But it is otherwise in letting: L Si quis do­mum. §. Si Co­lonus. & L. Si merces. § Vis maior ff. locati. If a man let a thing, and by casualtie it perish in the vse: the hyrer shall not bee bound to make it good, because the dominion and pro­pertie resteth not in him. To which also may be ad­ded, the reason that the Lorde himselfe touching that case giueth in the scriptures: Exod. 22.15. If it bee an hired thing, it came for his hyer. The hyrer paide for the vse, and ther­fore hee shall not stand to the aduenture of the thing. And consequently, as it hath béen before declared, that the vsurer giueth not: so is it euident from hence, that he letteth not his goodes. For first, the vsurer doth ali­enate the propertie of his goodes, from himselfe to the borrower. Secondly, hee doth impose the casualtie of that which he lendeth vpon the necke of him that doth receiue it. Neither of which two thinges, are vsually, or iustly practised in the contract of letting: the vsurer therefore doth not let his goodes.

From letting, let vs goe on to buying and selling. Melancthon. lib. defin. appel­lat. Emptio est contractus, quo res transfertur quoad domini­um pro iusto pretio: Nec retinet emptorius retrahendi pre­tij. Buying is a contract, by which a thing is transferred or alienated, from one man to another, as touching the dominion or propertie, for a certaine price: and the buy­er hath no right to recall ▪ or withdraw the price, or con­sideration againe ▪ From which it may appeare in few wordes: First, that buying and selling, do differ much [Page 38] from lending. For lending, is the translation of the do­minion of a thing, Nullo interposito pretio: For no price or consideratiō: but selling is the alienating of a thing, Pro iusto pretio: For a set price to be paide, and conside­ration to be made. Secondly, it may appeare that the vsurer practiseth not the contract of bargaine and sale. For he doth not alienate his goods for a certaine price, and for euer, as in buying and selling men alwayes doe: but hee doth alienate the propertie and vse of thē onely for a time, and for that temporall alienation and vse, demandeth recompence and consideration. Ther­fore he buyeth and selleth not.

From selling, let vs passe on to exchanging: and let vs enquire if the vsurer exchangeth his goods. Exchang­ing is thus defined. Summa. An­gel. de Clauas. tit. permutatio. Permutatio est vnius rei certae, pro alterare certa vicaria praestatio. Exchanging is the yeel­ding of one certaine thing, in the stead, or in the roome of an other certaine thing. As thus: A man exchangeth his coate for an other mans cloake, or ten coombes of Rye for eight coombes of Wheate: or one howse for an other, or one piece of land for an other, &c. And this doth manifestly differ from lending. For in lending I looke for mine owne againe: in exchanging, I looke for some other thing in lue of mine owne. In lending, I looke that Eadem res reddatur in specie. The same thing which I lent, should bee rendered againe in the owne kinde. As money for money, wares for wares, corne for corne, &c. In exchanging, it is not necessarie that the recompence be of the same kind: for a man may ex­chāge house for land, corne for cattel, golde for siluer, &c. Now then, it is manifest that the vsurer in putting forth of his goodes, exchangeth them not. For hee doth not couenant to take one certaine thing, in the steade of an other certaine thing: as money or wares in the steade of his money or wares: but hee couenanteth to [Page 39] haue his money againe, & an other certaine thing for ye vse of his money; his wares againe, and an other cer­taine thing for the vse of his wares. The vsurer there­fore exchangeth not.

From exchanging, I procéede to accommodating: a kind of contract, whereunto the scarsitie of our eng­lish tongue yéeldeth no proper nor peculiar name. The Latines haue two kindes of lending, Mutuatio, and Accommodatio: we for distinctions sake, must call them (though somewhat barbarously) mutuating, and accommodating. And these two kindes of lending, doo differ very apparantly in two materiall pointes. For first, in that kind of lending, which they call Mutua­tio, & which I haue before defined: L. 2. § Ap­pellata. & §. Si creditum ff. Si certum peta­tur. §. 1. Iustit. Quibus mod. re cont. there is a trans­ferring of the propertie and dominion of the thing which is lent, from the lender to the borrower. As for example: I lend a man money, or corne, or wares: I make them in lending to become his owne, so as hee may doe with them what himselfe listeth: hee may ex­change them, he may sell them, hee may giue them a­way, yea (if he list) he may cast them away: for they are his proper owne. And therefore it is called D. L. 2. §. Ap­pellata. Mu­tuum, quod de meo fit tuum: as a man would say, Mine thine, or mine, by this lending I make thine. But in that kind of lending, which is called Accommodatio, or ac­commodating: it is far otherwise. For there is onely a transferring of the vse (not of the propertie) to the borrower: and therefore he cannot euery way vse the thing borrowed as his owne. As for example: I lend a man my horse: he shall not by vertue of my lending, doe with him what he will, as with his owne: he shall not kill him, he shall not giue him away, hee shall not sell him away, hee shall not exchange him away. And why? the horse is none of his. And why that? I did not make him by this kinde of lending owner of my [Page 40] horse, nor transferre the propertie or dominion vnto him: but I yéelded vnto him onely the vse and benefite of my horse. And therefore hee shall ride him, hee shall labour him, he shall imploye him in drawing, in cari­age and such like: but he shall not doe with my horse whatsoeuer himselfe listeth, because by this kinde of lending I haue transferred onely the vse and not the propertie of my goods. Secondly, mutuating and ac­commodating, doe differ in this: Zach. Vrsinus Doct. Christ. part. 2. in prae­cept. 8. & L. 3. ff. Si cert. Pe­tatur. Datur aliquid in mu­tuatione, non vt reddatur idem, sed simile aut aequipoll [...]ns: A thing is mutuated, not with condition that the very same thing shall be repayed againe, but the like, or the e­quiualent. As for example: I lend tenne poundes, not with purpose or condition to receiue the very same coyne, and the same pieces againe, but with condition to receiue other ten pounde: bee it in golde, when that which I lent was siluer, or bee it in testers, when that which I lent was in shillings, it is not materiall: I haue the like, or that which is equiualent to mine owne, and that is all which I expected, or couenanted for in mutuating. But now, it is farre otherwise in ac­commodating. For, Vrsinus Ibid. Commodatio est, cùm quod ad v­sum, vel vsus alicuius rei conceditur alicui ad certum tem­pus, ita vt sine pretio idem indiuiduum reddatur integrum, & incorruptum: Accommodating is, when the vse of a thing is graunted to a man for a certaine time, with con­dition that without price, or recompence, the selfe same particular which was lent, shall bee repaied againe sounde, and not impaired. As for example, I lende a man my horse, not with condition that he shall send me home againe as much money as my horse is worth, or a cowe for my horse, or any other horse for mine▪ but he shall deliuer mee againe the same horse which I lent him. So that (as I said) these two kindes of lending which for distinctions sake we call mutuating, and ac­commodating, [Page 41] doe differ in these two poyntes. First, in the one there is an alienation both of the vse and propertie: in the other, onely of the vse, and not of the propertie. Secondly, in the one it is sufficient to re­pay the like, or the equiualent to that which was bor­rowed: in the other it is required that the same parti­cular, and none els, be restored againe vnto the lender. Now, by this which hath béene spokē, it may appeare, that the vsurer doth not accommodate his goodes, or practise that kinde of lending which we call accommo­dation. For first, hee giueth the borrower interest in the propertie of his goodes: else the borrower might not doo with them what himselfe listed. Secondly, he requireth not againe the selfesame particular which he lent, but the like or the worth onely: none of both which are done in the contract of accommodatiō. The vsurer therefore accommodateth not.

There bee diuerse other kindes of contractes. As Selnecerus Instit. Christ. rel. part. 2. pag. 614. Depositum, Pignus, Stipulatio, Fideiussio, Emphyteusis, Societas, Mandatum, with the rest. But because the committing of vsurie doth hardly fal into some of these, and rarely into others: therefore for breuities sake I haue thought good to ouerpasse them in this treatise. The reasons why I haue made mention of those be­fore rehearsed are these. Namely, that wee might sée, 1. what lending is. 2. How it differeth from other contracts. 3. That this Outward, Open, and Actuall vsurie, of which yet wee speake, is committed onely in the bargaine of lending. For the vsurer giueth not, hee letteth not, hee selleth not, hee exchangeth not, hee ac­commodateth not, &c. Therefore he lendeth onely: and vsurie is onely in the contract of lending: and so conse­quently, vsurie is a lending, which is the first point con­tained in the definition thereof.

Now before I procéed to the handling of the second [Page 42] particular, it is very requisite that wee obserue two necessarie consequences or inferences, arising from that which hath béene alreadie deliuered, concerning this point of lending. The first is this. We haue heard that lending or mutuation is such a contract, as toge­ther with the vse doth trāsferre the dominion and pro­pertie of the thing vnto the borrower. From whence must necessarily followe, that Obiectum mutui, The thinges subiecte to this kinde of lending, must bée onely such as whose vse and propertie cannot be seuered: so as a man cannot yéeld another the vse of them, but hee must also yéeld the propertie: and he cannot yéelde the propertie, but hee must also yéelde the vse. Of which nature and condition are only such things as consist & passe from man to man by L. 2. §. 1. ff. Si cert. petat. 1. number. 2. waight. 3. and measure: & therefore in thinges of those kinds onely, (and in none other) can vsurie bee committed. G. Biel. in 4. Sent. Dist. 15. Quaest. 1 [...] art. 1. b. Nota quod non potest committi vsura, nisi in his rebus tantum, circa quas contingit fieri mutuum: scilicet quae consistunt in numero, pondere, & mensura. Note (saith one) that v­surie cannot bee committed, but onely in such thinges which are subiect to that kinde of lending which wée mutuation: that is to say, in such things as consist in num­ber, waight, and measure. In number, as money: In waight, as leade: In measure, as corne, & such like com­modities: these are the thinges that can onely be lent, and taken vpon vsurie. For vsurie is only in that kind of lending: and such thinges onely as consist in num­ber, waight, and measure, are subiecte to that kinde of lending: and therefore onely in such thinges can vsurie be committed.

The second inference arising from the premises is this. Vsurie is in lending, and therefore may bee com­mitted in any thing which is subiecte to lending: that is in any thing which consisteth in number, waight, and [Page 43] measure. And this is the rather to be obserued, because it is a receiued opiniō among the vulgar sort, yt vsurie is committed onely in the putting forth and taking vp of money. Whereas Hemingius sayd truly, Heming. com. in Iac. 5. & Conc. Aga­thens. In omni re­rum mutuatione vsura dicitur. Vsurie is sayd to be com­mitted, (and may bee committed) in the mutuating or lending of any thing. And this the very wordes of the text doe make plaine in the scriptures: Deut. 23.19. Thou shalt not (sayth Moses in Deut.) giue to vsurie to thy brother, as v­surie of money, vsury of meate, vsurie of any thing that is put to vsury. And again in Leuiticus: Leuit. 25.27. Thou shalt not giue him thy money to vsury, nor lende him thy victuals to increase. So that, there is not onely vsurie of money, but also v­surie of meate and victuals, yea of many other thinges which are put forth, and may be put forth to vsurie, as hath béene before expressed. S. Hierome sayth thus, Hierom. com. in Ezech. 18. Putant quidam, vsuram tantum esse in pecunia. Some are of this minde, that vsurie is onely committed in mo­ney. Quod praeuidens Scriptura, omni rei aufert supera­bundantiam: vt plus non recipias quàm dedisti: Which the scripture foreseeing, or preuenting, taketh away in­crease in euery thing: that in nothing maiest thou receiue more then thou hast deliuered. And an other saith: Balsam. an­not. in epist. Gregor. Nisse­ni ad Latotum Mitelenes E­piscopum can. 6 Foe­nus est, quod Graecè [...] dicitur. Vsurie is that which the Graecians call ouerplus or increase. Vt quando quis dat vinum, vel frumentum, vel oleum, vel aliquid aliud, vt in eodem genere plus quàm dederit, accipiat: As for ex­ample (sayth he) when a man deliuereth forth wine, or corne, or oyle, or any thing else, that hee may receiue in the same kind more then he deliuered. Therefore sayth M. Caluine Lauat. com. in lib. Ioshua▪ in e­pist. ad Episc. Winton. that most learned and excellent man, (as Lauater rightly calleth him:) Caluin serm. 134. in Deut. 23. It is but a mockerie, if I shall say, as for me I haue not taken any profite by vsurie for my money: but I haue taken for my corne, or for my wine, and that was giuen vnto me for recompence. For [Page 44] if thou lend any thing and takest increase for it, thou committest vsurie: in as much as vsurie may bee com­mitted in all such thinges as passe from one man to an other in this kinde of lending. So that (to conclude this first poynt at length) by that which hath béen spo­ken concerning lending, it may euidently appeare: First, that in vsurie there must be lending of necessitie, because it is committed in no other kinde of contract. Secondly, that vsurie is only committed in such things as consist in number, waight, and measure: for they on­ly are subiect to that kinde of lending. Thirdly, that vsurie may be committed not only in the lending of mo­ney, but also in the lending of many other things: & that for the reasons which haue beene before rehearsed.

THe second thing to bee obserued in this kind of vsu­rie, is, that there be lending for gaine. For if a man lend ten poundes, onely to receiue ten pounds againe, and no more: or if he lend ten coombes of corne, onely to receiue the same measure againe, and no more: this lending cannot any way be called vsurie, because he ta­keth no gaine, nor increase, for that which hee hath de­liuered. Neither may any man dare to condemne such kinde of lending for vnlawfull: nay it is that which God often commaundeth, and requireth in the scrip­tures. Christ sayth in the Gospell, Luc. 6 35. Lend, looking for nothing againe. And in an other place: Math. 5.42. From him that would borrowe turne not away: and many such spéeches to like purpose. And as God hath commaunded it, so godly men haue alwaies practised it: Psal. 112.5. A good man is mercifull and lendeth, sayth the Psalmist. And S. Am­brose sayth of Tobias, Ambros. lib. de Tobia. ca. 2. Quòd commodauit pecuniam, & non foenerauit, iusti seruauit officium. In that he lent frée­ly and not vpon vsurie, hee performed the dutie of a iust and righteous man. And Iustinus Martyr pleading for [Page 45] the Christians, and iustifying their godlie conuersation, saith. Iustin. Mar­tyr. orat. An­thenagorae pro Christianis. That they did so farre performe duties of huma­nitie, as they loued not onely their friendes, but euen their enemies also. Et mutuò damus ijs à quibus nos nihil recep­turos esse speramus: and wee lende (saith hee) to them of whome wee hope not to receiue any thing againe. And certainelie that frée lending in these dayes is so scante, and that all lending is almost turned into vsurie, is no small argument that true Christians, righteous & mer­cifull men, begin to growe rare & geason in the world. But to returne to the purpose. It is certaine that v­surie is such a lending as carrieth with it gaine and in­crease: for therefore are vsurie and increase so often vni­ted and combined in the Leuit. 25 37. Ezech. 18.8.13. scriptures. We must there­fore inquire what gaine and gaining meaneth: that so we may yet further sée into the nature of vsurie. The Schooleman saith, G. Biel in quartum. Sent. Dist. 15. Quaest. 11 art. 1. a. Est lucrum, incrementum pecuniae, vel pecunia mensurabile: Gaine is the increase of money, or of that which can bee measured and valued by money. For vnlesse there be an increase by the vse of a thing, o­uer and besides the returne of the principall it selfe, yea besides the expenses which the putting forth of the principall carieth with it: it is no gaine. Summa An­gelica tit. lu­crum & glo. in l. mutuis. ff. pro socio. Lucrum non dicitur nisi deductis expensis: A man is not saide to gaine, vntill hee haue deducted his expenses, and then some o­uerplus remaine and abide vnto him. So that, if after a man haue lent, and all charges bee defrayed which his lending caried with it, then he receiue, or couenant to receiue, any money or monies worth more then his owne, this is gaine or increase.

Here then arise two things to be considered of vs. First, sith vsurie is onely lending for gaine, and gaine is onely that increase which is money or monies worth: therefore it followeth, that if a man lend not to gaine, either money or any thing that may be valued [Page 46] by money, he cannot be saide to lende for vsurie. As for example: a man may lend to gaine the fauour of God, who requireth lending, and hath promised to rewarde it: now the fauour of God, & his rewarde, are things which cannot be valued with money. A man may lend to giue good example: now the benefite of good exam­ple, cannot be valued with money. A man may lend to purchase the loue and liking of another: now loue is a thing that cannot bee valued with money. And there­fore though he that lendeth to any of these endes gai­neth excéedinglie, if hee obtaine that which he aymeth at: yet therein he committeth no vsurie, because he gai­neth neither money nor any thing that can bee prized for money. Againe, I may lend so to requite the kinde­nes which I haue receiued from another man. This is not vsurie: for it is not lending for gaine: because I doe not thereby increase mine owne, but as it were ex­change a benefite, or rather make a requitall and re­payment of a benefite. Yea, I goe further: a man may lende to saue his owne, and yet not commit vsurie: be­cause he lendeth not for gaine or increase. As for exam­ple: one oweth me alreadie tenne poundes, and yet he commeth to me to borrowe fiue poundes more. I con­sider that the debte is desperate, and therefore make him this answer, that if he will put me in good security to pay at such a time the ten poundes, which alreadie he oweth me, and together with that, the fiue poundes which now hee requireth, I am content to satisfie his demaunde, Gabriel. Biel. in quartum senten. dist. 15. quaest. 11. art. 1. a. Non committo vsuram: Herein I committe no vsurie. And why? Quia illa decem quae recipio, non ve­niunt nomine lucri, quia aliàs mea sunt & mihi debita. Be­cause the tenne poundes which I receiue, with the fiue poundes that last I lent, come not in as gaine or in­crease: for they were mine and due to mee before. A­gaine, put the case I heare that to morrowe one is [Page 47] purposed to come to borrowe money of mee, who I knowe is hardly able to paye againe: and whome therefore I am loath to trust. To defeate him I lende away my money this day vnto another: that when he commeth I may answer in trueth that I haue no mo­ney by me to lend him. I may perhaps herein not bée so charitable as I should: but it is euident that I com­mit no vsurie. For I did not lend away my money to gaine more then mine owne, but onely to saue that which was mine owne, and to kéepe it out of danger. Now if I lend not to gaine, I cannot come within the compasse of vsurie.

A second thing arising to bee obserued from that which hath béen spoken concerning gaine and increase is this. Vsurie is lending for gaine, and gaine is either money or monies worth: and therefore, hee that len­deth, to gaine by lending, any thing that is money or monies worth, that man committeth vsurie. There­fore are they much deceiued which thinke that they commit not vsurie, vnlesse for their money lending, they receiue shéere money againe. Ambros lib. de Tobia. cap. 14. Et esca vsura est, & vestis vsura est, & quodcunque sorti accedit vsura est: If thou take victuals (saith Ambrose) that is vsurie: if thou take apparrell, that is vsurie: and whatsoeuer is aboue the principall, that is vsurie. Quod velis ei nomen imponas, v­sura est: call it what thou wilt, or name it what thou wilt, it is vsurie. Saint Hierome also is of the same o­pinion. Hierom. com. in Ezech. 18. Alij pro pecunia foenerata solent munuscula ac­cipere diuersi generis: there be some (saith he) who for the money that they haue lent, are wont to receiue giftes, or rewardes of another kinde. Et non intelligunt vsuram ap­pellari, & superabundantiam, quicquid illud est, si ab eo quod dederint, plus accipiant: and they vnderstand not that all whatsoeuer it bee, is called vsurie and increase, if they receiue any thing more then that which they deliuered. [Page 48] And therefore in these cases which followe, and in the like to these, is vsurie manifestlie committed. I borrow fortie poundes for a yeare, I promise to the lender, that for the vse of his money I will bestowe a gowne cloth vpon his wife, or a nagge vpon himselfe, or a peece of plate vpon one of his children: hee that len­deth in these or the like considerations committeth v­surie. Againe, I knowe a man that is in speciall fauour with the L. Keeper, the L. Chiefe Iustice, the L. Chiefe Barron, or some such like great personage in authority: I will lende him a péece of money, and for the vse of it hee shall doe no more but procure me an office in the Chauncerie, in the Kinges bench, in the Exchequer, or some other place: that man that so lendeth, and to such purpose, committeth vsurie Againe, a Lorde of a man­ner hath diuerse poore Tennants that want money, and come to him to borrow. He demaundeth what oc­cupations they are of: the one answereth hee is a daye labourer. I will (saith he) lend you thus much money, and for the vse of it, you shall helpe mee so many dayes in haruest. Another answereth, hee is a husbandman, I will (saith hee) lende you thus much money, and for the vse of it, you shall till me thus many acres of land. This man (together with the rest before specified) committeth vsurie: for hee lendeth for gaine, and al­though hee requireth no money for increase, yet hee re­quireth that which is monyes worth, and the worth whereof may be valued and prized for money. So that as touching this second poynte of lending for gaine, there are these thrée things to bee considered. First, lending for gaine is lending for increase of money or monies worth. Secondly, lending for any thing which is not money or monies worth, is not lending for gaine, and therefore no vsurie. Thirdly, the lending for the gaine of anything which is money or monies [Page 49] worth, is within the compasse of Outward, open, and actuall vsurie.

THe third point obserued in the definition of vsurie, is couenanting & compacting. For this kinde of vsu­rie doth not onely lende for gaine, but also maketh composition and agréement for gaine. The scripture sayth, Exod. 22.25. Ne imponetis ei vsuram: Thou shalt not impose vsurie vpon him: for so both Pagnine and Tremellius translate it: and the Greeke hath [...]: and Vatab. an­not. in Exod. 22.25. Vata­blus obserueth that it is verbatim from the Hebrue, Nō ponetis super eum: Thou shalt not put vsurie vpon him. Now vsurie cannot bee imposed or put vpon a man without couenant or compact. Besides that, diuers doe Alberic. in L. iubemus. C de sacrosanc. Ec­clijs. define vsurie to be an increase or gaine arising by lending, Debitum or Exactum. Now gaine can neither bee due to the lender, nor exacted of the lender, vnlesse there haue some couenant or compact passed for it be­fore. And therefore learned men speaking of these mat­ters, doe call them Beza annot. in Luc. 6.35. Foeneratoriae pactiones, or Selneccer. in­stit. Christ. rel. part. 2. p. 616. Contra­ctus vsurarij: Vsurarious couenants or contracts. There is then in this kinde of vsurie, couenanting or contra­cting for gaine.

Now what it is to couenant, I shall not néede to stand long to declare. One sayd truely, Wolf. Musc. loc. com. tit. de foed. & testam. Dei. Quid foedus sit & pactum, notius est quàm vt sit annotandum: What a couenant, or bargaine, or compact meaneth, is so well knowne that it neede not bee described. The Grecians call couenantes, [...] Selneccer. in­stit. Christ. rel. part. 2. p. 610. [...], for the com­mutation, exchange, or reciprocall passion, and sympa­thie or agreement, which is betwéene them that coue­nant together. And therefore the lawyers doe thus define a couenant: In leg. 1 ff. de pactis. Pactum est quod inter aliquos con­uenit: A bargaine is that whereof diuers doe agree: Or thus: Po [...]yanth. tit. pactum. Pactum est duorum pluriumue in idem placitum, [Page 50] seu consensus. A couenant is the agreement or consent of two or moe, about the same thing. And therefore wher­as there is an agréement and consent betwéene the lender demaunding, and the borrower promising in­crease: there is this couenanting, or compacting for gaine. Now this consent, and so consequently this co­uenanting may passe between man and man, by diuers meanes and waies. For first, there is Pactum tacitum: A secret kinde of couenanting, whereas an agréement and consent is by necessarie or probable consequence intended, or collected, although it bee by no meanes expressed and manifested vnto others. For a man may couenant, and consent by silence. As for example: Summa An­gelica. tit. ma­trimonium. The parentes of two children doo in their presence and hearing, intreate and conclude of a marriage, to bee contracted and solemnized betweene those their children. The children standing by, heare the confe­rence and conclusion of their parentes: but doe nei­ther demand any thing, nor answer any thing, nor ob­iect any thing, nor replie any thing, nor affirme any thing, nor deny any thing that is spoken. In this case is intended the consent of the children to the conclusi­on of the parentes. And why? reason presupposeth, that if either partie had béene discontented with the match, they would by one meanes or other haue sig­nified their dislike. In such cases as this, by like sup­positions, it is growne into a prouerbe, Qui tacet con­sentire videtur: He that holdeth his peace, and replyeth not, seemeth to consent. And this may not bee thought strange of any, that a man should couenant by silence. For a man may answere by silence: Plutarc. lib. de immodica verecundia. Silentium sapien­tibus responsum est. Silence is an answere to a wise man. A man may accuse by silence. Menander saide, Polyanth. tit. Silentium. [...]: By silence thou accusest more sharpely. A man may defende himselfe by silence: as [Page 51] did Math. 27.12 Our Sauiour Christ when so many men laid so ma­ny thinges falsly to his charge. Now if a man may an­swere by silence, if he may accuse by silence, if hee may defend himselfe by silence: then may it easilie ap­peare that a man may yéelde his consent, and enter a contract by silence. And therefore put the case that I come to a mā to borrowe an hundred poundes: ye shal haue it (saith he) but yee shall giue me ten poundes for the yeares vse of my money. I stand still and answer nothing to the contrary, but take my hundred poundes and goe my waie. Here is intended pactum tacitum, a secret consenting or couenanting for vsurie. Againe, put the case I come to a man to borrowe money, and without any demaunde made on his parte, my selfe do offer of mine owne accord to giue him vsurie. Hee go­eth away, and saith nothing, but fetcheth the money, and telleth it, and deliuereth it. Here is also pactum ta­citum, a couert or secret couenanting for gaine, because by their silence, a mutual consent and agréement is in­tended howsoeuer no way expressed, or declared. And I warrant you the vsurer will not forget to vrge it, if the borrower be negligent in performing of his offer. And this I thought good to note, least men should be o­uertaken with a couenant in this kinde of vsurie, before they be aware, and should depart from the vsurer, fur­ther tyed and intangled, then euer they suspected.

But to procéede. As there is a secret and intended kinde of agreement, so is there also Pactum expressum, A couenant reuealed or expressed: and that is also of two sortes: Nudum, & vestitum: A bare, and an inue­sted couenant. A bare couenant, is a mans sole promise, by which hee witnesseth or protesteth his consent to that whereupon they are agréed. As for the purpose. I will lend you so much money (sayth the vsurer) but I tell you withall, you shall giue mee interest for [Page 52] the forbearing thereof. Contented sayth the borrow­er, that I will by Gods grace, and thanke you too. In this case they haue consented and couenanted by bare worde and promise, the one to take, the other to pay vsurie. And this is Nudum pactum, A bare or naked co­uenant. A couenant is inuested thrée manner of waies, viz. 1. Re. 2. Verbis. 3. Literis. By thinges: By wordes: By writinges. By thinges, as by a pawne. And there­fore he which lendeth, and taketh any Reall pawne for the payment of vsurie, hee couenanteth and compacteth for vsurie. By wordes, as Stipulatio, and Fideiussio. And therefore he which lendeth, and taketh before witnes the borrowers solemne promise, for the payment of in­crease: or lendeth and taketh an other mans worde for the borrowers paiment of the increase: that man co­uenanteth and compacteth for vsurie. By writing: as by bill, or booke, or obligation. And therefore, hee that lendeth and taketh of the borrower a bill of his hand, or his hande to his booke, or his bande, or obligation for the payment of vsurie, that man doth couenant and contract for gaine. I doo not take vpon mee curiously to enter into all kinds of contracts mentioned by Ciui­lians: these onely haue I noted, as most vsuall and most incident to this case of vsurie: that both the bor­rower and lender may knowe, how that many waies they may in borrowing and lending giue consent and make compacte of gaining. The conclusion of this point is this: whosoeuer when hee lendeth, doth take the consent of the borrower for payment of increase, and doth take this consent of his, by pawne, by stipu­lation, by suerties, by his owne promise, by his bill, by his hand, by his obligation, yea by his secrete and in­tended consent: that man couenanteth for gaine, and is within the compasse of Outward, Open, and Actuall v­surie intended in this definition.

[Page 53]THere is yet a fourth point to bee obserued in this kind of vsurie: and that is, that the vsurer neuer ha­zardeth, nor aduentureth the goodes which hee lendeth forth. That which is lent forth they commonly call the principall: in latine they call it Sors: which is as much to say, as hazard, or chance, or lotte. Hieron. epist. ad Marcell [...]m. tom. 3. Sortis di­latio vsuram parturit, sayth Hierome: The forbearing of the principall bringeth forth vsurie. And Erasmus in his annotations vpon that place of Hierome sayth thus: Erasm schol. Ibi. Sors est principalis pecunia quae parit vsuram: The lot is the principall money or goodes that begetteth vsurie. Now the vsurer neuer aduentureth or hazardeth the losse of his principall: for he wil haue all sufficient securitie for the repaiment and restoring of it backe againe to him­selfe. Luther de taxand. vsura. tom. 7. Nec tamen vsurarius iste (sayth Luther) Quic­quam periouli vel in corpore, vel in bonis, aut mercibus, in se recipit, aut patitur. And yet will not the vsurer take vpon him any aduenture, or hazard, either in his bodie, or goodes. And therefore the name that vsurers giue to their principall, to call it Sors, which signifieth lot or chance: doth not otherwise agrée to any thing which the vsurer lendeth, then [...] (as wee say) that is, when men by speaking one thing, will vnderstande the cleane contrarie. As a mountaine is in latine cal­led M [...]ns, à non mouendo: Because it moueth not. Or as a woode is called Lucus, à non lucendo: Because it giueth no light: euen so, and not otherwise, may the vsurers money bée called Sors, à non sortiendo: Because hee ha­zardeth it not. Peter Martyr sayth, P. Martyr loc. com. clas. 1. loc. 7▪ Sec. 3. Ex. 1. Sam. 10.19. Nihil aliud est sortiri, quam aliquid agere, ex cuius euentu rem incogni­tam possimus deprehendere. To cast lottes (in which, things are put vpon chance) is nothing else, but to doe some acte, by the euent whereof wee may finde out some thing which is hidden or vnknowne. According to which de­scription, [Page 54] the vsurer is farre enough from lotte or ad­uenturing. For he lendeth not, as desirous to knowe how the borrower shall spéede, but as being assured a­fore hande what himselfe shall gaine: and hee lendeth not, as depending vpon the euent of the borrowers labour, but vpon the safetie and assurance of his owne securitie. Therefore, euen as there is in these dayes little vse of lottes themselues among men: so is there no right vse at all of the name of lotte among vsu­rers. Unlesse perhaps some man will say that the vsu­rers goodes may bee called lotte, as S. Augustine sayde that Absalom was called his fathers peace. Augustin. com. in Psal. 3. Ideo Ab­salom patris pax dicitur, quia pater habuit pacem quam ille non habuit. Therefore is Absalom interpreted his fathers peace, because his father had that peace, which himselfe had not. In the like manner may that which the vsu­rer lendeth, be called Sors, lot, or hazard, or aduenture, because the borrower hath that hazard which the vsu­rer hath not. For it may be (and it often falleth out) that the borrower dooth loose, but it is most certaine that the vsurer shall gaine. S. Ambrose doth notablie descante vpon this name of lotte and chance, which vsu­rers giue to their principall. Ambros lib. de. Tobia cap. 4 Sortem dicitis quod debe­tur. Ye call (saith he) that which is owing vnto you, lotte or chaunce. And not amisse. Etenim, velut vrna ferali misera sors voluitur, perituri debitoris luenda supplicio: For the lot is cast into the deadlie pot or barrel, which when it is drawne out, must proue the borrowers bane. Et fortassis ideo sors, quia in euentu sunt patrimonia quae sub hac arte voluuntur: Or perhaps (saith hee) therefore yee call it lot, or hazard, because the patrimonies or landes which are pawned or morgaged vnder this arte of vsu­rie, are in hazard neuer to bee redéemed, and a greate chance is it if euer they be recouered. But as for the goods which the vsurer lendeth, it is farre against his [Page 55] will, if they be any way aduentered. And yet M. Bucer (a man whome they are wont to alleage in their de­fense) saith plainelie that we must not lend to our bre­thren that néede Bucer. com. in mat. 5. Certa restitutionis sp [...], With a certaine hope of restitution, much lesse then with all securitie and assurance, not onely of the principall, but also of the increase.

But I am not ignorant what the vsurer will re­plie in this behalfe. Why sir (will hee say) whensoe­uer, or howsoeuer, or to whomsoeuer I lende, it is eui­dent that I hazard and aduenture my goods. For, say that I take the borrowers bande or bill, or pawne, or suerties, or promise for mine own securitie: yet it may come to passe, that hee and his suerties may proue banckroute, his and their goods may by some offence bee confiscated and forfeited to the crowne, hee or they may flée the countrie, or kéepe the house, that they are not to be gotten: nay euidences may bee stolne, lost, brent, caught out of my hand by cousenage, &c. a thou­sand waies are there, by which notwithstanding mine assurance, I may be defeated of mine owne. And therfore it is euident that I aduenture my goods. Now to this obiection of theirs, I answer two manner of waies. First I say, that in this sorte and this respect, euery man aduentureth his goods, euen hee that hath sufficient pawne in hand, yea euen he that kéepeth his money fast lockt in his cofers: for they may be burnt, or stollen, or by cousenage conueyed away. All the goods of this life are of this nature Mat. 6.19. The rust and moth may corrupt them, theeues may breake through and steale them away. And yet I trowe no man will say that hée doth aduenture his money, who taketh for it sufficient pawne in hand, or who kéepeth it by himselfe vnder locke and key in his owne closet. I put an example to make the cause plaine. Wee haue in England two [Page 56] sortes of Marchants, Marchant Aduenturers, and Mar­chant Retaylers. The Retayler cannot but hazard much, for he must trust often, sometimes for round summes, sometimes for a great while, sometimes vpon the bor­rowers bare worde, or hand to his booke, (which assu­rance no vsurer will take) and yet no man calleth him a Marchant Aduenturer, neither is hee assumed into their hall and companie. How much lesse then can an vsurer bee called an aduenturer of his goods, when hee will neither trust, nor lend for long time, nor but vp­on all sufficient securitie? Secondly, to the plea of the vsurer touching the aduenturing of his goods, I answer in this sorte. There is aduenturing in a double respect, 1. First, Quoad euentum. 2. Secondly, Quoad media. A man may aduenture as touching the issue: and as touch­ing th [...] meanes. As touching the issue, it is confessed that the vsurer aduentureth: and no gramercie, for hee cannot possiblie doe otherwise. Because no man can sée the ende of a thing when hee beginneth it, and be­cause the ouerruling prouidence of God will worke when it pleaseth, sometimes beyond meanes, some­times without meanes, sometimes contrarie to meanes: therefore is it, that no man can say assuredly what the issue of any thing will proue. But as touch­ing the meanes, the vsurer worketh so sure, as hee can­not in any reason be saide to aduenture. As for exam­ple: it is said in the Actes of the Apostles, Act. 12 4, 5, 6. that Herod apprehended Peter, and cast him into prison, and deli­uered him to foure quaternions▪ of Souldiers, to bee kept, and bounde him with two yron cheynes, and set watch before the doore of the prison, and about Peters lodging, that he should not escape. The extraordina­rie prouidence of God did (indéede) deliuer him: but will any wise man say that Herod when he had vsed all these meanes of safetie did aduenture Peters comming [Page 57] out? Euen so, when the vsurer hath bounde the borro­wer Plutarch. lib. de non foene­rando. with bandes and pawnes as it were with fetters (for so Plutarche speaketh:) and when hee hath tyed him as fast, and made him as sure, as his owne head can deuise, or lawes will permit: it may bee that one way or other, God by his secret prouidence may de­feate him: but will any man say, that the vsurer aduen­tureth, or meaneth to aduenture, or thinketh that hee doth aduenture the principall? No assuredlie. For be­cause he will not aduenture, he will neuer lend to vsu­rie to a man that is not very sufficient for to pay. Ibidem. Ne­mo foeneratur pauperi: None will lend to vsurie to a poore man. Nay, he will not lende two yeares together to a rich man, but with new suerties, for feare (I trowe) that he, or they should be vndone in fewe yeares by v­surie: and so not being able to paye, the vsurer shoulde loose his aduantage. It is euident therefore that he ad­uentureth not the principall.

The conclusion of this whole sermon is thus much. We haue examined the foure poyntes concurring to vsurie. And from thence it appeareth, that whosoeuer hee bee, that so lendeth any thing, as the propertie is transferred to the borrower together with the vse: and dooth couenant with him that borroweth either by worde, or suertie, or bill, or bande, or pawne, or secret consent, or by any other kinde of bargaine: to receiue more then his owne againe, that is any thing which is either money or monies worth: and dooth not aduen­ture the estate and returne of that which hee lendeth: he is that Outward, Open, and Actuall vsurer, who is be­fore defined, and whose practise we shall afterwardes shew to be condemned, not onely in this sentence of Sa­lomon, but also in many other places of Scripture.

The ende of the second Sermon, prea­ched Aprill 23. 1593.

The third Sermon: the speciall contentes whereof are these. • 1. Couert and cloaked vsurie is described, what it is, and how it seazeth vpon lawfull contractes. , • 2. Mentall vsurie is described, which consisteth in the sole hope and expectation of gaine. , • 3. The Scriptures are alleadged which doe condemne v­surie. , and • 4. Two reasons are rendered why it is condemned in the Scriptures, viz. because that • 1. It ouerthroweth lending. , and • 2. It ouerthroweth charitie.  

Couert Cloaked vsu­rie. HEtherto we haue handled on­ly that kinde of vsurie which (as Erasmus phraseth it) Erasmus serm. in Psal. 14. tom. 5. aper­ta facie est quod dicitur: shew­eth it selfe with open face, or in the owne likenes. Now be­cause that Ioh. 3.20. Euery man that doth euill hateth the light, and Francisc. Pe­trarcha de re­medio vtrius­que fortunae. lib. 1. dial. 56. vsurie is a note, miseri, deiecti, & inertis animi, Of a miserable, base, and abiect minde: therefore some to couer their sinne, and to vpholde their credite, haue deuised faire cloakes to shroude their ragged gar­ments, and haue begotten a more cunning, and subtile kinde of trafficke in the world. One said not vntrue­lie: Rainer. Pan. theol. part 2. tit. de vsuri [...]. cap 7. Inter alias, sunt tredecim casus quos in fraudem vsu­rarum [Page 59] malitia cupiditatis quotidiè inuenit: there are a­mong others thirteene cases or deuises, which the wic­kednes of couetuous men hath time after time, deuised to elude, or to couer the practise of vsurie. Now, it was well that he said, there were thirteene cases, inter alios a­mong others: least hée should haue bounded so large a fielde, with two straite an hedge. For there are thir­téene hundred, yea thirtéene thousand deuises, which men of euill conscience haue inuented to auoyde the shew and danger of vsurie. Nay, who can reckon them by thousands, when as Erasmus saith Erasmus ser. in Psal. 14. tom. 5. sunt innumerae: they are innumerable, as the starres in the skie, or the sand by the sea shoare, which cannot bee reckoned or measured for multitude? And they must néedes be in­numerable, because (as Bullinger saith) Bullinger. Decad. 3. Serm. 1. In dies exori­untur nouae: They arise dailie spicke and span new, one in anothers necke. And although the lawes doe by ex­presse wordes, forbid all craftes and cheuisances, and deuices made to such purpose: yet as Cornelius Tacitus reporteth of this euill in Rome, so may it be saide of our vsurers in England: Cornel. Taci­tus Annalium. lib. 6. Toties repressae, miras per artes rur­sum oriebantur: Vsurers and their deceits, being often re­pressed by the lawes and statutes of this realme, are notwithstanding by wonderfull deuises, and subtilties risen vp againe.

All which cloakes and subtilties, if I would goe a­bout to discouer, I should attempt to treade an endles maze, and enter a labirinth, out of which Theseus him­selfe were not able to reduce me. For as their shiftes are infinite on the one side, so are they excéeding sub­tile and craftie on the other. Antoninus Archiep [...]sc Florent. tom 2. tit 1 cap. 6. §. 11. In vsurario est palliatio, & excusatio sui vitij multùm fraudulentissima: In the vsu­rer there is a cloaking and excusing of his defaulte to too fraudulent, and deceitefull. Like are common vsurers vnto the monster Hydra: for they haue many heades, [Page 60] that is, infinite deuises: and withall euery head is the head of a serpent: which serpent Gen. 3.1. was more subtile (saith the scripture) then any beaste of the fielde which the Lord God had made. And therefore whereas it cannot bée rightly saide of vsurie, that it is an Arte, or Trade, or Occupation, or Science: to the ende that it may haue a name whereby to be knowne in lawe, I suppose that we may with M. Smith fitly call it a M. Smith. serm. 1. vpon vsurie. fol. 12. mysterie. Such a mysterie, and such an intricate practise it is, that as Iohn saith in the Reuelation, Apoc. 2.17. Christ will giue a name to him that ouercommeth, which no man knoweth, sauing he that receiueth it: so may it be saide by allusion of the v­surer (though he be not worthie to bee compaxed to so good a thing,) that he handleth artes, and practiseth de­uises, which no man can discerne, but hee that vseth them: Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. de vsuris. Non put o quenquam scire artes vsurarum, nisi solos eos qui in illius praxi indies versantur: I doe not thinke (saith Aretius,) that any man knoweth throughlie the artes of vsurie, but onely those which are dailie conuer­sant in the practise of the same. And therefore as it is impossible for a man to picture that same Empusa, of whom it is saide in Aristophanes.

Aristophanes in Ranis. Natalis Co­mes muthol. lib. 8. cap. 8.
She seemeth euery thing,

Now an oxe, now an asse, &c. Now one thing now another: euen so doe I suppose it to bee im­possible in any perfection to describe this variable and changeable, (I meane this cloaked and couert kinde of vsurie.) For sometimes it séemeth to be buy­ing, sometimes selling, sometimes letting, sometimes pawning, sometimes one thing, sometimes another: alwaies being vsurie, and yet neuer plainely appea­ring to be vsurie.

Now be it I must endeuour to describe it: for I [Page 61] haue promised so much, and this argument dooth exact it at my hand. Yet this must I protest in this boulde attempte, that I neither haue purpose to bee long, nor hope to accomplish any great exployte about it. For who coulde euer drawe a full and liuelie pic­ture of Proteus that changeable sea God? Or what building can a man there erect and raise vp where the sande is so quicke, as hee can lay no foundati­on? Yet will I assay it: Quid enim tentare nocebit? That I may as it were at a backe windowe, let in some small glimmering light, which may giue oc­casion to others that are clearer of sight, and better at leasure to discerne more throughly into this in­tricate mysterie. And that which I doe, I will doe with this minde, not as taking delighte in beholding the face, or drawing the picture of so misshapen a monster: no more then the Poets affected the qua­lities of those Furies which they raised from hell vn­to the stage. But with that minde where withall the holy Ghost hath recorded vnto vs Gen. 4.8. the vnnatu­ralnes of Caine, Gen. 4.23. the crueltie of Lamech, 1. Sam. 25.10.11. the coue­tousnesse of Nabal, 1. Sam. 16.14.23. the furie of Saule, and such like wicked vices of vngodlie men: euen that their sinnes being displayed before our faces, they might bee the more loathsome to beholde, and so the more easilie a­uoyded.

The ground of this point, I deriue from that which I finde in Rainerius, Bromyard, & others of the schoole­men, who shew by diuers instances, how vsurie cloa­keth it selfe vnder the pretence of buying and selling, of letting, of exchanging, &c. which are contractes approoued by God, and by the practise of all good men. Therefore I doe thus define, this same Palliatam vsu­ram, This cloaked kind of vsurie. Couert vsurie, is lending for gaine, vnder the colour of some lawfull contracte. [Page 62] And indéede if we will thoroughly examine the thing, whereas there are diuers lawfull kindes of bargain­ing, (as hath béene before declared) wee shall finde that vsurie is often committed vnder pretence and co­lour of them all.

For first, in buying and selling men play the vsurers many wayes. As for example: Rainer. Pan­theol. part. 2. tit. de vsura. cap. 7. A man buyeth corne yet in the fielde, (it may bee in the blade) for fiue shil­linges a coombe: and it is likely that in haruest, it will be worth twelue, or thirteene shillings a coombe: Ibidem. Tunc vsuram facit, Then that man committeth vsurie. Of which very kinde almost are a great number of maul­sters, and others among vs, which doe buy barley a­fore hande for foure shillinges a coombe, and at the time of their deliuerie, it is worth sixe shillinges, or a noble: and so for forbearing their money, and laying it out aforehand, they gaine sixe shillinges in twelue, tenne shillings in the pound: farre aboue the rate that the lawe admitteth in vsurie. And no doubt vnlesse this exception some what helpe them, Ibidem. Probabiliter du­bitatur vtrum fructus illi plus vel minus valere debeant: It is doubtfull, and vncertaine, whether at the time of the deliuerie the corne wilbe more or lesse worth: vnlesse I say this pointe will helpe them, that at the time of their buying, they are vncertaine whether the price of corne will rise or fall, before the time of deliuery: it seemeth a thing apparant to mee that such men come within the compasse of cloaked vsurie. Againe, I sell wares, I giue thrée moneths day of payment, and for that I am to forbeare my money so long, I sell aboue mine ordinarie price, and aboue a reasonable gaine: herein (no question) I commit vsurie. For I sell the time, and make gaine of lending. A note very necessa­rie to bee obserued of shoppe keepers, and occupiers: that they learne, not to disgrace their honest trades of [Page 63] marchandise, by putting vpon thē the dishonest cloake of vsurie. Againe, Io. Bromy­ard. Summa. Praedicant. tit. de vsura. a man commeth to me to borrow money: I answere I will lend him no money to vsury. But if he will buy a horse, or a gelding for ten pound, (which is scarse worth ten shillings) I wil lend him so much money, til such a time. So ye price which he pay­eth for the horse, more then he is worth, shall fully re­compence the loane, and vsurie of the money. Such an vsurer my selfe once knew in the world (if happily his owne sonne doth reporte the truth of his father) who was supposed to haue many hundreds out to vsurie at once. All his olde hosen, and dublettes, and coates, when they were past his owne wearing, proued vnto him the richest part of his wardrobe. For a man could not borrow a hundred pounde, but he must buy of him an olde frise coate, or a cast doublet, or some such like princely robe: and the price of it was not commonly lesse thē twentie markes, or ten poundes, answerable to the loane of the money which he lent forth. Againe, I sell a commoditie for the price which the market now goeth at, with this condition, that if it bee more worth at the Easter, or Whitsontide following, I will haue more for it: but if it proue lesse worth, I wil not haue my former price abated. Rainer. Pan. Theol [...]art. 2. tit. vsu [...]a. c. 7. Talem (inquit Hostien­sis) iudico vsurarium: cùm ipsum in pactis claudicare vi­deam. Such an one (sayth Hostiensis) I iudge to be an v­surer, because I see him to hault, and not to deale direct­ly in bargaining. Againe, I come to a man, and desire him to lend mee an hundred pounde vpon vsurie. Hee answereth, he hath not so much readie money by him, but to doe mee a pleasure hee will lend mee a hundred poundes worth of plate to sell, and so to make money: the plate perhaps being hardly worth the money. I am no sooner gone out of the dore, but the vsurer proui­deth a broaker to méete me, and to buy his plate of me [Page 64] againe. Nowe for readie money perhaps I sell the plate for foure score pound. The broaker carieth back the plate to the owner, and from him bringeth foure score pounde in readie money to the borrower. The borrower must pay the lender an hundred pounde for his plate at the day appointed, and ten pounde for the vsurie in the meane season. So in fine, the poore man payeth loane after thirtie pound in the hundred, and yet must thinke himselfe befriended of the marchant. Thus and a thousand wayes more is vsurie commit­ted vnder pretence and colour of buying and selling.

Vsurie is likewise cloaked, & commeth many times disguised in the forme and habite of letting. As thus: Bromyard Summa praedi­cant. tit. vsura. I buy a Bullocke, or a Cow, of him that hath none to sell. And knowing that he hath none, I say to him, com­ming to borrow money: I doe here deliuer you so much money for such a beast. But now I will let you that beast for such a time, at this or that price. In this case (sayth Bromyard) Vt Deum decipiant pecuniam animal vocant: That they may deceiue God, they terme their money by the name of a liuing creature: and they take loane for lending of money, vnder pretence of letting a beast. Againe, Ibidem. one commeth to mee to borrowe money: I answere I will lende him no money, but cattell if hee please. Hee replyeth that hee hath no néede of cattell, but he must vse readie money. Why then (say I) take thus much money of me, buy with it thus many milchkine. At the yeres ende, yee shall giue mee thus much money for the hire of euery Cow, and ye shall there­with restore to me the kine themselues, in that forme in which I deliuer them vnto you: that is (to deale plainely) in so much readie money. Here séemeth to be hiring of kine in the borrower, and letting of kine in the lender, and yet at the yeeres ende all prooueth but thus much loane for the forbearing of so much money: [Page 65] and so it is vsurie vnder pretence of letting. Againe, one commeth to me to borrow a hundred pound for se­uen yéeres. I answere that hee shall haue it with this condition: hee shall hyre of mee a house and certaine land, at such a yerely rent, and hee shall take a lease of them for the space of seuen yeeres. The house and land perhaps are hardly worth ten pound a yeere, yet I couenant to receiue twentie pound a yere rent. So it commeth to passe, that the rent of the lease, payeth the loane of the money, euen tenne pound for the hun­dred, and vsurie is committed vnder pretence of letting. Or thus againe. A man commeth to mee to borrowe twentie pound. I answer, I cannot forbeare so much to lend him: but I haue twentie pound in olde golde, or faire golde, which I am loth to forgoe, or to haue it changed: and to doe him a pleasure I will lend him that, to lay to pawne to another, and to borrowe so much money vpon. But withall for my kindnes, he shall giue mee twentie shillings for hauing my money to lay to pawne to another. This is neither of the two kinds of lending: it is neither mutuating, nor accom­modating. Mutuating it is not, for hee doth not trans­ferre the dominion and propertie of his money to the borrower. Accommodating it is not, because his mo­ney goeth not free: therefore of necessitie it is letting, or vsurie, taken vnder pretence of letting.

As it is with letting, so it is also with lending: for vsurie is many times committed vnder pretence of frée lending. As for example: Lauater comment. in E­zech. 18. ho­mil. 76. An occupier or shopkéeper will take all kind of gold that is brought vnto him for payment: as clipt Angels, light french Crownes, souldred Soueraignes, and such like. Prouided al­waies that he will not take them for payment, vnlesse hee haue recompence according to the want: for one sixe pence, for another a groate, for an an other twelue [Page 66] pence allowāce, or more or lesse. Now this light gold, or souldred golde, or clipt gold, will hee kéepe by him, and will lend it out fréely to any man that desireth to borrow. All the recompence that he requireth, is no more then that which he lendeth out, viz. ten pounde for ten pound, twentie pound for twentie pound, that is, (as it séemeth) onely his owne againe. But when the day of payment commeth, where hee lent Angels that wanted sixe graines, and french crownes scarce worth fiue shillinges: hee will bee paide againe with good, lawfull, and currant english money. So in euery péece of gold which he lent, wil he gaine twelue pence, or sixe pence, or a groate, & yet séemeth to lend fréely, & wtout any consideration. Againe, I come to an vsurer to borrow ten pound for a yeare. He answereth, hee cannot so long forbeare his money: but to doe mee a pleasure he will lend me so much for a moneth. And he will lend it for so long Gratis, Freely: (hee meaneth in­déede Gratis the Nowne, not Gratis the Aduerbe: Gratis, that is, gratis hominibus, To men which hee hopeth in their consideration and recompence will proue thank­full.) All that he will require, is a bande for the repay­ment of his owne againe. But hee knoweth well e­nough, that it is an hundred to one that he which com­meth to borrow tenne pound for a yeare, shall not bée like nor able to pay it againe within a moneth. Well yet this hee offereth fréely, & the borrower being pent is glad to accept of any thing. Hee taketh the money, he entereth a band, the moneth is soone expired. Hée cannot prouide the money so spéedily, for want of re­turne, and therefore the band is forfeited. Then will the vsurer pay himselfe his loane with the forfeiture of the bād, it may be thrise as much as the loane is worth: and yet make the poore borrower beléeue that hee doth much befriend him, in not taking the whole forfeiture: [Page 67] considering that he brake day with him, who lent his money out of his purse freely, and without any consi­deration. Thus the poore man payeth thoroughly for his borrowing, and the vsurer is thorowly satisfied for his lending.

From lending let vs passe on to exchanging: & we shall sée that many times vnder shew of exchange, men commit vsurie. As for the purpose Erasmus con­ci. in Psal. 14. tom. 5. I lend the value of a thousand florentines in siluer, and I couenant to re­ceiue for thē a thousand florētines in gold: Qui (vt fere fit) pluris aestimantur (saith Erasmus) which are more worth then they go for in siluer. Annon manifestè com­mittit vsuram? His opinion is, that such a mā doth ma­nifestlie commit vsurie. Again, put the case that Angels go currant for an eleuen shillings in France, which are worth but ten shillings in England. I will lend a man a hundred Angels in England, vpon condition that he shall repay an hundred angels to my factour in France. In the one example there is but an exchange of coyne in an other kinde, in the other onely a commutation of place: yet in both, the lender taketh manifest increase for the forbearing of his money, and so committeth v­surie.

The last which I will adde shalbe laying to pawne, because the other contractes which remaine vnspeci­fied, are not so cōmonly nor easily abused to this euill. Now vnder pretence of laying to pawne, vsurie is com­monly and too commonly committed. As in this exam­ple. I lend twentie pound for a yeare, & for assurance of mine owne, I take a pawne worth fortie markes: with a bill of sale, that if hee fayle payment at the day appointed, his goods shall be mine. I know that at his time he is nothing like to pay it, and at his day he doth not pay it: for his default I seaze vpon his pawne, and take it to mine owne vse. So I gaine twentie nobles [Page 68] for the lending of twentie pound, which is apparant to be extréeme and notorious vsurie.

No man must expect that I deliuer all the misteries of this secret knowledge. Had I an hundred tounges, or a marble memorie, or an infatigable industry, I could no more vtter, or record, or finde out, the innu­merable deuices which vsurers haue to oppresse the poore: then he in the Poet Virgil Ae­nead. 6. could vtter the punishmēts of hell wherewith the wicked were tormented of the Furies. Hesiode describing in the person of Periclimenus the nature of a couetous craftie man, who vsed all steightes to enriche himselfe, and to beguile the poore (for so Natal. Co­mes. muthol. lib. 8. cap. 8. Natalis Comes doth expounde him,) hee saith, that sometimes he was like a fowle, sometimes like a Bée, sometimes like an ante, sometimes like a serpent: yea he addeth


So many shapes hee had, as no man can expresse. So may we say of vsurers: sometimes they appeare in one shape, sometimes in another, sometimes they take one course, sometimes another: yea they haue many a quillitie, and many a subtiltie, which no writer that hath not béen bounde twise seuen yeares prentise to the trade, is able to disclose. To ende this poynte therefore, and to procéede to that which remaineth: Homer thus describeth Dolon the Troyā, namely that he was Homer. Iliad. 10.

Vir locuples auri atque aeris, sed prorsus inepta
So Helius Eo­banus transla­teth it from the Greeke.
Deformis facie, verum pernicibus aptus
Et volucer pedibus, cursuque inuictus anhelo.

A man very rich and swift of foote, but very deformed and euill fauoured. The seruice which he did was in ye night. His armour was an helmet of a goates skinne vpon his heade, and a breastplate of woolues skinne [Page 69] vpō his body. His weapons were a bowe at his back, and a dart in his hand, and so he marcheth on to descry the Graecian armie. Nowe surely such men are these same Dolosi Dolones, these subtill and craftie vsurers: rich in their purses, deformed in their conditions: swift to lend for aduantage, more swift to take for any thing: so nimble, as no man can goe beyond them. They neuer practise but couertly, as it were in the darke. And no marueile, for their whole trade is the worke of darkenes. Amorous are they as goates in their wordes, but bloodie and cruell as wolues in their heartes: and with their deuices doe they shoote, and dart through the poore and néedie people. Happy were the common weale, if they were serued like Dolon: namely, if some wise Vlisses would make search after them, and some valiant Diomedes would smite them to the earth, and strip them of their goods. So should the Graecian armie abide vnbetrayed: that is, (as I now expound it) so should the comminalty liue vnrob­bed, and vnspoyled of their wealth: yea so should the poore reioyce, and those that are néedie should be glad.

THus far haue I spoken of that kind of vsurie, Mental vsu­rie. which is committed in facte, and betrayeth it selfe to the world by some outwarde action. Now it remaineth, that we intreate of that kind, which lurketh secretly in the heart, as it were a serpent in the bosome. We know that the lawes of God doe, as in other respects, so namely in this particular, differ and dissent from the lawes of earthly princes. Mens lawes can onely restraine the outward déedes, committed by the mem­bers of the bodie: but the lawes of God restraine the euill thoughts, and conceipts, and intentions of the heart. Therefore the Psalmist said: Psal. 19.7. The lawe of the Lord is perfect, conuerting the soule: (or as Tremelius rea­deth [Page 70] it) Restituens animam, Restoring, or making vp a­gaine, the decayed breaches of the soule. Now it could not restore the soule, if it could not worke vpon it: and it could not worke vpon it to restauration, vnlesse as a skilfull Chirurgion, it could search, and launch all the festered, and corrupted corners of the same. The lawe of God condemneth him for a murtherer, not on­ly which in déede runneth his neighbour through, but him also which hath the same purpose and intendment. And therefore was Saul a murtherer, 1. Sam. 18.11 in casting his iaueling at Dauid, with a purpose to nayle him to the wall: though Dauid by Gods prouidence auoyded the blowe, and escaped safe out of his presence. Againe, the lawe of God condemneth him for an Adulterer, not onely who actuallie hath had vnlawfull copulation with a woman, but also him that doth intend and pur­pose it, yea who doth Math. 5.28. but lust after a woman in his hart. Whereof Salomon censureth him Pro. 7.7, 8, 9.for a child, & a foole, that in the twie light walketh in the stréetes, and haunteth the harlots house, though as then he can haue but a purpose and intendment, to cōmitte vncleannes. So is it also with the law of theft. He is not onely a robber that taketh away another mās goods with his handes, but hee also that intendeth that iniurie to his neighbour. Yea, if we will beleeue S. Augustine, there is so much power and vertue, in the intētion and pur­pose wherewith a man goeth about the doing of a thing, that if it be good the action is good, if it be euill, the action is euill also. For thus he writeth speaking to the Manichees August. de moribus Mani­chaeorum lib. 2. cap. 13. [...]om. 1. Quod quaero à vobis quo fine faciatis? I demaund of you (saith he) to what end ye absteine from eating of flesh, and drinking of wine? Finis enim quo re­ferūtur ea quae facimus, Idest, propter quem faciamus quic­quid facimus, si non solum inculpabilis sed etiam laudabilis fuerit, tunc demum etiam facta nostra laude aliqua digna [Page 71] sunt. For the ende whereunto those thinges are referred which we do, that is, for which or in cōsideration wher­of we do whatsoeuer we do, if that be not onlie not to be blamed, but also be good and commendable, then are the thinges which we doe worthie of some praise and com­mendation. Sin ille iure meritòque culpatur quem specta­mus & intuemur, cùm in aliquo versamur officio, id quoque officium nemo improbandum vituperandumque dubitaue­rit. But if the ende which we respect and aime at, when we performe any dutie, be rightlie and worthelie to be blamed, thē no man may doubt but that dutie or worke is also to be condemned. I am not now to dispute, how soundly all this is deliuered of S. Augustine: this I am sure may soundly be gathered from him, and affirmed with him, that there is so much vigor & power in our intentions, as that where those be euill, there the acti­ons themselues cān [...]t be approued, no not though the thinges which are done be good, lawfull, and necessary in their owne nature.

Now, this is that which I would haue to be obser­ued concerning vsurie: namely that not only to coue­nant, and to compact for increase, but also to lend with Intent, and purpose, and hope, to receiue increase, that is euill & condemned by the word of God. This kinde Io. Molan. comp. theol. pract. tract. 2. cap. 26. consil. 2. sec. 8. learned writers are wont to call, Mentalis vsura, v­surie of the minde: or vsurie committed in the intention of the minde. One saith to this purpose, Barthol Fu­mus Auriae Armil. tit. vsu­ra, sec. 37. Committitur vsura mentalis sine pacto, quando quis mutuat cum spe ha­bēdi aliquid pecunia appreciabile supra sortem. Mental vsu­rie is committed without couenant, when a man lendeth with hope of receiuing some what that is moneys worth, aboue or besides the principall. And Gratian saith Gratian de­cret. part. 2, caus. 14. Quaest. 3. Non solum quodcūque lucrum, sed etiam ipsa spes facit hominem vsurarium, sicut spes facit hominem Simoniacum: not onlie euerie gaine in lending, but also the very hope of gaine, [...] [Page 74] turne or repaymēt of his own principall again. For he that so doth, lendeth not money or wares, but giueth money or wares vnto his neighbour. Now of frée gi­uing Christ had spoken in ye verses Luc, going before: Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. tit. de vsura. Sed quod mox addit, [...], hoc est mutuum date, non de eadem specie iam loquitur, sed expressè de mutuo: but that which he presentlie addeth, Lend looking for nothing againe, he speaketh not of the same kinde of contracting, namely of giuing, but expreslie of lending to another. And the meaning of our Sauiour Christ is in those words (Lend, looking for nothing againe) that men should not bee like the Scribes and Pharisies, who would onely benefite those which were able, or willing to benefite them a­gaine, & from whom they looked for as great or grea­ter commoditie: but that they should lend also to the poore and néedie, yea and that Bucer. com. in Psal. 15. Citra omném spem gra­tiae, aut paris beneficentiae: without any hope of fauour or of the like recompence againe. And therefore one sayd not amisse Rainer. Pan­theol. part 2. tit. de vsura. cap. 1. potest mutuans sperare tria: hee that lendeth may hope or expect three things of the borower. 1. Mu­tui aequalitatem. 2. ream actionem. 3. personalem subuentio­nem in articulo necessitatis. The lender may expect, first that the borower do repay the aequall measure, or value of that which he lent him: secondly, he may expect that he may haue his action in law against the borower, if his owne be not repayed: thirdly hee may expect, that the partie whom hee now reléeueth by lending will yeelde him againe personall reliefe in the time of his ne­cessitie. Unto which thrée, I may also adde the fourth particular, and that is, the lender may lawfully expect the loue and good will of the borower. For that hath he iustly deserued by his kindnesse: and besides loue is not a thing which can be valued for money: and there­fore hee that expecteth loue cannot bee sayd to expect gaine from lending.

[Page 75]Prouided alwaies, that the lender doe not so expect the loue of the borrower, as that in the seeking there­of, he hath too farre a reach, and casteth his eyes vpon some gaine, or commoditie whereunto by the good wil of him that borroweth, he hopeth to be preferred. As for the purpose. G. Biel. in quartum sent. dist. 15. quaest. 11. a. Si quis Papae, aut Principi mutuaret, ad captandam beneuolentiam: vt postea possit consequi benefi­cium, vel castrum, aut huiusmodi. If a man will lende to the Pope, or to the Prince, to purchase their fauour, that being in fauour with them, hee might afterwards ob­taine a benefice of the Pope, or a Castle, or Lordship of the Prince. This mans expectation of loue and fauour to such an ende and purpose, maketh him to become a Mental vsurer. Ibidem. Tunc enim esset spes lucri: & per consequēs vsura. For there (sayth the Schooleman) is the hope of gaine seazing on his mind, and consequently, there is v­surie committed. But otherwise, if a man without an ouerreaching head, doe onely expecte in lending, the procuring of the fauour, and friendship of the borrow­er: this hope can make him no vsurer, for the reason before expressed.

And so much for the first principal point of this trea­tise, namely for the defining or describing of those thrée kindes of vsurie, which are most vsually practised among men in these dayes: together with the vnfold­ing of the parts and branches of the same. Wherein I haue béene the longer: partly, because I held it ex­céeding necessary, to determine what that vsurie is a­gainst which wee are about to conclude: and partly, because I find that few writers haue largely, and tho­roughly laboured in this point.


The second principall point: declaring that vsurie is vnlawfull, and that it is for many causes, and rea­sons worthely condemned by the worde of God.

[Page 76]THus then I haue in some measure shewed what v­surie is: now it followeth, that I proue it to bee vnlawfull, and to bee plainely and iustly forbidden in the holy scriptures. In the handling of which point, I must of necessitie conioyne those thrée kindes of vsurie together, whereof I haue seuerally discoursed before: lest otherwise the treatise should growe infinite, and too tedious to the hearers. And indeede, well may they in this point be vnited and coupled together: because if the one of them be vnlawfull, it will follow that the other must néedes be condemned. As for example: If to commit vsurie in acte, and to take vsurie in déede, be an vnlawfull thing, then is the intent, and purpose of taking vsurie, euill and vnlawfull also. For it is a sound, and certaine principle in diuinitie: P. Martyr. loc. com. clas. 2. loc. 10. sect. 1. Si finis illi­cita, & praua fuerit, ipsa quoque intentio erit mala. If the end of the action, which a man aymeth at in doing thereof be euil, and vnlawfull, then must the intendment, and purposing of that action, be euill and vngodlie al­so. So, if Actuall vsurie be vnlawfull, then mentall v­surie is condemned. Againe, if open, and plaine dealing vsurie be vnlawful, thē much more that which is cloa­ked and deceitefull. For S. Augustine saide well, August. in Psal. 63. Si­mulat a aequitas non est aequitas, sed duplex iniquitas, quià & iniquitas est, & simulatio: Fained or dissembled equi­tie, is no equitie, but a double iniquitie, because it hath in it both iniquitie and dissimulation. So if open vsurie bée vnlawfull, then cloaked vsurie is much more condem­ned. Therefore reprooue one, and reproue all thrée, condemne one, and condemne all thrée kindes from the worde of God. Now it is manifest that the worde of God condemneth vsurie.

Moses saith: Exod. 22.25. If thou lend money to my people, that is, to the poore with thee, thou shalt not bee as an vsu­rer [Page 77] vnto him: yee shall not oppresse him with vsurie.

And againe: Leuit. 25.35. If thy brother be impouerished, and fal­len in decaye with thee, thou shalt relieue him, and as a stranger and soiourner so shall he liue with thee. Thou shalt take no vsurie of him nor vantage,36. but thou shalt feare thy God, that thy brother may liue with thee.

And againe: Deut. 23.19. Thou shalt not giue to vsurie to thy brother: as vsurie of money, vsurie of meate, vsurie of any thing that is put to vsurie.

Vnto a stranger thou maiest lend vpon vsurie,20. but thou shalt not lende vpon vsurie vnto thy brother, that the Lorde thy God may blesse thee in all that thou set­test thy hand to, in the lande whither thou goest to possesse it.

Yea, and the Psalmist questioning with God, as desirous to knowe, Psal. 15.5. Who shall dwell in his taber­nacle, and who shall rest in his holy mountaine?

Among other properties belonging to a man that shoulde goe to heauen, hee nameth this for one, He that giueth not his money to vsurie.

And the Prophet Ezekiel, describing the wicked sonne of a godlie father, who should dye for the abhomination that hee had done himselfe, and should not liue for the righteousnes of his fa­ther: hee noteth this for one branch of wicked­nes, that should among others bring him to de­struction Ezech. 18.13. if he hath giuen forth vpon vsurie, or hath taken increase.

And in another place, the same Prophet displaying and reprouing the transgressions of Ierusalem, he saith, Ezek 22.12. In thee haue they taken giftes to shedde blood, thou hast taken vsurie, and the increase, and thou hast defrauded thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me saith the Lord God.

[Page 78] I might alleage further to this purpose that which Dauid hath, Psalm. 55. Where complaining of the ma­lice and crueltie of his enemies, he saith, Psal 55.11. Non defecit de plateis eius vsura & dolus: Vsurie and deceite depar­teth not from their streetes. For so the olde Latine trans­lation readeth it, and the gréeke interpretor hath [...], Vsurie and deceipte. And so Basil. in. Psal. 14. Basile, Ambros. de Tobia cap. 4. Ambrose, August. in Psal. 54. & Augustine among the fathers, and among the new writers Io. Iuel. in 1. Thes. 4 6. B. Iuel, and Aret. loc. com. part. 1. loc. 50. de vsura. Aretius, doe quote it to this pur­pose.

I might alleage also that which is written, Psal. 72. where Salomon describing the prosperitie and blessed­nes of his gouernement, (being therein a figure of Christ) among other benefites which by it should bée conueyed to the people, he noteth this for one, Psal. 72.14. Ex v­suris & iniquitate redimet animas eorum: Hee shall deli­uer their soules from vsurie and iniquitie. For so the olde latine translation readeth it, and the gréeke hath [...]: And so latter diuines, both of our L. A. owne, and also of Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. tit. de vsuris. other countries, haue vsed and receiued it. But because the Hebrue worde which the holy ghost vseth in those places séemeth to bee somewhat more large, then that it can bée restrained necessarilie to the name of vsurie, and that which the olde translation readeth vsura, vsurie, and ex vsura, out of vsurie: that Pagnine and Tremelius translate fraus, deceite, and à dolo, from deceite: therefore I will not vrge those pla­ces too farre for the confirmation of this argument. Neither in déede néede I, considering that other pla­ces which are alleadged, and may be alleadged in this behalfe, are as D. Wilson said, D. Wilson, fol 21. Manifest scriptures: and as B. Iuel said, B. Iuel. epist. before Wilsons vsurie. euident witnesses to this purpose.

Unto the Scriptures, I thinke it not much amisse, next to adioyne the Oracle or Prophesie of Sibylla. Not as matching hir authoritie with the canonicall worde [Page 79] of God, though the heathen calle her Lactantius lib. 1. de salsa relig cap 6. Sibyllam, quasi [...] (after the Aeolian language) à consilijs deorum enuntiandis: because shee reuealed (as they thought) the will of the gods. For I doe rather reckon the Si­byls in the number of those, which Saint Augustine cal­leth Augustin. lib. exposit. epist. ad Rom. tom. 4. Prophetae non ipsius: Prophets that were none of Gods; or, none of Gods Prophets. Yet I suppose that her testimonie is much to be regarded, because it is holden euen of Christians, that shée spake: Ivstinus Martyr orat ad gentiles. tom. 1. Af­flatu quodam mirisico, By a meruailous kinde of inspirati­on: yea, Ibidem. mirifico praepotentis numinis afflatu, By the mer­ueilous inspiration of some mightie God: for so Iusti­nus Martyr doubted not to affirme. Now, she proph [...]sy­ing of Christs comming to iudgement, and how at his comming, all kinde of malefactours should bée gathe­red before him: among others which were to bée con­uented, and to bée condemned of him, shée reckoneth the vsurers for one sorte of euill people. Her wordes be these

Monument. patrum Sibyl­lin. orac lib. 2.

Then shall come before him (among murtherers, a­dulterers, drunkards, and such like) the vsurers, which heape vp increase vpon increase: they also in Sibyllaes iudgement shall be appoynted to destruccion.

And surely it is no maruaile, though the worde of God, and others speaking by an extraordinarie spirite, haue forbidden and condemned vsurie. For, not to stand vpon that which is of some other alleadged to this purpose, namely that the vsurer D. Wilson. fol. 33. selleth the time and the ayre, and so is not onely contrarie to God, who giueth those things fréely vnto all, but also iniurious vnto men, in taking money for those things which are none of his owne: neither yet to stand vpon that spéech of S. Basile, Basil in Psal. Sine terra plantans, fine femine me­tens: [Page 80] The vsurer is such a kinde of husbandman who planteth hauing no ground, & reapeth hauing no seede: I say, not to stand vpon these, nor some other argu­ments which are vsed of diuers writers to this pur­pose: this is one speciall reason why God hath forbid­den vsurie in the word.The first reason a­gainst vsury: it ouer­throweth lending. Namely, that whereas lending is a great and a necessary duety of charitie, and such a duetie, as without which no societie of men, can ei­ther long or well indure: vsurie is such a thing, as o­uerturneth both: 1. The nature. 2. The equitie. 3. The vse of lending.

1. First, it ouerturneth the nature of lending: for vsurie lendeth for gaine, and lending in nature is frée. Gratian de­cret. part. 2. caus. 14. quaest. 3. Duo sunt contractus qui de natura sui gratuiti sunt, mu­tuum & commodatum: There be two kinds of contractes (sayth Gratian) which in their owne nature are free: mu­tuating for the one, and accommodating for the other: being both seuerall kindes of lending, as hath béene before expressed. And wee haue heard that lending is defined to be, Heming. com in. Iac. 5 Translatio dominij nullo interposito pre­tio: The transferring of the dominion, or proprietie of a thing to an other, without price or consideration. And who euer doubted that had common sence, but that the lawes concerning lending so often repeated in the scriptures, doo imploy Officium gratuitum, An office freely, and of méere kindnes, and without recom­pence to bee performed to our brethren? Therefore Brentius sayd truely, Brentius com. in Leuit. 15. In mutuo exigit lex naturae, vt prae­ter sortem nihil accipias: In lending, the lawe of nature requireth that thou receiue nothing again more then the principall. And Chemn [...]tius sayth, Chemnit. loc. com. tit. de paupertate ca. 6. tom. 2. Quandò mutuans paciscitur aliquid vltra sortem, hoc fit contra naturam con­tractus mutui. When he that lendeth, couenanteth to re­ceiue againe more then the principall, this is done or this he doth contrarie to the nature of lending. Whereof it [Page 81] is that Vrsinus Vrsinus Compend. doct. Christ. part. 3. in praecept. 8. iustly reckoneth vsurie among the corruptions which creepe into lawfull contractes. And Selneccerus sayth, Selneccerus instit. Christ. rel. part. 2. pag. 615. Mut [...]onem esse officium: & liberalem contractum: That lending is a duetie which of right wee owe to men, and a contract liberall and frée in the owne nature: Et deprauari vsuris: And that it is depraued, or corrupted by vsurie. As indéed it must▪ of necessitie bee corrupted by vsurie, considering that len­ding is free in nature, and the vsurer lendeth for gaine. Therfore euen as he which first deuised Gen. 36.24. the bréeding of Mules, conioyned those kindes which nature had seuered, and Leuit. 19.19. God had forbidden to be mingled: and by that mixture of his, brought forth but a beast, which though it be of some vse vnto men, yet it is but a cor­ruption and monster in nature: euen so, hee that first coupled gaine vnto lending, hath vnited those thinges which reason & common sence haue seuered a sunder, and hath brought foorth by his deuice but Aristot. Polit. lib. 7. An [...] beast, yea Io. Iuel. in 1. Thess 4.6. A monster in nature, Suidas in A­ristoph. de nu­bibus. yea a swelling mon­ster: howsoeuer in this vnkindly and vnnaturall age of the world, it bee by supposition reputed profitable vnto men. For lending is free in nature, and therefore vsurie ouerturneth the nature of lending.

2. Secondly, as vsurie ouerturneth the nature, so doth it also the equitie of lending. What equitie is to bee obserued betweene the lender, and the borrower may best appeare by the lawe of God: for Psal. 19.9. The iudge­ments of the Lord are trueth, yea, they are righteous alto­gether. Now Gods law concerning lending was this: Exod. 22 14. If a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or else die, the owner thereof not being by, he shall surely make it good. Now against the equitie of this lawe, the vsu­rer offendeth diuerse and sundry waies▪ For if the wordes bee well marked, wee shall sée that in lending God prouided onely that the lender should be no loser: [Page 82] for the borrower was but to make good yt which he had receiued. But the vsurer will be sure not onely to saue his owne, but also will couenant and contract, at the least wise he will purpose within himselfe to be a gai­ner. Againe, the law of God did repose the hazard, and aduenture of the thing which was lent, vpon ye head of the lender: See more of these points in G. Ba­bington. quaest. and answers vp­on the com­mandemēts. pag. 363. and in Io. Knew­stub. Lect. 8. in Exod. 20. so as if his goods perished in the borrowers hande, he the owner thereof being by, séeing it, and ta­king knowledge thereof, the borrower was not bounde to make it good. But the vsurer will neuer aduenture the principall, sincke hée, or swimme he that borroweth, lose he neuer so much, and bee his casualtie neuer so apparant: yet the vsurer will bee sure at the least to receiue his owne, if not wt great ad­uantage. Againe, the law of God did bind the borrow­er to no more but only to make good the things which perished, or decayed, or waxed the worse by the vsage. For hee sayth, If it be hurt or die, hee shall surely make it good. But the vsurer will gaine by the lending of that which either decayeth not at all in the vse, as money and coyne, or if it doo decay, may bee restored full as good, as corne, wine, oyle, and such like marchandise. Againe, the lawe of God required the friendship and good will of the lendor no better, nor with no more then the receiuing of his owne againe. Now the vsu­rer will professe that he lendeth for good will, and that if you were not his speciall friend, hee would not for­beare his goods: and yet will hee bée requited with a great deale more then his owne againe. So deare and precious a thing is an vsurers friendship. So that if there bee any equitie in the lawe which God made for lending, thou certainely there is no equitie but much iniquitie and vnrighteousnes in vsurie.

3. Thirdly as vsurie doth ouerthrow the nature and equitie, so doth it also cut downe, and abandon the [Page 83] vse and practise of lending. Euident and lamentable experience teacheth, that whereas in the dayes of our forefathers, when vsurie was counted a deadly sinne, a poore man, or a young occupyer might easily borow of a ritch man xl. s. or twentie nobles fréely, and pay it againe at conuenient leysure: now since men made no conscience of this euill, a man cannot borow fiue shil­linges, no not xii. pence for a wéeke, but hee must pay an egge for vsurie. Therefore B. Iuel sayd truly, Io. Iuel in. 1. Thes. 4.6. That vsurie is a thing which hardneth the hart. And another as truly, Hugo Cardi­nalis in Psal. 15. Foenus interficit misericordiam: vsurie cutteth the throat of mercy and compassion. S. Iames complai­neth of the couetuous men of his time that Iam. 5.2.3. their rit­ches corrupted, and their gold and siluer cankred ▪ From whence a learned man yet liuing among vs coniectu­reth not vnprobably, that the people of that time ha­ted and detested vsurie. For had they not hated vsurie, though of vnmercifulnes they would giue nothing, no nor lend fréely to the poore: yet L. A. Si foeneratorias artes adhibere voluissent, facilè aurum atque aessuum ab aerugi­ne vindicassent: If they would haue lent forth to vsurie, they might easilie haue preserued their gold and siluer from rust and corruption. And this wisedome (if it bee wisedome) the men of our time haue sounded to the depth. For though they will neither giue of almes, nor lend of loue: yet by putting foorth their whole stocke to vsurie, they well inough prouide that their money rusteth not in their cofers. So vsurie is succée­ded into the place of lending. Let this then be the con­clusion of the first argument. Sith lending is a dutie so often commaunded of God, and so profitable (yea necessarie) vnto men, and vsurie is a practise which o­uerturneth the nature, the equitie, and the vse of len­ding: no marueile though God hath so often forbiddē and condemned it in holy Scriptures.

[Page 84] The secōd reason a­gainst vsury: it ouer­throweth charitie. To procéedest out this vnto another argument. V­surie is iustly condemned in the word, as that which is directly opposite, and as it were a sworne professed enemy to Christian charitie. Loue and charitie hath a wonderfull prayse set vpon it by the holy Ghost, S. Paul saith, Rom. 1 [...].10. Loue is the fulfilling of the law. And againe, 1. Tim. 1.5. The ende of the commaundement is loue. And againe, Galat. 5.14. All the law is fulfilled in one word▪ which is this, thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe. That as Cicer. de Ora. he said of Pronū ­ [...]on in an Orator, so we may say of loue in a Chri­stian: the first, the second, the third point of the law, the beginning, the middest, the ending of all duties to men, is loue towardes our neighbour. Now the squire and rule of this loue, our Sauiour Christ deliuereth to be this▪ Math. 7.12. Whatsoeuer ye would that men should do to you, euen so doe ye to them▪ for this is the, law and the Prophetes. Which rule and squire of loue, as the vsurer seldome respecteth, so doth he neuer obserue. For tell me thou that demaundest increase of another, if thou hast occa­sion to borow thy selfe, wouldest thou rather giue in­terest, then receiue fréely and for naught? experience denyeth it: reason is against it. D. Wilson. fol. 175. Who would not rather trauaile without a burthen vpon his backe, then with a burthen? or who would not haue the sweete and auoyde the sower? euē so, who had not rather haue goods giuē then sold, lent thē let vnto him? wouldest thou so? thē if thou in thy néed wouldest borow fréely, & yet wilt not lēd to another mā but vpō increase: yu doest not to him, as thou wouldest be done vnto thy self, & therfore obseruest not the law of charitie. That if (as Vrsinus saith) the questions arising about vsurie may be determi­ned by this speech, or generall rule, Zach. Vrsinus [...]ōp. doc. Christ. part. 3. in prae­cept. 8. Quod tibi non vis fieri alteri ne feceris: doe not to another that which thou wouldest not haue done vnto thy selfe: then may it easi­ly be concluded what is to be thought and iudged con­cerning [Page 85] this case of vsurie: namely, that it will not, nor cannot stād with ye generall rule of charitie. And there­fore B. Iuel sayd, Humfred. in vita Iuel. pag. 232. Charitas Christiana non foeneratur: Christian charitie putteth not forth to vsurie. And M. Beza saith that which is more, T. Beza an­n [...]t. in Matth. 19.8. Foenerari prohibet Christiana charitas: Christian charitie forbiddeth men to take vsurie. But the Cardinall sayd that which is most of all, Hugo Car­dinalis in Psal. 15. vsura directè opponitur charitati: vsurie is directlie opposite vnto charitie. Yea, and Hemingius saith plainely and directly to this pointe, Heming. Cō. in Iam. 5. stabilita v­sura euer titur charitatis norma, quam Deus aeternam esse vult: establish or allowe vsurie, and the rule of loue is quite ouerthrowen: which rule God would haue to a­bide and remaine for euer. Conclude we then in this manner. Loue is the very summe and substance of the law: but the vsurer ouerturneth the generall rule of loue, (for he doth not to another, as himselfe would be done vnto:) ergo he and his practises, are worthilie condemned in the word of God.

But me thinkes I heare some vsurer or other, whis­pering with himselfe, and replying in this manner a­gainst that which hath beene spoken. Why sir? I doe as I would bée done vnto. For if I were in want my selfe, I would bee glad to take vp money for tenne in the hūdred, or to giue a greater price to haue wares with halfe yeeres day of payment: yea and take him for my friend too which so would deale by mee. To which obiection of theirs, I answer diuerse and sundry waies. First, I say with Chemnitius, Chemnit. loc. com. tom. 2. tit. de paupertate cap. 6. Simulatus prae­textus est: This pretence which the vsurer maketh, that he would be glad in his need to borrow vpon increase, is fained, and false, and counterfeite. Nemo enim est qui non mallet gratuito mutuo subleuari in egestate: For there is no man (sayth he) which had not rather be relieued in his necessitie by free lending, then by taking vpon vsu­rie. [Page 86] And where shall you al most finde an vsurer, who if his owne money bee abroad, will very readily bor­rowe money or wares vpon vsurie, to relieue his pre­sent necessitie? Secondly, I say that as touching that spéech of our Sauiour Christ, Math. 7 12. Whatsoeuer ye would that men should doe to you, euen so doe to them: Gualter. ho­mil. 61. in. Luc. 6. Ante omnia inquirendum erit, ad quam hominis voluntatem lex ista ex­tendi debeat. It is first of all (or principally) to bee consi­dered, vnto what kind of will in a man, that law or speech of Christ, is to be extended. For in all thinges, and in all respectes, it is euident that this rule holdeth not: Doe as thou wouldest be done vnto. If it did, then would it followe, that the magistrate must of loue spare the conuicted malefact or, because if hee were in the male­factours case, he would be glad to be spared and pardo­ned himselfe. And then ye couetous man shuld be bound by the law of loue, to giue all his goodes vnto another, because his gripple mind is such, as he would willing­ly another man should giue all that he hath vnto him. And a number of such absurdities would follow, if the rule were generall, and without exception, Doe as thou wouldest be done vnto. This rule therefore of loue pre­scribed vnto men, Ibidem: & Brentius hom. 59. in Luc. 6. Debet ad eam voluntatem restringi quae non pugnat cum aequitate, & legibus naturae: Must be re­strained to such a will, as is not repugnant to equitie, and the lawe of nature. Looke what a man willeth to bee done to himselfe Mich. Cope. com. in Pro. 28.8. of a minde well gouerned by loue, and looke what a man willeth to himselfe, Erasm. Sarce­rius schol. in Luc. 6. scilicet à natura, by the motion and instinct of nature: that let him yéelde in the like case to another: for that is the law and the Pro­phets. Now alas, whē a man is driuē into a straight by an vnnaturall necessitie, how can his will well follow the light of nature? And when his will is so tossed vp and downe, as that he is compelled to will that, which if he were his owne man he would not, yea and misli­keth [Page 87] vtterly that which of necessitie he willeth: how can his will be saide to be moderated with equitie and reason? And when his straightnes & exigent compel­leth him to reach out his hand to vnlawfull meanes, and so to forget both God, himselfe, and his neighbour: how can that minde bee saide to bee well gouerned by loue? Therefore from such a will so straitned, so dege­nerating from kinde, and so farre from loue, to pre­scribe a rule, vnto frée kindenes and loue [...] hath nei­ther grounde from the worde of God, neither is it a­gréeable to common wisdome and reason among men. Thirdly, I answer to this obiection of the vsurer: say that thou wouldest be glad in thy necessitie to borrow vpon vsurie of another: yet this will of thine is not simple nor free, but thou wishest and willest so to doe, onely to auoyde a further danger. As the Marriner tossed with an extreame tempest vpon the sea, to a­uoyde vtter shipwrack casteth his goods and fraught not vnwillinglie ouer the board: which not withstan­ding, he would not willinglie haue done, but to escape the losse of his life that was more déere vnto him. Now these and the like are called mixtae actiones, ming­led actions: done partly voluntarily, and willinglie, partly inuoluntarilie and vnwillingly. A man would not do such a thing simply if he were at his frée choyse, yet he will doe such a thing to auoyde a greater euill. So that to will, & not to wil, do after a sorte concurre in one and the same action. But now the meaning of Christs rule is: whatsoeuer we would willinglie and chéerefully, that others should doe to vs, following the light of nature, and ordering our mindes by loue: that the lawe of charitie bindeth vs to yéelde, and to performe to others. And therefore that pretence of doing as wee would bèe done vnto, is but an apron of [Page 88] figge leaues too slenderlie sowed together, and not a­ble throughlie to shroude from sight the vsurers vn­charitable shame. Hee doth not as hee woulde bee done vnto, and therefore fulfilleth not (nay hee o­uerturneth) the lawe of charitie: and consequent­lie hee and his practises are worthilie condemned in the holy Scriptures.

The ende of the third Sermon prea­ched Maij. 7. 1593.

The fourth Sermon: the speciall contentes whereof are these.

Two other reasons are alleadged against vsurie: viz. that

1. It ouerturneth equalitie, and euenho [...]de in bargai­ning: because that, • 1. It demandeth consideration for that which is none of the vsurers owne. , and • 2. It demandeth two recompences, for one intire thing. • By reason of which inequalitie, it commeth to passe that vsurie is so commonly the ouerthrowe, both of • 1. Priuate families. , and • 2. Publike estates and common weales.    , and • 2. It is a finne which the vsurers practise, against the light of their owne▪ consciences, and so against the lawe of nature,

The third reason a­gainst vsury, it ouertur­neth equali­tie.

which ruleth in the same. 

THere is yet a further euil incident into vsurie, and that is, that it o­uerturneth euenhoode, and equa­litie in dealing, betwéene man and man, and therefore in that respect also is it iustly forbidden in the word of God. Now that it ouer­turneth equitie and euenhoode, the Schoolemen ha [...] shewed by these reasons. 1. First, Scotus in 4. distin. 18. quaest. 2. G. B [...]l. in quartum sent. dist. 15. quaest. 11. art. 1. d. the vsurer deman­ding [Page 90] increase for that which hee lent: séeketh gaine of that, which for the time is another mans, and none of his owne. For by lending, hee did transferre the domi­nion and propertie of his owne goods, into another mans hands: so as, not he which did lend, but he which did borrowe, is for the couenanted time of lending, Lord and owner thereof. If therefore the lender de­maunde increase for the time which he lent, he séeketh gaine of that which for the time was none of his owne. Now, to require gaine of that which is ano­ther mans, is a very vniust and vnequall demaunde. And therefore saide one not of the meanest Ciuillians: Barthol. Cae­pol. tract. cau­telarum caut. 125. Vna est ratio principalis quare in mutuo vsura est pròhi­bita, quia ille qui recipit mutuùm, si aliquid solueret vltra, solueret de re sua, vel propter rem suam: This is one prin­cipall reason, why vsurie is forbidden in lending, because if hee that borroweth, should pay anything more then that which he receiued: hee should pay it of his owne goods, or for his owne goods: for as much as in deede, the lender hath made them the borrowers for the ap­poynted season. And this is also the reason which Me­lancthon vseth to this purpose. Melancthon lib. definit. ap­pellat. Pugnant vsurae cum ae­qualitate, vsurie (saith he) fighteth with equalitie. And why? His reason followeth, Nemo debet lucrari ex ali­eno: Accipiens vsuras lucratur de alieno: quia mutuatio transtulit dominium. Non est igitur iustum lucrum. Equa­litie saith: No man ought to make gaine of another mans goods. But he that taketh vsurie, maketh gaine of that which is another mans: because the lending hath transferred the dominion of the goods from the lender to the borrower. Therefore it is no iust nor equall gaine.

Why? but sir (will the vsurer obiect,) graunte that by lending I do make my goods for the time to become another mans: yet why may I not iustly demaunde gaine and increase of the borrower, euen in this consi­deration [Page 91] onely? Namely, because I am contented for the time, to put out of mine owne hand into his, the dominion and propertie of my goods? I answer: that if thou sellest any thing to another man, thou maiest so doe in déede. The nature of that contract permit­teth thee to take consideration, for the making ouer and alienation of thy goods vnto another: but thou in putting forth to vsurie, doest exercise onely the con­tract of lending. Now lending is translatio dominij nullo interposito pretio: a transferring of the dominion of a thing, from one man to another, without any price, or consideration, as hath been before declared. If then thou takest consideration, thou lendest not: but be­cause thou professest to lend, therefore for translation of the propertie thou must craue no consideration. Lactantius describing diuerse particular dueties to bée exercised of a christian man, among others he nameth this for one. Lactant. de vero cultu. lib. 6 cap. 18. Pecuniae, si quam crediderit, non accipiat v­suram: If he lende any money, let him take no vsurie for it. And why? Marke his reasons: Vt & beneficium sit incolume quod succurrit necessitati, & abstineat se prorsus alieno [...] Partly, that it may bee a meere or intire good turne, which relieueth necessitie: and partly, that hee which lendeth may wholie abstaine, from taking of that which is another mans. And he addeth further, In hoc enim genere officij, debet suo esse contentus, quem o­porteat aliàs ne proprio quidem parcere, vt bonum faciat: plus autem accipere quam dederit, iniustum est: For in this kinde of dutie (he meaneth, in lending) he that lendeth must bee content with his owne, who at other times must not spare his owne goods, but willingly part with them to do good. Now to receiue more then he lent, is an vniust, or vnequall thing. Out of which spéech of Lactantius, these poyntes may fitlie, and profitablie bee obserued. First, he that lendeth to relieue necessitie must yéelde [Page 92] Beneficium incolume, a free good turne: Ergo, hee must take no consideration. Secondly, his lending must be frée, least he seaze vpon another mans goods. Thirdly, because he that taketh increase by lending, seazeth vp­on that which is none of his owne, therefore hee doth that which is vnequall and vniust. So that, from him it may bée gathered, that to make thy goods another mans by lending, and then to demaunde gaine of that which thy selfe hast made none of thine, is a very vn­iust and vnreasonable thing.

A second reason, by which the school [...]men do them the inequalitie, and want of euenhoode committed in vsurie, is this. They say (and it is true,) that vsurie is committed onely in that kinde of lending, which is called mutuum or mutuation▪ And mutuation is onely of such things, as consist in number, waight, and mea­sure. Now it is euident that in such thinges as passe from man to man by number, or [...]aight, or measure, the vse of them cannot be seuered from the proprietie, nor the proprietie from the vse: but they must of ne­cessitie passe togither without diuision, or seperation. As for example, (that the simplest may vnderstād me) I cannot lend a man money, or corne, or oyle, or such like things, but I must make them fully his, to doe with them what he will: if I do not, hee can make no vse of them, nor receiue benefite by them. So as he cā not haue the vse of them, vnlesse hee haue the proprie­tie: and what shall he do with the proprietie for a time, vnlesse hee may haue the vse of them also? Well then: if I lend money, and so with the money the vse of it, as one entire thing (because the vse cannot be seuered frō the proprietie) and I demaunde againe not onely mo­ney, which of necessitie bringeth vse with it, but also more money for the vse of my money: I demaunde two thinges for one, & seuerall things, for them which [Page 93] cannot be seuered. And this is the reason of Thomas Aquinas against vsurie, which hee maketh plaine by this example. Tho. Aquin. 22ae. quaest. 78. art. 1, If a man would sell wine seuerallie, and by it selfe, and would withall, sell the vse of that wine se­uerallie, & by it selfe: he should sell the same thing twise, or should sell that which is not: and so hee should mani­festlie offende in iniustice. Et simili ratione iniustitiā com­mittit, qui mutuat vinum, aut triticum, petens sibi duas re­compensationes: vnam quidem restitutionem aequalis re [...], aliam vero pretium vsus, quod vsura dicitur. By the like reason, hee committeth iniustice or inequalitie, which lendeth wine, or wheate, to another, and demaundeth two recompences for the same: one for the thing it selfe, another for consideration of the vse. Which second con­sideration, or recompence taken for the vse of such a thing, is that which is called vsurie.

Now it is true, that the vsurers doe obiect in their owne defense (as Chemnitius also hath obserued,) that Chemnit. loc. cō. Tom. 2 tit. de paupertate. Cap. 6. they doe not fell twise ouer the goods, or principall it selfe, but they sell Realem vtilitatem, a reall commodi­tie, Quae creditori abest, & debitori adest: which the credi­tour wanteth for the time that he lendeth, and the deb­tor enioieth for the time that he boroweth. Wel: graūt that to bee so, (for indéede who will borow any thing, but in respect of there all commoditie which it is sup­posed to cary with it?) Yet by that reason, a man may take two prices for many things that are sold. As for the purpose. I sell a man Bullion gold. Now gold be­sides the mettall it selfe which is precious, yea and be­sides the benefite which ariseth from it being coyned, in buying and selling &c. it hath also this reall commo­ditie, that it is profitable many wayes to Phisicke, and to health, as a very soueraigne & cordiall thing. Shall I therefore take one price for the gold it selfe, and an­other for the vse, or benefite, or reall commoditie of [Page 94] gold? what were this, but to sell one thing twise, and to take two prices for one commoditie, and so to com­mit a monstrous inequalitie?

Therefore, to returne to the purpose, Aristotle who saw much into matters of common societie, sayd that Aristot. Po­lit. lib. 1. By vsurie was taken away, medium & norma aut regula omnium virtutum: the measure and squire and rule of all vertues: namely Arithmeticall proportion, whereby e­quall thinges are equallie recompensed, which rule the vsurer obserueth not, because he demaundeth two con­siderations for one and the same thing. Hereof it is that B. Iuel sayd, L. Humfr [...]d. in vita Iuelli. pag. 224. vsura mutatio iniqua est: vsurie is a kinde of vnequall exchanging, or bargaining. And He­mingius saith, Hemingius com. in Iac. 5. Manif [...]stè inaequalitatem parit: to take gaine for lending, breedeth a manifest inequalitie. And the states assembled in our English Parliament con­cluded, that Anno. 3. Hē ­rici. 7. cap. 5. & Anno. 11. Hen­rici. 7. cap. 8. It is contrary to the law of naturall iustice. Ac res ostendit (saith Melancthon) Melancthon. lib. definit. ap­pellat. proptèr hanc inaequa­litatem exhauriri magnam partem hominum, eamque ob causam saepe seditiones in Imperijs ortas esse: experience it selfe teacheth, that by reason of this inequalitie which is committed in making gaine of lending, a number of men are consumed, and for that cause many seditions, rebellions, and tumults, doe often arise in kingdomes and common weales. Now I would haue men tho­roughly to obserue this spéech of Melancthon, as that which I meane to make ye foundation of many things now to be deliuered. And well may I lay his iudge­ment for a foundation, because P. Fagius epist▪ ante Chald. Par [...] ­phrast. tom. 1. his writings testifie, that he was in his time maximum & singulare decus lite­rarum: a great and singular ornament of learning, as P. Fagius hath truly reported of him. That spéech of his deliuereth two pointes of great waight, and worthie of our déepe consideration. Namely that whereas by the equalitie which is in other contractes, as in buy­ing, [Page 95] in selling, in letting, in exchanging and such like, men doe vsually grow wealthy, in their priuate fami­lies, yea and the publique estate of the common weale is supported and maintained: it commeth to passe by the inequalitie which is in this corrupt contract of vsu­rie, that 1. priuate families are commonly impoueri­shed, and 2. common weales are vsually disturbed.

And first to speake of the want and straitnes which vsurie begetteth in priuate families: wee haue an eui­dent example therof in the holy scriptures. Nehem. The peo­ple complaine in the dayes of Nehemiah, that by rea­son of the burdens (or vsurie, for so Pagnine translateth it vers. 7.) which the richer sorte did impose vpon them, their children were brought into bondage, their lands and vineyardes were gaged to other men, And there was no power in their handes, that is, (as Tremellius wel expoundeth it,) Tremel. an­not. in Nehem. 5.5. They had no substance or abilitie to redéeme them home againe. So dry were they draw­en, and so low were they brought by borrowing vpon vsurie. The prophet Amos complaineth bitterly of the oppressors of his time, Amos 8.4 6. how they did swallow vp the poore, and make the needie of the land to faile: how they sought to buy the poore for siluer, and the needie for shoes: to bee their seruants, for so Vatablus annot. in Amos 8.6. Vatablus doth apply it. Which extremities, as they are common to al coue­tous men: so (sayth Gualter) Gualther hom. 27 in A­mos 8. Obseruabis ista vsurarijs & foeneratoribus potissimum obijci: Obserue that these thinges are principally obiected, and layd to the charge of vsurers, & those that lend for increase. Which is as if he should say, that they play of all others the principall acte of this tragedie, and that they are the men especi­ally, which swallowe vp the poore, and bring the née­die into bondage. Ambrose also complaineth of the iniquitie of his time in this behalfe: Ambros. lib. de Tobia. ca. 8. Vidi ego miserabi­le spectaculum, I haue seene (sayth he) a miserable sight, [Page 96] or spectacle in my time. Liberos pro paterno debito in auctionem; deduci, & teneri calamitatis haeredes, qui non essent participes successionis. I haue séene children set forth to sale to pay the fathers debt which accrewed by vsury, (for of that hee speaketh in that place,) and so they be­came heires of their fathers calamitie, who were not suc­ceeders to their inheritance. What should I say more? the Emperour Seuerus Aret. loc. com. part. 1. loc. 50. de vsuris. allowed the taking of foure in the hundred, Cùm nonnullos foenoris causa agro paterno exutos intellexisset: Because he saw that many by vsurie wasted away all their fathers lands. And if forreine ex­amples wanted abroad, yet how pitifull, and howe manifold are our instances at home, of noble mens sonnes by vsurie decaying their houses, of Marchant men by vsurie wasting their stockes, of husbandmen by vsurie compelled to sell their crops aforehand halfe for naught? that nothing is more true then is that say­ing of Melancthon, namely that a number of men are consumed and drawen dry by vsurie. Which consump­tion of so many, could not so vsually, and commonly be effected by this trade: if there were not a maruei­lous inequalitie, euen in the contracte and manner of bargaining vsed in the same.

Hereof it is that Bernhard called vsurie Bernhard Syluest. de cura rei familiaris. Venenum patrimonij, The poyson of a mans patrimonie, or inheri­tance: that Cato sayd, Cicero offic. 2. Ambros. de To­bia cap. 14. Foenerari est hominem occidere, To lend to vsurie was to kill a man: that Leo sayd Leo magnus Ser. 6. de [...]ciuniò decimi mensis cap. 3. Foe­nus pecuniae▪ funus est animae: that is as one interpreteth it, Io. North­brooke. the poore mans garden. The death of life: because that vsurie is as it were a poyson to the life, & a moth to the goodes of men. Here­of it is also that Chrysostome compared vsurie to Chrysost. in Mat. 5. the stinging of the serpent Aspis, which casteth a man in­to a certaine kinde of pleasant and delightfull sléepe: but in the sléepe hee dyeth away without recouery. That the great lawyer Baldus cons. 449. compared it to the worme [Page 97] Teredo, whereof Plin. nat. hist. lib. 11. cap. 2. & lib. 16. cap. 41. Plinie maketh mention in his natu­rall historie: which is as soft as silke in the féeling of the hand, but biteth so hard with the téeth, that if ea­teth the strongest timber. For indéede such a thing is vsurie: it seemeth for the present to benefit and refresh, but in the end, it will deuour and consume. And such a man is an vsurer, soft in his wordes, and faire in his promises: but by his déedes he stingeth to death, and wasteth the greatest substance. Hereof further it is, that Plutarch compareth the vsurers to the Plutarch lib. de non foenerā ­do. Vultures and Rauens that will picke the guts out of a mans bel­ly: and that Alphonsus the king of Arragon compared them to the Harpiae, Virgil. Aene­ad. 3. that deuoured the Troians victu­als: Licost. Apo­theg. tit. v­surae. V [...]po [...]e labores mortalium depescentes: As those that do eate vp the fruites of other mens labours ▪ Here­of also Caelius Secundus calleth vsurie Caelius Se­cundus lect. antiquar. lib. 12. cap. 20. Tabem pestiferā: A deadly or contagious ague. And fitly: for by it poore men are cast into many a shaking fitte, and at last are pyned to the bones. Yea the Pope himselfe (who doth not easily condemne sinne and insquitie) compareth vsurie vnto Sextus de­cretalium. D. Wilson fol. 92. a Gulfe or whirlepoole, which doth deuour soules, and vtterly wasteth wealth. These, and the like, (of which kind▪ I meete with diuerse in reading of this argument) are: hard speeches, and hard comparisons (I confesse,) and such as might make an honest min­ded man to loath the practise, yea the very name of v­surie. Yet thus haue wise men, and learned men, spo­ken and written of it, because they haue obserued by experience, that (as B. Iuel sayd) Io. Iuel. Ser. in 1. Thess. 4.6. Vsurie consumeth the rioh, eateth vp the poore, maketh bancker outs, vndoeth houshoulds, and (as before was deliuered out of Me­lancthon) draweth drie hundreds, yea thousands of people in the world, and is the vtter destruction of in­finite families. Which destruction of priuate families, I am perswaded that men of all ages and places could [Page 98] neuer haue obserued, so vsually and ordinarily to arise from vsurie, more then from buying, selling, letting, exchanging, and such like contracts: if there were not a marueilous inequalitie, and want of euenhood, in the very practise of vsurie.

But now, vpon this I know the vsurer is ready to reply, that many haue gained greatly by borowing vpon vsurie. And he will not sticke to giue instances of some, who by this meanes haue recouered their houses and landes which lay to morgage, like to bee lost: and of some manlisters who at the first began with little stocke of their owne, but by vsing money taken vp in this order, haue growne very wealthie. Yea, and I lent money to such a man, and such a man, (saith he) and he brought my money againe at the day with many thankes, & professed that he gained great­ly by me. And how then is this such a monstrous de­cay to priuate families, as you haue before reported? Now, to this I may make answere diuerse and sun­dry wayes: first, I doubt not but some mē may gaine by taking vpon vsurie: for they may light on a match which shall yéelde them treble increase. So may a man gaine that ouerbuyeth his wares, or ouerhireth his farme or ouer exchangeth his horse: he may happen on such gaine in selling the same wares, or letting the same farme, or exchanging the same horse againe, as shall yéeld double or treble recompence, for the harme of his former bargaine. But that excuseth not the vn­righteousnesse of the first seller, letter, or exchanger: no more doth this, the iniquitie of the vsurer. So that a man may say in this case of him that boroweth as Leo sayd of him that lendeth, Leo primus serm. 6. de ieiu­nio decimi mē ­sis. cap. 3. Quilibet sequatur euentus, ma­la semper est ratio foenerantis: what euent soeuer betyde him that boroweth vpon vsurie, gaine he or gaine hee not, the course of lending forth vpon vsurie is euill and [Page 99] vngodly. Secondly, I say, that though one, or two, or some few haue gained by taking vpon vsurie: yet One swallow maketh not summer, neither can a few gayners, argue this trade to be commodious. S. Basile doth no­tably answere the vsurers obiection in this behalfe. Basil. com. i [...] Psal. 14. Multi (inquies) ex foenore diuites facti sunt. Plures ob hoc magis puto laqueos attigerunt. Thou wilt say vnto me, that many haue growen rich by vsurie. But I answere (saith hee) that I suppose more by that meanes haue come to hāg themselues, or haue bene brought to the galowes. Now, tu diuites factos respicis, eos verò qui desperauerunt, animumque desponderunt non numeras: thou lookest to those and repeatest those that haue growne rich by vsu­rie: but thou namest not those which haue growne de­sperate and faint harted, and haue come to their end by vsurie. D. Wilson hath a pretie historie to this purpose, not vnworthie the remembring. D Wilson. fol. 189. A man comming into a certaine Church, and séeing it fraught full of I­mages made of waxe, demaunded what might bee the cause of such an vnwoonted sight? answere was made, that those whom these Images did represent were certaine persons which on a time were saued from drowning, by calling vpon our Lady. Nay then (quoth hee againe,) where bee the Images of those (I pray you) that called vpon our Lady, and were drowned notwith­standing? so say I in this case. If any man will set be­fore me the instances, and as it were the Images of those, who tooke vp money on vsurie, and grew rich thereby: I would demaunde on the other side that hee shew forth the hundreds, and thousands of those, who by that meanes haue vtterly impouerished, and ouer­throwen their owne estate. They will be founde a million for one: yea to bee without all comparison. Thirdly, I answere to that obiectiō of theirs (viz. ma­ny haue growne riche by taking goodes vpon vsurie,) [Page 100] with that saying of Hemingius, whom some of thē sup­pose to be a patron to their practise. Hemingius com. in Iac. 5. Nihil boni per se ex vsura esse potest, sed potius malorum pelagus: there can no good arise from vsurie of it selfe, but rather a maine sea of euill. Verum si quid fortuitò boni, ex vsuris prouenire videtur, id ne quaquam vsuris, sed mutuationi tribuendum est: If by chance (saith hee) there seeme any commoditie to arise from vsurie, that is not to bee ascribed to the len­ding vpō vsurie, but to the lending which is in vsurie. If a man gaine by borowing vpon vsurie, it is because he borowed, not because he borowed for increase. Bo­rowing yéeldeth a benefite: but borowing for vsurie is that which abateth the height, and greatnesse of the benefite. Fourthly, and lastly, I answere to this pointe, that to m [...]ke him gaine who taketh vpon vsu­rie, many must of necessitie loose and be hindred. For he that dealeth by money taken vpon vsurie, if he will gaine, must vse the more craft & subteltie in his trade: and besides that, L. Humfred. in vita Iuelli. pag. 221. Cogitur merces suas tantòpluris ven­dere, & populus cogitur eas pluris emere, he is compelled to sell his wares, and the people are compelled to buy his wares at a higher and greater price. Wherefore S. Chrysostome sayd well, Idē. pag. 2 [...]2. Foeneratorem communem esse hostem omnium, that the vsurer is a common enemie to all the common weale. Now then what is this, but euen to saue a sticke, and burne a house, to saue aioynt and loose the body, to helpe one and spoyle a thousand? and this is the best effect of some mens gaining by vsu­rie. Therefore sayd Bodine well, Bodinus de repub. lib. 5. cap. 2. Nulla est tenuium subleuandorum via compendiosior, quàm omne genus foeno­ris ex lege diuina prohiber [...]: there is no more compendi­ous or ready way, to ease the poore and néedie: then to forbid all kinde of vsurie, according to the law of God.

Well then: if we procéede on from priuate fami­lyes, to whole common weales, we shall sée that vsurie [Page 101] hath decayed whole cities, and prouinces and king­domes. The Romaines giue testimonie to this, who D. Wilson in epist. neuer began to decay, till vsurie lorded amongst them. The Germaines giue testimonie to this, who before they knew what vsurie ment, Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. tit. de vsuris. Sese soli auderent Roma­nis opponere: they durst oppose themselues by themselues against the Romaines. Hodie in delicijs, & are alieno, & gloriam bellicam & germanicam integritatem amiserunt: now wasting themselues by delight and vsurie, they haue lost both their warlike valure, and the Germane sin­ceritie. According as Luther cōplained of it in his time: Luther de taxanda vsu­ra tom. 7. Detestanda auaritia, & vsura funditus eam corruperunt, & euerterunt: Detestable couetousnesse, and vsurie, haue whollie corrupted, and ouerthrowne it. Againe. The Egyptians giue testimonie to this. Alex. ab A­lex. lib. 1. cap. 7. Omnis Aegyptus foenore obruta: saith Alexander ab Alexandria: All E­gypt is ouerwhelmed with vsurie. The Spaniardes giue testimonie to this, who are sayd D. Wilson. fol 180. to loose their gaine which they gather among the Indians, by the vsu­rie which vpon their returne they bargaine to paye vnto the Genowaies. Yea England hath in former ages giuen testimonie to this: for riotes haue bene raised in the land, Anno 47. Hē ­rici. 3. D. Wilson. fol. 198. against the Iewes, and many hun­dreds of them slaine, for the vsurie which they exacted of the Christians. What should I say more? Cornelius Tacitus speaketh thus of the estate of Rome. Cornel. Ta­cit. annal. lib. 6. Sane vetus vrbi foenebre malum, & seditionum discordiarumque creberrima causa: vsurie is an ancient euill to the Citie and a most vsuall cause of discorde and sedition. S. Hie­rome saith, Hierom. con. in Esay. 58.6. In cunctis is vrbibus seditionis causa vel ma­xima est: It is a speciall cause of sedition in all Cities. Po­meranus saith (as Marloret doth alledge him,) In 1. Tim. 3.3. vitan­da est vsura, tanquam praesentissimum & ecclesiae, & reipu­blicae venenum. vsurie is to bee auoided, as a strong poi­son both to Church and common weale. In word: all [Page 102] men almost do agrée in this, that it is the confusion of countreys, and the bale of common weales. Now I demaunde whence possibly it can be, that whole coun­tryes and cities, should be so vsually, and so generally ouerturned by vsurie: but euen from the vnreasonable­nesse, inequalitie, want of euenhoode, and want of due proportion committed in the very maner of the con­tracting it selfe?

And therefore, wée finde that the great common wealth men of all ages, though they knewe, and sawe euidently, how without diuerse kindes of bargaining and contracting, societie among men could not possibly be maintained: yet they haue alwaies prohibited, and condemned vsurie, as a thing carrying with it so great inequallitie, that it, and the publique good, could not well stand together. Plato. de leg. lib. 5. Plato banished vsurie out of his common wealth. Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. de vsuris. Lycurgus draue all the vsurers out of Sparta. Ibidem. Agis brent all the vsurers bookes in Athens: which fact Agesilaus beholding, saide that hee neuer sawe Clarius lumen, or (as Northbrooke reporteth it) Io. North­brooke poore mans garden. Puriorem ignem, a more cleare, or excellent, or purer fier: for indéede, it purified the cittie of a masse of cor­ruptions. D. Wilson. in epist. Solon tooke away the vsurers bookes and gaines, and brought in nouas tabulas, new lawes, or sta­tutes, which are saide in gréeke to bee [...], because they eased the people of an intolerable burthen. And if from the Grecians, we will passe ouer to the Latines, Appian saith, that Appian. A­lexand. Rom hist. de bello. ciuil lib. 1. The auncient Romans abhorred v­surie, euen as did the Grecians. And Cornelius Tacitus saith of it, Cornel Tacit. annal. lib. 6. Cohibebatur antiquis, & minus corruptis mo­ribus: It was restrained in auntient times, when manners were lesse corrupted among them. And the reason why they abhorred vsurie (saith Appian) was this, Appian. Ibi. Because it was a trafique, very burdensome to the poore, and a thing that ministred matter of strife and enmitie. Wee [Page 103] reade further cōcerning the histories of the Romaines, that Aret. prob part. 1. loc. 50. de vsuris. Cato fréed all Sicilia of vsurie. Luther. de taxand. vsur. tom. 7. Genitius the Tri­bune made a decrée against vsurie. C. Suetonius. Iuel. Caesar▪ cap. 42. Iulius Caesar tooke order that creditours should be payed, deducta summa aeris alieni, si quid vsurae nomine numeratum, aut praescrip­tum fuisset: deducting that summe of money out of the debte, which did arise or growe due for vsurie. And if from the Latines, we will procéede to take a view of o­ther nations: we shall sée, that they also haue condem­ned vsurie. Appian. rom. hist. de bel. ci­uil. lib. 1. The Persians liked it not, Vt non aliena à fraude & mendacio: as a thing which they thought cari­ed with it lying and deceipte. The Indians liked it not, Aelianus var. hist. lib. 4. cap. 1 Indi ad vsuram p [...]cu [...]iam non locan [...]: the Indians put forth no money to vsurie. The Frenchmen liked it not Cent. 1.3. cap. 7.S. Lewis the King of Fraunce, returning home from Dameata, Io. Boemus Aubanus de ri­tibus gentium. lib. 1. cap. 5. a citie in AEgypt, sometimes called Mem­phis,) Commaunded all vsurers, Iewes, Disers, or game­sters, and blasphemers of God, to depart, out of his kingdome. The Englishmen neuer liked it: though sometimes they haue tolerated it, to auoyde a greater inconuenience. Before the conquest King D. Wilson. fol. 64. Edgar, and Saint Edward (as they called him:) since the conquest, King Edward the first, and diuerse others: and of late memorie King Edward the sixt, did quite and cleane ba­nish it out of the lande, as after shall appeare. In a worde, Bodinus de repub. lib. 5. cap. 2. Not onelie the lawe of God, verum etiam sapi­entissimi quique legislatores, & Philosophi (saith Bodine,) but also all wise law giuers, and Philosophers haue vtterlie condemned vsurie. Now (to make an ende at length) shall we thinke, that men of all ages, countries, and languages, who haue béen so prouident to plante, and to continue the estate of common wealths: and who by their prouidence, haue in their times raised their countries, and kingdomes, vnto a wonderful and glo­rious estate: haue all doted with a generall consent, [Page 104] and bene vtterly deceiued in this one case of vsurie? or shall we not rather thinke, that these men saw in rea­son a marueilous inconueniēce, arising from this kind of bargaining, which inferred a destruction vpō their gouernement and countrey? which if men in carnall reason did finde out by experience, no marueile though God who is the planter, preseruer, and approuer of cōmon weales, hath wholly forbidden it in the word.

I might now proceede to another argument, but that me thinkes I heare the vsurer thus replying a­gainst that which hath bene last deliuered. It is true indéed (will some men say,) vsurie is able to ouerthrow, and somtimes (I confesse) it hath ouerthrowen whole families, yea whole countryes, and kingdomes: but that is immoderate, extreme, oppressing, griping, and byting vsurie. So as hence it followeth not, that this should bee ascribed as an ordinarie effect to euery de­grée, and measure of vsurie. To which I answere, that it is true indéede, vsurie the lesser it is, the lesse it hur­teth: the greater it is, the sooner it consumeth. As poi­son the weaker it is, the longer nature resisteth it: and the stronger it is, the sooner it killeth. And as a bur­den the heauyer it is, the faster it wearyeth, but a light burthen (saith the Prouerbe,) will proue heauy with farre caryage: so is it with vsurie, the greater, and the smaller, both eate and consume, but the first in the shorter, the last in the longer continuance. But let vs examine from experience (which is the foundation of wisedome,) if the measure, and moderating of vsurie, be able to make it commodious to a state: And if in the greatest moderation that can bee made of so bad a practise, it haue not proued the decay of families, and common wealthes, as haue bene before expressed. We read that Iustinian ordeined by his decrée, L. eos. c. de vsuris. that noble men might let for foure in the hundred, marchants for [Page 105] eight in the hundred, Aduenturers for twelue in the hundred, all other common persons for sixe in the hun­dred. Long before Iustinian: Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. tit. de vsuris. Alexander Seuerus ra­ted vsurie at foure in the hundred. Long before him, Ibidem. Antonius Pius the Emperor: did himselfe lette mo­ney for fower in the hundred: Vt plurimos adiuua­re [...], that hee might relieue many: and by his prac­tise, as it were pull downe the higher price of vsu­rie. Long before them all, Luther de Taxand. vsura tom. 7. V. Publicula▪ M. Rutili­us, Hortensius the dictator, and others moderated v­surie in Rome. Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. tit de vsuris. Lucullus restrained the vsurers in A­sia: And Cicero epist. ad Atticum lib. 5. epist. 20. Tullie in Sicilia. Yea when the Romanes were in their florishing estate, Cornel. Ta­cit. annal. lib. 6. they decreed by their [...]tables, that no man should take aboue one ounce (that is one pound) in the hundred. Dein, rogatione tri­bunitia ad Semuntias redacta: Afterwards, at the intrea­tie of the tribunes, it was allowed to an ounce and an halfe, that is, thirtie shillings in the hundred. But yet for all that, Postremò vetita vsura (sayth Tacitus:) they sawe the inconuenience of that moderated vsurie, to proue so great, that at the last all vsurie was forbidden: that is, Iust. Lipsius annot. in Cor­nel. Tacit. Sublatum omne foenus, All kinde of vsurie was cleane taken away: for so Lipsius in his annotations doth expound him. And yet, as the world goeth now, one and an halfe in the hundred, is but a very meane and reasonable rate. And as it was among the Ro­manes, so haue we had a tast of it in this realme of Eng­land. In the daies of Henrie the eight, Anno. 37. vsurie was to­lerated to tenne in the hundred: and these Alcyon daies of Queene Elizabeth, Anno. 13. haue permitted it in the one case of Orphanes. Thus princes haue from time to time done Beza anno [...]. in Mat. 19.8. that▪ which onely they could doe: and that is this, Fo [...]noris modum certum constituunt▪ They pre­scribe a certaine measure, and set as it were certaine bounds, and li [...]tes to vsurie. But haue they beene able [Page 106] by this moderation of ten, or eight, or sixe, or foure, or thrée, or one in the hundred, to preuent the decay, and subuersion of the comminaltie? No. We sée the Em­pire of Rome, is at this day rather a shadowe and a name, then in déede and in trueth, an estate of autho­ritie. And for our selues, let vs obserue, if since the re­pealing of King Edwards statute, the number of poore haue not increased in euery towne, if the prices of all thinges haue not risen, if the wealth of the countrie be not growen into few mens hands, if the vsurers trade be not at this day the only gaine of England. And ther­fore although I wil not take vpon me to censure the e­state nor statute now in force, (for I know that poli­cie must tolerate those things which cannot bee aboli­shed:) yet I doubt not, but I may say as D. Wilson hath sayd before me, D. Wilson. fol. 69. I like King Edwards statute best of all: As that which commeth néerest to the word of God, and therefore carieth with it the most hope of blessing to a christian common weale. In which re­gard may that truely be spoken of Bodine, Bodin. de re­pub. lib. 5. ca. 2. Tutius est vsurarum non modò radices, sed etiam fibras omnes ampu­tare: neque id reipublicae, nec corporibus vllis, aut collegijs, vlla vtilitatis, aut pietatis specie permittere. It is the safest way to cut off (or to pull vp) not only the greater rootes, but also all the small strings of vsurie: and not to permit it to the common weale, or any corporations, or colle­ges, vnder any pretence of commoditie, or godlines. Let then (at length) the conclusion of this third argument be this. Bullinger sayth, Bullinger. d [...] ­ [...]ad. 3 serm. 1. Damnatur vsura in Scripturis, quatenus coniungitur cum iniquitate, & pernicie proximi: Vsurie is condemned in the scriptures, so farre as it cari­eth with it vnrighteousnes, and hurt to a mans neigh­bour. Now of that nature and qualitie is all vsurie. It carieth vnrighteousnes with it, by reason of the ine­qualitie in bargaining. For what can be more vnrigh­teous, [Page 107] then for a man to exacte gaine for that which is none of his owne? or to take two recompences for one and the same thing? yea, I may adde the third reason, to those two of the schoolemen. What can bee more vnrighteous in bargaining, then for the one partie to take all the paines, and the other none: for the one partie to beare all the hazard, and the other none: and yet he that taketh no paines, and beareth no hazard to be certaine of a sufficient increase, when the other is sure of none? by reason of which vnrighteousnes and inequalitie in this kind of contracting, we sée how vsu­ally and ordinarily families are decayed, & kingdomes ouerthrowen. And therfore no maruaile if God whose prouidence watcheth ouer euery kingdome, yea ouer euery familie in the world, hath so euidently and so ex­presly condemned it in the word.

THe fourth,The fourth reasō against vsu­rie: it is con­trarie to the lawe of na­ture. and the last argument which I meane to vse against vsurie, shalbe drawen from the vsurers themselues. For this is not the least that can be sayd against it, namely that it is a practise which is iudged and condemned in the vsurers owne consci­ence. And that may appeare by diuerse and sundry rea­sons. First, they will not willingly be knowne to be vsurers: no some of them will protest and sweare déepe­ly that they are no vsurers. And that they may not bée knowne to bee such as they are, they will either lende very closely, requiring faithful secrecie of the borrow­er: or they will colour their lending vpon vsurie, with the pretence of some lawfull contracte, or they will when they haue couenanted for gaine, take certaine notes, or (as I may cal them) certaine letters pattens, consigned with the borrowers hand, in which he shal make it knowne to all men by those presents, that the vsurer hath lent him freely▪ and without any motion [Page 108] of increase. Secondly, that their owne consciences doe condemne them in their profession, may appeare by this also: namely, that though they bee knowne, and reputed to bee common vsurers, yet they take it a great disgrace to bee so called and tearmed of others. Yea, and whereas other men haue names and titles giuen them from their trades, by which they are com­monly written, and distinguished: as, such a man marchant, mercer, grocer, taylor, cordiner, and such like: there is none of this trade, but doth both in spea­king, and writing, disdaine (nay abhorre) the name and title of an vsurer. Thirdly, that in their conscien­ces they finde this to bee no lawfull practise, may ap­peare, in that they dare not call a spade, a spade, nor vsurie, vsurie. But whereas we are wont to say in our common and grosser spéech, such a man, or such a man taketh vsurie: they say in somewhat a finer phrase, hee taketh vsance, or he taketh interest, or he taketh consi­deration: as being indéede ashamed of the direct name of vsurie. Now what doth the séeking of such couerts argue, but that themselues in themselues are condem­ned for their dealing. That euen as S. Paul sayd of an heretique, that hee Titus 3.11. Sinneth being damned of his owne selfe, because Caluin Com. in Titus 3.11. with an euil conscience or against his con­science, hee sinneth willingly, and of set purpose, (for so M. Caluine speaketh vpon that place:) so I am afraid it may bee sayd of a number of them, that in their sin­ning, they are condemned of themselues: because wit­tingly and willingly, they follow a practise, contrary to the checke, and touch, and light of their owne con­science.

Now let vs a little consider what this conscience is, which thus checketh them, and casteth shame vpon them in their doing. The learned writers both Philo. Gregor. Theol. citantur à Io. Langio. in Iust. Martyrem. de vita christiana tom. 3. olde, and Caluin instit. lib. 4. cap. 10. sect. 3. new, haue called conscience, Forum, A court, or [Page 109] iudgement seate, and Consistorium, A consistorie: be­cause in it men are conuented, accused, examined, ac­quited, or condemned, as before the iudgement seate of the magistrate, or consistorie of the church. Where­fore the Apostle speaking of the heathen sayth, that Rom. 2.15. Their consciences do beare witnes to them, & their thoughts doe accuse, or excuse one an other. Yea, to proceede fur­ther, Basile calleth conscience, Basil. in princip. Pro­uerb. citatur à Tho. Aquin. Summae part. 1. quaest. 79. art. 13. naturàle iudicatorium, The naturall iudgement seate, or the iudgement seate of nature: because (as I take it) the lawe which passeth and ruleth in this courte for currant, is not onely the written worde of God, where it is knowne and recei­ued, but also the lawe of nature, which (as the Apostle sayth) is Rom. 2.15. Written in their hearts. Well then: the vsu­rers consciences doo accuse and conuict them. And what are their consciences? iudgement seates erected of God in their heartes, in which the lawe of nature doth rule and pronounce sentence vpon them. And what is this lawe of nature? Bullinger sayd, Bullinger. Decad. 2. ser. 1. Est dictamen conscien­tiae, adeòque directio quaedam, ab ipso Deo hominum animis & cordibus insita, admonens quid vel faciant, vel omittant. The lawe of nature is the verdict of the conscience, and a certaine direction of God himselfe, ingrauen in the mindes of men, teaching them what to doe, and what to omit. The great Schooleman sayth, it is Tho. Aquin. 12 [...] quaest 91. art. 2. Participa­tio legis aeternae, in rationali creatura: The participation of the eternall lawe of God, in the reasonable creature. Others say it is, Musculus loc. com tit. do legi­bus cap. 3. Sententia communis, cui omnes homi­nes pariter assentimur, atque adeò quam Deus insculpsit cu­iusque animo, ad formandos moros accommodatam. The lawe of nature, is the common rule whereunto we all as­sent, & which God hath ingrauen in euery mans minde, for the direction of his life. From al which sayings, this one thing may certainely be concluded, namely, that the law of nature is the worke and instinct of God: as [Page 110] Musculus also proueth by these argumentes. Ibidem. First, because it approueth good, and condemneth euill. Se­condly, because it is not attained by learning, and art. Thirdly, because it is agréeable to the written word. Well then: I inferre thus much vpon the premises. The law of nature is put into vs of God, and this lawe of nature is the squire of the conscience: and the con­science of the vsurer condemneth him of euill: Ergo, he and his practises are condemned of the lawe of nature, which by the instinct of GOD ruleth in his heart. Now if it be condemned of the lawe of nature: no mar­uaile though it bee forbidden in the written worde. For what difference is there betwéene the lawe of na­ture, and the written worde, but this, that the latter is as it were a termination, and specification of the former: and the one was written in tables of stone, but the other is ingrauen in the heartes of men?

And in this sence no doubt, that may truely be af­firmed which I méete withall in the writings of ma­ny learned men, and which it séemeth they haue all drawne from Aristotles fountaine: namely that vsurie is Arîstot. Polit. lib. 1. cap. 10. Contra legem naturae, contrarie to the lawe of nature. Not so much because it is against nature, for money to begette money, (in which sence one saide that vsurie was Hugo Caerdi­nalis in Psal. 15. Sodomia naturae, a kinde of Sodomie in nature:) but because it doth contrarie the verdit of the consci­ence, and so by consequent the lawe of nature, which ruleth in the same. And that it is contrarie to the lawe of nature may further appeare: because not onely the gentiles Io. Wigan­dus. Syntagma part 1. colum. 45. who doe deriue all their streames of vertue from that lawe of nature, haue condemned it in their writings: but also, because diuerse christians which are ignorant of the worde in this case, or knowing it, doe either despise it or make exception against it: are notwithstanding from the light of nature flushing in [Page 111] their consciences, compelled to hang downe their heads at the very naming of vsurie.

Let this then bee the conclusion of the second parte of this treatise: séeing that vsurie ouerthroweth the nature, and equitie, and vse of lending: séeng it ouer-turneth charitie, and the rule of charitie, doe as thou wouldest be done vnto séeing it carieth with it so much inequalitie, as it is by that meanes the vsuall ouer­throwe of priuate families and publique estates: last­ly, séeing it is by the light of nature iudged, and con­demned for euill in the vsurers owne conscience: no maruaile though the word of God haue so manifest­lie, and so often forbidden it as a wicked, and vnrigh­teous practise.

The end of the fourth Sermon prea­ched Iunij 4. 1593.

The fift Sermon▪ beginning the third principall and generall poynte of this treatise.
For this Sermon handleth the special obiections, which are wont to bee made out of the places of Scripture before alleadged, for the defence of some kinde of vsurie. As namely that:

  • 1. The lawes that condemne vsurie in the worde are on­lie iudiciall, not morall.
  • 2. The lawes of vsurie haue receiued exception.
  • 3. They forbid onely lending vpon vsurie to the poore.
  • 4. They condemne onely biting vsurie. Vnto which obiections diuerse answers are seueral­lie made in this Sermon.

THere is no Scripture so eui­dent, but it hath béen, or may bee misconstrued: neither is there any trueth, so cleare and bright, whereupon the inuen­tion of man may not cast some cloudie darkenes. That ne­uer appeared more euidently, in any one thing, then in this case of vsurie. For although those places of Moses, be­fore alleadged, out of the bookes of Exodus, Leuiticus, [Page 113] and Deuteronomie, be as plaine, as plaine may be, and such against which, antiquitie neuer tooke exception: Yet are there euen out of those scriptures, obiections made, and reasons deuised, for the approbation of some kinde, and measure of vsurie. As for the pur­pose.

Obiect. 1.1. The first obiection in defence of vsurie: the lawe of Mo­ses is onely politicall. First, it is obiected, that Caluin epist. resp. de vsuris. the lawe of Moses concerning vsurie, is politicall onely: Ergo, illa non tenemur, vltrà quàm aequitas ferat, & humanitas: therefore wee are not bound vnto it, further then equitie, and humanitie permitteth.

Answer. To which obiection, I answer: first, that this is a very causeles Ergo, an inference, & Illation, made without cause: the lawe is politicall: Ergo, we are not further bounde vnto it, then equitie, and humanitie will beare. For, although those lawes of Moses be ac­knowledged, and confessed to be morall, yet euen then, they binde vs no further, then equitie, and humanitie will permit: the morall lawe, being in it selfe, the pat­terne, and squire of all equitie, and humanitie among men. And that may appeare, by other precepts, and commaundements of Moses, of which no man euer doubted, but they were branches, and members of the morall lawe: and yet they binde vs no further, then equi­tie, and humanitie doe require. As for example, this is a branch of the morall lawe: Leuit. 19.32 Thou shalt rise vp before the hoare head, and honour the person of the olde man: and yet, a prince that is a childe, is not by this lawe bounde to rise vp, or to stoope downe, to an olde man, that is a beggar. Why so? Aequitas non fert, & humanitas: E­quitie, and humanitie will not beare it. Againe, this is a branch of the morall lawe: Exod. 23.8. Thou shalt take no gift, for the gift blindeth the wise, and peruerteth the wordes of the righteous. And yet, is it not simplie vnlawfull, for a Magistrate, to take a gift of a stranger, or of a néere [Page 114] neighbour, which hath no cause like to come before him, or of him, whose cause hee hath dispatched, with spéede and righteous fauour. And why? Aequitas fert, & humanitas: equitie and humanitie will permit it. A­gaine, this is a branch of the morall lawe: Pro. 25.21. If hee, that hateth thee, be hungrie, giue him breade to eate, and if he be thirstie, giue him water to drinke. But now, what if mine enemie, be also a malitious professed enemie to God? What if my liberalitie, bee like to minister fewell to his malice? What if I cannot both féede him, and my selfe, or my familie? then, am I not bounde, to ease and relieue him. Why? Aequitas non fert, & humanitas: Equitie and humanitie, will not beare it. So then, this is a very causeles, and vnnecessarie inference: the lawe of Moses is politicall: therefore we are not bounde vnto it, further then equitie, and humanitie will permit. For, though the lawe of Moses, concerning vsurie, be con­fessed to be morall: yet must equitie, and humanitie, pre­scribe boundes, and limites thereunto.

But, further I answer, for the discussing of this question, that, I sée no reason, why those precepts of Moses, concerning vsurie, shoulde be reckoned among the iudiciall, and not among the morall lawes. For first, sure I am, that most learned men, of all ages, and of all kindes, haue numbred them, among the mo­rals, and alleadged them, and spoken of them, in their writings, as of morall lawes. As for instance, (to goe no further, then mine owne reading) among the Fa­thers, Basile, Chrysostome, Clemens Alexandrinus, Gre­gorius Nissenus, Origen, Ambrose, Ciprian, Augustine, Hierome and others: among the schoolemen, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Lumbard, Dionisius Carthusianus, Ga­briel Biel, Lira, Rainerus, Aquileius, and others: among the late writers, Luther, Melancthon, Brentius, Muscu­lus, Chemnitius, Aretius, Hemingius, Wigandus, Zegedi­nus, [Page 115] Molanus, Viguerius, Wolphius, and a number of others: who do all, in their writings, speake of this ar­gument, as of a morall dutie, and alledge those places of Moses, as morall lawes.

And whereas here it may bee replyed, that diuerse godly men, of rare learning, & singular iudgement, as Caluin, Bucer, Bullinger, Danaeus, Lauater, Carolus Mo­lineus, and some others, haue iudged those lawes of Moses, to be but Iudiciall, and therefore haue tolerated, yea approued some kinde of vsurie: to this I thinke good, not to answere, without some Preface, and pre­amble vsed in their behalfe. I doe acknowledge (and that vnfainedly) that these men haue beene great lights, to dispell the darknesse of this latter age, and to be such, as from whose opinion, and iudgement, I do not dissent, without some feare, and suspition of my selfe, nor without great reuerence yéelded to them: and after a sort, leaue, and pardon, and license craued of them. Especially M. Caluin: who for his paines ta­ken in the Church of God, may bee truly called, (as not long since he was called, in this towne) M. B. venera­ble or honorable Caluin, whose Suruey of the pretended di­scipline pag. 63. modestie, humilitie, sobrietie, learning, and iudgement, they do highly reue­rence, that differ from him in some opinions: and whē they speake the least of him, doe giue this verdict, that Idē. pag. 127. he was surelie an excellent man. For mine own part, I doe so honour the soundnesse of his doctrine, and the excellency of his gifts, that I highly thanke God that euer his bookes were extant in the world: and I wish that I had (with B. Iuel) the art of memory, so as I might bee able to repeate at my fingers endes, L. Humfred in vita Iuel. pag. 236. (as he could very roundly) not onely Caluins Institutions, but all the treatises, and Commentaries, and Epistles which hee framed. And I say as a learned man sayd of our time, Bastinguius admonit. to the reader before his comment. vpon the Cate­chisme of the Countie Pala­tine of Rhine. That which Fabius saith of Cicero, that [Page 116] haue I alwayes applyed to that writer: let him know that hee hath profited much, who is much delighted in M. Caluin. And although if a man should call me a Caluiniste, (as the Papistes call vs all in disgrace) I would say with Zanchius, Zanchius Miscelan. epist. ad Lantgra­uium. Caluinianum me esse perne­go: I deny to beare the name of a Caluiniste, more then of a Lutheran, or a Zuinglian, or some other. For (as hee there also saith,) Christianus sum, my title and stile which I beare is to be a Christian: yet as Tullie profes­sed that he had rather erre with Plato then hold the truth with others: so, if it were lawfull to erre with any mā, I would erre with M. Caluin. And I had rather hold with him in some things which ye world iudgeth to be errours: then professe many thinges, which contrary to him the Papists and others haue déemed to be truth. But The good Homer somtime fell on sleep: and Bern­hard himselfe sawe not all thinges: and M. Caluin being but a man, had in this point his ignorance and errour after the manner of men. His heresie I dare not call it, though I am not ignorant that some affirme Archidiaco­nus 31. quest. 1 Card. Cle 1. de vsur. citantur a Wilsono. fol. 144. vsu­rie to be heresie: and one saith that, Martin. Ab Aspilcuet en­chirid. cap. 17. numero. 207. It is heresie to de­ny vsurie to be a deadly sinne. Yet (I say) his heresie I dare not call it, (as some haue aduentured to doe of late,) partly, because that hee did not Caluin. epist. respons. de vsu­ris. tantum a­best vt istud pro edicto vel axiom. haberi velim. &c. obstinatly de­fend it, as it appeareth by his Epistle written of that argument: and partly because that this opinion of v­surie, neither concerneth any article of faith, nor any thing which by consequence followeth vpō an article of faith: both which must cōcurre August. de ciuit. Dei. lib. 18. cap. 51. Thom. Aquin 22ae. quaest. 11. articulo. 2. Pet. Martyr. loc. com. clas. 2. loc. 4. sect. 50. by the iudgemēt of diuines to the constitution, and naming of an heresie. But his errour I hope I may cal it without offēce, not onely because my selfe (which is little) doe déeme it so to bee: but also (and much rather) because hee, and the rest of his opinion, are in this point surcharged with a multitude of learned men, of the contrary iudgement, [Page 117] as hath bene before declared. For a man may say in this case with Alciate, Andreas Al­ciat respons. lib. 1. consil. 3. sect. 12. Omnes militant in casunostro: all men (almost, or in comparison) fight vnder our ban­ner, or are of our opinion. Yea, and because S. Hierome sayd well, Hierom. cō ­ment in Esay. cap. 3. Non statim multitudinis acquiescamus iudi­cio, we must not presently, (without further considera­tion) rest vpon the iudgement of the multitude: there­fore, it is s [...]cōdly to be added, that they are ouercome, not onely with the greater number, but also with the better arguments. And thirdly it must be noted, that Caluin and Bucer and others of that iudgement D. Wilson. fol. 179. did (as D. Wilson hath well obserued) somwhat inlarge this law by a charitable exposition, partly for the hardnesse of mens harts, and partly for verie necessities sake, to helpe the needie banished men then dwelling among them. In which cases we sée that God himselfe hath yéelded much to the weaknesse of men. For because of the hardnesse of mens harts, Deut. 24.1. Mat. 19.7.8. God permitted a bill of diuorce to Israell, beyond the boundes of the seuēth commaundement. And in respect of necessitie, Dauid Mat. 12.34. is tolerated eating of the shewe bread, which other­wise was not lawfull for him to eate, neither for them which were with him, but only for the Exod. 29.33. Leuit. 8.31. Priests. Last­ly (to make an end of this point) me thinketh, any vsu­rer should bee ashamed to alledge in his defense the opi­nion & authoritie of M. Caluin: considering that, first, they approue not his iudgement in a number of other things, and therefore in this may be iustly suspected to bee partiall: secondly, because none of them will ob­serue the lawes and circumstāces, which he hath pre­scribed in this case of vsurie: thirdly because Caluin him selfe when he hath deliuered this opinion of vsurie, re­quireth that Caluin. epist. respons. de vsu­ris. no man stand vpon his iudgement for the full and absolute determination of this controuer­sie. And therefore vainely, and vniustly is M. Caluin [Page 118] ascited, as a Patron of their vnlawfull practise.

But, to returne thither from whence I haue a little digressed: it is not otherwise like, but that the preceptes of Moses concerning vsurie, are partes and parcels of the morall law. For Dauid in the 50. Psalme Psal. 15.5. reckoneth it among morall duties. And Ezekiell in one place hedgeth it in, with Ezek. 22.12 Briberie on the one side, and with defrauding of our neighbour on the other: which are both notorious breaches of the morall law. And in another place, he combineth vsurie, and Idolatrie togither. For so I read that place with Tremellius (per appositionem) in his 18. chapter:Ezek. 18.12.13. adstercoreos deos attol­lat oculos suos abhominationem faciens, in vsuram det, & foenus accipiat: hath lift vp his eyes to Idols, committing abhomination. (And then it followeth immediatly in the next verse) giueth to vsurie and taketh increase. Of which coupling of those sinnes in that place togither, S. Ambrose hath thus obserued, Ambros. lib. Tobia. cap. 15. vide quomodo foenato­rem cum Idololatria copulauit, quasi crimen aequaret: note (saith he) how the Prophet in this place, hath coupled an vsurer with an Idolater, as if vsurie did match or con­terpoyse the sinne of Idolatrie. Now, who knoweth not, that no breach of the Iudiciall law is equall to Ido­latrie, and that Idolatrie is one of the greatest trespasses against the morall law? If therefore vsurie doe in any measure answere Idolatrie, it will follow from thence, that the committing thereof, is a breach of the morall law.

Besides, I sée no reason why the lawes concerning vsurie should not be reputed and taken for morall, as well as those which concerne Incest: of which no di­uine (to my knowledge) euer doubted, but that they ought to abide perpetuall and inuiolable, as preceptes of the morall law. For, if it be obiected that the lawes of vsurie haue receiued some exceptions: it is euident that [Page 119] the lawes of Incest haue receiued exceptiō and dispen­sation also. In the time of the law, Deut. 25 5, one brother was permitted (nay commaunded,) to rayse vp séede vnto another, deceasing without issue: cōtrary to that law which sayd, Leuit. 18.16 thou shalt not discouer the shame of thy bro­thers wife. Yea, in the first: beginning & creation of the world, (when notwithstāding) ye moral law was writ­tē in Adās hart, the lawes of Incest receiued manifest exception. For the text saith, that Gen 4.17. Cain knew his wife, which conceiued and bare Henoch. Now whom could he know for a wife, or of whom could hee beget children at that time, but either of Heuah his owne mother, or of some of her daughters, his owne sisters? For Gen. 3.20. He­uah was the mother of all liuing: and Caine was her el­dest sonne in the first generation. Now, to say that Caine knew his mother, is vnsauery, and a Paradoxe: the other therefore followeth of necessitie. And it is certaine, that besides their sonnes Caine and Habell Iosephus an­tiquit. Iudaic. lib. 1. cap. 3. natae sunt eis etiā filiae (as Iosephus speaketh) there were also daughters borne vnto Adam and Heuah, howsoe­uer they be not mentioned (because there was no great occasion to mention them) in the Scriptures. So then of a daughter of Adam which was Caines owne sister, did Caine make a wife and beget issue, cōtrary to that law which sayd,Leuit. 18.9. Thou shalt not discouer the shame of thy sister, the daughter of thy mother. Such exceptions therefore had the lawes of Incest of which notwith­standing no man euer doubted, but that they were branches of the morall law. And if any man will obiect against this instance of Caine, that the law of Incest was to be broken in the first creation for very necessi­ties sake: I answere, that it being graunted that God would create but one man and one woman in the be­ginning, and that by them alone hee would propagate mākind: it was of necessitie to fall out, that men must [Page 120] come nye to the kindred of their own flesh to vncouer their shame, Leuit. 18.6. contrary to the law. But this was ne­cessitas ex hypothesi, necessitie by supposition, not simple nor absolute as the Logitians speake. For what neces­sitie could compell God, to create onely one man and one woman, to bee the fountaine of mankinde, when Malachy. 2.15. he had abundance of spirite (as the Prophet speaketh,) and could as easilie haue made many women of ma­ny ribbes, yea many women of one ribbe; as hee made one Heua of one bone to be the mother of vs all. I con­clude therfore a pari from the comparison of the equall. The lawes of Incest are morall, and yet haue receiued sundry exceptiōs: & why not then, likewise the lawes of vsurie: howsoeuer they receiued sometime some such exception, as can no way exempt them from the com­passe of the morall law? But that remaineth after­wardes to be declared.

Lastly for this first obiecton, the very reasons which God annexeth as appendices or appurtenan­ces to the lawes of vsurie, may euince them to bee mo­rall. For the Lord sayth in Exodus, Exod. 22.25. Yee shall not oppresse him with vsurie. Now to oppresse thy neighbour, is a­gainst the morall lawe: and therefore if vsurie bee op­pression of thy neighbour (as after shall bee shewed) then without question vsurie is against the morall law. Againe, Moses alledgeth this for a reason why GOD forbiddeth a mā to take vsurie of his brother: Leuit. 25.35 So (saith he) shall he liue with thee, that is, so shall hee bee able in some measure, to support his outward estate: yea, that his life may be with thee, for so Tremel. an­not in Leuit. 25.35. Tremellius obserueth it to be read verbatim from the Hebrue. Now, to doe, or not to doe a thing by which thy brothers good estate may bee furthered, or hindered, or by which his life may bee shortned, or prolonged: are things, the for­bidding, or commaunding whereof belongeth to the [Page 121] morall lawe. And therefore in consideration of the pre­mises, I conclude it to bee mine opinion (submitting my reasons to them that are able to confute these, and to alleadge better to the contrarie) that the precepts concerning vsurie deliuered by Moses, and afterwarde reuiued by the Prophets, are essentiall branches and parts not of the iudiciall or politicall lawe, which was proper to those times and that nation of the Iewes: but of the morall lawe of God, common to all the na­tions, and times, and countries of the world: and so consequently to be kept inuiolablie, and without ex­ception of vs and of the generations to come.

Obiect. 2.The second obiection in defence of vsurie: it was permitted to be exac­ted of stran­gers. But it is secondly obiected that the lawes touching vsurie cannot be morall because they haue re­ceiued speciall exception, yea and by them vsurie is in some case suffered and permitted. For Moses saith, Deut 23. Deut. 23.20. Extraneo foeneraberis, vnto a stranger thou maist lende vpon vsurie. Now, the dueties of the morall lawe, are the same to a stranger, that they are to our néerest friende: and therefore sith vsurie is forbidden to the one and permitted to the other, it séemeth that it is no transgression against the morall lawe.

Answer. To this I answer. First, that it is no good argument to conclude in this manner: the lawes of v­surie receiue exception: Ergo, they are no parte of the morall lawe. For, besides the instance afore giuen of incest, it is manifest that many other morall lawes haue by the speciall dispensation of God the lawe gi­uer, receiued euident exceptions. As for example, this is a morall lawe: Exod. 20.8.10. Remember the Sabbath day to keepe it holy. And againe, In it thou shalt doe no manner of worke. And yet, Ioshua 6.3.4. the Israelites are commaunded to march a­bout Iericho in their armour, with the Priestes, and the arke caried before them, and to continue their marching in that order, for the space of seuen dayes to­gether. [Page 122] One of which seuen, must of necessitie be the Sabbath, in which God had forbidden the Iewes, by the morall law to doe any manner of worke. Againe this is a morall lawe, Exod. 20.13. thou shalt not kill: and yet, Gen. 22.2. Abraham had a speciall commaundement to sacrifice his sonne. Againe this is a morall law, Exod. 20.15. Thou shalt not steale, & yet God Exod. 11.2. commaundeth the Israelites to borrow, with a purpose of robbing the Egyptians. Euen so, and in like manner, this may be a morall lawe, Thou shalt not lende to vsurie, and yet vpon speciall occasion receiue this speciall exception, extraneo foeneraberis, to a stranger thou maiest lend vpon vsurie. And no maruaile: for, if that be true which is saide in our common spéech, the Prince is aboue her lawe, and wee sée that she may doe, and doth many times, by her royall prerogatiue giue mandatum, and dispensation contrarie to the lawe: farre be it from vs to imagine, that GOD who is the most absolute Lorde of all the world, should not haue authoritie, to giue exception, and dispensation, euen to his morall lawe.

Secondly, I answer to this obiection: that in this spéech of Moses, vnto a stranger thou maist lend vpon v­surie: wee are to consider what kinde of aliants, and strangers they were, towards whom the practising of vsurie was permitted. I am not ignorant, that some by the name of a stranger in that place, doe comprehende Caluin serm. 134. in deut. 23. all the nations and countries adiacent to Palestina, as Egypt, Syria, the Iles of the sea, and such like. Now, although I dare not resolutelie denie, but it may bée so, yet I am very hardly induced, and perswaded to be­léeue that it should be so. Partly, because we haue not so much as one iot, or title in the Scriptures, that mentioneth any vsurie exercised betwéene Iudea, and other countries: which it is not likely, the holy Ghost would altogether haue omitted, (if it had béen so) to [Page 123] note a difference of the Iewish traffique, betweene themselues and with other nations. And partly also, I can hardly condiscend to that opinion, because it is not easie to say, that foenus nauticum, or billes of mart, or such like exchanges, were then vsed among mar­chants, as are now in vre and practise among vs: with­out which conueyances, or the like, securitie cannot be made betwéene trades men, or marchants of diuerse iurisdictions. I doe therefore vnderstand with S. Am­brose, by the name of strangers in that place, Ambros. lib. de Tobia. c. 15. the A­malekites and Amorites, and the other nations of the Gentiles: which being not vtterly rooted out by the Is­raelites, at their first entrance into the lande of Cana­an, grew vp and increased among them, to their incre­dible annoyance. So Paulus Fagius saith, that diuerse learned men conceiued of that place, P. Fagius an­not. in para­phras. Caldaic. in deut. 23.20. Sunt quidam in hac sententia, quod haec vsura de qua hic agitur, solum con­cessa fuerit Iudaeis, in septem illas gentes quarum vniuer­sam facultatem dominus Israelitis tradidit: There are some of this opinion, that the vsurie here spoken of, was onelie permitted to the Iewes, to be exercised vpon these seuen nations, all whose goods God had giuen to Israel. In déede, I am right sure that Tremelius, and Iunius, doe so vnderstand that place. For they translate the text, Extraneo isti dabis in vsuram, Deut. 23.20. to this stranger thou shalt lend to vsurie: As if Moses had after a sorte poynted with his fingers to the strangers then in presence, and within the viewe of the eye among them. And so they doe also interpret that place. Extraneo isti: viz. Tremel. & Iun. annot. in deut. 23.20. reliquijs istis Cenah hanaeorum to this stranger, that is, to these remainders of the Canenites, thou mayst lend to vsurie, Yea, and they render in that their exposition, a reason why God permitted the Iewes, to exact vsurie of those strangers: Illas enim deus exitio destinauerat, & paulatim consumi volebat: for them God had ordained [Page 124] to destruction, and would haue them Deut. 7.22. consumed, and wasted away by little and little. Now, because he sawe that vsurie was a meanes to humble them, yea, to waste them, and to eate them vp, therefore towards them he permitted vsurie. S. Ambrose hath a notable sentence of that spéech of Moses, Extraneo foeneraberis, to a stranger then maist lend vpon vsurie. Ambros. lib. de Tobia. e. 15. Ibi (inquit) vsuram exige, cui meritò nocere desideras. Cui iurè inferun­tur arma, huic legitime indicantur vsurae. Quem bello [...]on potes facilè vincere, d [...] hoc citò potes centesima vendicare te: Of him (saith Moses) demaunde vsurie, whom thou willinglie desirest to harme. Against whom thou maiest take vp weapon, vpon him maiest thou lawfullie impose vsurie, whom thou canst not overcome by force of armes in battaile, of him maiest thou soone ridde, and frée thy selfe by vsurie. And againe, Ab hoc vsuram exige, quem non sit crimen occidere: demaunde vsurie of him, whome it is no offence to sley. And a little after: Ergò vbi ius belli, ibi etiam ius vsurae: Therefore, where warre is law­full, there onely is vsurie lawfull also. The sentence of Ambrose, importeth, that because it was lawfull for the Iewes, any way to annoy the gentiles, yea to leauie warre against them, yea to [...] them, and to put them to death: therefore it was, that God permitted them to take vsurie of the strangers, that by this meanes they might the sooner be wasted & consumed. A prince may vse a condemned malefactor as hee listeth him­selfe. He may put him to grinde in the mill, to digge in the mines, to rowe in the gallies, or to execute any other slauish seruice. And why? For hee might flea him with the sworde, and take away his life. So, God might iustlie giue ouer these gentiles to the violence, oppression, and vsurie of the Iewes: because hee had al­readie adiudged them as notorious malefactors to an vtter and finall subuersion. Now then, what maketh [Page 125] this exception: to a stranger thou mayest lend vpon vsurie, for any man to iustifie his lending vpon increase to his neighbour: whereas God permitted the practise ther­of onely tow [...]rdes those whom hee would haue to bee consumed, as one speciall meanes to further forward, and to hasten on their destruction. For it is as if God had spoken more plainly in this case or the like: thou shalt onely kill him whose bloud I will haue to bee shed: thou shalt only steale from him, whom I would haue to be impouerished: and so, thou shalt onely take vsurie of him, whom I would haue to bee consumed. Such is the exception against the lawe of vsurie: and such onely is the ease in which it was permitted.

Thirdly I answere vnto this obiection, that al­though in that place of Deuteronomie, there should bee comprehended vnder the name of straunger all the na­tions of the world, with which the Iewes had to deale in traffique: yet was it but Lyra in Exod. 22. permissio minor is mali, ad maius euitandum: the permitting of a lesser euill, onely to auoyde the greater. Hee was contented to permit ta­king of vsurie of a straunger, least the Iewes being co­uetously minded, should exercise that tyrannie to­wardes their owne brethren and he was contented to permit them to lend for vsurie to some, least for want of gaine, they would haue refused to lend vnto any. As we sée this to be the grieuous euill of these dayes, that because some men may not lend vpon vsurie, therefore they shut vp their cōpassion from lending at all. Chen [...] ­nitius saith well, that: Chemnit. loc. com. tom. 2. tit. de paupertate. cap 6. God in the old Testamēt shewed himselfe to be & theologus & legislator: he delt both as a diuine, and as a lawgeuer or Politician. As a Theolo­gian or a diuine hee alwayes prescribed, that which was onely and perfectly good: as a lawgeuer hee did sometimes tolerate that, in respect of some circum­stance, which was not simply, nor exactly good of it [Page 126] selfe. Vt in societate ciuili istius populi peiora vitarentur, minora quaedam mala, non quidem approbauit, sed forensi & politico fine toleranda permisit hactenus, quod per magi­stratum ciuilem non puniebantur. As for example (saith hee) that some worser thinges might be auoyded, in the ciuill societie of this people of the Iewes: he did not ap­proue, but tolerate, to a Politicall end, and purpose, cer­taine smaller euils, so farre onely that they should not be punished of the ciuill Magistrate. And therefore, M. Beza speaking of that same bill of diuorce, which Mo­ses tolerated amōg the Iewes for the hardnesse of their harts, Beza annot. in Mat. 19.8. doth exemplifie that fact of his, by that tole­ration of vsurie, which Magistrates, and Princes are compelled in these dayes to admit, for very necessitie. God as a diuine forbad both, but as a lawgeuer, he per­mitted both vnto his people.

And that this lending to vsurie to a stranger, was but permissiuè concessum, graunted onely by permission for a time, and not to endure for euer, may partly ap­peare by the confession of the Iewes themselues. For, Petrus Ga­latinus, de ar­canis catholicae veritatis. libro. 11. cap. 4. Galatinus reporteth out of their Talmud, yt it was the iudgement of the Iewish Rabbines, that in that place of the Psalme, Psal. 15.5. He that hath not giuen his money to vsu­rie, God did not onely forbid it towardes the Iewes: but etiam ad vsuram Goi, euen toward him, which was a Gentile. Therefore we sée, that as Polygamie, or the hauing of many wiues, was long tolerated among the Fathers, but at the last, towardes the breaking out of the clearer light of the Gospell, it was euidently, and flatly condemned by Malac. 2.15. Malachie: so, howsoeuer vsurie towardes straungers was long and many yeares per­mitted among the Iewes: yet when the strangers began to bee worne out, according to the promise of God made vnto the fathers: then was it absolutely and ge­nerally condemned, first by Dauid as the Iewes themselues [Page 127] confesse, and afterward morefully by Ezekiell, as appeareth in his prophecie. And therefore S. Hie­rome writeth thus vpon that place of Ezekiell: Hieron. com. Ezek. 18. dicitur Deut. 23. fraetri non foeneraberis, alieno foeneraberis. Sed vi­de profectum. In principio legis a fratribus tantum foenus tollitur: in Propheta ab omnibus vsura prohibetur. It is sayd (saith Hierome) Deut. 23. thou shalt not lend vpon vsurie to thy brother: but to a stranger thou shalt lend vpon vsurie. Note herein the growing on, or the going for­ward of the law inperfection. In the beginning of the law, vsurie was onely forbidden to be taken of their bre­thren: in this Prophet, vsurie is forbidden towardes all men. And another agréeing with S. Hierome, writeth thus vpon the same place of Ezekiel: Dionis. Car­thus cum. in Ezek. 18. Ecce, hoe loco v­sura generaliter prohibetur: Behold (saith he) in this place of Ezekiell vsurie is forbidden generally, or simply, or altogether. Vndè quod Moses concessit filijs Israel, extra­neis ad vsuram accommodare, permissiuè fecit propter im­perfectionem eorum: Quemadmodum & libellum repudij ip­sis permisit. From whence it may appeare, that Moses graunting the children of Israell leaue or license to lend vpon vsurie to strangers, did it onely permissiuely, or by way of toleration, for their imperfections sake. As in like manner he permitted vnto them the bill of diuorce. Pa­rents will tolerate much ignorance, much wanton­nesse, much rudenesse in their children during the time of their nonage and infancie. Euen so vnder the Pae­dagogie of the law, & during the infācie of his Church, did God permit & tolerate many imperfections among his people: which now in these dayes of grace, and of the fulnesse of the spirite, ought as cloudes before the winde, to be dispersed and vanish away.

Fourthly, I answere that, that permissiue spéech of Moses, vnto a stranger thou mayest lend vpō vsurie, yéel­deth no libertie to vs to exercise vsurie one towardes [Page 128] another. For asmuch as we are all brethren in Christ, and fellowe heyres together of euerlasting saluation. Clemens Alexandrinus hath a notable sentence to this purpose. Clemens A­lexand. Stro­mat. lib. 2. Lex prohibet fratri foenerari: fratrem nomi­nans, non eum solum, qui est ex ysdem natus parentibus, sed etiam qui fuerit eiusdē tribus, eiusdemque sententiae, & eius­dem verbi particeps. The law forbiddeth to lend to vsurie to our brother: vnder the name of a brother comprehen­ding not only him which was borne of the same parents, but him also which was of the same tribe, & of the same opinion, and partaker of the same word. Now, we are all sprung from the same stocke, bred in the same coun­trey, professing the same Religion, partakers all of the same word and Gospell. Yea, I may say with the Apo­stle Ephes. 4.4 5.6. we are all one body, we haue all one spirite, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptisme, one God and father of all, which is aboue all, and tho­rough all, and in vs all. And therfore, if the Iew might but lend vnto a straunger vpon vsurie: it is more then Iewish for vs to exact it of a Christian.

I might adde more reasōs why God permitted the Iewes, to lend vpon vsurie to the straungers, as namely, Io. Woulfius in Deut. 23. because the Israelites fed their own poore, so as they burthened no man: and yet besides that, they fed the poore straungers also. In consideration whereof, they might by this meanes séeke the better to beare their charges. Againe, they receiued Proselites which were conuerted from gentilisme as their own, and fed them, nourished them, & maintained thē together with their owne people. For the better maintenance whereof, God gaue them this libertie to exact vsurie of the strā ­gers. But I néede not stand vpon these: for that is sufficient which is already answered concerning the second obiection.

[Page 129] Obiect 3.The third obiection, in defence of vsurie: it is onely for­bidden to the poore. It is further obiected touching the scrip­tures before alledged against vsurie, that although they be graunted to be preceptes of the moral law: yet they only forbid lending vpō vsurie vnto the poore and needie. As it séemeth may appeare by the very wordes of Moses himselfe. For hee saith in one place Exod 22 25. If thou lend to my people, that is to the poore with thee, thou shalt not be as an vsurer vnto him. And Vatablus an­not. in Exod. 22.25. Vatablus obserueth that these wordes, to the poore with thee, are put [...], to expounde whom in that place he vnderstandeth by the name of his people: nempe pauperes, that is to say the poore. The poore they are onely his people of whom hee will haue no vsurie to bee taken. And in another place he saith, Leuit. 25.35. If thy brother bee impouerished, and fallen in decay with thee, &c. thou shalt take no vsurie of him. By which places it may séeme, that so we lend not to a mā that is poore and needie, but to one that is riche and hath abundance, of him wee may take vsurie without breach of the law.

Answ. Now, to this also I answer diuerse and sun­dry waies. First, I say with B. Iuel, L. Humfred. de vita Iuelli pag. 221. Quae est ista diale­ctica? What manner of logicke or reasoning is this? A man may not take vsurie of the poore: Ergo, hee may take vsurie of the rich. This is a plaine Non sequitur, It followeth not in art. Let vs sée the like in other exam­ples. Salomon sayth in the Prouerbs, Pro. 22.22. Robbe not the poore, because he is poore: shall I thence conclude, Ergo, I may robbe the rich, because he is rich? Againe, the lawe sayth, Deut. 27.24. Cursed bee hee that smiteth his neighbour secretly: shall I thence conclude that it is lawfull for a man to smite his neighbour openly? so when Moses sayth, Lende not to the poore for vsurie: Doth it followe from thence, therfore I may lend for vsurie to the rich? Nothing lesse: it carieth no consequence at all. And therefore Chemnitius hath very fully and plainely re­solued [Page 130] this doubt, Chemnit. loc. com. part. 2. tit. de paupertate cap. 6. Quòd quibusdam testimonijs pau­perum fit mentio, eadem ratione fit, sicut in quinto & septi­mo praeceptis plerunque nominantur viduae, pupilli, pauperes, ne illis inferatur iniuria. Whereas (sayth he) in certaine testimonies of scripture concerning vsurie, Note that Chemnitius reckoneth them for the 5. and 7. which we reckon for the 6. and 8. commaunde­ments: be­cause he ma­keth the two first but one. there is men­tion made of the poore by name, that is done for the same reason, (or cause) for which in the fifth and seuenth commaundements the widdowes, orphanes, and poore folkes are commonly recited by name, that no iniurie should be offered vnto them Sed inde non sequitur, ergò iniuria quae fit coniugatis, adultis, potentibus, diuitibus, &c. non est peccatum. But (sayth he) howsoeuer God in the preceptes belonging to those commaundementes, make mention by name of widdowes, orphanes, and poore folkes: yet, it followeth not from thence, that an iniurie done to maried persōs, to persons of ful yeeres, to mightie men, to rich men, &c. is no sinne. Euen so is it in this case: howsoeuer GOD in the lawes of vsurie make mention of the poore by name, for some causes which afterwards shall bee alledged: yet it followeth not from hence, by any consequence of argument, that therefore to lend vpon vsurie to the rich, is no offence or breach of the lawe.

Secondly, to this point I answere, that howsoeuer in these places aforenamed, there is speciall mention made of the poore: yet in other places, where the same thing is forbidden, there is no mention, nor recitall of them at all. As Deut 23. Psal. 15 Ezec. 18. and others. Yea, and it is not nothing to this purpose, that Iose­phus iustifying against Appion the lawes and statutes of the Iewes, reciteth this for one, Iosephus con­tra Appionem. lib. 2. Mutuans non ac­cipiat vsuras: it is sayth he, a lawe among vs, that the lender shall take no vsurie: making no mention, or ex­ception of the poore and néedie at al. Now, why should those places which mention the poore by name, rather [Page 131] restraine the other which make no mention of them: then the other which make no mention of the poore, should inlarge those that name them? especiallie, if wee consider that those places which mention not the poore, were the later written. Now, L. A. Posteriores libri, ideò fere scripti, vt priorum interpretes essent: The lat­ter bookes of the scripture were written somewhat to this purpose, that they might be interpreters and expo­sitors of the former. And therefore, the latter written scriptures concerning vsurie, making no mention of the poore, may argue that the former scriptures are not to be tyed and restrained to them alone.

Thirdly, I answer, that if the law of lending to the poore without vsurie, should inferre the lawfulnes of lending to the rich vpon vsurie: then it is euident that Gods intendement in those lawes for the benefite of the poore, should rather proue a hurt and hinderance vnto them: because by this meanes it would come to passe that the poore should not borrowe at all. For, who will lende to the poore for nothing, that might lawfully lend to the rich for vsurie? of which point wee haue so lamentable and euident experience in these daies, as no man, no not the vsurer himselfe is able to gainesay it. Yet of the two it were better for the poore man that hee should borrow vpon vsurie, then that hee should not be able to borrow at all: now borrow at al he shal not, if it be lawfull to lend to the rich for vsurie, and not vnto him. And therefore as one sayd, Maledi­cta glossa quae corrumpit textum: Accursed be that glosse or commentarie that destroyeth the text: so may I say in this case, euill fare that interpretation which ouer­throweth the intent & purpose of the commandement.

Fourthly, and lastly, I answer to this third obie­ction: that it is no marueile though God in the lawes of vsurie doe specially and by name forbid lending in [Page 132] that manner to the poore. For, he doth it, partly to shew what care hee himselfe hath ouer them, who are commonly and vsually neglected of men: and partly, because the poore are soonest and easiest oppressed of the rich, as the lowest hedge is easiliest stepped ouer: yea, and partly also, because vsurie sitteth hardest vpon the skirtes of the poore, and will sooner bite and deuoure them, then it will the rich, able, and substantiall men in the world. So that for these causes the poore had néede of a speciall caueat, to be put in on their behalfe. Wee sée that God speaketh to the same effect in other places: Esay. 1.17. Iudge the fatherles and defend the widdow. And againe, Pro. 31.9. Iudge the afflicted and the poore. And againe, Pro. 23.10. Enter not into the fieldes of the fatherles. And againe, Zach. 7.10. Oppresse not the widdowe, nor the fatherles, the stranger nor the poore: and many such other speeches hath God, con­cerning those parties in the holy scripture. Not as in­tending to inferre thereby that wee néede not, or wee ought not to iudge the child that hath a father, the wife that hath a husband, the rich that hath plentie: nor as if it were lawfull for vs, vniustly to seaze vpon the possessions of the mightie, or to oppresse our home borne brethren. But because the orphane, the wid­dowe, the poore, the stranger, are easily forgotten, sel­dome regarded, and soone ouerthrowne: therefore is it, that specially, and by name, they are so often, and so particularly mentioned in the word. Euen so, let vs know that God dealeth after the same manner, when he mentioneth the poore in this case of vsurie. It is no humanitie to drawe the dagger to stab a man, who is thine equall in yéeres and in valure of bodie. But for a man to drawe his weapon on a childe, who hath nei­ther wisdome, nor strength to resist: is shamefull co­wardnes, yea barbarous crueltie. So, it is inhumani­tie for an vsurer to gripe a man that is rich and well a­ble [Page 133] to pay: but with that sword of his, to runne quite thorough the heart of the néedie (to whome it were more almes to giue the principall:) that, that is the horrible iniquitie which God specially, and by name hath as it were [...] forbidden in those places of scripture, that make mention of the poore.

Obiect. 4. There is yet a fourth obiection made as touching the places of Scripture before alledged a­gainst vsurie. The fourth obiection in defence of vsurie: only biting vsurie is forbidden. For, say that the lawes concerning vsu­rie be morall, and that they inhibite such lending both to rich and poore: yet they condemne not al measure of vsurie, but onely that which is excessiue, and byting, and which carieth with it a deuouring and oppressing of an other. And that (say some) appeareth by the ex­presse wordes of the text. For Moses sayth, Exod. 22.25. Yee shall not oppresse him by vsurie: Ergò, if I oppresse not my brother, if my vsurie be not so great as it bite, or deuour him: I am not for lending in that sorte condemned by the law of God. Yea, and that the scripture onely forbiddeth biting vsurie, may appeare (say they) also by the nature and Etimologie of the word, which the ho­ly Ghost vseth to that purpose. For, vsurie is called in the hebrue tongue Naeshaech, which Lauat com­ment. in Ezek. 18. homil. 76. as Lauater and Bodin. de re­pub. lib. 5. ca. 2. others haue truly obserued, signifieth properly Mor­sus, a biting or gnawing of a thing. And it is a worde borrowed as some thinke, Lauater. com­ment. in Pro. 28.8. from the biting or sting­ing of a serpent: as others haue iudged D Wilson. fol. 47. from the gnawing, or tyring of a dogge vpon a bone. So that, vnlesse vsurie bee Naeshaech, biting, vnlesse by it a man sting his neighbour, as a serpent, or pray vpon him as a dogge vpon a carrion: some holde opinion that it is not forbidden in the worde of God.

Answ. Nowe to this obiection I might answere shortly, Gal. de Hip­poc. & Platon. decretis. Lib. 2. cap. 2. [...]: The Etymologie of a worde is but a slender witnesse. But I haue further to [Page 134] answer vnto it, moe waies then one. First, I say, that not only biting vsurie, but generally all measure of vsurie is forbidden in the worde. For the text is plaine, Exod. 22.25. If thou lende money to my people, &c. non eris ei sicut vsu­rarius: (Tremel. tanquam foenerator,) Thou shalt not be as an vsurer vnto him. Now, what is this that he sayth, Thou shalt not be as an vsurer vnto him? his meaning is, thou shalt not deale with him as vsurers are wont to deale with men. Well then, if thou lend couenanting for gaine, and aduenture not the principall: whether it bite him, or bite him not, whether thou demaund of him more or lesse for increase: yet in that manner of bargaining, thou art to him as an vsurer, for thou con­tractest with him in that manner which an vsurer prac­tiseth towards men, and therfore thou art therein con­demned by the word of God.

Besides that, it is euident from the Scripture, that not onely bitting vsurie (Naeshaech) but generally all Increase of that kinde and nature (which the Hebrewes call Tarbith) is forbiddē in the law. For Moses saith in Leuiticus Leuit. 25.36.37. thou shalt take no vsurie of him, nor vantage. And agayne in ye same place, Thou shalt not giue him thy money to vsurie, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. And Ezekiell condemneth the people of his time, not onely for taking of vsurie (Naeshaech) but also for taking of in­crease, (Tarbith.) Ezek. 22.12. Thou hast taken vsurie and the in­crease. And therefore, Gregorius Nissenus doubted not to say Gregor. Nis­sen. epist. ad Latoium Mi­telenes episco­pū bibliothec. Patrum tom. 1. col. 344. Apud diuinam Scripturam, & foenus, & vsura sunt prohibita: both increase (which the Latines call foenus, the Grecians [...], the Hebricians Tarbith) and also vsurie (which the Latines call vsura, the Grecians [...], the Hebricians Naeshaech) is forbidden in the holy Scriptures. S. Ambrose saith plainly, speaking of that place of Moses Leuit. 25. Ambros. lib. de Tobia. cap. 1 [...]. Generaliter haec sententia Dei omne sortis excludit augmentum: this sentence of God re­cited [Page 135] in that place doth generally exclude all increase a­boue the principall. Yea, M. Caluin himselfe Cal. serm. 134 in Deut. 23. will haue no man to rest precisely vpō that name of vsurie, which signifieth biting, and which word Moses vseth spea­king of that matter Deut. 23. His reason is, because E­zekiell condemning vsurie Ezek. 18. [...]3. Ezek. 22.12. placeth there not onely the word Naeshaech which signifieth biting, but also the o­ther word, which signifieth increase. As if he had sayd (saith Caluin) all that is aboue the principall.. So yt, it is euidēt to a mā whose skil is but meane in ye tongues, yt the Etymologie of the Hebrue word can yéeld no sound argumēt for ye defence of any kind of vsurie: no though it be not biting nor oppresseth not the borower.

Thirdly, it may be added to answere this obiection, that though it be granted and yéelded vnto them, that the Scripture condemneth onely biting vsurie: yet euē that is a sufficient argument alone, to condemne all kinde of vsurie which is practised vnder the sunne. For it is as cleare as the light of the sunne, that all vsury bi­teth, and carieth with it an oppressing of the borower. Bucer saith truly Bucer com. in Psal. 15. Amordendo dicitur, tacite enim homi­nem mordet, rodis, & conficit: vsurie hath the name of bi­ting: for it doth secretly bite, gnawe, and consume a man. And Paulus Fagius hath obserued that P. Fag. Chald. Paraphrast. annot in Exod. 22.24. the Chaldeans call vsurie Hafuliah, a perdendo scilicet, because it de­stroyeth, and ouerthroweth a man. Yea, so generall, and common a thing it is for vsurie to bite, that as it selfe is called of the Hebricians naeshaech a biting: so the vsurer is called mashic, quia morsum infligit, because hee giueth the bite Aret. Prob. part. 1. loc. 50. de vsuri [...]. saith Aretius. And the borrower is cal­led Nashic, quiamorsus est: because hee is bitten and op­pressed thereby. So that, whersoeuer there is one that lendeth, and another that boroweth vpon vsurie: there is a biting, a biter, and one that is bitten assembled and met together.

[Page 136]Now, it is true indéede which B. Iuel sayd, L. Humfred. in vita Iuelli. pag. 220. vsura alia est acerbior, alia mitior: some vsurie is more hard, and some is more soft For there is great differēce in biting. As for example. There is great difference betwéene the biting of a flea, and the biting of a dogge, and the biting of a Lyon: yet all are bitings, and the least will draw bloud. So, there is difference betwéene him that taketh fiue, and him that taketh ten, and him that ta­keth twentie in the hundred: yet all is biting, and the least will consume a man in continuance. And if any man that payeth vsurie, do perhaps not féele the bitting or oppression thereof, yet that is not because hee is not bitten indéede, but because either hee is so benummed with want, that he féeleth no more then a man that is stung with an adder, when he is fast on sléepe: or it is because that Lauater. com. in pro. 28.8. tectè mordet: it biteth closely and secretly: or lastly, it is because that, Musculus cō. in Psal. 15. primò beneficium conferre videtur: vsurie seemeth at the first to yeeld the borower a benefite. And so, he is deceiued with the swéetnesse of the tast at the first drinking, as a man that taketh downe poyson into his bowells. Lira hath a notable si­militude to this purpose, which he alledgeth out of one of the Rabbines, Lira com. in Exod. 22. sicut serpens mordens in silentio parum percipitur, vel sentitur in principio: sed posted inflatur homo, & diffunditur effectus illius morsus parui, p [...]r totum corpus: sic vsurae malum non sentitur in principio, sed posteà ascen­dit ad magnam summam, & deuorat totam hominis sub­stantiam. As a serpent that stingeth priuilie, is little per­ceiued or felt at the first, but afterwardes, the man that is stong swelleth, and the effect of that little stinging, is di­spersed thorough the whole body: So the inconuenience of vsurie, is not felt in the beginning, but in time it a­mounteth to a great summe, and deuoureth a mans whole substance. It may be also, that the riches and a­bundance of him that boroweth is so great comming [Page 137] in other wayes, that it maketh so full a supply to the payment of increase, for that which he boroweth, as by that meanes hee féeleth not the biting and griping of the vsurie which he payeth. And euen as we sée it is in theft or robberie, if a man steale but twelue pence out of a rich mans purse, though the want of it be little felt, by reason of his store and abundance, yet he is hin­dered that looseth it, and he is a théefe that taketh it: e­uen so is it in vsurie, though it be taken of a rich man, and in so small a measure, as that his abundance hard­ly suffereth the euill thereof to be perceiued, yet is hee bitten that payeth it, and hee that taketh it an oppres­sour.

To conclude the answere to this fourth obiection: that which alledged out of the text, Exod. 22.25. ye shall not oppresse him with vsurie, is of little momēt to the vsurers behoofe. For, whereas we read it in our English, ye shalt not oppresse him with vsurie, Tremellius readeth it ne impo­nite, and Pagnine, ne imponetis impose not (or, ye shall not impose) vsurie vpon him.. And the Greeke interpre­tour in the same manner [...], thou shalt not put vsurie vpon him. So that, according to all their rea­dings, not onely the oppressing of a man by vsurie, but also the very imposing of vsurie vpon a man, is condē ­ned in that place of Moses All that the vsurer, cā gaine by vrging of the Englishe translation is this. That which the Greeke and Latine interpretours doe call imposing of vsurie, that the English translatours call more plainly oppressing by vsurie. As noting, that hee which imposeth vsurie vpō his neighbour, doth thereby bite him, oppresse him, yea deuoure and consume him. Such is the deadly effect of this poysoned practise.

The ende of the fifth Sermon prea­ched Iunii 18. 159 [...].

The sixte and last Sermon: the speciall contents whereof are these.

  • 1. One other obiection is answered which commonly is made in defence of vsurie: namely that it is no where forbidden in the new testament.
  • 2. The inconuenience of vsurie is shewed, how vnfit it is for a Christian to practise, though it were in any measure lawfull.
    Because that
    • 1. It maketh the practisers thereof subiect to the curses of manie.
    • 2. It is a thing of very euill report.
    • 3. They can haue no resolution of conscience that they doe well that vse it.
    • 4. They are but the instrumentes of euill vnto men.
    • 5. The positiue lawes of men both in Church and common weales doe prohibite it: especially in this realme of England.

The fifth obiection in defence of vsurie: it is not forbid­den in the newe testa­ment. Obiect. 5. IT is lastly obiected, that the places before alledged against vsurie, are taken onely out of Moses and the Prophets: and that vsurie is no where forbid­den, no not so much as once named, in the writinges of the Euangelists, and Apo­stles, conteined in the newe testament. From whence, [Page 139] they will conclude (I trowe) either that the newe te­stament giueth more libertie to sinne, then the olde, which were monstrous blasphemie against the Gospel of Christ: or at the least, (to speake the best of them) that the lawes touching vsurie are not morall: and so, not to abide to vs that are christians, vnder these daies of the Gospell.

Answ. Whereunto may bee answered: first, that this is no good argument, nor consequence in reason, vsurie is not named in the newe Testament: Ergò, it is not forbidden in the morall lawe. For many sinnes are forbidden in the morall lawe; which are no where mentioned in the new testament. As for example, the sinnes of Polygamie, of Tyrannie, of Treason, of Ielou­sie, and many others, which come not to my remem­brance, are manifest breaches of the morall lawe. And yet, I suppose, that no mā can shew them to be condē ­ned, and reproued by those very nanies, in the new te­stament. Yea, I procéede further: there are infinite breaches, and trespasses against the morall law, which are not specified by name, either in the olde, or in the new testament. The lawe of God condemneth many thinges, a puri, àmaiori, à reinoni, &c. by condemning the equal, or the greater, or the lesser offence. Some­times, it includeth the particulars in the generall, and sometimes, the general in one particular: sometimes, it condemneth the cause, from the iniquitie of the ef­fecte: sometimes, the effecte, from the iniquitie of the cause: whereas notwithstanding, the thing that is condemned, is no where recited by name, in the holy scriptures. Nazianzene sayd truely, Citat. ab Herbrando loc. com. cap. de trinitate. Quaedam & sunt, & dicuntur in scripturis: quae dam sunt in scripturis, & non dicuntur. Some thinges are both conteined, and named in the scriptures: some thinges are conteined in the scrip­tures, but are not named in them. Which saying of [Page 140] that ancient father, as it may be verified in many par­ticulars, (for the Trinitie, the persons in the Trinitie, the vnitie of substance in the Godhead, are things con­teined in déede, but no where expresly named in the word of God:) so is it most certainely true, in this case which we haue in hand. A thousand, and a thousand particular offences, are there against the morall lawe, which were neuer recorded, nor euer shall be founde particularly named, in the bookes, either of the olde, or of the new testament.

But to ioyne with them, in a nearer issue: dare any vsurer say, and affirme, that vsurie is not forbidden in the newe testame [...] [...]urely, if it bee not, then was that great councell of Laterane far receiued, in which some thirteene, or fourtéene score Bishops were assembled, and gathered together. For they doubted not, to pro­nounce that vsurie was forbidden, Conoil. Late­ran. part. 1. cap. 25. tom. 2. Vtriusque tituli pa­gina, that is, (as I expoūd it) In both the volumes of the Bible. And againe, the same Councell Concil. Late­ran. part 16. tit. de vsuris. cap. 1. Vsurarum cri­men, vtriusque testamenti pagina detestatur: The volume of both the testaments, or both the olde and the new te­stament, doth detest, or abhorre the sinne of vsurie. Fur­thermore, if vsurie bee not forbidden in the new testa­ment: then was Basile farre deceiued, who perswaded men, euen by this reason, to absteine from vsurie, Basil▪ in Psa. 14. Vt tam ex veteri, quàm noua lege instructus, bona cum spe, ad dominum migrare valeas: That being instructed, or dire­cted, as well by the olde law, as by the newe, thou maiest with good comforte goe vnto God. Then also were Ambrose, and Hierome much deceiued, who, although they both acknowledged, that vsurie was flatly, and all sufficiently condemned in the olde testament: yet Ambrose sayd, Ambros. lib. de Tobia. cap. 15. Euangelium dicit, quod est plenius: The gospel saith that, which is more ful, or speaketh more ful­ly in this matter. And Hierome sayd, Hieron. com. in Ezek 18. In Euangelio, vir­tutis [Page 141] augmentum est. The Gospell goeth further in this case, then the lawe. For the law forbiddeth vsurie, but the Gospell commaundeth the contrarie vertue: hee meaneth frée lending, without increase. Yea, then were also the diuines of Wittenberge farre deceiued, who sayd that vsurie was forbidden, Theses Wit­tenberg. citat. ab Aret. loc. com part. 1. loc. 50. tit. de vsu­ris. Nedum iure posi­tiuo, Not onely by the positiue lawes of men: Sed etiam vtroque, tum veteri, tum nouo testamento: But also both in the olde, and new testament. Then also was B. Iuel farre deceiued, who sayd, that vsurie was B. Iuel epist. before D. Wil­sons vsurie. manifestly condemned, not onely by heathens, by christians, by the olde fathers, by the ancient Councels, by Emperours, by Bishops, by decrees, by Canons, by all sectes of all regi­ons, and of all religions: But also, (which is the pointe, seruing to this present purpose,) By the Gospell of Christ: by the mouth of God. Lastly, if vsurie be not forbidden in the newe testament, then were Melancthon, Erasmus, Xystus Betuleius, Aretius, and a number of others, very learned men, farre deceiued, and ouertaken in this ar­gument. By whose writings, and allegations of scrip­ture, it doth manifestly appeare, that they déemed vsu­rie to be a thing forbidden, euen in the newe testament. But alas, alas, they are not the men, that are delu­ded, and deceiued: but it is the vsurer himselfe, who in this case, voluntarily deceiueth himselfe, shutting his eyes against the cleare light of the word, as a batte, or an owle, that cannot endure to beholde the beames of the sunne. For the trueth is, that vsurie is euerie where forbidden, euen in the bookes of the newe testa­ment. The fathers disputing against the Arrians, who denied God the sonne, to be of the same substance, and essence with the Father: Pet. Martyr. loc com. clas. 3. loc. 4. sect. 89. Mordicus propugnare, acreti­nere voluerunt [...], Would defend, and hold tooth and naile, the worde, or name consubstantiall. And there­fore we see, that whereas the Nicene Councell conclu­ded: [Page 142] thus of the sonne of God. Ruffinus ec­cles. hist. lib 1. cap. 5. [...], patri, ho [...] est e­iusdem cum patre substantiae, Consubstantiall with the fa­ther, that is of the same substance with the father. The Westerne Bishops did, Sozom. hist. Eccles. lib. 3. cap. 12. Mordicus adhaerescere, cleaue close to that decrée of the Nicene Councell, against the Bishops of the East. And the Councell of Constantino­ple, concluded in the same words, Bullinger. confes. Eccles. ante Decad. Consubstantialem patri, Consubstantiall with the father. And lastly, Sozomen. lib. 6. cap. 4. the Councell of Antioch, approued & expounded the worde consubstantiall, to iustifie, and to cleare it, from the ca­uils of the Arrians. P. Martyr. loc. com. clas. 3. loc. 4. sect. 89. Quod etiam pro suo iure facere po­tuerunt, sayth Peter Martyr: the fathers might lawful­ly, and rightly, thus sticke close, to the defence of the worde consubstantiall: Maxime verò, cum viderent eam vocem, ex diuinis literis necessariò conclude: Especially, when they saw, that that worde, though it were not na­med, yet was necessarily concluded, and gathered out of the holy scriptures. Nowe I note the example, and practise of the fathers, to this ende and purpose. It ap­peareth thereby, that they held for trueth, and for the word of God, not onely that which was named, and expressed in the scriptures: but also that, which by in­ference, or illation, might be concluded from the same. And therefore, although the scripture hath no where the very name, or worde consubstantiall: yet because the matter which they would signifie in that worde, was partly expressed, and partly, to be concluded from the scripture: therefore, they doubted not, to receiue it, as a pointe of faith, grounded assuredly vpon the word of God. And so say I, concerning this case of vsurie. It is true, that the very name, and worde of v­surie, is no where found, nor mentioned in the newe testamēt: yet because the matter, and practise signified in that worde, is by necessary consequence, and con­clusion, inferred to bee forbidden in the writinges [Page 143] of the Euangelistes, and Apostles: therefore, I doubt not, but I may boldly affirme this for truth, that vsu­rie is condemned euen in the new Testament. Now, that it is by many, and manifest inferences, con­demned in the new Testament, may easily appeare in these instances, and examples. The new Testament saith, Mat. 7.12. what soeuer ye would, that men should do to you, euē so do ye to them. Now, vsurie obserueth not this rule: for the vsurer imposeth that burdē vpō another, which he will not gladly beare himselfe: therfore vsurie is for­bidden, in the new Testament. Againe, the new Testa­ment saith, Mat. 5.4.2. From him that will borow of thee, turne not a­way therein commending vnto vs the louing, and cha­ritable dutie; and vse of lending. Now vsurie, ouertur­neth the nature, and equitie, and vse of lending: ther­fore vsurie is forbidden, in the new Testament. Againe, the new Testament saith 1. Thes. 4.6. that no mā oppresse, or defraude his brother in any matter. But vsurie, if it be open, and di­rect, it oppresseth, if it bee couert and secret, it both op­presseth and defraudeth a man: therefore, vsurie is for­bidden, in the new Testament. Againe, the new Testa­mēt saith, Ephes. 4.28. Let him that stole, steele no more. Now Barthol. Westhimerus in Psal. 15. vsu­ra, furtum est: Si enim vsura, furtum non esset; nequaquam Deus prohibuisset: vsurie is theft: for if it had not bene theft, God would neuer haue forbiddē it. And S Hierome said, Hieron. citat. ab He­ming. & alijs. vsuras quaerere, vel fraudare, vel rapere, nihil differunt: to take vsurie of a man, differeth nothing from cosening, & robbing of a mā. And S. Ambrose said, Ambros. lib. de bono mortis. citat. a Grat. decret. part 2. caus. 14. quaest. 4. Si quis vsurā ac­cipit rapinā facit: if a mā take vsurie, he cōmitteth robbe­rie. Well thē, ye new Testamēt forbiddeth theft: & vsurie is one branch & kinde of theft: therfore vsurie is forbid­den in the new Testamēt ▪ Last of all, the new Testamēt saith, Luc. 6.35. Lend looking for nothing again. Cōcerning which spéech of Christ, although I acknowledge with M. Beza, that Beza annot. in Luc. 6.35. they are deceiued which wrest this place [Page 144] to thee direct prohibition of vsurie: yet I doubt not, but from that place a man may draw a very sufficient ar­gument against vsurie, and conclude as doth M. Beza vpon that saying, Ibidem. Illud tamen certum est, si iuuandus est proximus, etiam nulla recipiendae sortis habita ratione▪ multò magis prohiberi foeneratorias pactiones. Yet this (saith he) is certaine, that if our neighbour must bee hol­pen by lending, euen without any regard had of recei­uing, the very principall againe, then much more vsurari­ous couenants are forbidden and condemned. So then in M. Beza his iudgement, vsurie is by inference forbid­den in the new Testament. It is therefore no good ar­gument to reason thus, vsurie is not named, or it is not forbidden in the new Testament: ergò the lawes con­cerning vsurie are not morall. For though vsurie be not named, yet is it by many inferences condemned in the new Testament: which is an argument yt it is a breach, and transgression euen of the morall law.

It were néedlesse, and superfluous for any man to attempt the answering of all obiectiōs, made in the de­fence of this vnlawfull practise. If the Scriptures al­ledges before against vsurie, be cleared of those doubts, which haue bene before obiected: & it be proued that ye lawes concerning vsurie are morall, & that they forbid it both to friend and stranger, yea both to rich & poore: & that they condemne not onely griping, & oppressing vsurie, but all measure thereof be it neuer so small: and lastly if it appeare to bee condemned not onely in the old, but also in the new Testament: then all other ca­uils which caruall reason hath deuised, must fade and fall to nothing. For reason must yéeld vnto the word of God, and the necessitie of mans life vnto the autho­ritie of the Scripture. It was a good rule prescribed by S. Augustine, August. de doctrina Chri­stiana. lib. 2. cap. 7. Opus est mitescere pietate: men (saith he) must be milde, or soft, or tractable in godlinesse. Ne­que [Page 145] contradicere diuinae Scripturae, siue intellectae si aliqua vitia nostra percutit, siue non intellectae, quasi nos melius sa­pere, meliusque percipere possimus. We must not contradict or gaine say the holy Scripture, neither that part of it which we vnderstand if perhaps it reproueth any of our defaults, neither yet that part which we vnderstand not, as if we were wiser and could better prescribe duties or doctrine vnto men. The Scripture in cases manifest must bee obeyed, though it gainsay our will and affe­ctions, in hidden things, it must be beléeued, though it cōtradict our opinion and iudgement: else we shall ne­uer attaine to the sounde knowledge thereof, nor con­scionably practise that which we know, nor in the end receiue the reward of our conscionable practise.


The fourth, and last principall point. In which is decla­red, that vsurie is not to bee practised of a Christian man, no not though it were not simplie forbidden in the word of God.

BUt go to: say it should be graunted, that there is no expresse word of God cōdemning simply and gene­rally these kindes of vsurie: yet doth it not therefore follow that the practise of them is cleare from all de­fault. The Apostle saith, 1. Cor. 10.23. all thinges are lawfull for me, but all thinges are not expedient. Noting, that some thinges may be done lawfully in respect of themselues, which cannot be done expediently in respect of circū ­stances. Now, how vnexpedient it is for any Chri­stian man to lend vpon vsurie (though it were lawfull in it selfe) shall euidētly I hope appeare by that which followeth.

1. First, Salomon by this reason condemneth their couetousnesse, who in time of scarsitie hoard vp the victuals, from sale to the people: Pro. 11.26. He that withdraweth [Page 146] the corne, the people will curse him, that is, (as one well expoundeth it) Pellican. com. in pro. 11.26. malè is audit passim, eidem malè preca­buntur egen [...] familia Dei, odietur vt durus & perfidus, deo crit & hominibus odiosus. Such a man shal be euery where euill spoken of, the poore (who are Gods familie) will banne and curse him, he shall be hated as an hard harted and miserly wretch. In a word, he shalbe hated both of God and man. Now, if there be any strength in that argument, to disswade men from hardnesse of hart, and vncharitablenesse towardes the poore in that case, namely that in so doing, they hale the curse of the peo­ple vpon their heades: then certainly, this is a very sufficient reason, to disswade men from practising of vsurie, euen because that, he which [...]endeth to vsurie the people will curse him. For indéede, euery man whether he bee rich or poore, whether he borowe or boroweth not, will curse and banne an vsurer. He that is rich and néedeth not to borow, if he be a man of a tender hart, and hath any sympathie of another mans miserie, will curse an vsurer for pinching of the poore. Hee that is poore, (and therefore néedeth to borow,) but cannot borow for want of sufficient securitie to put in, he cur­seth the vsurer for the hardnesse of his hart▪ Hee that hath néede to borow, and doth borow, many times cur­seth the vsurer to his face, when he carieth home his bo­rowed goods, for the griping & oppression which in the end he féeleth from that practise. So that, whether we speake of poore men, or of riche, of him that boroweth, or of him ye boroweth not: vsurie is alwayes (as B. Iuel sayd of it) Io. Iuel. serm. in. 1. Thes. 4.6. the curse of God and the curse of the people. And therefore, if it be hatefull to vs, to haue euery mās toung to curse vs, and euery mans hart to maligne vs: then let vs absteine from this cursed course of vsurie.

2. Besides that, we may not, nay we cānot be igno­rant how the Scripture requireth vs onely to do such [Page 147] things as are of good report in the world. Rom. 12.17. Procure (saith the Apostle) things honest in the sight of all mē. And againe: Phil. 4.8. whatsoeuer thinges are of good report, &c. thinke on these things. And no marueile, though the Scripture excite vs hereunto. For, by doing things which are well reported of, a man shall grow to good report him selfe. Now, Eccles. 7.3. A good name is better then a good ointment: yea, Pro. 22.1. it is to bee chosen before much riches, sayth Salo­mon. For indéed, it is alwayes more comfortable then the one, and many times more profitable then the o­ther. S. Augustine sayd truly, that August. de bono viduitatis cap 22. such as care not what report goeth of them, and make no account of their estimation, deale not onely vnwisely for them selues, but also vncharitably towardes others. And why? Nobis necessaria est vita nostra, alijs fama nostra: our good life is necessarie for our selues, that it may bee rewarded: but a good name is necessarie for others: that those which are already of our profession may be ther­by credited, and those which are not, may bee drawen on to christianitie. For the good report of the professor auayleth much to ye spreading of his profession. Lactā ­tius speaking of this very case of vsurie, sayth that Lactant. lib. 6. de vero cul­tu. cap. 18. A iust or an honest man, will not defile himselfe with any, such kinde of gaine, but will haue alwayes this care and respect, vt idipsum quod commodat inter bona nomina nominetur: that, that which hee lendeth may bee lent in such order, as that it may be well reported of, and well spoken of among the people. A benefite, which he that lendeth to vsurie can neuer attaine. For who is of so ill report, and of so little estimation, as is the vsurer for his trade? not the catch powle, not the promoter, not the executioner, no not the very scauenger. And no marueile: for the worst of them is of some vse and be­nefite to the common weale, but this man is the sub­uersion and the destruction thereof. Bromyard giueth [Page 148] an instance of a certaine preacher, who knowing that there were many vsurers among his auditorie, brake out in his Sermon into asking of the question, Io. Bromyard summa praedi­c [...]nt. tit. vsura. Si a­liquis esset vsurarius, if there were euer an vsurer there present? when euery man held his peace, and no man made answere to that question, he demaunded againe, Si ibi aliquis esset Cloacarius, if there were euer a scauen­ger there? (I giue it the cleanliest name for reuerence sake: otherwise ye know what Cloacarius meaneth.) One rising vp, and answering for himselfe, yea, there was one there, and he was that one: the preacher ther­upon inferreth this inuectiue against vsurers. Ecce vi­detis quàm vile sit officium vsurariorum: behold (sayth he) you may see hereby how vile a trade the trade of vsu­rers is. Quia cùm alius pro arte sua vilissima respondeat, ipsi pro arte sua loqui erubescunt: for when this man an­swereth for himself & in defence of his most filthy trade, they blush and are ashamed to answere for theirs. Now, why would an vsurer be ashamed to professe his trade in the most publique assembly, if it were of good report and account among men? Plutarch saith Plutarch. lib. de non foene­rando. that the Pu­blicane was a most infamous person, euen among the heathen: and so much also the Scriptures doe witnesse vnto vs. Mat. 9.11. The Pharisies noted it as a contemptible thing in our Sauiour Christ, that he did eate and drinke wt Publicanes. Now, foeneratores Publicanos agunt (saith Plutarch:) the vsurers play the Publicanes. And so they do indéed. For ye Publicanes were Caluin. har­moni. in mat. 5.46. vectigaliū redempto­res, such as gathered tols or customes, or tributes, or taskes, or subsidies of the people. And the vsurers will haue their custome penny, a man must pay their taske or he cānot escape their hāds, he must pay déepe tribut that is subiect to their dominion. And as for their cōdi­tiōs, the Publicanes were such as Beza annot. in mat. 9.10. rapacitate prouincia­les exugerēt: by their rauenousnes & gripplenes, did sucke [Page 149] vp, & soake dry the poore people of the Prouinces vnder their iurisdictiō. Wherein they were a liuely patterne of ye gréedinesse & couetousnesse of the vsurer: whereby he casteth into an irrecouerable consumption, all those which for their disease séeke phisicke at his hāds. Wel then, the Publicane was an infamous person: and the vsurer playeth the Publicane: and therefore no mar­uaile though he be of bad report among men.

But it is obiected in this behalfe, that the base ac­count which is made of vsury among vs in these dayes, ariseth from the iniquitie of the time: and is of some imputed to the rashnesse and want of discretion, in the Ministers of the word, who with salt termes and ignominious spéeches, haue brought the vsurers, and their doinges into so great disgrace. To which it may be truly answered, that this is but a séely deuise of the vsurers themselues. For, it is euident that in other countryes, and in former times, vsurie hath been al­wayes accounted a very base and ignominious trade. Those which trauaile dayly from vs into the lowe countreys, do affirme, that no man dare there be séene (for shame) to enter into the Lumbardes house, for so they call the vsurer in that countrey. Yea, that it is not so much discredite to be séene going in, or comming out of the common stewes, as it is to be founde houe­ring about the doore of the vsurer: which argueth that in those places, it is reputed a very opprobrious thing. Petrarch saith that there is not Petrarch. de remedio vtri­usque fortunae. lib. 1. Dialog. 56 foedius studium, a more filthie profession then vsurie, and that of former time, vsurers were seperated as leapers from the societie of men. Yea, B Iuel went further and reached to a lon­ger day: for hée sayth, L. Humfred. in vita Iuelli. pag. 227. haec, semper turpis fuit, this was alwayes counted a filthy trade. And Chrysostome saith, Chrysost. hom. 57. in Mat. 17. extremae impudētiae signum, foenus semper iudicatum est: vsurie was alwayes iudged a tokē of extreme impudēcie. [Page 150] That is, (more plainely) hee was alwaies accounted a notable impudent man, and one past all shame, that durst without blushing, take vp the practise of vsurie. Among many thinges which be alleadged to that pur­pose: that is famous which is recorded in one of the Centuries. The place is long, but it is so worthie a president of this matter, and so cleare a looking glasse, for an vsurer to discerne his face withall: as that I thought it no small offence, either to passe it ouer in si­lence, or to contract it into a shorter roome. The words are these: Centur. 12. cap. 4. e P. Cantor. Antiquitùs in tota ciuitate vix vnus foenera­tor inueniebatur, & ille quidem occultus, nec foenerabatur nisi pauperibus: nec tamen nisi clam, data fide quòd non pub­licaretur. De quo si fortè praua oriretur suspicio, diceba­tur domus illius domus diaboli, vinea, puteus, ager diaboli: & doinceps osculumpacis non dabatur ei in missa: ignis à vicinis in domo e [...]us non sumebatur, sed nec aliquis cum eo aliquod participium habebat. Pueri ad eius occursum pa­uescebant, & alterutrum eum digito monstrabant. Adeò enim detestabile tunc temporis fuit vitium vsurae. The wordes in english are thus much in effect. In old time scarse one vsurer was to be found or heard of in a whole citie, and he dealt but very secretly, and closely neither, and hee lent to vsurie to none but to the poore, and hee would not lend to them neither, but priuilie, and bind­ing them by a faithfull promise that they should not dis­close him. And if happilie there arose anie euill suspition of him that way in the citie, then his house was com­monly called the diuels house, the vineyarde, the well head, the fielde of the diuell. The paxe was not offered to him to kisse in the time of the celebratiō of the masse: the neighbours would not fetch fire from his house: no not any man would haue anie fellowship with him. The children were afraide to meete him in the stréetes, as if they met a bugge or a monster: and one would point [Page 151] at him with the finger to an other. So detestable in those dayes was the sinne of vsurie. Thus wee sée, that it is not the sole opinion of this time, but of all times, not of this countri [...] onely, but of other countries also, so basely and ig [...]niniously to account of vsurie.

And if any man will yet further reply, that this vile account which is made of vsurie, is but the priuate conceipte of some particular persons: let him knowe that mightie princes▪ and whole estates, haue dorréed and concluded of vsurie, that it should be accounted and reputed to all purposes for a very infamous action. Luther sayth, Luther. de taxanda. vsura tom. 7. Vetuit Caesar ne vsurarius haberetur & iudicaratur vir bonus & honestus. Caesar forbad that an [...]surer should bee accounted or adiudged in lawe (or in common estimation) for a good and an honest man. And D. Wilson sayth, D. Wilson. fol. 136. that in lawe, they are defamed persons, and that the lawe defames them. So that, L [...]improbum. & ibi Bald C. de insamibus. put the case my brother make an vsurer his heire, I may break the testament, and by excluding of him bee admitted my selfe, by complaint of a testament made against office or good right: because he is thereby constituted the heire whome the lawe hath disabled to inherite, as an infa­mous person. And surely no maruaile though vsurers be of so bad and euill report, and haue béene euer repu­ted as men of extreme infamie. For first, their course of life is baser then any, Zuinger. Tab. in Ari­stot. de repub. lib. 1. cap. 11. Vita foener atoria omnium spe­cierum vitae [...] abiectissima, & odiosissima. The vsu­rers life is more base, and hatefull then any kind of life or trade which is imployed about goods or money. Se­condly, their conditions are commonly as bad as any. M. Caluine sayth, Caluin. epist. respons. de vsu­ris. Adeòplus quàm rarum est eundem esse hominem probum & foeneratorem: It is more then rare (or it is very seldome séene) that one and the same person, should be both an honest man, and an vsurer Now, their trade being so base, and their conditions so euill: no [Page 152] maruaile though shame follow them at the héeles, as the shadow doth the body by nature. For, Ignominia comes turpitudinis: Shame is the companion of beastli­nes. But to conclude at length the point now in hand: sith the word of God inioyneth vs to doo things of good report, and vsurie is a thing which all times, all coun­tries, all sortes of people haue helde in extreme con­tempt: though it should bee granted, that no expresse worde of God doth absolutely condemne it, yet we sée how vnbeséeming, and vnexpedient a thing it is, to be practised of a christian.

3. But to procéede. The Apostle sayth writing to the Romanes, that Rom. 14.23. Whatsoeuer is not of faith is sinne. And the name of faith I take with M. Caluine in that place, Caluin. com. in Rom. 14.23. Pro constanti animae persuasione & firma certitudine. For a constant persuasion and certaine assurance of the hart. As if Paul had sayd: whatsoeuer a man doth, not be­ing resolutely perswaded in his conscience, ruled by the worde of God, that therein he doth well and plea­seth God: this is reckoned and imputed for sinne vnto him. Now, I can but wonder in my heart, what kind of [...], what ful perswasion and resolution of consci­ence, the vsurer can gather to himselfe, that hee doth well, and pleaseth God in the practising of vsurie. Con­sidering that, first, there is no example of any godly man to be found either in holy scriptures, or humane writers, that euer tooke vp that kinde of profession. No, B. Iuel whose writings do argue him to bee a man that had red▪ excéeding much, sayth confidently and boldly, Io Iuel. serm. in 1. Thes. 4.6. Such a kind of bargaining no good man or godly e­uer vsed. Secondly, considering that most learned men of all ages, and places, haue condemned it. Yea, hée went farre that sayd, (and yet was he wise enough to consider what hee sayd,) D. Wilson fol. 192. God, nature, reason, all scrip­ture, all lawe, all authors, all Doctors, yea all Councels [Page 153] beside, are vtterly against vsurie. Thirdly, considering that those which are supposed to speake most for vsury, as Caluine, Bucer, Bullinger, and some others, when they intreate of this argument, they touch it tender­ly, as if a man did handle a soare, and they vse many preambles before they come to it, to preuent the euill aduantage which bad men would happily gather from their wordes, and they approue it not, but with many and those very strict limitations: and lastly, M. Caluine will haue no man to holde his opinion and iudgement for a decrée and generall rule in that case. Now, when a man hath no example to goe before him, when hee hath the opinions of so many against him, when hée shall sée that those which iustifie it, speake very spa­ringly, and they that admit it doo it very warily, and the best of them will not haue men to rest vpon their opinion: I wonder whence it is that our vsurers are so resolute without doubting to approue it, and with­out all feare to practise it. Antoninus sayd well, and it is a maxime in lawe, Antoninus. summae part. 1. [...]i. 20. de regu­lis iuris. In dubijs tutior via est eligenda: In doubtfull cases we must take the safer way. This case of vsurie, though in it selfe I hold it out of doubt, yet by reason of some new writers, is among many growen into question: therefore wisdome would, that men should aduise themselues to saile the surest course. And which is that? Alciate doth by his carde plainly point it out vnto vs: Andreas Al­ciat. respons. lib. 1. Concil. 3. cap. 24. Cúm dubium est, an aliquid peccatum sit vel non: credendum est esse peccatum, quia id tutius. When it is a doubt or a question, whether a thing bee sinne or no: it is to bee beleeued and helde that it is a sinne: because that is the safest opinion. Therefore if any man doubt (as I sée not but the most resolute vsu­rer may doubt) whether vsurie be a sinne or no: let him beléeue and holde that it is a sinne, till hee clearely see the contrarie, and so absteine from it as from an vn­lawfull [Page 154] and vngodly thing. So shall hee bee sure to take the safest way. For, neither in the doing of the thing, nor in the wauering of the mind, shall he offend against the maiestie of God.

4. I will not stand long to shewe, that this is one of the euils which Dauid wisheth to light vpō his ene­mie: namely, that he and his goods might fall into the vsurers handes. Psal. 109.11. Let the extortioner catch all that hee hath, and let the strangers spoyle his labour. Now, it is to be noted, that the worde which we in our english read extortioner, the Greeke interpretor translateth [...] and Tremellius, Pagnine, yea and the olde translation also readeth, Foenerator, an vsurer: Let the vsurer catch all that he hath. And Musculus commenting vpon that place of the Psalme, obserueth from thence two notable thinges worthie of our consideration. The first, Musculus. com. in Psal. 109.11. Ma­ledictionis genus esse si quis incidat in illorum laqueos: It is a kind of curse to fall into the vsurers bandes. The second, Esse illos non benedictionis, sed maledictionis ministros: The vsurers are the ministers not of blessing, but of cursing vnto men. Now, if the borrower did well consider of the one, namely that it is a curse to grow in debt to an vsurer: & if the lender did lay to hart the other, namely that hee is but an instrument or hande to hale Gods curse vpon a man: I suppose that neither borrowing, nor lending vpon vsurie, would séeme so smal a matter, nor proue so common a thing, as it doth with most men at this day in the world.

5. But I come to ye which I suppose to be very ma­terial, and which should binde vs that are Englishmē especially, from the lending vpon vsurie: yea though it were not directly nor generally cōdemned in the word of God. It is to be considered (and wise men I doubt not do obserue it) that those men of learning, which speake most for vsurie, do referre the approuing or dis­prouing, [Page 155] the enlarging or restrayning thereof vnto the authoritie of the ciuill Magistrate. That if the go­uernor, or magistrate allow it to be vsed, then it is al­lowable: if he abolish it, thē it is to be abolished. M. Cal­uin prescribeth this rule among others to be obserued in vsurie, Caluin. epist. respons. de vsuris. ne excedatur certus modus, constitutus in qua­nis regione: that the vsurer exceede not in taking the cer­taine rate ordeined in euery countrey. Whereby it ap­peareth that he referred the moderation of vsurie vn­to the Magistrate and gouernour. Bucer. com. in Psal. 15. Bucer commen­deth Iustinians law for the moderating of vsurie, & ap­proueth the equitie of the Romaine lawes in that be­halfe. From whence it may be gathered, that he also reposed the disposing of vsurie, in the discretion of the Magistrate. Bullinger saith, Bullinger. de­cad. 3. serm. 1. sancti magistratus erit, co­ercere vsurarios aequis legibus, cōstituereque pro temporū & locorū, personarum & rerū qualitate, quod aequum, iustum, & sanctum fuerit: It is the dutie of a godly Magistrate, to restraine the vsurers by equall lawes, and to ordeine in this case that which is iust, and equall, and holy, as the times, and places, and persons, and matters shall require. Therefore in his opinion if the Magistrate sée it good to allow it, he may: if he sée it not good, he néede not al­low it at all. For, so farre hee may allow, or not allow it, as he shall sée by circumstances that it is expedient. Lauater saith, Lauater. ho­mil. 76. [...] Ezek 18. particulare iudicium de contractuum for­mis, aequalitate & iustitia, peti debet ex bonis & aequis legi­bus: the particular iudgement of the formes, equalitie, & iustice of contractes, must bee sought and fetched from good, and equall lawes. Therefore by his iudgement, the lawes (and so consequently the Magistrate, who is the mouth of the law) must determine either of the lawfulnesse, or the vnlawfulnesse of this case of vsu­rie. But Zuinglius hath a notable place to this pur­pose, so notable, that though it bee long, yet I will not [Page 156] feare tediousnesse in the repeating thereof. Zuinglius. lib. de duplici iustitia. tom. De vsura & foenore sic sentio: as touching vsurie and increase thus I thinke, or this is my iudgemēt. Quandò magistratuum leges foenus exercere permittunt, iam illud soluere debent, quicunque pecuniam ijs conditionibus receperunt: when the lawes of the magistrate doe permit the exercising of vsu­rie, they ought to paye the vsurie which haue taken mo­ney vpon such conditions. But he addeth a little after, Si magistratus ea integritate est, vt foenus non ferat, nec foeneratoribus ius dicat, nullo iure foenus deberi affirmo. If the magistrate be of that integritie, that hee will not per­mit vsurie, nor giue sentence for the vsurer, or heare the cause of the vsurer: then I affirme, that the increase is due to bee payd by no law. Then we sée his opinion is, that where the Magistrate permitteth vsurie, there the bo­rower is bound to pay the increase: but where the ma­gistrate permitteth it not, there it is by no law due vn­to the lender. And consequently we sée, that it was his iudgement, that the permission, or not permission of vsurie (as touching the people) depēdeth vpon the Ma­gistrate. All these testimonies. I repeate to shew, that it is the opinion euē of those that séeme most to fauour vsurie, that the approuing, tolerating, reiecting, and moderating therof, dependeth vpon the positiue lawes of countreys, & the ciuill authoritie of the Magistrate. Which if it doe, then we that are inhabitants of this Realme, and members of the Church of England: haue not left vnto vs so much as a figge leafe to couer our nakednesse, I meane wee haue not the least colour, or pretence in the world, to defend the practising of vsurie in our countrey. For it is to be knowne and acknow­ledged, to the glory of God, and to the honour of our Church, and to the euerlasting renowne of Queene Elizabeth and her gouernement, that all the authori­tie, and all the lawes which are now in force, both in [Page 157] the Church and common weale, haue forbidden and do forbid vsury, throughout the whole realme of England. For the manifestation whereof, wee are to consider that the strength and state of our countrey, dependeth partly vpon the common law, partly vpon the statute law, partly vpon the ciuill law, and partly vpon the ca­non law. Now, all these so farre as they are at this day in force, do condemne and inhibite vsurie.

And first for the common law. I finde that Glanuill sometimes Lord chiefe Iustice of England in the dayes of Henrie the second, deliuereth this for the law of the land, namely D. Wilson. fol. 196. Glanuil. lib. 7. cap. 16. that all the goods of an vsurer, whither hee dye making a will, or not making a will, are proper to the king. Agréeable to this is that, which Mathaeus Parisiensis reporteth in his writinges. His wordes are these. Mathaeus Pa­ris. in vita Ri­chards 1. Quicquid laici in vita sua donauerint, vel quocun­que titulo à se alienauerint, etsi vsurarij fuisse dicuntur, post mortem non reuocabitur: whatsoeuer lay men haue giuen away in their life time, or by what title soeuer they haue alienated any thing from themselues: although they were sayd to be vsurers while they liued, yet after their death it shall not be reuoked. Quae verò post mortem non alienata fuerint, si cognitum fuerit ipsos tēpore mortis fuis­se vsurarios, confiscabuntur. But the things which were not alienated after their death, if it bee knowne that at the time of their death they were vsurers: they shalbe confi­scated or forfeyted to the crowne. So then by the an­cient common law of this land, vsurie is prohibited, vpon the penaltie of the losse of all the goods of the v­surer.

Procéede we from thence vnto the statute law: and we shall sée that from time to time, diuerse kinges of this Realme, haue by their Actes and Statutes condem­ned vsurie. In the dayes of Edward the third Anno. 15 cap. 5. the coni­sance of the vsurers deceased, was alotted to the kyng: [Page 158] The conisance of vsurers aliue, to the ordinaries of holy Church. In the dayes of Henrie the seuenth, by one sta­tute: Anno. 3. cap. 5 All vsurarious bargaines were made voyde, and of none effect: and by another, Anno. 11. c. 8. vsurers were puni­shed with the forfeiture of the moytie, put forth to v­surie. In the dayes of Henrie the eight, Anno. 37. c. 9. those that tooke aboue ten in the hundred, were punished with the forfeiture of the treble value of the goodes put forth to vsurie. Anno. 5. &. 6 Eduardi. 6. cap. 20. The which actè (sayth the Parliament assembled in the raigne of Edward the sixt,) was not ment nor intended, for the maintenance and allowance of vsurie, &c. As by the title and preamble of the same acte, it doth plainly appeare. For indéede, howsoeuer king Henries statute doth tolerate for necessities sake, the lending for vsurie in some rate and measure: yet the preamble thereof doth manifestly and flatly call it, an vnlawfull thing. But whatsoeuer king Hen­rie intended, it is cleare that king Edward the sixt by his statute, condemned indéede all kindes and all mea­sure of vsurie: and affirmed directly, that Ibidem. vsurie is by the word of God vtterly prohibited, as a vice most odi­ous and detestable. Lastly, came Queene Elisabeth Beza. epist. ad Angliae regi­nam. ante no­ [...]um testamen­tum. nobilissimum instrumentum, that most noble instrument of God, as M. Beza rightly calleth her. She indéede re­pealed king Edwardes statute, Anno. 13. c. 8. because (as her Acte al­ledgeth,) It had not done so much good as was hoped for: but rather the sayd vice of vsurie, and specially by way of sale of wares and shifts of interest, had much more exceedingly abounded. The vsurer being therein like vnto the water, which the more it is pent, the more it swelleth: and like a théefe, who when he is locked in at the prison doore, breaketh out at the window. Euen so, the vsurers being by king Edwards statute absolute­ly restrayned, from all measure of vsurie: they fell to shiftes, subtelties, and deuices, yea and that with the [Page 159] more gréedinesse, by how much it was the more gene­rally forbidden. For

Nitimur in vetitum s [...]mper cupimusque negata:
The more we are restrained from ought, the more we run therto.

In consideration whereof, she reuoked and adnihi­lated K Edwards statute: but did she therefore approue or iustifie vsurie? no: one sayd well, that Phil Stubs. The Anatomie of abuses fol. 75 Those that say that the lawes in England do allow of vsurie, and li­cense men to commit it freely: doe slaundor the lawes, and are worthie of reprehension. For, that Queene E­lisabeths statute doth not allowe nor approue vsurie, may appeare euidently by these reasons. First, it is in­tituled An Act, (not for or in defence, but) against vsury. Secondly, it calleth vsurie a vice, or sinne: the vice of vsurie. Thirdly, it saith, that all vsurie is forbidden by the lawe of God, and is sinne and detestable. Fourthly, wheras commonly penal lawes are administred with as fauourable exposition as conueniently they can be, for the benefit of the subiect offending: in this statute, there is a speciall prouiso that It shall bee most largely and strongly construed to the suppressing of vsurie. And lastly, it is so farre from approuing any, as that it pu­nisheth vsurie euen to the lowest degree and measure. For, whereas whosoeuer lendeth to vsurie, must of ne­cessitie lend either for tenne, or aboue tenne, or vnder tenne in the hundred: it punisheth him that lendeth for aboue tenne, with a treble forfeiture of the princi­pall: and him that lendeth for tenne, or vnder tenne, with the forfeiture of the vsurie and increase. So that, neither the taking of tenne, nor more then tenne, nor lesse then tenne, no not the taking of one penie in the hundred is approued by that statute.

O sir (will some man say) but Queene Elisabeths statute, exempteth from the penaltie thereof, all vsurie taken for the reliefe of orphanes in the citie of London, [Page 160] and such other places. I answer: the lawe generally condemneth vsurie in it selfe and in the owne nature: but it is compelled to tolerate it in that particular case, for very necessities sake. M Beza hath a notable saying, fully fitting this purpose. Beza annot. in Math. 19.8. Leges ciuiles si benè sunt constitutae, nihil quidem praecipiunt quod Deus prohi­buerit, & nihil prohibet quod Deus praeceperit: The ciuill lawes of princes, if they bee rightly ordained, doe com­maund nothing which God forbiddeth, neither doe they forbid any thing which God commaundeth. Sed impro­bitate hominum, coguntur multa duntaxat moderari, quae penitus tollere non possunt: But by reason of the wickednes of men, they are compelled onely to moderate manie thinges, which they cannot altogether take away. Et haec sunt quae permitti legibus dicuntur: And these are the things which are sayd to be permitted, or tolerated by lawe. An instance of this hee giueth in this very case of vsurie: which many magistrates are compelled to permit, because they see it cannot bee vtterly aboli­shed. And this is it, which is to be sayd in defence of Queene Elizabeths statute, concerning that clause. Ini­quitie hath nowe gotten the vpper hand so much, and mens heartes are growen so hard, and so colde in the duties of charitie: as that the gouernours of this age, haue béene compelled to tolerate that one point, for the reliefe of poore children and orphanes, which otherwise they feared for want of due prouision would fall to vt­ter decay. God beareth many thinges at our handes by reason of our obstinacie, and we must beare manie thinges amongst men for their want of charitie. For otherwise, wee knowe what the Church of England teacheth: namely, that Rom. 3.8. We must not doe euill that good may come thereof. And if the Concil. Late­ran sub. Alex­and. [...] part. 16 tis. de vsuris. cap. 1. Councell of Laterane rightly resolued, that as a man must not lie to saue an other mans life, so he must not lend to vsurie to redéeme [Page 161] a Christian out of the hand of the Turke: then may we easily gather what is to bee iudged of money lent to vsurie for the maintenance of orphanes. And thirdly, it is euident yt if people were as they might, and as they should be, there were other meanes by which orphanes might be prouided for. As Chemnit. loc. com. tom. 2. tit. de paupertate. cap. 6. Contractus redemptionis, contractus societatis: The laying to morgage, the bar­gaining by societie: and such other contracts allowed by lawe, and iustifiable by the worde of God. Wée see that in the dayes of K. Edward, men being more mercifull, and more carefull ouer the poore, then now they are among vs: the orphanes were well and suffi­ciently prouided for, euen when vsurie was altogether and vtterly prohibited. But it is not for vs to dispute what might be done if men would, (for nothing is hard to willing mindes:) but wee are to consider what can now be done, as the times serue, and as men are affe­cted: which was the onely reason no doubt, why they that condemned vsurie in generall, were compelled to exempt that one particular from penaltie. So then by the common and statute lawe of this lande, vsurie is condemned.

Come we now vnto the ciuill lawe, and we shal find that therein also vsurie is prohibited. For the vnder­standing whereof, we are to remember, that the bodie of the ciuill law, is deuided as it were into three parts. The first conteineth the lawes made before the Ro­mane estate became a monarchie: and with them, those lawes which were made after it arose to a monarchie, from the time of Iulius Caesar, vnto the raigne of Con­stantine the great. And these are called Pandectae, the lawes or volumes of the pandects. The second parte containeth those lawes which were made from the time of Constantine, vnto the raigne of Iustinian the Emperor: comprehēding also some of Iustinians lawes. [Page 162] And those be called the Code, or the lawes of the Code. The third containeth the latter lawes made by Iusti­nian: and they be commonly called Nouellae constituti­ones, or Autenticae, The lawes of the Autentiques. Now, it must be cōfessed, that by the Pandects, and the Code, vsurie is not simplie forbidden, Leos §. 1. c. de vsuris. but tolerated and per­mitted vnto a certaine rate. But by the Autentiques, which are the latter lawes, (and so doe abrogate the former) it is euident and manifest that vsurie is alto­gether prohibited. For, Iustinian among other decrées of his, enacted this for a lawe: Constitut. 131. de ecclesi­asticis canoni­bus, & priuile­gijs, &c. vel de ecclesiasticis ti­tulis. Sancimus vt sanctie ec­clesiastici canones, qui à sanctis quatuor concilijs, (hoc est, Niceno decem trecentorum & octo, Constantinopolitano centum quinquaginta doctorum patrum, Ephesino primo, in quo Nestorius condemnatus est, & Calcedonensi, in quo Eu­tiches cum Nestorio anathemate percussus est,) expositi & confirmati sunt, vicem legum obtineant. We decree (saith the Emperour) that the holy ecclesiasticall canons, which were published and confirmed, by the foure holy coun­cels, (that is, by the councell of Nice, consisting of three hundred and eighteene, by the councell of Constantino­ple, consisting of a hundred and fiftie learned fathers, by the first councell of Ephesus, in which Nestorius was con­demned, and by the councell of Calcedon, in which Eu­tiches and Nestorius were both accursed,) shall haue the place, or the power, or the authoritie of lawes ▪ By this constitution of Iustinian, all the decrees of the Councel of Nice, are (among the rest) established and ratified for Autenticall lawes. Now, the councel of Nice con­cluded directly, & expresly against vsurie, in this forme of wordes. Concil. Nicen. cap. 18. Quoniam multi Clerici auaritiae causa tur­pia lucra sectantes, obliti diuini praecepti quo dictum est, (qui pecuniam suam non dedit ad vsuram,) foenerantes, centesi­mas exigunt: statuit hoc sanctum concilium, vt si quis in­uentus fuerit post hanc definitionem vsuras accipere, vel ex [Page 163] quolibet tali negotio turpia lucra sectari, vel etiam species frumentorum ad septuplum dare: omnis qui tale aliquid co­natus fuerit ad quaestum, deijciatur à Clero, & alienus ha­beatur ab ecclesiastico gradu. Because manie Cleargie men following of couetousnes filthie lucre, forgetting the commaundement of God which saith, Psal. 15.5. He that hath not giuen his money to vsurie: exact after ten in the hun­dred: this holy councell enacteth, that if any man shall bee founde to take vsurie after this decree made, or by any such practise to followe filthie lucre, or to put forth anie kind of graine to increase: hee that attempteth any such thing for gaine, shall be cast out of the cleargie, and reckoned as none of any ecclesiasticall degree. Thus did the councell of Nice conclude against vsurie: and Iustinian ratified this with the other canons of that councell for a lawe: therefore by that lawe vsurie is condemned.

Now if any man reply (as happily some will) that the Councell forbiddeth vsurie onely in Ecclesiasticall persons, and so will inferre, that notwithstanding that canon, it is lawfull in the common people: he must knowe that howsoeuer Church men, or Cleargie men, (as we call them) are onely named and specified in that decree: yet because the reason which induced them to enact that Canon is drawen from the worde of God, (for they alledge the words of the Psalmist to that pur­pose:) and the worde of God is a rule and squire, not onely to the Cleargie, but also to the layetie, that is, both to men of the Church, & to men of the Common weale: therefore the receiued iudgement of the lawe and law­yers is, that vsurie is by it forbidden in all estates, de­grées, and callinges of men. So then vsurie is prohi­bited by the ciuill lawe.

And is the Canon law any whit more beneficiall to this trade? Nay: that aboue all the rest damneth it (as [Page 164] we say) euen to the pit of hell. For, the Canons of the Church forbid it vpon great penaltie both in the Cler­gie, and in the Laye people: for so you must giue me leaue to speake now after the manner of Lawyers. In the Clergie. The Canons ascribed to the Apostles say, Canon. A­postol. cap. 43. Episcopus aut Presbyter, aut Diaconus, qui vsuras à mutuum accipientibus exigit, vel desineto, vel deponitor: The Bishop, or Priest, or Deacon which exacteth vsurie of the borower, let him either surcease to do it, or let him bee deposed from his office. The Councell of Arles sayd, Concil. Are­lat. secundum. cap. 14. depositus à clero, à communione alienus habeatur: let him that taketh vsurie, be deposed from the Clergy, and be secluded from the communion. The Coūcell of Car­thage sayd, Concil. Car­thag. 6 cap. 17. Abijciatur à clero, & alienus à Canone sit: let him bee cast out of the Clergie, and secluded from the Canon. A number of other testimonies might be alled­ged, some of which I will be contented onely to quote for breuities sake. Concil. Turonic. 1. cap. 13. Concil. Lao­dicen. cap. 5 Concil. Coloniens. part. 2. cap. 31. All which, with many others, doe strongly inhibite vsurie in the Clergie. And as for the Laytie (by which name they vnderstand all those that are not entered into the ho­ly orders of the Church) against them the constitutiōs and Canons of the law, are yet more seuere. For the law Concil Aele­bert. cap. 20. excommunicateth them, Concil. late­ran. part. 1. cap. 25. debarreth them of the communion, Concil. Lug­dunens. tom. 3. disanulleth their testaments, Statut. Synod. Hildesheimen­si [...]. cap. 46. de­nyeth vnto them Christian buriall, D Wilson. fol 138. permitteth not a Minister to visite them in time of sicknesse, nor any man to bee present at the making of their wils, Ibidem fol. 139. nor any publique Notarie to draw their wils. Ibidem. No the law sayth, no man ought to take care what become of an vsurer, though hee begge his bread, or dye for hunger: because his life is as hatefull as it is abhomi­nable. But among many other thinges, I may not forget that our late English Canons agréed vpon by [Page 165] the Conuocation house for this prouince of Canterbu­ry, Canones aedi­ti Londin. An­no. 1584. cap. 4. do couple vsurie with the most gréeuous sinnes of heresie, schisme, periurie, incest, and Adulterie. And do ordeine that the sentence of excommunication, shall not bee denounced against an vsurer, but by the Arch­bishop, or Bishop, or Archdeacon, or by a Prebendarie at the least, in his owne proper person. Whereby it appeareth, that the authoritie of the Church of Eng­land, would not onely procéede against vsurie accor­ding to the penaltie of the ancient Canons: but would also set such a brande, and a marke vpon the face ther­of, as it might bee noted, and reputed, for a right grée­uous and hainous offence. Thus then we sée, that both the common and statute law of this land on the one side, and the Ciuill, and Canon law on the other side: that is to say, all the authoritie and power both of the common wealth and Church of England, haue forbidden and condemned vsurie. That we may truly say in this respect as he sayd in Plautus: Plautus. Me­stellar. Act. 3.

Nullum aedipol genus hodiè est hominum tetrius,
Nec minus bono cum iure quam Danisticum.

There is not a worser kinde of men liuing, nor any that dealeth with lesse iustice, or equitie, or conscience, or ap­probation of law, then doth the vsurer. Now, we haue heard it declared before, that those which speake most for vsurie, haue notwithstanding submitteth the ap­prouing, the reiecting, the tolerating, the moderating of vsurie, vnto the statutes of seuerall countryes, and the authoritie or determination of the Magistrate. And therefore if the vsurers will stand to their iudge­ments, to whom they are wont to appeale as to their speciall patrons: then certainly, forasmuch as they liue here in a Church and Kingdome, in which vsurie is so generally by all kindes of gouernement prohibited and condemned: they may not be any practisers there­of, [Page 166] of, no not though it were not simply forbidden by the worde of God.

I Come now at length to the shutting vp and conclu­sion of this whole treatise. Seeing we haue learned, not onely what vsurie is, and what are the kindes and branches thereof: but also that it is forbidden in the worde, vpon very great and sufficient reasons, and that it is in so many respects, an vnfit thing to be prac­tised of a christian man: I exhort all those who haue hitherto kept themselues vnspotted of this euill, that so they abide and continue still. And I say to them with our Sauiour Christ in the Reuelation: Apoc. 22.11. He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and hee that is holy, let him be holy still. Partake not the vsurers sinne, lest yee be also partakers of his punishment. Those that haue beene ouertaken with this euill, not seeing (it may be) the iniquitie thereof, I exhort as the Apostle doth the Ephesians, Ephes. 4 28. Let him that stole steale no more: Let him that hath lent to vsurie, lend to vsurie no more▪ Esay. 58.6. Loose the bands of wickednes, take off the heauie burdens: that is, (as Hierome expoundeth it) Hieron com. in Esa. 58. discharge the poore men of their bandes, at the leastwise of their interest, in which and for which they stand bound vnto you. Ease them of that burden, wherewith they are so laden, as a number are dayly puld vpon their knées, yea laid a­long, yea swallowed vp of pouertie. Leaue off that trade, surcease that course: the way to goodnes is ne­uer entered too late. Cyprian sayd well, Cyprian. ser. de passione Christi. Nec in vlti­mis Dei clementia poenitentes excludit: The mercie of God excludeth not them that repent at the last houre. Cyprian. ser. de Coena D [...] ­min [...]. Nec serum est quod verum, nec irremissibile quod voluntarium: The repentance is neuer too late that is done in trueth, neither is that repentance without pardon which is wil­lingly done. But if any man bee so farre gone in this [Page 167] disease, that he is past recouerie, and his heart is so far hardened, as it cannot be pearced with the worde: to him I say as it is in the Reuelation, Apoc. 22 1 [...]. He that is vniust, let him be vniust still: and he which is filthie, let him be fil­thie still. Continue in thine euill, delight in thine e­uill, blesse thy selfe in thine euill. But withall, take yt which followeth in the same place, as a stinge in the taile: Apoc. 22.12. And beholde I come shortly, and my reward is with me, to giue euery man according as his workes shall bee ▪ It is not long, before the Lord Iesus wil come against thee in iudgement, either particularly at the day of thy death, or generally in the end of the world. And then, that God who hath promised that, Psal. 15.1.5. Hee which giueth not his money to vsurie shall dwell in his tabernacle, and rest in his holy mountaine: He will take thée that doest the contrary, and cast thee into a cleane contrary place, euen into vtter darkenes, where shall be weeping and gnashing of téeth.

And because the nature of worldly men is such, that the losse of their goodes will rende their hearts in peices, when the feare of the losse of heauen will not once stirre their affections: therefore let mee end my speech to them, with that sentence of Salomon, where with I began this treatise: Pro. 28.8. He that increaseth his riches by vsurie and interest, gathereth them for him that will be mercifull to the poore. If God be true and this be the word of God, let them feare, that as God tooke the goods Gen. 31.9. of couetous Laban, and gaue them to holy Iacob: so he will take the riches which they haue vn­lawfully gathered, from them, and from their house, and from their children: and will bestow them vpon others, who shall shew themselues better imployers, and disposers of his blessinges. And least this sentence of Salomon should séeme to be a friuolous surmise, and want his due effect, let mee make relation of some ex­amples, [Page 168] which Hemingius a godly and learned man, hath obserued and recorded from his owne experiēce. Heming. com▪ in lac. [...]. He sayth, that when he was a child there were only two vsurers knowne, & of note in the whole kingdome and countrie where he dwelt. One was a man but of meane place, and dwelt in Chersoneso Cimbrica: so hee nameth the place, and I cannot otherwise expresse it, because I know not the countrie. This man grew ex­ceeding rich by lēding vpō vsurie, & died (as it seemeth) leauing abundance of wealth. And yet after his death, the children that he left behinde him fell into extreame pouertie. In so much that a daughter of his was found to haue not so much as a whole coate on her backe to couer her nakednes, and was many times seene, Obire sordidissimum ministerium, To doe most base or vile ser­uice to get her liuing: and yet could not thereby kéep herselfe from beggery. The other vsurer, he saith, was borne of a better house, and had much wealth left him of his auncesters. But, following this trade, & grow­ing very rich thereby: it came to passe that afterwards part of his goodes were confiscated to the crowne, and the rest serued to the maintenance of luxurie, & prodi­galitie. To these I might adde some examples of our owne. And if we were wise to obserue the procéedings of God among vs, it were no harde thing to point out beggarly children that haue discended from vsurarious parentes. But those are more safely commended to your secret meditations, then publiquely detected to the world. This onely let mee admonish you of, that as you tender the continuance of that wealth which you loue so well, and as you desire to reserue it to the benefite of your posteritie: so haue a speciall care not to increase it by vsurie and interest, lest God translate it from you to another family, and make you to gather it for him, that will be mer [...]full vnto the poore.

[Page 159]Last of all, sith the sword is committed to the Ma­gistrate that the euil may feare, & sith he is the minister of God for the suppressing of sinne: let me exhort him, that hee bend the point and edge of his authoritie, to­wards the throate of this vniust and vncharitable pra­ctise. Yee knowe that by the statute, Statut. Anno 13. Elisab. ca. 8 Iustices of Oyer and Terminer, and Iustices of assises in their circuites, Iustices of peace in their Sessions, Mayors, Sherifes, and Baylifes of Cities, haue full power and authoritie to inquire, heare, and to determine of the mayne breaches of this lawe, touching the offence of vsurie. Let it ne­uer be reported in the generations to come, that vsurie hath in our time gone away vncontrouled by authori­tie, or that Magistrates herein haue borne the sworde in vaine, or that the countrie hath not been in this case benefited by their gouernment. And the ecclesiasti­call gouernours I exhorte, that sith the same statute hath giuen them libertie also to punish and to censure the extremitie of this euill: they would bend them­selues and their strength, to suppresse this vnchristian, this heathenish, this Iewish kinde of practise. It was the complaint of the commons in Fraunce, Bertrand. contra Petrum de Coniers in Bibliothec. Pa­trum tom. 5. colum. 889. that the Officials were too strict, and too busie, and too gripple in inquiring after vsurie: and that for couetousnes of his goods they would conuent euery man for an vsurer, and drawe him within the compasse of that default. But certainely, it may be the complainte of the com­mons of England, that many Officials are too loose and remisse in pursuing of this offence. No man is presen­ted, no man is ascited, no man is conuicted, no man is punished euer since I could remember, by the ecclesi­asticall lawe for the committing of vsurie. And yet the poore people euery where complaine of a number of men, that by one meanes or other take aboue the rate of tenne, yea of twentie in the hundred: the punish­ment [Page 170] of which excesse, the statute hath flatly permit­ted vnto the ecclesiasticall gouernours. And certaine­ly the dayly growth and increase of this euill seemeth for to argue, that both Diuines, and Lawyers, both preachers in the church, and gouernors of the church haue beene too sparing, the one in reprouing, the other in punishing and suppressing this enormitie. Luther sayd, Luthe. de taxanda. vsu­ra. tom. 7. Illi qui in scholis profitentur, diligenter haec inuen­tuti inculcare debebant: They which are publique pro­fessors in schooles, should beate vpon these points dili­gently, to the youth that are their auditors. Et illi qui in foro causas agunt litigatores, diligenter & seriò hac de re debebant monere & edocere. And they that handle causes in the courts, should diligently and earnestly admonish and instruct the people of this matter. Yea, hee would haue schoolemasters to teach their schollers while they are children, to detest and abhorre the very name of vsurie. But now, while men are neither taught to leaue this sinne, nor punished for the committing of this sinne: each man takes libertie to doe herein that which is right in his owne eyes, yea which is gaine­full to his owne purse. As if there were no king in Is­raell, that is, as if there were no gouernement, nei­ther in the Church, nor common weale of England. But thanked bee God there is gouernement in both: and that gouernement which I hope will bee hereaf­ter more vigilant in this case. To conclude: my fel­low ministers I exhort, that they lift vp their voices as trumpets, and tell the people of this sinne. Heming. in lac. 5. Non tamen sine spirituali prudentia: Yet not without spirituall wisdome: which may direct vs, when, and where, and to whom, and in what manner to speake of this ar­gument. But let vs take héede that wisdome quench not our zeale, and while wee will become too discrete, we forget how forward we should bée in reprouing of [Page 171] euill. If we be instant in admonition this way to the people, and then séeke vnto God for a blessing vpon our labours: it may be that our owne eyes may sée in our time the languishing and decaying of this offence, to the glory of God, and the benefite of his Church. To which God be honour, and to which Church be peace both now and euer. Amen.

The ende of the sixt Sermon prea­ched Iulij. 2. 1593.
Barnard. serm. 61. in Cant.‘Meritum meum Miseratio Domini.’
M. M.

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