Psalm. 15. 1, 5.
Lord, who shall dwell in thy Taber­nacle? He that giueth not his mo­ny vnto vsurie, nor taketh rewarde against the innocent.
Basilius in Psal. 14.
Animalia pariendo desinunt, cum foetus ipsorum parere incipiunt; argentum vero foeneratoris tam antiquum quam nouum parit.

LONDON Printed by Valentine Symmes. 1596

To the right Wor­shipfull sir Thomas Egerton knight, the worthie master of the Rolles.

TRuly wrote the elect vessel of our Lord Iesus,1. Cor. 10. v. 11. that vpon vs are come the ends of the world. For as Christ tolde vs, we see,Matth. 24. v. 12. that in this last age Charitie waxeth cold, that iniquitie hath got­ten the vpper hand. Now pietie is dee­med follie; now scurrilitie is reputed brauerie; now fidelitie is iudged vani­tie; now periurie is thought skilfull pollicie; now charitie is termed hypocrisie; now deceitful dealing is highly commended, and treason practised euery where;2. Sam. 17. v. 1 [...] now craftie Achitophels are much esteemed, and faithfull Chusaies little or nothing at all regarded.Psal. 12. v. 1. Now haue wee neede to exclame with Gods an­nointed Prophet, Help Lord, for good and godly men do perish and decay; nowe faith and trueth from worldly men is parted cleane away. Now, now, is nothing more frequent with the rich men of this world, than to writhe about the neckes of their poore neighbours, and to impouerish them with the filthie lucre of Vsurie. Which Vsurie is this day amiably embraced of innu­merable; and so magnified of many, that they blush not wiih bra­sen faces to defend it, and to terme it a lawfull contract. Yea, some are so rauished with this kind of impietie, that they haue sold their inheritance, and thereby prouided a stocke of money; which they lend out continually for this filthie lucre, to the vt­ter vndoing of their honest needie neighbours. In regard here­of, that all Vsurers may behold the turpitude of their dishonest lucre, and once haue true internall remorce for the same (if it wil please our merciful God to bestow it on them) I haue accor­ding to the measure of my smal talent, imploied seriously my ear­nest study, care, and industrie, in compiling this succinct and plaine Treatise. Your Worships zeale in Gods true religion; [Page] your painefull seruice in her Maiesties affaires; your cheere­full countenance towards all loyall subiects; your sincere pro­ceeding in all maner of iustice, aswel in the behalfe of the poo­rest as of the rich; your rare great affection to all painefull la­bourers in Christs vineyard; and especially your wonderfull kindnesse, your vnspeakeable curtesies, and other your manifold benefites towards my seely selfe the meanest of many thousands; haue worthily deserued farre better things, both of others and at my hands. Your worship I know, delighteth not to heare these commendations, though in deede (absit verbo adulatio) they be farre inferiour to your condigne deserts. For as it is truely said, they are best worthie of true praise, that least desire the same. I therefore, though not able to render condigne compen­sation for your manifold goodnes to me wards; do humbly pre­sent vnto your Worship, that which I may, and as I can; that is, this my vnpolished Speculation, as an infallible argument of my ready gratefull minde, if power were correspondent vnto will. Accept the gift I pray you heartily in good part, as if it were a better thing: so commending your Worship, and all your acti­ons, words, and thoughts to the grace of our good God, I humbly take my leaue. From my study this 18. of March 1595.

Your Worships euer to command, THOMAS BELL.

❧Of the essence, nature, and definition of Vsurie.

The first Chapter.

BEfore I come to the precise description or definition of Vssurie, I must require thee (gentle reader) to obserue two things with mee. First, that it is one thing to 1 speake of vsurie it selfe, an other thing to speake of the sinne of it. Secondly,2 that these words are fitly and plainely di­stinguished in the Latine tongue;A distinction very necessary to be obser­ued. to wit, cōmodatum, locatum, and mutuum, which are confounded in our English tongue, and taken onely for loane or the thing that is lent. When therfore and so often as I shall speake of loane or the thing lent, my meaning euer is to speake of that loane, or of that thing lent, which is called in latine mutuum. which I heere admonish once for all; to auoid confusion and tedious repetition, in this my discourse following.

The sinne of vsurie,The definition of vsurie. is the exacting, intending, or receiuing of the vsurie, or of that gaine which is giuen for the loane. Usurie it selfe is that gaine, which is exacted or principally in­tended for the loane of our money, or of other things estimable with money.

I say first, (exacted,) because a thing giuen voluntarily 1 in the way of gratitude,A deformed adiunct. is not vsurie; neither doth it make the receiuer to be an vsurer, if it haue not a deformed adiunct.

I say secondly, (principally intended) because gaine in­tended 2 secondarily doth not make vsurie, nor him that desireth it to be an vsurer; though the principal intention of it be inough for mentall vsurie, as shall appeare hereafter.

I say thirdly, (of money, or things estimable with money)3 because vsurie may be aswell committed in other things as in money, although many of the vulgar sort, and some also that otherwise bee learned; seeme not so to conceiue the matter. This definition of vsurie, may be euidently prooued out of the holy Scriptures in the olde and newe Testament; as also by the vniforme consent of the ancient Fathers, and by [Page] the constitutions made in councels of best approoued antiqui­tie. Which thing shal be prooued copiously, in the next Chap­ter following.

Of the deformitie and great sinne of Vsurie. Chap. 2.

WHen I consider Gods holy will reuealed in his sacred word, the manifold testimonies of the ancient fathers, and the decrees of approoued Synods; I cannot but admire the condition of many in these our daies; who are so farre from condemning vsurie, that they doe not onely practise it, but without blushing defend the same, as an honest and lawfull thing. I will therefore by Gods holy assistance, so discouer the curpitude of filthie vsurie by three seueral testimonies; as eue­ry childe may with facilitie, behold how grieuous a sinne it is.

The first distinction, of the testimonie of the holy Scriptures.

THe first place of my first proofe, is taken out of the booke of Exodus in these words: Exod. 22. v. 25. If thou lend money to my people, that is, to the poore with thee, thou shalt not bee an vsurer to him: ye shall not oppresse him with vsurie.

The second place is conteined in Leuiticus, in these expresse words: Leuit. 25. v. 35. 36. If thy brother be impouerished, and fallen in decay with thee, thou shalt relieue him: thou shalt take no vsu­rie of him, nor vantage, but thou shalt feare thy God, that thy brother may liue with thee.

The third place is taken out of the Psalmes, Psal. 15. v. 1. 5. and these are the words: Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, who shall rest in thine holy mountaine? he that giueth not his mony vnto vsurie, nor taketh reward against the innocent.

The fourth place is in the Prophet Ezechiel, Ezek. 18. v. 13. who writeth in this maner (He that) hath giuen foorth vpon vsurie, or hath taken increase, shall he liue? he shall not liue; seeing he hath done al these abhominations, he shal die the death, and his blood shall be vpon him.

The fift and last place, Luke [...]. v. 35. is taken out of the holy Gospel, in these expresse words: Wherfore loue ye your enemies, & do [Page] good, and lend, not hoping for any gaine, and your reward shalbe great, and ye shalbe the children of the most High.

Out of these texts I note first, that vsurie is a very great sin,1 as which is not only against charitie, but against iustice also.

I note secondly, that no vsurer loueth or feareth God, but 2 seeketh the destruccion of his Christian brother.

I note thirdly, that it is not onely vnlawfull to take or re­quire 3 vsury, but also to wish or desire vsury in our hearts.

I note fourthly, that vsurers cannot dwell in Gods house,4 but that their blood must be vpon them, and they perish euer­lastingly. These annotations are effectually contained in the textes of sacred Scripture alreadie rehearsed. Whosoeuer will peruse them seriously, cannot but conceiue it to be so.

The second distinction, of the testimonie of ancient Councils.

THe ancient councill Elebe [...]tine of some called Granado, decreed against vsurie, aboue one thousand, two hundred, and sixtie yeeres sithence, in the yeere of our Lord God 325. the words are these;Conc. Eleber. can. 20. Si quis clericorum detectus fuerit vsu­ras accipere placuit degradari & abstinere. Si quis etiam lai­cus accepisse probatur vsuras, & promiserit correptus, se iam cessaturum nec vlterius exacturum, placetei veniam tribui, si verò in ea iniquitate durauerit, ab ecclesia sciat se esse proijci­endum If any of the cleargie shall be conuinced to take vsu­rie, then we decree that he shall not onely surcease, but withall he degraded (for his wicked fact.) Yea if a lay man who is knowen to take vsurie, shal after admonition giue it ouer, and deale no longer therewith, the councill is content to pardon him. But if that lay man shall continue in that iniquitie, let him know that the church will excommunicate him, (and deli­uer him vp to satan, as the apostle terms it.) By these words of this holy and ancient council [...] we may see euidently,Joe, vsurie is flat iniquitie in all sorts of people. that v­sury is a grieuous sinne in al sorts of people; and that lay per­sons, who would not surcease from taking vsurie, were puni­shed with excommunication, the most terrible and feareful pu­nishment that can in this life happen [...]nto man.

The famous council of Nice, which was holden in the yere of our Lord God 327. vtterly condemneth vsurie, as a thing [Page] prohibited by the expresse word of God. These are the words; Quoniam multi clerici auaririae causa t [...]rpia lucra sectantes, Conc. Nicen. can. 18. obliti sunt diuini praecepti (quo dictum est: qui pecuntam suam non dedit ad vsuram) foenerantes centesimas exigunt, statuit hoc sanctum concilium, vt si quis innentus fuerit, post hanc definitio­nem vsuras accipere, vel ex quolibet tali negotio turpia lucra sectari, veletiam species frumentorum ad septuplum dare: omnis qui tale aliquid conatus fuerit ad quaestum, deijciatur a clero, & alienus ab ecclesiasticohabeatur gradú. Because many of the cleargie,Behold, vsurie is directly a­gainst Gods commande­ment. while they are couetous and folow after filthy gaine, do forget Gods holy precept (which pronounceth him blessed that hath not giuen his money vnto vsurie,) and giuing foorth vpon vsurie, require the hundred part; this holy councell de­creeth, that if any be found after this constitution, to take vsury, or to followe vnhonest gaine of any such marchandise, or els to giue to the seuenth part their kinds of corne; let euery one that shall attempt any such thing for gaine, bee cast out from the cleargie, and be remooued from ecclesiasticall function.

1 Out of these wordes I note first, that vsurie is here pro­nounced to bee against Gods word, as it was before by the councell Elebertine.

2 I note secondly, that this holy Synod assigned sharpe pu­nishment, for such as receiued vsurie.

3 I note thirdly, that the Fathers of this councell, terme vsurie an vnhonest and filthie gaine.

4 I note fourthly, that this sacred Synod acknowledgeth vsu­rie not onely in money, but euen in corne and other things.

The ancient councell of Arles the first,Conc. 1. celebrated about the same time,Arelat. with the former Synods, taught the selfe same doc­trine in these wordes;can. 12. de ministris qui foenerantur, placuit, eos iuxta formam diuinitus datam, a communione abstinere. concer­ning the ministers which are vsurers, we decree that they shall absteine from the holy Communion, euen as it is appointed by God. Lo, God himselfe doth so lothe and detest vsurie, that he will haue no vsurers to receiue his holy Communion.

The third councell of Carthage, Conc. 3. which was holden in the yeere of our Lord, 400.Carthag. condemneth vsurie as the other coun­cels did before it.can. 16.

The third distinction, of the testimonie of the aun­cient fathers.

VSurie is so condemned by all approoued writers of anti­quitie; as no one auncient father can be named, who euer wrote one worde in defence of it: neuerthelesse, very many of the holy fathers, haue in large maner discouered that filthy lu­cre; of which number, I will now content my selfe with a few.

Lactantius Firmianus of this matter writeth in this maner;Lactantius lib. 6. diuinar. intit. cap. 18. Pecuniae, si quam crediderit, non accipiet vsuram; vt & bene­ficium sit incolume quod succurrit necessitati, & abstineat se prorsus alieno. in hoc enim genere officij debet suo esse contentus, quem oportet ne proprio quidem parcere, vt bonum faciat; plus autem accipere quam dederit, iniustum est quod qui facit, insi­diatur quodammodo, vt ex alterius necessitate praedetur: If a man lend any money, he must not take vsurie for the same; as­well to make the benefit safe and sound which relieueth neces­sitie, as to keepe himselfe free from another mans goods. for in this kinde of seruice, he must be content with his owne; who is bound not to spare his owne, that so he may doe good; but to take more then he gaue,Usuris is flat theft and [...] ­to [...]ion. is a thing vniust. which who so doth, worketh by deceit, that so he may make a pray of another mans necessitie. Out of these golden words of this auncient writer, who liued aboue 1200. yeeres agoe, I note first, that whosoe­uer 1 taketh vsurie, taketh another mans right from him.

I note secondly, that to receiue more then was giuen, is v­surie 2 and iniustice. and consequently, that all surplussage which we take for the loane, is another mans and not our owne.

I note thirdly, that all vsurers deale deceitfully, and make a 3 pray of their neighbours miserie.

Saint Basill, Basilius in Psal. 14. ser. [...], tom. 1. reputed so excellent a diuine that he was surna­med (magnus) the great, doeth so liuely paint out vsurers in their deserued colours; as all hearts that are not of flint or iron wil be mollified with one only recitall of the same: these there­fore are his wordes; Nam Ezechiel in maximis ponit malis foe­nus, & plus quàm sortem accipere, & lex illud luculenter pro­hibet. Sequitur auarus autem videns inopem necessitate co­actum ad genua sua supplicem procumbentem, ecquid non ab­iectum [Page] facientem? quid non loquentem? non miseretur illius, vtut praeter decorum se supplicem exhibeat, communem non co­gitat naturam, humilibus supplicationibus nihil cedit, sed im­mobilis implacabilisque consistens, & nec precibus vincitur nec lachrymis mollitur, sed negando perseuerat: iurat insuper at­que protestatur sese omnino carere pecunia, & quaerere si quem ipse faeneratorem inueniat, ac mendacio fidem per iur amentum faciens, iniquae & inhumanae mercaturae impudens periurium addit; postquam vero conspicit miserum illum meminisse faenor i [...] poeturamque sortis vltro offerentem, supercilium remittere ac subridere incipit; tunc demum amicitiae paternae recordatur, & familiarem & amicum appellat. videamus inquit, si quid nobis restat depositi argenti: est n. amic [...] hominis depositum quoddam apud nos, vnde quaestum ille facit, grauéque foenus nobis impo­suit. nos vero ex hoc detrahemus, longéque minore tibi dabi­mus. For (the Prophet Ezechiel) placeth vsurie and all that is more then the principall, amongst the greatest sinnes; and the Law doth expresly forbid the same. But the couetous man seeing the poore man enforced with necessitie, fallen prostrate at his feete, making humble sute vnto him, abacing himselfe in all kinde of seruilitie, doeth not for all that extend any com­passion towards him, howesoeuer hee submit him selfe more then seemely order would require; he remembreth not the na­ture common to them both,Beholde the expresse prac­tise of vsurers. this day in England. he giueth no place to humble re­quest, he remaineth immoueable and implacable, he is neither ouercome with prayers, nor mollified with teares▪ but still continueth in deniall. Besides this he sweareth and protesteth that hee hath no money at all, but that himselfe seeketh, where to finde an vsurer; and so swearing falshood to be trueth, he ad­deth impudent periurie to naughtie and cruell merchandise: yet so soone as the silly poore man maketh mention of vsurie, and willingly offereth the ouerplus aboue the principall, he a­bateth his sowre councenance, and beginneth to smile; then at the length hee remembreth paternall amitie, and calleth him neighbour and friend. let vs see sayth he, if there remaine any money,O wicked greedines ioy­ned with false­hood and hy­pocrisie. of that which was left in our hands. For a friend of mine left a piece of money with me, whereof he vseth to make a gaine, and hath imposed a great interest vpon vs; yet wee [Page] will subtract a piece of it, and let you haue it farre bet­ter cheape.

Out of these wordes of this holy, learned, and auncient fa­ther, I note first, that vsurie is prooued out of holy writ, to be 1 one of the greatest sinnes. So sayth S. Basill, so sayth the holy Prophet Ezechiel.

I note secondly, that vsurers are vnmercifull and very cru­ell 2 men, that they take pleasure in the miserie of the poore, and will haue no compassion on them.

I note thirdly, that vsurers be lyars and periured persons; 3 as who by ioyning periurie to leasing, seeke to increase their sauage and brutish dealing.

I note fourthly, that howsoeuer vsurers protest and sweare 4 that they haue no money; yet so soone as excessiue filthy gaine is promised by their needy neighbours, they graunt they haue inough in store: neuerthelesse, to hide their guilefully painted hypocrisie, they say it is their friends, and not their owne.

Saint Ambrose doeth no lesse exclaime against vsurie, then you haue heard already out of Saint Basil. Yea, he hand­leth no other matter throughout many Chapters of a large booke; some fewe wordes onely I will alledge, by which the Reader may haue an indifferent coniecture of the rest: these are the wordes;Ambrosius libr. dd Tobis, caa. 3. tom. 4. Numeratur pecunia, addicitur libertas, ab­soluitur miser minore debito, minore ligatur. Talia sunt vestra diuites beneficia: minus datis, & plus exigitis. Talis humanitas, vt spolietis etiā dum subuenitis: foecundus vobis etiā pauper est ad qu [...]stum Vsurarius est egenus cogentibus vobis habet quod reddaet, quod impendat, non habet. Misericordes plane viri quem alij absoluitis, vobis addicitis. vsuras soluit, qui victu indiget; an quicquam grauius? ille medicamentum quaerit, vos offer­tis venenum. Panem implorat, gladium porrigitis: liberta­tem obsecrat, seruitutem irrogatis. absolutionem praecatur, informis laquie nodum stringitis. Money is tolde, libertie is solde, the silly poore man is quit of the lesse debt, and fast boūd to the greater. Such (O rich men) are your benefits, you giue lesse,O intollerable iniquitie. and exact more; such is your humanitie, that while you seeme to helpe a man, you spoyle him vtterly. Your profit is wrought, euen by the poore man vnto your gaine. the vsurer [Page] is needie. by your exaction hee hath something to restore, but plaine nothing to bestowe. You are doubtlesse mercifull men. whom you make free to others, those you make bondmen to your selues. hee payeth vsurie, that hath not whereon to liue. can any thing be a more grieuous sinne? hee seeketh for a me­dicine, you giue him poyson. he asketh bread, you giue him a sword. he prayeth to haue libertie, you bring him into seruilitie. he desireth to be loosed, you tye a knot on the corde.

Saint Chrysostome reputeth the vsurer,Chrysost. in cap. 21. Mat. hom. 38. tom. 2. p. 999. for the most cruell and abiect caitife in the world, thus doeth he write; Qui autem comparat rem, vt illam ipsam integram & immutatam dando lucaretur; ille est mereator, qui de templo Dei eijcitur. vnde, su­per omnes mercatores plus maledictus est vsurarius. si. n. qui rem comparatam vendit, mercator est & maledictus; quantò ma­gis maledictus erit, qui non comparatam pecuniam. sed a Deo donatam sibi, dat ad vsuram? secundò, quia mercator dat rem, vt iam illam non repetat; iste autem postquam foenerauerit, & sua iterum repetit, & alienae tollit cum suis. Hee that proui­deth a thing to gaine, by giuing it entire and vnchaunged, is that merchant that is cast out of the temple of God.A fine epithi­ton for the v­surer. Where­fore more accursed is the vsurer then all merchants in the world. for if he that selleth the thing he hath, be a merchant, and accursed; how much more shall he be accursed, that giueth to vsurie not the money he hath gotten, but that which God gaue him. againe, because the merchant giueth the thing ne­uer henceforth to receiue it againe; but the vsurer after he hath lent his money, both taketh his owne againe, and other mens with his owne.

S. Augustine is in this point as in all other things,August. in psa. 36. conc. 3. briefe, pithy, and sweete: these are his words; Nolo sitis foeneratores, & ideo nolo, quia Deus non vult: nam si ego nolo, & Deus vult, agite. si autem Deus non vult, etiamsi ego vellem, malo suo age­ret qui ageret. Vnde apparet Deum hoc nolle. Dictum est alio lo­co, qui pecuniam suam non dedit ad vsuram. Et quàm dete­stabile sit, & quàm odiosum, quàm execrandum, puto quia & ipsi foeneratores nouerunt. I will not haue you to be vsurers, and therefore will not I, because God wil not. for though I will not, yet if God wil, yee may doe it. but if God will not [Page] then although I would, yet should he do it to his own harme, that would do it. But how do we know, that God wil it not: because it is said in another place; He that hath not giuen his mony to vsurie. Now how detestable, how odious & execrable a thing it is, I thinke the vsurers themselues do know.

S. Hierome the most excellent and skilfull clarke, is in this point consonant to the rest,Hieron. libr. 6. in 18. cap. Ezee. these are his expresse words; Respondeat nobis breuiter foenerator misericors, vtrum habenti dede­rit, an non habenti Si habenti, vtique dare non debuerat, sed de­dit quasi non habenti. Ergo quare plus exigit quasi ab habente? alij pro pecuniae foenerata, solent munuscula accipere diuersi ge­neris; & non intelligunt vsuram appellari, & superabundanti­am, quicquid illud est, si ab eo quod dederint plus acceperint▪ Let the merciful vsurer [...] answere me, whether he lent to him that had, or to him that wanted: If to him that had, he doubt­les should not haue done it; but he gaue it as to one that had not, therefore why doth he exact more, as of one that hath? O­thers for lent money vse to take gifts of another kind; and they vnderstand not that vsurie is termed that surplusage or ouer­plus whatsoeuer it be that they take more than they gaue. To these Fathers, the testimonie of S. Bernard Guerricus shall be added for a complement;Bernard. Gue [...]. in epist. [...]. in fine oper. Bernas. Clareuall. these are his words: melius est gra­uem pati famen, quàm patrimonii venditionem: sed melius est partem vendere, quàm se vsuris subiicere. Quid est vsura? ve­nenum patrimonii. Quid est vsura legis? latropraecedens quod intendit: it is better to suffer great famine, then to sell thy pa­trimonie, yet is it better for thee to sel a peece of it, then to liue in the bondage of vsury. What is vsurie? The poison of our patrimony. What is the vsurie of the law? A thiefe going before that that he intends to do. S. Bernard Clareuallensis compa­reth vsurers with theeues and hypocrites, and saith, that they be vnworthy the name of Christians;Bernat. epist. 322 these are the words: Sicu­bi desunt Iudaei peius iudaizare dolemus christianos foenerato­res, si tamen christianos & non magis baptizatos Iudaeos conue­nit appellari: if the Iewes be wanting in any place, christians that be vsurers (a pitifull case) are found to surpasse them in Iudaisme; if it be that we may terme them Christians, and not rather baptized Iewes.

Of the difference betweene Viurie and other lawful contracts of lending. Chap. 3.

FOr the exact vnderstanding of this chapter wee must ob­serue 1 first, how commodatum differeth from locatum: com­modatum is, when we lend a thing to a certaine day, not re­quiring any price or consideration for the loane.

2 We must obserue secondly, that locatum is, when we lend a thing to a certain day, requiring a certain price or considera­tion for the same.

3 We must obserue thirdly, that as I saide in the beginning of the first chapter these three wordes, commodatum, locatum, & mutuum, are confounded in our vulgar tongue, and that mu­tuum is euen as locatum, The difference betweene mu­tuum and loca­tum. when we lend a thing to a certaine day, requiring a certaine price or consideration for the same. But the difference is this, because in locato, we keepe still the dominion and proprietie of the thing which wee lend; but in mutuo, the dominion and proprietie of the thing lent, [...] tran­slated from vs to him that borroweth the same. This obser­uation ought neuer to be forgotten.

4 We must obserue fourthly, that of things some be con­sumptible, and some inconsumptible: inconsumptible things are those, in which we can separate the vse from the dominion and proprietie of the thing: consumptible things are those, in which the dominion is transferred together with the vse. Whereupon it commeth, that when wee lend thinges incon­sumptible with the vse;Things con­sumptible and things incon­sumptible. as our horses, our oxen, our kine, our sheepe, and such like; we may take competently for the loane, vse, or increase of the same; because after the loane of such things, the dominion and propriety of the same, stil remaineth in our selues. Contrariwise it falleth out, in things consump­tible with the vse; because the dominion and proprietie of such things which before was in our selues, passeth from vs to the borrowers, ipso facto with the loane thereof. Such things are mony, wine, a [...]e, beere, bread, oile, corne, and the like. For in these things it is impossible to separate the vse from the domi­nion of the thing it selfe: and consequently, whensoeuer ye lend me any such thing, ipso facto yee change the propertie of the thing, and make me the owner and lord of the same.

[Page] We must obserue fiftly, that money is a thing which of it 5 owne nature is barraine and fruitlesse, and so can neuer yeeld any commoditie, vnlesse it be by the industrie of man.

We must obserue sixtly, that we may speake of mony two 6 maner of waies; to wit, materially and formally. It is taken formally, when it is vsed according to the first institution, for honest and necessarie permutation,Formally and materially. as the rule and measure of things to be solde. And when mony thus taken is lent, the do­minion & propriety is euer altered with the loane. It is taken materially: when it is lent to be giuen for a pledge, for osten­tation, & other like intents, so as the selfesame numero must be restored. The vse and commoditie of these obseruations & di­stinctions, wil appeare throughout the chapters folowing.

Of the obiect of vsurie, that is, of the matter and things in which vsurie is com­mitted. Chap. 4.

MAny thinke that vsurie consisteth in the loane of mony on­ly; but they are grosely deceiued, in that their imaginati­on. For it chanceth so often as any thing is taken for the loane in what kind of things soeuer. This I will proue manifestly, as well by the scriptures, as by the holy fathers.

Touching the Scripture,Ezech. 18. v. 17. the first place is in Ezechiel, in these wordes; Neither hath receiued vsurie nor increase: where the word (increase) may be supplied as well to other things as to mony.

The second place maketh this matter a little plainer,Leuit. 25. v. 37. these are the words; Thou shalt not giue him thy mony to vsu­rie, nor lend him thy vitailes for increase. Loe, not only the increase of money, but of vittailes also is prohibited.

The third place is in Deuteronomie, Deut. 23. v. 19. so plaine and so eui­dent, as no man be he neuer so subtile, can by any colour auoid the same: these are the words; Thou shalt not giue to vsury to thy brother; as vsurie of money, vsury of meate, vsury of any thing that is put to vsurie.

Concerning the fathers,Hier. in 18. cap. Ezech. libr. 6. S. Hierom writeth in this maner, Putant quidam vsuram tantum esse in pecunia: quod praeuidens scriptura diuina, omni rei aufert super abundantiam: vt plus [Page] non recipias, quam dedisti. Solent in agris frumenti, & milij, vini, & olei caeter arumque specierum vsurae exigi, siue vt ap­pellat sermo diuinus abundantiae. Some men thinke that vsu­ry is only in mony; which the holy scripture foreseeing, takes away the superabendance of euery thing; that thou receiue no more then that which thou gauest. They are woont to exact vsury, or as holie Writ termeth it, ouerplus, of corne, millet, wine,Vsurie is one­ly in things consumptible with the vse. oile, and other things. Behold here, how vsurie is in al such thinges, as are consumptible with the vse. For in other things vsurie can haue no place. Let the Reader marke well my words, and vnderstand and perfectly what I say.

S. Austen hath these wordes,August in psal. 36. conc. 3. Non pecuniam solam sed ali­quid plus quam dedisli, siue illud triticum sit, siue vinum, siue o­leum, siue quodlibet aliud, si plus quam dedisti expectas acci­pere, foeneratores. If thou expect to receiue more then thou ga­uest, not only mony, but any thing more then thou didst giue, whether it be wheat, or wine, or oile, or whatsoeuer else, thou art an vsurer. Thus writes this holy & learned father, whose words are so plaine, as no glose is needfull for the same.

S. Ambrose writeth in this maner;Ambros. libr. de Tob. cap. 14. Et esca vsura est, & ve­stis vsura est, & quodeunque sorti accedit. vsura est. Quod velis ei nomen imponas. vsura est. Si licitum est, cur vocabulum refu­gis? cur velamen obtexis? si illsicitum est, cur incrementum re­quiris? quod peius est, hoc vitium plurimorium est, & maxime diuitum quibus hoc nomine instruuntur cellaria. Both meat is vsurie, and thy garment is vsurie, and it is vsurie, whatsoe­uer is more than the principalll. Giue it what name thou wilt, it is vsury. If it be lawfull, why dost thou refuse the name? why dost thou hide it with a vaile: if it be vnlawfull, why dost thou require more then thou gaues? And which is worse, ma­ny haue this fault, specially rich men, whose storehouses are furnished with the name. Lo, not only mony, but meat, come, garments, and what things else soeuer, is flat vsury; if anie thing aboue the principall be exacted for the loane.

Of the seueral kinds of Vsurie, and their proper adiuncts. Chap. 5.

THere be two kinds of vsurie,Vsurie mental and reall to wit, mentall vsurie, and v­surie reall.

[Page] Mentall vsurie is, when one wisheth or expecteth ouerplus for the loane, but doeth not exact the same by any externall word or couenant. This kind is not subiect to restitution.

Reall vsurie is of two sorts, to wit, manifest, and palliate: manifest vsurie reall is, when surplussage is exacted for the loane, by expresse words of couenant: and this kind is not only a damnable sinne, but also bindeth to restitution.

Palliate vsurie reall is, when more then the principall is exacted for the loane, yet not by expresse and plaine termes, but in a secret and bid kind of bargaining. This palliate vsu­rie is a very detestable sinne, and bindeth the receiuer to resti­tution, although it be this day frequent (alas for pitie) in all kind of bargaining.Note this point well. For, howe often soeuer the seller selleth better cheape, because he receiueth the money before hand; or dearer, because he forbeareth his money till a day; so often doubtlesse is this palliate vsurie committed, and the ouerplus indeede exacted for the loane of the money. Prouided euer, vnlesse the day be to his hinderance.

The example of the former, to wit, when things are solde better cheape for hauing the money before hand.

An honest poore neighbour being in great distresse, com­meth to a rich couetous miser, & desireth to borrow some mo­ney for a time.The craftie dealing of the vsurer. Wel (saith the couetous man) you want mony, but you haue that which I would buy, and if not, you may prouide it to serue my turne. What shall I giue you for so many bushelles of corne, to be deliuered at such a day, and you shal haue present money to serue your neede? and because the poore man must needs haue money in hand, such is his neces­sitie, the rich man, (though he will not in precise termes exact more money and manifest vsurie, because he would not be reputed an vsurer) yet doth he enforce his poore neighbour, on whome he ought by Gods lawes to haue compassion, to sell his goods at vnder value, and that he doth indeede for the very lone of his mony. For first the poore man might as well 1 haue giuen him more mony in the kind, as for to prouide him come at his day and rated price.

2 Secondlie, the poore manwould not haue beene bound 2 to prouide corne at his day and price to his great losse and do­mage, if by any reasonable meane, he could haue prouided mo­ny in his need.

[Page] 3 Thirdly the ouerplus of the corne indeed,Note that this corne is vsualy bought of them, that haue none to deliuer, which is too too abo­minable. was onely er­acted for the loane of the money (fle vppon al craftie vsurie.) For otherwise, he should and would haue granted the lone of the money freely, vntil the day in which he shoul [...] receiue the corne. And withal he ought to haue taken the corne by the cur­rent price of the market, and not as his couetous mind did de­signe. Some couetous wretches deale more subtil it, but no lesse wickedlie. For example, a poore man came n [...]t long si­thence, to a rich man, whom my selfe know, and his vsual ma­ner of dealing, (the man shal here be nameles, though neither before God nor the world blameles) and desiredt a borrow, 33. s 4. d. You haue a mare quoth th [...]e rich man, I wil giue ye so much for her: alas, saith the poore man, I may not forgoe her, for she is the best part of my poore liuing. Wel, the rich man concluded,What heart wil not lament such dealing? he would buy the mare for fiue nobls, & sel her againe to the poore man for seuen nobles, with a yeere day for the payment, in which bargaine the poore man gaue no vsury, saue only two nobles for the loane of fiue: for which increase of money, the poore man kept still his owne mare in his owne hand:1. Ioan. 3. v. 17. but alas, how did this rich man loue his poore [...]eighbor as himselfe? I wil say no more herein, but that which Christs Apostle said before me: he that seeth his brother neede, and shutteth vp his bowels of compassion from him, how dwel­leth the loue of God in him? this vsurer departed out of this life, euen while I wrote these things, whose sodain death with the circumstances thereof, may be a warning to all numerci­ful vsurers: the example of the latter, to wit, when thngs are sold dearer, for want of present payment.

A poore man commeth to his rich neighbour,God help the poore, and comforteth them in their miserie. to buy such things as he hath present neede to vse, here the richer sort, spe­cially the marchants, take great pleasure in oppressing the poore, in their most pittiful neede. Wil yee buy of mee, saith the rich man, for present money, or to a certaine day? and whē the poore man answereth, that he must needs haue it til a day: then the rich man valueth his wares at such an high price, as he extorteth most grieuous vsurie for the loane: for the forhea­rance of the money, is the sole cause of the surplussage in the price.

The first obiection.

IF two rich men haue this yeere diuers opinions, concer­ning the price of corne, and he that thinketh it wil be dearer the next yeare, shall giue to him that thinketh it wil be chea­per xx. pounds presentlie for [...] much corne to be deliuered then, as he ran now buy for [...], that kind of dealing is no vsurie at all, albeit the corne▪ nay then perhaps be sold for xxx. pounds: therefore it seemeth lawful to sel corne at a lesser price, for the paiment of money before hand.

The answere.

1 I say first, that vsurie is neuer committed, (as is already proued) saue then onelie, when ouerplus is exacted for the loane.

2 I say secondly, that in the case proper [...]ded in the obiecti­on, there is no loane of money at [...], neither expressed, nor yet palliate: the reason is this, because as well the buyer as the seller, exposeth himselfe to a meere [...]uall euent: for whether corn wil then be cheaper or dearer, neither of thē twain can tell.

3 I say thirdly, that if he who receiueth the money, were in present necessitie, and yeelded to sell the corne onelie or princi­pally for the vse of the money, the buyer [...] the same at his hands, then were that kind of dealing vsurie indeede,A great dispa­ritie, of a farre different con­tract. how­sheuer the euent should afterward fall out: but when neither the seller respecteth the vse of the mony, nor the buier extorteth any thing for the loane of the same, as in this casual bargaine, but both the parties stand vpon their prouidence [...]niectures, & politicke diuinacions, then doubtles, the formal reason of vsu­rie ceaseth, and the buying with the sale becommeth a lawfull contract.

The second obiection.

It is good reason, it cannot be denied that if my neighbour can gaine fiue pounds by the vse of my twentie pounds, then that he shal giue me three pounds for the loane thereof, for the delay and non-payment of my money, is the onelie and sole cause of his gaine.

The answere.

I say first, that howsoeuer the gaine fal out, yet may nothing be exacted for the loan, because god himself hath so appointed.

[Page] 2 I say secondly, that the greater part of people are so farre from gaining thereby, as they are vtterly impouerished by the same.

3▪ I say thirdly, that by the loane of money the proper­tie thereof is altered, and the dominion translated to the bor­rower, and consequentlie, that when the le [...]der extorteth anie thing for the vse thereof,Melancth. in de­finit. theolog. ipso facto. he robbeth the borrow­er and despoyleth him of his lawfull goods: this among the latter writers hath Melancthon well obserued to his immor­tall fame.

4▪ I say fourthly, that money is a thing so barren and vn­fruitfull of it owne nature, as is cannot yeelde any commoditie without the industrie of man:Money is not fruitfull at it selfe. and consequentlie, since the whole fruit thereof preceedeth from mans laborious trauel, to exact anything for the vse thereof, must needs be flat extortion.

The third obiection.

MAny [...] able [...] are often greatly damni [...]ie [...] by lending their money, and therefore it is good reason, that they should haue some consideration for the same.

The answere.

I answere that no consideration can iustly be exacted,No considera­tion for the loane. for or in respect of the loane. Neuerthelesse, in certaine cases [...] ­plus may verie lawfully, both bee giuen and required, which cases shalbe made manifest, in the next chapter following.

Of the gaine ceasing, and losse insuing, by the loane of money. Chap. 6.

THere be two things, to wit, the gaine that ceaseth and the domage or losse that insueth to the londer, by reason of ei­ther of which [...]aine, surplussage may be required, and that without anie vsurie at al ithe reason hereof is euident, because gaine ceasing & losse insuing for the loane of mony, are things essentialy and really distinguished, from the loane of the same: the example of the former,Lucrum cessans. I haue in ready mony an hundred pounds which I purpose presentlie to bestow in corne for ho­nest and lawful gaine. Now it so falleth out, that my neighbor is very vrgent to borrow this hundred pounds of me, to whom [Page] I condescend to lend it with mine owne hinderance, yet vpon this condition, that he giue me so much ouerplus, as woulde be the iust gaine, that ceaseth by reason of the loane: this kind of ouerplus is no vsurie, because it is not exacted for the loane, but for the gaine that ceaseth thereupon: yet in this case two things must be required; first that I intend in true meaning, to 1 bestow my mony, as is already said, and thereby to seek honest & lawful gaine: secondly that I exact no more ouerplus, then 2 that that is trulie deemed,Marke w [...]ll my words, and iudge th [...] of accordingly to be my surceasing gain, the value of which gaine ought to be esteemed by indifferent men, which are expert in that kind of trade: for if I either exact more then the gaine ceasing, or in truth intend not to expose my mony for lawful gaine, in way of honest bargaining, then is the exac­ting of such surplussage, become palliate vsurie indeede. By reason of this surceasing gaine, [...] graue ad­uise to the sel­ler of any thing. marchant men and other honest bargainers, may sundry times exact a greater price, when they sell their marchandise or goods to a certaine day: but heere I must require al marchants and other, especially the richer sort to marke well what I say: for although the seller may euer exact ouerplus for his truely surceasing gaine, yet may he not euer extort ouerplus, when he selles to a day: the reason here­of is euident, because to sel to a day, doth not euer preiudice or hinder his lawfull gaine, and so the formall reason of exacting ouerplus in this case lieth dead: for if the buier bring the mo­ney so soone, as the seller can and meaneth to bestow the same for honest gaine; then to exact any higher price for the day, is palliate vsury indeed. The example of the latter: I haue a sum of money which▪ I am to bestowe in the necessarie reparation of my house, and that now in the summer season: for if I shall let my house stay til the winter season,Damnum emer­gens. it wil not only be hurt­ful, but also [...] chargeable to me [...] in the meane time my distressed neighbour commeth to me, and in pittifull manner desireth to borrow my money, whose neede▪ I cannot relieue but with mine owne losse,The iugement of men indiffe­rent. as is alreadie saide: in this case, to exact so much as amounteth to my losse, is no vsurie at all, for the ouerplus is not extorted, by reason of the loane; yet more may not be exacted then is or would bee deemed the iust losse, by the iudgement of indifferent men.

The difficultie.

THe debters do often disappoint their creditors, and wil not bring their money at the day assigned, in respect of which danger, it seemeth that a man may exact some reasonable ouer­plus, and so value his saleable things at an higher price.

The answere.

I answer,To redeeme a mans vexati­on. that the seller may value his things at an higher price, when in true meaning he doubteth of the payment, be­cause so to deale is but a prudent prouiso, to redeeme his iust vexation: yet here is to be obserued, that the creditors must al­waies giue the ouerplus backe againe, when the debters pay the money in due time.

That vsurie is flat theft, prohibited by the eight commandement, and also that it bindeth to restitution. Chap. 7.

ALl as w [...]l [...]lde as late Writers agree in this,The true mea­ning of the 8. commande­ment. that [...]y the eight commandement is not only prohibited theft, but rob­berie also extortion, deceit, and al maner of dealings, by which we vniustly take or possesse another mans goods, this case is so plaine, as no ancient father or approued latter writer, can be alledged to the contrarie: for the definition of theft maketh the case euident, which by vniforme consent of al writers is this: Furtū est acceptio vel occupatio rei a lienae, iruito domino, theft is the taking or vsing an other mans goodes agaisnt his will. So then sith the surplussage in vsurie is another mans goods, and vniustly extorted as is alreadie proued, it followeth of ne­cessitie, that vsurie is flat theft and manifest [...]. Now that al vsurers are bound to restitution, it is a thing so consectarie vpon the ground alreadie laied, as none either learning or rea­son can denie the same: for the vertue of iustice (as the verie ethnike Philo [...]ophers tell vs) est reddere cuiquam quod suum est, [...] 19. v. l. is to giue to euerie man that which is his owne: therefore said good Zaccheus, that if he had done wrong to any man, hee would restore it foure folde:Iob, 2, v, 13. therefore willed holy Tobias to restore the kid, that he heard bleating in his house: therfore cō ­manded the lawe of Moses, that if any man did hurt field or [Page] vineyard, or put in his beast to feede in another mans fielde, the same should make recompence of his own field,Exod. 22. v. [...]. and of the best of his owne vineyard: therefore did the same law commande, that when anie mans corne or other goods was destroied by fire: he that kindled the fire should make full restitution: there­fore said S. Augustine wisely and grauely,Exod. 22. v. 6. Non dimittitur peccatum, nisi restituatur ablatum: the sinne is neuer forgiuen, vntil that which is wrongfully taken away, be restored again, and the reason hereof is euident, which S. Augustine wel ob­serued: Aug. Ma [...]. epist. 54. to wit, that when a man will not restore things wrong­fully taken from his neighbour, when he is able so to doe, that man cannot be truely penitent, and so neither can he attaine re­mission at Gods hands. I say (when he is able) because if an vsurer, theefe, extortioner, or other deceitfull dealer, be so farre wasted and become so beggerlie, that he hath not wherewith to make restitution in part or in al, then it is inough for such a one to aske God mercie, and to haue a willing mind to make resti­tution, when he commeth ad pinquiorem fortuna, and is able so to doe.

Hereupon I infer first,The first co­rollarie. that all vsurers, as also the children or heyres of vsurers, who possesse any lands, tenements, or goods, gotten or bought with the gaine of vsurie, are bound to make restitution for the same: which if it were duelie and true­ly put in execution, many that now a daies are reputed rich, would be as poore as their need [...]e neighbours: but how riche soeuer such seeme in their owne conceits, or howsoeuer they be esteemed by the eies of the world, yet are they most beggar­ly indeede, and will one day be so found, before the tribunall seate of our Lord Iesus.

I infer secondly,The second corollarie. that all iudges & lawyers, who for bribes, friendship, or other worldly respects, do wittingly and willing­ly further euil causes, and by their pleading or sentence do de­bar poore men, from their lawful title to lands or goodes, are bound to make restitution for the same.

I infer thirdly,The third co­rollarie. that al iustices of the peace, baylifes, consta­bles, and other officers, who by reason of bribes or any other sinister respects, doe fauour the rich and mightie men against iustice, and thereupon do oppresse the poore and needy sort, are [Page] strictly bound to make restitution, for all iniuries and iniustice done in that behalfe.

I inferre fourthlie,The [...]ourth corollarie. that al marchants, artificers, and others that vse to buy and sell, who in their marchandise, occupati­ons, or in buying and selling, vse any fraud or deceit, are bound to make restitution, for al their deceitfully gotten goods.

I inferre fiftlie,The fift co­rollarie. that whosoeuer get their neighbours goods fraudulently, by carding, dicing, shooting, or other disporte whatsoeuer, are bound to make restitution for the same.

I inferre sixtly,The sixt co­rollarie. that whosoeuer will not make restitution of goods vniustly gottē, and for iniuries done to his poore neigh­bours, can not be the child of God.

Of the obiections made in defence of vsurie. Chap. 8.

The first obiection of the etymology of the word.

VSurie in the originall, and sacred hebrewe tongue, doth signifie nipping or byting: which etymologie doth flatly insinuate vnto vs, that so often as our neighbor doth gaine by taking our money to vsurie, so often is vsury lawful and no sin at al: yea, when our neighbour gaineth by giuing vsurie, hee cannot doubtles be oppressed by the same: and yet is oppres­sion the sole and onely cause, why vsurie is prohibited by Gods law.

The answere.

1 I say first, that vsurie is called in Greeke [...] bringing forth or increase, comming of [...], which is to giue to vsu­rie or increase: and it is fitly so tearmed, because it multiplieth or breedeth beyond al measure, for I heard of one that began but with a shilling, and lent it for a penie in the weeke, and so became verie rich in a few yeares. I heard of another, that lent a hundred pounds for ten the first yeare, for xx. the second yeare, for xxx. the third yeere, for xl. the fourth yeare, for 50. the fift yeare, so that when he had payed the principall, hee re­mained 50. pounds indebted yearely for the same. But this matter is so runningly handled now a dayes,They must [...] wares, that know not how to vse them. that the greatest vsurers indeede, would be thought no vsurers at all. For whē one commeth to borrow money on them, they say they haue none, but yet they will let them haue wares, and procure a [Page] friend to buy the same, againe for readie money: which palliat vsurie, hath made some that I know, to sell their whole inheri­tance. I heard of another poore man, who came to a rich cor­morant to borrow money, but receiued this answere, I haue no money to lend (quoth the rich man) but thou hast a good mare, for which I will giue thee fiue nobles, and so thou shalt haue money to doe thy needes: alas quoth the poore man I am not able to spare my mare, because shee is the greatest part of my poore liuing, wel saith the rich man, thou shalt pre­sently haue her againe til a day, if thou wilt enter into bond, to giue me seauen nobles for her: to which lamentable extortion, the poore man was inforced to yeeld. The fact is notorious, my selfe knew both the parties right well, as I said before, this v­surer to the ensample of al others hath lately made a miserable ende.

I say secondly, that in Hebrew it is called Neshech of the 2 roote Nashach, Leui. 25. [...]. 36, 37 which doeth signifie to bite, and that very fit­ly, because it biteth poore men pittifully, and as it were gnaw­eth al their silly substance from them.

I say thirdly, that the gaine of the borrower, cannot make v­surie 3 without biting: the reason is manifest, because biting is included in the formal cause thereof: for as it is alreadie pro­ued, in things consumptible with the vse, the dominion thereof is translated by the loane. & to exact surplussage for the vse of a mans owne, is meere iniustice and flat extortion. For exam­ple, if a rich Landlord should borrow of his poore tenant tenne pounds, & would not repay the same thankfully, neither at all without some gaine, if then the tenant not able without greater domage to recouer his money, should giue to his landlord 40. shillings for the peaceable payment thereof, in such a case the exacting of 40. shillings were mere iniustice and flat extorti­on: This ob [...]ct must be re­membred. and yet for al that, the poore tenant should gaine by giuing the 40. shillings: ad hereunto that money of it owne nature is fruitles, and would yeeld no gaine at all without the industrie of man, that imployeth it to vse.

The second obiection.

God himselfe allowed vsurie in the Iewes,Deut. 23. [...]0, when they took [...]surie of strangers onelie, but not one of an other. Vsurie [Page] therefore is not simply euil, for God neuer approueth sinne.

The answere.

1 I say first, that as one Iew might not take vsurie of another, because they were al brethren, no more may one christian of an­other, as who are al brethren created by one and the same fa­ther, redeemed by one and the same sonne, sanctified by one & the same holy Ghost, three persons and one God: and there­fore do we al ioyntlie pray, Our father which art in heauen.

2 I say secondly, that God dispensed with the Iewes for the hardnes of their hearts, that they might by vsury oppresse strā ­gers, that is to say, the Amalechites and Ammorites, Gods enimies and theirs, because they had iustly deserued to be dis­possessed, D [...]ine dispen­sation. not onely of their goods, but of their liues also: for God the eternal law maker is not so tied to his law, but that he may at his good will and pleasure dispence with the same: and therefore said Christ himselfe, to the Pharises, when they charged his disciples with the breach of the sabboth,Matt. 12. v. 8. that the sonne of man is Lord, euen of the saboth, and according to the common receiued axiome, priuilegium paucorum non facit legem communem, a priueledge granted to some few, cannot e­stablish a common law:Ambr. in libr. de Tobia ca. 14. yea, S. Ambrose sheweth in a large discourse, that the taking vsurie of the Amalechites and Ammorites, cannot make vsurie lawfull amongst vs christi­ans; who so listeth may reade his words in his learned booke de Tobia.

The third obiection.

IT is lawfull for to take increase of money for the deliuerie of money at such a time in such a place: for example, I may take ouerplus in gold at Paris, to deliuer gold at Lions, Ge­nua, Millan, or Rome: for this is daily practised and neuer re­proued by any learned writer. I may therefore in like maner, for the deliuerie of present money in Ianuary, receiue increase of money in december, and not thereby sinne at all.

The answer.

I answere, that in these two cases great disparitie may bee found. For in your deliuerie of present money, increase is ex­acted only and solely for the loane. But in the other deliuerie, increase is required for assecuration sake: that is to say, the [Page] partie that deliuereth money or gold at Paris, is in feare to fall among theeues, and so to be dispoiled of all he hath: in re­gard whereof he commeth to a banker, who partly of charitie, and partly to get an honest liuing, keepeth seruants at Milan, Lions, and Genua, with a stocke of mony in euery place. To this banker the traueller giueth a competent consideration, that he may haue his ticket to receiue so much mony, when he comes to such a place, or to his iourneis end. Which increase this banker taketh not for the loane of his money (for hee may rather be said to borrow then to lend) but for the safe deliuerie of my mony at such a place, and for the charges he is at, by ke­ping seruants to that only end. Which thing is so farre from being vsurie, that it is a very commendable and charitable act. Yea in those countries where these bankes be allowed, al vsu­rie is vtterly condemned. And such as die knowen vsurers without satisfaction to the parties damnified, cannot be buri­ed among other christians.

The fourth obiection.

IF a man giue an hundred crownes in hand, hee may haue for the same out of the bankes at Rome, at Genua, and at o­ther places, twelue crownes yeerly for the terme of his life; or ten crownes yeerely to him and his assignes for euer. Which increase is giuen for paying the money before hand: and yet no learned man did euer reprooue this kind of dealing, but ra­ther hath highly commended the same.

The answer.

I answer, that in these kinds of banks, there is no vsury at all committed, the reason hereof is this; because these bankers haue lands in fee simple, out of which they graunt for so much in hand, either a yeerely rent of so many crownes for euer, or at least for terme of life. Which to do is a lawful contract, as which is nothing else but to sell for an hundred crownes in hand, the yeerely rent of ten crownes for euer. And the same thing may be proportionably verified, in all other like bankes and contracts.

Of certaine doubts or difficult questions, tending to the perspicuous explication of Vsurie. Cha. 9.

The first question.

THere is in sundrie countries, a banke called mons pietatis, the mountaine of pietie. This mount or banke was foun­ded by certain deuout persons, so then and this day esteemed, for the honest help of poore and needy folke. And this mons pi­etatis is virtually practised, [...] no vsurie. in many famous vniuersities. The case thus standeth; certaine men hauing a charitable care howe to prouide for the poorer sort, that they might borrow money in their neede, and not bee oppressed with vsury, gaue great summes of money to be kept in a banke, and appointed cer­taine chosen seruants, for the giuing out, and the taking in of the said money. Which seruants haue in charge, to lend to poore folkes such summes of mony as they neede, [...] prouident cautele and prouiso. vnto a very reasonable day. Yet, lest the mount should in time be spent and consumed, they haue prouidently made this double prouiso, 1 First, that they which borrow the mony, shal deliuer some suf­ficient pledge for the repayment of the same, at the day or 2 daies appointed. Secondly, that they which borrow the mo­ney shall giue some competent consideration to the saide ser­uants, who continually attend for the deliuerie and receiuing of the money. Now would I know, why this kind of dealing is not vsurie.

The answer.

I answer, that here I behold great charitie, but vsurie I can find none. For nothing at all is taken for the loane of the mony, but for the necessarie maintenance of the seruants, who attend continually for the conuenient helpe of the borrowers. To which consideration, if the borrowers shoulde not yeelde, neither could the banke [...]dure, neither the pledges be kept in safetie and good order. For the pledges or guages are of sun­dry sortes, and oftentimes can not be kept, without both cost and care. Mary if they take aboue measure, I grant that it is hard dealing, and contrarie to the true meaning of the foun­ders.

The second question.

You said before, that it is not vsurie, when one taketh consi­deration for his gaine ceasing: which if it be so, then may all vsurers be excused, for whē the vsurer lendeth out his money, that gaine doubtles ceaseth, which he might make thereupon.

The answere.

I say first, that rich men, who haue great store of mony, are bound by Gods lawes, not onely to lend their money without gaine, but also to giue it freely, for the necessary reliefe of their honest poore neighbours:1. Ioan. 3. v. 1 [...]. for as S. Iohn saith, he that hath the wealth of this world, and knoweth his brothers neede, and shutteth vp his bowelles from him, in that man dwelleth not the loue of God. When thou commest to the Church to pray saith S. Chrysostome, Chrysost. hom. 9 in Matth. bring thy reward in thy hand: giue to them that want, and aske of him that hath, that thy prayer may be commended with good works: the hand of the poore faith Rauennus is the treasure of Christ,Ra [...]en▪ and what the poore recei­ueth, that Christ accepteth, which saying our Sauiour Christ cōfirmeth in the gospel, telling vs,Matth. 10. v. 4 [...]. that if one giue but a cup of cold water to the poore for his sake, it shal not be vnrewarded: why saith S. Basill, Basilius. is one made rich and another poore, but that God will reward the fidelitie of the one, and the patience of the other▪ It is the bread of the hungrie which thou hast, the coate of the naked, which thou lockest vp, the shooe of the barefooted, which thou holdest, the mony of the needie, which thou possessest, wherfore thou killest so many as thou canst re­lieue and wilt not.Amb [...]. This saith S. Ambrose, is to kill a man, to denie to help him in his need: beware le [...] thou shut vp in thy bagges, the life of the poore: wilt thou be a fine marchant and rich vsurer,August. saith S. Austen? thē giue that thou canst not keep, to receiue that thou canst not lose, giue a little to receiue much: giue temporall possession, to attaine eternal saluation. I neuer read of any man saith S. Hierome, Hier. that made an ill end, who in his life time, cherefully exercised the works of charitie. And Christs holy Apostle confirmeth al this,Iac. 1. v. 27. when he pronounceth it to be the pure and vndefiled religion before God, to rel [...]eue the fatherlesse and widdowes in their necessitie, [...] cruell vsu­rers, then, are of a new no religion, and god wil one day vomit [Page] them out of his mouth:Note wel this point. for the which cause such vsurers as will not make restitution before their death, of al goodes got­ten [...] vsurie, cannot be [...] in many christian countries to be buried in christian mans buriall, for such sharpe punish­ment seemeth detested vsurie to deserue.

2 I say secondly, that when ouerplus is taken for game truely ceasing, no vsurie is or can be committed, albe it the partie that taketh the ouerplus being a rich man may sinne grieuously a­gainst the rule of charitie. I say (truely ceasing) because mar­chants and other bargainers, do of [...], fain to cease, when there is no such true ceasing at al.

3 I say thirdly, that the notorious vsurers, who will no way employ their money, but to get gaine by the loane thereof, (of which sort are they, that haue sold their lands to get money to lend for gaine) can neuer truely pretend the ceasing of gaine, for since money is fruitles of it owne nature, as is alreadie said, there can no gaine truely cease to him thereby, who neuer meant to put it to honest vse.

4 I say fourthly, that other rich men, who vse honest bargai­ning for honest gaine, cannot for al that truely pretend the cea­sing of gaine, when they lend money to their needie neighbors, at such time and times, as they neither would nor could be­stow the same, during the time of such their loane.

The third question.

What say you to those marchant men, that sell their wares continually for more when they giue a day, and take lesse when they receiue money in hand: for this is a thing most common nowadayes, not onlie with marchants and mercers, but euen amongst al other bargainers.

The answere.

1 I say first, that albeit the greater part self dearer for the day, (the mane is the pittie) yet god be thanked for it, many well di­sposed persons, (of whom my selfe and wel acquainted with some) are so farre from that kind of dealing, as they vtterly ab­horre and detest the same.

2 I say secondly, that when the forbearance of the money till such a day, is truely and without fraude preiudicial to the sel­ler, because he cannot vse his money in due time, then for that [Page] end, and in that respect, he may take [...], for his law­ful [...] game: but when his money is so paid, and in such time, as the seller is no way damnified thereby, thē and in such a case, he can take nothing for the day, without the crime of vsurie.

The fourth question

What say you to those merchants and others, who are so rich, that they haue alwayes good store of gold and money loc­ked vp in their coffers, and yet sel dearer to the day, & to those who though they be not so rich, yet neede they not the money, before the day, and yet for al that sell their wares and goods dearer for the day.

The answere.

I say first to the former sort, that they are not only vsurers,1 but also extortioners, and cruel murderers of their christian neighbours: neither is this my bare doome, but the flat iudge­ment of Christ himselfe, and of al the holy fathers.

I say secondly to the latter sort, that they are tangled with 2 the c [...]nes of vsurie, and consequently bound to restitution.

The first question.

Is it vsurie to lend our kine or sheep after a competent rate, and to receiue the stocke againe.

The answere.

I say first, that kine and sheepe ve things fruitfull of their 1 owne nature, and therefore may be lent out for gaine, and that without vsurie or other iniustice at all.

I say secondly, that when kine, shrepe or other cattell, are 2 lent out or set ouer for gaine, with couenant in bond to re­store the principall, or the iust price thereof, what euent soeuer befall, then the gaine takē in that order, and with those cricum­stances is flat vsurie,He that hath no horse can lose Horse. it cannot be denied: the reason heereof is euident, because ouer and besids the ouerplus taken for the fer­talitie of the rattel, the lender requireth securitie for the princi­pall, and thatby reason of the loane, and consequently the do­minion of the principall is translated, which is the formall rea­son of vsurie: for when anything perisheth it perisheth to the owner, and not to him that hath no title thereunto.

I say thirdly, that he, who lendeth or setteth ouer to his 3 [Page] poore neighbours, kine, sheepe, or other cattel, after a reasona­ble and competente rate, without couenant or bond to deliuer the principal againe, in as good case, state, and order as it was receiued, both a very charitable art, but committeth no vsurie at al.

The replie.

Mary li [...], if this he so, then must I be at great charges, and sustein no final losses at his hands, who hired my horses, sheep or kine, and so for doing good to my neighbour, be vtterly im­pouerished my selfe, but I wil none of that, I thanke you.

The answere.

I answer, that the case is farre otherwise: for if your goods be hurt or miscaried any way, by the negligence or default of him that borroweth or hireth them, then both in conscience and by the course of the common law, he is bound to make satisfac­tion for the same: and thus much you may draw into coue­nant if you lift, without [...] suspition of vsurie at all: but if [...] your horse, kine, or sheep; and do to them that which an ho­nest man ought to do, then if they die, or otherwise miscarrie, your selfe must stand to the losse, and not I, for the goods are yours, and not mine, they must perish to you the owner, & not to me the hirer: if you defend the contrarie, you fall into the flat case of vsurie.

The sixth question.

A friend of mine gaue me an hundred and twentie pounds freely, so as I must neuer pay the principall againe, but yet with this prowish, that I must giue to him during his naturall life, twentie pounds by yeere. Now would I know if this be vsurie.

The answere.

I answere that it is no vsurie indeede,The cont [...]nes called in latin, [...]. but a verie lawfull contract or bargaine, termed of the Latines, do vt des: the rea­son is euident, because here is nothing taken for the loane: ouer and besides this, it is a meere [...] contract, putting the re­ceiuer in farre better state, then he was before: for the giuer may die the next day, and so the receiuer haue the principal for nothing at all. Againe, if the giuer should liue as long as the common sort of men do, yet could the receiuer be at no losse, [Page] vnlesse his owne negligence were in default.

The replie.

Then it is no vsury if I lend my neighbor twenty pounds, vpon this condition, that he shal giue me thirtie pounds, if I be liuing at the end of the halfe yere, and if I die before, he shal be bound onely to pay the twentie pounds againe: indeede ma­ny good men vse this kind of dealing, and I am glad to heare you say, it is no vsurie.

The answere.

I say first, that you seeme to interpret my instruction accor­ding 1 to your owne best liking.

I say secondly, that there is great disparitie, in these two pro­posed 2 cases: for in the former, the principal must neuer return to the giuer, neither is there anie thing exacted, in respect of the loane: but in the latter, the principall must euer be resto­red, and that which is exacted, is in respect of the loane, for no other consideration can be yeelded: and therefore this filthie lucre, is detestable palliate vsurie.

I say thirdly, that the dealing is plaine diabolicall, howso­euer 3 the worldlings esteeme thereof: yea, the practitioners are so far from being good men, that they are thereby become the cat [...]hpolles of satan:Ambr. in libr. de Tobia. for as S. Ambrose hath wel conclu­ded out of the holy writ, if they be blessed that giue not their money to vsurie, as the holy Prophet of God auoucheth plain­ly then doubtles are they accursed,Psal. 15. that practise vsurie and re­ioyce therein.

The seuenth question.

It was euer thought lawfull, to set ouer the portions of in­fants for gaine, neither to this day hath any learned man repro­ued the same: what therefore must be thinke therof?

The answere.

I say first that many things haue beene often by learned men 1 reproued, which were seldome or neuer wholly reformed.

I say secondly, that the least sinne may not be committed, to 2 gaine the whole world vnto vs: for as the learned men haue collected out of S. Paul, Rom. 3. v. [...]. non sunt facienda mala, vt inde eue­ [...]iant bona: euill may not be done, that good may come there­upon. We may not steale from a rich man, for the reliefe of [Page] the poore: the causes and cases of infants and poore folks, are to be fauoured indeede, but yet euer with iustice, and neuer with sinne:The portions of infants. and therefore we must iudge of lending or setting ouer the ouerplus of infants, euen as we doe of other things, that is to say, if the portions be in mony, then to take any thing for the loane, as the maintenance of the infants, or some consi­deration to that end, is flat vsurie indeede: if the portions be in lands, or other goods that be fruitfull of their owne nature; thē competent consideration may be had, for the increase of the same. Alwaies prouided, that if the goods miscarrie without the negligence or other default of the borrower, that then as is alreadie said, they perish or miscarrie to the lender, who onelie and solely hath the dominion thereof.

The replie.

If the poore infants may haue nothing, in consideration of the vse of their portions, then wil their portions often be con­sumed, or at left much wasted, euen during their non-age and minoritie.

The answere.

Neither law,By the way of gratitude, but not of compulsion. conscience, nor reason, doth or can make a man in worse condition for bestowing a benefit, then he was before the gift thereof: and therfore, as he might afore accept of a free donation, so may be much more after his good deseres, receiue that which is freely giuen him, in the way of gratitude. My an­swere now is, that since, as the common prouerbe saith, (one good turne deserueth another) and since ingratitude as wel by the law of nature, as by the lawe diuine, is reproued for a grie­uous sinne, it followeth consequently, that whosoeuer reapeth commoditie by taking an infant, with his portion, and will not to his power make thankfull conspensation for the same, may iustly be condemned of ingratitude: yet as he is to be condem­ned of ingratitude, if he render not thankfully of his owne ac­cord, so if he be compelled by bond of couenant thereunto, then by and by is committed the sinne of vsurie: yet in things fruit­ful some consideration may be had, according to the true sence alreadie touched.

The eight question.

If vsury be so grieuous a sin, what shall we say to the lawes of this Realme, that this day approue and allow the same:

The answere.

I say first, that they who seeke thus to defend their abhomi­nable 1 vsury, commit no small trespasse against the Queenes most excellent maiesty, & the godly setled laws of this realme.

I say secondly, that the lawes of this realme do not approue 2 vsurie for good, but barely tolerate the same punishment in some degree, so to auoid and eschew a greater euil. I proue it by a double reason: first because the common law doth punish 1 al vsurers, that take aboue ten in y hundreth: secondly because 2 the common law referreth al vsurers from the highest to the lowest, to be punished by ye ecclesiasticall cēsures of the church: Where the least vsurie may this day be sharplie punished in this Realme of England, if due information be made thereof: and if such faults in some places at sometimes,Good lawes are somtimes slowly put in execution. passe vnpuni­shed after information giuen, (of which kind of dealing and the like, the poore people make pittifull complaints God wot) that truely must bee imputed to the iniquitie of the inferiour Magistrates, who now and then are corrupted with flatterie, friendship, or gifts, and not to the iust and godly lawes of this Realme.

The replie.

Sundrie learned men do hold, that the ciuill Magistrate is appointed by God to punish male factours, and therefore may not tollerate or leaue any sinne vnpunished.

The answere.

I answere, that albeit some otherwise learned indeede, doe hold the contrarie opinion, yet do I repute it for an vndoubted truth, that Kings, Queenes, absolute Princes, and indepen­dent Magistrates, may in certaine cases vpon godly conside­rations, either tollerate sinne vnpunished, or pardon malefac­tours: for otherwise we must not onely condenme her excel­lent maiestie,Note the pra­ctise of al chri­stendome. that now happilie raigneth ouer vs, but also all her most noble progenitors, yea and al other kings at al times in al ages, throughout al the christian world: for when was the King, and where is the kingdome, in which kings vpon good causes, haue not pardoned malefactors & the time cannot be na­med, the kingdome is vnknowne. Now for the exact handling of this point, (because it is not onelie perti [...]ent to my present [Page] theame, but necessarie also for many other respects) I thinke it to the purpose, to lay downe some strong foundations in that behalfe.The first foundation. First, this is a constant maxime, approued by v­niforme consent of all learned diuines; cessante fine legis cessat lex ipsa; when the finall cause or ende for which the law was made, ceaseth, then doth the law euen of necessitie also cease. This foundation is grounded vpon the holie Scripture in the 15. of the Acts. Whereby the flat decree and setled law of the Apostles,Act. 15. v. 28. 19. we are bound to abstaine from bloud and strangled meates. This notwithstanding, no man hath this day anie scruple of conscience to eate the same: and yet hereof no other sound reason can be yeelded, saue onely that the end for which that law was made, did long sithence cease. For euen at that time there was no precise necessitie to abstain from bloud and strangled meates.Let this point be welmarked But this law was only made in respect of the state of that time, that the Gentiles and the Iewes might liue more peaceably together, and thereby auoyde al occasion of quarrelling. And therefore as soone as that end ceased, this law also ceased with it; and so we this day are freed from the same. Yea this maxime is euident lumine naturali, euen by natural reason. For euerie law is made for some end; which end how ofte soeuer it may be accomplished without the law, so often the execution of the law is needelesse.

Secondly,The second foundation. we must hold this for a constant foundation, that albeit the ciuil magistrate be commaunded to punish malefac­tors; yet is neither the kinde of the punishment, nor the quan­tity thereof taxed by the law of God; but it still abideth indif­ferent, to be determined by the supreme ciuill magistrate. For although there were speciall punishment prescribed in the in­diciall law of Moses, The vsuall punishment of malefactors may bee chan­ged. for transgressors of the sabboth, for ad­ulterers, for murderers and such like; yet neither by the lawe moral, neither by the law of the new testament, to which laws only we christians are this day bound, is any such punishment determined. And therefore the ciuil magistrate (if it so seeme good vnto him) may change the vsual punishment of theeues, (which with vs is to be hanged) and cause them to be cast into the bottome of the sea, with milstones about their necks. And the same may be said, of the punishmēt for other malefactors.

[Page] Thirdly,The third foundation. we must repute this for an vndoubted foundation, that the end for which Gods lawe appointeth malefactors to be punished, is the publike peace and good of the whole com­mon-weale. For this is so euident by the course of the whole scripture, as it can neither with learning nor reason be denied.

Out of these three foundations thus firmly stablished,The first co­rollarie. these two corollaries may euidently be inferred. First, that whenso­euer any member of the common-weale committeth any ca­pitall crime, for which he ought to die by the lawe, whose life notwithstanding is more profitable to the weale publike, than his death, in such a case the prince may pardon such a malefa­ctor, [...] thereby sinne at all. Which thing christian prin­ces seeme to respect, when in the time of warres they set such felons at libertie as are able to doe seruice in defence of the realm.The second corollarie. Secondly, that when any malefactor is so mightie or so strongly seated, that the prince cannot without probable daun­ger of his royal persm, or great domage to the commonweale punish the said malefactor; in such a case the prince may tolle­rate such a malefactor vnpunished, and not thereby sin at all. These foundations and these illations once well vnderstoode and marked, this important controuersie can not but be mani­fest: neuertheles I wil adioyne certaine sound reasons here­vnto for the better confirmation of the same.

The first reason.

It is a common atiome receiued of all as wel Ciuilians as Diuines;The first rea­son. quod lex ron obligat vitra intentionem legislatoris, that the law doth not binde a man beyond the intention of the law-maker. Whereupon I inferre first, that the ciuill magi­strate 1 may dis [...]sre, with his owne law. I inferre secondly,2 that the prince being Gods minister, may tollerate or pardon malefactors; when and so often as such tolleration or pardo­ning tendeth to the common good of the publike weale. The reason is euident, because the intention of God the supreame law-maker, was euen that and none other, when he appoin­ted his ministers to punish malefactors.

The second reason.

Prodigalitie is a great sinne,The second reason. condemned aswell in philoso­ [...] [...], it neither will nor can be denied. It is the [Page] [...] extreme, of the vertu liberalitie. This notwithstan­ding, al christian kings, as far as I can learne, haue euer tole­rated ye same unpunished at least in some degree; neither were they for such tolerations reproued at anie time, by any ancient approued writer or learned father whosoeuer. Which doubt­lesse is and ought to be so deputed, an argumental no small importance. For although emperours, kings, [...] do sin aswel as others of meaner calling yet neither haue they, neither euer can they liue vnreprooued, if at anie [...] they [...] either by stablishing [...] lawes publikely; or by suffering their [...] to [...] of Gods lawes dissolutely:Matth. 3. v. 9. For God [...] of stones to Abraham, and neither is he, nor euer [...] he be desti­tute of faithful couragious seruants, who wil constantly and without all leare,Esai. 2. v. 6. reproue al such as [...] his holy law [...]. He hath watch men on the walles of his Ierusalem, who will reproue sin [...] He is not without his Elias, 1. Reg. 18. v. 18. that will stoutly reprooue at wic­ked Achabs. He hath in store a Danie [...] al naugh­tie iudges,Dan. 13. v. 61. and to acquit his faithfull Susannes. He will find a prophe [...] [...] out against [...]ool any, and to teach euery Iero­bo [...]n his duely. He can and will prouide another Iohn Bap­tist, Matt. 14. v. 4. to speake boldly to all bloody Herods. And yet in so ma­ny hundred yeeres, such tollerations haue not beene reproued to my knowledge, by any learned writer.

The third reason.

It is a generall axiome,The third reason. receiued not only indiuinitie, but in philosophie also, ex [...] mali [...] mique eligend [...]m, of [...] the lesser is to be chosen. And to spea [...] more plaindey, that which is often sin,Marke well this point. if it be absolutely considered; the same done respectfully, wil be no sin at al. For example sake, mur­der is against the law diuine, and yet to kill one neighbour in our owne defence, both is and euer was reputed lawfull. S [...]t for a man to cut off his arme or leg, lest the whole body put [...]e­fie or perish is a very lawful thing. Which thing all [...], kings seeme to respect, when they in sundry cases, tolerate [...] vnpunished: for they thinke that [...] their realmes by punishing, than by [...] [Page] in such cases. Yea, if kings should at all times punish all ma­lefactors, the church of God should often thereby want many most excellent and profitable members. For which respect our Sauour himselfe telleth vs, that when the [...]ares can not be se­uer [...] the good corne, vnles both be pulled vp together, then may they tolerate the tares or weeds with the good corn euen [...] the haruest:Matth. 13. v. 30. as if he had said; when the wicked can not be punished, but with great domage to the good; then may the magistr [...]t tolerate such malefactors vnpunished, and not ther­by sinne at all.

The fourth reason which is insoluble and irrefringible.

The blessed man Moses so highly renowmed in holy writ,The fourth reason. and so great in the fauor of God, pardoned great malefactors, in the heinous crime of diuorce. And this hee did to auoide a greater euill, that is, lest they vpon euery light cause shoulde poyson those wiues, whome they did not loue. For that such light diuorcement was onely permitted, but neither by God nor Moses approoues, I will demonstrate by these important reasons. First, because these are Christs owne words; Moses 1 because of the hardnes of your hearts,Matth. 19. v. 8. suffered you to put a­way your wiues, but from the beginning it was not so. Se­condly,2 because the marriage after such light diuorce, was in­deede vnlawfull by the law.Rom. 7. v. 1, 2, 3. For thus writeth S. Paul, know ye not brethren (for I speake to them that know the law) that the law hath dominion ouer the man, as long as he liueth? for y woman which is in subiection to a man, is bound by the law to the man, while he liueth; but if the man be dead, she is deli­uered from the law of the man. So then, if while the man li­ueth she take another man, she shalbe called an adultresse. Out of these words I note first, that marriage cannot be dissolued,1 [...]ring the life of the former husband. I note secondly, that 2 [...] was so euen in Moses law, because S. Paul saith he spea­sath to them that know the law, I note thirdly, that to be ma­ [...]d 3 after diuorce for a light cause, during y life of the former husband, is [...] and flat adultery. I therfore conclude, that at idlerate sinne vnpunished vpon good cause, is [...] at all. [...] this mine assertion of diuorce, is not only grounded vpon [Page] the scriptures, but also confirmed by the best approued fa­thers, and eke by the late writers of this our age.

The fift reason.

We haue many examples in the holy scriptures,The fift rea­son. of blessed kings who haue often pardoned malefactours, and to this day were neuer reproued for the same: King Dauid a man full of the holy ghost, pardoned wicked Nabal at the petition of his vertuous wife Abigail. 1. Reg. 25. 35. The same king Dauid pardned Ab­ner, who rebelled against him for the house of Saule: the same king Dauid tollerated Ioab in his naughtie dealings,2. Reg. 3. 6, 22. albeit be was more then a little offended with his manners: the same king Dauid tollerated cursed Shemei, [...]. Reg. 3. though he commanded his son Salomon doe executian on them both,3. Reg. 2. v, 8, 9. after that him­selfe was dead.

The sixth reason out of Saint Austen.

Saint Austen saith plainely,The sixt rea­son. that the church doth tollerate many euills,Aug. epist. 119. which she doth not approue: and the same saine Austen in his epistle to Macedonius, proueth by the ensample of Christ, that not onely secular magistrate may giue pardon to offenders, but also that clergie men may require the same at their hands:Aug. epist. 54. ad Macedon. Ioan. 8. v. 11. our Lord saith he, made sute that the woman ta­ken in adultery, should not be stoned, and by that fact commen­ded to vs the office of intercession: yea, Saint Austen was greatly offended with the Magistrates of Africa, if at anie time they denied his request therein: the difference is onely in this, that we must do that by prayer, which he did by terrourr for he was the Lord, & we are his seruants: this and many o­ther reasons S. Austen vseth, which whoso listeth may reade at large, in that lerned epistle which he wrote to Macedonius. Hereunto agreeth S. Paules intercession vnto Philemon, Paulus ad Phi­lemonem. for Onesimus his seruant.

The seuenth reason out of S. Ioseph his holy fact.

The blessed virgin Marie,The seuenth reason. was found to be with childe b [...]t the holy ghost, before Ioseph & she came together: wherefore Ioseph bicause he was a iust man & would not put hir to ope [...] shame,Matth. 1. v. 19. was minded to put her away priuily: thus recordeth [...] 1 holy scripture. Out of the which words I note first, that Io­seph 2 knew the holy virgin to be with childe. I note secondly, [Page] that he knew himselfe not to be the father of the childe. I note thirdly, that Ioseph knewe no other, but that Mary his wife 3 was an adultresse. I note fourthly, that he thought to haue put 4 her away secretly, so to keepe her from shame and punishment. I note fiftly, that Ioseph was euen then iust, when he sought 5 to keepe her from shame, although in his iudgement she de­serued death by the law.

The first obiection.

No inferiour, hath power to alter the law of his superiour, and therefore man can not pardon or tollerate malefactours, whom God appointeth to be punished.

The answere.

I say first, that precepts deliuered to vs in holy writ, are 1 of two sorts some affirmatiue, othersome negatiue: the ne­gatiue binde vs at al times, euerie houre, and in euerie place, but the affirmatiue, though they be euer apt to binde,Precepta sunt duplicis generis. yet doe they not actually kinde vs, saue then onely, when the due cir­cumstances of time, place, and persons do occurre: hereupon it comes, that it is neuer lawfull to steale, neuer lawfull to com­mit adulterie, neither lawfull to beare false witnesse, neither at any time nor in any place: the reason hereof is this, because these be precepts negatiue. This notwithstanding, it is some­time lawful to omit the precepts affirmatiue: for example sake,1 it is lawful sometime to smite him that smiteth vs, and yet it is Gods commandement,Matth. 5. v. 39. 40, 41, 42. that whose shal smite thee on the right cheeke, to him thou turne the other also. Againe, it is Gods commandement to giue him thy cloake, that wil sue thee at the 2 law, & take away thy coat, and yet maiest thou at sundry times for sundrie respects, denie him both thy coate and thy cloake: thirdly, it is Gods commaundement to goe with him miles 3 twaine, that wil compel thee to go one, and yet maiest thou sundrie times denie, to go with him either more or lesse: fourth­ly,4 it is Gods commaundement neuer to turne away from him, that would borrow money or other goods of thee; & yet maiest thou sundrie times for good respects deny to lend thy mony or other things: fiftly it is Gods commandement not to aske thy 5 goods againe, of him that taketh them away from thee; and [...]et doth euerie man know,Luc. 6. v. 30. that we may sundrie times not on­ly [Page] aske our goods again, which are vniustly taken from vs, but 6 euen with sute of law, seek to recouer ye same: sixtly, it is Gods commandement to confesse our faith openly, as a thing most necessary to saluation:Rom. 10. v. 10. and yet we are not bound to confesse our faith openly and vocally, at al times and in euerie place, but where and when the glorie of God, or the vtilitie of our neigh­bour, shal so require: for example sake, then we are bound to confesse our faith vocally,The like may be saide of praying al­waies. when by our silence and taciturnity they that demand vs of our faith, would either beleeue that we had no faith,Luc. 18. 1. or that our faith were not the true faith, or otherr would thereby be altered from the faith, and so forsake the e­uerliuing God. Al which and other the like, haue this only ground and foundation, to wit, that they bee precepts affirma­tiue, which neither binde vs at all times nor in all places. For precepts affirmatiue to vse schoole tearmes:Modus loquendi scholarum. obligant semper, sed non ad semper.

2 I say secondly, that the ciuil magistrate, had authoritie, to mitigate many punishments ordained for malefactors, euen in the time of the old testament: for though he were appointed to punish them that vsed false weights and measures,Deut. 25. 13, 14, 2, 3. yet was the punishment to be determined, euen at his owne discretion. Againe, when the wicked was worthie to be beaten, the iudge might designe him to haue many or few stripes, according to the qualitie or quantitie of his trespasse:Leuit. 25. 53. thirdly, he that solde himselfe to another man, might iustly be afflicted, but yet how and in what measure that shuld be done, was to be determined by the ciuill magistrate.

3 Thirdly, that by the law of the new Testament, the Prince is only [...]harged in general termes, to punish malefactors, for the com [...]n good of his faithful people, in regard wherof, he may lawfully cease frō punishing them, when the common in­tended good of his subiects, cānot or will not insue thereupon.

The second obiection.

Achab was punished with death, [...]. Reg 20. because he granted pardō to Benhadad king of Ara [...]. 1. Sam. 28. King Saul was deposed from his kingdome,1. Sam. 15. because he spotted Agag king of the Amalekites.

The answere.

1 I say first, that Achab was precisely designed, to do executi [...] [Page] [...] vpm Benhadad,Vbi supra. and so was also Saul appointed in precise termes, to put to death king Agag. Secondly, that in the new 2 testament Princes haue no such speciall commandement, but are only charged in generall to punish malefactors. Thirdly,3 that affirmatiue precepts bind not in euerie season, but when the due circumstances, of time, place, persons, and the good of the common weale shal so require, as is alreadie proued: for otherwise,In epist. ad Philemonem. I see not how S. Paul can be excused, who made earnest sute to Philemon, not to punish his seruāt Onesimus, who vniustly had departed from him: and the like may be said of S. Austen, who so often made intercession to the princes of Affrica, to pardon the Donatists, and Circumcellions, who did not onely disturbe religion, but also spoiled the christians of their lawful goods: yea, it was y vsual custome of the Iewes, as the Gospel beareth record, to set some one prisoner at liber­tie euerie Easter; which custome I find not reprooued, in anie place of holy Writ: yea, the sinne is vsually practiced, in eue­ry Christian Parliament. I say fourthly, that it is so cleare 4 by S. Paul, that malefactors may sometime be pardoned, as it is without al crime and reason, to denie the same: for what can be [...] offence, then such fornicatiō as is not once na­med among the Gentiles, to wit; that one should haue his fa­thers wife.1 Cor. 5. v. 1. And yet when the partie that did this horrible fact, seemed to giue signes of true remorse, then S. Paul himselfe both pardoned him,2. Cor. 2. 8, 9, 10. & willed the Corinthians to do the same. So did the fathers of the Elebertine councill,Conc. Eleb. can. 20. pardon the vsu­rers of the Last al sort, who promised to surcease from vsurie, and to deale no longer therewith, which counsel was holden aboue 1200. yeares ago.

The replie.

Saint Paul did not pardon the crime of fornication, but did speedely excommunicate the incestuous person for the same, whose pardon was nothing else, but a relaxation of that seuere correction, which hee had imposed vpon him, for his defor­med fact.

The answere.

I say first, that the ciuill magistrates among the Corinthi­ns, 1 ought to haue put to death the incestuous person, vnlesse [Page] we grant indeede, that Princes may sometime pardon male­factors.

2 I say secondly, that if Princes might not in some respects at some times, pardon malefactors without offence, S. Paul who knew gods minde better then any this day liuing vpon the face of the earth, would neuer haue requested the Corinthians so to do, but would haue charged them to cut off, and to haue taken such a fellow out of the way.

3 I say thirdly, that as S. Paul first excommunicated the persō afterwards he receiued to mercie, euen so do Princes first pu­nish malefactors by imprisonment, attaignment, &c. whom af­therward they pardon.

4 I say fourthly, that S. Peter smot Aananias and Saphira, his wife with sodain death, for their hypocrisie & deceitful dea­ling, and yet did S. Paul pardon the incestuous Corinthian, Whereby we haue to vnderstand, that Princes may pardon malefactors, when it seemes expedient for the common weale I therefore now conclude, that (in my iudgement) they want due consideration, who denie that Princes may pardon male­factors, and I heartily wish and earnestly pray, that al such as do not or wil not condescend thereunto,A verie reaso­nable request. would take the paines soundly and directly to solue such reasons and authorities, as I haue made in that behalfe. Which, (if anie such can be yeelded) I shall no sooner vnderstand, then I wil willingly with heartie thanks, subscribe vnto the same.

The ninth question.

Some politike persons wil lend their mony as they say grati [...] and without any gaine for the loane, yet the borrowers must this do, or else they can haue no mony at all: that is forsayth, they must make a lease of a peece of ground, worth 20. or 30. pounds by the yeere, which lease must be to the vse of the cre­ditour, for paying twelue pence or two shillings or such a trifle yeerely, so long as the lent mony is in their hands. Now would I knowe, if this be vsurie or no: it seemeth vsurie [...] seme, and to othersome it is thought otherwise, because th [...] ground indeede, is set ouer for a yeerely rent.

The answere.

1 I say first, that this is most execrable palliate vsurie, and [Page] proue it, because the iust rent of the ground is cut off, for the sole and onely loane of the money.

I say secondly, that if the borrowers woulde make earnest 2 complaint hereof, to the zealous executors of her maiesties lawes, then doubtles would these cruel vsurers, these murde­rers of their honest needie neighbours, he sharply punished ac­cording to their deserts.

I say thirdly, that the like deceitfull dealing, is this daie 3 common to our symonists,Symonie is the ruine of Christs church and bringeth the greatest ruine that can be to the church of God: for blinde bussards and idle lub­bards possesse the fat liuings, and worthie learned men in the Vniuersities can get no preferment at al. Now the patrons either prefer such as wil giue them money, or else the vnwor­thie persons whom they prefer to the liuings, must make them a lease of a great part of the tithes, for a yeerely rent of no va­lue: but I hope our good Byshopes, (who of late dayes God be thanked, are farre better then they haue beene) will shortly looke more warily to this matter. My selfe know sundrie in the North parts, who are parsons of fat liuings, and yet so vt­terlie vnlearned as they can scarsely reade the English bible. Others I know to be so poore, by comming to their benefices by symonie, as they haue not wherwith to buy them books for their studies: by meanes hereof the people liue in ignorance, poperie is fostered still, the weake are scandalized, and the free passage of Christs gospel is more then a little hindered.

The tenth question.

A certaine man lately deceased, gaue to the chamber of a Cittie in this land, one hundred pounds in money, which sum he gaue with this limitation and condition, to wit, that the said citie should, in consideration therof, giue eight pounds yeare­ly to a preacher for euer. Now would I know, if this bee the sinne of vsurie: for to find a preacher is a worke of charitie.

The answere.

I answer, that this Citie, if it haue lands in fee simple (as I said before of banks) out of which it granteth a perpetual rent of eight pounds by the yeare, for the hundred pounds paid in hand,Marke these words well. then it makes a lawful contract and committes no vsury at all: but if the same citie haue no yeerely reuenewes, out of [Page] which it paieth the said summe, then is it flat vsurie giuen only for the leane: note what was said before of the portions of in­fants during their non-age and minoritie: for euil deedes are not therefore good, because good followeth thereupon.

The eleuenth question

Some deuout persons giue at their death, certaine summes of money to towneships, out of which they appoint something to be giuen yeerely, partly for the reliefe of poore folks, and partly for the maintenance of the common highwayes, which gifts haue euer beene reputed the works of pietie, and neuer once deemed to smell of vsurie. I would therefore know, what is to be said therein.

The answere.

1 I say first, with Christs Apostle, that such donours had in­deede a kind of zeale,Rom. 10. v. 10. but not grounded vpon knowledge, a good worke indeede is done, but not by a lawful meane.

2 I say secondly, that the answere to the question aforegoing, is the flat resolution hereof.

3 I say thirdly, that it is flat vsurie, because whatsoeuer is al­lotted to the poore or high wayes, is onely giuen for the loane of the money, if the case be wel marked this cannot be denied.

The twelfth question.

What must the heires, and such as possesse the lands and goods of vsurers do? and what are they bound vnto?

The answere.

1 I say first, that the heires, and such as haue the lands and goods of vsurers by discent or donation, stand bound in soli­dum and totally, to make restitution for the vsurie, so far forth as the lands and goods will extend.

2 I say secondly, that others who haue bought lands or goods of vsurers, and pa [...]ed the iust value thereof for them, are not bound to restitution: yet if either such goods and lands remain in their proper kind, as they were gotten by vsurie, or were bought at an vnder value, then as wel the things that remain in their proper kind, as the ouerplus by which the buyer is in­riched, must be restored to him or them that were oppressed with the vsurie: and if he or they cannot be knowne, so much must be giuen to the poore:Matth. 25. v. 40. for in such cases the poore succeede [Page] in Christs roome,Psal. 14. v. 1. the [...]

The thirteen [...]

If an [...] buy an horse [...] vsury, and giue or sel the same horse to another man, what is that man bound to do, who hath the horse by free donation, or by way of sale?

The answere.

I say first, that if the vsurer left not goods sufficient for re­stitution,1 then is he that had the horse gratis, bound to restore him to the oppressed partie.

I say secondly, that he that bought the horse bona fide, and 2 gaue the iust price for the same, is not bound so any restitution.

I say thirdly, that the man who bought the horse mala fide, is 3 doubtles bound to restitution. First, because hee concurred to an vnlawfull act. Againe, for that he bought the horse at an vnder value, & so made the partie impotēt in way of restitutiō.

The replie.

By this it seemeth, that they who eate of stolen mutt [...] are bound to restitution, although they know nothing, of the vn­lawful taking thereof.

The answere.

I say first, that they onely are not bound to restitution, who 1 eate of stollen mutton, but euen they also who eate of stollen venison.

I say secondly, that they who eate thereof and are priuie to 2 the stealing, are not onely bound to restitution, but withal are guiltie of a greeuous crime.

I say thirdly, that they who eate thereof, bona fide, are in­deede 3 free from sinne in respect of that eating, although they remaine bound in way of ciuill satisfaction.

The fourteenth question.

What if a partie damnified, will freely remit the [...]estitution of the surplussage vniustly taken?

The answere

I answere, that so soone as the partie grieued granteth re­laxation, the vsurer is by and by freed from all restitution, al­though he be not free from sinne, by reason of his impenitent heart that will not giue to euerie man his owne.

[Page] [...]

THus [...] and painful [...] paint out fitly in her [...] colours, the de­formed 1 and impudent ladie Vsurie. First I haue shewed ex­actly, 2 the essence, nature, and definition of vsurie: secondly the 3 heinous sinne and irksome deformitie of the same: thirdly the difference betweene vsurie, and other lawful contracts of len­ding: 4 fourthly, the obiect of vsurie, and things in which it is 5 committed: fiftly the seuerall kindes of vsurie, and their pro­per 6 adiuncts: sixtly, the gaine ceasing, and losse insuing by and 7 through the loane of mony; seauenthly, that vsury is flat theft, 8 and also that it bindeth to restitution. Eightly, I haue solued 9 sundrie important obiections, made in defence of vsury. Ninth­ly, I haue proposed certaine difficult questions, with euident and plaine resolutions of the same: by which my labour if thou canst reape any emolument, then see thou be thankfull to God for the [...], the principal workman of euery good worke: to whom with the Sonne and the holy ghost, be all [...], and glory now [...] euer, Amen.


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