LECTVRES ON THE XV. PSALME: Read in the Cathedrall Church of S. Paule, in London.

Wherein besides many other very profitable and necessarie matters, the question of Vsurie is plainely and fully decided.

By GEORGE DOVVNAME, Doctor of Diuinitie.

Whereunto are annexed two other Treatises of the same authour, the one of Fasting, the other of Prayer.

LONDON, Printed by Adam Islip for Cuthbert Burbie, and are to be sold in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Swan. 1604.

TO THE MOST HIGH AND MIGHTY KING, IAMES BY THE GRACE OF GOD KING of great Brittaine, Fraunce and Ireland, de­fender of the Faith, &c.

YOVR Maiesties gra­cious acceptance of my Treatise concer­ning Antichrist, hath emboldened me to de­dicat these my labours vnto your Highnesse, which are in no other respect worthie of your royall patronage, but that they haue bene imployed in the expla­nation of an excellent Psalme of the royall Prophet Dauid; whose writings the holy Ghost hath the rather commended to poste­ritie, that by his example Kings and Princes might be admonished to spend part of their time, which they may spare from their royall administration, in heauenly meditations, and spirituall exercises: whereby they might ga­ther [Page] assurance to themselues, that after their earthly kingdome is ended, they shall inherit an euerlasting kingdome in heauen: for al­though it be a singuler fauour of God vouch­safed vnto them, that they should so beare the image of his power and authoritie amongst men,Psal. 8 [...] 6. as that they should bee called Gods:Exod. 22. 28. yet godly and Christian kings, are not so much to glorie in the fruition of their tempo­rall crownes and kingdomes; as to solace themselues in the comfortable expectation of that incorruptible crowne of glorie, which is laid vp for them in heauen: For which cause King Dauid thought it to be his dutie, to giue all diligence (as Peter since hath ex­horted vs all) to make his calling and ele­ction sure:2. Pet. 1. 10. and by vndoubted testimonies and infallible tokens, to gather assurance vn­to himselfe, that hee was the true child of God. And that he should not take his marks amisse, (as men are apt to deceiue them­selue in this point) he intreateth the Lord in this Psalme to reueale vnto him the vndoub­ted marks of the sons & heires of God: which hauing learned by the information of the ho­ly Ghost, he publisheth them, to the com­mon good of the Church: Shewing as it [Page] were from the Oracle of God, that not all that professe the true religion, nor all that are able to discourse therof; but those that walke worthie of their calling, that behaue them­selues as it becōmeth the children of the light, that is, that liue vprightly, worke righteous­nesse, speake the truth from their hearts, &c. are the sound members of the Church mili­tant vpon earth, and shall bee inheritors of glorie in the Church triumphant in heauen. The meditation and practise of which things I do so much the more boldly commend to your Maiestie, because it euidently appeareth by your former both studies in priuat, and al­so speeches in publicke, and writings publi­shed, you haue propounded Dauid to your selfe as a patterne for imitation. And now as a Minister of God, I exhort your Highnesse to immitat him still, as in speaking and wri­ting, so especially in the conscionable pra­ctise of Christian duties: that you may bee more and more (as he was) a man according to Gods owne hart, walking before the Lord as he did in truth, and righteousnesse,1. King. 3. 6. and vprightnesse of heart; and gouerning and guiding the people of God, according to the integritie of his heart,Psal. 78. 71. 72. and the singuler wise­dome [Page] of his hands. So shall the Lord take pleasure in you, as he did in him, and will not onely giue your Highnesse long and pros­perous dayes, but will also blesse your po­steritie after you, and establish them in the throne of these kingdomes for euer, to the euerlasting glorie of his name, and the perpe­tuall good of his Church: which mer­cies the Lord graunt for his Christs sake. Amen.

Your Maiesties obedient and loyall subiect, George Downame.

LECTVRES ON the 15. Psalme.

Verse 1. A Psalme of Dauid.‘Lord, who shall soiourne in thy Taber­nacle, who shall dwell in the mountaine of thy holinesse?’

THis Psalme of Dauid, The Argument of the Psalme. is a Psalme of doctrine: wher­in the Kingly Prophet sheweth by what markes and notes a sound mem­ber of the Church mili­tant, and a true citizen of the kingdome of heauen may bee discerned and knowne. And it is set downe in forme of a dialogue betwixt Dauid and the Lord, consisting on two parts; Dauids question, Verse 1. and Gods answer, in the rest of the Psalme. The occa­sion of the question seemeth to haue beene the disgui­sing and counterfeiting of many professors in all ages, who liuing in the Church, and not being of it, but as goats among the sheepe, and as tares among the corne, doe notwithstanding by an externall profession of re­ligion, and false opinion of true pietie, deceiue not only others, but sometimes themselues also. For many there are, who place all religion in the performance of the [Page 2] outward worship. And therefore such persons, if they frequent the Church, heare the word, receiue the sacra­ments, call vpon God with the rest of the congregati­on, they imagine that they haue sufficiently discharged their dutie, though their life and conuersation be irreli­gious and vnrighteous. Yea and not a few seeme to re­pose such trust and affiance in the very name of the Church, that if they imagine themselues to bee in the true Church, and doe not gaine say the doctrine therein professed, they take no further care for their saluation, but liue securely, as though all the members of the visi­ble Church, were also members of the inuisible; and as though all which haue the externall Church to their mother, had also God to their spiritual father in Christ. Wherefore, to the end that men should no longer de­ceiue themselues with vaine opinions & fond conceits, the Prophet hauing first consulted as it were with the Oracle of God, setteth downe certaine marks or notes of a true Christian and citizen of heauen, wherby eue­ry man may discerne himselfe. And withall he teacheth that in a sound and liuely member of the Church, an externall profession of the faith, and an outward com­munion with the Church of God, is not sufficient, vn­lesse the vprightnesse of our life be answerable to our profession. And the same is confirmed by our Sauiour Christ:Mat 7. 21, 22, 23. Not euery one that saith vnto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of heauen, but he that doth the will of my father which is in heauen. Many shall say vnto me in that day, Lord, Lord, haue not wee prophecied in thy name, and cast out diuels in thy name, and done great wonders in thy name? And then will I pro­fesse vnto them, saying, I know you not, depart from me you wor­kers of iniquitie.

But now let vs search out the true sence and mea­ning of this question.The meaning of the words. Ver. 1. By the names of Tabernacle and Mountaine, we are to vnderstand the two parts of the Catholicke or vniuersall Church: For the Tabernacle [Page 3] signifieth the Church militant vpon earth; the holy Mountaine, the Church triumphant in heauen. By so­journing in the Tabernacle, is vnderstood the short and transitorie abode of Christians, as it were pilgrims in the earth, as in a strange land: by dwelling in the Mountain of God, is signified their perpetuall & eter­nall rest in heauen, as in their owne countrey. Wherein the Prophet alludeth vnto that materiall Tabernacle, which was called the Tabernacle of the assembly or congregation; and to the mount Moriah, where the Temple was placed:2. Chro. 3. 1. the one whereof was a type of the Church militant vpon earth; the other was a figure of the Church triumphant in heauen. I am not igno­rant, that both members are by some expounded of the Church militant, and by others of the Church trium­phant: but I follow that exposition which seemeth best to agree with the words and meaning of the holy ghost. For the varietie of phrase plainely argueth diuersitie of matter; sojourning in Gods Tabernacle, being much different from dwelling in the Mountaine of his holi­nesse. And the conclusion of the answere in the last words of the Psalme, which without doubt doth ren­der the true meaning of the question, belongeth both to this life and to that which is to come. He that doth these things, shall not beremooued for euer: that is, he shall neither fall away from the grace of God in this life, nor be ex­cluded out of Gods glorious presence in the life to come. The sence therefore and meaning of the questi­on is this,2. Tim. 2. 19. Lord, thou searcher and trier of the hearts and reines of men, who art acquainted with all secrets, and best knowest who are thine, for as much as there is so much vnsoundnesse and hipocrisie among them that professe thy name, and frequent the places of thy wor­ship, that many deceiue others with a counterfeit shew, and some beguile themselues with a false opinion of re­ligion, declare, I beseech thee, vnto thy Church some [Page 4] tokens and cognisances of a true and sound Christian, whereby the sheepe may be discerned from the goats, and the wheat from tares: shew vs Lord who is a sound member of the Church militant here on earth, and shal be an inheritor of glorie in the Church triumphant in heauen: who is a true subject of thy kingdome of grace, and shall be an heire of the kingdome of glory.

And this was the meaning of the question. Now let vs come to the words of this text. Wherein wee are to consider two things:The diuision [...] the text. Vers. 1. the parts of the question, and the partie to whom it is propounded. Of the parts wee are to speake, first, seuerally of either, and then joyntly of both together.Esay 40. 22. The former part: Lord who shall soiourne in thy Tabernacle? By Tabernacle some (as I said) vnder­stand heauen, which elsewhere in the Scriptures is cal­led Gods Tabernacle: Psal. 104. 2. and not vnsitly, seeing the Lord stretcheth out the heauens as a curtaine, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. But howsoeuer the name Tabernacles is sometimes figuratiuely vsed to signifie heauenly and euerlasting habitations.Luke 16. 9. Notwithstanding, it more pro­perly signifieth tents in warre, and the flitting habitati­ons of warfaring men. And that by Tabernacle is here meant the Church militant, the other word of soiourning doth import. For heauenly Tabernacles are not tents to sojourne in, but mansions of perpetuall habitation, and euerlasting rest.

Basill by Tabernacle vnderstandeth our flesh,In Psal. 15. which the Apostle calleth the [...]arthly house of our Tabernacle: 2. Cor. 5. 1. for our bodies are not onely Tabernacles,2. Pet. 1. 13, 14. but Temples al­so of God.1. Cor. 3. 16. & 6. 19. As if this were the sence: Lord, who is he, who hauing sojourned as a stranger in this flesh of ours,2. Cor. 6. 16. shal at the length rest with thee in thine heauenly king­dome? And surely, the sence which he giueth is godly, for it teacheth, that those which shall for euer rest in the mountaine of Gods holinesse, do liue in this flesh as pil­grims and strangers,Col. 3. 5. mortifying their earthly members. [Page 5] Notwithstanding his exposition is not fit. For accor­ding to this interpretation, the former part of the que­stion containeth the answere to the latter: for so hee sayth, He that hath soiourned as a pilgrim in the flesh, he shall dwell in the holy mountaine. [...]. Most fitly therefore by Taber­nacle we may vnderstand the Church militant, which elsewhere is called the Tabernacle of God,Psal. 61. 5. &c. Th [...] Church mi­litant is the Ta­bernacle of God. and some­times the house, sometimes the Temple of God. For a Tabernacle is a militarie mansion, and as it were a por­table house which hath no fixed seat or setled place.

Now whereas the holy ghost calleth the Church of God a Tabernacle,The first vse. we learn first, that the life of a Chri­stian is a warfare,Iob. 7. 1. as Iob saith, wherein we are to fight a­gainst the enemies of our saluation, which fight against our soules, namely, the flesh, the world, and the diuell: Whereupon, the Church of God vpon earth is called the Church militant. It behooueth therefore euery one of vs that would bee esteemed a true member of the Church, to behaue our selues as Christian souldiours, fighting vnder the banner of Christ. And for as much as our aduersarie the Diuell goeth about like a roaring Lion,1. Pet. 5. 8. seeking whom he may deuour;Iob. 1. and seeing the flesh lusteth against the spirit,Gal. 5. 17. sending out of the heart as it were a furnace,1. Tim. 6. the sparkles of foolish and noisome lusts, which fight against our soules:1. Pet. 2. 11. and the world likewise, partly by the desires thereof, partly by bad ex­amples, carrieth vs away, 1. Cor. 7. 31. [...]. to embrace the world, to mind earthly things, to serue Mammon, and to place our pa­radise here on the earth: It behooueth vs therfore both to prepare our selues to this combat, and therefore not to bee secure or to sleepe, as others, but to stand vpon our guard, to be sober and vigilant, and to arme our selues with that complete armour of God described.1. Pet. 58. Eph. 6. and also in the fight valiantly to encounter,Eph. 6. 14, 15, 16, 17. and constantly to withstand our spirituall enemies, to resist the diuell,sam. 4. 7. and hee shall flie from vs, with the shield of [Page 6] faith to quench his fierie darts, and with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, to refell his asserti­ons, and repell his assentations. So to vse the world, that we doe not ouer-vse it,1. Cor. 7. 31. so to possesse worldly things, that we be not possessed of them: but rather renoun­cing worldly lusts,Tit. 2. 12. and being wained from worldly de­sires, to meditate and mind heauenly things.Psal. 131. 2. To cruci­fie the flesh with the lusts thereof,Col. 3. 2. and to mortifie our members which are on the earth,Gal. 5▪ 24. liuing not according to the flesh,Col. 3. 5. but according to the spirit.

This warfare is to be entertained, this warre is to be maintained of vs, if we would be esteemed sound mem­bers of the Church militant, who sojourning in the Ta­bernacle of God, doe fight in his campe against our spi­rituall enemies. But on the other side, if we execute the workes of the diuell, giuing our selues ouer vnto sinne and iniquitie; if with Demas we embrace the world, fol­lowing after pleasures, riches, honours; if we conforme our selues to this present world and the examples ther­of;Rom, 13. 14. if wee take thought for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof: then are we souldiors indeed, but in the diuels campe; we fight, but vnder Sathans banner, against God, against the spirit, against our owne soules. So farre are we either from sojourning in Gods Tabernacle for the pre [...]nt or from hope of resting in the mountaine of his holinesse for the time to come.

Secondly,The second vse. whereas the holy ghost calleth the Church of Christ vpon earth, a Tabernacle, we may learne, that neither the Church it selfe, nor the members of it, haue any firme or fixed seat of habitation on the earth: for Tabernacles and Tents are made to that end, that they may be remoued frō place to place. Yea, the Taberna­cle of God was a moueable temple, eftsoones changing his seat.1. Cor. 10. And as those Israelits were types vnto vs, so was that Tabernacle a type of the militant Church. For euen as that Tabernacle, after it was once made, wan­dered [Page 7] vp and downe in the desert, and after sojourned for a while, now here, now there, sometimes in Shilo, sometimes among the Philistims, somtimes in Keriath­jarim, &c. and neuer found any setled place, vntil it was transported into the mountaine of God:2. Chron. 3. 1. & 5. 5. so the Church of God wandreth many times as a pilgrim in the desert of this world,Heb. 11. 37, 38. forced oft times to change her seat, tos­sed too and fro, persecuted, molested, banished, and ne­uer findeth any assured place of constant rest, vntill it bee translated into the celestiall mountaine of Gods holinesse.

Thirdly,The third vse. whereas the Church is called the Taber­nacle of God,1. Tim. 3. 15. as elsewhere in the Scriptures the house and temple of God,2. Cor. 6. 16. wherein God dwelleth and mani­festeth his presence;Eph. 2. 21. we may learn that the Lord dwel­leth as it were in his Church,Apoc. 3. 12. and after a singular maner is present therein.2. Thess. 2. 4. For to this end the Lord commaun­ded the Tabernacle to be made,Exod. 25. 8. that he might dwell among them: and againe, whereas he promiseth by Moses, To set his Tabernacle among them, Leuit. 26. 12. and walke among them. The Apo­stle expoundeth his setting his Tabernacle, to bee his dwelling among them.2. Cor. 6. 16. You are (saith he) the temple of the liuing God. As God hath said, I will dwell among them, and I wil walke there. And to the same purpose elsewhere hee is said to be and to walke in the middest of his people,Esay 12. 6. to dwell in Sion,Deut. 13. 14. and to walke in the middest of the seuen golden candlesticks,Psal. 9. 12. & 132. 13. that is, of the seuen churches. Now the consideration of Gods presence in his Church,Apoc. 2. 1. ought to make vs warie and circumspect, that wee may so behaue our selues as in the presence of God, who searcheth the hearts and reines of men. For the Lord is not onely present to reward those which worship him in spirit and truth, but also to punish and afflict those which feare not to sinne in his presence. Wherefore the holy ghost, as he chargeth the Israelits not to feare their enemies,Deut. 20. 3. because God did walke with them, and was [Page 8] among them a consuming fire to destroy their enemies:Deu [...]. 9. 3. so hee commaundeth them to abstaine from sinne, be­cause God was among them a consuming fire,Deut. 6. 15. & could not abide any filthinesse, especially spirituall vnclean­nesse among them.Deut. 23. 14. This therefore must teach vs to set God alwayes before our eyes, and to behaue our selues as in his presence: knowing that wee are more than shamelesse sinners, if wee feare not to sinne in the sight and presence of God.

But although the Lord bee present euery where in his Church after a speciall manner,God more espe­cially present in the assemblies of the Church. yet more especially he is present in the assemblies of the Church and con­gregations of his people gathered together in the name of Christ, as Christ himselfe hath promised, Matt. 18. 20. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, Mat. 18. 20. there am I in the middest of them. Therefore in the old Testament, those who were excluded from the assembly of the Church, thought themselues banished from the face & presence of God.Gen. 4. 15. The consideration whereof as it must affect vs with an earnest desire and serious care of frequenting the Tabernacles of God, to visit his face and to behold his presence, so it must teach vs to behaue our selues in the assembly of Gods saints, as in the presence of God. Dauid when he was exiled, or otherwise excluded from the assemblies of the Church, he desired nothing more than that hee might haue libertie to come vnto the Ta­bernacle of God, and to appear in the presence of God. See Psal. 27. 4.Psal. 27. 4. One thing haue I desired of the Lord, that I will require, euen that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the daies of my life, to behold the beautie of the Lord, and to visit his temple. And Psal. 42.Psal. 42. 1. 2. 4. As the Hart brayeth for the riuers of waters, so panteth my soule after thee O God. My soule thirsteth for God, euen for the liuing God, when shall I come and appeare before the presence of God, Psal. 84. 1▪ 2. &c &c. Likewise Ps. 84. O Lord of hosts how amiable are thy Tabernacles: my soule longeth, yea fainteth, that I might come to the Courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crie out after the [Page 9] liuing God, &c. And when he had liberty to come to the Tabernacle,Psal. 122. 1. he rejoyced in nothing more. Psal. 122. Ire­ioyced when they said vnto me, we will go into the house of the Lord. And again Psal. 84.Psal. 84. 4. 10. he judgeth them blessed that dwell in the house of the Lord, and preferreth one day spent in the Courts of the Lord, before a thousand elswhere. But as I said, the presence of God must also moue vs to behaue our selues reuerently and religious [...]y, that be­fore we come vnto the house of the Lord,Eccles. 4. 17. & 5. 1. we look vn­to our feet, that is, examine with what affections wee come; and not onely so, but also to put off the shoes of our feet,Exod. 3. 5. that is, our corrupt affections, that we may bee readie to heare rather than to offer the sacrifice of fooles,Ios. 5. 15. for the place of the assembly being sanctified by Gods presence, is holy ground. And that when we are entred into the assembly, we may after the example of Cornelius, Act. 10. 33. behaue our selues as in the presence of God. Those which come before an earthly prince, either to speake vnto him, or to heare him speake, how carefull are they to behaue themselues in all comely reuerence! how much more ought wee in all reuerence and feare appeare before the glorious majestie of the great God,1. Sam. 1 [...]. 7. the King of kings,Why the holy ghost doth vse the phrase of so­iourning. and Lord of lords, especially con­sidering that the Lord doth not behold vs as man doth, but looketh especially vnto the heart. Our abode in the Church militant, [...]. is signified in the word soiourne. Hebr. [...]. Graec. [...], who shall soiourne. Sojourning (saith Basil) is a temporarie abode, signifying not a set­led life, but transitorie or passing on, in hope of trans [...]a­tion to a better estate. This word therefore the holy-ghost doth vse to signifie, that a citizen of heauen is a pilgrim on earth, and that his life here is a pilgrimage.True heires of heauen, and pilgrims on ea [...]th. And so Peter calleth the time of our life, the time of our pilgrimage. And Iacob professeth, that the daies of his pil­grimage (meaning his life) were few and euill. [...]. Pet. 1. 17. And likewise Dauid, Gen. 47. 9. I am a stranger (saith he) before thee, [...] Chro. 2 [...]. 15. and [Page 10] a pilgrim, as all my forefathers were. In a word, it was the profession of all the faithfull, That they were strangers and pilgrims vpon the earth. Heb. 11. 13. Here therefore wee are taught so many as desire to be citisens of heauen, to behaue our selues as pilgrims on the earth.1. Pet. 2. 11, 12. Who being exiles in a forraine land, desire to come vnto our owne country. He that hath a good patrimonie in his owne countrey, great wealth, kind and able kinred and friends, and is forced for a time to sojourne in a strange land, where he is ill intreated, disturbed, molested, assailed by his e­nemies on euery side, hee will affect nothing in that strange countrey, neither will he set his heart vpon any thing there, but his mind is vpon his countrey, desiring nothing more than to returne thither. But our countrey is in heauen, where we haue an euerlasting inheritance, an incorruptible and inestimable treasure, where, is God our heauenly father, Christ our eldest brother, and the rest of our brothers and sisters, the Patriarchs, Pro­phets, Apostles, Martyrs, and all the quire of heauenly Saints and celestiall spirits: and wee are pilgrims for a time here vpon earth, where we are hated & ill intrea­ted, assaulted with the temptations of Satan, the world, and the flesh, subject to many inward infirmities and outward troubles. And therefore it behooueth vs not to set our hearts on worldly things, or to place our pa­radise vpon the earth. For if our hearts be on the earth, how is our treasure in heauen? if the earth be our coun­trey, how are we citizens of heauen? Wherefore, if we bee pilgrims in the world, let vs not bee addicted to worldly desires, let vs not mind earthly things, but be­ing wained from worldly cogitations, let vs mind those things which be aboue. Let vs vse the world, as though we vsed it not, and let vs be so affected towards earthly things as pilgrims and wayfaring men are toward such delights or commodities as they see in their journey, or at their inne. Which if they vse as meanes to further [Page 11] them in their journey: yet they set not their hearts vp­on them. And yet assuredly▪ our abode in this life, in re­spect of our continuance in the mountaine of Gods ho­linesse, is not so much as the time of our lodging or bait in an Inne. Therefore howsoeuer such as be but earth­wormes, doe crawle as it were vpon the earth, and mind earthly things. Yet must we remember, that we are ci­tisens of heauen,Phil. 3. 19, 20. and pilgrims on the earth. Are wee pilgrims, liuing (as it were) exiled from our celestiall countrey and heauenly father?Phil. 1. 23. What ought wee then more feruently to desire than to be in our country, and that this earthly Tabernacle of our body being dissol­ued,2. Cor. 5. 1. wee might dwell in that habitation made without hands, eternall in the heauens? Are we such pilgrims as indeed desire to be in our countrey? Let that then bee our chiefest care and indeuour to trauell into our coun­trey.Mat 6. 33. Let vs first seeke the kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse, and carefully vse the meanes of our sal­uation. And let vs thinke, that if wee bee pilgrims, wee must also be wayfaring men. Are we wayfaring men in this life? then will wee vse hac vita vt via, [...]. Basil. This life as a way; and the things of this life as they may bee helpes vnto vs in this way. Let vs make choise of the high, and as it were the Kings way, which leadeth vnto heauen, the way of true faith and vnfained repentance. Let vs insist and persist therein,Mat. 7. 14. though it bee a narrow and an afflicted way. Let vs walke before God in the duties of our lawfull callings, and in those good workes which God hath prepared for vs.Eph. 2. 10. This is the way, let vs walke ther­in. Let vs not returne to our sinnes,Esay. 30. 21. let vs not de [...]ne from the way of Gods commaundements either to the right hand or to the left: let vs not stand at a stay, nor looke backward with Lots wife, and much lesse goe backward; but with Paule, Phil. 3. 14. let vs doe one thing, forget­ting that which is behind, and striuing to that which is before, let vs make on towards the marke, vnto the [Page 12] price of the high calling of God in Iesus Christ, know­ing,Mat. 10. 22. that whosoeuer perseuereth to the end, he shall bee saued. And this was the former part of the question, concerning a true member of the Church militant, which the holy ghost hath expressed in these wordes: Who shall soiourne in thy Tabernacle? calling the Church mi­litant, the Tabernacle of God; and teaching, that hee which is an heire of the kingdome of heauen, is a pil­grim on earth.

Now followeth the later part of the question,The second part of the question. which is concerning the member that shall bee of the Church triumphant, and inheritour of the kingdome of heauen, in these words, Who shall dwell in the mountaine of thy holi­nesse? What is meant by the mountain of God. The kingdome of heauen by a metonymy of the signe, he calleth the mountaine of God. For the moun­taine of God was a type of the kingdome of heauen. And this mountaine was either the land of Canaan, which was a type of the coelestiall Canaan, as it is said Exod. 15.Exod. 15. 17. Thou shalt plant them, O Lord, in the moun­taine of thine inheritance, in the place which thou hast made for thine habitation: or else the mount Sion, which elsewhere is called the mountaine of Gods ho­linesse,Psal. 2. 6. and was a type of the heauenly Ierusalem: or lastly,Heb. 12. 22. the Mount Moriah, where the Temple was pla­ced, which is somewhere called the mountaine of the congregation,Esay. 14. 13. standing on the North part of Sion; and is therefore called the holy mountaine,Psal. 48. 2. because it was the place of the holy assemblies, which the Lord san­ctified for his habitation and for his worship: and this al [...] was a type of the temple of God, that is to say, of heauen.Psal. 11. 4. Whereas therefore heauen is called the moun­taine of God, it is a metonymy, such as wee find else­where in the Psalmes,Psal. 3. 4. I cried vnto the Lord, and he heard me out of the mountaine of his holinesse, that is, heauen. And thus the most interpret this place: as namely, among the Greekes Basil saith this mountaine doth signifie, [...]. [Page 13] The supercelestiall religion, Heb. 12. which is euery way conspicuous and bright (which some call Coelum Empyrium) wherof the Apostle speaketh. Heb. 12. Among the Latines P. Lombard. in thy holy mountaine, that is, saith he, In euerlasting blisse, where is the vision of peace (signified in the name Ierusalem) and the superemi­nence or height of charitie, where none contendeth in fight, but resteth in euerlasting peace.

Now heauen is called the moun­taine of God for these causes.Why heauen is called the mountaine of God. First, because it was figured by the moun­taine of God, euen as Christ is called our Passeouer. Secondly, because of the height thereof, whereby it is eleuated farre aboue the earth. For albeit, in respect of vs who are now placed within the compasse of heauen, and behold Comavam coeli superficiem, 1. Cor. 5. as it were the in­ward roofe thereof, it cannot so fitly be called a moun­taine: notwithstanding as it is the throne of God, who sitteth on the globe of heauen, as it were his throne, and as it is the seat of the blessed spirits, whose conuersati­on is in the highest heauen, as it were in the top of an hill, it is not vnfitly called the mountaine of God. Vnto this mountaine, if we should ascend but in thought, as Scipio once did in his dreame, and from thence should behold the earth; we should easily contemne this infe­riour world with the desires thereof. For the whole globe of the earth together with the water, which see­meth none so great vnto vs, if we could see it from the highest heauens, would appeare vnto vs like a mote in the sunne. But if withall we felt the vnspeakable joyes of heauen, and from thence should cast downe our eies vnto this valley of teares, there to behold the vanities of vanities, and nothing but vanitie in vexation of spi­rit, as Salomon saith, it cannot be expressed with how fer­uent a desire we should be inflamed to haue our habi­tation in heauen. Peter when as hee was present in the transfiguration of Christ in the mount Thabor, and [Page 14] had a tast of the heauenly glory, he was straightway ra­uished therewith, and desired greatly to remaine there. Lord (saith he) it is good being here, let vs make three Tabernacles, Mat. 17. 4. &c. Thirdly, heauen is called a Mountaine, because it is a safe place, free from all hazard or possibilitie of dan­ger, where the blessed spirits dwell on high safe from all danger and feare of euill.Esay. 33. 16.

But heauen is not onely called the mountain of God, but also the holy Mountaine,H [...]ly mountain. or (which is all one) the Mountaine of his holinesse, because it is sanctified by the presence of God. For which cause, Sion also and the mount Moriah are called the holy mountaine of God:Exod. 3. 5. For where the Lord doth manifest his presence, that is a holy place, namely, because of Gods presence sanctifying it. But in the highest heauen the Lord doth principally manifest his presence, and reueale his glory. Wherefore, if mount Thabor after the transfiguration of Christ there wrought, and the presence and glory of God there manifested,2. Pet. 1. 18. was for that cause called the holy mountaine; how much more doth the highest heauen, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of his father in majesty and glory, deserue to be called the holy moun­taine of God? The Scriptures ascribe such holinesse to [...]his mountaine of God, as nothing may enter therein which is not holy. Which must teach vs (beloued) to follow after holinesse; Apoc 21. 27. without which we shall neuer see God. Verely verely I say vnto you (saith Christ our Sauiour) except a man be borne of water and of the spirit, Heb. 12. 14. he cannot enter into the king­dome of God. Iohn. 3. 5.

Our abode in the mountaine of God,The phrase of dwelling ex­pounded. is expressed in the word dwelling: whereby two things are signifi­ed, Perpetuitie & Rest. Perpetuitie: for there the chil­dren of God remaine not as pilgrims for a time, but as citisens and heires for euer.Hebr. 9. 15. Whereupon the kingdome of heauen is also called an heauenly inheritance,Luke 16. 9. wher­in are euerlasting habitations, 1. Pet. 1. 4. and an inheritance immortall, and [Page 15] vndefiled, & that fadeth not away, reserued in heauen for vs. I wil not stand to proue this point, being the last article of our Creed, cōfirmed by manifold testimonies of scripture, which often mentioneth eternall life, eternall saluati­on,Dan. 12. 2. 3. eternall kingdome: let vs rather labor by all good meanes to make sure our calling and election to this e­ternall kingdome,Mat. 25. 46. that the meditation therof may teach vs,Heb. 5. 9. first,2. Pet. 1. 11. to contemne in respect thereof the momentarie vanities of this present world:2. Pet. 1. 10. accounting it more than madnesse, if for the temporarie fruition of sinne wee shall depriue our selues of Gods presence,Psal. 16. 11. where there is fulnesse of ioy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for euer­more: 2. Cor. 4. 17. if for light and temporarie trifles we loose a super­excellent eternall weight of glorie in heauen. Secondly, with patience and comfort to run the race of afflictions set before vs, Heb. 12. 1. 2. looking vnto Iesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the ioy that was set before him, endured the crosse, and despised the shame, Rom 8. 18. and is set at the right hand of the throne of God. For the and light afflictions of this life, 2. Cor. 4. 17. are not worthy the eternall weight of glorie that shall be reuealed, which notwithstanding they procure vnto vs, whiles we looke not on the things which are seene, but on the things which are not seene. For the things which are seene, are temporall: but the things which are not seene, are eternall. Againe the word dwelling, importeth rest. For there the children of God doe not wander as pilgrims, neither are subject to any molestations, but doe wholly rest from their labours. Apoc. 14. 13. And for that cause the kingdome of hea­uen is called the rest of God, Psal. 95. &c. and as it were an eternall Sab­both. In respect whereof,Heb. 4. the land of Canaan was a type of our heauenly countrey. For as to the Israelits, after they had for many yeares wandered as pilgrims through the desert, the land of Canaan was the moun­taine of their perpetuall habitation and rest: euen so to vs, after wee haue finished our pilgrimage through the desert of this world, there remaineth an heauenly Canaan, that Sabbatisme or rest of God, which the [Page 16] Apostle testifieth,Heb. 4. 9. is left to the people of God. But as against those Israelites, which after they were brought out of Aegypt, and were in the way towards the land of promise, by their infidelitie and contumacie prouoked God, the Lord sware in his anger, that they should ne­uer enter into his rest: so shall it happen to so many of vs, as professing our selues to bee redeemed out of the bondage of the spirituall Pharao, shall notwithstanding neither truly beleeue in Christ, nor repent of our sinnes, but prouoke the Lord by our infidelitie and disobedi­ence.Heb. 3. 7. &c. Wherefore, as the holy ghost sayth, To day if you shall heare his voice, harden not your hearts as in the prouocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wil­dernesse, where your fathers tempted me, &c. to whom I sware in my wrath, that they should not enter into my rest.Heb. 6. 11. Let vs studie therefore to enter into that rest, least any of vs fall after the same ensample of disobedience. And let vs take heed least at any time there be in vs an euill heart of infidelitie to depart from the liuing God.Heb. 3. 12. For the vnfaithfull shall be excluded,Apoc. 21. 8. but so many as beleeue,Heb. 4. 3. shall enter into that rest. And as Iosua (who also is called Iesus) brought the Israelites into that rest:Heb. 4. 8. so Christ, the true Iesus and Sauiour of his people, brin­geth all those that beleeue in him into this eternall rest. For he not onely died, that hee might purchase by his bloud this rest for vs, and ascended into heauen, to prepare eternall mansions for vs:Iohn. 14. 2. but also, when wee are to leaue this earthly Tabernacle of our bodies, he sendeth his holy Angels to conuey our soules into the bosome of Abraham, Luke. 16. 22. and to place them in this moun­taine of God.

By that which hath beene said, wee see what diffe­rence there is betwixt the Church militant on earth, and triumphant in heauen. For this is a Tabernacle of warre; that, a mountaine of peace. In this we sojourne for a time as pilgrims from God, or, as the Apostle [Page 17] speaketh,2. Cor. 5. 6. [...], in that be­ing remooued from the bodie, we dwell with God, or, as the same Apostle speaketh,2. Cor. 5. 8. [...]. Here is trouble, there is ease; here is the val­ley of teares, there is the kingdom of happines & glory; here is the combat and fight, there is quiet & perpetual rest; here we are in our way, there in our countrey.

Hitherto we haue spoken of the parts of this questiō seuerally,Of the parts of the question ioyntly. now we are in a word to intreat of thē ioyntly & together: For both parts are to be vnderstood of one & the same party or subiect: out of which cōiunctiō we gather two things: the first, that those which shall dwell in the holy mountain, do first sojourne in Gods Taber­nacle; the second, that those which do here sojourne in the Tabernacle of God, shal also rest in the mountain of his holines. The former serueth for our instruction, tea­ching vs that none shalbe mēbers of the Church trium­phant, but those which haue bin mēbers of the Church militāt, none shalbe heires of heauē, but those that haue bin pilgrims on earth. All men desire to rest in the holy mountain of God: but how few behaue thēselues as pil­grims in his Tabernacle? [...], saith Basil, such men are geason, all desire with Balaam to die the death of the righteous, but few do care to lead the life of the iust: all desire glory, but few do care for grace: al are desirous of the end, which is saluatiō, but few are careful of the sub­ordinat means. The latter serueth for our consolation, assuring vs that all the true mēbers of the Church mili­tant, shall be members of the Church triumphant; that all the children of God (as all the faithfull are) be also heires of eternall life; that those which are obedient subiects in the kingdome of grace, shall be inheritors of the kingdome of glory; that those who are pilgrimes on earth, shall be citisens of heauen: For this is the priuiledge of a true Christian, noted in the end of the Psalme, that being once in the state of grace he shall ne­uer [Page 18] be vtterly remoued. Herein therefore the faithfull may solace themselues, that although they are despised and abused in the world, yet they are heires of eternall life, and citizens of the kingdome of heauen.

And so much of the parts of the question:Of the party to whom this que­stion is propoun­ded. now we are to consider of the party to whom it is propounded. For as touching this most weightie question, the Psal­mist consulteth with the Lord, the collector of his Church, and the giuer of eternall life. And there may two reasons be giuen why in this question he appealeth vnto the Lord. First, because in determining this que­stion, we are not to stand to the iudgement of men, but of God onely: For mens iudgement whether they de­liuer their opinion concerning others, is very vncer­taine; or touching themselues, it is many times deceit­full. For as touching themselues, how many are there especially in the Church of Rome, who boast of the name of the Church, and in comparison of themselues contemne all others as heretiques or schismatiques; be­cause they presume that they are in the Catholique Church, obseruing the rites of their Church, and be­leeuing as their Church beleeueth; when as in truth they are members of Antichrist, and nothing lesse than the true members of the Catholicke and inuisible Church of Christ. And therefore no maruell, if many who liue in the face of the true Church, do falsly iudge themselues to be sound members of the same. Neither are we to stand to mens iudgement concerning others: For the iudgement of the vngodly is corrupt, and of the godly vncertaine. The wicked iudge the true members of the Church indeed,1. Cor. 4. 13. to be the scum of the world and off-scouring of all things; them they hate, contemne, persecute, excommunicate, either as im­pious or as hereticall, euen as our Sauiour Christ hath foretold,Iohn 16. 2. [...] They shall excommunicate you, yea, the time shall come, that whosoeuer killeth you, will thinke that he doth God good [Page 19] seruice. The world doth loue her owne, but hateth those which are Christs,Iohn 17. 14. as our Sauiour sayth, the world hateth them because they are not of the world, euen as I am not of the world. Iohn 15. 18. 19. And againe, if the world hateth you, know that it hated me first: if you were of the world, assuredly the world would loue her owne. But now because you are not of the world, but I haue chosen you out of the world, therefore the world doth hate you. But the iudgement also of the godly concerning others, is vncertaine: For there is a twofold iudgement, the judgement of

  • Charitie,
  • Certaintie.

By the iudgement of Charitie [...] the faithfull judge euery professed member of the visible Church,Phil. 1. 7. when they speake of the particular persons, to be a member of the inuisible, elected, called, justified, sanctified; howbeit, they know in generall,1. Iohn 2. 19. that many are in the Church, which be not of it, [...]at. 22. 14. and that many be called, but few are chosen. The judgement of Certaintie appertaineth on­ly to God, who onely is the searcher of the heart. As the Prophet Ieremie sayth,Ier. 17. 9. 10. The heart is deceitfull and wicked aboue all things: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart and trie the reines, that I may giue to euery man according to his wayes, and according to the fruit of his workes. Seeing therefore wee are to stand to the judgement of God, and not of men, let vs labour to approoue our selues not to men,1. Thes. 2. 4. but to the Lord, who trieth the heart.

Secondly, the Prophet deuolueth this question to Gods judgement, that we may vnderstand the answere which ensueth to be without exception: as being the aunswere not of man but of God,2. Tim. 2. 19. who best knoweth who are his;Mat. 25. 32. who also in the end of the world shall se­parate the sheepe from the goates. Whe [...] [...] let no man deceiue himselfe any longer, either [...] title of the Church, or with a faire shew of an outward pro­fession, &c. but let him know this for a certaine truth, as it were from the Oracle of God, That he is not such an [Page 20] one as shall either sojourne in the Tabernacle of God, or dwell in his holy mountaine, vnlesse the description of a sound Christian and citisen of heauen, which is comprised in this answer of the Lord, agree vnto him. And of this answer we are now to speake.

For when as Dauid, Gods answer. as if he had bene the high Priest standing before the propitiatory, had consulted with the Oracle of God; The Lord maketh aunswere as it were from betwixt the Cherubins, therein fully satisfy­ing his demaund. For being demaunded who shall so­journe in the Tabernacle of God, and rest in his holy mountaine: He answereth, That he which walketh vpright­ly, and worketh righteousnesse, &c. shall neuer beremooued. In which answere we are to consider two things, the de­scription of a sound Christian, in the whole body of the Psalme: and his priuiledge, in the last words, he that doth these things shall neuer beremooued.

The description consisteth wholly of the effects,Of the descrip­tion in generall. whereby the Lord would haue a true citisen of the kingdome of heauen to be tried and knowne, as our Sauiour saith; By their fruits you shall know them. But here it may be demaunded first, Why doth he not rather de­scribe a sound member of the Church and heire of hea­uen, by his faith, or by the profession thereof; seeing to faith the kingdome of heauen is promised, and seeing also the profession of the true faith maketh one a mem­ber of the visible Church? I answer, because faith is an inward and hidden grace, & many deceiue both them­selues and others by a profession of faith: and therfore the holy ghost will haue euery mans faith to bee tried and known by the fruits thereof. And howsoeuer eter­nall life be promised to faith, and eternall damnation be threatned against infidelitie, yet the sentence of salua­tion and condemnation shall be pronounced according to workes, as the euidence of both. Secondly, it may be demaunded, Why among all the fruits of faith (which [Page 21] are almost innumerable) he maketh choise of those du­ties which we owe to our brother: especially conside­ring that the duties which we owe immediatly to God, are more principall, wherein also consisteth our religi­on and pietie towards God. As for example, the true in­uocation of the name of God, the sincere profession of the faith, the sauing hearing of the word, &c. Answ. We are to consider, that this question is propounded of such as liuing in the visible Church, would seeme to be reli­gious, making a profession of the faith, hearing the word of God, and calling vpon his name, viz. which of them (because all are not religious which would seeme to be so) are indeed sound members of the Church, and heires of heauen. For of those which are openly pro­phane, and doe not so much as make a semblance of re­ligion, there is no question to bee made: For without question there is no place for such in the kingdome of heauen. Now that wee may rightly discerne of those which professe religion, who among them are sound, who vnsound; the markes and tokens are not to bee ta­ken from the outward duties of Gods worship, as pray­er, hearing of the word, receiuing of the sacraments, and much lesse the obseruation of humane traditions (for all these things hypocrits also are accustomed to do;) but from the duties of charitie and righteousnesse, which we owe to our brethren: For the touchstone of pietie and true religion towards God, is cha­ritie towards our brother.1. Iohn. 3. 10. Herein (saith Iohn) are the children of God knowne, and the children of the diuell: whoso­euer doth not righteousnesse, is not of God, neither he that loueth not his brother. The [...]e is no man almost in the Church who will not affirme that he beleeueth in Christ, that he loueth God, that he is the disciple of Christ: How then shall he be tried?Gal. 5. 6. True faith worketh by loue, and is to be manifested by workes,Iam. 2. 18. & 26 without which it is to be jud­ged dead. The true loue of God must shew it selfe in [Page 22] the loue of our brother.1. Iohn [...]. 20. For if any man shall say, that he lo­ueth God, and hateth his brother, he is a lyar. The true disciple of Christ is knowne by brotherly loue. Hereby (saith our Sauiour) shall all men know you to be my disciples, Iohn 13. 35. if you loue one another. Now in the loue of our neighbour, all the duties of the second Table are summarily comprised.Rom. 13. 9. Let no man therefore so deceiue himselfe, as to thinke, that he is truly religious towards God, if hee liue vnjustly or vncharitably among his neighbours. For our religion towards God is to bee esteemed according to those fruits which appeare in our calling and conuersation with men. For hereby according to the Scriptures, is all our religion and pietie towards God to bee examined and tried. And for this cause, in describing a citizen of heauen, he reckneth vp those duties which are to be ex­ercised towards our brother, that by them as it were certaine cognisances, the true seruant of God may bee discerned from the slaue of the Diuell. And so else­where in the Scriptures the like questions receiue not vnlike answers.Psal. 24. 3. 4. 6. As Psal. 24. 3. 4. 6. Esay 33. 14. 15. 16.Esay 33. 14. 15. 16.

Hitherto I haue spoken of the description in gene­rall,The parts of the description. now we are to descend to the seuerall parts and branches thereof: of them, some are generall, others more speciall. I call those generall, which summarily comprise all the duties of a good man, in the 2. verse, namely, that he be vpright in heart, just in his deeds, and true in his words. The more speciall are contained in the rest of the Psalme, whereby the child of God is described, partly [...] by way of deniall, that he slan­dereth not, that he doth not euill vnto his neighbour, that he receiueth not an ill report against him, that he breaketh not his oath, that he putteth not to vsury, that he receiueth no rewards; partly [...], that hee con­temneth the wicked and honoureth the godly. And these specials may bee vnderstood as branches of the generall: For he that is vpright is not partiall, but be­haueth [Page 23] himselfe towards men as they behaue them­selues towards God, honoring those that honor God, and despising those that contemne the Lord. He that is iust, is not iniurious to his neighbour, neither is he an vsurer or briber. He that loueth the truth, he is true in his oath and promises, he detesteth slandering both in himselfe and others, hauing neither a tongue to vtter, nor an eare to heare slaunders. Or you may conceiue thus, that a citizen of heauen is here described by ten notes, whereof foure is affirmatiue, signifying the ver­tues wherewith he is indued; and six are negatiue, sig­nifying those speciall vices which hee is carefull to auoid.

Of these notes we are to speake in order. The first whereof is Integrity or vprightnesse, in these words: He that walketh vprightly. [...] To walke, in the Hebrew phrase, signifieth either generally, to liue, to order a mans life: or more specially, to liue, or to walke in a calling, or else to professe religion. Hereupon in the Scriptures our life or course of liuing, our vocation, our religion, is called a way. But the generall signifi­cation which comprehendeth the other, best fitteth this place. This word therefore the holy Ghost doth vse to teach vs, that this life of ours is a way, and that we are way-faring men,Psal. 119. 1. whom it behoueth to be vp­right in our way, as the Psalmist elsewhere speaketh.

Now, if we be trauellours or way-faring men, we are to be carefull of three things. First, that we go in the right way: For if we go out of our way, the farther we go, the farther we shall be from our iourneys end. And therefore as Christ himselfe exhorteth enter, Mat. 7. 13. yea, striue to enter at the narrow gate: Luke 13. 24. for wide is the gate, and broad is the way which leadeth vnto destruction, and many there be which go in thereat, because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth vnto life, and few there be that find it. This way is the true religion of Christ, which in the Scrip­tures [Page 24] is called the way, Act. 9. 2. the way of life, the way of peace, the way of saluation:Psal. 16. 11. teaching two things especially, repentance towards God,Luke 1. 79. and faith in our Lord Iesus Christ.Act. 16. 17. For by faith we come vnto Christ, who is the way,Act. 20. 21. 24. 14. 15. 16. the truth, and the life, and by repentance we bring forth the fruits of faith,Iohn 6. 35. namely, good workes, which God hath prepared for vs that we should walke in them,Iohn 14. 6. This as I say is the way, Eph. 2. 10. let vs walke therein. Esay 30. 21.

2. The next thing whereof we must be carefull, is, that being set in the right way we go forward therein, proceeding from faith to faith, and from a lesse mea­sure of grace vnto a greater, till at length we come to a perfect or growne stature in Christ. For neither must we stand still in this way, neither must we go backe: for if we do so, how shall we come to our iourney's end? The Apostle Paule although he had proceeded very farre in this way, he thought it not his duty to surcease, but the nearer he came to his marke,Phil. 3. 14. 15. the more he striueth towards it▪ forgetting those things which [...]e behind. And there­upon inferreth, whosoeuer therefore are perfect or growne men, let them be of this mind. Must those that are perfect be of this mind? how much more behooueth it vs, who are but of small growth in comparison, to giue all dili­gence that we may increase and grow vp in grace, that as the Apostle exhorteth, [...]. Thes. 4. 1. we may abound more? For not to go forward in this way, is (as one faith) to go backward: euen as a boat which is caried against a swift streame, either it is rowed forward, or else it run­neth backward. We must take heed therefore le [...]t we be non-proficients, and let vs feare lest when we cease to be better, we begin to be worse.

The third thing is, that we be vpright in the way, neither treading awry by secret dissembling, nor hal­ting downeright, betwixt God and Mammon, betwixt Christ and Antichrist:1. King. 18. 21. As the Israelites in Achabs time halted betweene God and Baal, and those counterfeit [Page 25] Christians,Phil. 3. 18. 19. of whom Paule complaineth Phil. 3. there be many, saith he, which walke, that is, maketh a profession of Religion, of whom I haue told you heretofore, and now I tell you weeping, that they are enemies to the Crosse of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and their glory is to their shame, who mind earthly things.

But of Integrity we are to speake more at large, for­asmuch as it is here set downe as the first and principall marke of a true Christian. The Hebrew word [...] is vsually translated perfect, not that it signifieth such an one as is altogether free from sinne, or is indued with righteousnesse, for so this note would agree to no man liuing:Prou. 20. 9. For, who can say that his heart is cleane? yea if we say that we haue no sinne, 1. Iohn 1. 8. saith Iohn the beloued of Christ, we deceiue ourselues, and there is no truth in vs: for, in many things we offend all, Iam. 3. 2. and there is not a righteous man vpon earth, which doth good and sinneth not. Eccles. 7. 22. But it signifieth him who in the desire and purpose of his heart is free from hypocrisie, dissimulation and guile, whom we call Vpright. For N [...]ah, Iacob, Iob, Dauid, Ezechias and others▪ are said in the Scriptures to haue bene perfect, that is, vpright men who all notwithstanding had their faults.2. Chron. 15. 17▪ Yea, Asa is said 2. Chron. 15. to haue had a perfect or vpright heart all the dayes of his life,Chap. 16. and yet in the next Chapter there are recorded three sinnes of his together, that he rested vpon the King of Syria, that he committed the Prophet to prison, that in his sicknesse he trusted in the Physitions more than in God. The perfection therfore which is signified in this word, is not so much to be measured by the goodnes of the outward act or worke, but by the vnfained will, sincere desire, and vpright in­deuour, aspiring towards perfection. For the Lord ac­cepting the will for the deed, esteemeth of the sincere: will, and vnfained indeuour, for perfect obedience in his children; insomuch that vprightnesse euery where in the old Testament goeth vnder the name of perfe­ction; [Page 26] and those things which are done with an vpright and entire heart, are sayd to be done with the whole heart, and with a perfect heart.

Thamim therfore we may rightly interpret vpright, that is, void of dissumulation; and it may be two wayes con­sidered, as it is referred to God, and so it signifieth sin­cere, or void of hypocrisie: as it is referred towards men, and so it signifieth simple, or void of guile. So that he in this place is said to bee vpright, who is void of hypocrisie towards God, and free from guile to­wards men.

And first we are to speake of vprightnesse in respect of God, in handling whereof I purpose to obserue this order. First, to shew what it is. Secondly, that it is, as here it is made, a note proper to the children of God. And thirdly, because we are not to be idle hearers of this discourse, we are to try and examine our selues whether this note agreeth vnto vs or not. And fourth­ly, if we do find our defectiuenesse therein, either in whole or in part, we are by certaine forcible arguments to be stirred vp to embrace it. And lastly, we are to shew the means whereby to obtaine it.

1. What vprightnesse is towards God,What vpright­nesse is. it may be gathered by those phrases of speech whereby it is ex­pressed in the Scriptures. For first, to be vpright, it is to walke with God, or before God, (as the Lord saith to Abraham, Gen. 17. 1. Walke before me and be vpright) that is, so to lead our liues as in the sight and presence of God, who seeth the hearts, and searcheth the reynes of men: when as the Scripture therefore sayth of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaacke, and others, that they walked before God, it signifieth that they walked, that is, liued vprightly, as in the presence and sight of God, admitting him to be the witnesse and iudge of all their actions and dealings: thus were Zachary and Elizabeth sayd to be righteous be­fore God,Luke 1. 6. that is, vpright persons. And in this sence [Page 27] vpright actions are said in the Scriptures to be done be­fore the Lord.Luke 1. 73. 74. In the song of Zacharie we are said to be redeemed from the hand of our spirituall enemies, to this end, that we s [...]ould worship the Lord in holinesse and righteousnesse before him, that is, not as in the sight of men, who see but the outward shewes, but as in the sight and presence of God, who seeth and respecteth the heart.2. Cor. 12. 19. Thus are we with the Apostle to speake, as before God in Christ: 2. Cor. 2. 17. thus are we to preach, as before God: thus are we to heare,Act. 10. 33. as before God, with Cornelius.

2. Againe,Gal. 2. 14. to be vpright, is [...], to walke with a rightfoot, neither couertly treading awry with Peter, Gal. 2.1. Kin. 18. 21. nor openly halting, with the Israelits, 1. King. 18.

3. It is also (as I said) to be void of hypocrisie and doubling, not to haue an heart and an heart, or to bee double minded, but to be single hearted. Thus those things which be vpright, are said to bee [...], vnfai­ned, and to be performed not with an heart & an heart, or with a heart diuided or parted, but with an entire or whole heart. After this manner, the holy ghost spea­king of the Zebulonits.1. Chron. 12. 33. 1. Chron. 12. 33. that they came to Dauid, nor with an heart and an heart, [...] Vers. 38. doth afterwards ex­pound himselfe, when speaking of all the Tribes, hee saith, they came to Dauid with an vpright heart. On the o­ther side, hypocrits and dissemblers, they speake (as the Psalmist saith) with an heart and an heart,Psal. 12. 2. and are ther­fore called [...],Iam. 1. 8. double minded men.

4. Lastly, this vertue of Vprightnesse is commen­ded vnto vs vnder other names, viz. synceritie, and truth: Sinceritie being opposed to mixture, and truth to false­hood, both which hypocrisie is. Sincere is that which is without mixture,Sincerum quasi sine cera. as clarified honey is sine cera, without wax, or as bread without leauen. For which cause, the vertue of sinceritie is commended vnto vs vnder the type of the vnleauened bread,1. Cor. 5. 8. with which the feast of the Passeouer was to be celebrated. As contrariwise, [Page 28] hypocrisie is signified by leauen,Luke 12. 1. and is called the lea­uen of the Pharisies. There were other types also of the law, wherin the mixture of hypocrisie & doubling was condemned, and contrariwise sinceritie commaun­ded vnto vs. As for example, when the Lord forbad the Israelits to plant their vineyards with diuerse sorts,Deut. 22. 9, 10, 11. or to sow their fields with diuerse kinds of seed, or to plow with an oxe and asse together,Leuit. 19. 19. or to weare gar­ments of linsey wolsey. But it is also called Truth, as 1. Cor. 5. 8.1. Cor. 5. 8. for this is the truth which the Lord requireth in the inward parts.Psal. 51. 6. Psal. 51. 6. and wherein he is to bee worshipped,Iohn. 4. 24. and called vpon. He is therefore said to walke vprightly,Psal. 145. 18. who behauing himselfe as in the sight and presence of God, walketh with a right foot with­out hypocrisie or dissimulation, in sincertie and truth.

2. [...]. Now that vprightnesse is a proper note to the ci­tisens of heauen, it may easily appeare by the recipro­call conuersion which is betwixt them. For if all the ci­tisens of heauen be vpright, and all that be vpright are citisens of heauen, then is it manifest, that vprightnesse agreeth to all that be the sonnes and heires of God, and to them alone. First then, that all which be heires of the kingdome of heauen, are vpright, it is euident. For those that are not vpright, haue none inheritance in heauen. As Peter telleth Simon Magu [...], that he had no part in the Communion of Saints, because his heart was not right in the sight of God. Act. 8. 21. For hypocrits (as all be that are not vpright, for not to be vpright, is to be an hypocrite, and not to be an hypocrite, is to be vpright) neither shall they so­journe to the end in Gods Tabernacle, neither shal they rest in the mountaine of Gods holinesse, but contrary to the priuiledge of the vpright in the last verse, they shall beremooued both by defection, whereby they seperat themselues from God in this life; and by exclusion, whereby they shall bee seperated from God in the life to come.

[Page 29] As touching the former, as constancie and perseue­rance is an vnseparable companion of vprightnesse, so hypocrisie is accompanied with inconstancie, and is commonly punished with defection. [...] Iam 1. 8 The double minded man is inconstant in all his waies. 1. Iohn 2. 19. And the Apostle Iohn doth teach vs, that those which be in the Church, but are not of it (that is to say, hypocrits) are permitted by the just judgement of God to fall away, that their hypocrisie may be detected. And to the same purpose, Bildad the Shuhite,Iob. 8. 11, 12, 13 Can arush (saith he) grow without mire, or can the grasse grow without water? Though it should be greene, and not plucked vp, yet shall it wither before any other hearbe. So are the paths of all that forget God, and the expectation of the hypocrite doth perish. Iob. 27. 8. And as touching the life to come, Iob sheweth that the hypocrite hath no hope, when God doth take away his soule. For all their reward they receiue in this life:Mat. 6. 2. 5. as our Sauiour Christ saith, Verily Isay vnto you, they haue their reward. They are therefore in no expectation of reward,Iob. 13. 16. for the hypocrite shall not come into the presence of God, but are or may be in certain expectation of punish­ment. For our Sauiour Christ, when he would signifie, that the wicked seruant shall certainely be condemned, he saith, That hee shall haue his portion with the hypocrites, Mat. 24. 51. where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Those therefore that be heires of the kingdome of heauen, they be not hypocrites and dissemblers, but such as are vpright. Which must teach vs, as wee desire to perseuere in the faith to the end, and to attaine to the end of our faith, which is the saluation of our souls; so to humble ourselues, Mic. 6. 8. to walke with our God, in sinceritie and vprightnesse of heart.

Now that all those also which be vpright, are citi­sens of heauen, it may euidently be prooued out of the Scriptures.Psal. 84. 11. For as the Psalmist saith, the Lord will giue grace and glory (grace in this life, and glory in the life to come) and no good thing will [...]ee withhold from [Page 30] them that walke vprightly. Grace he giueth them with perseuerance, for the vpright man buildeth vpon the rocke,Mat 7. and therefore no temptations shall vtterly ouer­come him. He is not onely in the Church, but also of it, and therefore certainely shall remaine in the communi­on of the Church:1. Iohn. 2. [...]9. and whosoeuer continueth to the end,Mat. 24. he shall be saued. Againe, doth the holy ghost call any blessed, that are not heires of the kingdome of hea­uen? But the vpright are by the testimonie of the holy ghost happie and blessed. Blessed are those that are vpright in their way. Psal. 119. 1. Blessed are those in whose heart there is no guile, that is, hypocrisie. Psal. 32. 2. And to this purpose belongeth that testimony of Salomon, Pro. 20. 7. as Tremellius readeth, the just man that wal­keth in his vprightnesse, is blessed, & blessed are his chil­dren after him. And yet the holy ghost is more plain in testifying this truth.Pro. 28. 18. Prou. 28. 18. He that walketh vprightly, shall be saued. Psal. 140. 13.Psal. 140. 13. The vpright shall dwell in thy pre­sence. Mat. 5. 8. But most plaine, Mat. 5. 8. Blessed are the pure in heart (for so hee calleth the vpright) for they shall see God, they shall haue the vision of God, and enjoy his glorious presence, in the fruition whereof consisteth our eternall happinesse. And therefore most fitly, not onely in this place, but elsewhere also in the Scriptures, is Vpright­nesse made the note and cognisance of the sonnes and heires of God.Deut. 32. 15 & 33. 5. 26. For this cause Israel is called Ieschurun to signifie,Esay. 44. 2. that whosoeuer is a true Israelite, is vpright. Iacob himselfe is commended for this vertue. And of those that are pure in heart,Gen. 25. 27. it is said Psal. 24, This is Ia­cob. Psal. 24. 4. 6. So Psal. Psal. 73. 1. 73, when the Prophet had said, that God is good to Israel, in the next words he expoundeth whom he meant by Israel, namely, the pure in heart. So also our Sa­uiour Christ speaking of Nathaniel, Iohn 1. 48. Behold (saith he) a true Israelite in whom there is no guile. For as the Apostle saith,Rom. 2. 28▪ 29. he is not a Iew which is one outward, but he is a Iew, which is one within, that is to say, the vpright.

3. Seeing then as we haue heard, all that are vpright [Page 31] are citisens of heauen, and contrariwise, all that be citi­sens of heauen be vpright; it behooueth vs diligently to trie and examine our selues, whether this note doth belong vnto vs or not. For vnlesse we be vpright, wee shall not rest in Gods holy mountaine; but must looke to haue our portion with hypocrits, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth.Mat. 24. 51. To this purpose I will set down certaine signes and tokens, whereby the vpright and the hypocrits may be discerned.

1. And first, the studie and endeuour of the vpright is to approue himselfe to God, to walke before him,1. Thess. 2. 4. to discharge a good conscience:1. Cor. 4. 3. the testimonie wherof he greatly esteemeth and preferreth it to the judgements of men concerning himselfe. On the other side, the hy­pocrites care is to approue himselfe to men, neglecting the testimony of his owne conscience: and therefore those good things which he doth, he doth to be seene of men; and the euill which he omitteth, he leaueth vn­done, least he should be seene of men: for if men be not acquainted with his doings, he neither careth to doe good, nor feareth to doe euill.

2. It is the propertie of vpright men to yeeld sim­ple and absolute obedience to the word of God, deny­ing themselues, their owne affections and reason; but to obey humane precepts, so farre forth as they are not repugnant to the law of God. But it is the fashion of hypocrits to obey the commaundements of God, so further than themselues thinke good, as appeareth in the example of Saul: 1. Sam. 15. and more strictly to obserue the traditions of men,Mat. 15. 6. than the commaundements of God.

3. A third signe of an vprightman is, so to contemn the world, and to be wained from worldly desires, as that hee preferreth the keeping of a good conscience, before the obtaining of any worldly desires: knowing, that it will not profit a man to gaine the whole world, Mar. 8. 36. and to loose his owne soule. For he that is not addicted to the world, it [Page 32] is a good sign that he professeth religion, not for world­ly and by-respects. But the hypocrits guise is to seeme religious, and to be a wordling; to professe religion, and to mind earthly things; to diuide himselfe betwixt God and Mammon,Phil. 3. 19. to giue to God the outward shew, to the world,Mat. 6. 24. his heart: not first and principally to seeke the kingdome of God & his righteousnesse, but to professe religion in a secondarie respect, so farre forth as it jum­peth with the fruition of his worldly desires, and con­sequently to preferre the gaine of the world before the keeping of a good conscience, and to be ready to sinne, that he may obtaine any worldly desire.

4. The propertie of an vpright man is to hate sinne as well in himselfe as in others, and to bee exercised in judging himselfe. But the manner of hypocrits is, to hate sinne in others, but not in themselues; to be busie in prying into other mens behauiour, and to neglect their owne; to be quick-sighted to discerne, and very censo­rious to judge the offences of their brethren, but haue neither eyes to see, nor consciences to condemne their owne sinnes: and as our Sauiour Christ saith of such hy­pocrits,Mat. 7. 3. 4. to see a mote in their brothers eye, and not to discerne a beame in their owne.

5. The vpright man repenteth of all sinne, hauing an vnfained purpose and resolution to abstaine from all sinne, and not to retain any one, howsoeuer besides and contrary to his purpose hee may faile in some particu­lars. But the hypocrite, howsoeuer he may be brought to abstaine from diuerse sinnes whereunto he is not so much addicted, yet he will be sure to cherish and retain some sinne or sinnes that are more deare vnto him, from which he will by no meanes be reclaimed. Example inMar. 6. 20. Herod, who reuerenced Iohn Baptist, and when he heard him, did many things which Iohn aduised him vnto, and heard him gladly: but doe Iohn what he could, he would not forgoe Herodias his brothers wife.

[Page 33] 6. It is the propertie of the vpright, to loue and reue­rence the good and godly for their godlinesse sake, and to contemne and despise the wicked, though mightie in the world, because of their wickednesse: as it followeth Vers. 4, For the world doth loue her own, and hateth those which belong to Christ.Psal. 15. 4. But hereby we know that we are tran­slated from death to life, Iohn 15. 19. because we loue the brethren. But it is the manner of hypocrits to stomacke the godly,1. Iohn. 3. 14. to enuie thē which are better than they, and not to brooke them that be had in better estimation than themselues. And thus were the Pharisies affected to Christ.

7. It is the propertie of the vpright to preferre the greater & weightier duties before the lesse, the substance before circumstances, the workes either of pietie or mer­cie before ceremonies. But it hath alwayes beene the hy­pocrits guise to neglect the greater duties, and to affect the obseruation of the lesse, to preferre circumstances be­fore the substance, and ceremonies before the workes ei­ther of pietie or charitie,Luke 13. 15. to place the height of their reli­gion, either in obseruing or vrging ceremonies, or contra­riwise, in refusing them, and inueighing against them, to straine out gnats, and to swallow cammels,Mat. 12. 2. 7. to tythe mint and cummin,Mat. 23. 23, 24. and to neglect the weightier duties of the law, judgement, mercie, and faith. Consider to this pur­pose two examples of the Pharisies and Priests. When Iudas brought them backe the money which they gaue him to betray Christ, they would not put in into the trea­surie, because it was the price of bloud:Mat. 27. 6. but the precious bloud of Christ himselfe they were not afraid to spill, and to draw the guilt thereof vpon their consciences. They were not afraid to be defiled by giuing Christ the imma­culat lambe of God through enuie vnto death,Iohn 18. 28. but they were at the same time afraid to goe into the common hall least they should be defiled.

8. Another note of an vpright man, is Humilitie. For when a man is indued therewith, it is a plaine signe, that [Page 34] he hathMic. 6. 8. humbled himselfe to walke with his God. As contrari­wise, pride is the companion of hypocrisie, as the Prophet Habacuc saith,Hab. 2. 4 Behold, he that lifteth vp himselfe, his soule is not vp­right in him. For he that walketh with God (as the vpright man doth) cannot lightly be lifted vp with pride. Indeed whiles we looke vpon the earth, and behold other men whom we conceiue to be any way our inferiours, we may perhaps take some occasion to be lifted vp in a conceit of our owne excellencie: but hee that hath God before his eyes, and setteth himselfe alwayes in his presence, he will be readie with Abraham (although an excellent Patriarch) standing before the Lord,Gen. 18. 27. to confesse his owne vilenesse; with Esay that eloquent and zealous Prophet,Esay. 6. 5. to crie out, That he is a man of polluted lips;Iob. 42. 5. 6. with Iob the patterne of patience, when he seeth God, to abhorre himselfe, and to repent in dust and ashes; with Peter being in the presence of Christ,Luke 5. 8. whom he perceiued to be God, to acknow­ledge himselfe a sinfull man.

9. Againe, the vpright man being indued with a good conscience, is confident in good causes, and couragious in time of perill,Pro. 10. 9. as Salomon saith: He that walketh vprightly, walketh boldly. Pro. 28. 1. And againe, The righteous are bold as a Lyon: but the hypocrite contrariwise, by reason of his bad con­science is ouertaken with feare,Esay. 33. 14. as the Prophet Esay spea­keth,Pro. 28. 1. and such doe flie when none pursueth.

10. It is the priuiledge of an vpright man to bee con­stant in good things, and to perseuere to the end, keeping also a continued course of pietie: for the vpright man is he which hath built vpon the rocke,Mat. 7. 24. and therefore cannot vtterly be ouerthrown by any blasts or tempests of temp­tations:Luke 8. 15. it is he which receiueth the seed into good groūd, and therefore taketh root downward, and bringeth forth fruit vpward with patience: he being not only in the church but also of it, shall surely remaine in the Communion of the Church; and as the Psalmist here saith, shall neuer be re­mooued. Iam. 1. 8. But contrariwise, the double minded man is vnconstant [Page 35] in all his wayes: his religion and goodnesse is as a morning cloud, and as the morning dew it goeth away: Hos. 6. 4. his profession is [...] for a time, for hauing receiued the seed among stones,Luke 8. 13. and wanting root, when the Sunne of temptation ariseth,Mat. 13. 21. he fadeth away; hauing built vpon the sand, whē the blasts of temptations arise,Mat. 7. 26. his building falleth to the ground. Hereunto we are to referre patience in afflicti­on, as a note of the vpright: wherupon affliction is called [...],Iam. 1. 3. the trial of our faith, or [...], whereby [...],1. Pet. 1. 7. those that are found and approued, are knowne from those which be [...], vnsound.

11. And to conclude, it is the propertie of the sound and vpright, to joyne together pietie towards God, and charietie towards our neighbour, the loue of God, and the loue of our brother:1. Iohn 4. 20. for it cannot be, that a man should loue the Lord truly, whom he hath not seene, and loueth not his brother whom he hath seene: neither do we loue our neighbour aright, vnlesse we loue him in and for the Lord. [...]. And therefore no man can loue his neighbour as he ought, vnlesse he loue the Lord much more. The loue of God therefore, or pietie, if it be sound, will shew it selfe in the loue of our brother, or in the duties of righteous­nesse; and the loue of our brother, or righteousnesse, if it be sincere, must be deriued from the fountaine of pietie. Contrariwise, it is the hypocrits guise to seuer these two, which the holy ghost hath joyned together, holinesse and righteousnesse, the obedience of the first and second Ta­ble of the law. For there are many as glorious professors among vs, as the Pharisies were among the Iewes, who making profession of religion and pietie towards God, doe altogether neglect the duties of charitie and righte­ousnesse towards men. And againe, many there are a­mong vs as famous for ciuile vertues, as Aristides or Socrates among the heathen, who resting in a ciuile conuersation and outward honestie among men, are void of all religi­on and of the feare of God. Both sorts are hypocrits, the [Page 36] righteousnesse of the former not exceeding the righte­ousnesse of the Phariseyes, who notwithstanding their glorious profession were notorious hypocrits: the righ­teousnesse of the latter professing themselues to be Chri­stians, not exceeding the righteousnesse of the heathen, who knew not God.

Now I come to the fourth point, namely, to consider by what arguments we may be stirred vp to embrace this vertue, if we want it, or to continue and increase therein, if we haue it. The arguments may be reduced to three heads, the excellency, the profit, the necessitie of vp­rightnesse. 1 The excellency of it is so great, that the Lord accepteth of the vpright indeuour of his children, as per­fect performance; insomuch that vprightnesse (as I haue said) goeth in the Scripture vnder the name of perfecti­on. Neither are we otherwise to vnderstand the duties, which in the word of God are said to bee done with the whole heart, but that they are performed with an entire or vpright heart. Therfore those that are vpright, though they be subject to many infirmities,Luke 1. 6. yet they are esteemed as just, and that before the Lord, the Lord accepting in 2 his vpright seruants, the will, for the deed. Againe, wher­as Christ the bridegrome is said to be delighted with the beautie of his spouse,Psal. 45. 12. this may not be vnderstood of the outward apperance,Cant. 1. 5. 6. for so she is something blacke and browne, by reason of affliction, and the cause thereof which is sinne; but of the inward beauty, in respect wher­of she is sayd to be all glorious and beautifull within,Psal 45. 13. which is that vprightnesse or truth in the inward parts,Psal. 51. 6. 3 wherewith the Lord is delighted. For this we are also to adde, that vprightnesse is that wherewith the Lord is e­specially delighted: insomuch that to be vpright, and to please God, in the Scriptures do signifie the same thing: for whereas it is sayd of E [...]och Gen. 5.Gen. 5. 22. 24. that he walked be­fore God,Heb. 11. 20. that is, that hee liued vprightly; it is by the Apostle thus expounded, That he was sayd to haue pleased [Page 37] God. [...] And the Hebrew word which signifieth to be right or vpright, doth signifie also to please, that we may know that he which is right before God, doth please him. As it is sayd in the Prouerbes,Prou. 11. 20. They which are peruerse in heart are an abhomination vnto the Lord, but such as are vpright in their way are his delight. Now this must needs be an excellent virtue that goeth vnder the name of perfection, which the Lord esteemeth as the inward beautie of his spouse, which is not onely pleasing vnto God, but as it were the pleasing of him.

But let vs come to the profit, by which consideration most are led,Psal. 4. 6. as it is sayd Psal. 4. There be many that say, who will shew vs any good, that is profit. The profit of vpright­nesse may be shewed first in generall, that God is good and gracious to thē that are vpright. As the Psalmist af­ter many conflicts,Psal. 73. 1. at length resolueth, Psa. 73. 1. But yet God is good to Israell, to those that are pure in heart. And this good­nesse he manifesteth by doing good to them, and causing all things to worke together for their good, according to the prayer of Dauid Psal. 125.Psal. 125. 4. 5. Do good O Lord to those that are good and vpright in heart, but those that turne aside by their croo­ked wayes, them shall the Lord send away with the workers of ini­quity. Neither is the goodnesse of God sparing towards them: For he is a Sunne, that is,Psal. 84. 11. an author and giuer of all comfortable blessings, and a shield, that is, a protector of them from all euill, He giueth grace, and glory, and no good thing doth he with-hold from those that walke vprightly. More specially the benefits wherewith the Lord doth crowne the vpright, are either temporall, or spirituall: For as sa­lomon saith Prou. 2.Prou. 2. 7. The Lord hath laid vp for the vpright, sub­stance, that is,Prou. 2. 21. whatsoeuer is truly good, and verse 21. The righteous shall inhabit the land, and the vpright men shall remaine in it. And as the Lord bestoweth good things vpon the vpright, so he preserueththem from euill, and is therefore sayd to be [...] shield to them that walke vprightly: Prou. 2. 7. or as Dauid saith,Psal. 7. 10. My shield is in God who giueth saluation, or preserueth the [Page 38] vpright in heart, according to the saying of the Prophet Hanani, 2. Chro. 16. 9. The eyes of the Lord, saith he, behold all the earth, to shew himselfe strong with them that haue a perfect, that is, an vp­right heart towards him. The spirituall blessings which God bestoweth on the vpright, are as the Psalmist speaketh, Grace & Glory: Psal. 84. 11. Grace in this life, Glory in the life to come. The graces which God bestoweth on the vpright, are many: for sanctifying graces are so linked together, as it were in a golden chaine, that where some be in truth (as they are in the vpright) all are in some measure. Among many others, these spirituall blessings accompany vp­rightnesse, Comfort in affliction, and Ioy in the holy Ghost;Gen. 22. 18. and (which before I spake of) Confidence or spi­rituall securitie in worshipping the Lord without feare,Luk. 1. 73. 74. 75. (which is the blessednesse promised to the faithfull in all nations, in Abrahams seed, according to the exposition of Zacharias, Luk. 1.) and also Constancy and Perseuerance. As touching the former before not touched: Forasmuch as the vpright (building, not vpon the sand, but vpon the rocke) haue layd a good foundation against the day of triall, therefore when as they are afflicted, they faint not, neither are ouermuch discouraged, but with Dauid in his greatest distresse, do comfort themselues in the Lord their God, 1. Sam. 30. 6. And being assured that the Lord will cause all things, Rom. 8. 28. euen their afflictions, to worke to their good, Iob. 13. 15. they resolue with Iob to put their trust in him, though he kill them. But the vpright haue not onely comfort, but ioy also in the holy Ghost.Eccles. 2. 26. For God doth giue to him that is good in his sight, (that is, to the vpright) wisedome, and knowledge, and ioy. Prou. 15. 15. For the vpright haue a good conscience, and a good conscience is a continuall feast: For this is our reioycing (saith the Apostle) the testimony of our conscience, 2. Cor. 1. 12. that we haue had our conuersation in simplicitie and godly purenesse. And this was Ezechias his stay when he had receiued the sentence of death, and which he vsed as an argument vnto the Lord, to obtaine the lengthning of his life, and preuailed, Lord, [Page 39] saith he,2. King. 20. 3. I beseech thee remember how I haue walked before thee in truth, and with an vpright heart, and haue done that which is good in thy sight. For howsoeuer the vpright are sometimes vn­der the crosse:Psal. 97. 11. yet there is light sowne for the righteous, and ioy for the vpright in heart, which in due time will sprout forth: yea,Rom. 5. 3. 4. 5 in the mids of their affliction they do reioyce, knowing that tribulation bringeth forth patience, and patience experience, and ex­perience hope, and hope maketh not ashamed. Psal. 16. 8. And seeing the vp­right do with Dauid, set the Lord alwayes before their eyes, for he is at their right hand, therefore they must say with him, I shall not be remoued, wherefore my heart is glad, and my tongue reioyceth, my flesh also doth rest in hope. With these and such like blessings the Lord doth reward the vpright in this life: for after this life eternall saluation abideth them. He that walketh vprightly, Pro. 28. 18. saith Salomon, shall be saued, but he that is peruerse, or walketh peruersly, in two waies (as double min­ded men do) he shal fall in one, or as some read, at once. And to omit other testimonies, the holy Ghost testifieth in this place, That he which walketh vprightly shal dwell in the holy mountaine of God. Finally to conclude all blessings vnder one blessednesse it selfe is promised to the vpright: Blessed are those which are vpright in their way. Psal. 119. 1. Blessed are the pure in heart, Mat. 5. 8. for they shall see God. And this blessednesse doth not onely belong to themselues, but it redoundeth also to their posteritie.Pro. 20. 7. Blessed is the iust man that walketh in his vp­rightnesse, Psal. 112. 2. and blessed are his children after him. And againe, The generation of the vpright shall be blessed.

But it may be you expect examples,Plato. [...]. which one cal­leth the hostages of our speech, whereby that may ap­peare in particuler experience, which the Lord hath con­firmed in generall promise. Let Noah therefore be an ex­ample, whom the Lord because of his vprightnesse,Gen. 7. 1. pre­serued in the vniuersall deluge. And likewise vpright Abraham, Gen. 15. 1. to whom the Lord was a shield, and an excee­ding great reward. Dauid professeth, that for as much as he was vpright before God,Psal. 18. 23▪ 24. the Lord therefore rewarded [Page 40] him according to his righteousnesse, and the purenesse of his hands in his sight. And the same is confessed by Salo­lon his sonne,1. King. 3. 6. Thou hast (sayth he vnto the Lord) shewed vnto thy seruant Dau [...]d my father great mercy, when he walked be­fore thee in truth, and in righteousnesse, and in vprightnesse of heart with thee. 2. King. 20. 3. 5. Of Ezechias you heard before. But omitting other examples, let vs call to mind the example of Enoch, by which being the first in this kind, we may best conceiue what account the Lord maketh of Integritie.Gen. 5. 24. For when as he walked before God vprightly,Heb. 11. 5. the Lord did ther­fore translate him out of this valley of teares, that he should not see death, and assumed him into heauen, where he might inioy immortall glorie.

But if neither the golden reason of excellency can moue vs, nor the siluer reason of profit allure vs; then must the yron reason of necessitie enforce vs to Integrity and vprightnesse of heart. For first, such is the necessity thereof, that without Integritie the best graces we seeme to haue are counterfeit, and therefore but glorious sinnes, the best worship we can performe is but hypocrisie, and therefore abhominable in Gods sight. For vprightnesse is the soundnesse of all graces and virtues, as also of all re­ligion and worship of God, without which they are vn­sound and nothing worth. And first, as touching gra­ces, if they be not ioyned with vprightnesse of hart, they are sinnes vnder the maskes or vizards of virtue; yea, as it may seeme double sinnes: for as Augustine sayth, Si­mulata aequitas est duplex iniquitas; quia & iniquitas est, & simulatio: Fained equitie is double iniquity; both because it is iniquiti [...], and because it is [...]aining. 1. Tim. 1. 5. Wherefore in the Scrip­tures it is required that our faith should be [...] vnfai­ned, 2. Tim. 1. 5. that is,Act. 15. 9. such a faith as inwardly purifieth the hart, and outwardly worketh by loue,Gal. 5. 6. otherwise it is not a true and a liuely,Iam. 2. but a counterfeit and dead faith.Rom. 12. 9. Likewise our loue must be [...] vnfained, 1 Pet. 1. 22. that is, as Iohn saith, we must loue not in speech and tongue, [...]. Iohn 3. 18. but in deed and truth; Or as [Page 41] Paul speaketh, our loue must proceed from a pure heart, a good conscience and [...]aith vnfained.

Our wisedome also must be [...] without dissimula­tion, Iam 3. 17. not that mixt or Machiuilian prudence, which poli­ticke men in the world so greatly praise, being mixed with hypocrisie and deceit,Mat. 10. 16. but that prudence of serpents tempered with the simplicitie of Doues: otherwise it is as Iames saith,Iam. 3. 15. earthly, carnall, and diuellish.

Lastly, our repentance and conuersion vnto God must be [...], vnfained and from our whole hart. For it is not the renting of the garments,Io [...]l. 2. 12. 13. but of the heart that pleaseth God.Esay. 58. 5. Neither is it the bowing of the head like a Bul-rush, but the humiliation, the melting, the contrition of the heart that is acceptable before him. Such as was the repentance of Iosiah, 2.2. King. 22. 19. King. 22. not as that of Achab, 1.1. King. 21. 27. King. 21. nor yet as that of the dissembling Israelites, who made semblance of repentance and turning to God,Psal. 78. 34. 36. 37. but their heart was not vpright with him. If therefore without vprightnesse our faith be dead, our loue cold, our wise­dome diuellish, our repentance counterfeit, then is vp­rightnes no lesse necessary to saluation, then I say not any one of these graces, but thē all. But as those graces which we may seeme to haue without vprightnes are coūterfeit; so our religion & worship of God without it is hipocrisie. For although it be the common practise of mē, not only to content themselues with a profession of religion & pietie towards God, neglecting the duties of charitie towards men, but also to rest in an outward and bodily worship: notwithstanding it is no true religion before God,Iam. 1. 27 which is altogether wanting in the duties of charitie, neither is the outward worship without the inward acceptable vnto God.Mic. 6. 6. 7. This is notably declared in the Prophecy of Micah, where to the hypocrite demanding wherewith he should come before the Lord, and bow himselfe before the high God, and making large offers, if outward seruice would stand for good payment, Shall I come before him, saith [Page 42] he, with burnt offerings, and Calues of a yeare old? will the Lord he pleased with thousands of Rammes, or with ten thousand riuers of oyle? shall I giue my first borne for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sinne of my soule? Vers. 8. Answer is made, He hath shewed thee, ô man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee; sure­ly (towards men) to do iustly, and to loue mercie; and (towards God) to humble thyselfe to walke with thy God. The reasonable seruice, Rom. 12. 1. that is, the spirituall worship of God, is that liuing, holy, and acceptable sacrifice vnto God. Iohn 4. 24. For God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and truth. As for bodily ex­ercise, that profiteth little, 1. Tim. 4. 8. yea, if it be seuered from the spi­rituall it hurteth much.Esay 29. 13. Therefore the Prophet denoun­ceth the fearefull judgements of God against those, who comming neere vnto him with their mouth, and hono­ring him with their lippes, do notwithstanding remoue their heart farre from him.

But the truth of this doctrine will more clearely ap­peare, if we shall descend into the particuler considera­tion of the seuerall parts of Gods worship. As first of prayer: to the acceptable performance whereof, there is required vprightnesse, not onely in the action it selfe, but also in the life of him that prayeth. For as touching the action it selfe, it is not sufficient to moue the lippes, or to vtter a certaine number of words as Papists and other hopocrites do; but our prayer, if it shall be acceptable, must also be a prayer of theCol. 3. 16. heart, and of theEph. 6. 18. spi­rit, aPsal. 25. 1. lifting vp of the soule, aLam. 3. 41. lifting vp of the heart with the hands, aPsal 62. 8. Lam. 2. 19. [...]. Sam. 1. 15. pouring forth of the soule be­fore the Lord: and to pray aright, is to pray with our Psal. 111. 1. whole heart, with anPsal. 119. 7. vpright heart, out of a2. Tim 2. 22. pure heart, withPsal. 17. 1. lippes vnfained: finally, it is to pray in Psa. 145. 18. truth, that is, in vprightnesse, and to this vpright prayer is the promise of hearing our prayer restrained. Psal. 145. 18. The Lord is neere to them that call vpon him: What to all? yea, to all (saith the Prophet, of purpose excluding hy­pocrites) that call vpon him in truth. For the Lord in our [Page 43] prayers doth not so much regard our tongue as our heart. As for them which draw neare vnto the Lord with their lippes, and are remooued from him in their heart, they abuse the Maiesty of God,Hos 7. 13. 14. whiles crying vnto him, but not from their hearts,Psal. 78. 36. they lye vnto God, and go a­bout to deceiue him with their lippes, and by their hypo­crisie to cast as it were a mist before his eyes. But herein they are greatly deceiued: For how soeuer masking vn­der the vizards of hypocrisie, they may hide themselues from men: yet before God such maskers do as it were daunce in a net, for before him all things,Heb. 4. 13. euen the secrets of mens hearts are naked and open.Prou. 15. 11. Hell and destruction are before the Lord, how much more the hearts of the sonnes of men? But as I said, vprightnesse also is required in the life of him that prayeth.Psal. 66. 18. To which purpose we haue a notable te­stimony of Dauid. Psal. 66. If I regard wickednesse in mine hart (sayth he) the Lord will not heare me. Esay1. 15. For the Lord heareth not hypocrites: and such as turne away their eare from hearing,Prou. [...]8. 9. that is, obeying his law, their prayer is abho­minable.

Let vs now come to the ministerie of the word, to the preaching and hearing whereof, righteousnesse is neces­sarily required. To the preaching of the word, that we may be able to say with the Apostle,2. Cor. 2. 17. that we are not as ma­ny which make merchandise of the word of God, but as of sincerity, but as of God in the sight of God we speake in Christ. And againe, so we speake, not as they that please men, 1. Thes▪ 2. 4. but God which trieth our hearts: For if we should seeke to please men, Gal. 1. 10. we were not the ser­uants of Christ. Now he doth behaue himselfe vprightly in the ministerie of the word,2. Tim. 2. 15. who as the Apostle admo­nisheth Timothie, doth studie and indeuour to shew himselfe appro­ued vnto God, a workeman that needeth not to be ashamed, diuiding the word of truth aright. Who hath the testimony of his owne conscience, that he setting aside all sinister respects, doth sincerely and from his hart seeke the glory of God in the saluation of the people, and not himselfe or his owne, ei­ther [Page 44] profit or praise. Of which Integritie they come very short, who seeking not to profit their hearers, but to please them, endeuour not to approoue themselues to God, but to carnall men, neither seeke the glory of God, but their owne praise, nor the saluation of the people, but their own profit and preferment in the world.

But as in the minister that preacheth, so also in the peo­ple that heareth the word of God,Eccles. 4. 17. Vprightnesse is requi­red. To which purpose, before they come to the house of God, they ought to looke to their feet, that is, their affecti­ons, and to put off the shoes of their feet, that is, their cor­rupt affections, and with sincere affections they are to de­sire the sincere milke of the word,1. Pet. 2. 1. that they may grow thereby. The purpose and desire of him who commeth to the hearing of Gods word, must be to performe there­in an holy and vpright worship vnto God; and with all good conscience and sinceritie to vse the ministerie of the word, as the power of God to our saluation, &c. But they that come to heare the word, either for fashion sake, be­cause we haue such a custome, as carnall professors vse to doe, or because the lawes of men require it, as those which among vs are popishly affected, or because they would seeme to some, that they are religious, or at the least not irreligious, as dissemblers doe, or because they would see and be seene, as many proud and vaine persons do, or be­cause they would take a nap, as some secure and s [...]outh­full persons doe, or because they would carpe and snatch at the preachers words, as malitious persons doe, or be­cause they would heare and judge of the gifts of the prea­cher, and so giue their censure of his sermon, as diuerse glorious professours vse to doe, or if they come with the same affection to a sermon, as they goe to a stage-play, that is, to be delighted, as those which haue itching eares vse to doe, or if they come into the assembly, as Cato was wont to come to the stage, namely▪ that in shew of his di­slike he might goeout againe, as some conceited and hu­morous [Page 45] persons vse to doe, or to passe the time, because they haue nothing else to doe, as some that liue inordinat­ly, either wholly neglecting their calling, or hauing no honest calling to walke in; all which are practised by hy­pocrits of diuerse sorts, assuredly they are farre from that integritie which is required in those that come to heare Gods word.

When we are come to the ministerie of the word, our dutie is to take heed how we heare,Luke 8. 18. as our Sauiour Christ admonisheth. For our bodily presence wil not suffice, vn­lesse we behaue our selues vprightly in the hearing of the word. Our first dutie therefore is, when we are come in­to the assembly, to set our selues in Gods presence, that we may say with vpright Cornelius, Act. 10. 33. we are here present before God to heare all things that the minister hath in commis­sion to deliuer vnto vs from God: and when the minister speaketh, we are to look higher than to him, remembring that hee is an embassadour of God in Christs stead,2. Cor. 5. 20. by whom the Lord speaketh vnto vs: and therefore as hee which speaketh must speake as the Oracles of God, 1. Pet. 4. 11. so he which heareth [...], the word preached, 1. Thess. 2. 13. must heare it not as the word of man, but as it is indeed the word of God. Our next dutie is to heare the word with an vpright desire to profit by it, and an vnfained purpose to practise it.Act. 8. 6. In regard of the former, we are diligently to attend to the word,Luke 19. 48. and as it were to hang on the preachers mouth,Heb. 2. 1. as being loath to let any thing s [...]ip from vs,Esay 42. 23. but carefully to lay it vp in our hearts for our future vse, and in a word so to heare, as wee desire to be heard: For want of this vprightnesse they offend, who being present in body, are absent in mind, their eares going on pilgrimage, their minds going a whoring after the vanities of this life, and their heart, as Ezekiel speaketh,Ezec. 33. 31. going after their couetousnesse; but espe­cially they offend, who when they should listen to the word of God, doe giue themselues ouer to sleepe. In re­gard of the latter, our dutie is to heare the word of God [Page 46] with an honest and good heart,Luke 8. 15. and therein to retaine it; or as Salomon saith to keepe it in the mids of our heart,Pro. 4. 21. that there it taking root, may bring forth fruit with patience. As for them,Eze. 33. 31, 32. who with Ezechiels auditours come to heare the word, without any true purpose to performe it; as they shew themselues to be hypocrits in deceiuing others,Iam. 1. 22. [...]. so they play the sophisters in beguiling themselues.

The like may bee said of receiuing the Sacraments. For what would it auaile vs,Act. 8. 21. 23. if with Simon Magus wee bee baptized, and beleeue with a generall faith? For vnlesse our hearts be vpright within vs before God, we may re­maine as he did in the gall of bitternesse, and bond of ini­quitie. Or what would it profit vs, if after the example of Iudas Iscariot we be admitted to the Lords table, and could so cunningly carry our selues,Mat. 26. 22. as euery one of the Apo­stles should be more ready to suspect the mselues than vs? for if our heart be not vpright within vs, but that we giue the outward face and shew to God, and set our hearts vp­on the world, halting betwixt God and Mammon, and esteeming gaine to be godlinesse;Iohn 12. 6. we may be theeues, yea diuels as he was.Iohn 6. 70. And not to insist any longer in the seue­rall parts of Gods worship, this may be said of all exter­nall worship in generall, that so oft as it is seuered from the inward & spirituall worship of God, it is hypocritical and detestable in the sight of God. To which purpose the Lord professeth by his Prophet,Esay 66. 3. That he which killeth a bul­locke, is as if he slew a man: he that sacrificeth a sheep, as if he cut off a dogs necke: he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swines bloud: he that remembreth incense, as if he blessed an idole. Wee must therefore beware least we rest in the performance of out­ward seruice, or cōtent our selues with opere operato, the deed done; which is the rotten pillar of popish superstition. For it is not sufficient to doe that which is right, vnlesse we do it with an vpright heart.2. Chro. 25. 2. 14 If with Amaziah wee doe that which is right, but not with an vpright heart, we may fall away as he did. Wherefore that exhortation which the [Page 47] Apostle maketh to mens seruants, much more belongeth to vs,Col. 3. 23. who are the seruants of God, namely, That we shold performe our duties towards him from our heart, not in eye-seruices, as men-pleasers, but with simplicitie of heart fearing God, and from our hearts obeying the holy will and commaundements of God.Rom. 6. 17. Out of all which it ap­peareth euidently, that without vprightnesse of heart, neither the graces of the spirit, which wee may seeme to haue, are of any worth; or our worship, of any account with God. But howsoeuer the most excellent graces without it be glorious sinnes, and the most glorious wor­ship counterfeit, yet on the other side, where vprightnesse is, the graces which we haue, though as small as a graine of mustard seed, and our worship, though performed in much weakenesse, is acceptable vnto God.

The second argument is taken from the authoritie of God himselfe, auowing the necessitie of vprightnesse. And hereunto appertaineth first the testimonie both of the holy ghost in this place, affirming, That those who are to dwell in Gods holy mountaine, are such as walke vp­rightly; as also of our Sauiour Christ,Mat. 5. 20. Matth. 5. denying, that we shall euer enter into the kingdome of heauen, vn­lesse our righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisies. The righteousnesse which the Pharisies obser­ued themselues, and taught others to obserue, was altoge­ther outward, whereby they abstained from outward and more grosse offences, neglecting inward and s [...]cret cor­ruptions. Secondly, the commaundement of God enjoy­ning vprightnesse. For this is the especiall dutie which we are to performe towards God,Mic. 6. 8. viz. that wee bumble our selues to walke with our God. For when the Lord was to esta­blish his couenant with Abraham and his seed, this condi­tion he requireth to be performed on their part,Gen. 17. 1. to walke before him, and to be vpright. This is that which Dauid com­mendeth to Salomon as his last will and testament,1. Chron. 28. [...] Know thou the God of thy father, and serue him with an vpright heart and [Page 48] a willing mind, Ios. 24. 14. which Iosua in his last speech commendeth to the people of Israel, that they should worship the Lord in spirit and truth. As Moses also before had charged them. Deut. 18.Deut. 18. 13. Thou shalt be vpright therefore before the Lord thy God. For seeing the Lord is a spirit, Iohn 4. 23▪ 24. he will therefore be worshipped in spirit and in truth. And as himselfe is a spirit, so is his law spi­rituall, restraining not onely the hand and tongue,Rome. 7. 14. but also the heart. Now the commaundement of God imposeth a necessitie, not absolute indeed, but with this condition, If we will auoid his curse. Thirdly, the same is prooued by the oath of God,Luke 1. 73. 75. which he sware vnto our father Abra­ham, that he would giue vs, who are the sonnes of Abra­ham, and heires of promise, that being deliuered out of the hands of our enemies, we should worship him without feare in holinesse and righteousnesse before him. For as the commaundement of God imposeth the necessitie of du­tie, so the oath of the Lord imposeth a necessitie of cer­tainetie, or as the schoolemen speake, of infallibilitie. And therefore if we doe not walke vprightly, worshipping the Lord, as before him, it is as certaine as the oath of the Lord is true, that we can haue no assurance that wee are redee­med by Christ out of the world, to raigne with him in his holy mountaine.

The third and last argument, enforcing the necessitie of vprightnesse, may be this: For either wee must be vp­right, or hypocrits. There is no third: for not to bee vp­right, is to be an hypocrite, and not to be an hypocrite, is to be vpright. But we may in no case be hypocrites. For hypocrisie is a sinne most odious vnto God, most foolish in it selfe, most pernicious to them that are infected there­with. It is most odious vnto God: for as the vpright are the Lords delight,Pro. 11. 20. so the hypocrit is an abhomination vnto him.Luke. 16. 15. For that which is highly esteemed among men, is abhomi­nation in the sight of God. And not without cause: For all hy­pocrisie and doubling is a double if not a triple sinne: for counterfeit pietie is double impietie, both because it is im­pietie, [Page 49] and because it is counterfeit. And as hypocrisie is a counterfeiting, it containeth also two sinnes opposed to simplicitie and truth; both which are comprised in inte­gritie, viz. falshood opposed vnto truth, as it is mendacium facti, and deceit or guile opposed vnto simplicitie, as du­plicitie or doubling. The hypocrite in respect of his false­hood and disguising, in the Greeke tongue is called [...], that is, a stage-player, who although perhaps he be lit­tle better than a rogue, representeth sometimes the per­son of a prince or monarch. Those therefore are hypo­crits, who lead their life as it were vpon a stage, cloaking sinne vnder the shew of vertue, hauing some [...]orme or vizard of pietie, but denying the power of it,2. Tim. 3. 5. Qui in super­ficie boni sunt, sed in alto mali, as Augustine speaketh, who seeme to honour God with their lips,Mat. [...]5. 8. but remooue their heart farre from him; who desiring to seeme good, but not to be so, and not to seeme euill,Mat. 23. 25. but to be so; make cleane the outside of the cup, and of the platter, but within they are full of briberie and excesse:Mat. 23. 27. and are therefore compa­red by our Sauiour Christ to painted sepulchres, which appeare beautifull outward, but are within full of dead mens bones and all filthinesse. And as the fruit which groweth neere to Mare mortuum, when it is ripe maketh a faire shew, but within is full of cinders or ashes, as some write:Mat. 23. 28. so these men outwardly appeare righteous vnto men, but within they are full of hypocrisie and iniquitie.

But as in the disguising of hypocrits there is falshood, so in their doubling there is guile, wherby they indeuou­ring to deceiue both God and man, do in the end beguile themselues. And therefore not vnworthily is hypocrisie in the Scriptures tearmed guile.Psal. 32. 2. And first, they foolishly goe about to deceiue God,Iohn 1. 47. the searcher of the heart, when they hope by a counterfeit semblance of religion to blear his eyes, and by vaine shewes to please him, whiles they securely abound with more hidden and secret sins: which seemeth to haue been the hypocrisie of the Israelits, re­prooued [Page 50] by the Prophet Esay, chap. 58.Esay 58. 2. After this maner doe they offend: first, when they pray with fained lips, pretending such things in their prayer, as they do not in­tend, asking such things with their lips, as they do not de­sire with their heart, promising such things as they mean not to performe, and bearing the Lord in hand with the Pharisie, Luke 18. that they be such persons as indeed they are not: for these men, after the example of the Israelits, whose heart was not right within them, goe about to de­ceiue the Lord with their mouth,Psal. 78. 36. 37. and with their tongue they lie vnto him. Secondly, when as they either commit secret sinnes, that God may not see them; or hauing sin­ned, doe seeke to conceale their sinnes from God, that he may not know them: for such is the folly of hypocrits, that because they whē they hide themselues, see not God, they imagine that God seeth not them; like to the silly woodcocke, which when she hath so hid her head, that she seeth no body, she imagineth that no body seeth her. Thirdly, whereas the whole course of their life is leaud and dissolute, they will seeke to pacifie God with some outward obseruations, and those perhaps deuised by themselues: And this is the ordinarie practise of Papists, who when they haue fearefully sinned against God,Esay 1. 11. &c. they will make him a plaster of their owne satisfactions.

But the most vsuall practise of hypocrits is to deceiue men, to whom they desire especially by outward shewes to approoue themselues, pretending a profession of reli­gion both to their worldly and their wicked respects. To their worldly respects, when as vnder the profession of religion they seeke the world, and the things which are in the world, subordinating religion to their worldly de­sires, and professing Christianitie in a secondarie respect, so farre foorth as it standeth with the obtaining or retai­ning of their worldly desires, &c. To their wicked re­spects, when they make religion a cloke for their wicked­nesse. Thus heretiques to countenance their errours, pre­pretend [Page 51] holinesse:Mat. 23. 14. Thus the Pharisies vnder a pretence of long prayers,Iohn 12. 5, 6. deuoured widdowes houses: Thus Iudas couered his couetousnesse vnder a pretended care for the poore:1. King. 21. 9. Thus Iesabell when she intended the murder of Na­both, proclaimeth a fast:2. Sam. 15. 8. Absolon when he intended treason against his father,Mat. 28. 13. 16. pretended the keeping of a vow: H [...]rod professed to the wise men, that he would goe and worship Christ, when he meant to kill him.

Againe, the hypocrite seemeth to sinne with an high hand against the light of his conscience, detaining the truth in vnrighteousnesse, seeing the better things, and following the worse.In Esay 1 [...]. And therefore Hierome sayth, That in comparison of two euils, it is lesse to sinne openly, than to faine holinesse.

But hypocrisie, as it is double iniquitie, and therefore most odious vnto God, so is it extreame folly: for the hy­pocrite, whiles he seeketh to deceiue not onely man, but God also, who cannot be deceiued, he beguileth himselfe. For he that would seeme religious,Iam. 1. 26. and hath not learned to refraine his tongue, but letteth loose the reines to his vnbrideled tongue, as hypocrites vse to doe in censuring, backbiting, and slaundering their brethren, such an one deceiueth his owne heart, his religion is vaine. Likewise, he that is an hearer of the word,Iam. 1. 22. but no doer of it (that is to say, an hypocrite) such a one deceiueth himselfe; and is indeed that foolish man,Mat. 7. 26. who (as our Sauiour sayth) doth build vpon the sand. Those that content themselues with the shining lampe of an outward profession, wanting the oyle of grace in their hearts,Mat. 25. 3. are by our Sauiour Christ compared to the foolish virgins. For seeing it is better to be good than to seeme so, and worse to be euill, than to seeme so, is it not extreame folly in hypocrites to chuse to be euill rather than to seeme euill, and to seeme good rather than to be good? The folly of these men therfore is worthily noted by Chrisostome; Oper. imperf. in Matth. Hypocrit, saith he, if it bee good to be good, why wilt thou seeme to be that which thou wilt not [Page 52] be? If it be euill to be euill, why wilt thou be that which thou wilt not seeme to be? If it be good to seeme good, it is better to be so: if it be euill to seeme euill, it is worse to be so. Wherfore, either seem to be that which thou art, or be that which thou seemest to be. Againe, is it not ex­tream folly for a man, that he may haue with thē of Sardis the name that he liueth, to be content to be dead;Apoc 3. 1. & that he may seem to be in the number of thē that shalbe saued, willingly to be in the number of thē that shall be cōdem­ned? Lastly, hypocrisie is pernicious to him that is infected therewith, because it is a sinne which the Lord doth grie­uous [...]y punish both in this life, & in the world to come: in this life, first by defection, & consequently by detection. For those which be in the Church, but not of it, they are subiect to defection or falling away, & thē the Lord suffe­reth to fall away, that their hypocrisie may be detected,1. Iohn 2. 1 [...]. as the apostle Iohn sheweth. For the hypocrit is he which hath receiued the seed into stony ground, & therfore wanting moisture & root,Luke 8. 13. is not able to indure the Sun of tēptation, but is like the rush without water,Iob. 8. 11▪ 12▪ 13 or like the grasse on the house top, which withereth before it be plucked vp. Vp­on triall therefore the hypocrite faileth, and by his failing his vnsoundnesse is detected. And this is the reason wher­by the sonne of Syrach dissuadeth from hypocrisie:Eccles. 1. 35. for God (saith he) will discouer thy secrets, & cast thee down in the middest of the congregation, because thou camest not in truth vnto the feare of God, but thine heart is full of guile. And likewise our Sauiour,Luke 12. 1, 2. Beware (saith he) of the leauen of the Pharisies, which is hypocrisie. For there is nothing couered that shal not be reuealed, neither hid, that shall not be knowne. And as tou­ching the life to come, there is such assurance of the hy­pocrites damnation, that our Sauiour Christ, when hee would signifie,Mat. 24. 51. that the wicked seruant, Math. 24, should certainely be condemned, he saith, He shal haue his porti­on with hypocrits, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.Mat. 5. 8. For as the vpright or pure in heart are blessed, be­cause they shall see God: Iob. 13. 16. so are the hypocrites accursed, for [Page 53] they shall not see him. Againe, so pernicious is hypocri­sie to the double minded man, that there is lesse hope of an hypocrite than of an open sinner: first, because he sin­neth against the light of his conscience: secondly, because by his outward shewes he bleareth the eyes of men, wher­by he escapeth those admonitions and reproofes, where­by the open sinner many times is reclaimed. And lastly, because in his pride and selfe-loue hee posteth ouer all publick reprehensions and exhortations to the open sin­ners, because he is assured, that in the opinion of others they belong not vnto him. And this is that which our Sa­uiour Christ sayth to the hypocriticall Scribes and Pha­risies,Mat. 21. 31. That Publicans and harlots should goe into the kingdome of God bef [...]re them.

Seeing therefore vprightnesse is a grace so excellent, that it goeth vnder the name of perfection, and is estee­med as the beautie of Christs spouse, wherewith hee is especially delighted: so profitable, that to them which walke vprightly, the Lord denieth nothing that is good, but giueth them Grace in this life, and Glory in the life to come, and not onely maketh them blessed, but their po­steritie also after them: so necessarie, as that without it our best graces are counterfeits, and our best worship of God hypocrisie, and our selues hypocrits, who shall neuer see God, but shall haue our portion with hypocrits, where is weeping and gnashing of teeth; how doth it behooue vs to labour for this grace, which is so excellent in it selfe, so pleasing vnto God, so profitable and necessarie vnto vs, and contrariwise to auoid the contrary sinne of hypocri­sie which is so odious vnto God, so foolish in it selfe, and so pernicious vnto vs? And to this purpose, that wee may come to the fifth and last thing, let vs obserue these few rules:Psal. 16. 8. first, let vs according to the example of Dauid, learne to set God alwayes before our eyes, and our selues in the sight and presence of God. And to this end let vs meditate euermore both of his omnipresence, remem­bring [Page 54] that he is alwayes present with vs in all places, nei­ther can we possibly auoid his presence,Psal. 139. 7. as the Psalmist teacheth: as also of his omniscience, remembring, That the eyes of the Lord are in euery place beholding the euil and the good, Pro. 15. 3. and not only looking vnto the outward actions and spee­ches, but also beholding the inward affections of the heart,Psal. 139. 2. and cogitations of the mind, euen before wee con­ceiue them, that so we may learn to walke with our God, approouing our selues vnto him, and so behauing our selues, as those which haue their conuersation in the sight. and presence of God. Who knoweth not how decently and reuerently we carry our selues whiles wee are in the sight and presence of our superiours, especially of our prince. Therefore Senec a admonisheth his friend Lucilius, that he would set before him Cato or Laelius, Epist. 11. in fin. or some other graue and reuerend man, that he might liue as in his sight: for as he sayth, Magna pars peccatorum tollitur, si peccaturis testis assistat: a great part of our sinnes is taken away, if when wee are about to sinne, there bee a witnesse by vs. How much more would the presence of almightie God strike a reuerence into vs,Heb. 11. 27. if we had the eyes of Moses, the eyes of faith, whereby he saw him that is inuisible, and is alwayes present with vs: especially, if wee considered, that the Lord seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh vnto the outward appearance,1. Sam. 16. 7. but the Lord beholdeth the heart; and that not onely the bodies of men, but the soules also are manifest before him. Hell and destruction are before the Lord,Prou. 15. 11. how much more the hearts of the sonnes of men? By this argument Dauid exhorteth Salomon his sonne to vprightnesse,1. Chro. 28. 9. 1. Chron. 28. And thou my sonne Salomon, saith he, Know thou the God of thy father, & serue him with an vp­right heart & with a willing mind; for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and vnderstandeth all the imaginations of thoughts.

Secondly, to the meditation of his omnipresence and omniscience, let vs adde the consideration of his omni­sufficiencie, remembring as the Prophet Hanani said to [Page 55] Asa, That the eyes of the Lord behold all the earth, 2. Chron. 16. 9. to shew himselfe strong with them that are of an vpright heart towards him, and that as Salomon saith,Pro. 2. 7. He is a shield to them that walke vprightly, and not that onely,Psal. 84. 11. but as Dauid sayth, He is the Sunne (that is, au­thor of all comfortable blessings) and a shield (that is a pre­seruer and protectour from euill) the Lord will giue grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walke vp­rightly. And this is the argument which the Lord vseth to moue Abraham to integritie,Gen. 17. 1. Gen. 17. I am God all-sufficient, walke before me and be vpright. For assuredly, if we did effec­tually call to mind Gods all-sufficiencie, we would neuer be so foolish, as to play the hypocrits, approouing our selues to men rather than to God; seeing he is all-suffici­ent to crowne vs with blessings, & to shield vs from euill. Whereas men can neither doe vs good, vnlesse God bee pleased to vse them as his instruments, whereby hee will conuey his blessings vnto vs, neither can they do vs harm vnlesse God doe vse them as his rods, whereby to cor­rect vs.

Thirdly, to the former let vs joyne a serious meditati­on of the last judgement: namely, that God all-sufficient who is euery where present, and is acquainted with al our secrets,Rom. 2. 16. shall one day iudge the secrets of men: and will bring euery worke vnto iudgement with euery secret thing, Eccles. 12. 14. whether it bee good or euill. Let vs therefore set God before our eyes, sit­ting in judgement, remembring that we must all appeare be­fore the iudgement seat of Christ, 2. Cor. 5. 10. that [...]uery man may receiue accor­ding to those things which he hath done in the body, whether good or euil, whether open or secret, whether alone or with others, whether in light or darkenesse, by day or by night. For darkenesse hideth not from God, Psal. 139. 12. but the night shineth as the day, the darkenesse and light are both alike. Let vs not therfore content our selues with an externall profession of religion, and outward shew of vertue, when as our hearts be not vp­right within vs, but are possessed with hypocrisie, and a­bound with secret sinnes. For an externall profession se­uered [Page 56] from vprightnesse of heart, shall no whit auaile thee at the day of judgement, for God shall judge the se­crets of men, but it shall be very prejudiciall vnto thee, increasing thine horrour and confusion. For how shalt thou be confounded, thinkest thou, who hast made a pro­fession of religion, when the bookes being opened, and thy secret sinnes laid open before all the world, thou shalt be conuicted of hypocrisie, & condemned of many foule sinnes vnrepented of, which thou hadst laboured to con­ceale from the world? And with what horrour shalt thou be striken,Mat. 24. 51. supposest thou, when thy portion shall be as­signed thee with the hypocrits, where is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth? Remember that many in the day of judgement shall say,Mat. 7. 22, 23. Lord, Lord, haue not we prophecied in thy name, and cast our diuels in thy name, and done many great workes in thy name? to whom the Lord shall answere, I neuer knew you, depart from mee you workers of iniquitie.Mat. 25. 3. 12. Call to mind the fiue foolish virgins, who hauing lampes, but no oyle, were excluded. If therefore we would not depart ashamed from our Sa­uiour Christ at his comming, wishing the mountaines to fall vpon vs, and to couer vs from his sight, but would stand before the sonne of man with comfort, let vs ende­uour to approoue our selues in the meane time to Christ our judge, walking before him in vprightnesse of heart, and so demeaning our selues, as those who thinke that of their most secret thoughts, words, and deeds there must an account be giuen to God, who searcheth the heart and tri­eth the reines, Ier. 17. 10. that he may giue euery man according to his waies, and according to the fruit of his workes.

Fourthly and lastly, let vs follow the aduise of Salomon, Prou.Pro. 4. 23. 4. Aboue all obseruation to keepe our heart. For the heart, as it is the fountaine of life, so of liuing well or ill; from whence all our speeches and actions, as it were streames, doe flow and proceed. Those things which come out of the mouth (sayth our Sauiour Christ) come from the heart. Mat. 15. 18, 19. For out of [Page 57] the heart come euill thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thef [...]s, false testimonies,Luke 6. 45.slaunders. And againe, The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth [...]oorth good things, and the euill man out of the euill treasure of his heart bringeth forth euill things: for out of the aboundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and also the hand worketh. If therefore we desire, that our acti­ons and speeches may bee good and pure, wee must first haue our hearts purified by a true faith:1. Tim. 1. 5. that so our loue and obedience may flow from a pure heart, and good conscience, and faith vnfained. For it cannot be, that the streames of our actions should be good and sincere, if the fountaine of our heart be corrupt. Wherefore in refor­ming our liues, our first and chiefe care must be for the purging of our hearts, as our Sauior Christ admonisheth, Mat. 23. Cleanse first (saith he) the inside of the cup and platter, Mat. 23. 26. that the outside of them may be cleane also. Iam. 4. 8. And Iames, Purge your heart you double minded (saith he) and not your hands onely. For what will it auaile vs to drie vp the streames, whiles the fountaine springeth: or to lop off the boughs, whiles the body and root doe remaine vntouched? Surely, if with Amaziah we shall doe those things which be right,2. Chro. 25. 2. 14 but not with an vpright heart, we shall fall away as he did. If with Simon Magus we professe our selues to beleeue,Act. 8. 21. and joyne our selues to the Saints of God, notwithstanding we may be as he was in the gall of bitternesse and bond of iniqui­tie, if our heart be not vpright within vs. This neglect of the heart is the cause of all hypocrisie, making men dou­ble minded, bearing as wee say, two faces vnder a hood. Wherby it commeth to passe, that the most glorious pro­fessours sometimes become like to Summer fruit, which many times being faire and mellow on the outside, is rot­ten at the core.

Now, that we may the rather be stirred vp to a diligent obseruation of our heart, we are briefely to consider these two things. First, that the heart of man is deceitfull and wicked aboue all things,Ier. 17. 9. and therefore cannot sufficiently [Page 58] be watched. And secondly, that such as is the qualitie of the heart, such is the qualitie of the man in the estimation of God.

Hetherto we haue spoken of integritie, as it is refer­red vnto God: it followeth now, that wee should intreat thereof, as it hath reference vnto men. For as wee must walke before God in truth and sinceritie without hypo­crisie; so must we haue our conuersation among men in simplicitie and singlenesse of heart, without dissembling or guile. For euen in our conuersation among men, wee are to haue God alwayes before our eyes, that as in his presence and sight wee may in singlenesse of heart per­forme such duties as we owe vnto men.Col. 3. 22. For howsoeuer simplicitie is accounted folly in the world, and worldly wisedome, consisting of dissimulation and deceit, be eue­ry where extolled: yet if we would be esteemed citisens of heauen, and pilgrims on earth, it behooueth vs to bee fooles in the world, that we may become truly wise, as the Apostle exhorteth,2. Cor. 3. 18. 1. Cor. 3. Let no man deceiue himselfe. If any man among you seeme to be wise in this world, let him be a foole, that he may be wise, for the wisdome of this world is foolishnesse with God. Not that I would haue simple men to be fooles, but that wise men ought to be simple.Mat. 10. 16. For true wisdome is tempe­red with the simplicitie of doues.Iam. 3. 17. And that wisedome which is from aboue, is pure, and without hypocrisie. Whereas on the other side, the wisedome of the world, consisting of dissimulation and deceit, is by the censure of S. Iames, earthly, carnall, and diuellis [...]. Iam. 3. 15. It is true indeed, that in the world simplicitie is deemed folly, and simple men are accounted as idiots, and innocent men esteemed fools. For such a generall wickednesse hath possessed the minds of most men, that now adayes no man is called innocent, but such as want wit to doe euill. And contrariwise, that mixed prudence is commended in the world, which is [...]oyned with h [...]pocrisie and deceit. Which notwithstan­ding it were easie for any man to attain vnto, who makes [Page 59] no conscience of dissembling, lying, facing, swea [...]ing, for­swearing. But in the Scriptures simplicitie is both com­mended and commaunded as a note of the citisen of hea­uen, without which there is no entrance for a man into the kingdome of God. Christ commaundeth his follow­ers to be wise indeed as serpents, but withall to be [...],Mat. 10. 16. that is, simple or sincere, without any mixture of guile, as doues are without gall. And likewise Paule would haue vs wise vn­to that which is good, Rom. 16. 19. but simple vnto euill. In regard hereof the primitiue Church,Act. 2. 46. Act. 2. is highly commended, that they conuersed together in singlenesse of heart: and herein espe­cially the Apostle glorieth,2. Cor. 1. 1 [...]. 2. Cor. 1. That in simplicitie and godly purenesse, and not in fles [...]ly wisedome, he had had his conuersa­tion in the world. Iohn 1. 48. And no maruell, for it is the note of a true Israelite to be without guile: and such the holy ghost pro­nounceth blessed. Christ our Sauiour in respect of this sim­plicitie is called a lambe; Psal 32. 2. and those that will be his follow­ers, must not be foxes or wolues, but as they are called in the Scriptures, sheepe, following the steps of our Sauiour Christ,1. Pet. 2. 21▪ 22. who did no sinne, neither was there guile found in his mouth. And hereunto let vs adde the testimonie of the holy ghost in this place, affirming, That those which shall dwell in the holy mountaine of God, are such as walke vprightly, that is, without hypocrisie towards God, without guile towards men.Mark. 12. 15. Now this guile or dissembling, or dou­bling, or hypocrisie (for so sometimes it is called) which is opposed vnto simplicitie,Luk. 20. 23. is twofold, in word, and in fact: in word, when one thing is said, and another thought, which in the Scriptures phrase,Psal 12. 2. is speaking with an heart and an heart. [...]. I liad. 9. This diuorce betwixt the mind and the tongue, is detestable vnto God, and odious to ingenious men: sometimes also it is called in the Scriptures a deceit­full tongue, Zeph. 3. 13. which the Lord sayth should not be found in the remnant of Israel. Psal▪ 109. 2. Sometimes, a mouth of deceit, as Psal. 109. such as is described Psal. 55. The words of his mouth are softer than butter, Psal 55. 2 [...]. whiles warre was in his heart: his words were more sup­ple [Page 60] than oyle,Ier. 9. 8.yet were they swords: and Ie [...]em. 9. their tongue is an arrow shot out, and speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in his heart he layeth ambushments for him. Vers. 9. But what followes? shall I not visit them for these things saith the Lord? Or shall not my soule be auenged on such a nation as this? If therefore wee would escape the judgements of God,Psal. 34. 12, 13. and desire to liue a long and prosperous life, We must keepe our tongues from euill, and our lips, that they speake no guile, following, as I said before, the simplicitie of the lambe of God,1. Pet. 2. 22. in whose mouth there was found no guile.

Dissembling in fact is, when one thing is pretended, and another intended, or as Augustine speaketh, Dolus est cum aliud agitur, In Iohan. 1. aliud fingitur. In which doubling, the wis­dome of our Polititians, brought vp at Machiauels feet▪ doth principally consist: the practise whereof is now growne so vsuall, that commonly it is said, Qui nescit dissi­mulare, nescit viuere: he that knoweth not how to dissemble, know­eth not how to liue. Howbeit, more truly it is said, and by warrant of Scripture,P [...]o. 10 9. Qui vadit planè, vadit sanè, He that wal­keth plainely, walketh safely. Prou. 10. He that walketh vprightly, walketh safely, but he that peruerteth his wayes, shall be knowne, namely, as an example to others. The highest degree of this deceit, is that which we call cony-catching or couse­nage: when as a man by cunning trickes and artificiall fetches ouerreacheth his neighbour: when with his tongue concinnat dolum, Psal. 50. 19. he trimly forgeth deceit▪ and in his deeds layeth wait for his brother,Ier. 5. 26. setting snares and nets to catch men, as fowlers doe for birds, or as cony-catchers doe for rabbets, bunting his brother with a net, Mic 7. 2. as the Prophet Micah speaketh. Now as simplicitie in the Scriptures is commended vnto vs as a note of the true sheepe of Christ, imitating the simplicitie of the lambe of God: so deceit and guile is condemned as a propertie of those, who resemble the image of Satan the old serpent, the forger of deceit, and the father of lies. For if he be a true Christian, in whom there is no guile, what is hee in whom no simplicitie or [Page 61] plaine dealing is to be found? If in the remnant of Israel a deceitfull tongue shall not be found,Zeph. 3. 13. then belong not they to the Israell of God, who with their tongues doe forge deceit. If true Christians be the sheepe of Christ, resembling his simplicitie, in whom there was found no guile: what then are those foxes and wolues, who imitate the old serpent in subtiltie and deceit? If those which shall rest in the holy mountaine of God, be such, as doe walke in vprightnesse and simplicitie, then haue they no inheritance in the kingdome of heauen, who walke in dissimulation and deceit. And this may further appeare by the Lords prohibitions, censures, and threatnings de­nounced against deceit.Le [...]. 19. 11. It is forbidden, Leu. 19, You shall not lie, 1. Thess. 4. 6. nor vse deceit one towards another. And 1. Thess. 4, We are charged not to goe beyond or ouerreach our brother, [...]. or to defraud him in any matter. It is censured as a sinne odious vnto God. A man of deceit God hateth. Psal. 5. 7. It is reckoned Rom. 1, among the crimes of the Gentiles,Rom. 1. 29. giuen ouer to a reprobate sence, that they were full of guile. Ezec. 22. 12. And Ezec. 22, among the abhomi­nations of Ierusalem, for which destruction is threatened against it, that they made gaine of their neighbours by deceit. And lastly, the judgements of God are denounced against it, Psal. Psal 55. 23. 55, The deceitfull men shall not attaine to the halfe of their dayes. 1. Thess. 4. 6, 1. Thess. 4. 6, The Lord is a re [...]enger of such things, namely of cousenage and deceit. And in the place before cited, shall I not visit them for these things, Ierem. 9. [...]. saith the Lord? or shall not my soule be auenged on suc [...] a nation as this?

To conclude therefore this first note: seeing vpright­nesse is made a proper marke of the true child of God, and citisen of heauen, whereas contrariwise, dissimulati­on and deceit are the brands of the wicked: it behooueth euery one to apply this note to himselfe. Doost thou walk vprightly without hypocrisie towards God, without guile towards man?Mat. 5. 8. happy and blessed art thou: for thou shalt see God, and as thou now art a sound member of the Church militant, so shalt thou be an inheritour of glory [Page 62] in the triumphant. Doest thou not walke in sinceritie to­wards God, and simplicitie towards men, but in hypocri­sie and dissimulation? then most fearefull is thine estate, vnlesse thou repent,Act. 3. 21. for thou hast no part or fellowship in the doctrine of saluation, or in the communion of Saints, but thy portion shall bee assigned thee with hypocrits,Mat. 24. 51. where is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The second note of a citisen of heauen, is Righteous­nesse: For to the Prophet, demaunding who is a sonne and heire of God; the Lord answereth, He that worketh righte­ousnesse. Where first we are to consider the sence of the words, and then are wee to shew, that the working of Righteousnesse is a proper marke of those, who liuing in the Church, are appointed to eternall life.

Iustice is that vertue which giueth to euery one that which is due vnto him. And it is either vniuersall or par­ticular. The vniuersall, summarily compriseth al those du­ties which we owe to our neighbour: and is therefore said to containe all other morall vertues within it, according to the testimonie of the auntient Poet, which to this pur­pose is alleadged by some.Theognis, vers. 147.

In iustice is all vertue summarily comprised.
Arsiot. Ethic. lib. 5. cap 3.

The particular Iustice is either Distributiue, or Com­mutatiue. The Distributiue is that, which hauing place in distributing rewards or punishments, obserueth a Geo­metricall proportion, according to the worthinesse of men, or their deserts. The Commutatiue iustice is that, which hauing place in Contracts, obserueth an Arith­meticall proportion in the equalitie of the things com­muted.

But of the vniuersall righteousnesse, this place is e­specially to be vnderstood, the summe whereof is that law royall,Iam 2. 8. as Saint Iames calleth it, Thou shalt loue thy neigh­bour as thy selfe: [...] Wherein all the precepts of righteousnes, that is to say,Rom. 13. 9. of the second Table are summarily contained. [Page 63] And the rule of exercising this righteousnesse, is that law of nature commended vnto vs by our Sauiour Christ, M [...]t. Mat. 7. 12. 7, Whatsoeuer you would that men should do to you, euen so do you to them, for this is the law and the prophets. Which sentence is sayd so to haue pleased the Emperour Alexander S [...]uerus, Lamprid in Alexandr. that in his pallaces and publicke buildings he caused it to be written and engrauen: and when he punished any man, he caused this saying to be proclaimed by the crier, Quod tibi non-vis, alteri ne [...]eceris. Do not to another what thou wouldest not haue done to thy selfe.

Now the exercise or working of this righteousnesse is here made a note of the child of God. For he doth not say, he that can talke of righteousnesse; nor he that de­lighteth to heare anoter man speake thereof; nor he which professeth righteousnesse, or maketh a pretence thereof; but he that worketh righteousnesse shall dwell in the holy mountaine of God. For there are some which can notably discourse of righteousnesse, than whose life no­thing is more vnjust. And there are others, who with Eze­ [...]iels auditors delight to heare the Minister preaching of righteousnesse,Ezec. 33. 32. as if he were some skilfull Mulitian that hath a pleasant voyce, but it is to heare onely, and not to practise. There be many also who with the Pharisies say and do not;Mat. 23. which professe righteousnesse, but do not practise it.

Qui Curios simulant & Bacchanalia vivunt.

But with the folly of these men the holy Ghost mee­teth in diuerse places of the Scripture,Mat. 7. 21. Mat. 7, Not euerie one that sayth Lord Lord shall enter into the kingdome of heauen, but he that doth the will of my father which is in heauen.Rom. 2. 13. Rom. 2, Not the hearers of the Law are just be­fore God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified, Iam. Iam. 1. 22. 1, Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers onely, de­ceiuing your selues,Mat. 5. 20. &c. Mat 5, Vnlesse your righteousnesse ex­ceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisies, (who sayd and did not) you shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen. [Page 64] Wherefore brethren let no man deceiue you, 1. Iohn 3. 7. not he that hea­reth, nor he that speaketh, not he that professeth or pr [...] ­tendeth, but he that worketh righteousnesse, he is righteous.

Neither is that to be omitted that the holy Ghost spea­keth in the present tence, thereby signifying a continuall act, as Basill hath obserued: Marke (saith he) the accuratnesse of the speech; he doth not say, who hath wrought, but he which wor­keth. For it is not one action that maketh a vertuous man, but it be­hooueth a man in his whole life to keepe a constant course of well doing. For Iustice is an habit induing a man with a perpetuall and constant will to do euery man right.See Thom. 2. 2. 9. 58. 1.

But here some will object: The Scriptures testifie that there is not a righteous man vpon the earth,Rom. 3. 10. Rom. 3. There is not a iust man, no not one. If therefore the righteous onely shall be saued,1. Pet. 4. 18. and scarcely they, as Peter saith, How can any man liuing hope to be saued, seeing there is not a just man vpon earth,1. King. 8. 46. that doeth good and sinneth not, as Sa­lomon professeth.Eccles. 7. 22.

I answer: If we should be summoned before the Iudge­ment feate of Gods justice, and the Lord should deale with vs summo iure, according to extremitie, exacting at our hands that full and perfect righteousnesse which is re­quired in his law:Psal. 143. 2. assuredly the Lord entring into judge­ment with vs, no man liuing could be iustified. But we must appeale from the judgement seat of Gods justice to the throne of his mercy: and from the sentence of the Law concluding all vnder sinne, to the sentence of the Gospell, pronouncing all those that truly beleeue in Christ, not just onely, but also blessed: that so being clo­thed with the righteousnesse of Christ by faith, we may in him be justified, though vnjust in our selues in respect of legall righteousnesse. Now those which truly beleeue in Christ, are sayed to be righteous two wayes: before God by Faith, that is, by the righteousnesse of Christ, apprehended by Faith: before men by the fruits of Faith, that is, by righteousnesse inherent in vs, and performed [Page 65] by vs. For those which beleeue in Christ, their Faith is imputed vnto them for righteousnesse; because they ap­prehending Christ, who is our righteousnesse, and by the same Faith being vnited vnto him, his righteousnesse and obedience is imputed vnto them, and accepted of God for them, as if they had performed the same in their owne persons.

But they who are justified by the righteousnesse of Christ, are also sanctified by his spirit, regenerated, and as it were created a new to good workes,Eph. 2. 10. which God hath prepared for vs,Rom. 6. 18. that we should walke in them. For so soone as we are deliuered by Christ out of the bon­dage of sinne, we become the seruants of righteousnesse: That as in former times we gaue our members as seruants of sinne vnto vnrighteousnesse,verse 19. we should from hence­forth giue them as seruants of righteousnesse vnto holi­nesse. And howsoeuer the best obedience of the faith­full is but an imperfect obedience ioyned with manifold infirmities and wants, and stained with diuerse corrup­tions, wherewith they are infected, and sinnes whereinto they fall, in so much that Esay compareth the righteous works of the faithfull to menstruous clouts; notwithstan­ding the Lord beholding them in Christ,Esay 64. 6. and accepting their will for the deed,Iob. 1. 1. and sincere indeuour for the per­formance, not onely themselues are termed righteous, but are also said to worke righteousnesse.Luke 1. 6. And this working of righteousnesse, the perfection whereof is not to be measured by the perfectnesse of the worke,Act. 10. 22. but by the vprightnesse of the will,Heb. 11. 33. and sinceritie of the indeuour a­spiring towards perfection, is an vndoubted note of a true citisen of heauen, who in this Psalme is described. And that the Lord accepteth those for true members of the inu [...]sible Church, who worke righteousnesse, the Scriptures testifie:Act. 10. 35. In euery nation, saith Peter, he that seareth God and worketh righteousnesse is accepted of him. And this is so vniuersall a note of the children of God, and so proper [Page 66] vnto them, that whosoeuer worketh righteousnesse he is truly said to be borne of God; 1. Iohn 2. 29. and he that worketh not righteousnes is not of God,1. Iohn 310▪ 8. but of the diuell. But as they that worke righ­teousnes are the seruants of God in the kingdom of grace, so shall they raigne with him in the kingdome of glory. For that which is said in the beginning of this Psalme, That he which worketh righteousnesse shall rest in the mountaine of God; and in the end, That he shall neuer be remoued; the same is cōfirmed by the holy ghost in other places of Scripture.Esay. 33. 15, 16. Esay 33, He that walk [...]th in righteousnes, &c. Pro. 10. 30. he shall dwell on high. And Prou. 10, The righteous shall ne­uer be remoued. Psal. 69. 28. And so certaine is the saluation of the righ­teous, that the booke of the liuing,2. Tim. 4. 8. is the booke of the just:Psal. 69. 28. eternall glorie is the crowne of righteousnesse: the rising againe vnto glory,Luke 14. 14. is the resurrection of the just. And as justice containeth all those vertues which haue reference to our neighbour, so the reward of it is the heape of all rewards, namely, blessednesse. For as the Scriptures testifie,Psal. 106. 3. blessed are those that worke righteousnesse; and not onely they,Mat. 5. 6. but those also which hunger and thirst after righteousnesse are blessed.

Wherefore seeing not onely in this place, but else­where also in the Scriptures eternall life is promised to those that worke righteousnesse; the consideration of this reward ought to be a motiue to prouoke and stirre vs vp to the exercise of justice: Which I do not speake to this end, as though the workes of justice were to be perfor­med with that mind, as that we should hope thereby to be justi [...]ied before God, or by them to merit eternall life; for that is an opinion sacrilegious and blasphemous a­gainst Christ, whose justice alone, apprehended by faith, justifieth vs before God, and maketh vs accepted vnto eternall life.Phil. 3. 9. 9. In respect of which justice we are to esteeme all our owne merits (if we had any) as dung, that we may gaine Christ, and may be found in him, not hauing our owne righteousnesse, which is of the Law, but that which [Page 67] is by the Faith of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God through faith.

And therefore if we desire that the workes of righte­ousnesse which we do performe, should be acceptable vn­to God, they are not to be performed to that end that we might by them attaine to justification or saluation: for good works performed to that end are glorious sins: but in doing the workes of righteousnes, these ends are to be propounded. First, in respect of God, that we may glo­rifie him: for which end we were elected, created, redee­med, regenerated. For by the workes of righteousnesse God is glorified.Iohn 15. 8. Her [...]in, saith our Sauiour Christ, is my father glorified, that ye beare much fruit. For which cause Paul prayeth for the Philippians,Phil. 1. 11. that they might be filled with the fruit of righteousnesse, which are by Iesus Christ vnto the glorie and praise of God. Neither is God glorified in vs alone, but in others also, which are the wit [...]esses of our good deeds. Therefore Christ exhorteth vs,Mat. 5. 16. so to let our light shine before men, that they seeing our good workes may glorifie our father which is in heauen. And Peter likewise counselleth vs so to haue our conuersation honest among the Gentiles, 1. Pet. 2. 12. that by our good workes which they shall see, they may glorifie God in the day of the visi­tation.

Secondly, that we may testifie our thankfulnesse vnto God for all his benefits bestowed vpon vs, and may a­uoid the punishment which is due to vnthankfulnes. For whereas the Lord in lieu of all his benefits, both temporal and spirituall, as election, vocation, redemption, regene­ration, expecteth at our hands these fruits alone, of holi­nes and righteousnes; assuredly it were vnthankfulnes vntollerable, if either we should be barren of good fruits, or bring forth euill fruit. For wherefore hath the Lord elected vs? that we might be saued howsoeuer we should liue? No, but he hath elected vs that we should be holy and with­out blame before him in loue? Eph. 1. 4. Why hath Christ redeemed vs from the hand of our spirituall enemies? that being freed [Page 68] from them we might sinne the more freely? No, but that being deliuered from the hand of our spirituall enemies, Luke. 1. 74, 75. we might worship him without feare, in holinesse and righteousnesse before him all the dayes of our life. Wherefore hath he freed vs from the seruitude of sinne? that we might haue freedome to sin? No,Rom. 6. 18. & 22. he hath freed vs from sinne, that we might be the seruants of righteousnesse: and being now freed from sinne, and made seruants vnto God, we haue our fruit in holinesse, and the end euer­lasting life. Why did he beare our sinnes in his body vpon the crosse? that we liuing in sin should not die for them? No,1. Pet. 2. 24. he bare our sinnes in his body on the tree, that we being deliue­red from sinne, might liue in righteousnesse. Wherefore doth he regenerate vs by his spirit, and as it were create vs anew? that we should doe nothing our selues? NO, Wee are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Ksus to good workes, which God hath prepared, Ehp. 2. 10. that we should walke in them. Why doth hee bestow his temporall benefits vpon vs? that like well pampered horses we should kicke against our Lord and Maister? No, he crowneth vs with his manifold bles­sing, to this end,Psal. 105. 45. that we might keepe his statutes and obserue his lawes. For what else doth the Lord require of thee which art the people of God,Deut. 10. 12. in lieu of all his mercies, but to feare the Lord thy God, to walke in all his wayes, and to loue him, and to serue the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule? that thoukeepe the Commandements of the Lord, and his ordinances which he commaundeth thee for thy wealth? Let vs remember that we are trees of righteousnesse which the Lord hath planted in his garden,Cant. 4. 12, 13. that is, his Church, that we may bring forth the fruit of righteousnesse. But if he shall come to seeke fruit (as euery yeare he commeth) and shall find none,Luke▪ 3. 6, 7. howsoeuer he may forbeare for a time, yet at the length he shall cut downe the vnfruitfull trees: for he cannot abide that they should cumber the ground, and make it also barren. Let vs remember that we are the branches of the vine,Iohn 15. 2. which if we be vnfruitfull, the Lord wil cut off.Mat. 3. 10. Let vs consider that the axe is layd to the root [Page 69] of euery tree; that euery one which bringeth not forth fruit, may be cut off and cast into the fire.

Againe, in respect of our neighbour we are to worke righteousnesse, that we may helpe him either with the benefit or the example of our good worke. For the be­nefit of justice belongeth to others. For whereas other vertues are referred to the good of him that hath them; justice onely seemeth to be the good of another man: for justice attendeth the duty of one man to another; [...]. but in other vertues is attended the duty of the inferiour facul­ties vnto reason,Arist. Eth. 1. [...]. c. 3. as one saith. But thou mayst helpe thy neighbour also by the example of thy good worke.Thom. 2. 2. For when thou goest before thy brother with the light of thy good example,q. 100. 1. Pet. 3. 1. thou shalt gaine him vnto Christ, if he be not already wonne vnto him,1. Pet. 2. 12. that he also may glorifie God in the day of the visitation. Or if he be already in­grafted into Christ, by thy good example thou shalt edi­fie him,2. Cor. 9. 2. and as the Apostle testifieth of the Corinthians, thou shalt prouoke him to good workes.

Lastly, we are to performe the workes of righteous­nesse, in respect of our selues, as being both profitable and necessary forts, profitable: First, because by them we may make sure our calling and our election;2. Pet. 1. 10. as Peter teacheth, they being so many testimonies vnto vs there­of. True indeed it is,Rom. 9. 11. 2. Tim. 1. 9. that we were elected without re­spect of workes,Rom. 3. 28. and we are called by grace, not according to workes,Eph. 2. 8. 9. we are justified by faith without workes, and by grace we are saued through faith, and not by workes. But if a man would know whether he be elected, called, justified, and shall be saued, (as we are bound to giue dili­gence, that we may haue a firme knowledge of these things) we are not to pry into the secret counsell of God, but we are to examine our selues by our fruits: for both we and others are to be discerned by our fruits. As our Sauiour saith,Mat. 7. 16. 201 by their fruits you shall know them, do men gather grapes of thornes, or [...]igges of thistels? a bad tree cannot bring forth [Page 70] good fruit. By the fruits therefore of righteousnes we may euidently discerne our selues to be sanctified. And none are sanctified but such as first are justified; and whosoeuer are justified are effectually called, and none are effectual­ly called, but such as are elected; and none are elected, but such as shall be saued.Ia [...]. 2. 18. To this purpose Iames sheweth that the faith whereby we are justified, must be demon­strated by good workes.1. Iohn. 3. 14. And Iohn affirmeth, that by the the loue of our brethren (which is all one in effect with righteousnesse) we know that we are translated from death vnto life. Againe, good workes are profitable, be­cause they haue the promises both of this life, and of that which is to come.

They are also necessary, not as the causes of our justi­fication and saluation, as though we were either justified by them, or saued for them; but as necessary fruits of faith and testimonies of our justification, according whereun­to the sentence of saluation shall be pronounced: for al­though vnto the act of justification good workes do not concurre, as any causes thereof, yet in the subject, that is, the partie justified, they concurre as fruits of our faith, and consequents of our justification. For as breathing is such a fruit or consequent of life, as where that is, we judge the body to liue; where that is not, we judge it to be dead: so is the exercise of righteousnesse and perfor­mance of good workes, such a consequent of faith, as that where good workes are, the faith is liuely; where they are not at all,Iam. 2. 26. the faith is dead. They are necessary also in respect of saluation, not as the causes thereof, but partly as the way;Eph. 2. 10. for we are his vvorkmanship created vnto good workes, which he hath prepared for vs to walke in them, [...]. and therefore they are fitly sayd to be Vni regum, non causa regnandi, The way to the kingdome, not the cause of reigning: and partly as the euidence, according vnto which the Lord proceedeth in judgement to the sentence of saluation.Mat. 25. 34. 35. Come you blessed of my father [Page 71] (sayth Christ the judge) inherit you the kingdome pre­pared for you from the foundations of the world: For I was an hungrie and you gaue me meat, I thirsted and you gaue me drinke, &c. It is most certaine that Christ our Sauiour by his obedience hath merited and purcha­sed eternall life for all those that beleeue in him, accor­ding to the maine promise of the Gospell, that whoso­euer beleeueth in him shall be saued. By that righteousnes and obedience of Christ, apprehended by faith, & not by or for any righteousnes inherent in vs, or obedience per­formed by vs, are we made sonnes & heires of God, enti­tuled vnto the kingdome of heauen, acquitted from our sinnes, and accepted vnto eternall life. Notwithstanding, seeing all that be in the Church professe themselues to beleeue, whereof many deceiue either themselues with an opinion, or others with a profession of faith; therefore the Lord proceedeth vnto judgement, according to the fruits either of faith, or infidelity: taking for granted, that in those who are members of the true visible Church, where good workes are there is faith, and where are no good workes there is no faith. And therefore it behoueth vs, as we desire either to haue assurance of our saluation whiles we liue here, or to heare the comfortable sentence of saluation pronounced to vs in the day of judgement, so to be carefull to demonstrat our faith by good workes. And hereby it appeareth against the malicious slaunder of the Papists, that although we deny good workes to be meritorious of euerlasting life, yet we do not teach men to cast off all care and well doing.

Now for the auoiding of errour: Whereas the workes of righteousnesse are made a proper note of the sons and heires of God, we are first to restraine this part of the Lords answer to that subject whereof Dauids question is propounded, namely, to those who liue in the true vi­sible Church, and professe the name and religion of God. Of these, because there be many hypocrites and vnsound [Page 72] professors among them, Dauid desireth to be informed, who are the true professors. The Lord answereth: He that worketh righteousnesse, and so by his good workes doth demonstrat his faith. There are many workes ma­terially good to be found, not onely among heretickes and idolatours, as the Papists, but also among Turkes and Pagans. But we speake not of those that are with­out, for they are not within the compasse, either of Da­uids question, or Gods answer. And secondly we are to know that all works in respect of the matter, or the thing done, seeme to be good workes, are not straightwayes the workes of righteousnesse, neither doth he which per­formeth them alwayes worke righteousnesse. For it is not a good and a true worke of righteousnesse indeed, vnlesse it proceed from the right fountaine, vnlesse it be done in a right maner, and to a right end. As touching the fountaine, it is a good rule of Gregory: That the streames of righteousnes towards our brother, must be deriued from the fountaine of pietie towards God. For we loue not our brother aright, vnlesse we loue him in and for the Lord, and we cannot loue him in and for the Lord, vnlesse we loue the Lord much more: and we loue the Lord, because we are by faith persuaded, that he lo­ueth vs first, his loue being shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost: and we cannot beleeue in God and Christ our Sauiour, vnlesse we know God aright, and vnderstand the mysterie of our saluation by Christ. If therefore we be ignorant persons, we haue no faith, if we be vnfaithfull persons, we haue no true loue or feare of God, nor any other sanctifying grace: If we haue no true loue of God, we haue no true loue of our brother. For euen as the loue of God, seuered from the loue of our neighbour, is hypocrisie; so is the loue of our neighbor seuered from the loue of God, counterfeit. The good workes therefore that are done, either by an ignorant person, or by a more ciuill honest man, who is void of [Page 73] faith, of religion, of the loue and feare of God, although materially they be good: yet are they euill as they pro­ceed from him. For whiles the tree is euill, the fruit cannot be good, whiles the person is not accepted as just in Christ (as none but the faithfull are) his actions cannot be acceptable:Heb. 11. 6. for without faith it is impossible to please God.1. Tim. 1. 5. And this is that which the Apostle saith, that the end and consummation of the commandement is loue, out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith vnsained.

In respect of the manner, our good workes must be performed vprightly,2. Chron. 25. 2 not in hypocrisie and dissimula­tion: otherwise it is vnfained and counterfeit. For though we doe that which is right, yet if we doe it not with an vpright heart, we doe it not rightly, neither can we be sayd to worke righteousnesse.

In respect of the end, we are to perfome good workes, that by the discharge of our duty God may be glorified. But if our end be, to be seene of men, if to win praise and glorie to our selues, if to merit of God, and as it were to bridle him by our good deed, all our workes, though neuer so glorious in the eyes of the world, yet are they splendida peccata, that is to say, glorious sinnes. To this purpose we are to remember, that we are to worship God,Luke 1. 75. not onely in holinesse, but in righteousnesse also: and we worship him in righteous­nesse, when as in a sincere obedience to God we seeke by performing the duties of righteousnesse to our bro­ther to glorifie God. From this note therefore of Gods children, we distinguish the seeming good workes, first of infidels without the Church, or of more naturall men within; because there can be no true righteousnesse or loue of men, without faith, pietie and loue of God. Se­condly, of hypocr [...]tes and dissemblers, who do no good, but for sinister and by-respects, and therefore their righ­teousnesse being hypocrisie, is double injustice. Lastly, [Page 74] of all Pharisaicall and Popish justiciaries, who by their good workes thinke (such is their Satanicall pride) to make God beholding vnto them, and to merit heauen to themselues, most sacrilegiously & injuriously vnto Christ our Sauiour, placing the matter of their justification, and the merit of their saluation in themselues.

In a word, that is no true righteousnesse which is seue­red from holinesse; neither is that a worke of righteous­nesse, which is not a righteous worke rightly done, as that is not, which is done in hypocrisie, or to an ill end. He therefore vndoubtedly is the sonne and heire of God, who professing the true faith, laboureth to demonstrat his faith by good works; his faith working by loue, and his loue proceeding from faith vnfained: who in vpright obedience towards God, seeketh by the exercise of righteousnesse, and discharge of his dutie towards his neighbour, to glorifie God.

The third note of the child God is Truth, which the holy ghost expresseth in these words, and speaketh the truth in his heart. Which words (sayth Augustine) are not thus to be vnderstood,De [...] ad Consent. as though keeping the truth in the heart, we should vtter vntruth with our mouth. But the holy ghost vseth this phrase of speech, because a man may with his mouth vtter the truth, which will nothing auaile him, if he hold not the same in his heart. Wherefore al­though this phrase of speaking the truth in his heart, seeme somewhat harsh, notwithstanding, if it be rightly vnderstood, it doth more fully expresse the disposition of a man which is addicted to the truth, than if it had been said from the heart. Thus therefore I read, who speaketh the truth which is in his h [...]rt, that is, who vttereth with his tongue the truth which he hath conceiued in his mind. For that we may be vcraces, that is, speakers of the truth, there is a double conformitie or agreement required, which is here expressed, the one of the speech with the mind (namely, that we should speak as we thinke) the other of the mind, [Page 75] with the thing it selfe (namely, that wee should conceiue in our mind, according to the truth of the matter.) For as the rule and measure of truth in words, is the agreement of them with our thoughts: so the rule and measure of truth in our thoughts, is the agreement thereof with the things themselues. It is true indeed, that in some sciences either agreement alone sufficeth vnto the truth: as in morall philosophy he is [...], a speaker of the truth, who speaketh as he thinketh, although perhaps he thin­keth otherwise than the thing it selfe is: And in Logicke he is said to speake the truth, who speaketh as the thing is, although perhaps he thinketh otherwise: But in diui­nitie both, as I said, is required. Neither can we be said, if either be wanting, to be veraces, that is, such as speake the truth which is in our heart: for he which deliuereth an vntruth, supposing it to bee true, howsoeuer hee bee free from the vanitie of lying, yet he cannot be said to bee a speaker of the truth; for in his mouth he vttereth an vn­truth, though in his heart he be well affected to the truth. Contrariwise, he that speaketh the truth which he thin­keth to be false, he is a lyar, though he speake the truth, because he hath truth in his mouth, but not in his heart. Such a one therefore,Psal. 12. because hee speaketh with an heart and an heart, may not vnworthily be said to lie. For men­t [...]ri est contra mentemire: to lie, is to speake otherwise than a man thinketh. Wherefore, that a man may bee said to speake the truth which is in heart, there is a double a­greement required, the one of the tongue with the mind, the other of the mind, with the things themselues. And to this double conformitie in speaking the truth, there is opposed a double falshood, namely, when a man spea­keth either that which is false, or falsely. He speaketh that which is false, who speaketh otherwise than the thing is, whether he thinkes it to be so, or otherwise. He speaketh falsely, who speaketh otherwise than hee thin­keth. He which speaketh a falshood, supposing it to be [Page 76] true, is not so much to be blamed for lying, as for vnadui­fednesse and rashnesse. For we ought to be sure of those things which we affirme. But he which either speaketh that which hee knoweth to bee false, or speaketh that which is true falsely, that is, animo fallendi, with a purpose to deceiue (as the diuell sometimes doth) he is a lyar: nei­ther can you easily determine, whether is in the greater fault: for as the one hath lesse truth in his mouth, so the other hath more deceit in his heart.

Now that the loue of the truth, and likewise the dete­station of falshood is to be reckoned among the notes of Gods children, it is testified, not onely in this place, but also elsewhere in the Scriptures.Zeph. 3. 13. Zeph. 3. The remnant of Is­raell(that is, the true members of the Church, which shall remaine) shall not speake lies, neither shall a deceitfull tongue bee found in their mouth. Prou▪ 13. 5. And Prou. 13. A righteous man hateth lying words, but a wicked man is so addicted vnto lying, that he stinketh as it were, and is confounded. And whereas it is said in the end of the Psalme, He that doth these things, shall neuer be remooued. The same is testified by Salomon, Pro.Pro. 12. 19. 12. The lip of truth (meaning thereby the man which speaketh the truth) shall be established for euer. And whereas in the beginning of the Psalme it is promised, that he shal rest in the mountaine of Gods holinesse, the same we read performed,Apoc. 14. 5. 4. Apoc. 14. where it is said of those 144000, in whose mouth was found no guile, that they were redee­med from among men, being the first fruits vnto God and the lambe.

But it will be obiected, that euery man is a lyar, accor­ding to that of the Apostle, Let God be true, and euery man a lyar. Rom. 3. 4. If therefore none shall dwell in the holy mountaine of God, but such as are speakers of the truth, who then shall be saued? I answere, that no man indeed vpon the earth may be said to be so perfectly true, but that some­times he faileth of infirmitie, so farre hath the father of lies, the diuell, infected vs with his falshood. But that if we [Page 77] aspire and contend towards that perfection, embracing and louing the truth, detesting and abhorring lies, and haue a setled purpose and vnfained resolution to obserue the truth in all things, so farre as God shall enable vs; as­suredly howsoeuer we may sometimes faile of infirmitie, as Sara once did, and Peter also through feare; notwith­standing our infirmities being pardoned through and for the perfect obedience of Christ, and our leasings couered with his veritie, who is the truth, the Lord will accept of vs in his fonne, as those which speake the truth in their heart: because the true desire and purpose of our heart is al­wayes to obserue the truth. For we must distinguish be­twixt those, who hating falshood, doe sometimes (though seldome) fall thereinto, and those which haue got a cu­stome and habit of lying, and are delighted with vntruth: for the former may be verified of the faithfull, but the latter cannot.

The vse which we are to make of this doctrine, is this, That seeing the truth of our speech is a matter of so great weight and consequence, as that the holy ghost in this place hath set it downe, as one of the marks of Gods chil­dren, we are to be stirred vp to embrace the truth, and to abhorre lies.

And to this purpose let vs in the first place consider, that whereas the facultie of speech is of so great vse in our life, as that without it wee should seeme to liue like beasts, notwithstanding all this vse of our speech depen­deth vpon the truth thereof. For take away truth from the speech of men, and it were better men should bee dumbe than able to speake. Of truth therefore there is great necessitie,1. Tim. 2. 4. not onely in religion (for without the knowledge of the truth wee cannot attaine to saluation) but also in our whole life. Lying contrariwise peruerteth the vse of speech, and maketh it not onely vnprofitable, but hurtfull also, it taketh away faith from among men, and in a manner dissolueth humane societies, which with­out [Page 78] mutuall contracts and negotiations (wherein truth doth rule) cannot be maintained, &c.

Secondly, whereas God is truth, and the authour of all truth; and contrariwise, the diuell is a lyar, and the father of lies; let vs consider whose image it behooueth vs to re­present: for his children we are,Iohn 8. 44. whose image we do bear, the wit, the children of God, if we be speakers of the truth; the children of the diuell if we be lyars.

Thirdly, as there be two fathers; of those which speake truly, God; and of lyars, the diuell: so there are two king­domes whereunto all appertaine, the kingdome of light, and the kingdome of darkenesse. The language or dia­lect of the former, is truth; of the latter, lying: If there­fore thou wouldest know to whether kingdome thou doest appertaine, thou mayest know by thy language.

Fourthly,Ios. 7. 19. by the profession of the truth, as our brother is profited,Leu. 6. 2. so is Gods glory aduaunced: but by lying, wee sinne not onely against our neighbour, but also against God.

Fiftly, for those causes, Truth in the Scripture is com­mended vnto vs, and commaunded, but vntruth is forbid­den and condemned. Wherefore (saith the Apostle) cast off lying,Eph. 4▪ 25. and speake euery man the truth vnto his neigh­bour, for we are members one of another. Where the A­postle vseth two reasons; first, because we are renewed in the holinesse and righteousnesse of truth, according to the image of God, that we may be true, as he is true: Second­ly, because we are members of the same body, and there­fore ought to maintain truth among our selues. But espe­cially in the ninth commaundement is truth commanded, and all falshood forbidden. But it may be you desire testi­monies of either seuerally. As of truth commaunded, Zachar. Zach. [...]. 16. 8. These are the things that you shall doe: Speake yee euery man the truth vnto his neighbour: execute iudgement truly and vp­rightly in your gates. Verse 19. And againe, Therefore loue the truth and pe [...]ce. Exod. 23. 7. Of falshood forbidden, Exod. 23. Thou shalt keepe [Page 79] thee farre,Leu. 19. 11. [...] verbo mendac [...], from a lying word. Leu. 19. Ye shall not steale, nor deale falsely, nor lie one vnto another. Where theft and lying, as they vse to goe together, so are they joyned as companions: and hard it is to say, whe­ther is the worse sinne.Ec [...]les. 1. 20. 23, 24, 25. A lie (sayth a wise man) is a wicked shame in a man: yet is it oft in the mo [...]th of the vnwise. A theefe is better than a man that is accu [...]tomed to lie: but they both shall haue de [...]truction to heritage. The conditions of lyars are vnhonest, and their shame is euer with them. And hereunto let vs adde that pro­hibition of the Apostle,Col. 3. 9. Col. 3. Lie not one to another, hauing put off the old man with his practises, and put on the new, &c.

Sixtly,Psal. 51. 8. as God doth loue the truth, as being himselfe not onely true,Pro. 12. [...]. but truth it selfe: so he abhorreth lying, as one of the things which he especially hateth.Pro. 6. 17.

Seuenthly: And hereunto accordeth the judgement al­so of all ingenious men, euen among the heathen and others: who commend truth, as a most excellent vertue, as a most sacred possession, [...], Philo Ind. as the Sunne in the world, as that one thing wherein men may become most like vnto God. Wherefore Pythagoras being demaunded, What that was, in doing whereof, men might especially be like vnto God? answered, [...], If they speake the truth. And therefore another sayth, [...],Men [...]nder. It is alwaies best to speake the truth. Contrariwise, they condemne lying as a most foule and shamefull vice, and vnworthy an ho­nestman. To lie (sayth one) is a base thing, but truth is no­ble. And therefore of all reproches, [...]. Apollon. an ingenious man can least brooke this, that another to his face should say, Thou lyest. But if the very heathen people doe so highly esteeme of Truth, how much more doth it become vs Christians to loue and embrace it,Deut. 32. 4. who are his children, that is the Truth, who are redeemed by him that is the Truth,Iohn 14. 6. and vnto whom wee are to conforme our selues; who are regenerated by the spirit of truth,Iohn 16. 13. by whome we are to be led into all truth,Iohn 17. 17. who are sanctified by the word of God,Iohn 18. 37. which is the truth, who are of the truth so many [Page 80] as are of God. Therefore nothing lesse becommeth a Christian than lying, nothing more than truth.

Eightly, but if no other arguments will preuaile with vs, let vs consider on the one side, what rewards the Lord hath promised to them that speake the truth, and on the other side, what [...]udgements he hath denounced against lyars. To the speakers of truth, the Lord hath promised, that they shall neuer be remooued, that they shall be esta­blished for euer, that they shall dwel in Gods holy moun­taine, as before hath beene shewed: against lyars, the Lord hath threatened fearefull judgements, A false witnesse shall not be vnpunished, P [...]0. 19, 5. and he that speaketh lies [...] shall not escape. For first he is punished with infamie, and looseth his credit, inso­much that no man will beleeue him, when he speaketh the truth:Eccles. 34. 4. For as one sayth, What truth can be spoken of a lyar? Secondly, he is discarded of the godly, he that telleth lies (sayth Dauid) shall not remaine in my sight.Psal. 101. 7. But these are light punishments in comparison of those that follow, for God doth not onely punish lyars, but also destroy them, Psal. Psal. 5. 6. 5. Thou shalt destroy them that speake lies. Prou. 19. A false witnesse shall not he vnpunished, Pro. 19. 9. and he that speaketh lies, shall perish. For God destroyeth them either with a temporall death, as Ananias and Sapphir [...], because they had lied, were stricken dead,Act. 5. Act. 5. or with eternall: for who so euer loue or make lies,Apoc. 22. 15. shall be excluded out of the heauenly Ieru­salem, and shall haue their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone,Apoc. 21. 8. which is the second death.

Ninthly, and lastly, seeing the holy ghost hath recko­ned Truth among the markes of Gods children, it beho­ueth vs as we desire to haue any assurance, that we be­long vnto the Lord, or shall dwell with him in the moun­taine of his holinesse, so to loue and embrace the truth, and to detest and abhorre falshood.

And thus haue we shewed in generall, that lying is wicked and detestable, and that the truth is to bee loued and embraced of all those who would be held citisens of [Page 81] heauen. But here are two questions to be decided of vs. First, Whether it be lawfull for a Christian man at any time to lie. Secondly, Whether he be bound alwayes to professe the truth, and how farre forth.

As touching the former, we are to hold a distinction of lics or vntruths: for an vntruth is either vnproperly so called, or properly: that is vnproperly called an vn­truth, which being true in sence, is false onely in shew of words, as figuratiue speeches and fabulous parables: the lawfulnesse where of is warranted by the vse of speech in the Scriptures: for howsoeuer, if we respect the sound of the words, they seeme to containe some falshood, yet if we regard the sence and meaning of the speaker (as it is fit we should) they expresse the truth, either [...], more significantly, or more profitably. More significant­ly, as figuratiue speeches; especially such as we call Hy­perbolae, where of there are some examples in the Scrip­tures.Gen. 32. 12. As when the holy ghost would signifie a very great or innumerable multitude,1. Sam. 13. 5. he vseth to compare it with the sand of the sea.Psal. 78. 27. And likewise, Iohn the Euangelist, when he would signifie,Iohn 21. 25. that Christ our Sauior did work very many or rather innumerable miracles, and other acts worthy to be registred, he sayth, That if euery one of them should be set downe in writing, he supposeth, that the whole world could not contain the books that should be written.

And as for fabulous parables, they hide not the truth, but more profitably lay it foorth, that it may be more clearely discerned, and more sincerely acknowledged: for the truth is more clearely discerned, when as by a fit s [...]ilitude (for such these parables are) it is illustrated. And it is more sincerely and vnpartially acknowledged, when the person of whom it is meant, is withdrawne. For better doe men comprehend vnder the person of ano­ther, what is to bee thought of themselues: examples hereof, see 2. Sam. 12. 1. Mat. 21. 33. 41. Iudg. 9. 7. 2. King. 14. 9. [Page 82] and 2. Chron. 25. 18. 19. A lie or vntruth, so properly cal­led, is such a speech, as in sence and meaning at the least is false. And such an vntruth is deliuered either for no cause at all, as that which is called merum mendacium, a meere lie, or else for some purpose. The meere lie is that which is vttered, neither with a desire to hurt, nor purpose to helpe any, but onely in a vanitie and pleasure taken in lying: Which sheweth our notable vanitie and pronenesse to ly­ing, that many are delighted therewith for it selfe. But this vanitie especially sheweth it selfe in those persons, who in all their speeches almost loue to tell of strange and wonderfull things. And of this kind of lie there can be no question, but that it is vnlawfull.

The lie which is told for some cause, is either to hurt some man, or to pleasure him. That which is told to hurt any body, it is called mendacium perniciosum, a pernicious or hurtfull lie: neither can there be any controuersie, but that this is wicked and diuellish. The lie which is told to plea­sure any, is either mendacium iocosum, the merry lie, or, offici­osum, the lie for aduantage. And of these two sorts is all the controuersie. For there are which thinke these lies ei­ther to be no sinnes at all, or else not mortall sinnes, be­cause they seeme to them not to breake that commaun­dement wherein lies are forbidden. For these lies (say they) are not spoken against our neighbor, but rather for him: namely, either to delight him, as the jeasting lie; or to helpe him, as the officious lie. I answere, that the ninth commaundement, whereof they speake, is generally to be vnderstood: for first, vnder false testimonie we are to vnderstand all false speech concerning our neighbour, and not onely false speech, but also all vaine talke. For the Hebrew word [...] signifieth both. As also the other word [...], which is vsed in the third commaundement. And in the fift of Deuteronomie,Deut. 5. 20. where the law is repea­ted, Moses in the ninth commaundement, in stead of [...], putteth [...], that wee may vnderstand not onely false [Page 83] speech to be forbidden, but also that which is vaine. A­gaine, the word [...] doth signifie not onely against thy neighbour, but also for him. For the preposition [...] signi­fieth both,Esay 59. 12. to wit, both against, as Esay 59, Our sinnes do te­stifie [...],Gen. 30. 33. against vs: and also for, as Gen. 30, My righteous­nesse shall answere [...] for me, or shall testifie in my behalf. In the ninth commaundement therefore is forbidden not onely false speech (as euery lie is) but also vaine speech (as the jeasting lie commonly is;) and not onely that false or vaine speech which is against our neighbour, but also that which is for him, whether it be for his delight, as the jeasting lie, or for his profit, as the officious lie. Augustine out of the words of the Apostle,De mendacio ad Consent. I. Cor. 15. where the Apo­stle confesseth, That if Christ be not risen againe, then he and other the Apostles should be false witnesses of God: For (saith he) we haue testified of (or as the word may signifie, against) God, that he hath raised vp Christ, &c. he gathereth, that that is said to be a false testimonie against any, which is falsely said in his praise. Seeing therefore these two sorts of lies are forbidden in the decalogue, it is euident by the confession of the Schoolemen themselues, that they are not onely sinnes, but also mortall sinnes.

2. Againe, a lie is euill in generall, and is generally forbidden in the Scriptures.Apoc. 21. 8. Apoc. 21. to all yers without exception eternall death is denounced. And agreeably to the Scriptures,Eecles. 7. 13. [...] the sonne of Syrach, [...], saith he, [...]: Doe not thou make no manner of lie. The Hebrew word, which signifieth a lie, signifieth iniquitie, that wee might vnderstand euery lie to be a sinne.

3.De interpr. 1. [...]. Euery lie is against nature. For seeing words natu­rally are the notes of our thoughts, as the Philosopher saith, it is against nature and against dutie, that a man should signifie in words that which he doth not thinke in his heart;See Thom. 2. 2. q. 110. or that the will should direct the tongue to vt­ter that which is contrarie to the illumination of the mind.Ethic. 4. Whereupon the Philosopher sayth, That euery [Page 84] lie is in it owne nature euill and to be auoided.

4. Augustine reasoneth thus. The truth teacheth not that we may lie at any time:1. Iohn 2. 21. for no lie is of the truth. There­fore it is not true that we may lie at any time.

5. We can doe nothing (sayth the Apostle) against the truth,2. Cor. 13. 8. but for the truth, 2. Cor. 13, but euery lie is against the truth: yea vpon euery lie followeth the losse of truth, which to God is most deere.

6. Againe (sayth Augustine) the law is the truth. Psal. 119. yea God is the truth, therefore that which is against truth, is against the law, yea and against God.

7. And hereunto wee may adde the testimonies of Augustine, Moral. y. 8. cap. 2. No lies are iust, for all are sinnes.

8. And of Gregorie, Euery lie is iniquitie: for so much it dissenteth from equitie, as it discordeth from veritie. For whatso [...]uer is opposed to vertue, is sinne: euery lie is opposed to truth, which is a vertue, therefore euery lie is a sinne.

9. Euery lie is of the diuell, therefore euill. Iohn 8. 44.

10. The conscience of euery man when he lieth, ac­cuseth him of sinne.

But let vs consider them seuerally. And first as tou­ching the merry lie, we are to hold a distinction, namely, that there is a merry lie, which vnproperly is called a lie, when as in shew of words a false thing is vttered, but yet by the jesture or pronuntiation of him that so jeasteth, it may appeare, that something else which is true, is signi­fied by him: and that such a jeast as vnder the shew of an vntruth doth hide a truth, may sometimes be vsed of a Christian man, I dare not denie. But that which properly and in the meaning of the speaker is a lie, may in no sort be vsed of a Christian. First, because it is not onely false, but also vaine and idle:Mat. 12. 36. and if of idle words an account must be giuen, how much more of lies? Secondly, the Prophet Hoseas inueigheth against those, [...]os. 7. 3. who with their lies make princes merry. Now, if princes, to whom being [Page 85] oppressed with great cares, mirth is most needfull, may not be made merry with lies, who then may? Thirdly, a lie may not be vttered to helpe a man, or to deliuer him out of danger, as shall straightwaies be shewed, mueh lesse may it be told to delight him. For as the schoolemen truly say, Bonum utile prefertur delectabili, a profitable good is preferred before a delightfull,De mendac. ad Consent. nay, the truth it selfe is not spoken to the end to delight men, as Augustine sayth, much lesse may a lie. Fourthly, Epaminondas the heathen man, shall rise in judgement against those who make no conscience of speaking merry lies:Aemilius prob. for he was so strict an obseruer and louer of the truth, that hee could not abide that a lie should be spoken, no not in jeast. And to these reasons you may adde those arguments which before were produced to prooue a lie generally to be euill.

But the chiefe controuersie is concerning the officious lie; for therein now adayes the policie of worldly men especially consisteth. But let vs see by what arguments they commend this office forsooth of lying. First, be­cause it is not against Christian charitie (say they) to help our brother with a lie:1. Cor. 13. 6. yea, but Christian charitie (say I) abhorreth lying,2. Cor. 13. 8. and rejoyceth in the truth, and those which are Christians, so long as they keepe a good con­science, they can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

2. Yea, the honest friendship of Heathen men was contained within the limits of truth. The Philosopher in his Morals professeth,Eth. 1. [...], to be a godly thing to prefer the truth, before his friends. And those which were of the better sort among them, were wont to professe themselues friends one to another, [...] vnto the altars, to which they vsually came when they were to testifie a truth: that it may be a shame for Christian men in respect of friendship, to goe beyond the bonds of truth.

3. Christian Charitie requireth not onely that wee [Page 86] should do good, but also that we should do it well and by good means:Rom. 3. 8. For this a rule in Diuinity, that Euill is not to be done, that Good may come thereof. Those things only which are good and lawfull are to be done of vs, committing the euent to God.

4. Christian charitie doth not require that for another mans commodity thou shouldest cast away thy selfe. But God will destroy those which speake lies: Psal. 5. 6. and as the wise man saith,VVisd. 1. 11. The lying mouth destroyeth the soule.

Secondly, they proue this kind of lying to be lawfull, by the examples of the godly. For first, say they, Abra­ham the father of the faithfull, that he might escape dan­ger, said that his wife Sarah was his sister.Gen. 12. 10. 16. & 20. 2. To this obje­ction Abraham himselfe aunswereth. Gen. 20. 12, In very truth she is my sister,Gen 20. 12. the daughter of my father, though not of my mother, and she also is my wife. Abraham ther­fore vttered no vntruth, but onely concealed part of the truth: He did not say (sayth Augustine) she is not my wife, but he sayd, she is my sister: he therefore concealed some part of the truth, but he deliuered no vntruth: when be concealed that she was his wise, he professed she was his sister.

Againe (say they) the Midwiues are commen­ded,Exod. 1. 17. 19. 20. which that they might preserue the male-children of the Hebrewes aliue, told an vntruth. But there is no necessity that we should graunt that they did lie, for it is very likely that diuerse of the Hebrew women hauing notice of the kings edict, did not send for the Midwiues, but were without their helpe (being strengthned by God, and perhaps holpen by other women) deliuered. But suppose they had told a lye, yet we must distinguish betwixt their lie and their preseruation of the infants: For the preseruation of the children was a worke of mer­cy, and of the feare of God; but their lye had beene a worke of infirmity and of the feare of men. Neither did they tell a lye (if they lied) to saue the infants, but hauing preserued before the infants, they told a lye for their [Page 87] owne safety.Moral. 18. 6. 2. So sayth Gregory, Parcendo, conatae sunt infan­tum vitam tegere; mentiendo, suam: By sparing, they ende­uoured to preserue the life of the infants; by lying, their owne. They are therefore commended for sauing the in­fants, they are not commended for lying.

Thirdly,Ios. 2. they obiect the example of Rahab, who is commended in the Scriptures,Heb. 11 3 [...]. because she receiued the spies,Iam. 2. 25. hid and sent them away, and by a lie saued their life. Such examples as are doubtfull, charitie bindeth vs to in­terpret into the better part: I answere therefore with Tre­mellius and Iunius, that there is no necessitie we should in­terpret her answere as a lie; for it may be, that others had lodged with her being an Inne-keeper, of whom shee made that answere: God so disposing by his prouidence, that she might truly giue notice of some of her guests, which were gone, and might also in faith and charity con­ceale others. But if shee had lied, yet her lie is not com­mended, whereinto she fell by infirmitie, (and no maruell if she so fell, being a new conuert from paganisme) but that her worke of faith and loue. Vnto both these exam­ples, Augustine answereth thus:Contra mendac. ad Consent. Whereas it is written, that God dealt well with the midwiues of the Hebrews, and with Rahab the harlot of Iericho, it was not because they lied, but because they were mercifull towards the men of God. Wherefore not their lying was rewarded, but their good will, Benignitas ment is, non iniquit as mentientis.

Now, if they shall obiect other examples of the godly, I answere with Augustine in the same place, When as ex­amples of lying are produced out of the holy scriptures, either they are no lies. but are so supposed to be, whiles they are not vnderstood (of which sort are some speeches which were prophetically vttered, as that of Iacob to Isaac, which Augustine sayth was a my sterie and not a lie) or if they be lies, they are not to be imitated, because they can­not be just. And secondly, the rule of our cōscience is not to be drawn from the examples of men, but from the [Page 88] com­maundements of God. They were men, and therefore they might fall, but these slips of theirs were in their god­ly life, as blemishes in a beautifull face, which wee are to behold as euidences of humane frailtie, that we may be made more warie and circumspect, and not to imitate them as examples.

In the third place they vrge certain cases, wherin if we shall hold it vnlawfull to lie, they say it is a hard doctrine, and which cannot be borne. For first (say they) seeing the most men now adaies are readie for euery petty com­moditie to lie; it were to great simplicity, if not folly, if to compasse great matters a man would refuse to lie: for this were the high way to beggery.

But what sayth Salomon? Pro. 23. 23. Buy the truth, but sell it not. And our Sauiour Christ,Mar. 8. 36. What will it profit a man, if he shall gaine the whole world and loose his owne soule? as the lying tongue casts away the soule. But these men are like to prophane Esau, who for a messe of pottage sold his birth-right; sa­uing that they for matters of like value and lesse neces­sity do sell their inheritance in heauen. Wherefore as Augustine truly saith,De mencacio ad Consent. No man can euince that it is lawfull at any time to lie, vnlesse he be able to shew, that an euer­lasting good may be obtained by a lye: But so much doth euery one depart from eternity, as be discordeth from verity.

2. But say they, what if our owne or our bro­thers life being endangered, might be redeemed by a lie, shall it not be lawfull in that case to lie? I aunswere with Augustine, That death which foolish men do feare, who feare not to sinne, killeth the body and not the soule: But the lying tongue slayeth the soule. It is therefore most peruersly said, that the one ought spiritually to die, that the other may corporally liue. Seeing therefore by ly­ing, eternall life is lost, we may not lie to preserue any mans temporall life; no more than we would thinke it our duty, if by our witchcraft, theft, adultery, we could saue a mans life, to play the witches, theeues, or adulte­rers, [Page 89] to that end. Nay rather according to that counsell of the wise man,Eccles. 4. 33. We are to striue for the truth vnto death.

3. But suppose, say they, that if thou wilt lye thou mayst saue thy chastitie, if thou wilt not lye thou shalt be forced to fornication, or some other sinne which is more grieuous than lying; must we not of two euils chuse the lesse? This case of compensatiue sinnes, wher­by a more grieuous sinne is as they suppose redeemed by a lesse, doth trouble many. But although of two euils of punishment, the lesse is to be chosen, yet this holdeth not in sinnes: For if I may not sinne, that good may come thereof, then may I not commit one sinne, that another may be auoided. Neither as I suppose can they alleadge any case wherein a man shall so be concluded betwixt two sinnes, as that he may not haue an issue without com­mitting a new sinne. What then will you say, ought one rather to cōmit whordome than to make a lye? I answer first with Augustine, If you aske whether he ought to do; I say, he ought to do neither. For if I shall say he ought to do the one, I should allow that one: when as indeed I disallow both. But if you aske, whither he ought to a­uoid, who cannot shunne both, but may escape the one? I answer, he ought to auoid his owne sinne rather than an others, and rather the lesse, if it be his owne, than the greater, if it be anothers. For although manslaughter be a more grieuous sinne than theft: yet it is worse to steale, than to be killed. Secondly, he thatlyeth that he may not be forced to whordome, or some other sinne; to auoid an vncertaine sin, he runneth into a certaine. Thirdly, nei­ther may they be sayd to commit sinne, vpon whom whordome is enforced against their will: for they do but receiue wrong, whereas the others which enforce them, do commit the sin. Neither is whordome which is enforced vpon another against their will, in respect of the sufferer, a corruption, but a vexation: For the mind re­maining [Page 90] vncorrupt the body is not corrupted. Who therefore seeth not whether a man ought rather to auoid the permission and suffering of another mans sinne, which he cannot hinder; or the doing of his owne.

4. But what if by my lie I may further the saluation of my brother, may I not lye in that case, as for exāple, of an hereticke to make a true Christian, and to reclaime a hea­then man from paganisme to Christianitie? Neither may we lie in this case,Lib. cont. Men­dacium ad Con­sent. as Augustine proueth at large: for when as the Priscillianists, who were a pernicious sect of heretiks, did so cloke their heresie that they could hardly be dis­couered; diuerse professors of the truth, faining them­selues to be Priscillianists, denied the true faith, that they might insinuat themselues into the company of the Pri­scillianists, that so they might be discouered, and reclai­med to the profession of the truth. This fact of theirs Augustine condemneth. Neither doubteth he to affirme that the professors of the truth, that they might discouer the heretickes, did lie more perniciously, or at lest more dangerously, than the heretickes did lie in couering their heresie from them. And againe, farre be it from a Chri­stian (saith he) that he should deny and blaspheme Christ, to the end that he might make another man a Christian, Et percando quarrat inueniendum, quemsi tale doceat, perdat in­uentum, And by casting away himselfe seeke to find another, whom being found be shall also (if he teach him such doctrine) cast away. For if this once be granted, That it is lawful to lie for thy neighbours good, yea, for his saluation; all faith will be abolished: for thou shalt not bee able to say any thing wherein he may not thinke that thou doest lye for his good. And that it is not lawfull to lie for the saluation of men, hereby it is euident: Because we may not lie for Gods cause.Iob. 13. 7. 8. 1. Cor. 15. 15. Iob. 13, For whosoeuer will lye for God, he shall be found guilty of false witnesse against God. And thus it appeareth that we may lye for no cause.

1. And that we may abide firme and resolute in this [Page 91] truth, let vs first hold this as a firme principle in Diuinity; We may not do cuill that good may come thereof. Rom. 3. 8. For those that say we may, their damnation is just. But to lye is to doe euill, as hath bene proued, therefore we may not lye that good may come thereof. Yea but (say they) actions are to be esteemed according to their end: Therefore to lye to a good end, is good. That is true in things which be in their owne nature indifferent, but lying is in it owne na­ture euill and vnjust.

2. We are to consider that we are not to lye for our owne life or safety, otherwise Peter had not offended when being in feare of his life, he lied, saying that he knew not Christ: and therefore we are not to lye for the life or safety of another.

3. Euery lie is pernicious, if not to the neighbour, yet to the speaker. For euery lie is cōtrary to the vertue of truth, and therfore is a lye; contrary to the law, & therfore [...],Gal. 3. 10. a sinne, or transgression of the law: and euery trans­gression of the law maketh vs subject to the cursse of the law. Therefore the lye which in respect of the neighbor is officious, in respect of the speaker is pernicious. There­fore no lie is lawfull.

What then will you say, is the truth alwayes to be pro­fessed?

2. That is the other question: Whereunto I answer, That the truth is neuer to be denied, that an vntruth is neuer to be affirmed, and yet notwithstanding the truth is not alwayes to be professed. For the profession of the truth is sometimes necessary, sometimes free and in our owne choice, sometimes vnseasonable. Necessary, when as the consideration of Gods glorie, our neighbors good, or our owne duty, requireth it at our hands: As first in causes spirituall, when a man is called to an account of his faith and religion: for then the Christian Apologie and constant profession of the faith is necessary. 1.l. Pet. 3. 15. Pet. 3. 15, Be ready alwayes to giue an answer to euery man that [Page 92] asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you: For as with the heart we beleeue vnto righteousnesse,Rom. 10. 10. so with the mouth we confesse vnto saluation. He that confes­seth me (saith Christ) before men,Mat. 10. 32, 33. him will I confesse also before my father which is in heauen. But whosoeuer shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my father which is in heauen.

In causes ciuile, as in the place of judgement, when as a man is lawfully called as a witnesse to testifie the truth: For then, as we are forbidden to beare false witnesse, so are we commanded to beare witnesse to the truth.

The profession of the truth is vnseasonable, when as there being no necessity of vttering it in respect either of Gods glory, our neighbors good, or our owne duty, it is joyned with our own or our neighbours danger or harme; for then the truth may, yea must be concealed either in whole or in part.

It is free and in our owne choice, when it is neither necessary, nor vnseasonable: for then we may either pro­fesse it or conceale it. And herein as in all other, Christs action must be our instruction: For whē as he was conuen­ted before the Priests and Pharisies, whom he perceiued to offend of prepenced malice, he would answer nothing to their demands, lest he should seeme to cast holy things before dogs,Mat. 7. 6. or pearles before swine, which would not onely trample the truth vnder their feet, but also perse­cute the professor thereof.Mat. 27. 11. 21, 1. Tim. 6. 13. But before Pontius Pilat he is said to haue witnessed a good confession:Iohn 18. 36, 37. For not onely he confessed himselfe to be the King of the Iewes, but al­so made this profession, For this cause am I borne, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should beare wit­nesse vnto the truth,Iohn 18. 20, 21. &c. Againe, when the Priests que­stioned with him concerning his doctrine, he sendeth them to his hearers. For it was against all equity that he should accuse himselfe. But when the high Priests ad­jured him that he should plainely tell whether he was the [Page 93] sonne of God or not; then although the profession of the truth were ioyned with manifest danger of his life, not­withstanding, seeing it so neerly concerned the glory of God, the good of his followers, and the conuiction of his aduersaries,Mat. 26. 63, 64. he made a notable confession of the truth.

And that the truth sometimes may be concealed, it may be proued by the authoritie of God himselfe: For when as the Lord appointed Samuel to go to Bethlehem to annoint Dauid king, Samuel desired to be informed how that might safely be done; for if Saul should heare there­of, he would be sure to kill him. The Lord therefore teacheth him this godly pollicy: Thou shalt take an heifer with thee,1. Sam. 16▪ 2. and say, I am come to sacrifice, or as some read, to selebrate a feast to the Lord. Whereas therefore Samuel was sent to Bethlehem for two causes, he was by the commandement of God to conceale the more princi­pall: which teacheth vs that the simplicity of doues is to be tempered with the wisedome of seruants. The same is proued by the example of Abraham, Gen. 20. 12. which himselfe doth justifie: for whereas Sara was not onely his sister (according to the Hebrew phrase) but also his wife; he professed the one, that she was his sister; and concealed the other, that she was his wife: when as therefore the profession of the truth not necessary, is joyned with the damage or danger, either of our selues or others, and so is vnseasonable; howsoeuer, we may neither deny the truth, nor vtter an vntruth: yet we may, or rather must conceale the truth, either wholly or in part. As for ex­ample. An innocent man who is persecuted for righ­teousnesse sake, is sought for by his persecutors that he may be brought to punishment, committeth himselfe to your fidelitie and safe custody: The persecutors come and demaund of you where this partie is: What will you do in this case? If you tell where he is, you betray the in­nocent: If you knowing where he is, shall say you cannot tell where he is; or shall say he is where you thinke [Page 94] he is not, you shall lye. Will you offend in lying against your owne soule, or in treachery against the innocent? Forsooth the circumstances are to be considered. If you plainely see that notwithstanding whatsoeuer you shall say he cannot be concealed, it is all one in respect of the innocent partie, whether you conceale the truth or con­fesse it: For neither by confessing the truth shall you be­tray him, nor by concealing it, saue him. If it be doubt­full whether by concealing the truth he may be preser­ued or not, hide the truth so much as thou mayst, and by telling some other truth as Ra [...]ab did, diuert the fury of the persecutors another way. But if the partie be so hid that vnlesse thou discouer him he cannot be found, and perhaps thou be asked concerning the very place where he is, whether he be there or not: here, if you say nothing you betray him, if you say I cannot tell, you lye. There­fore as Augustine faith, A man in such a case must say, I know where he is, but I will neuer tell you: for which Christian humanitie whatsoeuer you shall constantly en­dure,Lib. cont. Men­dacium it is so far from being▪ worthy of blame, that it is to be commended. And here unto belongeth that memo­rable example recorded by Augustine in the same place, of a certaine Bishop, Firm [...]s by name, but more firme (as he saith) in resolution: For when as messengers sent from a persecuting emperour, enquired of him concerning a Christian (whom he had hid as secretly as he could) where he was: he answered them, that neither could he lie, neither would he betray the man: neither could they by any tortures make him to discouer the partie. Where­upon they bring him to before the emperour, who admi­ring the constancie and courage of the Bishop, was con­tent for his sake to pardon the other. Likewise in hea­then writers the constancy of Zeno the Philosopher is highly commended:Plut [...]rch. de gar [...]ulitate. who rather than he would be for­ced by any tortures to vtter secrets against his will, he did bite off his tongue and spit it in the tyrants face.

[Page 95] And thus much may suffice to haue spoken of the three generall notes: this onely remaineth, that we should apply them to our selues. Wherefore from this proposi­tion of the holy Ghost (Those that walke vprightly, worke righteousnesse, embrace the truth, are such as shall inherit the king­dome of heauen: and reciprocally those that shall inherit the king­dome of heauen are such as walke vprightly, exercise iustice, speake the truth in their hearts,) let vs consider what euery mans conscience will assume: for if thy conscience shall make this assumption, But I walke vprightly, worke righte­ousnesse, embrace the truth, though with great imperfe­ction, yet with my true endeuour and vnfained purpose and desire of mine heart; then vpon these premises will follow this happy conclusion, Therefore thou are one of those that shall inherit the kingdome of heauen. But on the other side, if this be the assumption which thy con­conscience maketh, Thou playest the hypocrite before God, and dealest deceitfully with men, thou liuest vn­justly, and followest after lies; vpon these premises it will follow necessarily, That thou art not such an one as shall inherit the kingdome of heauen. And therefore as thou wouldest hope to be saued, so repent of these sinnes, and embrace the contrary vertues which are here set downe as the proper notes of Gods children.

But let vs come to the fourth note, which (as also the third whereof euen now I spake) respecteth the tongue, and the same in part may be sayd of the eight.

Now whereas the holy Ghost among the ten notes of Gods children, taketh two or three from the toung, it ap­peareth that great regard is to be had of the tongue. For howsoeuer many make but light account of their words, which are (they say) but wind; notwithstanding, the holy Ghost affirmeth, that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and as men loue to vse it, so shall they eate the fruit there­of. And Christ our Sauiour after he had said,Prou. 18, 2 [...]. that men are to giue an account of their idle words, he adjoyneth [Page 96] this reason,Mat. 12▪ 34. for by thy words, saith he, thou shalt be iustified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. Wherefore let vs learne to gouerne our tongue, otherwise we shall be con­uicted by three notes out of this Psalme, that we neither are sound members of the Church militant, nor shall be inheritors of glory in the Church triumphant; but rather shall shew our profession of religion (though otherwise neuer so glorious) to be but vaine. For as Iames saith, If any man among you seemeth religious, Iam. 1. 26. and refraineth not his tongue, but deceiueth his owne heart; that mans religion is vaine.

Moreouer betwixt the third note and this fourth, there is great assinitie. For thereby are signified two du­ties of the tongue which may not be seuered, the contra­ry affirmatiue being vnderstood vnder this negatiue, namely that the speech of the vpright man concerning his neighbour is full of charitie, whereby▪ The is so farre from defaming him by vncharitable slaunders, as that he sheweth himselfe greatly to tender his good name. For in all our speech concerning our neighbour, these two things are required, That our talke be the speech of veri­ty, and of charitie:1. Cor. 13. 6. For charity reioyceth in the truth: and truth must be spoken in charitie, Eph. 4. 15. as the Apostle saith, [...], speaking the truth in loue. Neither sufficeth a true speech vn­lesse it proceed from charitie, nor a charitable speechvn­lesse it be joyned with verity. Truth without charitie is malicious, and charitie without truth is a lyar.

But let vs come to the words themselues; He that slan­dereth not with his tongue. The Hebrew word [...] signifi­eth to play the espie, and by a metaphor, to backbite or slander: For backbiters and whisperers after the maner of espies, go vp and downe dissembling their malice, that they may espie the faults and defects of others, whereof they may make a malitious relation to such as will giue eare to their slaunders. So that backbiting is a malitious defamation of a man behind his backe.

Now that I may speake of this matter according to [Page 97] the scope of the holy ghost in this place, I am to shew, first, that those which be heires apparant of the kingdom of heauen, neither are nor should be backbiters; and se­condly, that all sorts of men besides them, doe slaunder with their tongues. For so shall it appeare, that this is a proper note of the sonnes and heires of God, agreeing to them all, and to them alone.

And that the citisen of heauen doth and ought to ab­horre from backbiting, the horrible wickednesse of this sinne doth euince. For first Leuit. 19, where it is straightly forbidden,Leuit. 19. 16. the tale-bearer is compared to a pedler, Thou shalt not walke about with tales and slanders, as it were a pedler among thy people; so much [...] signifieth. For as the pedler hauing bought his wares of some one or more, goeth about from house to house, that he may sell the same to others: so backbiters and tale-bearers ga­thering together tales and rumours, as it were wares, goe from one to another, that such wares as either themselues haue inuented, or haue gathered by report, they may vt­ter in the absence of their neighbour to his infamie and disgrace.Psal. 50. 20. Likewise Psal. 50. it is condemned as a notable crime, which God will not suffer to goe vnpunished, Ezec. Ezec. 22. 9. 22. it is reckoned among the abhominations of I eru­salem, for which destruction is denounced against it: and Rom. 1.Rom. 1. 29. 30. among the crimes of the heathen, giuen ouer vnto a reprobat sence, this is placed, That they were whisperers and backbiters.

But the detestable abhomination of this sinne may more clearely appeare, if we consider either the causes from whence it springeth, or the fruits and effects which it bringeth forth. It ariseth of enuie and hatred: for ther­fore backbiters slaunder other, either because they hate them as their enemies, or enuie them as their betters. In both respects, backbiting is numbred among the mur­thers of the tongue: and for that cause, the backbiters tongue (which being inflamed with rancour and enuie, is [Page 98] worthily said to be set on fire from hell) is sitly compared to a bow, [...]am. 3. a sword, a razour, an aspe, and other deadly things.Ier. 18. 18. For those which smite with their tongue, they bend their tongue as it were a bowe of lies: Ier. 9. 3. out of which they shoot bitter words as it were arrowes: Psal. 120. 3. wherewith they shoot at the vp­right in secret,Psal. 64. 3, 4. they shoot at him suddenly and feare not. They whet their tongue like a sword,Psal. 64. 3. and pronounce words like a piercing sword,Pro. 12. 18. yea their words are swords. Their tongue is like to a sharpe razour.Psal. 55. 21. They haue shar­pened their tongues like a serpent,Psal. 52. 2. venenum ptyados, the poyson of the spitting aspe (which sendeth his poysonPsal. 140. 3. farre off) is vnder their lips.Iam. 3. 6. 8. In a word, their tongue is a fire, a world of wickednesse, an vnruly euill, full of deadly poyson.

But consider withall the fruits of backbiting: for the backbiter is not a single manslayer, but hee killeth three men as it were with one stroke. For which cause euery false witnesse, and consequently euery backbiter, who is one of the worst kinds of false witnesses, is said to be an arrow,Pro. 25. 18. an hammer, and a sword: an arrow, in respect of him that is absent, whom he woundeth a farre off, in his good name, in his goods, in his friends, and sometimes in his life.Eccles. 7. 3. Of his good name he alwayes spoyleth his neigh­bour, which is more precious than ointments,Pro. 22. 1. and more to be desired than great riches; and therefore doth offer him greater wrong, than if hee had robbed him of his goods.Sonne of Syrach [...]. 15. Wherefore as that wise man exhorteth, Bee not counted a tale-bearer, & lie not in wait with thy tongue; for shame doth follow a theefe, but euill condemnation is vpon him that is double-tongued. Againe, that which is stollen, may be restored againe; but the blot of infamie can neuer be wiped away: against the biting of the sy­cophant (which is backbiting) there is no remedie: theeues also may be preuented or shunned, but who is able to escape or auoid the slaunder of the tale-bearer? But the backbiter doth not onely spoile his neighbour of [Page 99] his good name, but sometimes also of his goods, as we see in the example of Ziba, who by slaundering his master Mephibosheth, 2. Sam. 16. 4. obtained his goods. Againe, the backbiter or tale-bearer increaseth hatred among enemies, & sow­eth discord among friends. For as Salomon sayth, Without wood the fire is quenched,Pro. 26. 20. and without a talebearer strife ceaseth.Pro. 16. 28. And againe, a froward person soweth strife, and a tale-bearer maketh diuision among princes: and there­fore the backbiter doth not onely rob a man of his goods and good name, but sometimes also of his friends. But to bereaue a man of his friends, is a greater wrong than easi­ly can be imagined:Pro. 18. 24. for a friend oftentimes is nearer and dearer than a brother.Mat. 5. 9. Now if they be happy which are peace-makers, then cursed are they that sow hatred a­mong friends: for this is that seuenth thing which the Lord doth especially abhorre.Prou. 6. 19. And as the peace-makers are the sonnes of God, so are tale-bearers the children of the diuell, whose conditions in slaundering and sowing discord, they doe resemble. Lastly, the slaunderer some­times bereaueth his neighbour of his life,Ezec. 22. 9. and carrieth tales to shed bloud:1. Sam. 22. 9. 11 as appeareth in Doeg, of whom Dauid complaineth,Psal. 52. 2. 4. Psal. 52. that his tongue did cut like a sharpe razour, and that hee loued all words that might destroy. For howsoeuer the tale-bearers words doe oftentimes come out with sighs, as though he pitied the party whom he doth backbite,Pro. 26. 22. yet they descend into the bowels, and pierce the heart, and therefore the backbiters tongue, as you haue heard, is compared to most deadly things.

2. To him that receiueth the slaunder, the backbiter is an hammer to knocke him on the head, Eius enim aurem dum inficit animam interficit: for whiles he infecteth his ear, he destroyeth his soule, casting thereinto the seeds of sus­pition, hatred,1. Sam. 22. 11. and contempt, as 1. Sam. 22. which afterward bring forth most damnable fruits.

3. Lastly, to himselfe hee is a sword, destroying his owne soule, by committing that sinne which is most odi­ous [Page 100] vnto God:Leu [...]t. 19. 14 for he which slaundereth his neighbour behind his backe, he committeth the same offence with him that raileth on the deafe, and is like to him that smi­teth his neighbour secretly;Deut. 27. 24. which whosoeuer doth, he is accursed. And therefore no maruell, though this be said to be that seuenth sinne which God doth abhorre;Prou. 6. 19. for there is no sinne which maketh a man so like the diuell, as this doth: for from slaundering and backbiting he hath his name [...],2 Tim, 3. 3. which is a common name to him with all slaunderers.Tit. 2. 3. But as the Lord doth greatly detest backbi­ting, so doth he grieuously punish it;Psal. 50. 20, 21. and not only them, but also the places that harbour them;Psal. 52. 5. and not only in this life,Ezec. 22. 9. but in the life to come: for if raylers shall not inherit the kingdome of God,1. Cor. 6. 10. much lesse shall slaunderers. And therefore it is euident, that this vice (I speake of the habit or custome of backbiting, for in many things we sinne all; and he is a very perfect man that neuer offendeth in his tongue) is not incident vnto a citisen of heauen.Iam. 3. 2. This note therefore agreeth to all them that shall inherit the king­dome of God. It remaineth therefore, that I should shew how it agreeth to them alone: for backbiting is so com­mon a vice, that it is naturally in all men: for vnto all doth the Apostle apply those testimonies,Rom. 3. 12, 13. They haue all gone out of the way, there is none that doth good, no not one, their throat is an open sepulchre, the poyson of aspes is vnder their lips. And therefore none are freed from it, but those which are regenerate: neither is this vice seene alone in them that are prophane and openly wicked, but also in them who would seeme to be religious. For those which would seeme religious, and yet be not so, these for the most part place the top of their religion, in inueigh­ing against the faults of others, that is to say, in backbi­ting: as though other mens want of religion would proue them to be religious. But this custome argueth him that vseth it, to be an hypocrit and a vile person. For as Iames sayth,Iam. [...] 25. If any man would seeme to be religious, and doth [Page 101] not refraine his tongue, but deceiueth his owne heart, that mans religion is vaine. And it is truly said of Hierome, It is the propertie of vile persons to make others vile: and those which cannot be commended by their own desert, doe seeke to be commended in comparison of others. Wherefore as we desire to be accounted heires of hea­uen, so let vs learne to keepe our tongues form backbi­ting; and in tender care of our brothers credit, to couer his offences, especially such as sauour of infirmity, as Sem and Iaphet once did couer the nakednesse of their father:Pron. 10. 1 [...]. For as hatred (which often bursteth forth into slaunde­ring and backbiting) raiseth contention,1. Pet. 4. 8. so charitie co­uereth the multitude of offences.

What then, will you say, are the offences of our neigh­bour so to be buried, as that it is not lawfull for a man to mention them?

As touching the vices of others, this is the duty of eue­ry honest man:Gal. 6. 1. First in presence. If a brother be ouerta­ken with some lesse offence, we are to admonish him in the spirit of meeknesse: if he offend more grieuously, we are to freely to reproue him,Leu. 19. 17. and not to suffer sinne to rest vpon him.De interiori domo cap. 42. Wherefore as Bernard saith, If thou wilt re­buke an offender, reproue him to his face, and bite him not behind his backe:Prou. 27. 5▪ 6. For open rebuke is better than se­cret loue. The wounds of a louer (that is to say, euen his sharpest reprofes) are faithfull, but the kisses of an ene­mie are to be prayed against.Psal. 141. 5. And Dauid to the like pur­pose, Let the righteous (saith he) smite me, and I will esteeme it a benefit, let him reproue me and it shall be a pretious oyle that shall not breake mine head. Where­fore we are in this behalfe to follow the direction of our Sauiour Christ:Mat. 18. 15, 16, 17. If thy brother offend against thee (that is, in thy sight, for an offence committed before thee, is a scan­dale vnto thee) go and reproue him betweene thee and him alone: If he shall harken vnto thee, thou hast won thy brother: But if he shall not harken vnto thee, take vnto thee one or two, that by the mouth of [Page 102] two or three witnesses euery word may be established. And if he will not vouchsafe to heare them, tell it vnto the Church, and if he refuse to heare the Church also, let him be vnto thee as an heathen man and a publican. And this is the course which we must take with him that is a brother.

But if he be a sonne of Beli [...]l, or one that is openly pro­fane, such as the Scriptures calleth a scorner, who maketh a scoffe of all religion; with such when they offend be­fore vs, we are to take another course: For although our hearts ought to be grieued and vexed at the wickednes of prophane persons,2. Pet. 2. 7. 8. as Lots was among the Sodomits; though we ought to mourne for the sinnes of our neigh­bours and countrimen,Ezec. 9. 4. 6. as those who were marked in the forehead, that they might escape the common destru­ction;Psal. 119. 158. though it ought to be an irkesome thing vnto vs, as it was to Dauid, to fee the transgressors which keepe not the word of God; finally though with Dauid [...] we ought to weepe riuers of waters,Psal. 119. 136. because men keepe not Gods law: notwithstanding, priuat admonition or bro­therly reprofe is not to be vsed to wards desperat sinners, or prophane ruffians.Mat. 7. 6. For holy things, as our Sauiour Christ aduiseth, are not to be cast before dogges, neither is precious pearle of brotherly admonition to be thrown before swine: for they will not only trample it vnder their feet, but also turne vpon thee, to offer thee violence or disgrace. And to the same purpose is the aduice of Salomon. Prou. 9,Prou. 9. 7, 8, 9. He that reproueth a scorner, purchaseth to himselfe shame, and he that rebuketh the wicked get­teth himselfe reproch. Rebuke not a scorner lest he hate thee, but rebuke a wise man and he will loue thee. Giue admonition to the wise, and he will be the wiser; teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning. And such ought to be our behauiour in presence of him that offendeth.

As for those which be absent, we are not, behind our neighbours backe,Prou. 10. 18. to publish their shame: For he that vt­tereth [Page 103] infamie is a foole. The secret faults of our neigh­bours, especially such as are committed of infirmitie, we are to conceale and couer▪ 1. Pet. 4. 8. For loue couereth the multi­tude of sinnes. Neither are we to vtter the rest, vnlesse we be vrged thereunto by some necessitie, which may concerne either thy neighbour or thy selfe. Thy neigh­bour I say, either to whom, or of whom thou speakest: and for him of whom thou speakest, it may be necessary that his sinnes, as it were his diseases, which by priuat ad­monition could not be cured, should be declared vnto a superiour, that hath authoritie or gouernment ouer him, as it were his Physition to cure him. But herein we must be carefull that this delation or acquainting of the supe­riour with the faults of the inferiour,Mat. 18. 15, 16, 17. do follow vpon our priuat admonition, if conueniently it could be vsed, and proceed from our loue towards the partie whose good we therein do seeke.Gen. 37. 2. Thus Ioseph told the faults of his brethren to Iacob their father; Thus they of the houshold of Chloe notified the vices of the Corinthians to Paul. 1. Cor. 1. [...]1. Now to the party to whō thou speakest, it may be neces­sary that he should be premonished of another mās faults, when there is danger that either the injurie thereof will redound to his losse, or the contagion of them will infect him. When the injurie is feared, we may say to our neigh­bour, Take heed of such a man, for he intendeth such a mischiefe towards you.Act. 23. 16. Thus Pauls sisters sonne certi­fied him how certaine Iewes lay in waite for him. Thus Iohanan with other captaines, premonished Gedaliah of the slaughter intended against him by Isma [...]l. Ier. 40. 14. When infection is feared (as nothing is more infectious than the company of the wicked) we may say, Take heed you enter not into familiar acquaintance with such a man for he is giuen to drunkennesse, to whordome, to swearing, &c. or he is in the number of such sinners, with whom familiar acquain­tance is not to be entertained. 1.1. Cor. 5. 11. Cor. 5. 11.

For thy selfe it may be necessary to declare another [Page 104] mans fault, when thou mayst not conceale it, vnlesse thou wilt be guiltie of the same offence, as in the matter of treason, and sometimes of other crimes. And this is that which the son of Syrach aduiseth in this behalfe,Eccles. 19. 8. Declare not other mens maners, neither to friend nor foe. And if the sinne appertaine not vnto thee, that is, if thou shalt not by thy silence be enwrapped in the guilt thereof, re­ueale it not: But if vpon no necessitie thou shalt vtter the offences of thy neighbour which is absent, thou playest the part of a slanderer, yea of the diuell. And how soeuer this vice of backbiting and slandering be a very grieuous fault, as hath bene shewed: yet there is no sinne more common, none more vsuall, none lesse regarded; so com­mon, that it is in euery bodies mouth almost, euen of those that would seeme religious; so vsuall, that there is no feast, no meeting, no communication almost among mē, which is not full of rumors and ill reports of other men; whiles some of hatred defame others, others of enuie detract from them, others of selfe-loue desire themselues prefer­red before them. And so ordinarie a fault it is among mē, that most men when by ill speaking they defame and disgrace their neighbour, they do not perceiue them­selues to offend. But if we be Gods children, how com­meth it to passe that we are [...], that is, diuels, and carry the diuell about vs, as a slandering and lying spirit in our mouthes?

Yea,Obiection. 1. but so long as I speake the truth of my neighbor (saith one) I am not to be blamed. Answer. 1. Yea, but few tale-bearers or backbiters are able to say so much of themselues truly, whose maner is either to inuent tales of themselues, or else to such reports as they haue heard, to adde of their owne. 2. Howsoeuer in shew of words talebearers sometimes do seeme to speake the truth, yet in respect of their purpose and intent (which is, that their neighbour may seeme worse by their report than indeed he is) they are to be accounted liars and slaunderers. [Page 105] It was true which Doeg reported to Saule concerning Da­uid and Abimelech the priest:1. Sam. 22. 9, 10 but because by his narration he would haue Saule to gather that Abimelech had conspi­red with Dauid against him,1. Sam. 21. 6▪ 9. he is condemned of falshood and lying. Psal. 52. 3. But suppose the euill report which thou vtterest concerning thy brother,Psal. 52. 2, 3, 4. be true, yet if it pro­ceed from hatred of his person, thou art a backbiter and slaunderer: For euen as he is a murtherer that killeth a malefactor without judgement, without calling; so he is a slaunderer, who vpon no necessitie diffameth his bro­ther, though he deserue so to be spoken of.

2. Yea but I (sayth another) in reporting the faults of my neighbour, haue regard to his credit: for I tell them to my friend, with this caution, that he shall tell no bodie.

Indeed so doe backbiters vse to say: I haue a secret to tell you, but you must keepe it to your selfe. But whe­ther should I say is greater, your mallice, or your folly? that which you would haue concealed, your selfe doe vt­ter. For if you would haue it concealed indeed, why doe you not trust your owne tongue rather than another mans? or how can you require that of another, which you cannot obtaine from your selfe?

3. Yea, but he is my friend, and he will keepe it secret. So hath he friends, and they also haue friends, by whom the ill report or slaunder may be spread farre and neere. Follow therefore the aduice of Iesus the sonne of Syrach, Declare not other mens manners, Eccles. 19▪ 8, 10, 11. 12. neither to friend nor foe, and if it bee not sinne to thee, reue [...]le it not. If thou hast heard a word against thy neighbour, let it dic with thee, and be sure it will not burst thee. A foole trauaileth when he hath heard a thing, as a woman which is a­bout to bring forth a child: as an arrow that sticketh in ones thigh, so is a word in a fooles heart, that is, it must out.

4. Yea, but I doe so report my neighbours fault, as that it may appeare I am sorry for him. Or rather (say I) that thou mayest appeare to be an hypocrite, such as Ber­nard describeth:Serm. in Ca [...]. 24 You shall see them sometimes (sayth he) to send [Page 106] deepe sighes before a slaunder: and so with a kind of grauitie, and slownesse of speech, with a sad looke, and deiected countenance, and dolefull voice, the slaunder is vttered, being so much the more credi­ble, as to them that heare it, it seemeth to be vttered with an vnwil­ling heart, and with the affection of him that condoleth, rather than of one that is maliciously affected. I am very sorry for him (saith one) because I loue him, but I could neuer reclaime him from this fault. And another, I had (saith hee) certaine notice of this matter, but it should neuer haue been blazed abroad for me; but seeing the matter is made known by others, I cannot denie the truth, with greefe I speake it, but so [...]t is. And then be addeth: it is great pitty, the man hath good parts, and otherwise he is well qualified, but in this matter (to say the truth) he cannot be excused. This is that which Salomon sayth, Pro. 18. 8. & 26. 22. Prou. 18, The words of a tale-bearer are like the words of them that are wounded (that is, they be dolefully vttered) but they goe dowue into the bowels of the belly, that is, they inflict, though hidden, yet deadly and incurable wounds.

By this which hath beene said, it appeareth what is the dutie of euery good Christian, namely, to admonish or reprooue our brother (if need be) to his face; but behind his backe to say nothing of him but good, vnlesse we be compelled thereto by necessitie: and that to this end, ei­ther that his neighbour of whom hee speaketh may bee cured from the corruption of the sinne; or he to whom he speaketh, may be freed either from the injurie or from the contagion of the sinne; or he who speaketh, may be pre­serued from the guilt of the sinne, which by silence hee should incurre. This Christian dutie is duly to be practi­sed of vs all who would be accounted the sons and heirs of God: and with so much the greater diligence & care we are to eschew the foule vice of backbiting and slaun­dering, as it is more common in vse, and more hard to bee left.

And to this purpose there are some things to be consi­dered of vs, some things to be done. Consider, first the grieuousnesse of this fault: for euery slaunderer is a man­slayer, [Page 107] striking his brother in secret, and wounding him as it were behind his backe; yea, as I said before, killing three men with one stroke: he is a serpent which biteth secretly: a diuell, deprauing also such things as are well done. Consider, that by backbiting thou makest thy selfe guiltie of the breach of two commaundements, to wit, the fixt and the ninth. Consider, that in other sinnes men communicat with beasts, but in this, with the diuell him­selfe. Consider, that all thy slaunders are registred in the booke of Gods prouidence; and howsoeuer the Lord seemeth for a time not to regard them, yet he will reproue thee, and set them in order before thee. Consider, how much thou wouldest be abashed, if thy neighbour whom thou backbitest, should take thee with the manner, and t [...]nquam lupus in fabula, Psal. 50. 21. heare thy tale: how much more oughtest thou to be ashamed, seeing God himselfe doth heare thy slaunders? Consider, when thou art about to speake of thy neighbours faults, with what mind thou speakest of them: for if of hatred, of enuie, of selfeloue, if to diffame him, or by disgracing him to grace thy selfe; bid Sathan auaunt, who seeketh to be a lying and slaun­derous spirit in thy mouth. Lastly consider, that of idle words an account is to be made, how much more of ma­licious and slaunderous words?

There are three things also to bee put in practise, that we may auoid this sinne. First, wee must flie curiositie, whereby men vse to prie busily into other mens behaui­our, and securely neglect their owne: So doth Plutarch not vnfitly define curiositie,De curio [...]it [...], a de­sire to be acquainted with other mens euils. For there are many curious persons and busie bodies,Plutarch de curiositate. who with Lamia or the witch in the fable put on their eyes when they goe abroad, but lay them aside when they come home. Such kind of persons Peter by an elegant name calleth [...], superintendents ouer other mens affaires,1. Pet. 4. 15. and as it were bishops ouer other mens dioces. And Paule like­wise [Page 108] fitly describeth such kind of women,1 [...] Tim. 5. 13. which being idle, learne to goe about from house to house: yea, not onely idle, but also prattlers and busie bodies, speaking things which are not comely. We are indeed to obserue one another,Heb. 1 [...]. [...]4. to prouoke vnto loue and good works: but we are not like busie bodies, to pry into the conuersation of others, that espying their wants, we should censure them, disgrace or diffame them. Wee may not be many masters to censure others:Iam. 3. 4. For in many things we offend all.Rom. 2. 1. Therefore thou are inexcusable, ô man, whosoeuer thou [...]rt that iudgest: for in that thou iudgest another, thou condemnest thy selfe, for thou that iudgest, doest the same things. And [...]hereunto belongeth the exhortation of our Sauior Christ Mat. Mat. 7. 1, 2, &c. 7, Iudge not, that you be not iudged. For with what iudgement you iudge, you shall be iudged, and with what measure you meat, it shall be measured to you againe. And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, and behold a beame is in thine owne eye? Hypo­crit, first cast out the beame out of thine owne eye, and then shalt thou see clearely to cast the mote out of thy brothers eye.

The second thing therefore is, that we should be con­uersant in judging of our selues, and should, as Plutarch sayth, turne our curiositie inward. For as Bernard well sayth,De interiori Demo, cap. 42. Woe be to that man who neglecteth to amend his owne life, and ceaseth not to carpe at the life of others. If thou wilt be carping, r [...]tort thine owne sinnes vpon thee: behold not other mens faults, but thine owne. For if thou view thy selfe well, thou wouldest neuer de­tract from others. Defile not thy mouth with another mans sinne, nei­ther backbite him that offendeth, but be sorry for him. For backbiting is a grieuous sinne. Tom. 4. ho [...]il. 3. ad popul. Chrysostome sayth, The diuell bringeth men into this custome, That enquiring into other mens liues, they should neglect their owne: for he that maketh busie enquirie into the life of others, hath no leisure to re­gard his owne.

Thirdly, wee are to imitate the example of Dauid. Psal. Psal. 39. 1. 39. 1. I said (that is, I fully purposed and set downe this resolution with my selfe) I will obserue my wayes, that I sinne not with my tongue: I will keepe my mouth as it were with a [Page 109] bridle. For if we let loose the reins to our vntamed tongue, we shall find it to be as Iames sayth,Iam. 3. 6. a world of wickednes. And because it is a hard thing to tame our tongues, which Iames calleth an vnruly euill, [...] ▪ we are with the same Dauid to pray vnto God in this behalfe,Psal. 141. 3. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and keepe the dore of my lips. For of our selues we are not able to gouerne our tongues,Iam. 3. 7, 8. as Iames sayth, For the whole nature of beasts, and of birds, and of creeping things, and things of the sea, is and hath been tamed of the nature of man: But the tongue can no man tame. And hereunto belongeth that storie of Pambus recorded in the tripartite hystorie of the Church.Lib. 8▪ cap. 1. For he being vnlettered, went to a learned man to be taught a Psalme; and when he had heard the first verse of the 39. Psalme, I said I will obserue my wayes, that I offend not with my tongue: he desired his master to stay there, for that was sufficient for one lesson. And six moneths after, being reprooued by his teacher, that hee came not in all that while to take out a new lesson, he an­swered, that as yet he had not learned that one verse. And being long after demaunded, whether as yet he had lear­ned it, he said, That in 49 yeares he had not so learned that lesson, that he was able to performe it. For as Iames sayth,Iam. 3. 2. If any man sinne not in word, he is a perfect man, and able to bridle all the body. And as he is perfect, so also blessed, as that wi [...]e man sayth,Eccles. 14. [...]. Blessed is the man who offendeth not with his mouth. It remaineth therefore, that euery one should ap­ply this note to himselfe. For as those which find them­selues to be giuen to backbiting and s [...]aundering, mustre­pent of this sinne, if euer they hope to rest in the moun­taine of Gods holinesse; because as yet they bee not so qualified, as they are who shall inherit the kingdome of God, whose propertie it is, not to slaunder with their tongue: so those who professing religion, haue learned to bridle their tongue, and in tender care of their neigh­bours good name, doe loue to speake charitably of them, may by this note among others gather assurance vnto [Page 110] themselues, that they be the children of God.

The fift note is expressed in these words, That doth none euill to his neighbour. Where first we are to vnderstand the meaning of the words. By neighbour who is meant, all doe not agree. The vulgar sort esteemeth no man their neigh­bour, who is not vicinus, neare them in dwelling. The Scribes and Pharisies accounted no man their neighbor, who was not their friend: for so were they wont to say, Thou shalt loue thy neighbour, Mat. 5. 43. and hate thine enemie. But Christ our Sauiour extendeth the signification of neighbour, to our enemies also:Mat. 5. 44. and Luke10, being demaunded by an expounder of the law,Luke 10▪ 37. Who was his neighbour? he euin­ceth, That the Samaritane, though hated of the Iews for his countrey sake, was that Iewes neighbour who had fallen among theeues; and consequently, that euery Iew was to shew himselfe a neighbour to any Samaritane or stranger in the like case. And in the law it selfe the Lord so expoundeth himselfe;Exod. 23. 4, 5. for whom, in Exod. 23, he calleth thine enemie,Deut. 22. 1, 2, 3. the same in Deut. 22, where the same law is repeated, he calleth thy brother. Now neighbour and brother is vsed in the same sence in the Scripture, as Leuit. Leuit. 19. 17. 19. 17. Thy neighbour therefore is not onely hee which is nigh vnto thee in place, or neere in friendship, but also he who is neere vnto thee in nature, as euery man is partaking the same humane nature with thee, whether he be friend or foe, thy countryman or stranger. For all men are brethren among themselues, hauing one father, which is God, and one mother, which is the earth. All are neighbours,Act 17. 26. being neare one vnto another in nature, all made of one blood,Esay 58. 7. all one flesh. For euen the poorest man that hath not a clout to couer his nakednesse, he is thy flesh, that is, of the sameflesh with thee, and therefore art to pittie him, & not to hide thy selfe from him. By the word neighbour therfore we vnderstand any man what­soeuer, euery man being neere vnto vs in nature, and neerely joyned to vs by the common bond of humanitie. [Page 111] For therefore doth the holy ghost vnder the names of neighbour & brother, in the Scriptures signifie any other man whatsoeuer, to teach all men so to be affected one to another, as it becommeth louing neighbours and brothers.

By Euill we are to vnderstand any harme, injurie, losse, or hinderance whatsoeuer, done either to the soule of his neighbour, or to his bodie, chastitie, goods, or good name: for to the soule harme may be done, by scandales in life or doctrine, that is to say, by euill examples, or erronious opinions: to the bodie, by violence; to the chastitie, by fornication and adulterie; to the goods, by theft or rob­berie; to the good name, by slaunders and ill reports. So that in these words the holy ghost assigneth to the citisen of heauen, such innocencie towards all men, that willing­ly he will doe no harme to any man, whether friend or foe, whether countryman of stranger, whereby either his soule may be scandalized, his body hurt, his or her chasti­tie violated, his goods impaired, or his good name impea­ched. And further, vnder this negatiue, the affirmatiue al­so is required in those which are and shall bee citisens of heauen, namely, That they do not only abstain from euill, but also that they bee willing and ready to doe good to their neighbour,Mat. 5. 44, 45. that is, not only to their friends and wel­willers, but also to their enemies.

Thus haue we the meaning of the words. Let vs now come to the scope and purpose of the Psalmist, that is, to shew, that this innocencie is a peculiar note to the sonnes and heires of God, as belonging to them all, and to them alone: for it is the propertie of Gods children to be more readie to suffer than to offer wrong.1. Cor. 6, 7. For euen Socrates, though a heathen man, could say, That it is better [...], to suffer iniurie, than to doe wrong. For from offering euill to any, they are restrained by these considerations: First as touching any other men whatsoeuer, they call to mind and consider, that they were created according to [Page 112] the same image of God; and consequently that they cannot be hurt,Gen. 9. 6. but that the image of God also shall be violated. They consider that they are their brethren, of the same nature, of the same bloud, of the same flesh, which affinitie maketh euen beasts of the same kind to loue one another: and therefore that he which hurteth or wrongeth another, offendeth against humane nature, and violateth humanitie it selfe. And therefore are lo­uingly and courteously affected towards all men, not willingly doing any thing to others which they would not that others should do to them in the like case.

And as concerning those which be of the houshold of faith (in which number when they thinke of particulars they esteeme all that professe the same faith with them) to them they thinke themselues tied by a neerer bond of loue: For those they embrace as brothers; not onely in respect of creation, but also in respect of adoption, as brothers not onely in nature, but also in Christ: them they loue and affect not onely as neighbours who are neere vnto them in nature, but also as those who are one with them in Christ,Gal. 3. 28. as being fellow members of the same bodie whereof Christ is the head. And therefore they easily perceiue that no wrong can bee offered to them,Act. 9. 4. which doth not redound to Christ himselfe: for what good or euill is done to his members,Mat. 25. 40. 45. Christ estee­meth it as done to himselfe.

Wherefore the children of God are so farre from any course or custome of doing ill to their neighbours, that on the contrary, their desire and indeuour is to do good to all men,Gal. 6. 10. but especially to those which be of the houshold of faith. For first as touching the soules of their brethren, their desire is to liue without offence,Act. 24. 16. and not to hinder the saluation of their brethren, either by prouocation, counsell,1. Ioh. 2. 10. or example: For he that loueth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no scandale in him. Nay they desire to be so farre from hindering the saluation of others, as that [Page 113] they acknowledge it to be their dutie, to further by all good meanes the saluation of their brethren, and to win them to Christ: and to that end obserue one another, to stirre them vp to charitie and good workes.Heb. 10. 24. They in­struct the ignorant, reclaime those that erre, admonish those that are backward and exhort them,1. Thes. 5. 14. reproue those that are fallen and restore them, comfort the weake min­ded go before others in good example, and by all good meanes desire to edifie them. Neither are they hurtfull to them in temporall matters, but labour as much as in them lieth, to preserue the life, the chastitie, the goods, and good name of their neighbour. Neither doe they good onely to them that deserue well at their hands, but also to those that deserue ill,1. Sam. 24. 18. they requite good for euill, & striue (if it be possible) to ouercome euill with goodnesse.Rom. 12. 21. For howsoeuer the wicked deserue ill of them, yet they will not defile their hands with doing ill,1. Sam. 24. 14. but with Dauid they will say according to the ancient prouerbe: Let wickednesse pro­ceed from the wicked, but my hand shall not be vpon thee. For if we be the true children of God, we will doe as our Sauiour Christ exhorteth,Mat. 5. 44, 45. Mat. 5, Loue our enemies, blesse them that curse vs, do good to them that hate vs, and pray for them which hurt vs and persecute vs, resembling therein the disposition of our heauenly father, who maketh his sunne to arise on the euill and on the good, and sendeth raine on the iust and vniust. This is the studie and indeuour of Gods children, howbeit some­times they faile through infirmitie, contrary to their purpose.

But in the rest who are not Gods children, this inno­cencie cannot be found: for although all men almost are readie to alleadge, that they neuer did any man hurt, as though it were a very easie thing for a man to containe his hands from euill: [...]. yet as Basill saith, This is a dutie hard to be performed, and requireth great diligence, nei­ther is it comon to the reprobat, but peculiar to the childrē of God: for as Iohn saith, The whole world (that is, the [Page 114] whole company of the wicked) lieth as it were buried in euill. 1. Iohn. 5. 19. And as Paul testifieth, This is the common corrup­tion of all that are not regenerat by the spirit of God, not to do good but euill.Rom. 3. 10. 12. Rom. 3, There is none righteous, no not one: all are gone out of the way, they are become altogether vnprofitable, there is none that doth good, no not one &c.

And as in respect of Gods children, that prouerbe is verified, Homo homini Deus, Man towards man resembleth the goodnesse of God, so in respect of the rest, that other is no lesse true, Homo homini lupus, Man is as a wolfe to man: For that we may descend to particulars; If any man receiue an injurie, who either may or dares requite it, he will ne­uer lightly (vnlesse he be the child of God) suffer it to go vnreuenged. For not to reuenge the lest injurie that may be, it is with most men esteemed cowardise: For that which the children of God thinke to be a glorious thing, namely to passe by an offence; that, the rest account to be ignominious.Prou. 19. 11. The vnderstanding of a man maketh him long-suffering, and it is his glory to passe by an offence. Now the chil­dren of God abstaine from reuenging wrongs (which the rest will neuer suffer to go vnreuenged) for these causes: First, because they acknowledge Gods singular proui­dence in all things, and are assured that nothing can hap­pen to them which the Lord himselfe hath not before or­dained. And therefore when wicked men do them any wrong, they acknowledge them to be the instruments of God, which being euill he vseth well, to their either chastisement or triall: and therefore they will not with the dogge snarle at the staffe, neglecting the smiter, but they wil looke vp vnto God, and as Esay speaketh, Turne vnto him that smiteth them. Dauid when he was reuiled by Shemei, acknowledged Shemeis cursed tongue which was set on fire from hell,2. Sam. 16. 10. to haue bene the Lords instru­ment to correct him: when Iosephs brethren feared lest he would reuenge the injurie which they did vnto him in selling him into Egypt,Gen. 45. 5. 7, 8. he acknowledgeth that God by [Page 115] their meanes had sent him thither for the preseruation of the Church.

Secondly, because they are indued with charitie to­wards all men; and therfore if it be good that the injurie should be dissembled, they are content to couer it and to burie it in the graue of obliuion:Prou. 10. 12. For as hatred stirreth vp strife, so loue couereth the multitude of offences. But if it be not good either for their neighbour, or for themselues, or for the common wealth, that the injurie should be put vp, then flye they to the magistrat: for he is the minister of God to take vengeance on him that doth euill:Rom. 13. 4. or if the magistrat neglect his dutie in this behalfe,Ier. 51. 36. then do they commit their cause to God,Luke. 18. 7. 8. who hath promised to re­uenge it.

Thirdly, because they know all priuat reuenge to be vnlawfull and condemned in the Scriptures, as Leuit. 19,Leuit. 19. 18. Thou shalt not auenge, nor retaine a purpose of reuenge against the children of thy people: but shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe, I am the Lord. And Rom. 12, Deerly beloued auenge not your selues, but giue place to the anger, Rom. 12. 19. namely of God: For it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. But especially Math. 5,Mat. 5. 38. 39. For when as the Pharisies had wrested that law Talionis, of requiting like for like (which the Magistrates were to obserue in punishing the offences of men committed against their neighbor) vnto priuat reuenge, Christ op­poseth himselfe against this corruption, Ye haue heard that it hath bene sayd (saith he) an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say vnto you, resist not euill: but whosoeuer shall smite thee on the right cheeke turne to him the other also. Which words we are to vnderstād [...], that is to say, comparatiuely, or spoken by way of comparison. For Christ would haue vs to be so farre from desire of reuenge, that he would haue vs readie rather to receiue a second injurie, than to re­uenge the former. And hereunto appertaineth that ad­monition of the Apostle.1. Thes. 5. 15. 1. Thes. 5. See that none recompence euill for euill vnto any man, but euer follow that which is good, both [Page 116] towards your selues, and toward all men.

Fourthly,Psal. 94. 1. because they know that the Lord (who is the God of reuenge) hath threatned to auenge those that reuenge themselues:Ezec. 25. 12. And well is it said of the sonne of Syrach, Eccles. 28. 1. he that seeketh vengeance shall find vengeance of the Lord, and he will surely keepe his sinnes. For as Christ himselfe saith Mat. 6,Mat 6. 15. If you do not forgiue men their trespasses, Mat. 18. 35. neither will your heauenly father forgiue you your trespasses.

Now if this be the propertie of Gods children, not to requite euill for euill, we may easily conceiue in what number those Caualliers, and fool-hardie fellowes are to be reckoned, all whose courage and manhood consisteth in offering and reuenging injuries, who also vpon euerie occasion are readie to quarrell and fight. But let these men know, First, that all priuat reuenge is vnlawfull, and that if euerie priuat man might be his owne caruer, the magistrat should carrie the sword in vaine: Second­ly,Rom. 13. 4. that all fighting (vnlesse it be in lawfull battell) is murther in the sight of God: Thirdly, that he which ta­keth the sword, viz. not deliuered vnto him by warrant from God, (as it is to the magistrat, to the souldier in law­full battell,Mat. 26. 52. to the priuat man in case of present necessitie) shall perish with the sword: Fourthly, that it is a most fearfull thing, either to kill, or to be killed (as oft it hap­peneth) in priuat fight: for he that killeth is a murthe­rer, who so polluteth the land with bloud as that it can­not be purged but by his owne bloud. Not to speake of that which euerie man knoweth, that manslayers haue none inheritance in heauen, but shall be excluded out of the heauenly Ierusalem,Apoc. 22. 15. and shall haue their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone;Apoc. 21. 8. which is the second death: in the meane time who is able to vtter what horror of conscience vsually accompanieth those who are guiltie of murther? Neither is their case better who are slaine in fighting a priuat quarrell: For if as the [Page 117] tree falleth, so it lieth: how fearfull may we thinke their estate to be after death, who in thirsting after another mans bloud do shed their owne bloud; and in a desire to murther another, are murthered themselues.

Wherfore whē we are stirred vp to fighting or reuenge, let vs remember the Apostles aduice, Ephes. 4,Ephes. 4. 27. Not to giue place to the diuell: for vndoubtedly they are in­spired with a fatanicall spirit, who breath out reuenge. Wherefore Dauid when Abishai stirred him vp to reuenge,2. Sam. 19. 22. Shemai answered, What haue I to do with you, ye sonnes of Zeruiah, that this day you should be vnto me [...], in stead of Satan.

But to returne to my purpose. This is a common thing to all them that are not citisens of heauen, that so oft as either they can or dare, they are readie to requite euill for euill: and verie manie proceed further, who not on­ly do euill to them that haue deserued ill, but manie times also either through hatred, or hope of gaine, doe ill to those who are innocent, neither haue deserued euill at their hands. Yea manie there are who render euill for good, and seeke to harme them of whom they haue re­ceiued good. Seeing then all other men, who be not the sonnes and heires of God, are so accustomed to euill do­ing, it cannot be hoped that they should vse to practise the affirmatiue in doing good: For may we thinke that those who vse to do euill, not onely to them that deserue ill, but also to the innocent, and those that deserue well, that they will be readie to do good offices to them that deserue not, and to requite euill with good? Or is it cre­dible that those who are carelesse of their owne saluation should be carefull for others, to winne them to Christ? Nay, the greatest number are affected as Cain was, who being demaunded by the Lord concerning his brother, asked if he were his brothers keeper. Yes verily, we are all appointed keepers of God,Heb. 10. 24. to obserue one another, To stirre vy one another to loue, 1. Cor. 13. 5. and to good workes: for loue seeketh [Page 118] not her owne things, but is also carefull for others. And those which be the children of God, are also members of one and the same bodie, among whom is the communion of Saints. But others are so farre from promoting the sal­uation of their brethren, that by all meanes they seeke to hinder the same, whiles either by prouocation, counsell, or example they bring them into sinne, which is the cut-throat of the soule, & so become murtherers not of mens bodies, but (which is more grieuous) of mens soules. Wherefore seeing this Innocencie agreeth to all the sons and heires of God, and onely to them, it is of good right reckoned among their proper notes, not onely in this place,Psal. 24. 4. but elsewhere also in the scriptures, as Ps. 24, Where to the like question, Who shal ascend into the mountaine of the Lord, &c. the like answer is shaped, He that hath Innocent hands, and a pure heart, &c. And as the Psal­mist in this place affirmeth, that he which doth none euill to his neighbour shall neuer be remoued, but shall rest in the holy mountaine of God;Esay. 56. 2. so the Prophet Esay pro­nounceth that man blessed, who keepeth his hand from doing any euill.

It remaineth therefore that euerie one should apply this note to himselfe: for howsoeuer all men almost will affirme that they neuer did harme to their neighbor, yet it is to be feared lest this Innocencie can be found but in a few, especially of those who would seeme more wise and politicke than others: for such is the generall wic­kednesse of these times, that none but fooles are counted Innocent. And therefore those which would be citisens of heauen,1. Cor. 3. 18. they must be content to be esteemed fooles in the world, that they may be wise to God.

Now followeth the sixt note, in these words, And re­ceiueth not an euill report against his neighbour. The word [...] signifieth an opprobrious speech, or as the Septua­ginta translate, [...], a reuiling and slanderous speech, a sinister or euill report tending to the infamy of our neigh­bour. [Page 119] The verbe [...], admitteth diuerse significations. The first and principall is, to take vp: and so a slaunder may be taken vp either in the mind, to thinke, or deuise it, or in the tongue to vtter it, or in the eare to harken or to giue eare to it: all which Gods children are to auoid: For as touching the first, howsoeuer many men thinke their wicked thoughts to be free, yet notwith­standing the Scriptures teach vs that they are repugnant to charitie;1. Cor. 13. 5. for as the Apostle saith, Charitie thinketh none euell: Prou. 24. 9. that they are sinnes, for the wicked thought of a foole is sinne: that they are not onely forbidden; for so the Pro­phet Zacharie saith,Zach. 8. 17. Let none of you imagine euill in your heart a­gainst his neighbour; Gen. 6. 5. & 8. 21. but also punished, for the holy Ghost doth note that the Lord destroyed the world by the vni­uersall deluge, Because the thoughts of mens hearts were continu­ally euill: Prou. 15. 26. that they are an abhomination to the Lord: and con­sequently that we are to bewaile them,Act. 8. 22. and craue pardon for them,Esay. 55. 7. and also to repent vs of them, Let the vnrighteous, saith the Prophet, forsake his owne imaginations, and returne vnto the Lord: For therefore is repentance called [...], because it is a changing of the mind. And to conclude, those that will walke vprightly before God, they must labor to approue not onely their outward behauiour, but also the secret thoughts of their minds, and affections of their harts, to him that trieth and searcheth the harts and r [...]ynes of men, & especially looketh to the hart. Neither are the children of God to take vp in their mouthes, that is, to vtter (which is a second signification of the verbe nasa) slanderous reports:Pro [...]. 12. 18. for the tongue of the godly wise is healthfull, being readie to heale the good name of his neighbour, and not to wound it; whether before his face, by railing, scorning, cursing; or behind his backe, by whispering and slandering. And thus some do read this place (and vttereth not a reproch,) which translation seemeth not to be so fit: because we may not thinke that the Pro­phet in such breuitie of speech, would reckon one and the [Page 120] same note twice; for according to this reading, the fourth note should differ litle or nothing at all from this. Neither are the children of God to take vp ill reports with their eares, or to giue eare vnto them, or to receiue them; for that is a third signification of the word which the Chal­dey paraphrase, and the Greeke and Latine translations do embrace, viz. to receiue: for so the Septuagints (to omit the rest) do read [...], and receiueth not an ill report against his neighbours. To these we may add a fourth signification of the verbe, which is to beare or endure: according vnto which, the meaning of the Prophet may be this, that the child of God cannot brooke a slanderer, neither can he endure to heare his neighbour defamed. By neighbour (as was said before) we are to vnderstand, not onely those who are neere vnto vs in place (which most commonly are called neighbours) or in friendship, but those who are neere vnto vs in nature (as all men are) whether they be remoued from vs, either in place, as forreiners and stran­gers; or in affection, as foes. The meaning therefore of the words is this, that he who shall inherit the kingdome of heauen, shall be so farre himselfe from backbiting his neighbour, or slandering him, as that willingly he heareth not the slanderous reports of talebearers, neither can he endure that the good name of his neighbour (which is so deere vnto him) should be violated.

For surely the good man, to whom the glorie of God is deere, and who also tendereth either the fame or salua­tion of his neighbour, he taketh no delight in hearing the faults of his brethren. For by offences Gods glorie is obscured, the saluation of our brethren hazarded, their good name impeached, and the judgements of God pro­uoked. Whosoeuer therefore taketh pleasure in hearing of the offences of others, he also delighteth to heare those things whereby God is dishonored, our brothers salua­tion hindered, their good name impaired, and the judge­ments [Page 121] of God procured: which is scarcely incident to a godly man, whose propertie it is rather to mourne for the dishonour offered to God, and to be sorie for the in­famie of his brother, and to pitie his miserable condition, in that by his sin he hath exposed himselfe to the iudge­ments of God, both in this world and also in the world to come.

As for the rest who, being of this world belong not to the heauenly Ierusalem, forasmuch as they are full of en­uie and selfe-loue, they thinke the commendation of others to be to their disparragement, and esteeme the dis­praise of others as a praise to themselues, and therefore take pleasure to heare the vices and offences of others, their eares being like to cupping-glas [...]es, readie to re­ceiue the worst things. And this is so common a vice, though few obserue it in themselues, that scarcely there is any meeting or conference of men, wherein the vices of others are not both maliciously related, but willingly heard, and so heard, that they may be reported againe to others. Whereby it appeareth, that this charitable dispo­sition whereby a man so tendereth the credit and good name of his neighbour, as that neither himselfe will de­fame him, nor willingly heare the slaunderous reports of others, is particular to the children of God, and heires of eternall life; and therefore not vnworthily reckoned among the notes which are proper to them.

Here therefore we are taught, if we would be accoun­ted citisens of heauen, so to tender the good name of our brethren, as that we will not willingly heare the slan­ders of talebearers and backbiters. And forasmuch as this dutie is of so great moment and importance, as that the holy Ghost reckoneth it as one of the ten markes of Gods children, let vs briefly consider and weigh the ar­guments whereby we may be stirred vp to the practise thereof.

Consider therefore both the discommodities which [Page 122] follow vpon the receiuing of ill reports, & also the com­modities which accompanie the repelling or rejecting of slaunders. For if thou hast thine eares open to talebea­rers and slaunderers, thou becommest accessarie to their sinne, and guiltie of the same offence with them. Now a slaunderer, as I haue shewed heretofore, is a manslayer, killing three men as it were with one stroke, a serpent bi­ting in secret, a diuell. To this foule offence hee maketh himselfe accessarie, who willingly receiueth tale-bearers, and hearkeneth to their slaunders. For if there were not a receiuer of tales, [...] there would not be a tale-bearer. For as in the crime of theft, he is accessarie, which receiueth wittingly stollen goods: so in this crime of backbiting, he is accessarie, who willingly receiueth the whisperers reports: yea, is more guiltie of his neighbours infamie, than the other is of fellonie. A theefe by himselfe may steale, and without a receiuer may rob his neighbor of his goods: but a tale-bearer or slaunderer cannot rob a man of his good name, nor yet impaire his credit, vnlesse there be another to heare and to admit his slaunders: well may he shew his owne mallice, but him that is absent, he can­not hurt.De interiori do [...]o. Wherfore Bernard doubteth not to affirme, That tale-bearers and tale-hearers are guiltie alike. And a­gaine,De considerat. [...]. 2. infine. Whether is more damnable (sayth he) to be a teller or a receiuer of tales and ill reports, it is hard to say: For as the tale-bearer hath the diuell in his tongue, so the tale-hearer hath the diuell in his eare.

But if you would vse to stop your eares against tale-bearers, and giue them the repulse, either by a frowning countenance, or some sharpe reproofe, these commodities would follow thereupon: first, you should preserue the good name of your neighbour, which is perhaps as deare vnto him, as his life: secondly, you should keepe your selfe cleare from the guilt of this sinne.Dum aurem in­ficit, animam inter [...]it. Bern. For as I said be­fore, the backbiter whiles he i [...]cteth the eare, he destroi­eth the soule, casting therei [...] the seeds of suspition, ha­tred, [Page 123] contempt. Thirdly, if you shall so tender the credit of your neighbour, though no friend to thee, as that you cannot with patient eares heare his good name impea­ched; hereby you may gather, that you are the child of God, for as much as this note of the sonne and heire of God agreeth vnto you. Lastly, you shall cure the slaun­derer himselfe of this noysome disease: [...]. for reproofe is the cure of such. For as Chrysostome sayth, If tale-bearers shall perceiue,Hom. 3. ad popul. [...]om. 4. that wee mislike them more than the parties whom they seeke to diffame, they will cease from this euill custome, and amend their fault; and commend vs,Ian. 5. 20. who haue reclaimed them from that sinne, as those who haue saued them.

Wherefore beloued, let vs learne to carry our selues wisely towards tale-bearers,Eph. 5. 11. that we do not communicat with their sinnes, but rather reprooue them. Let vs either by countenance, or speech, or turning away, make it ap­parant to the tale-bearer, that we mislike his course. Let vs shut our eares to Sycophants, & turne them away with a frowning countenance. For euen as the North wind driueth away the raine (and is therefore called [...], as it were the clearer of the skie;Pro. 25. 23.) so (sayth Salomon) doth an angry countenance the slandering tongue. A man ought not therefore to smile vpon the tale-bearer, but to giue him an angry looke: for if with a pleasant countenance you shall giue eare to the tale-bearer, you shall encourage him to slaunder: but if you shall heare him with some shew of mislike,Hieronym. he will learne (as one sayth) not willing­ly to speake that, which he shall perceiue is not willingly heard.

But we are not onely by countenance, but also (if need be) by speech to put the tale-bearer to silence. If therfore it shall happen (as oft it happeneth) that a tale-bearer speaketh euill of a man for that which is good, you may shape him this answere: This is a matter for which you ought to commend him; whereas therefore you malici­ously [Page 124] peruert that which is well done or said, you play therein the part of the diuell, and make your selfe subject to the fearefull curse of God, Esay. 5,Esay 5. 20. Woe vnto them that speake euill of good. If hee speake euill for a matter that is doubtfull, you may reply to this effect; Herein you ought Christianly to interpret his doing or saying:1. Cor. 13. 5. Charitie is not suspitious, neither will suffer vs easily to beleeue that which is euill concerning our neighbour, but alwaies ex­poundeth doubtfull things in the better part: But if it were euill as you say, yet what should either he be the better to be backbited, or you for backbiting, or I for gi­uing eare to your words? If for an euill thing, but such as is secret: admonish him to keepe it to himselfe, and pri­uatly to deale with the partie by way of admonition or reproofe: tell him, that the secret faults of our brethren are not to be diuulged: and that charity couereth the mul­titude of offences. If for a manifest offence, and yet but a small fault: tell him, that it is a slip of humane infirmi­tie, and that in many things we offend all, and happie is the man that faileth onely in small things. If for some great offence, say, What will it profit me to heare that another man is wicked? if he hath any vertues, I pray you tell them me, but his vices declare to himselfe; if he be such an one as you speake of, he is to be pitied rather than scorned, and we are to behold him as a glasse of our weakenesse. Wherefore let him who thinkes that he stan­deth, take heed least he fall: We are subject to the like faults, and it is to be ascribed to the grace of God, if wee doe stand. If he be his enemie whom he backbiteth, tell him▪ That ill will neuer speakes well and that a malicious report proceeding from hatred, deserueth no credit. For whom men do hate, of them they doe thinke ill & speake ill: for them they behold through their owne affection of hatred, as it were a coloured glasse, which maketh them and all that they do, to seeme euill and odious vnto them. If he be his friend, tell him, that he dealeth vncharitably [Page 125] to speake ill of that party who hath deserued wel of him. If he alledge, that he sayth nothing but the truth, tel him, that we must speake the truth in loue:Eph. 4. 15. and therefore it is not sufficient, that our speech be true, vnlesse it be chari­table. If you plainely perceiue his speech to be false, de­fend the innocencie of him that is absent,1. Sam. 20. 32. as Ionathan did the innocencie of Dauid, against his owne father. If you may be so bold with him, bid Sathan auaunt, tell him, that he which falsely slaundereth, is a diuell, and a manslayer, who with one blow (as it were) seeketh to destroy three, &c. howsoeuer it is, let it appeare, that thou art not well pleased with tale-bearers, that thine eares doe long to heare not the dispraise but the commendation of thy neighbour: if he haue any to commend, that thy eares are open to his discourse of vertue: but if either he must needs be speaking, or thou hearing of faults, turne your curiositie towards your owne offences. For how can you be excused, if neglecting your own faults, you busily pry into the vices of others.

But howsoeuer, all men are to auoid sycophants and tale-bearers, yet magistrats especially are to take heed of them, and such as be in authoritie: for by how much the greater their authoritie is, so much the more pernicious it will prooue, if they giue eare to sycophants and slaunde­rers. Putiphar hauing giuen credit to the false accusation of his wife, cast innocent Ioseph into prison: Saule hauing hearkened to their words,1. Sam, 24. 10. who said, Behold Dauid see­keth euill against thee: persecuted Dauid. And likewise he beleeuing the malicious report of the sycophant Doeg, put to death all the priests of the Lord which were at Nob. Dauid himselfe giuing too hastie credit to the calumniati­on of the pickthanke Siba, 1. Sam. 22. 17. disinherited Mephibosheth. 2. Sam. 16. 4. Aha­suerosh hauing giuen eare to the diuellish suggestion of wicked Haman, Esther 3. 10. sent foorth an edict to destroy the whole nation of the Iewes. Wherefore it behooueth princes especially, not onely in countenance or words, but also [Page 126] with the sword, or other reall punishments to represse the tale-bearer and the sycophant. For as one well sayth, Princeps qui delatores non castigat, Suetonius. irritat, A prince that doth not correct slaunderers, hee doth prouoke them. And therefore notable is that profession of Dauid, and worthie of all Christian princes to be imitated,Psal. 101. 5. Him that priuily slan­dereth his neighbour, will I destroy.

By this which hath beene said, it is manifest, that wee are not to giue eare to slaunderers: notwithstanding, for better euidence I will adde, that to hearken willingly to tale-bearers, is a thing vnlawfull, hurtfull, and shamefull: vnlawfull, because God hath forbidden it, Exo. 23. 1,Exod. 23▪ 1. Thou shalt not receiue a false report. Yea a heathen man could say,Thuci. [...]. That it is no honest thing either for men to deliuer slaunderous reports one to another, or for the hearers to receiue them. And how hurtfull it is, there is euidence sufficient in our mother Eue, who because she gaue eare to the father of all liers and slaunderers, the diuell, ouer­threw as much as in her was, both her selfe and her whole posteritie. It is also a thing of ill report, because it is a signe of a wicked man. For as Salomon sayth, The wicked giueth heed to false lips, Pro. 17. 4. and a liar hearkeneth to the naughtie tongue. Whereas contrariwise, the detestation of slaunders and false reports, is a good signe of the child of God, as the Prophet here sheweth.

But some man will say, Is it neuer lawfull for a man to heare another report the faults of his neighbour, being absent? I answere, that it is lawfull, when either it is pro­fitable for him that is absent, or expedient for thee which hearest, or necessarie for him that speaketh. It is profita­ble for the partie absent, when his faults are intimated vn­to thee, hauing authoritie ouer him, that he may be reclai­med. It is expedient for thee, when by the fault of him that is absent, there is danger to thee either of injurie or infection: For he that is forewarned in such a case, is fore­armed. Necessarie for him which speaketh, when silence [Page 127] would make him accessarie to the offence concealed. Otherwise of them that are absent, nothing is willingly either to be spoken or heard, but that which is good.

And thus haue we had in this verse three notes of the citisen of heauen, which are so many branches of chari­tie, to wit, a charitable tongue, a charitable [...], and a charitable eare. All which euery one is bound to apply to himselfe, &c.

Now followeth the seuenth note, vers. 4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoureth those that feare the Lord. Pagnin and others read thus,Aben Ezra D. Kimhi. Who despiseth himselfe in his owne eyes, and abaseth himselfe. And true indeed it is, that the chil­dren of God, howsoeuer they endeuour to lead an in­offensiue course of life, notwithstanding they thinke ve­ry meanely of themselues: for the more holy euery man is, the greater sence he hath of his owne corruption; and the more perfect he is, the more he feeleth and acknow­ledgeth his owne imperfection. But albeit this assertion be true, yet this exposition doth not fit this place. For the Prophet maketh a plaine opposition or Antithesis be­tweene the contrarie dispositions of Gods children, to­wards men of contrarie disposition: namely, that they reuerence those who feare God, and contemne those that despise the Lord. And so the words sound, Contem­ned in his sight is the reprobate. So also the Chaldee para­phrast expoundeth, The vile person is despised before him. And Hierome, The wicked man is despised in his eyes. The Septuagin­ta, whom the vulgar Latine translation followeth, [...], The wicked is set at nought in his sight. And likewise R. Shalomoh, as Bucer reporteth, vnder­standeth the words thus, That those who are for their wickednesse truly contemptible, are despised of the citi­sens of heauen.Esay 53. 3. Neither doth the participle [...] signi­fie him that despiseth himselfe,Ierem. 22. 28. but simply, despised, as may appeare by other places of Scripture.Mala. 1. 7. & 2▪ 9 Neither is the con­junction copulatiue in the Hebrew text.Dan. 11. 21.

[Page 128] This note therefore containeth an opposition or An­tithesis of the contrarie disposition in the child of God, towards men that are contrarie betwixt themselues. And therby it is signified, that he without partialitie or respect of persons is so affected towards men, as he judgeth them to be affected towards God, to wit, that he contemneth those that contemne God, though they seeme honoura­ble in the world: and contrariwise, that hee honoureth those that honour God, although they be contemned in the world. For the children of God▪ labour (as their dutie is) to conforme their judgements to the judgement of their heauenly father: and therefore they honour those whom God would haue honoured, and despise those whom God would haue despised. But God would haue those honoured that honour him, and those that despise him, hee would haue despised, as himselfe professeth 1. Sam. 2,1. Sam. 2. 30. Those that honour me, shall be honoured: but those that con­temne me, shall be contemned.

Now of this opposition there are two parts, which being such as are not to be seuered, doe therefore belong to one and the same note. For whosoeuer doth truly and without respect of persons despise the wicked, because of their wickednesse, the same will also honour the god­ly for their godlinesse, and contrariwise. But as these two branches are to be joyned together; so also they are ge­nerally to be vnderstood: Otherwise they doe not seeme to be perpetuall notes of Gods children. For this is not a sufficient note of a good man, that hee contemneth the wicked, vnlesse also he reuerence the godly. For whom a man hateth, them commonly he thinketh to be wicked. And therefore if the contempt of the wicked were a sufficient note of a godly man, then all that be haters of their brethren, would challenge this title of godlinesse to themselues. But the godly man doth not only despise the wicked, but also he honoureth the godly. Neither doth he set at naught this or that wicked man, onely from [Page 129] whom perhaps he hath receiued some wrong, or whose outward estate is contemptible in the world: neither doth he honour only this or that godly man, from whom perhaps he hath receiued some good turne, or whose out­ward estate is honourable in the world; but generally he hateth and contemneth all those that be wicked for their wickednesse sake; and contrariwise he loueth and reue­renceth all those that be godly for their godlinesse sake: for either affection, if it be sincere, must be generall, and without respect of persons.

But howsoeuer these two branches are not in vse and practise to be seuered, yet are we to entreat of them seue­rally. And first of the former part: In whose eyes a reprobate or wicked person is contemned. The Participle [...] signifi­eth reprobated, [...], as Ierem. 6,Ierem. 6. 30. Reprobat siluer are they called, for the Lord hath reprobated them: the Chaldee para­phrase expoundeth it vile; the Septuagints respecting the meaning rather than the word it selfe, [...], that is, wicked, or one that liueth wickedly. For thereby they giue vs to vnderstand, who they are that are to bee held for vile and reprobat persons, namely, the wicked: but not euery one that sinneth, is to be held for a wicked or vile person; but in whom sinne reigneth, who commit­teth sinne with greedinesse, who is to euery good worke reprobat, [...]. and giuen ouer to a reprobat sence: such kind of men,Tit. 1. 16. though neuer so mighty or wealthy in the world, are notwithstanding vile persons and contemptible.Rom. 1. 28. In which sence, Antiochus Epiphanes, Dan. 11, though the sonne of a mightie king, who for his greatnesse was called An­tiochus the great,Dan. 11. 21. is called a vile person: for sinne maketh men vile; and so they seeme in the eyes of the godly. By eyes he meaneth the eies of the mind, the judices and dis­couerers whereof are the eyes of the body: for in whose judgement or estimation another man is contemptible, his contempt will shew it selfe in the eyes.

Now that this contempt of the wicked is a note of [Page 130] Gods children, it may appeare, because it agreeth to them all, and to them alone: to them all, because the Lord hath placed betwixt the godly and the wicked, betwixt the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent,Gen. 3. 15. perpetual emnitie:Prou. 29. 27. insomuch that a wicked man is abhomination to the iust, and he that is vpright in his way, is abhomination to the wicked, as Salomon sayth: For they are citisens of contrarie king­domes, the one of the kingdome of light, the other of the kingdome of darknesse: they are souldiours warring in contrarie campes, the one in the campes of Michael, the other in the campes of the old dragon: they are sonnes of contrarie parents, the one the children of God, the other the children of the diuell. As therefore there is op­position betwixt light and darkenesse, betwixt Michael and the dragon, betwixt God and Sathan, so also betwixt the godly and the wicked. Secondly, for as much as the wicked hating and despising God, are hated and despised of him; therefore the godly (who are the children of God) are in like sort affected towards them: Doe not I hate them O Lord (sayth Dauid) that hate thee, Psa. 139. 21, 22 and am not I vexed with those that rise vp against thee? yea I hate them with the perfection of hatred, and esteeme them as mine enemies. Such was the affecti­on of Mardocheus towards wicked Haman, Est. 3. &c. And third­ly, seeing it had been better for the wicked that they ne­uer had been borne,Mat. 26. 24. as our Sauiour sayth concerning Iu­das: and seeing also, when they are to depart out of this life, they would be glad to be returned to nothing, and at the day of judgement shall wish,Luke 23. 30. that the mountaines would fall vpon them,Apoc 6. 16. that they might be hid from the lambe, and consequently in respect of their sinnes are as vile as nothing, and as light as vanitie; therefore vt homi­nes nihili, as men of no account [...], they are set at nought by the children of God, as the Septuaginta and the La­tine interpreter translate this place. But as this generall contempt of the wicked agreeth to all Gods children, so also to them alone.Iohn 15. 19. For the world doth loue his own, and those [Page 131] that are of the world do loue worldlings: and how­soeuer sometimes they are at variance among them­selues, yet will they readily combine themselues against the godly,Luke 23. 12. as Herod and Pilat against Christ.

Hereby therefore it appeareth that the generall con­tempt of the wicked is a note of the citizen of heauen. But you will say; what if wicked men bee magistrats or gouernours, are we not to honour them? Surely as they be wicked men who haue altogether defaced the image of God, according to which they were created in holines and righteousnesse, they are to be contemned: but as they are magistrats, bearing before vs the image of Gods power and authoritie; honor and obedience is due vnto them in the Lord: for we are to obey euill magi­strats, though not vnto euill. If therefore we would be esteemed the sonnes and heires of God, the wicked are to be vile in our sight. And if we are to contemne and despise the wicked, then their company is to be auoided, and no familiar acquaintaince or friendship is to be en­tertained with them: for such is the hatred and contempt which the children of God haue conceiued against the wicked, that they can scarcely looke on them with pa­tience. Elisha protesteth,2. King 3. 1 [...]. that had it not bene for Iehosaphat, he would not so much as haue looked vpon I [...]horam the sonne of Achab, though a king: For as the holy Ghost here saith, In the eyes of the godly the wicked are con­temned. Wherefore as when a man seeth a serpent or snake, his heart riseth with in him: so in the child of God when he seeth a man whom he perceiueth to be one of the ofspring of the old serpent, there is a certaine rising of the heart against him; so farre is he from entring into a league of amitie with the wicked: For friendship and familiar acquaintance is for the most part procured by likenesse of maners, according to the old prouerbe, Pares cum paribus facilimè congregantur, Like will to like. And great reason there is why the godly should shunne the com­panie [Page 132] and familiartie of the wicked. First, because they mislike their maners and detest their vices: Dauid therfore professeth,Psal. 26. 4. 5. that he had not haunted with vain persons, nor kept cō ­pany with the dissemblers, that he hated the assembly of the [...]uill, and had not companied with the wicked. Secondly, lest they should be infected with the contagion of their sinne:E [...]cles. 13. 1. For he that toucheth pitch shall be defiled therewith, and he that is familiar with the proud shall be like vnto him: Prou. 13. 20. so saith Salomon, He that walketh (that is conuerseth) with the wise, shall be wise, but a compa­nion of fooles (that is to say of the wicked, for they are Sa­lomons fooles) shall be afflicted, that is, as hee becommeth guiltie of the same sinnes with them, so shall he be parta­ker of their punishments. The same is testified by the verie heathen themselues:1. Cor. 15. Menander, whom the Apostle citeth in a case not vnlike, [...] (saith he) [...]; Conuersing with the wicked, thy selfe also shalt become wicked. And another,

Theog [...]s.

Of the good thou shat learne good things: but if thou be conuersant with the wicked, thou shalt loose that vnderstanding which thou hast▪ A little leauen, 1. Cor. 5. 6. saith the Apostle, doth leauen the whole lumpe. And as it is cōmonly said, one rotten sheepe is able to in­fect a whole flocke: wherefore as we are carefull to auoid the presence of him that hath the plague, or some other contagious disease, so ought we much more to auoid the companie of those who are ouergrowne with a leprosie of sinne: for no contagion of any bodily disease doth so easily infect the bodie, as the spirituall diseases of a friend or companion doth corrupt the soule. Thirdly, because by the company and presence of the wicked, the godly are hindered from the duties of pietie: wherefore Dauid, Depart from me Psal. 119. 115. (saith he) ye wicked, that I may keepe the com­mandements of my God. Fourthly, that the sinners may be ashamed and so conuerted: For which cause the Apostle aduiseth vs not to haue our conuersation with any, who [Page 133] being called a brother, that is, a Christian,1. Cor. 5. 11. is a fornicatour, or couetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such a one eate not, that is, haue no priuat familiaritie with him: for although we are not to forsake their com­pany in respect of publicke communion either in the Church (for then should we also forsake the assemblies of the Saints,Heb. 10. 25. as the maner of some is) or in the common­wealth (for then should we be wanting in our dutie to­wards our countrie, and leaue the managing of matters to the wicked onely) yet are we not priuatly to accom­panie with them, for the reasons aforesaid.

Againe, if it be the propertie of the godly to con­temne the wicked, then doth he not in any wise flatter the wicked in his sinne: For flatterie, whether it be for the flatterers profit, it is a base sinne; or whether it be for the harme of him that is flattered, it is a most odious sinne. The former kind (which more properly are called pa­rasits) like dogges doe fawne vpon a man for his meat: howsoeuer in the end like Acteons dogs they deuour their maister: the latter are like Scorpions, which when they fawne vpon a man will sting him with their taile: the former are fitly resembled by the Iuie, which embraceth the oke to sucke out his moisture: the latter, like to cony­catchers when they flatter their neighbour, Prou. 29. 5. they spread a net for his steps: Diogenes. wherefore the Cinicke Philosopher being de­manded, of all beasts which was most noysome? he an­swered, of wild & sauage beasts, a tyrant; of tame beasts, a flatterer. Neither was it vnfitly said of another, That it is better for a man to fall [...],Antisthenes. for crowes do prey vpon the dead, but flatterers on the liuing. Those then that are giuen to flatterie, may easily discerne how farre they are from the behauiour of the godly: For as Salomon saith,Prou. 28. 4. They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but they that keepe the law set themselues against them. And againe, He that sayth to the wicked (as flatterers vse to doe) thou art righteous, Pro. 24. 24, 25. him shall the people cursse, and the multitude shall abhorre [Page 134] him; but to them that (in steed of flattering) rebuke him, shall be pleasure, and vpon them shall come the blessing of goodnesse.

Now followeth the other part of the opposition con­cerning those that honour God: But he honoreth those which feare the Lord. The godly by a Synechdoche he calleth such as feare God. For the sanctifying graces which are the seuerall branches of godlinesse, as faith, loue, feare, &c. they are so linked together as it were in a golden chaine, that where any one of them is in truth, there the rest be in some measure, and for that cause some one of them is sometimes put for all. Seeing therefore the feare of God is a principall part of pietie, in which sence, Psal. 111,Psal. 111. 10. it is called caput sapientiae, the head or chiefe point of wisdome, that is, true godlinesse, it is no maruel though many times it be put for all religion, as Deu. 6. & 10.Deut. 6. 13. & 10. 12. & be said. Eccles. 12,Eccles. 12. 13. to be the whole dutie of man which must teach vs, that those which haue no feare of God, haue no religion in them. Now he is said to feare God, who being truly persuaded both of the infinit power of God, as also of his fatherly loue towards him in Christ, aboue all things feareth to offend God, that is, he is afraid of no­thing so much as to displease God, whom he acknow­ [...]dgeth to be a gracious and mercifull father to him in Christ. And whereas by sinne God is displeased, there­fore he feareth more to sinne, & by sinne to offend God, than to displease all men, than to be depriued of all his goods, friends, and commodities of this life, yea of life it selfe. Wherefore he that feareth God departeth from euill:Prou. 8. 13. yea the feare of the Lord is to hate euill, and is therefore said to be a wel-spring of life, Prou. 14. 27. to auoid the snares of death. Those therefore that feare the Lord, the Scripture doubteth not to call blessed, as Prou. 28,Prou. 28. 14. Blessed is the man that feareth al­wayes. And Psal. 112.Psal. 112. 1. & 128,Psal. 128. 1. Blessed is the man, yea blessed is euerie one that feareth the Lord. Now the child of God being rightly informed out of the Scriptures▪ concerning the estate and condition of the godly, he reuerenceth and [Page 135] honoureth those that feare the Lord. And why? First, because he knoweth that howsoeuer they are contemned and dispised in the world, as the scum of the world, and ofscouring of all things,1. Cor. 4. 13. notwithstanding they are hap­pie and blessed, and that they are in the world as gold among the durt. Secondly, he loueth and reuerenceth the godly,1. Sam. 2. 30. because he knoweth that God honoreth those that honor him,In oculi [...] f [...]re. [...]ach. 2. 8. and that according to the Latine phrase, he doth beare them in his eyes, insomuch that whosoeuer hurteth them, they seeme to hurt, as it were, the apple of his eye. Thirdly, because he vnderstandeth that those which feare God are the sonnes and heires of God, the brethren and fellow heires with Christ, the temples of the holy Ghost: yea fellow members with themselues of that bodie, whereof Christ Iesus is the head, and there­fore whosoeuer loueth and honoreth them, in them lo­ueth and honoreth Christ.

Hereby it appeareth that vertue and true godlinesse make men true noble and honorable, as contrariwise sin and vngodlinesse make men base and contemptible: and therfore all that are louers of vertue and pietie, they can­not but honor those who are vertuous and godly. And as this agreeth to all the godly, to loue, reuerence, and ho­nour those that feare God, and to performe all good of­fices of brotherly loue towards them; so it agreeth to them alone. For the world (that is the vniuersall com­panie of those who are not citisens of heauen) loueth on­ly those who are of the world. As for the rest who are not of the world, but are chosen out of the world, for that verie cause the world doth hate them, as our Sauiour Christ doth testifie.Iohn. 15. 19. Seeing therefore this dutie of ho­noring the godly is proper and peculiar to the children of God, it is not vnworthily made a note of the citizens of heauen. For Iohn also in his Epistle, wherein he setteth downe diuerse notes whereby men may discerne them­selues to be the children of God, he reckoneth this as [Page 136] one of the principall,Iohn. 3. 14. We know (saith he) that we are trans­lated from death to life, because we loue the brethren. And so Obadiah that he might approue himselfe to Elias as one that feared God,1. Kin. 18. 12, 13. he alleadgeth that fauour and honour which he had vouchsafed to the Prophets and seruants of God in the time of Iezabels persecution. Neither is there any more certaine way to testifie our loue towards God, than by louing and honoring the children of God: For our goodnesse cannot reach vnto God, and therefore is to bee extended towards his Saints vpon earth.Psal. 16. 2, 3 Nei­ther can it be that we should loue our brother aright, vn­lesse we loue God much more. And therefore if we loue our brethren as we ought, it is an euident signe that we loue God: for he that loueth his brother aright, loueth him for Gods sake: and he that loueth his brother for Gods sake, he cannot but loue God much more, accor­ding to the rule of reason, [...] For which any thing is, that is much more.

But as I said before, we may haue in this place a most certaine note of a citizen of heauen, if we shall joyne both the members of the opposition: For whosoeuer despi­seth the wicked, though honored in the world, because they despise God, and are despised of him; and contrari­wise honoreth the godly, though despised in the world, because they honour God, and are honored of him; and consequently contemneth the wicked, because they are wicked, or for their wickednesse sake; and therefore ho­noreth the godly, because they are godly, or for their godlinesse sake: he doth euidently shew himselfe not to be of the world, but of God. A notable example of both we haue in Elisha the Prophet, 2. King. 3, For when Iehoram the king of Israel being in great distresse for want of wa­ter in that expedition against the Moabites, did therfore with Iehosaphat the king of Iuda, and the king of Edom come vnto him to aske counsell of the Lord; Elisha ma­keth answer to Iehoram the king of Israel being the sonne [Page 137] of Achab and Iesabel, an Idolater, What haue I to do with thee? Get thee to the Prophets of thy father, and to the Prophets of thy mo­ther: and when he had intreated him not to say so, and had signified in what distresse he and the other two kings with their armies were: Elisha replieth, As the Lord of hosts liueth, in whose sight I stand, if it were not that I regard the presence of Iehosaphat the king of Iuda (who was indeed a godly king) I would not haue looked towards thee, nor haue seene thee. But then is this note most euident, when the wicked (whom the godly man contemneth) abound in wealth and flourish with honour, and contrariwise the godly (whom the good man honoureth) are poore and [...], contemp­tible in the world. For this, as Basill truly saith, is a token of a noble mind, [...]. to despise the wicked though honorable in the world. And thereof also men haue another notable example in Moses the man of God, who judged the Israe­lites when they were grieuously oppressed in Egypt, to be more happie than all the gallants in Pharaos court, who liued in all prosperitie.Heb. 11. 24, 25. And therefore by faith refused to be called the sonne of Pharao his daughter, chusing rather to be afflicted together with the people of God, than to haue the temporarie fruition of sinne. And surely beloued, if a man haue an eye to the recompence of reward; as Moses had, who would not chuse rather to bee godly Lazarus, Luke 16. than vngodly Diues.

We see therefore, if we desire to be in the number of Gods children, how we are to be affected towards other men, namely, that we loue, reuerence, and honor the god­ly, though contemned in the world; and contrariwise, despise and set at naught the wicked, though honoured in the world. But this wee cannot doe, vnlesse wee bee throughly persuaded, that vertue and pietie maketh men though in poore estate, truly noble and honourable: and contrariwise, that sinne and vngodlinesse maketh men, though mightie in the world, vile and contemptible. Nei­ther can we indeed be of this persuasion, vnlesse we our­selues [Page 138] be louers of vertue and godlinesse, and haters of sinne and iniquitie. From hence also there doth or may arise both notable terrour to the wicked, and singular comfort to the godly, terror to the wicked, because how­soeuer they flourish in the world, notwithstanding they are despised of God and his children, as men of none ac­count: consolation to the godly, because howsoeuer they are contemned and abused in the world, yet are they dear and precious to God, and to all the sonnes and heires of God. And thus much may suffice to haue spoken of the seuenth note.

The eightfolloweth in these words: He that sweareth to his owne hinderance, and changeth not. The Greeke translation of the Septuagints, which the vulgar Latin doth follow, readeth, he that sweareth to his neighbour, and deceiueth him not: for it seemeth, the booke which the seuentie translated,Chald. paraphr. wanted prickes, and that therefore they did read [...] regna for [...] rang, Hieronym. the difference onely being in the prickes.Aben Ezra &c. Others translate the word l [...]harang, to afflict himselfe, expounding it of the vowes of fasting, whereby the body is afflicted, and the flesh subdued. But the holy ghost seemeth not to speake of a vow made to God, but of an oath made to man: neither when hee speaketh of afflicting the body, [...] doth he vse that word harang, which signifieth to doe euill,Leuit. 23. 27. 29. 32. but the phrase of afflicting the soule. And besides, this note is reckoned among other duties of charitie and righteousnesse towards our neighbour.Num. 30. 14. The words therefore are to bee vnderstood of that faith,Psal. 35. 13. or fidelitie which the godly man keepeth in performing his oathes and promises,Esay. 58. 5. although the performance of them be joyned with his owne losse. And in the like answere returned to the like question,Psal. 24. 4. Psal. 24, this note in the same sence is specified, Nor hath not sworne deceitfully, as those do which meane not to performe their oath. The meaning therefore is, that such is the fidelitie of a godly man in keeping his promise, that if he promise any thing, especi­ally [Page 139] vnder the religion of an oath, he will be sure to per­forme it, though it be to his owne hinderance.

Here therefore we are occasioned to speake both of the making and keeping of oathes: and concerning the same to discusse these two questions: first, whether it be the propertie of a godly man to sweare, or not: and se­condly, whether hauing sworne, he be alwayes bound to performe his oath, or not: For in respect of both, there are extremities to be auoided on both sides. Some thinke a Christian man may not sweare at all, others make no con­science of swearing at all. Some thinke, when they haue once sworne, they are to performe their oath, though ne­uer so wicked: others will keepe their oaths, though ne­uer so honest, no further than may stand with their owne aduantage.

Now for the rectifying of our judgement in this be­halfe, we are generally to consider, what account is to be made of an oath. And first we are to shew what an oath is, [...]. Arist. and wherefore ordained. An oath is an attestation or calling vpon God to bee a witnesse and judge in such things as cannot otherwise be demonstrated: and it is of two sorts, assertorie and promissorie. An assertorie oath (so called, because it hath place in assertions) is a cal­ling vpon God, to be both our witnesse, that we affirme the truth, and also our judge and auenger, if we lie. A promissorie oath (so called, because it hath place in pro­mises) is a calling vpon God as a witnesse of our true pur­pose to performe, and as our surety for performance, and as our judge or auenger, if either we be deceitfull in pro­mising, or vnfaithfull in performing.

Now an oath was ordained to supplie the want of other arguments, and the insufficiencie of humane testi­monies, to the end, that a needfull truth, which otherwise could not be knowne, might by this meanes be acknow­ledged: for an oath hath place neither in matters manifest nor generall, as where is question of right; but in things [Page 140] doubtfull and particular, where is question of facts, ei­ther past or to come. Wherein when as they cannot by other certaine and necessarie arguments be demonstra­ted, men flie to testimonies. And because humane testi­monies haue little force in prouing by themselues, there­fore they flie to oathes, wherein God is called vpon as a witnesse of such matters as are either affirmed concer­ning things past, or promised concerning things to come. And so great religion there is of an oath among all men, that euen by the law of nations, that is held for certaine and true, which is affirmed vnder the religion of an oath, though otherwise it could not be proued. For this is en­grauen in the hearts of all men, That there is a God, to whom all secrets are knowne, who also is the patron of truth, and auenger of falshood: and therefore to call vpon him as a witnesse and a judge in that which is not true, it is supposed to be a greater sinne than any man that is not a desparat A theist may be thought to commit: For may it be thought that any man almost is of such out­ragious wickednesse, as that he feareth not to call vpon God whom he knoweth to be a defender of truth and re­uenger of falshood, to beare witnesse with him that he affirmeth the truth, and to execute vengeance on him if he speake an vntruth, when he knoweth himselfe to lie? For what were this but wilfully to prouoke the Lord, and as it were to dare him to execute his fierce indigna­tion vpon him?

And hereby it appeareth, that an oath is an holy ordi­nance of God, seruing greatly for his glorie, and for the profit and necessitie of men. It is glorious vnto God: be­cause when men flie to the name of the Lord as a strong tower and sanctuarie of truth, he is acknowledged not only by him that sweareth, but also by them that receiue the oath, to be first omnipresent and omniscient, that is, one who is present in euerie place, and is acquainted with all secrets: secondly, true and a maintainer of truth, and [Page 141] reuenger of falshood: thirdly, just, and therefore willing; omnipotent, and therefore able, to punish those that sweare falsly. And these attributes of God are so ac­knowledged and celebrated in euerie lawfull oath, that to sweare by the Lord,Esay. 45. 23. is to confesse vnto God, Rom. 14. 11. and in the Scriptures it is accounted as none of the meanest parts of his worship,Deut. 6. 13. & 10. 20. Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God and serue him, and shalt sweare by his name. Which must put vs in mind when­soeuer we do sweare, that by our oath we are to glorifie God, and to performe a solemne worship vnto him: which was also further signified both by the solemne forme of imposing an oath,Ios. 7. 19. and the solemne rite of ta­king an oath among the Iewes.Iohn 9. 24. The forme of imposing an oath,1. King 8. 31. was this, Giue glorie to God: the maner in deposing, was to stand before the Altar:Cic. pro Cornel▪ Bal. & pro Placc [...]. which was also the cu­stome of the Athenians and Romans.

And as an oath is glorious vnto God, so is it also pro­fitable and necessarie for men. [...]. For an oath being as one saith, the greatest proofe among men, it giueth satisfa­ction to our neighbour, who otherwise would not be sa­tisfied: It is the chiefe bond of truth, whereby men either bind themselues to God,Num. 30. 2. as in voluntarie oaths; or are as it were enforced to speake the truth, as in oaths impo­sed: for as one well saith,Plutarc. Quest. Rom. [...], an oath is the freemans racke. It is the chiefe preseruatiue against fals­hood, the remedie against contention, and as the Apostle saith,Heb. 6. 16. The end of all controuersies among men.

These premisses duly considered, it will not be hard to determine the former questions. For as touching the first: if an oath be (as hath beene shewed) an holy ordinance of God, making greatly for the glory of God, and profit of men; then whosoeuer shal refuse to sweare, when just and necessarie occasion is offered, he sinneth against Gods glorie and the loue of his brethren. Here therefore is to be refuted of vs the heresie of the Manichees, renewed by the Anabaptists, who thinke it altogether vnlawfull [Page 142] for a Christian to sweare, though enjoyned thereto by a magistrat. But they sinne against the third commaunde­ment, and they erre, not knowing the Scriptures. For where the Lord forbiddeth vs to sweare in vaine, there he commaundeth vs to sweare aright, for the discharge of our dutie in the confirmation of a necessarie truth, to Gods glory, the good of our neighbour, or the clearing of our selues. And surely, if it were vnlawfull to sweare as they would beare vs in hand, then should we by swea­ring offend either against the glory of God, or the good of our brother. But an oath as you haue heard maketh for both: and by the neglect thereof wee sinne against both. And that an oath is lawfull, it may appeare by the examples of those whom we cannot deny to haue sworn lawfully. For first, the most faithfull seruants of God, both before the law, and since, haue vsed vpon just occa­sion not onely themselues to sweare, but also to impose oathes vpon others.Gen. 21. 23. 31. & 26. 28. Examples of swearing in Abraham and Isaac to Abimelec, Gen. 31. 53. Iacob to Laban, Elias to Obadiah, Elisha to Iehoram, 1. King. 18. 15. &c. of oathes imposed, by Abraham vpon his seruant,2. King. 3. 14. Gen. 24,Gen. 24. 2, 3. and by Iacob vpon Ioseph, Gen. 47,Gen. 47. 29, 35. by Iona­than and Dauid mutually, 1. Sam. 20. And if it might be ob­jected (as truly it cannot) that these seruants of the Lord in these oathes offended, yet other examples may be ad­ded, which are without exception: For it may not bee thought, that those holy men of God, who were the pen­men of the holy ghost, did offend in penning of the scrip­tures; but in the very penning of the scripture they haue vsed diuerse oathes,Rom. 1. 9. & 9. 1. especially Paule in his epistles:2. Cor. 1. 23. & 11, 32. yea in the scriptures are recorded oathes of the holy Angels, who are free from sinne:Gal. 1. 20. and to conclude with the ex­ample of all examples,Phil. 1. 8. the Lord himselfe is sometimes said to haue sworne.1. Thess. 2. 5. Apoc. 10. 6. But an oath is not onely warranted as lawfull,Gen. 22. but also commended as good,Heb. 6. Psal. 63. 11,Psal. 63. 11. euery one that sweareth by the Lord, shall bee commended, where (as in this place) to sweare by the Lord aright, is [Page 143] made a proper note by which a godly man is described. Neither is it onely commended as good, but also com­maunded as necessarie. And it is necessarie, not onely by necessitie of dutie, in respect of Gods commaundement, enjoyning this dutie as a singular braunch of Gods wor­ship:Deu. 6. 13. 10. 20 but also by necessitie of certainetie,Ier. 4. 2. or as the school­men call it infallibilitie, in respect of the oath of the Lord, which cannot be vntrue.Esay 45. 23. By my selfe haue I sworne (sayth the Lord) the word is gone out of my mouth, that euery knee shall bow to me, and euery tongue shall sweare by me.

But the Anabaptists object the prohibition of Christ,Mat. 5. 34. Mat. 5, But I say vnto you, sweare not at all: therefore it is not lawfull to sweare at all. Whereunto I answere, that the purpose of our Sauiour Christ being not to abrogate the morall law of God,Mat. 5. 17. as himselfe professeth, but to ex­pound it, and to deliuer it from the grosse corruptions and deprauations of the Scribes and Pharisies, we may not thinke, that hee doth absolutely and wholly forbid this dutie of swearing, which as we haue heard, is expressely commaunded in the law of God. Whereas therefore the Scribes and Pharisies taught first, that the third com­maundement was to be vnderstood of perjurie onely or false swearing, euen as they vnderstood the sixt and se­uenth commaundement of outward murther onely, and adulterie: and secondly, that not all false swearing is for­bidden, but onely when the name of God is interposed, or something else, which immediatly belonged to his worship, as the gold of the temple, which was consecrated to the Lord,Mat▪ 23. 16, 18 and the gift vpon the Altar, which was offered vn­to God: Our Sauiour Christ sheweth that in the third commaundement is forbidden not onely perjurie and false swearing by the name of God, but also all rash and ordinarie swearing in our common talke, whether by the name of God, or by any of his creatures: Because the offence committed in swearing amisse by them,Mat. 5. 34, [...]. redoun­deth to the dishonour of God.Mat. 23. [...] Our Sauiour therefore [Page 144] speaketh not of publicke oaths before a magistrat (for in them they sware by the name of God alone) but of pri­uat oaths in their ordinary talke and communication, and in respect thereof he commandeth vs not to sweare at all, neither by the name of God, nor by any of his creatures: For so he saith,Iam. 5. 12. But let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay: which Iames expresseth thus, Let your yea, that is your affir­mation, be yea; and your nay, that is your negation, be nay: that is to say, if you haue occasion to affirme any thing, let it be sufficient to say, yea; and when you are to denie any thing, let it be sufficient to say nay. Neither doth our Sauiour Christ simply condemne all oathes in our ordi­narie talke, but such as are needlesse or superfluous: For so he saith,Mat. 5. 37. Whatsoeuer is [...], that is, redundant aboue these, it is of euill. For an oath is not a good thing, but vpon necessitie, and therefore is not to be vsed but vpon necessitie: for a necessary good without the bonds of ne­cessitie, is not good.

Hereby therefore it appeareth, that as here it is made a note of a godly man to sweare, and hauing sworne to keepe his oath, so it is lawfull for a Christian man to take an oath: prouided alwayes that those duties be obserued in swearing, which the holy Ghost hath required in oathes. As first in respect of the object, that we sweare by the Lord alone: for seeing what we sweare by, that we deifie and make our God; therefore we forsake the true God, if we sweare by that which is not God, and consequently by this sinne prouoke the Lord to execute his judgements, not onely vpon vs, but also vpon the countrie wherein we liue. As he saith by his Prophet Ieremie to Ierusalem,Ier. 5. 7. How should I spare thee in this, thy chil­dren haue forsaken me. How so? they haue sworne by that which is not God.

Secondly, in respect of the manner: that we sweare in truth,Ier. 4. 2. judgement, and righteousnesse. In truth, that we may be able to say with the Apostle,Rom. 9. 1. I speake the truth in [Page 145] Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witnesse in the holy Ghost: In judgement, that is aduisedly and vpon necessarie oc­casion: In righteousnesse, promising by oath nothing but that which is lawfull and just. Thirdly, in respect of the end, that by our oath God may be glorified, our duty discharged, controuersies appeased, our brethren satis­fied, our innocencie cleared.

And forasmuch as the child of God who is here de­scribed, is carefull to performe these duties required in oathes, we may bee assured that he is none of these rash and ordinarie swearers: but as he knoweth an oath to be an holy ordinance of God, wherein the holy, glo­rious,Deut. 28. 58. and dreadfull name of the Lord our God is vsed and called vpon; so he will be carefull in all good con­science to sweare holily and reuerently. And as he knoweth that an oath is not good but whē it is necessarie, so he will not sweare vnlesse he be drawne thereto by ne­cessity: [...] for so much seemeth to be implied to the Hebrew word which is [...], and signifieth to be sworne, rather than to sweare. As for those which sweare vpon no ne­cessitie, vsually and ordinarily in their common talke, they do most vilely prophane and pollute the holy name of God, turning the sanctuarie of truth and veritie, into a common house of vanitie;Exod. 20. and therefore are such as the Lord will not hold guiltlesse.Eccles. 23. 11. For as the sonne of Syrach saith, A man that vseth much swearing is ful of ini­quitie, and the Plague shall neuer go from his house. Yea so farre are the common swearers from being repu­ted the children of God, as that by the judgement of Sa­lomon it is a note of a godly man to feare an oath, and a badge of a wicked man to make no conscience of swea­ring: For when hee would by this particular signifie that which he had affirmed in generall, that the wicked and the good are manie times alike in their outward estate,Eccles. 9. 2. He that sweareth (sayth he) as he that feareth an oath.

Thus much may suffice to haue spoken of the former [Page 146] question cōcerning the taking of oaths: it remaineth that I should intreat of the other, concerning the keeping of oaths, viz. whether all oaths are to be performed, or not? Whereunto I aunswere, that all oaths, which are lawfull and in our power, are religiously and faithfully to be per­formed and kept: For this faithfulnesse is both comman­ded and commended to vs in the Scripture, and the con­trarie vnfaithfulnesse condemned, Num. 30,Num. 30. 3. Whosoeuer vow­eth a vow vnto the Lord, or sweareth an oath binding himselfe by a bond, he shall not breake his promise, but shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Neither is it commanded among matters of lesse importance, but among the weightier points of the law, Mat. 23,Mat. 23. 23. it is commended vnto vs: First, by the example of the Lord himselfe, whose fidelitie in keeping of his promises is to bee imitated of vs, if we would be reputed his children: Secondly, by this testi­monie of the holy Ghost, where it is made one of the notes of Gods children; as also Psal. 24:Psal. 24. 4. Thirdly, by the promise of great blessing;Prou. 28. 20. for as Salomon saith, A faithfull man shall abound in blessings. As for vnfaithfulnesse in brea­king promises and oaths, it is condemned as one of the sinnes of the heathen, who were giuen ouer to a reprobat mind, Rom. 1. 30,Rom. 1. 30. where he saith they were couenant brea­kers, and punished in Sauls posteritie, because he had bro­ken the couenant made by oath with the Gibeonites:2. Sam. 21. 6. and in Zedekiah who had broken the oath and couenant which he had made with Nebuchadnezar, 2. Chron. 36. 13. in regard where­of Ezekiel saith,Ezek. 17. 15. 19. Shall he breake the couenant and be deliuered? As I liue saith the Lord, I will surely bring mine oath that he hath despised, and my couenant that he hath broken, vpon his owne head, &c. Peiorare (saith Tully) non est fals ūiurare, sed quod ex animi [...]ui sententia iu­raris, id non fa [...]r [...]periurium est. 3. de offi [...]. For not to performe an oath, when a man may lawfully and is able to performe it, is perjurie: For per­jury properly is not to sweare falsly, but not to performe the oath which thou hast made. Mat. 5. 33. But what if the thing which by oath is promised, be either vnlawfull, or not in our power? If when we take the oath, we know it [Page 147] either to be vnlawfull, or not in our power, we sinne fear­fully in swearing thereto: For he that sweareth to per­forme that which he knowes to be vnlawfull, if he hath a purpose to performe it, he sinneth with an high hand, of setled purpose and full resolution, which he feareth not to bind with an oath; and therein to call vpon God both as his suretie that he shall performe it, and as his judge and reuenger, if he do not: If he hath no purpose to per­forme it, he sweareth falsly, and deceiueth his neighbor vnder the religion of an oath, and prophaneth the name of God, whom he calleth to witnesse an vntruth; and that which is worst of all, he desparatly tempteth God, and as it were dareth him to his face, when he feareth not to call vpon God to execute his vengeance on him, if he per­forme not that which he hath no purpose to performe: If he knoweth it to be a thing to him vnpossible, or not in his power, and yet will sweare to do it, he wilfully for­sweareth himselfe, and desparatly prouoketh God to execute his vengeance on him, and in all respects sin­neth as the former, who sweareth to that which he hath no purpose to performe. But if at the first the matter do not appeare to be either vnlawfull or vnpossible, and yet afterward proue so, then he which so deposeth, sweareth rashly and vnaduisedly: For we ought to be well assured both of the lawfulnesse and possibilitie of a thing before we may presume to bind our selues by oath to the per­formance of it. Howsoeuer it be, an oath so soone as it ap­peareth vnto vs to be vnlawfull or impossible, it is void of none effect, neither doth it bind vs: for an oath may not be the bond of iniquity, neither can it tie vs to impossibi­lities. If therefore thou hast sworne to a thing vnlawfull, thou hast sinned in swearing vnlawfully, and for that thou art to craue pardon at the hands of God: but that which thou hast vnlawfully promised, thou maist not wickedly performe.Isidor. Vnlawfull oaths are laudably bro­ken, and damnably kept, as one saith, in swearing so, thou [Page 148] hast sinned; but it is no sinne to breake an vnlawfull oath, he that performeth it addeth sinne vnto sinne, and vnto a lesse sinne manie times he addeth a greater, to the rashnesse of swearing, the wickednesse of performing▪ Mar. 6. 23. Herod made a rash oath, and as it proued, also a wicked oath: which if he had not performed he had sinned no further in that matter; but by performing it, vnto the rashnesse of his swearing, he added fearfull murther of the holy man of God.1. Sam. 25. 22. 32. 33. Dauid also tooke an vnlawfull oath to reuenge himselfe vpon Nabal: but when by Abigail he was informed of the vnlawfulnesse thereof, he not onely desisteth from his purpose and breaketh that oath: but al­so blesseth God that had sent her, & blesseth her that had kept him from shedding blood or reuenging his owne quarrell. If further it be demaunded, What if that which a man promiseth by oath, cannot be performed without his losse or hinderance? The holy Ghost resolueth vs in this place, That it is the propertie of Gods children to keepe their oath, though it be to their hinderance. But what if a man be forced to sweare to that which is against his profit? if it be not also vnlawfull, he is to performe it. To vnlawfull oaths we ought not to suffer our selues by any meanes to be forced. But if through feare or infir­mitie we haue yeelded to take an vnlawful, oath, we haue sinned in swearing, but we are not bound to performe it.

The ninth marke or note, whereby the holy ghost de­scribeth a sound Christian and citisen of heauen, is, That he doth not giue out his money to vsurie: but contrariwise (for vn­der the negatiue wee are to vnderstand the affirmatiue) justly getteth his goods, and charitably exposeth them to the benefit of others, as it is said Psal. 112. 5, A good man is mercifull, and lendeth: and againe Psal. 37. 26, The righ­teous man is euer mercifull, and lendeth.August. & Lu­ther in hunc Psalm. I will first speak of the negatiue. And because, as some worthie writers testifie, it is but a small matter not to put forth money vn­to [Page 149] vsurie, I will afterwards shew, that it is required of eue­ry Christian, both (quoad [...]) in respect of the possession, that he get his goods justly: and also (quoad [...]) in re­spect of the vse, that he be willing freely to communicate them to the reliefe of others.

M. Luther writing on these words, sayth, Iste versus non in­diget expositione sed impletione: This verse needeth not to bee expounded for the rectifying of our judgement, but to bee performed in our practise for the sanctifying of our life. For in Luthers time, and in all the ages before him, al­though many practised vsurie, as they did other kinds of theft and robberie, yet there was neuer any controuersie among the learned concerning the lawfulnesse of vsurie, more than of other kinds of theft, but all with one con­sent condemned vsurie and vsurers vnto hell. But if Luther were liuing in these our times, and vnderstood besides the common practise of vsurie openly, and the cunning shifts whereby it is cloaked, the open defence also there­of vndertaken not only by vsurers themselues, who haue learned many subtile distinctions and instances to justifie their trade; but also by diuerse diuines, otherwise godly and learned, who haue either spoken or written more wittily than truly, in fauour of vsurie: assuredly he would confesse, that there is scarcely any one morall point of diuinitie, which needeth more fully to be expounded, and more exquisitly to be discussed. And although it may not be expected at my hands in this mediocritie or mean­nesse of gifts, that I should more fully and more learned­ly discourse of this controuersie, than it hath been hand­led by others, men of greater reading and riper experi­ence: yet seeing the holy ghost in this place reckoneth abstinence from vsurie among the markes of Gods chil­dren, whereunto we are now by order come, hauing al­readie intreated of those which goe before, I may not nor will not refuse to set downe what we are to hold con­cerning this controuersie, and as God shall enable me to [Page 150] determine this question: That if vsurie shall be found to be lawfull and warrantable by the word of God, the vsu­rers may hereafter practise it in faith (which hetherto it is more than probable they could neuer doe:) or if it shall appeare to be vtterly vnlawfull, that they wholly abstain and desist from the practise thereof, as euer they hope to rest in the mountaine of Gods holinesse.

Of the name of Vsurie, and of contracts in generall.

VSurie hath his name of the Latine word Vsura, which in the first signification thereof, signifieth the vse or fruition of any thing, as of money, Cic. 1. Tuscul. Natura dedit vsuram vitae tanquam pecuniae.

Secondly, Vsura signifieth any accession, addition, ouerplus or increase aboue the principall, which is yeel­ded to the creditour in respect of the vse of money lent or forborne, or of any thing else which is spent in the vse. And this increase is either voluntarie or exacted. The voluntarie increase is a free gift, gratuitie, or reward, which the borrower or debtour hauing gained by the imployment of the money borrowed, voluntarily and freely giueth to the lender, in testimonie of his thankful­nesse for the benefit receiued; which some call vsuram or foenus liberale. The exacted increase, is that which the credi­tour demaundeth either as a recompence of some losse or hinderance which he sustaineth through the default of the borrower, or as a gaine couenanted for loane. The former is called Vsura compensatoria, recompencing vsurie or interest; the latter is termed Vsura quaestuosa, or foenus, gainefull vsurie.

Of the liberall Vsurie (if I may so call it) which is no­thing else but a thankfull reward, or gratuitie, as also of the recompencing vsurie or interest, there is no question to be made, but that in themselues they are lawfull: but of the gainefull vsurie is all the controuersie. And thus the Latine word Vsura is distinguished; the English word [Page 151] Vsurie, though deriued thence, yet is otherwise vsed: for neither is it taken at any time for vse, or for liberall vsurie, or recompencing vsurie, but onely for gainefull vsurie, whereof our question is. And in this sence it is taken two wayes, either for the gaine it selfe, couenanted or principally intended for loane, which in Latine is proper­ly called foenus; or for the contract it selfe of lending for gaine, which properly is called foeneratio. Of the contract, the holy ghost speaketh in this place, whereby a man gi­ueth or putteth forth his money to vsurie.

Whereas therefore Vsurie is a contract, let vs briefely distinguish those contracts which concerne the alienati­on or permutation of goods, that it may the better ap­peare, what kind of contract it is: for such contracts are either for the perpetuall alienation of goods, or but for a time. The perpetuall alienation, if it be liberall and free, is giuing: if for recompence, then is it a commutation ei­ther of ware for ware, which is called barterie; or of mo­ney for money, which is called exchange; or of ware for money, which is selling; or of money for ware, which is buying. The alienation which is but for a time, is either of the vse onely, or of the propertie also: that which is of the vse only, if it be liberall and free, is called commodati­on, or lending to vse; if for recompence or hire, then is it called location, or letting to hire; that which is not onely of the vse, but of the propertie also, if it be liberall and free, it is called mutuation, or lending to spend; if illibe­rall and for gaine, it is called vsurie.

What Vsurie is.

Wherefore the contract of vsurie is nothing else but illiberall mutuation, and may thus briefely be defined: Vsurie is mutuation, or lending for gaine. This briefe de­finition doth fully set forth the true nature of vsurie, and sufficiently distinguisheth it from all other contracts whatsoeuer.

[Page 152] For first I say it is mutuation or lending, wherein all learned men almost, whether they write for vsurie or a­gainst it,Sum. Angel. [...]. vs [...]a. doe agree. In solo mutuo (sayth one) vero vel interpre­tatiuo consistit vsura secundum omnes doctores, that is, Vsurie ac­cording to all the Doctors, consisteth only in loane, whe­ther it be a bare contract of loane, or else cloaked vnder some other contract, which may be resolued or reduced vnto loane.De Vsur. c. 8. Likewise Car. Molinaeus, the chiefe patrone of Vsurie, It is the common opinion of all (sayth hee) that Vsurie properly is not committed but in loane: and again loane is the subject of vsurie.Subiectum vsu­rae mutuum. Which is also presupposed in the Scripture, Exod. 22. 25, If thou lend money to my people, namely and especially to the poore with thee, thou shalt not be as an exactour or as an vsurer vnto him, you shall not impose vsurie vp­on him. And the same, if need were, might be prooued by the other relatiue, which is borrowing: for lending and borrowing are relatiues. And if he which taketh vp mo­ney vpon vsurie, be a borrower, then he that giueth or putteth it forth vnto vsurie, is a lender.

The contract therefore of Vsurie is a contract of len­ding: and whatsoeuer is not a contract of lending either plainely or couertly, that is not a contract of vsurie. Now in the contract of mutuation or lending, diuerse things concurre, which also belong to the nature of vsurie.

1. That it is of such things as are spent in the vse, and consist in quantitie, that is to say, in number, weight, or measure; as money and victuals, corne, wine, oyle, &c. which are particularly mentioned, Deut. 23. 19. Leuit. 25. 37. Neh. 5. 11.

2. And therefore is alienation not onely of the vse, but also of the propertie, from which the vse (of such things as are spent in the vse) cannot be seuered.

3. As the propertie is transferred to the borrower, so the borrower standeth to the hazard of the thing bor­rowed.

4. That it is not a perpetuall alienation of that which [Page 153] is lent but for a time, which time being expired, the bor­rower is bound to restore the principall.

5. Because the thing borrowed is to be spent in the vse, therefore the borrower is bound not to restore the selfesame particular which he borrowed, but so much in the same kind or of the same value.

6. It belongeth to the nature of lending, that it bee free and liberall. But herein vsurie peruerteth the con­tract of lending, being illiberall and for gaine: for vsurie is a contract of lending, wherein the creditour or lender requireth of the borrower not onely the principall in the equiualent or full value thereof, but also an ouerplus or gaine. And this is that which followeth in the definition, as the difference to distinguish it from free lending, that it is for gaine.

By gaine is meant any addition ouerplus or increase ouer and aboue theThe summe lent, we call the principall: the Latines, sortem, the Gre­cians, [...] & [...]. principall, whether it be money or money worth, required not for the indemnitie of the cre­ditour, to saue him harmelesse, but for his aduantage to make him a gainer by lending; for that onely is to bee esteemed gaine, which is an ouerplus, clearely gotten aboue the principall. And whereas I say it is either mony or money worth: this money worth reacheth farre, not onely to goods and wares, but also to labours and serui­ces, and whatsoeuer else being valuable by money, may lawfully be let or sold for money. And when I say that vsurie is lending for gaine, it is meant, that in the first act of lending vpon vsurie, or afterwards in the forbearing, whereby that lending is continued, gaine is, if not coue­nanted for, yet at the least intended. So that where there is a couenant or intent of gaine by loane, whether it be in the first act of lending, or afterwards in the forbearing, it is vsurie: and contrariwise, where there is neither a coue­nant nor intent of gaine in lending or forbearing, there is not vsurie, though there be an ouerplus or increase recei­ued ouer and besides the principall. Now, that Vsurie is [Page 154] thus to be defined, it is euident: first, because as all vsurie is lending for gaine (as no man of learning will denie) so reciprocally all lending for gaine is vsurie; neither can it truly be referred to any other contract: as I will make it plaine anone, when I shall shew, how Vsurie by his defi­nition is distinguished from all other contracts whatsoe­uer. Secondly, because all lending for gaine, and all gaine required for loane, is in the Scriptures condemned vnder the name of vsurie.

The Hebrew word Neshek is the ordinarie name to signifie vsurie, as foenus in Latine, or [...] in Greeke, or vsurie in English. For the mony which is lent vpon vsu­rie, is called Noshek, a biter, or which biteth: and the He­brew phrase, which signifieth to be lent vpon vsurie, is to bite, as appeareth plainely, Deut. 23. 19, Thou shalt not lend vpon vsurie to thy brother money or meat, or any thing else, Asher­iishak, which biteth, that is, which is lent vpon vsurie: for whatsoeuer the vsurer lendeth, it hath teeth and jawes to eat and consume the substance of other men; his corne or victuals which were made to be eaten, doe eat; and his money which was made to be spent, doth wast the sub­stance of others. And therefore Hebrew writers doe teach, that in the name of vsurie is included an admoniti­on, not to borrow vpon vsurie: for he which taketh mo­ney vpon vsurie, taketh as it were a serpent into his bo­some. Now the money which is lent vpon vsurie, is said to bite or gnaw, because it biteth & gnaweth away some of the borrowers goods, which when it is repaid, it brin­geth with it to the lender: and for this cause the vsurer who lendeth forth his mony vpō vsurie, is said in the same place,Deut. 23. 19. Lo Tasshik. to cause his mony to bite; and the gaine or ouer­plus, whether it be more or lesse, which the money lent vpon vsury hath bitten away from the borrower, whither he be rich or poore, is call Neshek.

And further that Neshek is the ordinarie word in the Scriptures to signifie vsurie, and also that all increase and [Page 155] gaine aboue the principall exacted for loane is vsurie, is manifestly proued by the other words which the holy Ghost vseth to expound the word Neshek, and to signifie vsurie; those are Tarbith and Marbith, both deriued from the same root Rabah, which signifieth to increase: & they are fitly translated incrementū, augmentum, increase; amplius, more: so that he which exacteth an increase or gain aboue his principall, or requireth more by couenant than hee lent, he taketh Tarbith or Marbith, that is vsurie. The Greci­ans translate it [...], that is, sayth Balsamon Nysseni scholi­astes, when a man doth lend any thing that hee may re­ceiue more than he gaue. And that these words are vsed for exposition of Neshek first the text it selfe in the Scrip­ture, Leuit. 25. 36, 37. Pro. 28. 8. Ezec. 18. 13. & 22. 12. doth plainely proue: Where these words being vsed as Syno­nyma, that is, as words of the same signification, Tarbith and Marbith, are set after Neshek, [...], that is, by way of exposition. This is also testified by D. Kimhi writing vpon Ezech. 18, where he setteth this downe as the receiued opi­nion of the Iewes,Hu Neshek hu Tarbith. that Neshek and Tarbith are all one. And the same is confessed by Caluin himselfe, that wheras vsu­rers auoided the name Neshek, which signified biting, as they doe the name vsurie among vs, as being odious; and therefore alledged, that they tooke not Neshek but Tarbith, as among vs they will not be thought to take vsurie, but consideration,In Exod. 22. 25 Leuit. 25. 36, 37 vsance, or interest: therefore the Lord for­biddeth as well Tarbith as Neshek, whereby hee condem­neth generally Quamlibet sortis accessionem (sayth Caluin) any addition or increase aboue the principall. And vpon Eze­chiel, cap. 18. he sayth, The Prophet condemneth not on­ly Neshek, which signifieth biting, but also Tarbith, which he translateth incrementū, increase: hoc est (sayth he) quicquid lu­cri sibi auari homines conciliant ex mutuo, that is, whatsoeuer gaine couetous men doe get to themselues by loane. And the like may be said of [...] and foenus, which are the fruit or birth of money, be it more or lesse. Lastly, this is the [Page 156] receiued opinion of the most approoued and ancient wri­ters in the Church of Christ, as of Ambrose, Hicrome, and Augustinc, to which wee may adde the authoritie of the counsell held at Agatha, all which are to this purpose ci­ted by Gratian, Caus. 14. q. 3. to prooue, that whensoeuer any gaine is exacted for loane aboue the principall, it is vsurie: for whereas some imagined, that they committed not vsurie, because they tooke no increase or gaine in money, but in wares and other commodities,Lib. de Tob. c. 14. Ambrose sayth, Et esc [...] vsur [...] est, & vestis vsur [...] est, & quodcunque sorti accedit vsur [...] est: quod [...]elis ei nomen imponas, vsur [...] est: Meat is vsurie, and garment is vsurie, and whatsoeuer is added ouer and besides the principall, it is vsurie; giue it what name you will, it is vsurie.Lib. 6. in Eze. 18. Hierome likewise: Some think (sayth he) that vsurie is onely in money; which the holy Scripture foreseeing, taketh away the ouerplus of euery thing, Vt plus non reci­pi [...]s quam dedisti, That thou receiue no more than thou diddest giue. Againe, some (sayth he) for money lent, re­ceiue gifts of diuerse kinds, and they doe not vnderstand that it is called vsurie and increase, whatsoeuer it be that they receiue aboue that which they gaue. And to the same purpose is that which is alleadged out of the coun­sell held at Agatha, Vsur [...] est vbi amplius requiritur quā datur, It is vsurie, when more is required than is lent. Augustine goeth further,In Ps 36. If thou (sayth he) hast lent money to any man, of whom thou lookest to receiue more than thou gauest, not money alone, but any thing more than thou gauest, whether it be wheat, or wine, or oyle, or any thing else; if thou expectest to receiue more than thou gauest, thou art an vsurer.

Vpon which testimonies Gratian concludeth, behold it is euidently declared, That whosoeuer for loane is ex­acted aboue the principall,Lactant. de vero cult. 1. 6. c. 18. it is vsurie. Lactantius also spea­king of vsurie, sayth, To receiue more than thou gauest, it is vnjust: and afterwards addeth, That a justman will not defile himselfe with such gaine. Likewise, all increase [Page 157] whatsoeuer required for loane, in the ciuile law also is ac­counted vsurie. Lastly, the common lawyers are of the same judgement: For Glanuile, who was lord chiefe Iustice of England in the dayes of Henry the second, teacheth, that vsurie is committed, when a man hauing lent any thing that doth consist vpon number, weight, and mea­sure, doth take any thing ouer and aboue his loane, Lib. 10. cap. 3.

And thus it appeareth, that the true nature of vsurie is expressed in this definition. Let vs now see how by this definition vsurie is distinguished from other contracts, and also other things which may seeme to haue some af­finitie therewith: for of the rest it is needlesse to speake.

It is therefore distinguished I. from all liberall con­tracts, as that of donation, or free gift▪ of mutuation, or free lending to spend; of commodation, or free lending to vse; because they be free and liberall, but vsurie is illiberall and for gaine.

2. From all lawfull buying: because in buying there is a perpetuall alienation of money, in vsurie but for a time: and therefore in the contract of buying & selling, the seller is not bound to restore the money againe; but in the contract of vsurie, being a contract of mutuation or loane, the debtour is bound after a time to restore the money againe. Whereby it appeareth, that a contract of buying rents, whether for euer, or for a mans life, wherein there is an absolute bargaine and sale, and a perpetuall alienation of the principall, howsoeuer there may be in­justice therein, if equalitie be not obserued, yet is it not vsurie: for the subject of vsurie is loane, and by the con­tract of loane the borrower vndertaketh after a time to repay the principall.

3. From lawfull Location or letting to hire: which is the rather to be obserued, because some imagine, that money and other things which are lent vpon vsurie, may as well be let as other things. But there is great diffe­rence [Page 158-159] betwixt vsurie and the lawfull contract of Locati­on or letting. And first they differ in the subjects: so that the things which be lent vpon vsurie cannot bee let, namely, to that vse for which they are lent, and those things which be let cannot be lent vpon vsurie.

Vsurie is in those things which are spent in the vse, and consist in quantitie, standing in number, weight, and mea­sure.Location, is of such things as are not spent in the vse, neither stād in number, weight, and measure.
The subject of vsurie, are such things as haue no fruitful vse in themselues, but the gain which is to bee raised by im­ployment of them, is to be im­puted to the industrie and skil of the imployer.The subject of loca­tion, haue a fruitful vse in thēselues naturally.
The vse of things lent vpō vsury cannot bee seuered, or reckoned apart from the pro­pertie and dominion; because they are such things as are spēt in the vse, and therefore if you vse them, you spend them.The fruitfull vse of things lent, may be se­uered and reckoned a­part, and is valuable by it self, as of lād, goods, house, &c. which re­main in the vse vnspēt.
In the cōtract of loane, whe­ther free, or vpon vsury, the lender graunteth to the bor­rower, not only the vse, but al­so the propertie of the thing lent, frō which the vse of that, which we lend to be spent in the vse, cannot be seuered: hēce it is called mutuum, because by lending it is made ex meo tuum.In the contract of lo­cation, the letter gran­teth to him that taketh to hire, the vse only of the things, retaining the propertie to him­selfe.
Because that which is the subject of loane and vsury is spent in the vse, and is lent to be spent; therfor [...] the borrower is bound to restore, not the same parti­cular which he borrowed, but so much in quantitie or full value in the same kind, without any impai­ring or diminution.Because that which is the subject of commodi­tie and location is lent & let, not to bee spent, but only to be vsed; therfore he that taketh the same to vse, is bound to restore the selfe same particular which for the most part is impaired and made worse in the vse.
As in mutuation and vsurie, the propertie is translated to the borrower, so with the propertie also the hazard wholly apper­taineth to the borrower: for the verie contract of mutuation includeth in it an obligation binding the borrower, that whatsoeuer becommeth of this parti­cular which he borroweth, he shall restore the full va­lue thereof at the day ap­pointed, in the same kind. And to this purpose the borrower maketh promise, either by word or writing, entereth into bonds and statutes, laying his goods to pawne, or his lands to morgage, giueth sureties, to assure and secure the creditor for the principall.As in location the vse is communicated to the hirer, but the letter retai­neth the propertie; so the perill and hazard of the thing, if it shall miscarie without the default of the hirer, belongeth to the letter, and not to the hirer; because it came for his hire, Exod. 22. 14. And it is a rule in law, To whom the hazard appertaineth, to him the fruit and profit belon­geth.

[Page 160] To conclude therefore, things that stand in quan­titie, in number, weight and measure, as money, meat, and drinke, wine, oyle, &c. and are lent to be spent, Non cadunt in commod [...]tum aut locatum, they cannot be let. For in such things, contrarie to the contract of Location, the propertie with the vse is transferred to the borrower, and hee becommeth owner for the time thereof: neither is there in such things themselues any fruitfull vse, which is valuable by it selfe, being spent in the vse: but if there arise any gaine, it is to be ascribed to the skill and indu­strie of the borrower, who is the owner for the time of that which he borroweth. Neither is he to restore the same particular, impaired by the vse, but the full value in the same kind with better rather than worse: neither doth the lender but the borrower stand wholly to the hazard and perill. And therefore the letting of such things as are not lettable, is nothing but meere vsurie vnder ano­ther name. Indeed if such things as stand in quantitie, as money and such like, be not lent to be spent according to that vse for which they were ordained, but to some other vse and purpose; the lender communicating onely the vse, and retaining the propertie, requiring again the selfe­same particular to be restored, himselfe also perhaps stan­ding to the hazard, if it miscarrie without the borrowers default; thē this contract is not mutuation (for therby the property is alwaies altered) or vsurie, but cōmodation, if it be free; or location, if it be for hire. Howbeit, this hire, vn­lesse the letter do stand to the hazard, or vnlesse the thing be impaired in the vse, ought to be little or nothing: for if there be inequalitie betwixt the hire and the vse, though there be not vsurie in such a cōtract, yet there is vnjustice.

4. From the contract of partnership: wherein one man hauing perhaps no skill in merchandise, committeth a stocke of mony to another, being a marchant or trades­man, to the end that he may imploy the same in some law­full traffique, and couenanteth with him not onely to be [Page 161] partner with him in a proportionable part of his gaine, if it please God to make him a gainer, but also to partake with him in the losse, which without his default hee shall sustaine. For here, although there be expectation of gain, yea and a requiring and taking of gaine for the most part, yet there is not vsurie: for in partnership, the propertie of the money is not transferred vnto him that receiueth it, but remaineth in him which did deliuer it, and at his ha­zard and perill it is imployed: and therefore in partner­ship there is not so much as loane, and much lesse vsurie: for as Molinaeus truly saith, In contraectu societatis cessat sub­iectum vsur [...], scil. mutuum: in partnership the subiect of vsurie ce [...]seth, viz. loane. For in loane the propertie is transferred to the borrower, and with the propertie the hazard: so that if the principall miscarry, it miscarrieth to the bor­rower; it is safe to the lender, by the very contract of mu­tuation or lending, wherein the borrower secureth the lender by such securitie as the lender thinketh sufficient, whether it be his word, or his bill, or his bond, or his pawne, or his suretie, for the repayment of the principall. In the contract of partnership, he that deliuereth his mo­ney to the other, doth not couenant absolutely for the re­stitution of his principall, and much lesse for gaine, but conditionally, according to the euent or successe of the negotiation; couenanting as well to be partaker of the losse as of the gaine. But the contract of mutuation or free lending, bindeth the borrower by an absolute coue­nant to restore the principall: and the contract of vsurie bindeth the borrower by an absolute couenant, not only to repay the principall, but also to yeeld the ouerplus co­uenanted for. And this absolute couenant is not an abuse besides the nature of this contract (as some haue imagi­ned) but as the absolute couenant of the restitution of the principall is included in the contract of mutuation, so the absolute couenant not only of repaying the principal, but also of paying vsury, is included in the cōtract of actual, or [Page 162] as they call it, formall vsurie: and is so of the nature of this contract, that where this absolute couenant is not, there is not actuall and formall vsurie. For if there be a couenant onely in euentum lucri, to gaine if he gaine; or a bare expectation of gaine for loane without any further couenant, but for the restitution of the principall, then is the former not formall vsurie, though it bee mentall and actuall in part, and the latter is but mentall vsurie: & not then neither, if as on the one side there is a couenant of partaking gaine, if there be gaine; so on the other side there be a couenant of partaking losse: or as there is ex­pectation of gaine, if the borrower gaine, so there be an vnfained purpose of bearing part of the losse, which the borrower without his default shall sustaine: for then the former is the contract of partnership; and the latter in respect of the outward act, is the contract of lending: but in regard of the purpose of the heart, intending gaine where there is gaine, and purposing to beare part of the losse where there is losse, it is partnership. Where by the way we are to note, that howsoeuer vsurers doe build their practise vpon the judgement of some diuines, yet no godly learned diuine doth allow the vsurie which is vsually practised. And I am persuaded, that if they vn­derstood this absolute couenant or expectation of gaine, without purpose of hazarding the principall or any part thereof, to be of the very nature of an vsurious contract, as indeed it is, they would neuer haue spoken or written word in the defence of vsurie. For they would not haue a man to make an absolute couenant for gaine, but in euen­tum lucri, that is, that he may couenant, if the borrower shall raise a lawfull gaine, to haue part thereof. And they define that vsurie which they allow, to be partem lucri, part of the borrowers gaine. So that by their judgement, if a man borrow money, not to make a gaine of it, but other­wise for his necessarie vses, of such an one no gaine is to be required: or if the borrower, which takes vp money, [Page 163] hoping to raise a gaine thereby, shall not gaine, of him there is no gaine to be exacted. But if the borrower shall not onely bee no gainer, but notwithstanding hee hath vsed his skill and diligence in his trade, shall also prooue a looser, the constant judgement of learned diuines in this case is, That the lender, which for his loane either coue­nanteth or looketh for gaine, must be content to beare part of the losse: so that the difference which is in sub­stance of matter betwixt those diuines which seeme to speake for vsurie, and vs that speake against it, is very small. They allow that contract, in which there is a con­ditionall couenant for gaine, if the borrower gaine, with an vnfained purpose of partaking in his losse: We allow that contract wherein there is a couenant, as of partaking in the gaine when there shall be gaine, so of bearing part of the losse, when there shall be losse, without his default that receiued the money to employ it, that so there may be equalitie. Which contract in substance differeth little from the former: for if thou must haue an vnfained pur­pose to beare part of the borrowers losse, and art bound in conscience to put that purpose in execution, when he is a looser; why shouldest thou not make thy couenant ac­cordingly, if thou hast to deale with an honest man? And why mayest thou not as well make thy contract so, if the purpose of thy heart be vpright, as to thinke, that after thy contract is made, thou art bound in conscience so to deale? Now if thou diddest couenant equally to beare part of the losse, as well as to reape part of the gaine, then were thy contract neither vsurie nor loane, but partnership, which is a lawfull contract. Indeed, I doe confesse, it is more fit many times that the borrower should stand to the lenders courtesie, than the lender al­together to the borrowers fidelitie: and therfore though there be a couenant on the one side, in euentum lucri, to partake in the gaine, if there shall be gaine; and on the other side, but a purpose of bearing part in the losse, so [Page 164] that purpose be vpright and vnfained, I would not alto­gether condemne such a contract. It were therefore to be wished, that men hauing learned to distinguish vsurie from other lawfull contracts, would according to the scriptures simply and absolutely condemne it, rather than they should by seeming to allow and commend vnder the name of vsurie some other lawfull contract (which in­deed are not vsurious) giue an occasion of so great of­fence to couetous worldlings: who when they heare some vsurie allowed by diuines, they doubt not (such is our naturall selfeloue) that the vsurie which themselues practise, is to be warranted, though their practise differ neuer so much from the judgement of all learned and godly diuines.

5. It is distinguished from three other things, to which the name of vsurie especially in the Latine tongue is as­signed, but are not this gainefull vsurie, wherof we speak: the first of these is the aduenturers vsurie, which in Latin is called nauticum, or m [...]ritimum [...]oenus, and is a gaine or al­lowance made for money, which is transported beyond the seas, at the perill and hazard of the creditour, contra­rie to the contract either of gainefull vsurie or free loane, and seemeth to draw neere to partnership, the manner whereof is thus: I deliuer to a marchant who is to tra­uell beyond seas, a summe of money for him to vse in ne­gotiation, as he thinketh best for his aduantage, conditio­ning with him, that if his ship miscarie, I will loose not onely my hope of gaine, but also the principall it selfe: but if his ship shall come safe to land, by the ariuall wher­of hee is sure of good gaine, I looke for an allowance proportionable to that hazard which I sustaine. And this hazard, men were wont to vndertake, either for the whole voyage, couenanting for a certaine gaine, if the ship arriued safe at the same port from whence it first set forth (which kind the Grecians call [...]); or else but for the one part of the voyage, as from one port to [Page 165] another;Budaeus de Asse Glare [...]us de Asse. cap. 12. Ho [...]oman de vsuris. as from London to Venice, which they called [...]. But for as much as couetous men were apt to vse this practise as a cloke to couer their vsurie, pretending great aduenture or hazard when there was little or none, & to exact an vnreasonable gaine far aboue the propor­tion of their aduenture or hazard: Therefore Iustini [...]n stinted this vsurie at 12 in the hundred: And the Canon Law is thought wholly to condemne it. Decr. Greg. l. 5. ti [...]. devsuris Q. Nauiganti. But as Hotoman hath shewed, the text is either corrupted, the word (not) being omitted (for Gregorie in that chapter setteth downe three cases, wherof this is the first, which he exempteth from vsury:) or else the law is verie vnreasonable, seeing where is ha­zard, there may be gaine required as the due price there­of. And therefore aduenturers vsurie may be allowed, not onely in tr [...]iectiti [...] pecuni [...], that is, in money sent ouer the sea at the creditors perill; but also in other cases wherein the creditor sustaineth the like hazard: Proui­ded alwayes, that there bee an aduenture or hazard in truth, and not in pretence onely: and also that the gaine be proportionable to the hazard.

The second is that which some call liberall vsurie, be­ing indeed a gratuitie or free gift, which the borrower finding himselfe much benefited by the lenders curtesie, doth of his owne accord in testimonie of his thankfulnes, freely giue to the lender, who neither intended when he lent, nor expected whiles he forbore, any gaine, and much lesse couenanted for it: For in this case, although the lēder receiue some allowance aboue the principall, yet he com­mitteth not vsurie: because neither the contract which he made, was lending for gaine; neither is the ouerplus which he receiueth, a gaine, either couenanted, or inten­ded, or required for loane; but a gratuitie or thankfull curtesie, which may with good conscience be giuen and receiued from an able and willing gi [...]uer. For as the len­ders curtesie hath not made him vncapable of a good [Page 166] turne from the borrower, which before hee had lent, he might haue receiued: so doth it bind the borrower to duties of thankfulnesse, which they call [...], especi­ally if he haue well gained by that which the creditor could not well forbeare.

The third, is that which is called vsur [...] compens [...]tor [...], recompencing vsurie, which we call interest: For although interest among Lawyers be of a more large signification, as belongeth not onely to loane, but also to some other contracts: yet as it is referred to loane, it is in effect the same with recompencing vsurie, which is nothing else but a just recompence which the debtor, hauing through his default bene the effectuall cause of the creditors hin­derance, doth owe vnto him by the law of nature. And that hinderance may be twofold, damnum emergens, losse arising, or lucrum cessans, gaine ce [...]sing: But this ceasing gaine which must come into estimation, must not be vn­certaine and doubtfull, but certaine: or at lest very pro­bable. For if the creditor through the default, either in­curre losse, or be hindered of certaine gaine, it is verie equall that thou shouldest make him such recompence quanto creditoris interest, as he is damaged or hindered by the delay. And it is very lawfull that the creditor should prouide for his owne indemnitie in this behalfe: For it is against equitie (as the Apostle saith in a like case) that to the cre­ditor should be [...],2. Cor. 8. 13. and to the debtor [...]; but the hin­derance is to be recompenced, that there may bee [...], that is, it is vnjust that the creditor should sustaine losse or hinderance through the debtors default: or that the debtor should bee enriched with the creditors losse or hinderance: But equitie requireth that a full recompence be made, that the creditor may receiue his owne without [...]olle or hinderance; and the debtor hauing bin through his delay the cause of the creditors hinderance, should sustaine the penalty of his owne, either negligence or vn­faithfulnesse: For interest in respect of the creditor, is a [Page 167] just recōpence of his hinderance sustained by the debtors fault; & in regard of the debtor, it is a penaltie: For which cause it is called cōpensatori [...] vsur [...], in respect of the creditors losse, so also punitoria vsur [...], in respect of the debtors defalt. As for example, I lend thee one hundreth pounds, which thou vndertakest to repay at the end of six moneths: which time being expired, and thou either through neg­ligence or vnfaithfulnesse failing of thy promise, I in­curre a losse (perhaps by forfeiture of a bond, pawne, or by taking vp money vpon vsurie to preuent that losse) or else hauing necessarie occasion to imploy my mony to my certaine or very likely gaine, am hindered of that gaine: In this case I may lawfully prouide for mine in­demnitie, by exacting an equall recompence at thine hands: and thou art bound in conscience to make good this losse or hinderance which through thy default I su­staine. But here certaine cautions are to bee remem­bred.

First, that interest be esteemed not according to the gaine or benefit which the borrower hath reaped by the imployment of the money, but according to the hinde­rance or losse which the creditor sustaineth through the borrowers default.

Secondly, that interest is not to be required, nisipost morā, but only after delay & defalt cōmitted by the borrower: for vntill then, the borrower (vnlesse he were such a one as could compell the creditor to lend) is not the effectu­all cause of the creditors losse.

Thirdly, that not alwayes after delay it is to be requi­red, but onely then, when the creditor hath indeed sustai­ned losse or hinderance by the borrowers delay.

Fourthly, that he do not voluntarily incurre any losse, meaning to lay the burthen thereof on the borrower, but do his true endeuour to auoid it, either in whole or in part.

Fiftly, that when he suspecteth losse or hinderance by [Page 168] the debtors delay, he descend not vnto extremities with those who haue broken day, not through negligence or vnfaithfulnesse, but through want and necessitie, which they did not foresee: and let him remember, that where is no fault, there ought to be no punishment.

Sixtly, that the estimation of the interest be not refer­red to the creditors owne arbitrement (for it is not fit that euerie creditor should be his owne caruer) but commit­ted to the judgement of some other honest and discreet men. [And for as much as it is supposed that the creditor might (to preuent his losse) borrow according to the rate permitted by law,I cos qui § cae­ [...]eros Cod. lib. q. [...]it. 32. c. 26. therefore Iustini [...]n stinted recompen­cing vsurie, at six in the hundred.] Which conditions be­ing obserued, it is lawfull for the creditor to require an ouerplus besides his principall: which ouerplus, not­withstanding is not vsurie. For there is great difference betwixt vsurie and interest. In vsurie, the lender inten­deth and seeketh gaine; by interest, he onely prouideth for his indemnitie. Vsurie is intended, or perhaps co­uenanted for in the very contract: interest is not inten­ded at the first, but happeneth after delay. Vsurie is a gaine which from the time of the contract, vntill the time of payment, accrueth to the lender: interest is a re­compence of the losse, which after the day appointed for payment, the creditor sustaineth through the borrowers default.

When as therefore men pretend the honest name of interest to their gainfull vsurie,Lib. de definit. appellat. it is pernicious Sophistrie, sayth Melancthon.

And thus you haue heard what vsurie is. Now we are to proceed to a threefold destinction thereof. And first, that vsurie is either inward and mentall, or outward and actuall.Mentall vsury. The mentall is a lending for gaine without co­uenant, that is, when the creditor onely intendeth and looketh for gaine by lending and forbearing his money, but doth not indent or couenant with the borrower for [Page 169] gaine. And this may be called the vsurie of the heart: for the Law of God being spirituall,Rom. 7. 14. doth not onely re­straine the hands, and outward man; but also the intent and purpose of the heart: in so much that morall actions, though in shew good, are to be judged euill, if they pro­ceed from an ill intent, and tend to an ill end: For he that intendeth euill, hath the like euill will with him that wor­keth euill: And he which by lending onely intendeth his owne gaine, he lendeth for gaine. And therefore, if ac­tuall vsurie be euill, then the intent and purpose thereof is also euill. For lending is a worke of charitie, and an act of liberalitie, wherein if we haue true charitie, we respect not our owne profit, but the benefit of the borrower. Wherefore as Augustine saith,In Psal. 36. If thou lookest to receiue more than thou gauest, thou art an vsurer. And hereun­to the most writers referre the speech of our Sauiour, Luk. 6. 35, [...], Lend, looking for nothing; that is, for no gaine or profit thence: For as the Canonists and Schoolemen say, Sola spes vsurarium facit, hope alone maketh an vsurer: But that is thus to be vnderstood.

1. When the expectation of gaine is the cause of our lending; and when our owne profit is principally inten­ded, that is, when we so lend for our owne gaine, as that were it not for the expectation of gaine, we would not lend: For if our chiefe regard bee to helpe our neigbour, and haue but a secondary respect to our owne profit, as if that were not we would notwithstanding lend for charity and humanitie sake; this secondarie respect maketh not an vsurer, though it something detract from the puritie of our loue, and the commendation of our loane.

2. When there is expectation and purpose of gaine, without any intent of partaking in the losse: For when the lender so intendeth his owne gaine in the borrowers gaine, as also he purposeth vnfainedly to beare part of his losse, this intent is not vsurious. For although his outward act bee a contract of loane; yet in respect of the [Page 170] purpose and intent of his heart it is partnership: when as therefore the lender principally intendeth his own gaine, without purpose to beare part of the borrowers losse, that intent or expectation of gaine maketh an vsurer. An vsurer I say, before God, but not before man: an vsurer in the inward court of conscience, but not in the outward and ciuile court, which taketh no notice of mentuall vsu­rie: neither can it be punished by the lawes of men, who cannot search the heart.

Outward and actuall vsurie is,Actuall vsurie. when the creditor doth not onely intend certaine gaine by lending, but also co­uenanteth for a certaine summe to be allowed him at a certaine time, or times. This in the Scriptures is called imposing of vsurie, Exod. 22. 25, Thou sh [...]lt not impose vsurie vpon him: wherefore in actuall vsurie, a couenant is made for certaine gaine; and in that couenant the verie forme of actuall vsury consisteth: For which cause some do call such a contract, Formall vsurie. And this couenant vseth to be confirmed by obligation, either verball, as bils and bonds; or reall, as pawnes, or morgage; or per­sonall, as suretiship; whereby the creditor is secured for the receit, and the debtor bound for the payment, both of the principall and also of the vsurie. But in this actuall and outward vsurie, there is a couenant vsually made for the payment, not onely of a certaine summe, but also at certaine times. The summe is proportionated or rated according to the quantitie of the principall, or stocke which is lent, and according to the length of the time: For by how much the principal is greater, & the time lō ­ger, so much greater allowance is made. Now the prin­cipall, be it more or lesse, is reduced to the rate of an hun­dred, to the imitation of the Grecians and Latines: For whereas the Mina among the Grecians contained an hundred Drachmas, they brought the principall to the rate of the Mina, and the vsurie was reckoned according to the number of Drachmas. The Romans also redu­ced [Page 171] the principall to the centenarie number. And because the centesim [...] vsur [...] (an vsurie of the hundred part, that is, of one in the hundred monthly) was the greatest which by law was permitted among them, therefore it was esteemed as As or assis vsurarum, that is, as the grosse or totall summe of vsurie: and all lesser vsuries were tearmed by the parts of the Assis. And for as much as the Assis containeth twelue Vncias, and euery Vncia is the hundred part of the princi­pall, which was payed monthly for the centesimae vsurae; hence it is, that the diuerse notes of vsurie among vs may easily be reckoned, according to the Romane compu­tation.

For the centesimae vsurae, which were one in the hundred monthly, are in a twelue month (which is a yeare) twelue in the hundred.

So Deunx is 11. dext [...]ns or decumo. 10. Dodrans. 9. Bes. 8. Septunx. Molinaeus. 7. Semi [...]. 6. Quincunx. 5. Triens, that is, the third part of the centesim [...], Semis ad trien­tem [...], Lat. sescupla sei [...] sesquialter. 4. Quadrans, which is the fourth part of the centesima, 3. Sextans, which is the fixt part of the centesima, 2. Vncia, which is the twelfth part of the centesima, is one in the hundred by the yeare. As touching the time, vsu­rers among the Grecians and Romans,Hinc liber fae­nebris pecuniae Kalendarium dictum. were wont to co­uenant for their vsurie to bee paid monthly. For which cause,Faeneratori [...]. Haec ol [...]m con­suetudo fuit, ut vltra statu­tum K [...]lend [...] ­rum diem, in Idus concederens dilationem. l taq, solitum er [...]t, ut quae in Kalendis faenerauerant, idibusreciperen [...] & relegerent. Chabot. in Hora. epod. 2. Basil calleth vsurers [...], monthly exac­tours; and compareth them to those vncleane spirits, which cause the monthly fits of the falling sicknesse. And according to that summe which was monthly pay­ed, was the vsurie named: if the hundred part of the prin­cipall was payed monthly for vsurie (which was after twelue in the hundred by the yeare) it was called centesi­ [...]ae vsurae, and among the Grecians vsur [...] drachm [...]lis: if the 150 part (which was after eight in the hundred by the yeare) it was called bes centesimae: if the 200 part (which was after six in the hundred by the yeare) semis or dimidi [...] centesimae: if the 300 part (which was after foure in the hundred by the yeare) it was called triens or tertia pars cen­tesimae. [Page 172] Seeing therefore vsurie was payed monthly, and had the name of that summe which was monthly payed, it were too great an absurditie for any man to imagine (as some haue done) that Semisses vsurae are fiftie in the hun­dred,Vid. Budaeum de Asse. fol. 24 & 25 that is, halfe of the principall; or trientes, to bee the third part of the principall: for then Semisses vsurae should be fiftie in the hundred monthly, and trientarium [...]oenus should be after 33 pound, 6 shillings, 8 pence, monthly for an hundred, &c. Whereas Antonius Pius is commen­ded for exercising trientarium soenus, as the least which then was in vse, that with his substance he might heape mony. And accordingly Iustinian, when he stinteth vsurie, per­mitteth gentlemen and noblemen to take tertiam partem centesimae, that is, foure in the hundred: and to march [...]ts, Vsque ad bessem (not sortis, but) centesimae, that is, [...]fter eight in the hundred.

Secondly,Open vsurie. Vsurie is either manifest, or couert. The ma­nifest vsurie is a plaine contract of lending for gaine: as when a man lendeth 10 pounds, with this couenant ex­pressed, that at the yeares end he shail receiue 11 pounds. And this vsurie commonly is contained within those limits and bounds, wherewith the positiue laws of coun­tries doe stint and circumscribe it.

The couert vsurie,Couert vsurie. is a couert lending for gain; which is practised either when men being ashamed of vsurie, seeke some honest pretext to hide their couetousnesse; or not being contented with that moderat vsurie which is permitted by humane lawes, find out other deuises, which some call mysteries, whereby they may defeat the lawes which stint vsurie, and may exact without danger of the law, immoderat and excessiue gaine. But this mysticall vsurie is not vnworthily of some called terrestris pyr [...]tic [...], land-pyracie. Now it is called couert vsurie, because whereas vsurie is a contract of lending for gaine, this in apparance seemeth to be a contract either not of lending, or not for gaine. When it seemeth not to be a contract of [Page 173] lending, it is cloaked vnder some other contract, which is to be resolued into loane: for vsurie masketh sometimes vnder the vizard of selling, or buying, or letting, or part­nership, or exchange, or aduenturers vsurie: examples of all which are to be produced:Vsurie in sel­ling. and first of selling. For when the seller exacteth an ouerplus, more than the just value of the ware, onely for the time of forbearance which himselfe graunteth to the buyer, hee committeth vsurie.

When I say an ouerplus aboue the just value, I cal that a just value, when there is an equalitie betwixt the ware and the price, according to the common estimation at the time of the sale: but of that equalitie there is some lati­tude; and we may not thinke that price to bee vnjust, which is but a little vnder or ouer the precise Arithmeti­call equalitie. And therefore the seller who graunteth time, so long as he keepeth himselfe within the latitude or compasse of an ordinarie and equall price, he may not be thought to commit vsurie. And it may so fall out, that the buyer will not bee brought to giue the equall price, vnlesse he may haue some time graunted for the pay­ment: In which case, though the buyer may perhaps thinke that he payeth the dearer for the forbearance, yet there is no vsurie, because the seller doth not sell the dea­rer for time. And when I say (onely for the time of for­bearance) I insinuate, that there may be some other rea­sons, why the seller graunting time, may sell the dearer: as first, when he knoweth, that the value of the thing will be more at the day of payment, than at the day of sale, he may sell it for so much more, as in all likelyhood it will be clearely more worth his charges & hazard (if there shall be any) and the impairing or deminishing of the thing (if it be subject therunto) for the mean time being deducted. And secondly, if the thing which he selleth hath a fruit­full vse, and yet notwithstanding, that vse shall bee in all likelyhood of no lesse price at the day of payment, than [Page 174] it was at the day of the sale, hee may take so much the more, as the fruitfull vse of the thing is in the meane time clearely worth, the estimation of the hazard and charge being deducted. As for example, when a man selleth land, and graunteth time for the payment, &c.

I adde, for the time which himselfe graunteth to the buyer, because if the buyer, detaining the price longer than the appointed time, shall bee an effectuall cause of losse or hinderance to the seller, he is to allow him inte­rest, and the seller may with good conscience exact it of him; especially if not through want, but through negli­gence and vnfaithfulnesse, he vseth delay.

But when a man selleth his ware for more than the just price, onely because he gi [...]eth time to the buyer, he doth indeed sell time, which is not his to sell, and vnder the contract of selling he committeth vsurie: for when the seller is content to graunt time to the buyer for the pay­ment of the price agreed vpon, it is all one, as if hee lent that money for such a time: for the voluntary forbearing of money due to him for his ware, is all one with loane: and vpon such forbearing the buyer becommeth a deb­tour, and the seller a creditour. As for example, thou sel­lest me ware for 11 pounds, to be paid at the end of six months, which thou wouldest haue sold for 10 pounds in present money: This men may call what they will, but it is vsurie, after the rate of twentie in the hundred. Like­wise, if a man selling a cow, or some other commoditie worth fortie shillings, to a poore man, shall agree with him, because he is not well able to pay so much together, to take twelue pence a weeke for a yeare, vnder a colour of accommodating the poore man, and condescending in his sale to his meane abilitie, he requireth an vsurie of thirtie in the hundred.

But will you heare a mysterie? A gentleman in his need commeth to an vsurer to borrow a hundred pounds, the vsurer tels him he hath no money, but (sayth hee) to [Page 175] accommodate you, I will helpe you with a commoditie worth an hundred pounds: which commoditie you may commit to such an one (meaning his broker) and he will sell it for you. The gentleman taketh the commoditie, en­tereth into a bond of two hundred pounds for the pay­ment of an hundred, and perhaps with vsurie for the said commoditie: he intreateth the broker to sell it for him, promising him a reward. The broker vndertaketh the matter, and willeth the gentleman to repaire vnto him the next day: in the meane time he selleth it to the same vsurer for fourescore pounds, or an hundred markes. So that vnder the colour of selling a commoditie, the vsurer lendeth but fourscore or an hundred marks, for which he will receiue a hūdred, or perhaps a hūdred & ten pounds. Notwithstanding, the gentleman finding his present need supplied, is wel eased for a time, like to a man which in the fit of an ague hath drunke a cup of cold water: but when the day of payment commeth, he is in greater di­stresse than before; for now being not able to pay, he for­feiteth a bond of two hundred pounds. But you may not thinke, that the vsurer will straight way sue the bond: No, rather than he will deale extreamely with him, hee will giue him a new day, and it may be, feed his prodigalitie with more money, to the intent that he may morgage his land to him, for the payment both of the new debt, and of the former summe, with vsurie: which payment the vnthriftie gentleman being not able to make, the vsurer hauing according to that curse, Psal. 109. 11, gotten his lands into his net, he maketh a prey of him. And thus the possessions of many gentlemen, become the prizes, as it were, of our land-pyrats.

Secondly,Vsurie in buy­ing. vsurie is cloaked vnder the contract of buy­ing, when a man for the payment of money beforehand to him that needeth present money, buyeth any commo­ditie vnder that, which in all likelyhood will be the price or true value thereof at the time of the deliuerie. I say [Page 176] to him that needeth present money. For otherwise, no man will sell his commodities vnder foot, vnlesse he haue need of readie money. And therefore this aggrauateth the fault of such buyers, who take aduantage by their neighbours necessitie, and seeke to gaine by their need. This is after a sort as the Prophet Amos Amos 8. 6. speaketh, to buy the poore for siluer, and the needie for a paire of shooes.

I adde, vnder the true value, because if it bee doubtfull whether the commoditie will beare a greater or lesse price at the time of the deliuerie thereof, such a contract is not to be blamed as vsurious. But when there is certain­tie that the price will be greater, then is vsurie committed in such a contract: for the laying downe of mony before hand to a man that standeth in need thereof, is in effect all one, as if he lent him so much mony to be repaid in ware. When as therefore he couenanteth to receiue ware of greater value than his money commeth to, he lendeth for gaine, and so committeth vsurie.

As for example: a farmer wanting money to pay his rent, entreateth an vsurer to lend him money vntill Mid­summer; and finding him backward, offereth him consi­deration: nay (sayth he) I will not require vsurie of thee, I will deale better with thee than so, we will take a course to supply one anothers want: for as thou wantest money now, so shall I want corne then; here is sixteene pounds, for which thou shalt giue mee at Midsummer twentie quarters of good wheat. This bargaine the farmer is content to accept, rather than to forfeit his lease, albeit he knoweth well ynough, that at Midsummer his corne is like to be better worth than twentie pounds.

Againe, a countreyman commeth to a farmer, that is at great charge in the inning of his haruest, and vnder­standing that he wanteth readie money to defray his ex­pences, vpon occasion of speech maketh him this offer, to let him haue eight pounds in readie money, if the far­mer on New-yeares day will deliuer to him twenty quar­ters [Page 177] of barley, which at that time are like to be worth 11 or 12 pounds: so that for the forbearing of eight pounds foure moneths, he would gaine three or foure pounds.

This kind of vsurie is often practised in buying of rents or annuities: But forasmuch as some are too fauourable towards such contracts, and others too austere against them, it shall not be amisse briefly to determine what we are to hold in this point. For where is on the buyers part a purpose and an absolute couenant for the perpetuall alienation of his money, and on the sellers part no coue­nant for the redeeming of his rent, it is plaine that in such a contract there is no loane, and therefore no vsurie: Howbeit if equality be not obserued, there may vnjustice and oppression be committed.

When as therefore a man hauing an hundred pounds, (on which he is loath to spēd being his stocke) buyeth an annuitie or rent during his life, of twentie marks, or 14 or 15 pounds, as shall be thought most equall; such a con­tract is lawfull and just, and is especially to be commen­ded to single men or women who haue no charge de­pending on them.

Or if a man bee willing to leaue a rent or annuitie to others after him, he may buy for his hundred pounds a proportionable rent, perhaps of fiue or six pounds for euer, to the payment whereof the sellers lands may be liable. But what if a man buy a rent for a certaine and difinit time, as for ten or twentie yeares? I answer, if it be a true contract or bargaine and sale, and a proportionable rate obserued, that it is not vsurie, no more than by the payment of a fine, to diminish the rent. Howbeit vsurie many times is cloked vnder such contracts: As for ex­ample, A man borroweth, or alreadie oweth an hundred pounds, which because he is not able to pay at once, the creditor for it doth, as it were, buy of him a rent of twenty pounds a yeare for ten yeares, which is a greater vsurie than of ten in the hundred: For the borrower paying [Page 178] yearely ten pounds of the principall, doth notwithstan­ding pay yearely ten pounds for vsurie, as though no part of the principall had bene in the former yeares paid.

And thus we are to judge of those contracts wherein there is an absolut couenant for the alienation of the prin­cipall. But the greatest controuersie is concerning those bargaines wherein the seller of a rent reserueth libertie to redeeme it, and the buyer couenanteth vpon the repay­ment of the principall to sell it backe againe, or rather to release it. I aunswere, if the buyer of the rent giueth as much for it as it is worth in the common estimation of men, the couenant of releasing it to the seller when he shall redeeme it, maketh not the contract vsurious. For that couenant maketh the buyers bargaine the worse, and not the better. If therefore the seller require this coue­nant, that by paying the principall he may redeeme the rent, not because of the inequalitie of the rent, but one­ly because he would not haue his lands liable to such a rent charge; this couenant which maketh his case so much the better, doth so much the more free the buyer from vsurie. But when this couenant of redeeming the rent is made, because of the inequalitie of the rent, it is alwayes a cloke of vsurie: For neither the seller meaneth perpetu­ally to alienate the rent, the greatnesse whereof forceth him so soone as he able to redeeme it, neither doth the buyer otherwise than in taking a pawne or morgage in­tend the perpetuall alienation of his principall. But you will say, in this contract is not loane, because the buyer hath no right to demaund his principall: Neither doth he need, for the seller will be sure so soone as he is able to repay it. And therefore such a bargaine is rather a con­tract of oppignoration or morgage, than of buying or selling. And euen as he which hath a pawne of better va­lue than his principall, needeth not as in respect of his owne profit to be ouer-hastie with the borrower for the payment of his principall, which indeed he hath no right [Page 179] to require, hauing a pawne of more worth in lieu ther­of, and yet is truly said to haue lent vpon a pawne: so he which hath a round rent assured vnto him, the right whereof is of more worth than his money, though hee may not, nor need not demaund againe his principall, may truly be sayd to haue lent as it were on a pawne or morgage, and in lending to haue committed vsurie; be­cause euen as in the contract of Antichresis, he hath the fruit and profit of the thing pawned vntill the principall be payd, and yet looketh either to haue the principall wholly payed, allowing nothing back for the rent which he hath receiued in the meane time, or the same rent to be continued for euer.

Wherfore M. Luther writing on this Psalme, saith Nostro autem seculo [...]oelicissima est vsura, &c. In our age vsurie is most happy, being by the authority of the Bishop of Rome, be­come justice & a lawful cōtract, the name of vsurie being remoued,Extrau. com. de emptione & [...]endi [...]. cap. I. & Contractum emptionis & venditionis annui census cum condition: reuenditionis non esse vsu­rarium. and a new name inuented, wherby it is now cal­led contractus redemptionis, The contract of redeeming, or, buying againe. For this is now called a fine figure, and by this ju­stice the whole world at this day is justified, especially the Cleargie, and that monster reigneth securely, the Gospell being by this meanes extinguished, and all the righteousnesse thereof with the kingdome of God, Nec­sic tamen Antichristum adesse vllus credit: and yet not thus neither doth any man belecue that Antichrist is come: And for the same cause the greatest patrons of these contracts do confesse,Molin [...]us. that they haue succeeded in roome of the old vsurie, from which they differ little in substance. For what difference is it whether I assure a man ten pounds a yeare out of cer­taine lands, vntill I repay vnto him an hundred pounds, or enter into a bond of two hundred pounds for the pay­ment of an hundred and ten, this bond beeing renewed yearely vntill the principall be payd? yet this difference there is, that as in some respects the new vsurie is better than the old; so in other respects, worse. Better, because [Page 180] the creditor cannot force the debtor to the payment of the principall at once: Worse, first, because the debtor is fo [...]ced to greater securitie. Secondly, because whereas the old vsurie by, the ciuile law, was to cease and to deter­mine so soone as it had matched the principall; and what­soeuer was payd more, was to be abated from the debt, [...] [...]at he which payeth yearely ten pounds for an hun­dred, should by the ciuile law, bee wholly [...] charged o [...] the debt in the end of twentie yeares. But in the [...] there is no regard had of equalling the princi [...] in so much that the increase may by manie degree [...] ex­ [...]ed the stocke it selfe.

In this argument therefore we are to hold the mean [...], neither condemning all buying of rents (though it be with condition of selling backe againe the same) nor yet allowing all.

We are not to condemne the buying of rents at an equall rate and indifferent price, as lands and rents in the common estimation of men are valued: As namely, after the rate of twentie yeares purchase, which is the rate ob­serued in this contract of redemption, by the imperiall law of Germ [...]nie. For the preception of this rent is not vsurious: First, because this is not a contract of loane, but of buying and selling: Secondly, because the rent which he receiueth is the fruit of that which is his owne, raised out of such lands as are at his perill: wheras in vsu­rie, the creditor receiueth profit of that which now is not his, the propertie being transferred vnto the borrower, and with the propertie the hazard. Neither doth the couenant of selling backe or releasing the rent to the sel­ler when he shall redeeme it, disproue the propertie or dominion which the buyer hath therein, but onely cir­cumscribe and restraine it: As when I giue a man a com­moditie, with this condition, he shall not allienat it to any other; I giue him the propertie and dominion of the thing, though restrained.

[Page 181] Neither are we to allow those bargaines wherein a greater rent is bought, than the money is worth: for such contracts, if they be absolutely made for the perpetuall alienation of the rent to the buyer, and of the money to the seller, though they be not vsurious, yet are they vn­equall and vnjust. But if they bee conditionally made with this couenent, that the seller by the payment of the principall, may redeeme and so extinguish the rent, then are they vsurious, because a perpetuall alienation either of the rent by the seller, or of the principall by the buy­er, is not intended, but a great rent by way of morgage, according to the contract of Antichresis, made ouer vn­to the buyer, both for his assurance in receiuing of his principall in the end, and for his vsurie allowed for his loane in the meane time. And forasmuch as such con­tracts are vsually practised in the Church of Rome, and not onely permitted but allowed and authorised as just and lawfull by the Pope of Rome, this euidently pro­ueth that the Romish Church is deeper in this sinne of vsurie, than the reformed Churches, whom notwithstan­ding the Papists condemne for this sinne: For albeit the sinne is practised among vs, as much perhaps as among them, yet do not our lawes allow vsurie as good, but per­mit it onely, as euill, and permit it with limitation and restraint, as shall be shewed.

But will you heare a mysterie practised in buying? A man hauing vrgent occasion to vse present money, commeth to an vsurer to borrow fortie pounds for three moneths: the vsurer pretendeth that about that time he shall haue occasion to lay out his mony for wheat, and therefore couenanteth with him that at the end of three moneths he shall for his fortie pounds deliuer vnto him fiftie quarters of good wheat, or for want thereof fiue and fortie pounds: which he saith not, either that he nee­deth corne, or that the borrower hath corne to sell; but that vnder this pretence of buying corne, he would exact [Page 182] an vnreasonable gaine, viz. of fiue in the fortie lent for three moneths, which is after fiftie in the hundred by the yeare.

Thirdly,Vsurie in let­ting. vsurie is practised vnder the colour of let­ting, so oft as men would seeme to let things which are not letable, when as indeed they lend for gaine things to be spent in the vse, as money, victuals, and such other things as consist in quantitie, that is, in number, weight, and measure: For such things neither haue in themselues a fruitfull vse which may be let, neither are they to be re­ferred in the same particular impaired by the vse, neither doth the propertie or hazard thereof as in things let, ap­pertaine to the letter.

But behold some other mysteries. A farmer wanting money to store himselfe with cattell, commeth to an vsu­rer to borrow twentie pounds, and being loth in his need to receiue a repulse, offereth vsurie. It is not my maner, saith he, to put out my mony to vsurie, but here is twentie pounds for thee with which thou maist buy thee eight kine: these eight kine I will let thee for so many ryals yearely, prouided alwayes that thou shalt from time to time make good this number of kine, allowing me the hire for the full number, that is to say foure pounds vsury for twentie pounds, which is after twenty in the hundred. To another, comming to borrow the like summe, he deli­uereth 20 pounds, pretending that the borrower shall buy therewith an hundred sheepe: this hundred sheepe, saith he, I will let thee yearly for so manie shillings, so as thou wilt vndertake to make alwayes my stocke good: which he saith not, that the borrower should bestow his mony in sheepe, but that vnder pretence of letting, he might ex­act fiue in twentie, which is after fiue and twentie in the hundred: otherwise if indeed he did let cattell or sheepe for an indifferent rate, and stood to the hazard of them, the conaract were lawfull. But in those vnreasonable co­uenants, the cattell which to the hirer are mortall and [Page 183] subject to many casualties, are intended to bee immortall and free from all hazard to the letter.

And for as much as the contract of Facio vt des as the Lawyers speake, whereby a man letteth out his labour for reward, may fitly be reduced to the contract of Loca­tion, therefore to this head such mysteries are to be refer­red as are practised vnder pretence of that contract. As for example, a poore man commeth to his neighbour to borrow 20 shillings, he hauing some small skill in Scri­ueners craft, pretending that he wil lend his mony freely, so he may euer haue it againe vpon small warning, is con­tent to lend his mony for a moneth, promising when that moneth is expired he will lend it him for another moneth if he can forbeare it, and so from moneth to moneth; only in regard of his paines he is to haue at the renewing of his bond euerie moneth twelue pence, which (besides one shilling allowed him for a couple of bils or bonds) amounteth to twelue shillings in the yeare, which is after threescore in the hundred.

Fourthly,Vsury in part­nership. vsurie is committed vnder the colour of partnership, so oft as the creditor couenanteth to partake in the gaine, not minding to beare part in the losse: For the mony which is to be imployed he will haue acknow­ledged to be his in respect of the gaine, but the borrowers in respect of the losse.

Fiftly,Vsurie in ex­change. vsurie is practised vnder exchange. Now ex­change is either of ware for ware, or of money for mony. The former is called barterie; wherein vsurie is commit­ted, when the first deliuerer of his commoditie requireth more of the other than his commoditie is worth, in re­spect of the time which he graunteth to the other for the deliuerie of his ware.

Exchange of money, is either for money presently de­liuered, or by bils of exchaunge assured. In the former which is practised by money-exchaungers (whom the Scriptures cail [...] and [...]) there is no loane,Iohn. 2. 14. 15. [Page 184] and therefore no vsurie, though they vse not to exchange without gaine: For seeing it is their trade wherein they spend their time, labour and cost, to accommodate men in that behalfe, a competent gaine is to be allowed vn­to them.

Exchange of money for money to be receiued vpon bils, is either without gaine, as when English money is ex­changed for the just quantitie there, in other money, ac­cording to the publicke and knowne valuation thereof: or else it is for gaine; and that is either the bankers ex­change, or the merchants exchange. The bankers are they which are more properly called [...] Trapezites,Mat. 25. 27. whose dealing in exchange by bils is twofold: For som­times they giue bils, and sometimes they take: they giue thus; A man being to trauell to Venice, deliuereth to a banker an hundred pounds, which he desireth to receiue at Venice: The banker, because hee is at charge with keeping seruants there, as also for that he taketh vpon him the safe deliuerie of the money, freeing the traueller from the trouble and hazard of the cariage, thinketh himself worthy perhaps of 4 or 5 pounds for assuring him an hundred at Venice; and accordingly for his hundred pounds receiued here, giueth him a bill, vpon the deli­uerie whereof at Venice, he shall be sure to receiue ninety six pounds. In this contract there may be vnjustice, if the banker require too much gaine, but there cannot be vsurie on his part, whiles he lendeth not: nor on the tra­uellers part, whiles his principall is not increased but di­minished. Againe sometimes they take bils: as thus, An English man being arriued at Venice, and hauing occa­sion to vse mony there, taketh of a banker an hundred pounds, in Venice coine, giuing him a bill for the pay­ment perhaps of an hundred and foure pounds of Eng­lish money, in London: this ouerplus if it were required in respect of the time of forbearing, it were vsurie; but be­ing required in this regard, because the banker vseth a [Page 185] chargeable trade to free men from the trouble, charge, and hazard of conueying their money to Venice, and is content to receiue it at their home, taking the whole la­bour, charge and hazard vpon himselfe, it is as lawfull as the former. For this allowance is not made in respect of the loane and time of forbearing, but in respect of the place of payment, in which respect the banker taketh a trouble, charge, and hazard vpon himselfe to free the tra­ueller therefrom.

The merchants exchaunge of money by bils, is that which is not made according to the publicke and known valuation of coynes in diuerse countries, but according to such prices thereof as merchants do set among them­selues, respecting the length of time betwixt the loane and payment, and increasing the price of the money lent, according as the time is longer. And first, there is consi­deration had of the place whereunto the bill of exchange is directed: for according to the distance, is the price proportionated, and commonly where the money is lent, it is of a higher price, than where it is payd. But suppose the money be lent vpon a bill of exchange, to be exhibi­ted at Midleborough: In the next place consideration is had of the time, and the partie which taketh vp the mo­ney is demaunded whether he will haue it at sight, or at vsaunce, or at double vsaunce, &c. At sight, that is, whe­ther he will giue his bill for the present payment of the money at the sight and presentation of the bill to his factor or friend that dealeth for him at Midelborough: At vsaunce, that is, whether he will haue it for a moneth longer, or at double vsaunce, that is, for two moneths. When the partie hath signified for how long he would haue the money, enquirie is made how the exchaunge goes that day from London to Middleborough, which euerie broker in the exchange can tell. To day perhaps twentie shillings sterling at sight is valued at foure and thirtie shillings and foure pence of the Zelanders coine, [Page 186] and it may be to morrow at foure and thirtie shillings and six pence, and so vp and downe as the price of corne riseth and falleth in the market. And euen as there be hucsters and ingrossers of corne, by whose meanes the price of corne many times is much enhaunsed; so are there some who maketh a trade of exchaunging, and combining themselues together, do find meanes to en­gro [...]e the money as it were into their hands, especially against such times as they know there will be greatest vse of money, that then they may put it forth at what prices themselues list. Well, suppose the partie would haue the money at sight, being to allow for euerie twentie pounds sterling as the exchange goeth, perhaps foure and thirtie and six pence of that coine, which is currant at Middle­borough: where in exchange the English money is not so high rated, commonly by two pence or three pence in the pound, as in the exchange at London: and so con­trariwise the Zelanders coyne higher rated in their ex­change commonly by two pence or three pence here in the exchange at London; so that the lender common­ly gaineth either way so much in euerie pound for the loane of his money a few dayes, (as those too well know to their great losse, which take vp mony both by ex­change and rechange.) But if the partie will haue the mo­ney at vsaunce, then euerie pound sterling is higher rated by foure pence: if at double vsaunce, then the price is rai­sed eight pence: so that when twentie shillings sterling in the Zelanders money is valued at foure and thirtie shillings and foure pence at sight; at vsaunce it is foure and thirtie shillings and eight pence; at double vsaunce fiue and thirtie shillings, which is a gaine of fiue markes (of their coyne) in the hundred pounds sterling for two moneths: and of twentie pounds of their money in an hundred pounds sterling by the yeare.

In this exchange there are these faults: Money which was ordained to be the price of all wares, and the measure [Page 187] of all bargaines, is not onely made a ware, contrarie to the nature thereof (nam quod medium est venditionis non potest esse terminus;) but also the price thereof, which ought to be certaine and certainely knowne, and by publicke and so­ueraigne authoritie established and setled in euery com­monwealth (for that is the rule and measure, whereby all things are prized, [...],Eth. 5. 5. as the Philosopher sayth) the price I say thereof, whereby all things are prized, is made vncertaine, for the gaine of some other men, to the endammaging of the commonwealth.

2. Those which make a trade of dealing by ex­change, doe either find meanes themselues to raise the price of money, or else doe lie in the wind, till the prizes being raised, they may lend it forth for greater gaine.

3. In exchange at sight, vsurie is committed by them which seeke gaine thereby, though somwhat mystically, the lender being sure almost at all times to be a gainer by his loane. Notwithstanding, I doe not absolutely con­demne those marchants, who dealing by exchange at sight, do not thereby seeke gaine, but mutually serue one anothers turne, following the prices as they go in the ex­change, being as well content as occasion serueth, to bor­row after this manner, as sometimes they are entreated to lend, sometimes also, though very seldome, they prouing no gainers by this loane. Howbeit, their dealing were more commendable, if in their exchange they could and would follow the common and known prices of coynes, appointed by publicke and soueraigne authoritie: For it may seeme strange, that priuat men should take vpon them to alter the value of princes coynes.

4. But as for vsance and double vsance, there is no question to be made but vsurie, yea great vsurie is there­in plainely committed, at the rate of twelue in the hun­dred at the least.

Now the marchants exchange is either reall or coun­terfeit: the reall is, when bils of exchange, whereupon [Page 188] money hath beene deliuered, are in deed and in truth transported to the place appointed beyond seas, to the end, that thereby so much money may be receiued there to the lenders behalfe, as by the manner of dealing in ex­change before specified, is due.

The counterfeit exchange is, when in imitation of the reall exchange, mony is deliuered vpon bils of exchange, with mention also of the places of exchange, not to the intent that the bils should be transported for the satisfy­ing of the creditour beyond seas, but that the lender kee­ping the bils at home with him, may haue the like allow­ance which marchants haue for the same time, dealing by exchange and rechange, betwixt the places named: the reason of which practise is, because the gaine which is reaped by exchange, is greater than any other which is tollerated by the magistrat: insomuch, that they which put forth their money in this counterfeit exchange, are supposed to gaine after sixteene or twentie in the hun­dred. And therefore this kind of exchange may most worthily be called Cambium siccum, that is, drie exchange; because it is void of charitie,Sum. A [...]gel. voce vsura. § 54 being indeed a griping vsu­rie, practised vnder the colour of merchandizing ex­change: howbeit the former also by the doctrine of the schoolemen is to be called dry exchange.

6. Lastly, vsurie is practised vnder pretence of the ad­uenturers vsurie, when a man couenanteth for gaine in lending, vnder pretence of hazard, when indeed the principall is not hazarded: as when a man lendeth an hundred pounds, with this condition, if himselfe and two or three other, which he shall name, or any of them, shall be aliue at the tweluemonths end, that the debrour shall pay him a hundred and ten pounds, otherwise he shal pay but fourescore and ten pounds. For if hee should name but one, it were seuen to one, that he should be liuing at the yeares end, but numbring three, it is more than twen­tie to one, that some one of the three shall suruiue: this [Page 189] therefore is but a cloake of vsurie.

And thus we haue heard of vsurie, practised in such contracts as hauing the names of other contracts, doe not therefore seeme (though indeed they be) contracts of len­ding. Now we are briefely to speak of vsurie cōmitted, whē there seemeth to be no contract of lending for gain.

As first, vsurie is sometimes practised vnder a colour of free lending; as when a man lending an hundred pounds in light or crackt angels, and other money not currant, couenanteth with the borrower, that he shall re­pay him in good and currant money. Such was the vsu­rie practised of old by the Iewes in the time of Ezechiel, a little before the captiuitie:The shekel of the Sanctuarie 320 gerahs. Exod. 30. 13. For as some write, they ha­uing ordained a new shekel, exceeding the old two and thirtie graines, so that whereas the ciuile or Mosaicall shekel (which was but halfe of the holy shekel) weighed an hundred and threescore graines,W. H. de asse▪ ex Munstero & D. Kimhi in Exod. 30. the new weighed an hundred ninetie and two; they would lend after the old shekel, but they would be payed according to the new.

Secondly, vsurie is practised in lending vpon pawnes. For although by taking a pawne which the debtour may spare, the lender may lawfully prouide for his securitie & indemnitie: yet when gaine is sought thereby, it is a cloake of vsurie. As first, when he lendeth vpon a pawne which is much better than his money, in hope to get the pawne, it is a spice of vsurie. Againe, when the creditour couenanteth to haue and enjoy the fruitfull vse of the pawne in lieu of his loane, abating nothing of the prin­cipall; [...]. this contract of the lawyers is called Antichrests, wherein at the first sight appeareth some shew of equali­tie and justice, That as the debtour vseth the creditours money, so the creditour should vse and enjoy the deb­tours house and lands: But indeed this contract is vnjust and vsurious: vsurious, because it is nothing else but len­ding for gaine. For when the debtor yeeldeth to the cre­ditour the vse of his house and land for the vse of his mo­ney [Page 190] it is all one, as if he allowed him the rent of the house and land for vsurie. Vnjust also and vnequall; first, be­cause the house and land, which is let for ten pounds a yeare, and pawned for an hundred pounds, is worth two hundred or perhaps three hundred pounds: and there­fore it is vnequall, that for the vse of an hundred pounds, which is spent in the vse, and is not lettable, the borrower should yeeld the fruitfull vse of his house and ground, which being worth two or three hundred pounds, may be let for ten or twelue pounds a yeare. Besides, the cre­ditour, though he hath the profit of the house and land, yet hath he not the propertie, neither doth he beare the hazard thereof: and therefore reapeth the fruit of that which is not his owne, and whereof he beareth not the hazard. But to the borrower belongeth both the proper­tie and the hazard of the money borrowed. Wherefore the Scripture condemneth the vsing of things layd to pawne, as lying in cloathes pawned, Amos 2. 8, I meane such an vse, as whereby the thing pawned is diminished or impaired. But among vs there are vsurers which com­mit double vsurie, not onely couenanting for vsurie in money, but also impairing the thing pawned (as plate or garments) by the vse thereof.

Thirdly, vnder lending vpon bonds. For although it be lawfull for a man to take bonds for his indemnitie, and thereby by way of interest to saue himselfe harmelesse; yet if thereby he seeke for gaine, he committeth vsurie. As for example, one comes to borrow of thee twentie pounds for a tweluemonth: thou sayest, thou canst not forbeare thy money so long, therfore thou wilt lend him so much freely vpon his bond for a month, hoping, that he which came to borrow for a twelue-month, will not be in case to pay within a month. The month therefore be­ing expired, and payment not made, thou exactest more of him, than by a contract of vsurie thou couldest haue couenanted for. But whether in taking bonds thou play­est [Page 191] the vsurer, or not, thou mayest discerne by this note: for it thou desirest in thine heart, that he may keep touch with thee, and not incurre the forfeiture of his bond, it is a signe, that thou prouidest onely for thine indemnitie: but if thou wishest that he should rather breake his day, than keepe touch with thee, it is a signe, that thou lendest for gaine, and takest a bond, not that he should pay the sooner, but the more. But if thy disposition be such, that thou wouldest not lend to a landed man, if thou diddest thinke that he would keepe touch, then doest thou lend not to helpe thy neighbour, but to vndoe him: and whiles thou layest a net for thy brother, thy selfe fallest into the snare of the diuell.

4. Lastly, vsurie is practised vnder the colour of in­terest, so oft almost as men agree for interest aforehand. For although some haue distinguished interest, that there is a casuall interest,Molinaeus. Interesse casuale momentaneum. Promisiuum & successiuum. Interesse vsura­rium. which they confesse is not to be re­garded but after delay: & a promiscuous or successiue in­terest, which as they say may be couenanted for proratione temporis, according to the proportion of the time, which they call intervsurium; and confesse it to be called in the law vsurious interest;Fr. Hotoman. yet those of soundest judgement doe hold, that interest is not to be allowed, nisi post moram, but after delay: for graunt intervsurium, or successiue inte­rest (as they call it) to be lawfull, then can you not but al­low of all vsurie. For first, interest is to be measured, not ex parte debitoris, but ex parte creditoris. And therefore no re­spect is had therein, whether the debtour do gaine there­by, but onely whether the forbearing of the money be an hinderance to the creditour, or not. And secondly, if it be lawfull for a man to agree, according to the proportion of the time, for so much gaine as the lawes permit; euery lender may pretend, that by the forbearing of his mo­ney he shall be so much at the least damnified, & therefore may couenant for so much at the least by way of interest.

Notwithstanding, I will not denie, but in some case a [Page 192] man lawfully require and take interest, though the bor­rower haue not made delay: as namely, when by the bor­rowers authoritie, or otherwise, the creditor (who cannot without his losse, or certaine hinderance of some just and lawfull gaine, forbeare his money) is as it were forced to lend to a man, whose estate or abilitie is such, that he may better vndertake to saue the lender harmelesse, than the lender may want his money: prouided alwayes, that it be true interest, in respect either of certaine losse to be in­curred by want of the money, or of certaine hinderance of just and lawfull gaine to be sustained. For in this case, the borrower being the effectuall cause of the lenders hinderance or losse, and being better able to beare that imposition of interest, than the lender is to forbeare his money, I doubt not, but the lender may by requiring in­terest, prouide for his owne indemnitie.

We haue heard two distinctions of vsurie: the third and last remaineth, viz. That vsurie is either simple, or com­pound: the simple, wheu vsurie of the principall onely is exacted: compound, when vsurie not onely of the prin­cipall is required, but of vsurie also, and is therefore cal­led vsurie of vsurie, [...], Aristoph. Nub. 5. As for exam­ple, when a man hauing lent an hundred pounds for a tweluemonth, after ten in the hundred, is content for a se­cond yeare to forbeare both the principall and vsurie: there is due to him the first yeare by simple vsurie, a hun­dred and ten pounds: but the second yeare by vsurie of vsurie,Accessio acces­sionis iure ciuili non conceditur. a hundred and one and twentie pounds. And for as much as vsurie of vsurie was euer condemned, it hath beene an auncient practise of vsurers, to joyne the former yeares vsurie vnto the principall, and so anew to coue­nant for the vsurie of the whole summe. Which contract of the Grecians is called [...], and of Tully, renouati [...] fanoris, renewing of vsurie.

We haue shewed what vsurie is, and how many wayes▪ it is committe [...] [...]ow we are to consider the qualitie of it, [Page 193] viz. whether it be lawfull, or not: for this, the couetous­nesse of these times hath made a controuersie, which in former ages was neuer doubted of. But not to hold you long in suspence, I will in this short assertion determine, what we are to hold concerning this question: Which assertion I will afterwards not only proue by testimonies of Scriptures, and by other arguments, but also defend and maintaine against the objections of those who hold the contrarie opinion. My assertion therfore is this, That all vsurie (which I haue defined to be mutuation, or len­ding for gaine) whether it be mentall or actuall, whether manifest or couert, whether simple or compound, is sim­ply and in it owne nature vtterly vnlawfull: howsoeuer some vsurie is worse than other, according either to the estate of the borrower, or the quantitie of the vsurie.

I will begin with the law of God, which in three pla­ces forbiddeth vsurie, viz. Exod. 22. 25. Leuit. 25. 35, 36. Deut. 23. 19: against which places the patrones of vsurie bring many exceptions, which by the grace of God shall be re­futed. But I will chiefely insist on that place of Deute­ronomie,Deut. 23. 19. Thou shalt not lend vpon vsurie to thy brother, the vsurie of money, the vsurie of meat, the vsurie of any thing that may be lent vpon vsurie. That is, thou shalt not lend for gaine to thy brother, neither money, nor meat, nor any thing els which consisteth in quantitie, as in number, weight, and mea­sure, and is spent in the vse, and wherein vsurie is vsually committed.

Against these allegations there are diuerse exceptions taken; as first concerning the words wherby vsurie is sig­nified in the Scripture: For in that place of Deuterono­mie, and in this Psalme, not all vsurie (say they) is forbid­den, but Neshek, that is, morsurie, or biting vsurie, which bi­teth and damnifieth the neighbour. For there is (say they) a certaine toothlesse or not biting vsurie, which doth not hurt but helpe the neighbour. But I haue shewed before that Neshek is the common and ordinarie name whereby [Page 194] all vsurie is signified in the Hebrew tongue. And there­fore this word doth not distinguish one kind of vsurie from another, but in generall signifieth, that all vsurie is biting. And in like sort, he which lendeth for gaine, is called Masshik, and he which taketh vp vpon vsurie, though for his gaine, is called Nashuk, the money which is lent for gaine is called Noshek, that is, which biteth (as appeareth euidently by this text) because when it is re­paid, it biteth and as it were gnaweth away some part of the borrowers substance for an ouerplus or gaine to the creditour, which is called Neshek, as it were the bit. So that all vsurie in it owne nature is biting, because it biteth or shreddeth away some of the borrowers substance. And although perhaps the borrower by reason of his wealth feeleth not this biting, or else licketh himselfe whole by biting of others; yet vsurie is a gaine which is bitten and shred away from the borower, and that either to his losse, or (as hereafter shall be shewed) to the hinderance of the commonwealth, whose common profit in all contracts is especially to be regarded.

Secondly, I haue shewed before, that Neshek is all one with the other words Tarbith and Marbith, whereby any gaine or cleare increase aboue the principall required for loane, is signified: and therefore the least gaine required for loane, is Neshek, and condemned for vsurie in the scrip­ture: as Leuit. 25. 36, Thou shalt not take of him vsurie or increase: which the old Latine translation readeth thus, Thou shalt not take vsurie of him, nor more than thou gauest. And vers. 37, Thou shalt not lend him thy money vpon vsurie, nor thy victuals for increase, that is, as Ambrose readeth, in amplius reci­piendum, to receiue more. Vpon which words he sayth, Has sententia dei omne sortis excludit augmentum, Lib. de Tobia. cap. 15. This sentence of God excludeth all increase aboue the principall. Whereunto you may adde, Pro. 28. 8. Ezech. 18. 8. 13. 17. and 22. 12: in all which places these words are not onely vsed promiscuously to signifie the selfesame thing, but the latter words Tarbith [Page 195] and Marbith are euer added as the exposition of Neshek. And therefore those words which the holy ghost con­foundeth, let not vs distinguish; and much lesse vpon this friuolous distinction let vs build our practise, or hazard the eternall saluation of our soules. For you know who hath said,Eze. 18. 13. He that putteth forth to vsurie, or taketh in­crease, shall he liue? he shall not liue, he shal die the death, and his bloud shall be vpon him.

But against this truth concerning one and the same signification of Neshek and Tarbith, they raise againe di­uerse other exceptions, in which they shift from one to a­nother, because they haue no sure ground to stand vpon. First they say we must distinguish betwixt Neshek and Tarbith: for Neshek is restrained to money, and Tarbith to corne and victu­als, Leu. 25, and therefore they are deceiued, who thinke that Tar­bith of money is forbidden.

As if they should haue said, Tarbith, that is, the increase of corn and victuals, is indeed vnlawfull, but the vsurie or Tarbith of mony is not vnlawfull, vnlesse it be Neshek. And yet themselues allow as great increase for corne as for money. But I answere first, that Neshek is the vsurie not of money onely, but of corne and victuals, and euery thing else which is put to vsurie; as appeareth plainely Deut. 23. 19, where also euery thing which is put to vsurie, is called Noshek. For so he sayth, Thou shalt not take the Neshek of money, the Neshek of victuals, or the Neshek of any thing else Asher jisshak, which is put to vsurie. Secondly, that there is the like reason for mony and other things, which consisting in quantitie, are spent in the vse: and therefore it had beene all one, if the Lord had said, Thou shalt not lend thy money, be Marbith, for increase; nor thy victuals, be Neshek, for vsurie. Thirdly, the Prophets vse these words indifferently for the same thing, as Ezech. 18. & 22. Prou. 28. 8, Yea, but (say they) the Prophets, who are the interpre­tours of the law, must be expounded according to the law. Nay ra­ther if they be interpretours of the law, the law is to be in­terpreted [Page 196] by them. But they vse to vnderstand the word Tarbith as an exposition of Neshek signifying more plaine­ly that same thing which is meant by Neshek; and there­fore these words in the Law are so to be vnderstood.

2. Their second exception is, that Tarbith doth sig­nifie not euericincrease, or accession, but multiplication; and there­fore by that name, Vsurie, vnlesse it be an expressiue or multiplied in­crease, is not forbidden: But how doth this answer agree with the former, wherein it was said that Tarbith of money was not condemned, but of corne and victuals? or may we thinke that an expresse and multiplied increase of money is to be allowed? And therefore this is but a meere shift, as well as the former: For not onely all antiquitie haue vnderstood by this word, any gaine, ouerplus or in­crease whatsoeuer aboue the principall, but the most lear­ned also of those new writers, who write but too fauou­rably of vsurie, acknowledge that hereby all increase or accession aboue the principall is condemned, as before hath bene shewed. Yea, but Rabah from whence Tarbith is deriued, signifieth to multiplie, as Deut. 17. 16, where the king is charged not to multiplie horses: for he is not forbidden to haue ma­ny horses; but to exceed in gathering a multitude of them. But say I, in the next verse he is by the same word forbidden to multiplie wiues, not that an excessiue multitude only, but all pluralitie of wiues is forbidden.Leuit. 18. 18. And as Tarbith in the Scriptures;Mal. 2. so [...] in Hebrew writers, is deriued from the same roote, whereby notwithstanding the least and easiest vsuries are signified. And as I deny not but that Rabah signifieth to multiplie, so I affirme that some­times it signifieth to grow or increase, and sometimes in­cluding a comparison, to be more or greater, as 1. Re. 4. 30. Gen. 43. 34. and Hiphil to augment or to make greater or more, as Psal. 71. 21. and in the same chapter of Leuit. verse. 16. 1. Chron. 4. 10. Exod 30. 15.

So that Tarbith and Marbith doth signifie any in­crease whatsoeuer,Leuit. 25. 16. when more is required than was lent. [Page 197] And if any shall further vrge the force of the word mul­tiplying, I answere, that in vsurie there is multiplying, and such a multiplying, as mony being put forth from six moneths to six moneths vnto vsurie of ten in the hun­dred, and the vsurie also put forth to increase (whe­ther to the same man or to others, that maketh no diffe­rence, in the nature of the thing) doth almost double the principall in seuen yeares, and euerie seuen yeares doub­leth the former summe, so that 1000 pounds being thus put forth for seuen times seuen yeares, which is no long time, multiplieth it selfe to 128000 almost, and in seuen yeares more to 256000, &c.

3. Others haue found out this euasion,H. Z. That Tarbith signifieth vsurie of vsurie. Which interpretation if we shall follow, we must confesse that the Lord condemneth no vsurie of corne and victuals,Leuit. 25. 36. vnlesse it be vsurie of vsurie, which is absurd. This therfore is a certaine truth, that Neshek, Tarbith, and Marbith, are words of the same signification, whereby all gainefull vsurie whatsoeuer, is condemned in the Scriptures.

4. Others, who would faine prooue the lawfulnesse of vsurie out of the Scriptures, haue found out (as they thinke) another word of a middle and indifferent signi­fication. And therefore howsoeuer they confesse that all Neshek, Tarbith and Marbith are forbidden, for they signifie biting and excessiue vsurie: yet Masshah, where­by moderate vsurie is signified, is not onely allowed and commended, but sometimes also commaunded towards the rich.

Whereunto I answer, that Masshah properly signifieth an exaction, and in those places which concerne lending and borrowing, it signifieth in respect of the creditour mutuum, in respect of the debtour debitum, but such a debt as the creditor lendeth vpon securitie, and therfore mea­neth to exact againe from the debtor, as Deut. 15. 2. and 24. 10. Prou. 22. 26. And that in the Scriptures it is not [Page 198] vsed in the signification of vsurie. For whereas they ob­ject Nehem. 5. 7. 10, I aunswere, that the word there is not Massbah, but Massa, proceeding from another root, and signifying a burden, as Tremelius also, and Iunius translate it. Or if it did signifie vsurie (as indeed by that burden is meant vsurie) yet is it there condemned.

Yea but Nasshah the verbe, whence Massbah is deriued, signifieth to lend vpon vsurie.

Nasshah signifieth properly to exact, and is vsed in the signification of lending with purpose to exact that which is lent, whether it be freely lent or for gaine; as when men lend vpon bonds, sureties, or pawnes (in which sence the words [...] and faenerare, are often vsed in auncient di­uines.) And when it is vsed in the signification of free lending, it doth not signifie that charitable lending, whereunto our Sauiour exhorteth, Lu. 6. 35, but that ciuile lending vpon sufficient securitie, which although it be lawfull towards the rich, and them that be of abilitie, yet is it not allowable towards the poore, to whom we ought to lend looking for nothing againe. Wherefore the Lord faith Exod. 22, when thou lendest to the poore thou shalt not be Kenosheh, like an exactor vnto him, neither in impo­sing vsurie vpon him, verse 25. nor yet in taking a pawne of him,Deut 24. 12. verse 26. Ezek. 18. 7. 12. 16. But in the signification of lending for gaine or vsurie, it is neuer allowed in the Scriptures, or vsed in the better part. And if any man can alledge any one pregnant testimonie of Scripture, where Masshah signifying vsurie, or Nassbah signifying to lend vpon vsurie, is either commended as good, or al­lowed as lawfull (which I am sure no man is able to do) I will yeeld in the whole controuersie. And yet this is the chiefe ground of a tedious and disorderly discourse written,The Treatise beginne [...]h thus, The question of vsurie, & [...] but not printed in English, in defence of vsurie: wherein though there is great shew made of learning, yet do I not find manie things worth the aunswering. Those reasons which haue anie shew of reason shall by [Page 199] the grace of God in due place receiue their answer. For as touching this point, whereas the Author of that Trea­tise alledgeth for the warranting of vsurie, and lending vpon vsurie, as commended vnder the name of Masshah and Nassbah, Deut. 24. 10. and 15. 2. 2. King. 4. 7. Prou. 22. 26, 27. Esay. 24. 2. Ier. 15. 10. any indifferent man that is of judgement will easily acknowledge, that there is scarcely any shew of reason in these allegations, as the bare re­petition of the places will sufficiently shew. Deut. 24. 10, When thou lendest thy brother any loane (namely which thou purposest to exact againe; for so much, as I said, is implied in the word) and therfore the English Geneua translation readeth, When thou shalt aske againe of thy neighbour any thing lent, thou shall not go into his house to take his pawne: Tremelius and Pagnin read thus, Cum mutuaueri [...] proximo tuo vllius reimutuum, &c.

The meaning of Deut. 15. 2. is this, euerie creditor shall forbeare to exact his debt of his brother in the seuenth yeare, which is the yeare of remission or freedome: in 2. King. 4. 7. Elisha biddeth the widdow hauing sold her oyle, to pay her creditor: Prou. 22. 26, 27, Be not of them which are sureties for debts; if thou hastnothing to pay, why should he (namely thy creditor) take thy bed from vnder thee? In all which places the word is not vsed in the signification of vsurie. And the like may bee said of the other two places, Esay. 24. 2. Cannosheh Caasher noshe [...]o, It shall be to the exactor, as to him of whom he exacteth: and so Ierome readeth, Sicut qui repetit, sic qui debet, and the Septuaginta, [...], and Ier. 15. 10, I haue nei­ther lent to them, neither haue they lent to me: and so Tre­melius and Iunius read, Non dedi mutuum, neque mutuo dederunt mihi: or if any shall imagine that the signification of vsu­rie is in these two places expressed, (which indeed cannot be proued, though some translations read so) yet is vsury neither commended nor yet condemned therein. But I shall haue occasion to speake of them both, when I shall [Page 200] intreat of borrowing vpon vsurie.

Now I proceed to a second exception, which they make against the allegation of Exod. 22, out of the place it selfe: For say they, there is the like reason of taking vsurie, and of taking and keeping a pawne, vers. 25, 26, 27. but a pawne may be taken of the rich, and being taken may be kept, therefore in like sort vsurie may be taken of the rich.

But I answer, that there is not the like reason of taking vsurie and pawnes: the creditor in taking a pawne, onely prouideth for his indemnitie, that he be no looser; but in taking vsurie he requireth gaine: and yet to take a pawn of a poore man, or such a pawne as thy neighbor, though not so poore,Deut. 24. 6. 10, 11, 12, 13. cannot spare; it is a cruell and vncharitable part,Exod. 22. 22. forbidden in the law of God. The sence therefore of that place is thus much, That they should not afflict or oppresse the poore; but contrariwise relieue thē by loane, and in lending, that they should not onely abstaine from seeking gaine by vsurie, but also that they should not prouide for their indemnitie by taking pawnes. And therefore by this place we are commanded, if our abilitie may afford so much, to lend to our needie brother, with­out hope not onely of gaine, but also of recouerie of the principall, he being not able to repay. In this place ther­fore there are two degrees: The first, that we oppresse not the poore, but relieue them with free loane. Se­condly, that in loane wee should bee so farre from see­king gaine by vsurie, that we should not take a pawne of them for our indemnitie.

Their third exception is against the allegation out of Leuit. 25. 37, from whence they reason thus, The vsurie of corne is as much forbidden as of money, but not all vsurie of corne is forbidden, but onely that which is great and excessiue: and therefore not all vsurie of money is forbidden, but that which is great and ex­cessiue. The assumption they proue first by the confession of those who haue been the greatest scourgers of vsurie, who confesse some vsurie of corne to be lawfull. For an­swer [Page 201] whereof, we are to know that vsurie is not alwayes commited in corne and such like commodities, whose prices do rise and fall, so oft as more corne or other ware is required than was lent, vnlesse more in worth and value be required: For commonly foure bushels of wheat in Iune, are worth fiue or six in October; and therefore if a man should lend corne in Iune to receiue the equall worth thereof by all likelihood in October, though in a greater quantitie, it were no vsurie, because it is no len­ding for gaine. Otherwise it is the receiued opinion of the learned, that vsurie is committed in all those things which are spent in the vse,Deut. 23. 19. as money, meat, corne, wine, oyle,Nehem. 5. 11. when more in worth and value is required than was lent.

Secondly, they alledge the example of Ioseph, to proue that vsurie of corne is not vnlawfull vnlesse it be exces­siue:Gen. 47. 23, 24, 25. For Ioseph was verie good to the Egyptians, and yet notwith­standing for seed-corne once giuen, be required a fift part for euer. Which example if it were thus rightly alledged, it would proue that for a quarter of corne lent in a deare yeare, it would be not onely a lawfull, but a bountifull act to re­quire a quarter at the lest to be paid yearely for euer. But indeed this example of Ioseph hath no affinity with vsurie: For when the Egyptians money and cattell were spent,Gen. 47. 18, 19. and now had nothing left them wherewith to buy food for themselues, and seed for their ground; in this extre­mitie they come to Ioseph in the seuenth which was the last yeare of the famine, and offer to sell themselues and their land to Pharao for food and seed: whereupon Ioseph being not to deale for himselfe but for the king, accepteth their offer, and buyeth both them and their land to the kings vse, and in testimonie that the right propertie and domi­nion of the land appertained to Pharao, he remooueth the people of the land from one side of Egypt to another. When as therefore the right and propertie of the lands of all the Egyptians,Verse 20. excepting the priests, appertained [Page 202] to Pharao, he graunted the same vnto the Egyptians, thus remoued as it were in fee farme, reseruing the fift part of the fruits for a rent to the kings vse. And therefore in this example there is no vsurie, vnlesse it bee vsurie for a man hauing bought lands of one man to let them out to another at an easie rent.

Their fourth exception is out of both those places, Exod. 22. 25. Leuit. 25. 35. viz. That vsurie is forbidden towards the poore, and therefore it is lawfull towards the rich: and some adde, That not all vsurie towards the poore is condemned, but that onely which biteth and oppresseth them: For there may some vsurie be imposed vpon the poore, which shall not bite them, but rather heale the bite which their pen [...]rie hath made.

To omit the common practise of vsurers, who out of their brothers want take aduantage of seeking the more gaine; I answer, that this euasion is verie friuolous: for Deut. 23. 19, there is no mention of the poore, but all vsurie is forbidden towards a brother, whether he be rich or poore; meaning by brother anie either Israelit or proselit, or as Clemens Alexandrinus speaketh,Strom. 2. [...]. And in this generall sence including both rich and poore, the learned among the Iewes haue vnderstood this law, and vnto this day it is obserued among them, as appeareth by the booke of R. Abraham, lately set foorth in Latin, called Vox Dei. And our Sauiour Christ Luke 6. 34, giuith this te­timonie to the verie sinners of his time among the Iewes, that they would lend one to another, that they might re­ceiue [...], so much as they lent. And therefore it is cer­taine that not so much as the lest vsurie was lawfull to­wards a brother, whether he were poore or rich. Indeed if the Lord in the Scriptures had put such a difference be­twixt the poore and the rich, as hee did betwixt the Israelit and the Canaanit, To the rich thou mayest lend vpon vsurie, but to the poore thou shalt not lend vpon vsurie; then vsurious contracts with the rich might with good conscience be practised. But Deut. 23. 19, 20, he ma­keth [Page 203] opposition not betwixt the poore and the rich, but betwixt an Israelit and a Canaanit: and in other places of Scripture, as Psal. 15. Prou. 28. Ezek. 18. and 22, all vsurie and increase is absolutly and generall without condition or limitation condemned. In these two places, viz. Exod. 22. and Leuit. 25. mention is made of the poore and nee­die, because the commaundement of loane is especially made for their good: and because vsurie imposed vpon them is a more grieuous sin. But may we conclude from hence (as indeed the author of the aforesaid english Trea­tise concludeth) We may not take vsurie of a poore man, therefore we may take it of the rich: Then by the same reason we may conclude, wrong is not to be done to the poore, the widdow, the fatherlesse, or stranger; there­fore wrong may be done to the rich, to the maried wife, to the children that haue their parents liuing, to those which be not strangers:Prou. 22. 22. or when Salomon saith, Rob not the poore because he is poore; we might infer, therefore thou maist rob the rich because he is rich. But the Lord oftentimes when he speaketh against the sinnes of the sixt and eighth commandements,Exod. 22. 22. 23, &c. maketh expresse men­tion of the poore and helpelesse,Zach. 7. 10. because all wrong, vio­lence, robberie and oppession exercised towards them, are most grieuous and indeed crying sinnes. And not onely in that respect doth the Lord sometimes mention the poore and needie in the prohibition of vsurie, but also because those onely which haue need, haue just occasion to borrow. And as the needie haue most occasion to borrow, so are they most subject to the oppressions and injuries of the welthie: For as we commonly say, Where the hedge is lowest, there euerie one goeth ouer.

Howbeit the signification of a needie brother is not to be restrained to them which are of base condition, but is to be extended also to those who being of good callings are come behind hand, or fallen into need, not hauing [Page 204] meanes of their owne to supplie their want: For if men haue meanes of their owne, they ought not to borrow; For the holy ghost in the borrower presupposeth need,Deut. 15. 7, 8, 9 and to the same purpose Plato prouided by law, that no man should fetch water at his neighbours well, vntill himselfe hauing first digged, [...], vnto the potters earth, vnder which there is no water, did find his owne ground to be without water. And it is tru­ly said of Plutarch, Plutarch, [...] non fae­ [...]erand [...]. [...], That the law prouideth for their helpe who want meanes of their owne. And therefore to those who haue no need to borrow, we need not lend. But if we do lend we must lend freely: or if we will looke to gaine by those which need not our helpe, we must deale with them by some honest contract of ne­gotiation. For loane is such a contract as God hath ap­pointed to be free; and where it is not free, he hath con­demned it with fearefull termes vnder the name of vsury. For as Chemnicius well faith,Loc. com. tom. 2. de pauper [...]a. cap. 2. In humane societies God would not haue all things set to sale; but hee requireth that some duties should be free, which are deformed and depraued, if either they be sold as things venall, or let to hire as mercenarie duties. And surely, sayth he, if the Scrip­tures in the contract of loane should graunt vsurie to be exercised to­wards the rich, the dutie of free lending would soone be abolished, and those who haue need to borrow should not bee able to borrow freely: for euerie man will thinke he giueth to the needie so much as he might gaine of the rich (and you may be sure that will not bee much) and therefore God should then haue prouided worse for the poore, when hee intended to haue prouided best for them: for mens necessitie manie times is such that they must needs borrow, and better vpon vsurie than not at all. And there­fore, that liberalitie and free lending should not faile, the Scripture of­tentimes doth simply and generally condemne vsurie.

And whereas they say, that not all vsurie of money to­wards the poore is forbidden, Exod. 22. 25, but that where­by [Page 205] he is oppressed, nor all increase of corne and victuals is condemned, Leu. 25. 36, vnlesse it be a multiplied and ex­cessiue increase: I answer first, that all vsurie imposed vpō the poore and needie, is an oppression of them. Whereas therefore they vrge, that Exod. 22, oppression is forbidden first generally, and after particularly in the seuerall sorts of it; and that some doe so read that place, You shall not op­presse him with vsurie, &c. themselues do prooue that which I said, that all vsurie imposed on the poore, is a kind of op­pression. And yet to say the truth, the words of the text, Exo. 22. 25, are, You shall not impose vsurie vpon him: and Leuit. 25. 36, Thou shalt not take vsurie of him. The same doth Zanchius and others confesse, that there is no vsurie imposed on the poore, but it is a biting and hurting of him.Cal. in Ezek. 18. A p [...]upere sem­per foenus exi­gere nefas eri [...]. [...]. And it is not likely, that the biting of penurie will be healed with the biting of vsurie. No man (sayth Basil) healeth one wound with another.

2. Againe, I answere, that Exod. 22. the Lord doth not onely forbid oppression of the poore, but also commaun­deth the relieuing of them by loane; and withall giueth charge, that in lending to the poore and needie, they should not onely abstaine from vsurie, but also from ta­king of pawnes. And surely, if the taking of pawns from the poore, be in their opinion an oppression of them, whē as by pawnes the creditour onely prouideth for his in­demnitie; how much more is all imposing of vsurie vpon them, an oppression of them, seeing thereby he doth not onely prouide for his indemnitie, but also requireth more than he lent, seeking gaine out of his brothers need? The like is to be said of Leuit. 25. 35, 36, When thy brother with thee shall fall into want, and his hand shall shake (that is, shall want meanes of his owne to supply his want) thou shalt sustaine him, (namely by loane, as it were by putting a staffe into his hand to stay him vp) the stranger also, and the soiourner, that [...] may liue with thee. Thou shalt take no [...] of him, nor vantage, but thou shalt feare thy God, (where by the way wee gather, [Page 206] that those who take vsurie of the needie, haue not the feare of God before their eyes) that thy brother may liue with thee. From whence also we may inferre, that he which im­poseth vsurie on the poore, taketh a course to eat them vp that they may not liue with him.

Yea but say they, the poore sometimes is relieued by vsurie. I graunt he is relieued and eased for a time by the loane, though not by the vsurie; for that, when the principall is to be repaid, gnaweth and biteth some part of the poor mans substance from him, and so increaseth his want, and by little and little eateth him vp. Money lent vpon vsu­rie to a poore man to supply his need, may not vnsitly be compared to a piece of new cloth sowed vpon an old garment: for that, although it couer the rent for a time, and seemeth to haue mended the garment; yet after a while, the new cloth fretteth the old, and bringeth away part of it, and so maketh the rent much worse. This ther­fore is but a cruell relieuing of the poore and needie. For the like might be said of a victualler, who selling a penny loafe for six pence to a man readie to die for hunger, doth relieue him in his want, and preserueth him from death, but yet his and the vsurers mercies are cruell,Pio. 12. 10. as Salomon sayth of all the wicked.

Thirdly, if the Lord straightly commaund free loane towards them that be in need, then questionlesse all vsu­rie, be it neuer so small, is forbidden towards the poore: but the former is certaine, as we shall shew out of Deut. 15. 8. &c. Luk. 6. 35. And therefore the least vsurie that may be, is forbidden towards the poore, and that vnder the name of Neshek and Tarbith, that wee should no longer dreame, that no vsurie is Neshek, vnlesse it be great, nor Tarbith, vnlesse it be excessiue.

Their fift and last objection is, that the law which for­biddeth vsurie, is not morall, but judiciall, and therefore not belonging to vs. They prooue it to be a law judiciall, because Deu. 23. 20, vsurie is permitted towards a stranger.

[Page 207] I answere first, if it were a judiciall law, yet the equitie thereof, which is perpetuall, would appertaine to vs, viz. That vsurie is not to be imposed vpon a brother: But be­hold we Christians are all brethren in Christ, this diffe­rence of Iew and Gentile being taken away. Neither can there any sufficient reason be giuen, why we should not deale as charitably one with another, as the Iewes were bound to deale among themselues, seeing we are not on­ly brethren in Christ, but also members of the same bo­die, whereof Christ is the head; especially seeing our Sa­uiour hath propounded himselfe for a patterne, that we should loue one another as he hath loued vs, and hath made this mutuall loue the cognisance of true Christians. Hereby (sayth he) all men know you to be my disciples, if you loue one another. If therfore it were vnlawfull for the Iews to require any vsurie, whether it were more or lesse of a brother, whether he were rich or poore; much lesse is it lawfull for Christians, whom it behoueth more than the Iewes to be wained from couetousnesse and worldly cares, and to whom some things are vnlawfull, which to the Iewes because of the hardnesse of their hearts, were permitted. But indeed the law forbidding vsurie, is mo­rall, as diuers of the most learned patrones of vsurie doe confesse, whose names, because their memorie otherwise is blessed, I will conceale. For it cannot be denied, but that theft, oppression, and whatsoeuer is vnjust and vn­charitable, is forbidden in the morall law of God; but vsurie is a kind of theft and oppression, it is vnjust and vncharitable, as hereafter it shall be prooued, therefore it is forbidden in the morall law of God.

2. The law which commaundeth free lending, is not judiciall but morall, and is therefore renewed by our Sa­uiour Christ: therefore the law which forbiddeth vsurie or lending for gaine, is morall. For the same law which commaundeth the affirmatiue, condemneth the ne­gatiue.

[Page 208] 3. Vsurie is reckoned in the Scriptures among the transgressions of the morall law: yea, somewheres it is raunged among the abhominations, that is, the most grie­uous crimes forbidden in the law: as Eze. 18. and 22. 12, where the Prophet, as Basil hath well obserued, [...],In Psal. 15. placeth among the greatest euils, the taking of vsurie and increase.

4. Biting vsurie and excessiue increase, is without question forbidden in the morall law, as an high degree of theft and oppression. But the vsurie which the pa­trones of vsurie vnderstand to be forbidden in the law, is biting vsurie, and excessiue increase. Therefore the vsu­rie which the patrones of vsurie themselues vnderstand to be forbidden in the law, is forbidden in the morall law of God.

5. Whereupon followeth another consequent, That seeing the same vsurie which is forbidden in the law, is permitted towards a stranger, therefore this permission of vsurie is prooued to be judiciall, and the prohibition morall.

But for the better vnderstanding of this law we are to consider who is meant by stranger in this place. The He­brew word vsed here is [...], wherby is meant not euery stranger which is not an Israelite by birth. For on him that was either [...], that is aduena, a proselite, dwelling a­mong them, who though he were a stranger by birth, was a brother in religion: or [...], inquilinus, a stranger by birth, but not by dwelling or affection, but such an one as dwelled friendly among them, though not circumcised, (as appeareth Exod. 12. 43, 45, 48.) vsurie was not to be imposed, Leu. 25. 35, (Thou shalt relieue him, viz. the bro­ther, the stranger also and sojourner, that he may liue with thee) but onely on him that was [...], extraneus, or histis (as the word histi was wont to signifie) an aliant, as by birth, so also in dwelling, in religion, in affection. See Obad. vers. 11. and Lament. 5. 2.

[Page 209] Now in this sence the word may signifie either more generally any one that was a meere aliant from the com­monwealth of Israel, or more specially such aliants as were the remnants of the Canaanits. If we vnderstand this permission of vsurie to be extended towards all ali­ants, there might be two causes rendered, why the Lord permitted the same: the one, the hardnesse of the Iewes hearts: the other, the vnjustice of the Gentiles. For the Lord as a wise law giuer, in his judiciall lawes permitteth in a ciuile respect some things euill in themselues for the auoiding of a greater mischiefe, not to allow or justifie the same from the guilt of sinne, as before him in the court of conscience; but to exempt the same from ciuile pu­nishment in the externall court before the magistrate: as for example, the hardnesse of the Iews hearts being such, that when they set their affections on other women, and waxed wearie of their wiues, they would either put them away to their shame and vtter vndoing, or else tyrannize ouer them, if they continued with them; the Lord ther­fore by a ciuile or judiciall law permitted men to put a­way their wiues without the crime of adulterie, so as they could giue them a bill of diuorcement, wherein they should giue testimonie to their wiues chastitie. And yet whosoeuer did put away his wife without the crime of fornication, howsoeuer he were by this ciuile permission free from punishment of the magistrat, notwithstanding, he was guiltie of adulterie before God, as our Sauiour Christ teacheth, Matth. 19. So the hardnesse of the Iewes harts, and couetousnesse being such, that if they were not permitted to practise vsurie towards strangers, they would exercise it against their brethren; and likewise, the injustice of the Gentiles with whom they did traf­fique, being such, as they would be sure to exact vsurie of the Iews: therefore, that neither the Gentiles by in­equalitie of negotiation should eat vp the Iewes, nor yet the Iewes should oppresse one another by vsurie, it might [Page 210] be, that in these ciuile respects the Lord permitted it to­wards the Gentiles. And therefore as the permission, which gaue leaue to the Iews to put away their innocent wiues with a bill of diuorcement, doth not disprooue the law forbidding adulterie to be morall, but prooueth it selfe to be judiciall: so the permission of vsurie towards strangers, doth not prooue the law forbidding vsurie to be morall, but it selfe is euidently prooued to be judici­all. And as he which without the crime of adulterie put­teth away his wife, is notwithstanding that ciuile permis­sion an adulterer before God: so hee which practiseth vsurie, as permitted to him either by the law of Moses, against any stranger, or by the ciuile lawes of men, is not­withstanding a theefe before God.

But in my judgement we shall more rightly expound this place, if by stranger wee doe not vnderstand any stranger, but that stranger, that is to say, the remnants of the Canaanites, by whose impouerishing the L. would haue the Iewes enriched. For first the words are not Le­nokri, as Dent. 14. 21, but Lanokri, that is, extraneo ifti, as Tre­mellius and I [...]nius translate, adding this exposition, extraneo ifti, to this stranger, that is, to the reliques or remnants of the Canaanits, whom the Lord had appointed to destru­ction, and would haue by little and little consumed. And to the like purpose Ambro [...]e expoundeth this place: But perhaps (sayth he) you will say, [...]ib, de Tob. c. 15 it is written, thou shalt lend vpon vsurie to a stranger, &c. Who then was the stranger? but the Ama­lekite, but the Amorrhite, but the enemies of the people of God? there (sayth he) exact vsuric, whom thou desirest to hurt worthily; against whom thou goest to warre lawfully, on him thou mayest lawfully im­pose vsurie: whom thou canst not easily ouercome by warre, on him thou mayest easily wreakethy selfe by vsurie. Ab hoc [...] am exige, quem no [...] sit crimen occidere. Take vsurie of him whom thou mayest lawfully kill: therefore, vbiius belli, ibietiam ius vsurarum, against whom there is right to wage warre, against them there is right to practise vsurie.

[Page 211] And this exposition seemeth therefore the rather to be embraced, because when these remnants of the Ca­naanites were rooted out, all vsurie afterwards is gene­rally and absolutely forbidden, without exception of any as Psal. 15. Prou. 28. 8. Eze. 18. and 22. Rabbi Salomo, as Lyra­nus reporteth in Exod. 22. 25. denieth it to be lawfull for a Iew to take vsurie of a stranger. And the Hebrew glosse so vnderstandeth this text,Psal. 15. That hath not giuen his mo­ney to vsurie,De arcanis ca­thol. verit. lib. II. cap. 4. no not to a Gentile, sayth he. Which P. Galatinus also doth note to haue bin the judgemēt of the Rabbines.Tom. 5. lib. 6. in Ezek. 18. And this progresse Ierome well obserued. Vide profectum: See the proceeding (sayth he) of the holy ghost, In the beginning of the law vsurie is forbidden onely towards brethren: but in the Prophet it is forbidden towards all, without limitation.

But this permission, or if you will, allowance of vsurie towards the Canaanite doth no more prooue the law a­gainst vsurie not to be morall, than the allowance of manslaughter in warre doth prooue the law forbidding murther, to be judiciall. For although the law condem­ning vsurie be neuer so perpetual or morall, yet notwith­standing as all other commaundements of God, so is it to be vnderstood with this limitation and restraint, namely, vnlesse God otherwise appoint. It is a morall law which forbiddeth other theft as well as vsurie; but if the Lord by speciall warrant allow the Israelites to spoyle the Egyptians at their departure out of Egypt, they may law­fully doe it. It is a fearefull sinne forbidden in the sixt commaundement of the morall law, if a father shall kill his onely sonne: but if the Lord appoint Abraham to kill his owne sonne, he is authorised to doe it. For if princes may dispense with their owne lawes, much more is this pr erogatiue royall to be graunted to the Lord, whose wil is the rule of justice, hauing this priuiledge, that whatso­euer it willeth, is therefore just, because he willeth it.

Whereas therefore some object, That if vsurie be per­mitted towards a stranger, therefore simply it is lawfull: I answer, [Page 212] if it be permitted, it is thereby rather prooued to be vn­lawfull in it selfe: For if it were lawfull in it self, it should not need to bee permitted, as the putting away of a mans innocent wife, being a thing simply and in it selfe euill, was notwithstanding permitted to the Iewes.

Yea, but now all difference of brother and stranger is taken away: and therefore that which is lawfull towards one, is not vnlawfull to­wards another. Assume, but vsurie is lawfull towards one, that I denie. It was lawfull towards the stranger, because it was allowed by a judiciall permission, or dispensation; but is not now lawfull, because by the morall law it is ge­nerally and perpetually forbidden. Yea, but now difference of brother and stranger is taken away: It is true indeed among those that beleeue in Christ, otherwise there are brothers and strangers still. But what is hereof to bee inferred? Surely, if all difference of brother and stranger be taken away, then is not vsurie lawfull among those that pro­fesse the name of Christ: for we are all brethren in Christ, and therefore that which is not lawfull among brethren, is not lawfull among vs. For I hope none will bee so ab­surd, as to conclude, that all difference of brother and stranger being taken away, we are all aliants and stran­gers one to another, and therefore that vsurie among vs may be lawfull, as it was lawfull for the Israelits towards the Canaanits. But how was it permitted towards the stranger? Surely as a grieuous punishment, whereby the Lord would haue him impouerished and consumed. If therefore the Lord permitted or allowed vsurie to bee exercised onely against the Canaanits, whom he had ap­pointed to destruction, and whom he would haue by de­grees wasted and consumed, Deut. 7. 22. and also permitted it to this end, that thereby they might be wasted and im­pouerished: doest thou thinke that thou canst in charitie impose the same vpon thy brother?

And thus haue I manifestly prooued, that all vsurie or lending for gain is condemned in the morall law of God: [Page 213] howsoeuer the judiciall law allowed the practise of it to­wards that aliant, that is to say, the Canaanite.

To these places of the law, I will adde the example of Nehemias that godly magistrat,Neh. 5. 11. in the fist chapter of that booke: for when as the needier sort had made complaint that whereas they being imployed about the building of the wals of Ierusalem, and neglecting their owne parti­cular, were fallen into want, by reason of their great charge of wife and children, and wanting means of their owne, had beene forced to borrow of the wealthier sort corne, wine, & oyle, for their sustenance, & mony for pay­ment of the kings tribute: so it was, that the wealthier sort had not only taken their houses, lands, and vineyards to pawne, but also exacted of them for vsurie the hun­dreth part ouer and aboue the principall: Nehemias ther­fore hearing this complaint, was greatly offended with these rich men, who contrarie to the law of God required vsurie of their brethren, and causeth them not onely to remit this vsurie of the hundreth part, which he calleth a burthen,Vers. 7. & 10. and would haue the people eased thereof; but also to restore vnto thē their lands, their vineyards, their oliue grounds, and their houses which they had taken to pawne. Where the centesima vsura, that is, the vsurie of the hundred part, which as it seemeth was permitted by the laws of the Persians, as after it was by the laws of the Gre­cians and Romans (among whō it being exacted month­ly, was an vsurie of 12 in the hundred) is plainly condem­ned. But against this allegation I find three exceptions: the first, that the vsurie which is here condemned, was exacted of the poore; and they doe not denie, but that vsurie is vnlawfull toward the poore: I answere, that although these borrowers were in want, yet were they not such poore men as these pa­trones of vsurie imagine: for they had houses, lands, vineyards, and oliue grounds, and in regard thereof were to pay tribute to the king: but now being cast behind hand for the reasons aforesaid, were forced to borrow, [Page 214] and being not able to borrow without a pawne, nor yet without allowance of vsurie, had yeelded in their necessi­tie not onely to pawne their houses and lands, but also to graunt an vsurie of twelue in the hundred to their credi­tours. And therefore this place prooueth, that men of wealth ought to lend freely not onely to the poore and base sort of people, but also to men of better place and calling, being in need.

The second exception is,C. Molin. that some vnderstand this place not of the creditours taking vsurie for loane, but of the gouernours exacting allowance of their needie bre­thren for their maintenance. Which they prooue, because vsurie was execrable among the Iewes: and therefore the centesima or hundreth part here mentioned, was not vsurie, but the hundreth part of their rents and goods which they payd for the stipends of their gouernours.

First to their reason I answere: that to so many of the Iews as feared God, vsurie was execrable, as I partly ob­serued before out of Leuit. 25. 36. but it is the want of the feare of God, which Nehemias objecteth vnto the rich men in this place, vers. 9. who neglecting or forgetting the law of God in this behalfe, had learned the cu­stomes of the Medes and Persians, in requiring vsurie for loane.

Secondly, as touching the objection it selfe, to the pri­uat judgement of one or two I oppose the generall and receiued opinion of all the learned besides, who either expound or translate this place, vnderstanding the same with one consent of vsurie. And that this is the true meaning of the place, appeareth both by the complaint of them which were oppressed, (who borrowing money for the kings tribute,See Ezr. 4. 13. & 7. 24. and corne and victuals for their su­stenance, were faine to pawne their houses and lands, yea some had bound ouer their children to their creditours) and also by the remedie prouided by Nehemiah, which was, that the creditours should restore their pawnes, and [Page 215] remit the hundreth part of the money, corne, wine, and oyle: for these were the particulars which they had lent, and for the loane whereof they required, vsur as centesimas, that is, vsurie of the hundreth part.

Thirdly, out of this place the aforesaid author of the English Treatise laboureth to prooue the lawfulnesse of vsurie by the example of Nehemiah himselfe and his fol­lowers, who had lent vpon vsurie to these men; for so he readeth vers. 10. for euen I my brethren and my seruants did lend them vpon vsurie money and corne: the word is Noshim, of the verbe Nashah, which as I haue said before, signifieth either to exact, or to lend with purpose to re­quire or exact againe that which is lent; and so in this place is interpreted two wayes, either in the sence of free lending (as the most do read) wherein Nehemiah commen­deth his owne example to be followed; or in the sence of exacting, as Tremellius and Iunius translate. As if Nehemias had said, If your dealing with your brethren were to be allowed, then much more might I and my brethren and seruants exact of them that which is due vnto vs: But that (as afterwards he sheweth) he had forborne all the time of his gouernment:Vers. 14, 15. &c for the sence which that au­thour giueth, is repugnant to the text it selfe. For why should Nehemiah bee so angrie with the other wealthie men, if himselfe and his followers, who were to giue them example of charitable dealing, had practised the same thing? or how could he reprooue them so sharpely, if himselfe were guiltie of the same offence? or would he alledge his owne practise of vsurie, to persuade them to desist therefrom? or if hee condemne vsurie in him­selfe and his followers, as well as in the rest (as he doth, if that interpretation were good) how is vsurie justified by his example?

Now I come to those places of Scripture wherein vsurie is generally and absolutly condemned, and they are foure. The first is the text which we haue in hand, [Page 216] where,Psal. 15. vnto the Prophet demaunding who shall so­journe in the Lords Tabernacle, and who shall rest in the mountaine of his holinesse, He that giueth not his money to vsurie, that is, that lendeth not for gaine. Out of which place this syllogisme may bee gathered; whereunto let euerie vsurer consider how he shall be able to answer be­fore the Lord. He that shall inherit the kingdome of heauen doth not put forth his money to vsurie, but thou, (say I, to the vsurer or him that lendeth for gaine) dost put forth thy money to vsurie, thou therefore (vnlesse thou repent) shalt not inherit the kingdome of heauen, but shalt be cast out of the heauenly Ierusalem, and shalt haue thy part in the lake, which burneth with fire and brimstone, where is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth:De Teb. c. 15. For as Ambrose inferreth vpon this place, If there­fore he be blessed (saith he) that hath not giuen his money to vsury: then no doubt he is accursed who hath put forth his money to vsurie. Yea but (saith the vsurer) the word here vsed is Neshek, which signifieth biting, and therefore so long as I bite no bodie, this conclusion includeth not me. Whereunto I answer, that Neshek is the generall word whereby all vsu­rie is signified, and therefore that all lending for gaine is Neshek, as I haue manifestly proued before. Neither is it called Neshek because the lender biteth, but because the money lent vpon vsurie biteth or gnaweth away some part of the borrowers substance, and so he which lendeth causeth his money to bite, as the Hebrew words do plain­ly signifie, Deut. 23, 19. And therefore consider well whe­ther this distinction of biting & not biting vsurie, groun­ded vpon the notation of the word (which indeed distin­guisheth not one kind of vsurie from another, as though one did bite and another did not bite, but rather impor­ [...]eth that all vsurie is biting) be so sure a distinction as thou wilt aduenture thy saluation thereupon.

The second testimonie is of the wise king Salomon, Prou. 28. 8. Pro. 28. 8. He that increaseth or multiplieth his riches by vsurie and [Page 217] increase, gathereth them for him that will be mercifull to the poore: that is, riches gotten by lending vpon vsurie and by ta­king increase, shall be translated from the couetous vsu­rer, who is commonly cruel and vnmerciful to the poore, vnto the liberall and bountifull man who will be merci­full to the poore: For the translation of riches threatned, is an euident argument of vnjust possession. From hence therefore all that are addicted to wealth are to be exhor­ted, that as they desire the continuance of their riches which are so deere vnto them, so they would not gather the same by vsurie.

Against this testimonie they make three exceptions: The first, that not all vsurie or increase is here condemned, but bi­ting vsurie and multiplied increase. I answer, that all gaine or cleere increase aboue the principall couenanted for, or exacted for loane, is Neshek and Tarbith here condemned, as I haue proued before.

Secondly they object, that the prouerbe speaketh of him who lending vpon vsurie to the poore, oppresseth them thereby, for so much the prouerbe doth not obscurely signifie, that goods taken from the poore by couctous vsurers, shall by iust and liberall men be restored vnto them againe. This collection I denie not to be wittie, but I denie it to be sound. For no more can necessarily be gathered hence, but thus much as I sayd, that goods vnjustly gotten by men couetous and vnmercifull, shall be transferred from them, to the liberall and mercifull. To which purpose the holy ghost often speaketh in other places of Scripture, as Prou. 13. 22, The riches of the sinner is laid vp for the just: Eccle. 2. 26; Vpon the sinner the Lord sendeth trouble and molestation to gather and scrape to­gether, that he may giue to the man that is good before him: Iob. 27. 16, 17, Though the wicked should heape vp siluer as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay, he may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall diuide the siluer.

The truth of which commination daily experience [Page 218] doth proue, for seldome doe vsurers children thriue or come to good. And that which commonly is sayd, De male quasitis non gaudet tertius haeres, is verified by Salomon, Eccles. 5. 12, 13.

And for as much as vsurours doe not vse to trust the poore but with small summes, out of which ariseth a small increase; it is not therefore likely that great riches are gathered by vsurie exacted onely of the poore: and ther­fore the prouerbe seemeth to speake of vsurie required not only of the poore, but also of the richer sort, to whom the greater summes lent, do raise greater gaine.

Thirdly, they object that the prouerbe speaketh of him whose trade and profession is to seeke gaine by vsurie, and whose great wealth hath no otherwise risen but by vsurie.

To which I answer, If to lend vpon vsurie were a thing lawfull, why should not the custome or trade of lending vpon vsurie be lawfull, as well as the custome or trade of seeking gaine by other lawfull contracts. But now say the patrons of vsurie, it is vtterly vnlawfull to make a trade of vsurie. Yea Caluin plainely affirmeth, that whosoeuer maketh a profession of vsurie, In Ezek. 18. he ought to be excluded from the companie of men, and that he ought not to be suf­fered in the Church of God, for an vsurer is euer a theefe. How then can lending vpon vsurie, though but for once or twice, be lawfull? for if it were lawfull for once or twice, why not for three or foure times? and if so oft, why not for fiue or six times? and if so, why not for ten or twentie, or for so oft as you will?

Now if you lay these three exceptions together, you shall perceiue that this patron of vsurie would haue none to be cōdemned by this place, but such as making a trade of exacting great and excessiue vsurie of the poore, do thereby alone gather great wealth: so that there can scarcely be found any so wicked an vsurer, who may not by these exceptions elude and shift off from himselfe this so plaine a testimonie against all vsurie.

[Page 219] I proceed to the third testimonie, Eze. 18, which if there were no more, might alone suffice for the condemnation of all vsurie whatsoeuer: For there the holy Ghost, vers. 8, and 17, describing a just man that shall surely liue, among other markes he reciteth this twice, And hath not giuen forth vpon vsurie, neither hath taken any increase: And againe de­sciphring a wicked man who should not liue but die the death; he setteth downe diuerse notes, any one whereof should (without repentance) be sufficient for his con­demnation: for so he faith, vers. 10.Verse. 10. and 11,Verse. 11. If a just man be get a sonne that is a theefe, or a sheder of bloud, if he do anie one of these things: though hee doe not all these things, but either hath eaten vpon the mountaines, or de­filed his neighbors wife,Verse. 12. or hath oppressed the poore and needie, or hath spoiled by violence, or hath not restored the pledge, or hath lift vp his eyes vnto the idols, or hath committed abhomination, or hath giuen forth vpon vsu­rie, or hath taken increase,Verse. 13. shall he liue? he shall not liue, seeing he hath done all these abhominations, he shall die the death, and his bloud shall be vpon him. Where we 1 may note that not onely the act of couenanting for gaine in the contract of loane, but the exacting also of an ouer­plus or cleare increase, though perhaps without any co­uenant going before, is condemned. And that it is con­demned 2 not onely among other crimes forbidden in the morall Law, but also is reckoned among those abhomi­nations: for the cōmitting of any wherof without repen­tance: the Lord denounceth certain death; asking with in­dignation, that any man should make a question whether vsurie be a damnable sinne, or whether the vsurer dying in that sinne without repentance should bee saued, That hath (saith he) giuen forth vpon vsurie, or hath taken increase, shall he liue? he shall not liue, he shall die the death, and his bloud shall be vpon him. And lastly, that all vsurie or taking increase is 3 generally forbidden, without limitation of circumstan­ces. Whereas therefore the holie Ghost setteth downe [Page 220] this proposition, Whosoeuer putteth forth his money to vsurie, or taketh increase, shall surely die, meaning thereby eternal death. It is a wonder if the conscience of the vsurer do not from thence assume and conclude thus, But thou lendest forth vpon vsurie, thou takest increase, therefore if thou continuest in this sinne, thou shalt surely die eternally, and thy bloud shall be vpon thee.

Against this allegation they object, first, that the gene­rall which is here forbidden, is oppression of the poore: of which gene­rall, this is one speciall kind, biting or multiplication: The former of money, the latter of other things. If therefore vsurie be so tempered that it oppresse not the poore, it is not forbidden: much losse, if it re­lieue him.

I aunswere, that to speake properly, nothing is here commaunded or forbidden, but certaine notes are reci­ted both of the just man who is to be saued, from the fift verse to the tenth: and also of a wicked man who should not liue but die, from the tenth verse to the fourteenth: And that among the notes of the just man, abstinence from oppression, is not set downe as a generall including other specials, but as a distinct note: or if it were set downe as the genus of vsurie, what other thing could be concluded thence, but that all vsurie is oppression. Now in the catalogue of those markes whereby a wicked man is deciphred,Verse 12, 13. betwixt oppression of the poore and vsury, idolatrie is placed: which is a sufficient argument that vsurie is not here set downe as a species of oppression of the poore and needie before specified; howbeit this is to be acknowledged, that vsurie so often as it is exerci­sed towards the poore, is an oppression of them. But if you desire to know the true genus of vsurie, you may say it is theft: For vsurie is the lenders theft, which if it be ex­ercised towards the poore and needie, is also oppression and robberie.

Secondly, they object that in this place of Ezekiell, the retaining of the pledge is as well cōdemned, as the taking [Page 221] of vsury: But the retaining of a pledge is somtimes lawful, therfore also vsurie. I answer, that by the same reasō other malefactors might defend their robberie & idolatry, and such other abhominations, some whereof are here inter­ [...]erted betwixt the detaining of a pledge & taking vsury. But hereby you may perceiue the strange dealing of these men: for whereas among nine or ten notes one onely is found which is not simply euill, namely the retaining of a pledge; hence they will conclude that there is the same reason of taking vsurie, and of keeping a pledge. Why do they not rather gather seeing vsurie is reckoned among eight or nine other notes, which be of things simply euill and abhominable, that vsurie in like sort is simply euill and abhominable? and that is Ambrose his collection, Vide, saith he, quemodo foeneratorem cum idololatra copulauit, quasi cri­men equaret, See how he hath coupled the vsurer with the idolater, as though hee would haue vsurie esteemed an equall crime with idolatrie.

There remaineth the last testimonie, Ezech. 22, against which no such exceptions can be taken. For among other abhominations, for which the Lord threatneth destru­ction against Ierusalem, this is reckoned, verse 12, Thou hast taken Neshek, Vetarbith, vsurie and increase: from whence we may plainely gather, that seeing vsurie is called an abho­mination, and is reckoned among things not only simply euill, but also [...], as Basill obserueth, the most outragious transgressions of the morall law, that it also is of the like nature; and that it is such a grieuous sinne as that it pulleth downe the wrath of God, not onely vpon the vsurer himselfe, but also against the country wherein he liueth. And here we are to obserue that the taking of vsurie and increase is so condemned for such an abhomi­nation as I haue said, as that no such exception can with anie shew of reason be objected against this place as a­gainst the former: For here is no mention either of the poore, as though it were committed against them alone, [Page 222] or of the detaining of a pledge as though vsurie were to be matched therewith, for it is matched with murther, idolatrie, incest, and other such abhominations, neither that it is in this place so subjected to oppression as a spe­cies thereof, but generally and simply it is condemned as a grieuous abhomination, whereby the vsurer prouoketh the vengeance of God not onely against himselfe, but al­so against the societie wherein he doth liue.

And thus we see all vsurie or lending for gaine, by di­uerse testimonies of Scripture to be plainely and mani­festly condemned.

Of which doctrine the couetous worldlings are apt to make this vse, If it be so that we may not by the word of God lend vpon vsurie, then surely we will not lend at all. Answer, it is a greater sinne not to lend at all to a man who is in great need, than to lend vnto him vpon vsurie: Euen as it were a greater offence altogether to denie food to him that is almost famished, than to sell it vnto him at an vnreaso­nable rate. And therefore manie commonweales do tol­lerate such vsurie as is not immoderat, for the good both of the borrower and also of the lender: Of the borrower, because his necessitie manie times is such, that it is farre better for him to borrow vpon vsurie, than not to bor­row at all: Of the lender, because to lend vpon moderat vsurie to them that must needs borrow, is a lesse sinne than not to lend at all. But as the afore cited places con­demne the negatiue, and forbid lending for gain, so there are diuerse manifest testimonies of Scripture injoyning the affirmatiue, and commaunding vs to lend freely. And therefore as we are to abstaine from vsurie because God forbiddeth it, so must we practise free loane because God commaundeth it. These places because they are so manie euidences against vsurie, I will the rather recite: And first, that in Deut. 15, where the Lord hauing proui­ded by law, that in the seuenth yeare no debt should be demaunded; and foreseeing that hereby the couetous [Page 223] would take occasion when the seuenth yeare should draw neere, to refuse to lend to them that were in need; there­fore vers. 7. and 8. the Lord straitly chargeth them not on­ly at other times to lend freely to their needie brother, but euen then also when the seuenth yeare was at hand. His words are these, If any one of thy brethren with thee be poore and needie within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giueth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poore brother, but thou shalt liberally open thine hand vnto him, and thou shalt in lending lend, that is, freely lend him sufficient for his need which he hath. Beware that there be not a wicked thought in thine heart, to say, the seuenth yeare, the yeare of freedome (wherein debts were not to be required) is at hand; nor that thine eie be euill towards thy needie brother, so that thou wilt not giue vnto him, and so he crie vnto the Lord against thee, and it be sinne vnto thee. Thou shalt freely giue vnto him, and let not thine heart be euill when thou giuest vnto him; for because of this the Lord thy God shall blesse thee in all thy workes, and in all that thou puttest thine hand to. In which words the Lord not onely commandeth them straightly, to lend freely to their brethren being in need, not onely at other times, but euen immediatly before the yeare of remission wherein no debts were to be demaunded: but also vseth two effectuall reasons to persuade them to the voluntary and cheerefull performance of this dutie. The former, because if they should refuse to lend to their brother in his need, it should be a sinne vnto them, and good rea­son: for we are not absolut Lords of that which we haue, but onely the Lords stewards, who must one day giue an account of our stewardship, and therefore we are bound in conscience so to imploy those goods which hee hath committed to our trust, as he appointeth. And therfore seeing the Lord commaundeth those which be of ability, as his stewards to lend to them that are in need, it is a [Page 224] sinne vnto them if they shall refuse to lend freely vnto them. The second reason to persuade men cheerfully to lend to them which are in need, is the gracious promise of God: For because of this, the Lord thy God shall blesse thee in all thy workes, &c. Now if this promise with some others in the word of God doe not preuaile with vs in this behalfe, we shall bewray notable infide­litie. If a poore man bring vnto thee a rich man to be his suretie, thou wilt not feare to lend vnto him: but when the Lord becommeth a poore mans suretie, nay promiseth himselfe to be thy paymaister and to make thee full re­compence, thou wilt not take his word; no not his writ­ten word, Prou. 19. 17, He that dealeth graciously with the poore, whether it bee by free giuing or free len­ding, lendeth vnto the Lord, and the Lord will recom­pence him that which he hath giuen.

But lest any should alledge, though falsly, that this is a judiciall law, and therfore bindeth not them: I will ther­fore produce two testimonies out of the Gospell of our Sauiour Christ. The former, Mat. 5. 42, Giue to him that asketh, and from him that would borrow of thee turne not away. What then (will you say) is euerie one bound to lend to euerie one that asketh? I answer, respect is to be had of thine abilitie, and of his necessitie, and also (if it be not a case of vrgent and present necessitie) of his honestie: If his necessitie vrge him to borrow, and thine estate enable thee to lend, thou art bound to lend vn­to him, especially if his honestie deserue to be respected. The other testimonie is Luke. 6. 35. [...], Lend, looking for nothing thence: which words though they be diuersly read and expounded, yet in eue­rie sence they commaund the dutie of free lending.

The word [...] admitteth diuerse significations, as first to bring into despaire; according to which sence thus much is insinuated, that those which refuse to lend vnto men in their need, cause them to despaire. But this sence [Page 225] is not incident vnto this place, vnlesse we read as indeed the Syriacke interpreter doth, insteed of [...] for [...], lend causing no man to despaire. For they that go on borrowing they go on sorrowing, and when others will not lend when they must needs borrow, they are out of heart and do as it were sinke vnder the burden of their want. When as therfore thy brother commeth to borrow of thee for the supply of his want,Mat. 5. 42. turne not thy face from him,Deut. 15. neither harden thy hart towards him, nor shut thine hand from him,Leuit. 25. 35. but when his hand doth shake, stay him and hold him vp, suffer him not to sinke vnder his ne­cessitie.

Secondly, it signifieth to despaire, or to be out of hope. In which sence our Sauiours words may thus be expoun­ded, Lend, nothing despairing of recompence: as if he should haue said, let not distrust or despaire conceiued at thy neighbours want, keepe thee from lending, as though thou shouldest be a looser by thy loane, but lend him freely for the supply of his want, though he be not likely either to repay the principall, or to doe thee as good a turne. For your reward, saith our Sauiour Christ, shall be great,Prou. 19. 17. God himselfe will be your pay master: as elsewhere he hath promised.

Thirdly, it signifieth aliunde sperare, to hope from anie thing: as if hee had said, looking for nothing thence, that is, either from your courtesie of lending, or of the thing that is lent: from or by reason of your courtesie of lending, looke for nothing; that is, for no profit or bene­fit of your owne. In lending, respect not your owne good or profit, but the benefit of the borrower. Which gene­rall sence is very fit & apt, including in it these two parti­culers, of either whereof some do vnderstand this place, that is, either of the like good turne, or of vsurie. 1. Of the like good turne, as if our Sauior had said, Lend where you do not looke to borrow or to receiue the like bene­fit, either because they are vnable or vnthankfull; not [Page 226] that it is vnlawfull to lend where a man may looke to borrow or to receiue the like courtesie: but our Sauiour would not haue vs rest there, for sinners will lend to sin­ners to receiue the like; but his meaning is, that we should not onely lend to our friend and such as are both willing and able to make vs recompence, but also to others who are either vnwilling or vnable to shew the like courtesie to vs. And thus Zanchius expoundeth this place, conferring it with the like in the fourteenth Chapter of the same Gospell,Luk. 14. 12. When thou makest a din­ner or supper call not thy friends, nor thy brethren and kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours, lest they also bid thee againe, and a recompence bee made thee: but when thou makest a feast call the poore, the maimed, the lame, and the blind, and thou shalt bee blessed, because they cannot recompence thee: for thou shalt be recompen­ced at the resurrection of the just. Not that it is simply vnlawfull for a man to inuite his friends and rich neigh­bours, but that of the two sorts, the poore are the rather to be inuited; for the other is but an act of common ci­uilitie [...], but this is a worke of Christian charitie, which shall not want his reward.

Secondly, it is expounded of vsurie, which is the most vsuall interpretation of this place, as if our Sauiour had said, Lend, looking for no gaine from thence, as Henry Ste­phen also in his marginall notes translateth, Nihil inde lucri [...] antes, hoping for no gaine thence. Yea Zanchius some­times so readeth, but with this addition, scil. Ob officium mu­tuation is, hoping for nothing thence that is for the dutie of lending. And in this sence all authors almost that haue in former times written against vsury, vnderstand this place: For according to this (which as I said is the most com­mon) interpretation, all vsurie, whether it be actuall or mentall, is by these words most plainely condemned: and whereas some of latter times (as you shall heare) vnder­stand this nothing of the principall, others affirme, that you [Page 227] might as well put out the word lend, and say giue, because the contract of lending presupposeth both in the len­der an intent of alienating the principall but for a time, and in the borrower a couenant, to restore after a time the principall.

Lastly, it is expounded as I said, of the principall or the thing lent: and then the sence must be this, Lend, loo­king for nothing thereof againe. As if he should haue said; Lend not only to such as from whom you may hope by reason of their abilitie or such securitie as they shall giue you, to receiue your owne againe; but also to such, as by reason of their want you cannot hope to receiue the principall againe. And this by the context it selfe doth seeme to haue beene the meaning of our Sauiour Chirst in this place: for (sayth he) in the former verses, If you loue them that loue you, and doe good to them that doe good to you, and lend to them of whom you hope to receiue, viz. that which you haue lent, what thank shall you haue? for euen sinners and such as are meere natural men, void of the grace of God, doe loue them of whom they are loued, and doe good to those that doe good to them, and lend to such as themselues, that they may re­ceiue as much againe: but you (sayth our Sauiour) loue not onely your friends, as sinners doe, but also your ene­mies, and doe good to those of whom you looke for no good, and lend not onely to them of whom you hope to receiue your owne againe (for so much sinners are readie to doe one to another) but also to those of whom you can haue no hope to receiue your owne againe. So that [...], vers. 35. is all one with [...], vers. 34. And therefore our Sauiour Christ requireth an higher degree of loue, than abstinence from vsurie: for he would haue vs to lend not onely without hope of gaine, but also if need require, without hope of recouering the principall. And (which is duly to be obserued) he giueth this testi­monie to the very sinners of his time, That they would [Page 228] lend to sinners, that they might receiue [...] ▪ so much a­gaine. For as I haue shewed before, when wee lend by mutuation, we doe not looke to receiue the same particu­lar againe, as in commodation; but [...], so much as is equiualent thereunto. Whereof we may necessarily in­ferre, that those which will not lend to receiue so much againe, but more, are worse than the very sinners among the Iewes. And therefore that which our Sauiour vttered concerning the Pharisies, may well be said of those sin­ners in respect of vs: vnlesse our righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of these sinners of whom our Sauiour speaketh,Mat. 5, 20. we shall neuer enter into the kingdome of hea­uen: but if our righteousnesse be exceeded by them, how shall wee escape the condemnation that is to come? Against this testimonie alledged out of Luk. 6, I find three exceptions made by one and the same authour. They say this place maketh nothing against vsurie, first because Christ spea­keth not of negotiation and gainefull contracts, such as vsurie is, but of the relieuing of the po [...]e, as appeareth vers. 30.

Answ. If our Sauiour doe not in expresse words for­bid vsurie, as he doth, if the words are so to be read, Lend looking for no gaine; yet he doth by consequent forbid it: First, in that he commaundeth free lending: Secondly, in that he giueth testimonie to the very sinners, That they would lend to receiue their owne againe. And therefore sayth, it is not a thing thanks-worthie before God, if men will no otherwise lend, but to receiue as much againe. Thirdly, in that he would haue vs lend without expecta­tion of the principall it selfe, or any part thereof: and therefore if our neighbour is to be holpen (as Beza sayth) without regard of recouering the stocke, much more are all vsurious contracts forbidden.

Neither doth our Sauiour Christ speake onely of re­lieuing the poore, but also of ciuile lending, wherein a man looketh to receiue his owne againe: for we may not so vnderstand our Sauior Christ, as though he did forbid [Page 229] men to loue their louers, or to do good to those that haue deserued well at their hands, or to lend to such of their friends and acquaintance, as will restore what they haue borrowed; for they that will not do thus much, are worse than the very sinners of whom our Sauiour speaketh: but he requireth a higher degree of Christian loue in those that be his followers, viz. to loue not only those that loue vs, but also them that hate vs; to doe good not only to those that do [...] good to vs, but also to them that deserue ill at our hands; to lend not only to those who will repay, but also to such, as of whom we cannot hope to receiue that which we lent: so that our Sauiour Christ requireth both, as in a copulatiue sentence (the notes whereof be, not onely, but also) but commendeth the latter especially vnto vs. For whereas lending proceedeth from one of these three fountaines, as Zanchius also hath obserued, namely, either from couetousnesse, when men by lending seeke their owne gaine, as vsurers doe vse to lend; or from natu­rall courtesie and ciuilitie, when men lending freely to gratifie their friends, intend to require their owne againe, as ciuile honest men (whom notwithstanding our Sauiour Christ calleth sinners) were wont to lend; or from Chri­stian charitie for the Lords sake, as true Christians are willing to lend: our Sauiour Christ is so far from allow­ing the first, that he would not haue Christians to rest in the second. And whereas men doe chuse rather to lend after the ciuile manner, vpon securitie to receiue the prin­cipall, rather than after the Christian manner for charitie sake, not taking so much care for our principall, as to help our Christian brother, because the former seemeth to stand rather with their profit, our Sauiour Christ there­fore euen in this respect also preferreth the latter. For if men will lend onely vpon securitie to receiue their prin­cipall,Mat. 5. 46. what thankes haue they, sayth our Sauiour, or as Matthew reporteth, what reward haue they? for sinners will so lend, to receiue recompence from men by the re­payment [Page 230] of the principall. But they that are readie to lend for the Lords sake in Christian charitie towards their neighbour to supply his want, though they haue no hope to receiue their principall at the borrowers hand, their reward shall be great, and in stead of recompence at the borrowers hand, they shall receiue plentifull recom­pence from the Lord. Secondly they object, That what our Sauiour Christ commaundeth, he commaundeth to be performed to­wards an enemie, but I am not bound to lend to mine enemie, vnlesse he be oppressed with want: therefore this commaundement enioyneth this dutie of free lending onely towards such as be oppressed with want.

I graunt, that we are not bound to lend to any but to such as be in want. But if I be bound to lend freely to mine enemie, being oppressed with want, or to an vngod­ly man in his extreame need, for that also may be gathe­red out of this place; how much more am I bound to lend freely to one, that being not an enemie, is also of the hou­shold of faith? But the former they themselues confesse, and reason prooueth it. For if I ought to help and relieue the oxe or asse of mine enemie failing vnder his burden,Exod. 23. 4. 5. how much more am I bound to helpe and succour him­selfe, failing and fainting vnder the burden of his want? See Rom. 12. 20. & Prou. 25. 21. Thirdly they alledge, That our Sauiour Christ doth not forbid expectation of gaine, but of the principall it selfe: for vers. 34. he teacheth that one sinner wil lend to another, that he may receiue so much as he lent. And therefore that they which will approoue their pietie, must lend, though they bee not like to receiue any thing againe.

I answere, if men ought to lend without prouiding for their indemnitie in receiuing the principall, if so their brothers need require; much more ought they to lend without requiring an ouerplus ouer and aboue the prin­cipall. And againe, if sinners be content to lend without gaine, so they may haue their owne againe; what shall we thinke of those who will not lend to receiue so much as [Page 231] they lent, vnlesse they may receiue more? And lastly, if our Sauiour Christ allowed of vsurie, he would acknow­ledge, that the lender should doe an act worthy of great thanks, if he would lend freely, though vpon couenant to receiue his owne againe: for he that should lend an hundred pounds; should besides the supplying of his neighbours want, do him as great a pleasure, as if he gaue him ten pounds out of his purse: but when as he sayth, if you lend to them of whom you hope to receiue that which you lent, [...]; what thank shal you haue? he euidently sheweth himselfe to be so farre from allow­ing vsurie, that he would not haue men to rest in ciuile lending. But the Lord acknowledgeth no further benefit done by lending, than the supply of the borrowers want, and signifieth, that he which lendeth in assured hope to receiue his owne, hath full recompence made him by the borrower, when he restoreth the principall in the full va­lue thereof; whereas they which lend without hope of re­ceiuing the principall at the borrowers hands, shall re­ceiue a great reward at the hands of God.

And thus haue we heard out of the written word of God, what is his both reuealed will and also judgement concerning vsurie. His will, both in that hee straightly commaundeth free loane, and also seuerely forbiddeth lending for gaine. His judgement, not onely in that he censureth vsurie as a fearefull sinne, and calleth it an ab­homination, but also in that accordingly hee threate­neth his fearefull judgements, both temporall against the vsurer himselfe, and that which is more, against the countrey wherein it is commited;Eze. 22. and also spirituall, as­king with indignation, Whether an vsurer should liue? & plainly affirming that he shall surely die,Eze. 18. moriendo morietur. Now the will of God is the rule of justice, and whatso­euer hee willeth, it is therefore good and just because he willeth it; and consequently, simple and absolute obe­dience must be performed thereunto, whatsoeuer argu­ments, [Page 232] impediments, or inconueniences can be pretended to the contrarie. And therefore though no other reason could be giuen why men should lend freely and not for gaine, yet this alone were sufficient, because God would haue vs lend freely, and not for gaine. It ought to haue beene argument sufficient to our first parents to restraine them from the forbidden fruit, That God had forbidden it; though they had other reasons to induce them to eat thereof. And as in that case, so in this, it is sinne and folly to enter into disputation against the word of God, accor­ding vnto which we shall be judged in the last day.

But as by the written word of God the [...] or vn­lawfulnesse of vsurie is sufficiently prooued, so also by other euident arguments and testimonies it may be con­uicted to be sinfull both in it selfe and in the judgements of all those who haue liued in former ages. Whereupon it will also follow, that the vsurer sinneth not onely against the law of God, but also against the light and law of nature.

And thus he sinneth against his

  • neighbour.
  • God.
  • himselfe.

Against his neighbour. For whereas there are two du­ties especially to bee practised towards our neighbour, that is to say, Iustice and Charitie; justice, to giue euery man his owne;1. Cor. 10. 24. & 13. 5. and charitie, not to seeke our owne but other mens profit; justice, to do no man wrong, charitie, to do good to all: vsurie offendeth against both, as being both vnjust and vncharitable. Which copulation is duly to be marked. For whereas some alledge, that vsury is not against charitie, when neither the lender nor borrower is hurt thereby; it shall hereby appeare, that if at any time it may seeme not to bee opposed to charitie as an hurtfull thing, yet is it alwaies opposed as an vnjust and vnequall thing. For first, the generall law both of justice & charitie [Page 233] is this, As you would that men should doe to you, so doe you to them likewise.Luke 6. 31. But when you haue need to bor­row, you would that men should lend you freely,Mat. 7. 12. and not impose vsurie vpon you: therefore in like case, when others would borrow of you in their necessity, you ought to lend them freely, and not impose vsurie vpon them.

But against this argument diuerse things are objected: First, by this reason (say they) no man ought to let his horse or house for hire, or to sell his ware for an equall price. For who would not ra­ther borrow things to vse freely, than to take them vpon hire? and who would buy ware, if he might haue it giuen him?

I answere, not euery thing which we would that men should doe to vs, are we to doe to them; but that which in equitie and with good conscience we desire to be done to vs: otherwise, he which desireth to be slaine, might law­fully kill others. But by commodation, a man cannot de­sire in equitie and with a good conscience to borrow freely that which is lettable, nor by free donation to re­ceiue that which is saleable, vnlesse it be of some speciall friend, or of some that looketh for as good a turne at our hands, or in case of present or vrgent necessitie: for that were to desire another mans losse, without making of re­compence. But he which hath need to borrow by mu­tuation, may in equitie and with a good conscience de­sire to borrow freely of him that is able to lend, because he doth not onely purpose yea couenant to make full recompence, by restoring the full value of that which he borroweth (for so much is implied in the very contract of mutuation) but also if he be an honest man, will be as willing to gratifie his creditor wherein he lawfully may, as now he desireth to be holpen by him.

2. Againe, some who exercise moderat vsurie, alledge for the justifying of themselues, That if they had occasion to borrow, they would be willing to borrow vpon vsurie, after eight or ten in the hundred. Yea, they would thinke themselues beholding to such an one as would lend vnto them after that rate. And therefore [Page 234] they doe as they would be done vnto in the like case. I answer first, that no man ought to desire to borrow, but for need: and therefore, what men which do not borrow for need, may desire, it is not materiall. And secondly, that no man which borroweth for his need, is willing simply or with an entire will to borrow vpon vsurie, but vpon a conditi­onall necessitie, for auoiding a greater mischiefe. As he which casteth his goods into the sea to lighten the ship in a dangerous tempest, is simply vnwilling to cast away his goods; and yet is willing so to doe, vpon a conditionall necessitie to saue his life. And as he which falling among theeues, giueth them his purse, being forced thereto by a conditionall necessitie, viz. if he will saue his life, being simply vnwilling to forgoe his money: so he which in his necessitie yeeldeth to pay vsurie, doth it (as the Poet speaketh) [...], willingly, for auoiding a greater inconuenience, but simply against his will. For that which a man doth not integra voluntate, Qui non inte­gravoluntate consentit. inui­tus appellatur. Hotom. de vsur. [...]s [...]metus 85. D. de ad. haered. with an entire will, he doth inuitus, against his will, Eth. 3. 1. say the Lawyers. Which alwaies happeneth in these mixt actions, wherein the agent is (as the Philosopher sayth) to be esteemed [...], that is, not willing.

When as therefore they object, Volenti non fit iniuria, Wrong is not done to him that is willing: I answere, that neither is the borrower simply willing, neither is that axiome ge­nerally true; for then Ioseph had not sinned against his mi­stresse, if he had graunted her desire, neither had Sauls ar­mour bearer beene worthie of blame,1. Sam. 31. 4. if at Sauls owne re­quest he had killed him, being the annointed of the Lord. But Ioseph confesseth,Gen. 39. 9. that he should haue sinned feare­fully, if he had yeelded to her desire:2. Sam. 1. 9. 10, 14. And Dauid putteth to death that pickthanke, who had (as he said) at Sauls owne entreatie slaine him. And therefore, seeing vsurie is as well forbidden in the Scriptures, as murther or adulterie, it is not the borrowers entreatie that can make it lawfull.

[Page 235] Yea but say they, The borrower is willing, he seekes to me, he intreates me, yea & of his owne accord he offers me vsurie. I answer, and yet is he not simply willing thereto, but his necessity for auoiding a greater inconuenience, maketh him seeme willing to that whereunto he is simply vnwilling: For doth not the mariner in the tempest vse all expedition with earnestnesse to cast out his goods, as though he ear­nestly desired to be rid of them, and yet is indeed vnwil­ling to be depriued of them? Doth not the partie which is fallen among theeues and is afraid of his life, earnestly in­treat them to take his goods, and readily giue his purse and what else he hath, so they will spare his life; and yet simply is vnwilling to loose his money if otherwise he could chuse? Or if that example mislike the vsurer, sup­pose a man in extremitie of hunger comming to another to buy bread, who meaning (as the vsurer commonly doth) to take aduantage by his neighbours want, see­meeth vnwilling to sell him any food: will not this party in his extremitie offer the other twelue pence for that which is not worth two pence, and intreat him that he would take his money, and perhaps tell him that in so do­ing he shall saue his life? and yet no man is simply wil­ling to giue twelue pence for that which is worth but two pence, or if he were, his desire would not excuse the recei­uer. It is euident therefore that the vsurer breaketh the generall law of justice and charitie, in doing to others as he would not that others should do to him, and also in ta­king another mans goods without the others mans good will.

But I will shew you seuerally, first, that vsurie is vn­just: and secondly, that it is vncharitable. All illiberall contracts are vnjust, wherein commutatiue justice is not obserued; and commutatiue justice is not obserued where is not equality kept of the things committed, whe­ther the commutation be of the things themselues for re­compence, or of the vse onely for hire. Now that there [Page 236] may be equality, allowance is to be made of the necessary cost, hazard and labour which appertaine thereto, for all these are valuable: as for example. A merchant trauel­ling beyond seas, buyeth commodities there at an easie rate, which hauing transported into his owne countrey, he may with a good conscience sell so much dearer, ac­cording to the proportion of his necessarie labour, cost, and hazard. And where none of these considerations are, there ought to be no gaine: or if there bee, there is inequalitie, and so vnjustice. But you will say: what if a man sustaine losse, is not allowance to be made thereof? If any man hath bene the effectuall cause of that losse, he and no other is to make recompence: but if losse be su­stained by the hand of God, we must beare it as a crosse which the Lord hath laid vpon vs, and not presume to lay it vpon any other mans shoulders who hath not bene the effectuall cause of our losse.

But now (say I) vsurie is an illiberall contract, and al­though it be in truth no other contract but lending for gaine, yet it putteth on the habit of letting, exchange, partnership, and is not onely an vncharitable lending, as shall be shewed, but also an vnjust letting, an vnequall exchange; and an vnconscionable partnership. And first, it is a most wicked and vnjust kind of letting, agreeing with true letting in nothing else but in taking an ouer­plus: for first as I haue shewed heretofore, Location is of such things as are not spent in the vse, but haue a fruitfull vse in themselues which may be valued apart from the propertie and dominion: and therefore he which letteth any thing, he alienateth the vse for an equall price, retai­ning to himselfe the property. But vsurie is of such things as are spent in the vse, and are lent to bee spent, neither haue they anie fruitfull vse in themselues which may be valued apart from the propertie, because they be spent in the vse; and therefore hee which putteth forth vpon vsurie alienateth not onely the vse but the propertie also, [Page 237] from which, as it is the subject of mutuation or vsurie, the vse cannot be seuered. As for example, If I let an house or a peece of ground, &c. I let the fruitfull vse which is in themselues naturally, retaining still the propertie to my selfe: But he which putteth forth money, or meat, or any thing else that is spent in the vse, he cannot let the fruitfull vse of them, or value it apart from the property, for there is no such fruitfull vse in them that can bee va­lued apart, and therefore with the vse if he lend them to be spent, he must needs alienat the propertie also. For the vse of money and victuals and such like things (as they are the subject of mutuation) is the spending and di­straction of them; & if any fruit or profit be raised by the distractiō of them, it is to be ascribed to the industrie and skill of him that doth imploy them; and consequently the gaine, if there be any, of right belongeth to him, who being now the owner thereof (for as I sayd, in mutua­tion the propertie is transferred to the borrower) be­stoweth his skill and industrie to raise a profit out of that which is his owne.

Secondly, in location the letter alienating the vse on­ly and not the propertie, is to receiue againe the selfe same particular, after it hath bene vsed of the hirer, being for the most part impaired in the vse, in respect whereof there is a second reason of demaunding and taking the hire. But in vsurie, the lender alienating not onely the vse but the propertie also, couenanteth to receiue againe not the selfe same particuler impaired in the vse, but the full value thereof in the same kind, without any impairing or diminution of the principall, and therefore in vsurie there is no such reason of an ouerplus, as in location.

Thirdly, in location the letter as he retaineth the pro­pertie of that which is let, so he also beareth the hazard thereof. In so much that if it miscarie without the hirers default, it miscarieth to the letter, and not to him: for he is onely to pay the hire, Exod. 22. 14, in respect whereof [Page 238] there is a third reason of the hire demaunded, as being in part the price of the hazard. But in vsurie the lender as he alienateth the propertie with the vse, so also with the propertie he transferreth the hazard to the borrower: in so much that if the principall, or any part thereof miscary, it miscaries to the borrower, it is safe to the lender, by the verie contract of mutuation.Luit. §. pen. C. de fur. Now it is a principle in the law, Vbi periculum, ibi lucrum collocandum est, To whom the ha­zard belongeth, to him appertaineth the gaine: Hotom. ex Pom. in l. is qui, 13. And that no man ought to reape gaine by that whereof he beareth not the hazard:§ 1. D. commod In si non fue­runt. 20 in si. l. si igitur. 55. eod. &c. and againe, That there is no gaine allowable by law, which hath no hazard joyned with it.

Lastly, the letter many times is at charge about such things as he doth let, as in repairing of houses, in keeping of houses, &c. which may be a fourth reason of demāding hire: but there is no such respect in vsurie. Nay the vsurer hauing transferred the propertie of that which is lent, to the borrower, & with the propertie the labor which is to be imployed, the hazard which is to be sustained, the cost which is to be borne for the raising of any commoditie by the imployment of the money; notwithstanding, he would haue the money to be thought his, in respect of the gain, though the borrowers in respect of the losse. Now if you lay these things together, you shall in part perceiue how vnjust & vnconscionable a gaine vsurie is, euen then when the borrower seeketh to be a gainer by the imploi­mēt of that which he hath borrowed. 1. In that the vsurer letteth that which is not lettable, & requireth an hire for the fruitful vse of that which hath in it self no fruitful vse, but is spent in the vse; and therefore being not valuable by it selfe, ought not to bee paid for by it selfe, as it is, when in respect thereof an hire is required ouer and aboue the principall. Secondly, in that hee requireth gaine or hire for another mans industrie and skill, hazard and charge imployed about that which now is not the vsurers, but the other mans which vseth his skill and [Page 239] paines, and beareth the hazard and cost about it; the vsurer in the meane time hauing nothing to do with the money, hauing transferred the propertie thereof to the borrower, neither yet bearing the hazard or charge, or being at the paines of the imployment of the money.

But against this argument, diuerse things are objected. First, they say money is not spent in the vse. I answer, it is spent to the borrower so soone as hee hath vsed it, though the substance thereof remaine in other mens hands: and it is lent to be spent. For therefore the borrower is bound by the contract of mutuation to restore not the same parti­culer (for that is to be spent and gone) but so much: and it is all one to the vsurer, not onely by the contract of vsurie, but of mutuation, whether the principall be kept, or spent, or lost, or imployed to aduantage, the borrower being bound alike, whatsoeuer becommeth of that par­ticuler, to restore the full value of the principall. It is no­thing to the lender how the money lent be vsed, for the time of the loane, so that the principall bee restored in due time.

2. Yea but although the money itselfe remaine not to the borrower after he hath vsed it, yet it remaineth in the equiualent, that is, in some commoditie or ware which hath bene bought therewith, by vt­tering whereof, some gaine may be raised.

I answer, first, that it is all one to the vsurer by the ve­rie contract of vsurie, whether I giue the money bor­rowed, or loose it, or mispend it, or pay a debt with it, or buy a commoditie with it; and if I buy a commoditie, whether it be such as is to be spent in necessarie vses, as victuals and such like, or whether it be to remaine with me, or be a ware which I would sell to others. And like­wise the vse of money is one and the same, viz. the distra­ction or spending of it: For whatsoeuer I doe with the money, and howsoeuer I vse it, whether to my losse or gaine, I am by the very contract of vsurie bound to re­store the principall with the vsurie, and therefore these [Page 240] are but friuolous pretences. But suppose I buy a com­moditie which I meane to sell for gaine: first, I imploy my skill and industrie according to my trade, for the fol­lowing whereof I am at charge; I onely beare the ha­zard of the bargaine, which many times falleth to my losse; and lastly, the commoditie which I sell is mine owne, and therefore the gaine as well as the losse, if there be any, belongeth of right to my selfe and no man else. But as I said, whether I gaine or lose by the imployment of the money, I am bound alike by the contract of vsury to pay the principall with the increase, and therefore my gaine, is no more the cause of his gaine (though that be pretended) than my losse, because in both hee gaineth alike.

3. Obiection. But although money it selfe hath no fruitfull vse,Eccles. 10. 19. yet as Salomon saith, money answereth all things, and therefore with money I may buy that which hath a fruitfull vse, as namely cattell, house, or lands, &c. and what reason can be giuen why I may not as well let my hundred pounds in money, as my hundred pounds worth of cattell, houses or lands, which I buy with my money?

Answer. Your money cannot bee let for the reasons aforesayd, and being lent it is the borrowers, who bea­ring the hazard of it besides his paines and charges, is to reape the gaine thereof: but cattell, house and lands, may be let, they haue a fruitfull vse which is valuable, they re­maine yours notwithstanding they be let, and the hazard of them appertaines to you.

4. Suppose a man of better estate than my selfe, borroweth of me an hundred pounds, and therewith buyeth lands, and out of his land receiueth the fruits or rent thereof. What reason is there that he should receiue a rent for the land bought with my money, and I in the meane time haue none allowance for my money?

I answer, in such a case thou needest not lend, or if thou doest, thou mayest lend thy money vpon this con­dition, That so much land as is bought therewith shall be morgaged vnto thee, that so the bargaine may be thine, [Page 241] and the rent thereof paid to thee, vntill thou receiue thy principall. But you will say? Might I not as well lend my money for gaine? I answer, no: for if he besides the char­ges do also beare the hazard of the land which hee hath bought and is his owne, it is good reason that he should haue the fruits thereof. And what reason is it that when he which beareth all the charge and hazard, receiueth scarce fiue pounds a yeare, he should allow thee ten? But if thou takest the bargaine into thine hands, the fruit that riseth, is of thine owne; and as thou bearest the hazard, either in respect of the title, or in regard of some common calamitie, so is it good reason thou sholdest haue the pro­fit thereof. As for the other, he sustainenth no disad­uantage: for by this means he may be assured of the land which he desireth, when he can procure the money: and if he neuer procure the money, it is no reason he should euer haue the lands.

5. Againe, whereas I said that money being lent is the borrowers, both in respect of the propertie, and also of the hazard, and therefore the profit thereof belongeth to the borrower and not to the lender, who hath trans­ferred from himselfe both the propertie and the hazard for a time; the vsurer demaundeth, What reason is there (saith he) that I should lend my money, and by lending make it another mans, without recompence?

I answer, if you do but lend your money, the borrower is bound by the very contract of loane to make you re­compence by restoring the principall in the full value thereof. Yea, but why should I make that which is mine another mans, and transferre the dominion and propertie from my selfe to ano­ther, if I may not require some gaine therefore? I answer, be­cause the Lord himselfe hath so straightly commaunded thee who art of abilitie, to lend freely to thy brother be­ing in need,Deut. 15. 8, 9. as that if thou refusest to lend vnto him, it is sinne vnto thee. And secondly, because he hath most straightly forbidden all lending for gaine, and condem­neth [Page 242] it as an abhomination, which whosoeuer commit­teth he shall not liue, but die an euerlasting death. And thirdly, because the patrons of vsurie themselues do con­fesse, That for the dutie or curtesie it selfe of lending, that is, of making that which is mine to be thine for a time, no gaine ought to be required, or if there be, it is damnable vsurie. Whereupon I inferre another consequent, that if thou mayest not require gaine for the act of lending it selfe, whereby thou makest that which is thine to be ano­ther mans for the time, because the Lord forbiddeth it, and the patrons of vsurie confesse so much; then canst thou not require a gaine, much lesse a certaine gaine, not onely out of the profit which hee may perhaps reape of the money which now is his, and whereof besides his skill, industrie and charge, hee alone doth beare the ha­zard, but also out of his losse. Thus therefore it appeareth that vsurie is a very vnjust letting.

2. It is also a very vnequall exchange, when for an hundred pounds deliuered, an hundred and ten pounds is required.

Why, But by this reason, you will say, you condemne all gaine, and negotiation for gaine. May not the merchant lawfully for his wares bought in another countrey for one hundred pounds, require one hundred and ten here? I answer as before, that there are three considerations, viz. of necessarie cost, industrie, and hazard; for all or any whereof, a proportionable gaine may bee allowed, but where none of those are found, there ought to be no gaine: consider then whether any of these are to be found in vsurie or not: doth the vsurer therefore take any paines for the gaine which he requi­reth by vsurie? Nothing lesse. Vsurie is a gainefull idle­nesse, whereby men do eat of the sweat of other mens browes. For whether they eat or drinke, sleepe or wake, worke or play, their gaine by vsurie commeth in alike. Is he at any cost for the getting of this gaine? Not of an halfepenie. Doth hee beare any hazard? It is no part of [Page 243] his meaning. He requireth a couenant of the borrower for the payment both of the principall and also of the vsurie, at a certaine time; and for the performance of that couenant, before he will lend his money he will be sure of so much securitie as himselfe thinketh to be sufficient, whether it be by bonds or statutes, by pawnes or sure­ties: so that if the principall or any part thereof be lost, it is lost to the borrower, but it is safe to the vsurer, by the very contract of vsurie, ratified by other securities.

What then is the reason of this excesse or inequalitie in the contract of vsurie, that for an hundred pounds, one hundred and ten pounds of the like mony should be required?

Forsooth, saith one, this gaine I require for the forbearance of my money? Why, but say I, if thou lendest thy money for a time, thou must needs forbeare it for the time of the loane. And if thou must lend it freely and take no gaine for the courtesie of lending, thou must also forbeare it freely, and take no gaine for the courtesie of forbearing for the time of the loane. Yea but I forbeare it to my hinderance, and therefore so much as I am hindered, I may lawfully require by way of interest.

Hinderance I confesse is to be recompenced by him who is the effectuall cause thereof, and interest I haue shewed before to be lawfull: and therefore if the bor­rower through his default bee the effectuall cause of the lenders losse, the lender may with a good conscience re­quire interest, and thereby prouide for his owne indem­nitie. But indeed the borrower, vnlesse hee forced the creditor to lend, is not the effectuall cause of the creditors losse, vntill he hath made delay. Neither is the creditor after delay to demaund interest, vnlesse by the delay he incurre some losse, or sustaine hinderance of some law­full and certaine gaine.

We confesse (say they) that the casuall or moment anie interest, Molin. whereof you speake, is not to be allowed or regarded but after delay: [Page 244] but the promiscuous or successiue interest is to be allowed according to the proportion of the time of the loane euen before delay. And what is this successiue interest I pray you? Forsooth an al­lowance to be made for the forbearance of money, pro rata temporis, according to the rate and proportion of the time, which is also called, inter vsurium, and by our vsurers, interest. I heare new names, but the thing thereby signified is the grosse and common vsurie which is forbidden in the Scripture, and hath bene condemned in all ages, as I haue shewed heretofore. For interest is to be esteemed not according to the borrowers successe in the imployment of money, but according to the hinderance which the lender sustaineth by the for­bearance of his money, and thereof it hath the name. And whereof is the hinderance which he sustaineth? Forsooth of so much gaine as either himselfe might haue raised by his money in the same time, or another would haue al­lowed him according to the lawes.

Wouldest thou then haue imployed it thy selfe? Per­haps it is but a vsurious pretence. But be it so: How woul­dest thou haue imployed it? By negotiation or traffique? That is not likely: Vsurers loue not to bee aduenturers, there is too much hazard in traffique. But if thou woul­dest, it may bee thou shouldest haue bene a looser: and therefore set thy feare of losse by aduenturing, which thou escapest by not hazarding the principall, against your hope of gaine which you looked to receiue, if you had aduentured, and let thy possible gaine which thou hast missed, bee recompenced with the possible losse which thou hast escaped. And know this, that the hin­derance of vncertaine gaine is not to be allowed after de­lay, much lesse before: neither can vncertaine hopes be sold with a good conscience for certaine gaine, especially to those that do not buy them.

Yea but another would haue allowed mee after ten in the hundred.

But lawfull interest is an allowance of lawfull gaine: [Page 245] After delay made by the borrower, the lender cannot with a good conscience by way of interest require allow­ance for the hinderance of either vncertaine or vnlawfull gaine, much lesse may it be required before hand, and yet much lesse may it be couenanted before hand.

Yea but what reason is there that I should susteine hinderance without recompence?

Lay aside vsurious pretences. Canst thou not indeed without thine hinderance forbeare thy money? consider then the estate of him that is to borrow. Is he a prodigall gentleman, or riotous person? feed not his riot and va­nitie. Is he a couetous tradesman that seekes to compasse great matters, and to bee an engrosser or forestaller of commodities, to the prejudice of the common wealth? make not thy selfe accessarie to his couetous practises, to such thou oughtest not to lend. Hath the partie no great need to borrow? to such thou needest not lend, or if thou doest, thine hinderance, if thou sustainest any, is meerely voluntarie, and of such an hinderance thou canst require no recompence of him who hath not bene the effectuall cause thereof. Is the partie an honest man, and hath need to borrow? then if the Lord hath enabled thee to lend, thou art bound to lend, though thou shalt sustaine some hinderance, yea though thou shouldest hazard the prin­cipall, thou must willingly yeeld to both, as imposed of the Lord: neither must thou seeke gaine out of his need, but lend freely for the Lords sake, who requireth this du­tie at thy hand, and will be sure to recompence thee not by ten in the hundred, but by hundreds for thy tens, if not in this life, as many times he doth, yet in the life to come. Lend, saith our Sauiour Christ, looking for nothing thence, and your reward shall be great, &c.

If then the forbearance of the mony,Interesse vsura­rium. and this vsurious interest (as the Law doth terme it) be not a good reason to justifie the inequalitie which is in vsurie, what other reason may there be thereof?

[Page 246] Forsooth, sayth another, the vse of the money. Why, but the selling of the vse of a thing is the letting of the thing, but money cannot be lawfully let, as I haue suffici­ently prooued. The vse of money is the spending of it, as the vse of victuals is the eating of it: and in things spent in the vse, thou canst not without great inequalitie re­quire one allowance for the thing, and another for the vse, which cannot be reckoned apart from the thing, or seuered from the propertie. If thou lend me ten loaues, thou shouldest deale very vnequally with mee, if thou shouldest require eleuen; or if hauing taken the price of the loaues themselues, thou shouldest also demaund a price for the vse, which is the eating of them: and in like sort, if hauing lent me ten pounds, thou shouldest require eleuen, that is, ten for the principall, and one for the vse, which was nothing but the spending of the money. But this indeed is not the reason of the ouerplus demaunded, though sometimes it be pretended. For, that in truth is the reason of the vsurie simply, according to which the vsurie is proportioned; the vsurie being lesse when that is lesse, and greater when that is more: that is, the time of forbearance or successiue interest, whereof I spake euen now. If you say, it is the time of the vse, I answere, as the time of the vse of meat is the time of eating it, so the time of the vse of the mony borrowed, is the time of spending it. For after it is once spent, as perhaps it is the same day it is borrowed, the borrower neuer vseth it more, though it were lent him for a long time, it is gone from him, and to him (as the lawyers speak) extinguished. Now if the same day, after I haue vsed, and in the vse spent your money, I hauing receiued as much elsewhere, should bring you so much as I borrowed, you would require nothing for the vse or yet for the time of the vse; which notwithstanding had beene one and the same, if you had lent and forborne the money for a tweluemonth. This then is not the mat­ter, neither the vse, nor the time of the vse.

[Page 247] No saith the vsurer, I require not allowance for his vse in spen­ding the money, but for the vse of the money employed to his aduan­tage. For what reason is there that another man should gaine by my money, and not make me partaker of his gaine? This also is ano­ther vsurious pretence. For in the contract of vsurie the lender maketh an absolute couenant for certaine gaine, without respect of the borrowers either losse or gaine: and by vertue of the same contract, demaundeth his cer­taine allowance or gaine, as well out of the borrowers losse, as out of his gaine. The borrower you say borrow­eth the money, that he might employ it to his gaine; and therefore you couenant for gaine by this loane: For why should he gaine by your money, and not you? I answere, though he intend to vse the money to his aduantage and gaine, yet many times he prooueth no gainer, but rather a looser. What then is the reason of your demanded gaine? is it not sufficient for him to loose the employment of his labour and skill, vnlesse out of his losse, he also make you againe? And hereby also it appeareth, that the best kind of vsurie (I meane when gaine is required of those onely that borrow to gaine) is an vnconscionable partnership: For there is no lawfull partnership, where is not parta­king in the losse as well as in the gaine. The vsurer will partake in the borrowers gaine, but in the losse he will haue no part. Yea whiles he seeketh, nay couenanteth for certaine gaine out of the vncertaine negotiation of the borrower (which is most vnequall) he exacteth the same gaine couenanted for, as well out of the borrowers losse, as out of his gaine: which is most vnconscionable. But what if I couenant for gaine in euentum lucri, that is, to gaine, if he gaine; but if he doe not gaine, then to require securitie onely for my principall? That practise is farre more tollerable than the other, yet this also is vnequall, vnlesse as you couenant for gaine, if he do gaine, so you be also content to beare part in that losse, which without his default he shall sustaine. But why should be gaine with my money, and I haue no part therein? [Page 248] because the money being his for the time, he bestoweth the paines and the cost in the employment of it, and also beareth the hazard thereof alone. Wherefore if thou wilt couenant for gaine to be raised by the employment of thy money, thou must by way of partnership put it forth to be occupied, and not hauing transferred the propertie thereof, to beare the hazard of the negotiation; that it being still thine, and occupied at thine hazard, a propor­tionable part of the profit which is raised thereof may in justice and equitie belong to thee. Otherwise, if thou wilt not enter into a contract of partnership, this is all which thou mayest lawfully do: Lend thy money to an honest and a thriftie man, taking securitie onely for the princi­pall, and referre the rest to the blessing of God, and the borrowers fidelitie and thankfulnesse; but remember this withall, that to thine expectation of gaine, there must be an answerable purpose of partaking in the losse. Or if thou wilt couenant for gaine if he doe gaine, thou must also be content to beare part with him in the losse. But you will say: If I may receiue from the borrower an ouerplus, which of his owne accord he giueth to me in testimonie of his good will and thankefulnesse, why may not I couenant with him therfore? especially seeing it is a generall rule of all contracts, that what I may receiue from another when he willingly offereth it, I may exact the same of him, so that prouision be made for his indemnitie? Nay rather this is a rule of contracts, That whatsoeuer I cannot lawfully take of my neighbour, I ought not to couenant for it: but I ought not to take gaine of the borrower when he is a looser, and enrich my selfe by his losse, and therefore I ought not to make an absolute couenant for gaine, whe­ther he gaine or loose. But on the other side, it is lawfull sometimes to receiue things voluntarily giuen, which it were vtterly vnlawfull to couenant for beforehand. Ma­ny things are honestly receiued, which cannot honestly be demaunded, and much lesse by couenant be exacted. It is lawfull in the commonwealth for priuat men, when [Page 249] the magistrats haue done them justice, and defended them from wrong, in testimonie of their loue and thankfulnesse to bring them some present: in the church it is lawfull for the ministers hauing beene freely preferred by their pa­trones, to giue them some gratuitie in token of their loue and thankfulnesse: and it is lawfull for the magistrat and patron to accept of such gratuities, the magistrat hauing intended justice, and not respected rewards; and the pa­trone hauing regarded nothing else but the discharge of his dutie in preferring a worthie man. But if the magi­strat should couenant with the priuat man, to doe him ju­stice for reward, it were the detestable sinne of briberie, and selling of justice: and if the patrone should indent with the minister for reward, it were the sacrilegious sinne of symonie. In like case it is lawfull for a creditour, who hauing intended the helpe of his brother, and not his owne profit, by free loane, to accept from the borrower a gratuitie in testimonie of his loue and thankfulnesse: but if he should beforehand couenant with him therefore, it were the damnable sinne of vsurie.

And whereas they add, That we may make such a co­uenant, so we prouide for the borrowers indemnitie: I an­swere, that the contract of actuall vsurie including an ab­solute couenant for gaine, prouideth for the lenders cer­taine gaine, as well out of the borrowers losse, as out of his gaine, which is most vnequall and vnconscionable.

Thus haue I prooued vsurie to bee an vnjust and vn­equall thing. Whereupon doth follow the proofe of the second point, that it is also an vncharitable thing: for where there is no justice, there can be no charitie. But my meaning is to prooue, that as it is an vnjust and vnequall thing in it selfe, so it is an hurtfull thing to our neighbour. And this I will prooue first in generall. For vsurie, as it is an illiberall, so also an vncharitable lending, not onely peruerting and deprauing, but also euerting and extin­guishing that most necessarie act and dutie of charity and [Page 250] liberalitie, that is to say, free lending: and consequently is most hurtfull and pernicious both to priuat men in parti­cular, and to humane societies in generall. Now this is a principle, That whatsoeuer peruerteth & ouerturneth an act of vertue, especially such a necessarie act to humane societies, it is not onely a vice, but a detestable vice: for nothing is opposit to vertue but vice. As for free lending, it is a commendable act of liberalitie, and a necessary du­tie of charitie. There are two acts of liberalitie, dono dare, & mutuo dare, [...]. Basil. to giue freely, and to lend freely. And this latter, whereby one man doth supply the necessities of another, is so necessarie, that humane societies cannot stand without it. Vsurie hauing stept into the roume of free lending, you shall heare vsurers and patrons of vsu­rie not ashamed to say, that commonwealths cannot stand without vsurie: without lending indeed they cannot, but without vsurie they both might and ought. And surely, if lending were taken away, necessitie would driue many men into desperat courses; as the Syriack interpreter vn­derstood that speech of our Sauior, Luke 6. 35, Lend, cau­sing no man to despaire.

But vsurie peruerteth and depraueth this necessarie act of liberalitie and charitie, turning it vnto an act of selfeloue, couetousnesse, and crueltie. For whereas by the ordinance of God, and by the law of nature, lending is free and charitable, intending the good of the borrower, and not of the lender; vsurie hath made it illiberall and vncharitable, intending the lenders profit chiefely, if not onely, and seeking yea couenanting for the lenders gaine as well out of the losse of the borrower as out of his gain. The propertie of charitie is not to seeke her owne,1. Cor. 13. 5 & 10. 24. but the good of others; and whereas other vertues serue for the good of the subject wherein they are, the acts of cha­ritie and liberalitie are referred to the good of others: Lending therefore being an act of liberalitie and chari­tie, ought to respect the good of the borrower, if not on­ly, [Page 251] yet chiefely: but lending by vsurie is made an act of selfeloue, wherein the good of the borrower is sought ei­ther not at all, or but in a secondarie respect, as it serueth to further the lenders gaine. For indeed the lender by vsurie couenanteth absolutely for gaine, which happe­neth sometimes out of the borrowers losse, and somtimes also out of his gaine, which the vsurer will pretend to seeke and respect, but the truth is, he will neuer look after his neighbours profit, vnlesse therein he may be sure to find his owne gaine.

The vsurers lending therefore is an act of selfeloue, and it is also an act of couetousnesse. For whereas len­ding proceedeth from one of these three fountains, either from Christian charitie, or from ciuile loue and humani­tie, or from couetousnesse; he is said to lend in Christian charitie, who lendeth for the Lords sake to his needie neighbour, looking for nothing againe; in ciuile charitie or courtesie, who lendeth to pleasure his friend, looking for his owne againe; in couetousnesse who looketh for more than his owne. For indeed, what is [...], that is, couetousnesse, but an vnlawfull desire of hauing more? If any man object, that by the same reason I condemne all gaine which men doe seeke after by other contracts: I answere, That in the lawfull contracts of negotiation, a man may as well seeke his owne profit as another mans; for therefore they were ordained, that by the mutuall communication of things vpon equall conditions, both parties might be mutually profited. And moreouer, the gaine which is gotten by them, may well stand with that equalitie which in commutatiue justice is required. But lending was not ordained to be a contract of negotiation, but an act of charitie and liberalitie, wherein the lender should not respect his owne gaine, but the borrowers good; and the gaine which is sought for by lending, doth not nor cannot stand with equalitie and justice, as I haue prooued before. Whereas therefore lending was ordai­ned [Page 252] of God to be a contract, whereby the lender should seeke the good of the borrower, without respect of his owne profit, so far should he be from doing wrong there­in; the vsurer hath made lending a contract, wherein he seeketh for his owne gaine not onely vncharitably, with­out respect of the borrowers either profit or losse; but al­so vnjustly, seeking gaine where he beares no hazard, and taking another mans goods without his good will.

Lastly, whereas lending is an act of bountie and mer­cie, as the Psalmist sayth,Psal. 37. 26. & 112. 5. A good man is mercifull and lendeth: vsurie hath turned it into an act of inhumanitie and crueltie. [...] For as Basil well sayth, In very deed it is an excesse of inhumanitie, when the borrower wanting ne­cessaries, and seeking to borrow for the comfort of his life, the lender should not content himselfe with the prin­cipall, but should out of the want and necessitie of his needie brother seeke gaine and aduantage vnto himselfe. And therefore as it is said of the good man, that he is mer­cifull and lendeth: so may it be said of the vsurer, that he is cruell and lendeth. For that which is said of wicked men in generall, may principally be applied to the vsu­rer, That his very mercies are cruell. For when he would seeme to support a man, he doth supplant him; when he seemeth to cure,Prou. 12. 10. he inflicteth a deeper wound; and when he seemeth to haue relieued a man, he casteth him into greater want.In Decalog. And therefore Luther doubted not to call the vsurer, a blood sucker of the people. And in the judge­ment of the wise Cato, Cato interroga­tus. Quid faene­rari? quid, in­quit, hominem occidere? Cic. de off. in fine. Hug. Card. it is no more lawfull to be an vsu­rer than to be a murtherer. Thus you see how vsury hath peruerted lending, conuerting it from a work of charitie, liberalitie, and mercie, into an act of selfeloue, couetous­nesse, and crueltie. And for this cause the vsurer is not vn­fitly compared by some, to the Magicians of Egypt: for whereas the Lord hath ordained the contract of lending to be as a staffe which the wealthier man is to put into the hands of his neighbour,Leuit. 25. 35. to stay and support him when [Page 253] his hands doe shake, and himselfe doth shrinke vnder the burthen of his want, the vsurer hath turned this staffe into a serpent.

But vsurie doth not only corrupt and depraue the du­tie of lending, but also extinguish all free loane where it taketh place, drying vp the fountaine of loue, whose streames were wont to run foorth to the refreshing of others. And it doth not onely harden the heart, and shut vp the hands, and close the bowels of compassion in the vsurers themselues, as wofull experience sheweth; but in others also it hath made the dutie of free lending, to seeme so great a benefit, and of so high a price,Append. in Psal. 15. that as Bucer tru­ly sayth, A man may seeme now adayes to be very im­pudent, that shall desire to borrow freely: For he that len­deth freely, doth for the most part make this estimation of his benefit, that besides the forbearance of his money, wherewith he doth pleasure the borrower, he doth as much for him besides, as if he gaue him the tenth part of the principall out of his purse. And thus by meanes of vsurie, charitie is frozen among men, and the bowels of compassion shut vp; needie men are driuen vnto extre­mities,Luke 6. 35. and the wealthier sort depriued of that great re­ward which is promised to those that lend freely.Deut. 15. 10. & 23. 20.

But I will shew more particularly, how vsurie offen­deth both against priuat and publicke charitie, as being euer hurtfull and pernicious either to the particular men that doe borrow, or else to the body of the common­wealth, whose common profit is in all contracts especial­ly to be regarded. The partie that taketh vp mony vpon vsurie, doth either borrow for the supply of his necessi­tie and want, or else to raise a gaine by the employment of the money to his best aduantage. Hee that imposeth vsurie vpon him that borroweth for meere necessitie, in stead of helping him increaseth his need, & vnder a shew of relieuing him, he seeketh his vndoing: for such a one commonly, the more and the longer he borroweth, the [Page 254] more vnable he is to pay, and so at length is brought vnto extreame penurie, vsurie hauing turned all his substance into debt, and eaten him out of house and home. And therefore, though the vsurers sometimes doe vaunt, how kindly they deale with their debtours in forbearing them from yeare to yeare: yet the truth is, the longer they for­beare, the greater is their gaine, and though they deferre the borrowers misery, yet in deferring it, they do increase it: and therefore by some are not vnfitly compared to the greedy cat, which though for a while she plaieth with the silly mouse, yet in the end she will be sure to deuour it. And here I cannot omit that notable speech of the au­thour of the worke vnfinished vpon Matthew, Apud Chr [...]sost. tom 3. homil. 12. in fine. though it be commonly cited by those which write of this argu­ment. Christ therefore (sayth he) commaundeth vs to lend, but not vpon vsurie. For he that lendeth vpon vsurie, at the first sight seemeth to giue his owne, but indeed he is so farre from giuing his owne, that he taketh that which is another mans: for he seemeth to relieue a mans necessitie, but indeed casteth him into a greater necessitie. He looseth him of one bond, and binds him with more: neither doth he lend for the righteousnesse of God, but for his owne gaine. For the vsurers mo­ney is like the biting of the Aspe; for euen as he which is bitten of the Aspe, goeth to sleepe, as if he were delighted, and through the plea­santnesse of his sleepe dieth: so he which borroweth vpon vsurie is de­lighted for a time, as one that had receiued a good turne: and so through the pleasure of the imagined benefit be doth not perceiue how he is taken captiue. For euen as the poyson of the Aspe, secretly con­veying it selfe into all the members, corrupteth the whole bodie: so vsurie dispersing it selfe through all the borrowers goods, conuerteth them into debt. And euen as leauen which is put into meale, infecteth the whole lumpe, & drawing it to it selfe, turneth it into the nature of leauen: so when vsurie entreth into any mans house, it draweth all his substance vnto it, and turneth it into debt. But the patrones of vsurie themselues confesse, that vsurie imposed vpon a man that borroweth for need, is euer a biting and damni­fying of him, and that men ought by the commaunde­ment [Page 255] of God to lend to such freely: and therefore I shall not need to prooue such vsurie to be vncharitable.

If therefore the borrower taketh vp mony to imploy it to his gaine, it may be, that hauing vsed all his skill, and employed all his industrie in the occupying of it, he shall not be able to gaine so much clearely as will pay the vsu­rer; but allowing more than all his gaine to the vsurer, and getting nothing but his labour for his pains, and gai­ning nothing towards his liuing but losse, at length be­commeth a bankrupt. And that this also is vncharitable, I shall not need to prooue, seeing the patrones of vsurie themselues allow no vsurie, but that which is part of the borrowers gaine. But suppose the borrower doe gaine, yet notwithstanding the contract of vsurie is neuerthe­lesse vnequall and vncharitable, because the vsurer coue­nanteth for certaine gaine out of the borrowers vncer­taine traffique, and whether he gaine or loose, whether he sinke or swim, or whatsoeuer become of the principall, whether it be lost by fire, or be taken away by theeues, or miscarrie by any other calamitie, he hauing made an ab­solute couenant for the restitution of the principall with vsurie, is by vertue of the same to demaund it as well out of the losse of the borrower, as out of his gaine. And therefore although in respect of the euent, the borrower be not bitten or damnified, yet the contract of vsurie is neuerthelesse vnequall and vncharitable. But although vsurie in this case be not hurtfull to the borrower, yet is it very hurtfull to the commonwealth, and especially to the communaltie which payeth this vsurie: for whosoeuer thriueth by occupying money borrowed vpon vsurie, he hath so pitched the prices of his commodities, as that be­sides a competent gaine raised for the maintenance of himselfe and his charge, he also hath gathered vp an ouer­plus of a tenth part for the vsurer. And thus by vsurie the prices of all commodities are enhaunced, whiles the sellers who borrow vpon vsurie, if they will thriue, must [Page 256] needs make the buyers pay two shillings in the pound more than otherwise were sufficient. But you will say, He that borroweth vpon vsurie, must sell as others doe, which doe not borrow vpon vsurie; and therefore vsurie is not the cause why the pri­ces of things be raised. I answere, because they which doe borrow vpon vsurie, must needs sell for so much as they may gaine both for themselues and the vsurers; therfore the rest doe pitch the prices of their commodities accor­dingly: otherwise they which occupie with money bor­rowed vpon vsurie, could neuer thriue: but because som­times they doe thriue, it is euident, that all of the same trades doe so pitch their prices, as if all did borrow vpon vsurie.

Thus vsurie cloggeth the commonwealth with a very great and I had almost said an intollerable burthen. For this cannot be doubted of, but that many millions of pounds are put out to vsurie in this land yearely, partly in money borrowed vpon vsurie, partly in wares taken vp on trust, whether by marchants thēselues, or by retailers from them, or by the particular buyers from the retailers: the vsurie of euery million (which are many) after ten in the hundred, being an hundred thousand pounds. Of which burthen the commonwealth might be eased, if vsurie could be abolished. Wherefore as he which impo­seth vsurie vpon his needie brother, doth cruelly oppresse him; so he which lendeth vpon vsurie to those which borrow to gaine thereby, with engrossers and forestal­lers, and such like publicke theeues, he doth his indeuour that the prices of all things may be inhaunced, and ma­keth himselfe guiltie, as accessarie at the least of pub­licke theft.

By this which hath beene said, we may easily answere their objections, who alledge first, That by vsurie charitie is not broken, when both the lender and the borrower are gainers. 1 For when the contract of mutuation, which the Lord hath ordained to be an act of charitie and liberalitie, is [Page 257] turned into an act of selfeloue and couetousnesse, it can­not be denied, but that charitie is violated, and liberalitie set to sale. But when out of the vncertaine negotiation of 2 the borrower, the lender couenanteth for certaine gaine, and accordingly exacteth his couenanted gaine, as well out of the borrowers losse, as out of his gaine, it must needs be graunted, that vsurie is vncharitable, vnjust, and vnconscionable. But though priuat charitie were not vi­olated,3 yet the publicke is, for when both the lender and borrower be gainers, the commonwealth doth pay the vsurie.

2. And whereas againe they alledge, That many by employment of money borrowed vpon vsurie, haue growne rich: I will not answere with Basil, [...], that is, but I thinke more (sayth he) haue come to the halter; but I thinke more haue prooued bankrupts. And although some for a time may seeme to be rich by that which they haue borrowed vpon vsurie, yet vsurie at the length consu­meth them and eateth them vp. Neither doth this pros­perous [...]uent of the borrower justifie the contract of vsu­rie, which couenanteth for gaine not in euentum lucri, but absolutely, and therefore out of his losse as well as out of his gaine. And lastly I adde, that the more the borrower is inriched by this means, the more the commonwealth is damnified.

But besides that hinderance which hath been mentio­ned, the commonwealth sustaineth many inconueniences by vsurers, as being not only vnprofitable, but also hurt­full members thereof.

For they which liue in idlenesse, and walke inordinat­ly, gathering wealth by vnlawfull meanes, they are vn­profitable members of the commonwealth, and vnprofi­table burthens of the earth. For as in the naturall bodie there is not, so in the body politicke there ought not to be any member which hath not his vse and function ser­uing for the good of the whole body: But vsurers (I mean [Page 258] especially such as make a trade of vsury) they liue in idle­nesse: for vsurie,Plin. as one well sayth, is quaestuos a segnities, gainefull idlenesse; they walke inordinatly, seeking gain by a trade of sinne, euen as the common theefe or baud doth: for what is an vsurer, but as Bernard sayth, fur legatis, a theefe, which for the hardnesse of mens hearts the laws doe tollerate. The Philosopher matcheth the vsurer with the baud: and to the same purpose obserue the cohae­rence, Deut. 23. 18, 19. It is a wonder therefore, that in the hiue as it were of the commonwealth, such drones are suffered, which liue of the sweat, yea blood of other men: who out of other mens labour attaine ease, out of other mens hazard gaine securitie, out of other mens losse reap gaine.

For whereas vsurers desire to be borne with, because they haue no other trade to liue by, therein they are most intollerable.In Psal. 128. Heare what Augustine sayth, Audent etiam f [...]eneratores dicere, Non habeo aliud vnde v [...]uam, &c. Vsurers also are not afraid to say, I haue no other meanes to liue. The same might the robber, the burglar, the baud, and the witch, alledge for them­selues: as though this especially were not to be punished in them, that they haue chosen to themselues artem nequitiae, an art or trade of wickednesse whereby to liue, and will thereby sustaine themselues, whereby they may offend him, by whom all are sustained. But why will they not follow some other trade of life? be­cause they being giuen to idlenesse, and daring not trust Gods prouidence with their goods, they therfore follow this trade, though neuer so vnjust, because it promiseth them great gaine, without either pains, or cost, or hazard, whereunto other professions are subject. And for this cause againe, vsurie is a great hinderance to the weale publicke, and would be much more, if men could be per­suaded of the lawfulnesse thereof. And therefore it can­not truly be denied (though the patrones of vsurie giue out the contrarie) but that they doe a very profitable and necessarie seruice to the commonweale, who doe [Page 259] effectu­ally either speake or write against vsurie. For certainely, if men could be persuaded out of the word of God, that vsurie were lawfull, it would be the vtter decay (as it is al­ready in part) of all honestarts and occupations. For who would toile and moile, who would carke and care, who would beare the charge and hazard of other professions, for an vncertaine and it may be no gaine; who might be assured, that the time, which is the parent of vsurie, as Basil sayth, would bring him in without his labour, without his cost, without his hazard, a very great and certain gaine? For to omit the practises of those vsurers, that know how by an hundred pounds to gaine fortie or fiftie pounds by the yeare; who knoweth not, that mony continually put foorth to vsurie after ten in the hundred, doth in seauen yeares almost double the principall, and in euery seauen yeares double the former summe. So that 1000 pounds let out after this rate from three months to three months, ariseth in seuen yeares to almost 2000, in 14 yeares to 4000, in 21 years to 8000, in 28 to 16000, in 35 to 32000, in 42 to 64000, in 49 to 128000, in 56 to 256000 pounds in 63 to 512000, in 70 yeares to more than a million, and that is ten hundred thousand pounds. Who would not sel his lands and goods and all that he can spare to raise a stocke of money, that thereout he might by vsurie reape so great and so certaine a gaine, if once in his conscience he were assured, that vsurie is lawfull? Yea husbandrie it selfe (from which through the blessing of God there doth arise many times so great increase)Exod. 2. would be in smal request,Haec vbi loc [...]tus foenerator Al­phius, if vsurie might be esteemed as lawfull as it. Al­phius the vsurer, in Horace, hauing recounted all the com­mendations of the country life, and seeming for the time to be rauished therewith,I am i am futu­rus rusticus, Omnem relegit idibus pecuniā: Quaerit calendis ponere. resolued straightwayes to be a countreyman: and hauing to that end gathered vp his money in the ides of one month, he seeketh to put it forth to vsurie in the beginning of the next. Hence it is, that gentlemen when they can scarce raise an hundred pounds [Page 260] a yeare for their lands without racking their rents; are so readie to sell them, and hauing put the price thereof to vsury (perhaps for three or foure hundred pounds a yeare) giue ouer hospitalitie and betake themselues to some priuat house in a citie, where they may liue priuatly at small charge, as though they were borne for them­selues alone. Hence also it is that tradesmen hauing once gotten a good stocke, giue ouer their trade and traf­fique, and giue themselues wholly to vsurie. And the rest whose stocks are not great, do follow traffique, but so as either they borrow money of the wealther vpon vsurie to traffique withall, or else take vp their wares on trust at an high rate, and sell them againe for time at an higher price to such as do retaile, and they last­ly do vtter them to particuler men at an excessiue rate. And therefore hence proceedeth in part the deernesse of all things, as I haue shewed before.

Again, there is such inequalitie in vsurie that many men being consumed therby, the wealth of the country where it is cōmonly practised, commeth into the hands of a few. Now polititians haue obserued,Bodin de rep. lib. 5. ca. 2. that nothing is more dangerous for the conuersion or euersion of kingdomes, than the great wealth of a few, and the great want of the most; and that is no way so much effected as by vsurie. And therefore the enriching of a few by the impoueri­shing of many, through vsurie, hath bene (as the histories of all ages do testifie) an vsuall occasion of raising sedi­tions and ciuile contentions in common weales, when the feare of God hath not cōtained men within their bounds, as it alwayes ought to do. [...]ane vetus vrbi foenebre malum, & seditionum discordiarumque creberrima causa, Vsurie, saith Ta­citus, hath bene an old mischife to the citie of Rome,Anal. lib. 6. and the most frequent cause of seditions and ciuile discords. In all cities,In Esay 58. saith Ierome, it is the greatest cause of sedition. It is manifest,Lib de difinit. appellat. saith Phil. Melancthon, that by reason of the inequalitie which is in vsurie, the greatest part of men [Page 261] where it is vsed are impouerished, and that for the same cause seditions haue often bene raised in kingdomes. A spice whereof we may see, Nehem. 5.

And yet these are not all the mischiefes which come to the common wealth by vsurie: for ouer and besides all these, it pulleth downe the fearefull judgements of God vpon that country wherein it being publickly allowed, is vsually and openly practised; as appeareth by that de­struction threatned against Ierusalem for this sinne, Ezek. 22. 12, 13. Thou hast taken vsuri [...] and increase, and hast gained from thy nei [...]ghbour by deceit, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God, wherefore behold I clap my hands because of thy gaine, that is, (as appeareth out of the former chapter) I will,Ezee. 21. 14. 17. as it were by clapping of hands, set other nations vpon thee to ouercome thee, &c.

Wherefore wise men when they haue considered not onely the wrong which is done to particuler men, but al­so the manifold inconueniences and mischiefes which come to the common wealth by vsurie, they haue confi­dētly affirmed, that vsurers are worse than other theeues, and that it were better for the common wealth that there should be a thousand theeues in it, than an hundred vsu­rers. For the further proofe whereof, I referre you to the writings of that worthie Bishop Iewell vpon 1. Thes. 4. 6.Chrysost. Yea some haue not doubted to say, that the vsurer is to be esteemed as a common enemie to all men. Luther saith, An vsurer is a blood-sucker of the people:In decalog. & as a worme in an apple or nut consumeth all that is within, so an vsu­rer deuoureth the substance of the cittie by wonderfull and secret meanes.

Now if any man shall object that notwithstanding all that hath bene said, vsurie may seeme profitable and ne­cessarie vnto common wealthes, because the lawes of all common wealthes haue allowed the practise thereof. I answer, first, that seldome or neuer haue the lawes of any countries allowed of vsurie: But euer the Lawgiuers [Page 262] when they saw any hope of abolishing it altogether, haue wholly condemned it: or if the couetousnesse and hard­nesse of mens hearts would not suffer them to conceiue any such hope, they haue laboured to restraine it onely, and to keepe it within some compasse, that it should not be ouer-burdensome either to the borrowers or to the common wealth. Among others, Solon, Lycurgus, and Plato in his booke of Lawes, haue wholly forbidden it. The ancient Romans who are renowmed for wisedome and politicke justice,Taci [...]. annal. lib. 6. first stinted vsurie at one in the hun­dred, and by the lawes of the twelue Tables ordained that if any vsurer should take aboue one in the hundred,Duodecim ta­bulis sanctum ne quis vnciario faenore am­plius exerceret. De re rustica. he should be punished fourefold; whereas a theefe by the same lawes was to be punished but twofold. Where­by you may gather, saith Cato, how much they esteemed an vsurer to be a worse common-wealths man than a theefe. Within one hundred and three yeares after (as Bodin hath obserued) and that Duilia rogatione, it was redu­ced, ad semuncias, Semunciarium foenus. saith Tacitus, that is, to halfe a pound in an hundred; and the next yeare after, that also was abo­lished, Genucia rogatione, Bodin ex Liu. lib. 7. saith Bodin, whereby it was en­acted, Ne vllo modo foenerari liceret, that it should not be law­full at all to lend vpon vsurie, as Alexander ab Alexandro re­porteth. Afterwards when vsurie grew to an head again, it was sometimes stinted at six, and sometimes at foure in the hundred, and sometimes altogether prohibited. At length Iustinian so accommodated the limitation of vsu­rie to the diuerse estates and conditions of men, [...]od. lib. 4. tit. 32 lib. 26. that to them which could better forbeare their money, lesse vsu­rie should bee permitted, and to them which could worse forbeare it, more. To Noblemen therefore and Gentlemen who vse not to occupie their mony for gaine, he permitted Trientes, that is, foure in the hundred: To merchants and tradsemen, who liue by the imployment of money in negotiation, he permitted besses, that is, eight in the hundred: And to all other men semisses, that is, six in [Page 263] the hundred: And in traiectitijs pecunijs, that is, in money sent beyond sea at the creditors perill, and in two other cases, he granted centesimas, that is, twelue in the hundred. But in these latter times the ciuile Law hath beene cor­rected according to the canon Law: For in the Diet held at Augusta by Charles the fift, all vsurie is condemned; and in steed thereof a contract of buying rents after fiue in the hundred (which is after twentie yeares purchase) allowed, with a couenant of releasing or selling backe the same, when the seller shall tender the principall. And not the Popes onely by their canon law, but euen Ma [...]o­met also in his Alcoron hath forbidden all vsurie.Azoara. 4. vid. centur. 7. Mag­deburg.

But forasmuch as some patrons of vsurie haue taught, that a Christian man may with a good conscience take so much vsurie as the lawes of the countrey wherein he dwelleth do permit, and withall confesse that he cannot with a good conscience take aboue that rate which is li­mited by the lawes; it behoueth vs therefore to enquire what our lawes haue determined concerning vsurie. And to omit the lawes of former times wherein vsurie hath bene sometimes restrained and stinted, as in the time of Henry the eight; sometimes altogether forbidden, as in the time of Edward the sixt; and to come to those lawes which now are in force, which are as concerning this matter and other criminall causes, of two sorts: the canon Law, wherein it is not disagreeable to the word of God; and the penall statute made in the 13 yeare of Queene Eliza­beth. The canons of the ancient councels do wholly and absolutly forbid and condemne all vsurie, and the anci­ent Bishops of Rome were of the same judgement, but as I noted before, and as Bodin also hath obserued, the latter Bishops de via deflexerunt, are turned out of the way: For although according to the rest of their Antichristian hy­pocrisie they do in word and in shew condemne all vsury, permitting not so much as Christian buriall to him that dieth an vsurer; yet indeed they haue allowed, yea as [Page 264] Bodin saith,Etrau. com. Ca­listi. 3. & Mar­tini 5. de emp­tione & ven­ditione cap. 1. & 2. brought in a contract of redeeming rents which as it is practised by their leaue and allowance, is worse than the vsurie allowed any where else. But as in other things so in this point, where the Canon law swar­ueth from the word of God we do forsake it, and where it agreeth therewith, we embrace it.

And as touching the statute made in the thirteenth yeare of Queene Elizabeth, howsoeuer the most (looking to the practise of vsurers and conniuencie of magistrats, and not to the act of Parliament it selfe)Anno 13. Eliza. cap. 8. do imagine that vsurie, after the rate of ten in the hundred, is thereby al­lowed; yet the truth is, that it is not so much as permitted thereby. Not allowed: for it is an act against vsurie as being a sinne, yea and a detestable sinne, as the statute it selfe doth call it: wherein also it is acknowledged, that all vsurie is forbidded by the Law of God. Not permit­ted: for as all vsurie aboue ten in the hundred, is thereby to be punished with the forfeiture of the triple value of the principall: so all vsurie, whether it be after the rate of ten in the hundred, or vnder, though it were but of one in the hundred, is to be punished with the forfeiture of the vsurie or increase. From hence therefore the argu­ment of the patrons of vsurie in England, may easily be returned vpon themselues: So much vsurie and no more, say they, may with good conscience be taken, as the laws of the land do allow and permit. But now say I, the laws of the land do not allow, no nor yet permit ten, nor fiue, nor yet one in the hundred; therefore in England a man cannot with a good conscience take after ten, nor fiue, nor yet one in the hundred.

But suppose that humane lawes did permit vsurie, as our statute doth in the case of orphanes only, doth not the permission sufficiently argue the thing in it selfe to bee euill? and if the thing be euill in it selfe, can the permis­sion justifie the practise of it before God? No, the law of man may cleere thee from ciuile penalties in the outward [Page 265] court, and before the magistrat: but it cannot cleere thee from the guilt of sin in the court of conscience, and from the penalties that are due to the same by the morall law of God. Neither is the law of man, but the law of God, the rule of thy conscience: and therefore though man had nothing to punish in thee for thy vsurie, yet the Lord hath more than ynough to condemne thee for the same.

But you will say, May humane lawes permit such things as be euill? For answer, I will set downe the true and learned sentence of reuerend Beza in his Annotations vpon Mathew, Chapter 19. verse 8. The morall law (saith he) because it respecteth the conscience, it simply commaundeth good things and forbiddeth euill: But ciuile lawes, if they be well ordai­ned, they do indeed commaund nothing which God hath forbidden, and they forbid nothing that God hath commaunded, but by the wickednesse of men they are forced onely to moderat many things which they cannot wholly abolish: and these are the things which are sayd to be permitted by lawes. As for example, Christian charitie forbiddeth to lend vpon vsurie: notwithstanding many magistrats do see that in respect of traffique and dealings among men, they can­not simply forbid vsurie. Therefore (which is the onely thing which remaineth for them to do) they stint vsurie. But may a man there­fore with a good conscience lend vpon vsurie? No surely: For the rule of our conscience is to be fetched not from the ciuile lawes of men, but from the word of God. Nay the ciuile lawes themselues doe not al­low, but rather condemne that which they doe onely tolerat, forced thereto by the wickednesse of men. Thus also the Lord by Moses ma­king ciuile lawes, doth not commaund diuorces (for so he should haue bene contrarie to himselfe) but to such as could not bee got to retaine their wiues, hee commaunded them to giue their wiues a bill of di­uorcement, that prouision might be made for them against their hus­bands crueltie: and yet for all that, they which put away their wiues ceassed not to be adulterers before God. So say I againe, The lawes of men do not commaund nor allow vsurie: (For so should they be contrarie to the lawes of God) and yet [Page 266] to them who cannot be got to lend freely, they permit to lend vpon vsurie, so as they do not exceed such a stint; that prouision might be made for men that be in need, both that they might borrow, and also that when they must needs borrow, they should not be too much op­pre [...]ed. And yet for all this, as he was an adulterer that put away his wife vnlesse it were for the crime of adul­terie, as our Sauior there proueth;Mat. 19. 8. so is he guiltie of theft before God, who practiseth vsurie though it be permit­ted by men. But as I sayd, our law doth not permit vsury as men commonly imagine, but is as well contriued (considering the iniquitie of the times) as could almost be wished. Onely these two things I desire may be now considered of in parliament; First, whether it were not more behoofefull for the common weale, if vsurie were stinted at six rather than at ten in the hundred; or rather that all vsurie being forbidden, men should be allowed to vse in steed thereof, the contract of re­demption, in that manner which before I approued, buying a rent after fiue, as in Germanie; or (because of our greater vse of money in traffique by reason of our more commodious nauigation) after six in the hundred, or more, if more be thought more equall, with a couenant of redemption in the behalfe of the borrower, or rather sel­ler, if he desire it. For first it may seeme vnreasonable, that wheras of an hundred pounds worth of land (which is fruitfull by nature) a man can hardly raise a rent of fiue or six pounds a yeare; an hundred pounds in money which hath in it selfe no fruitfull vse, should without his paines, cost, or hazard, yeeld him ten pounds a yeare. Secondly, it would in mine opinion be a notable meanes to diminish the number of vsurers, and also to ease both the borrowers in particuler of oppression, and the common wealth in generall of that great burden of vsu­rie whereof I spake before. And thirdly, it would be a meanes to preuent both the vsuall committing of this [Page 267] sinne, and also the punishment which God hath threatned for the same.

The second thing which I desire may be considered of, is, the permission of vsurie in the behalfe of orphanes. For if it be simply euill, it cannot bee good in them, nei­ther can the respect had of them make it good in others. And it is a principle in Diuinitie,Rom. 3. 8. Euill may not be done, that good may come thereof. Augustine giueth this charge (which afterwards was placed among the canons of the law) That men should not lend vpon vsurie,De verb. domi. homil. 35. though they would giue that which is gotten by vsurie as almes to the poore.Caus. 14. 9. 5. And Chrysostome, when some made this excuse, I lent indeed vpon vsurie, In Matth. ho­mil. 57. but that which I gained thereby I gaue to the poore: he sayth plainely, that God doth not accept such sa­crifices: and addeth, that it were better not to giue to the poore, than so to giue. It is a good rule in the Canon law, if one cannot be relieued without another be hurt, it were better neither should be holpen, than either wron­ged. Charitie as it rejoyceth in the truth, so also in justice: and therefore whatsoeuer is vnjust and against the law of God, it cannot be charitable. Neither doth charitie re­quire, that I should sinne to do another man good, or to cast away my soule by sinne, though it were to saue ano­ther mans life. For he that shall be saued, doth not put forth his money to vsurie: and he that doth,Psal. 15. shall he liue saith the Lord?Ezek. 18. he shall not liue, but he shal die the death. Wherefore vsurie being simply euill, and generally for­bidden in the word of God, it cannot in any case be ex­ercised with a good conscience.

You will say then, What shall become of Orphanes, if they may not be maintained with the increase of their stocke, but be forced to liue vpon their stocke, and so to spend it?

Answer. You might better aske, what shall become of those Orphanes who haue no stocke: for whom not­withstanding the Lord doth graciously prouide, accor­ding [Page 268] to his mercifull promises. I answer therefore that orphanes and widowes haue a notable priuiledge of di­uerse gracious promises peculiarly made to them:Psal 68. 5, & 14. 6, 7. Let them therfore, [...]er. 49. 11. or their friends for them, depend vpon the gracious prouidence and promises of God, in the vse of lawfull meanes: Let them either imploy their goods in some honest trade or negotiation, wherein they haue as good cause to expect a blessing from God, as any other; or let them deale by partnership: or if other meanes faile, let annuities be bought for their liues, or lands, or rents purchased for euer, or let some other honest course be ta­taken which wise men can easily deuise, if they list, how orphanes may be maintained, without impairing of their stocke,

Againe, if any man to make good the former obje­ction concerning the profitablenesse of vsurie to com­mon weales,Molin. shall alledge (as some haue done) that the ci­uile law alloweth thereof, and doth not onely permit, but authorise vsurie according to the rates aforesaid. I an­swer, that by the law it selfe it euidently appeareth, that it doth not allow it as good, but permit it as euill, for the auoiding of greater inconueniences; and permit it with a threefold restraint. The first, in respect of the quantitie: for the law stinteth the merchants vsurie at eight, the gentlemens and noblemens vsurie at foure, and the vsury of other men at six in the hundred. The second restraint is in respect of the continuance: For the ciuile law pro­uideth that when the vsurie which in the continuance of the loane hath bene paid already, doth amount to as great a summe as the principall it selfe, that then it shall ceasse, and whatsoeuer is paid afterwards should be reckoned in the principall: As for example, ten in the hundred do match the principall in ten yeares, after which time no more vse is to be payd: or if any be payd, it is to be aba­ted in the principall. The third restraint is in respect of the compound vsurie, which is called vsurie of vsurie; for [Page 269] that is absolutely forbidden by the ciuile law. Which two latter restraints doe also prooue, that vsurie by the ciuile law is judged a thing euill in it selfe. For if vsurie of ten in the hundred be lawfull for ten years together, why not for the eleuenth and twelfth, &c. the principall being still forborne? and if the vsurie of the principall be lawfull the first yeare, why is not that vsurie of the vsurie being lent to the same man the second yeare, as lawfull as if it were lent to another man?

But whatsoeuer other lawgiuers haue judged of vsu­rie, it is plaine, that the Lord, who is the supreme, and in respect of the conscience, the onely lawgiuer, condem­neth all vsurie by his law morall; neither by his judiciall law permitted the same to be exercised by the subjects of that commonwealth which he ordained, among them­selues. And therfore it cannot without contumelie against the wisedome of God be affirmed, that a commonwealth cannot well stand without vsurie; especially considering that the holy ghost hath made the vsuall practise of vsu­rie countenanced by the state, a note of a corrupt state. For so the seuentie interpreters,Psal. 55. 11. Psa. 55. 11, for the Hebrew Toc read [...], which as some thinke is deriued thence, and the auncient writers doe read the place thus, Vsurie and deceit depart not from her streets.Ezck. 22. 12. And the Prophet Eze­chiel, chap. 22. 12, among other enormities, or as he calleth them abhominations of the citie Ierusalem, he reckoneth this for one, Thou hast taken vsurie and increase. And contra­riwise, among the notes of a good gouernour this is men­tioned, Psal. 72. 14, That he should free his subjects from vsurie, (for so againe the auncient interpreters doe read) and violence: a notable example whereof we haue in Nehemias that godly magistrat, chap. 5. And hereunto we may adde the judgement of that notable Historiogra­pher and wise Polititian Cornelius Tacitus, Lib. 6. annal. who, as he jud­geth vsurie to be a mischiefe to the commonwealth, so he noteth, that it was repressed in the auncient common­wealth [Page 270] of the Romanes, when their manners were far­thest from corruption.In Ezek. 18. And to conclude, Caluin himselfe is of this judgement, that an vsurer ought not to be suffe­red in a well ordered commonwealth.

And thus you haue heard how vsurie offendeth against our neighbour, as being both vnjust and vnchari­table. Now let vs briefely consider how the vsurer sin­neth against God, not only mediatly by vnjustice and vn­charitablenesse, but also immediatly by impietie and vn­godlinesse.

For first seeing the practise of vsurie cannot stand with the true feare of God, as may be gathered out of that op­position,Leuit. 25. 36. Leuit. 25. 36, Thou shalt take no vsurie of thy needy brother, nor increase, but thou shalt feare thy God: it is euident therefore, that they which take vsurie of them which borrow for need, do not walke in the feare of God,Nehem. 5. 9. as Nehemias telleth the vsurers of his time.

Secondly, the vsurer sinneth against God by disobe­dience and contempt: for he disobeyeth the commaun­dements of God, straightly commaunding free loane, and sharply forbidding vsurie, and contemneth the threate­nings of God denounced against the same.

Thirdly, by infidelitie, in not belieuing the gracious promises of God made to those who lend freely: For as Chrysostome hath well said, [...], Vsurie is the off-spring of infidelitie. And therefore, whereas the Lord hath promised to such, that they shall be the children of the most high,Luke 6. 35. that they shall be blessed, and receiue great reward at his hands;Deut. 15. & 25. 20. those that will not beleeue these promises, are to feare, that they are not the children of God, and that in stead of that blessing and reward pro­mised, there remaineth to them the fearfull curse of God, and condemnation.

Fourthly, by diffidence, ending commonly in pro­phanenesse. For the Lord would haue our faith concer­ning spirituall blessings in heauenly things, to be exerci­sed [Page 271] and confirmed by our affiance reposed in his good­nesse for temporall blessings in earthly things, as may be gathered by the order of the fourth and fifth petitions of the Lords prayer. For if we cannot find in our hearts to depend vpon the goodnesse of God for these vile and transitorie things; how can we persuade our selues, that we truly beleeue in him concerning the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, and eternall life? The Lord therefore would haue vs, whether we want meanes, or whether we haue them, as well in the vse of meanes as in the want of them, to depend vpon his prouidence, and to cast our care vp­on him. If he lay a crosse vpon vs, or seeme to depriue vs of our goods, it is his good pleasure that we should flie vnto him by prayer: if he vouchsafe to blesse vs, thankes are to be giuen vnto him, as to the authour of all good things. In a word, in all estates it behooueth a true Chri­stian to walke with God, and to haue dayly recourse to him.

But the vsurers whole endeauour is to settle himselfe and his estate as it were out of the gunshot of Gods pro­uidence: he will not deale by husbandrie or traffique, be­cause of the hazards whereunto either of both is subject; that is to say, because of his diffidence in God, to whose prouidence he dare not trust his goods: and therefore he will make sure worke for himselfe, that he shall not need to stand to Gods courtesie. The practise of vsurie shall be as a tower of Babel vnto him, that whether God doe blesse the traffique of men, or not, or whether it goe well or ill with husbandrie, he will be sure both of his principall and of his gaine. All is one to him, whether the marchants gaine or loose, sinke or swim, whether there be famine or plentie, faire weather or foule, he feareth no flouds. He looketh not vp to heauen with the good hus­bandman or godly marchant, either to craue the blessing of God vpon his labours, or to returne thankes for the same: but is so wholly addicted to the earth and to his [Page 272] vsurious cogitations, that he is seldome seen to looke vp: insomuch, that many times by his very looke and gate an vsurer may be discerned. In a word, his chiefe indeauour is, that in respect of worldly things he may haue nothing to doe with God: and so at length of a faithlesse man he becommeth also prophane, hauing forgotten God, as for this sinne the Lord chargeth Ierusalem,Ezek. 22. 12. Ezech. 22. 12: nei­ther is God,Psal. 10. 4. I meane the true God, in all his thoughts. For his God Mammon doth wholly possesse his heart: 5 and therefore hee sinneth also by idolatrie. For see­ing the root of vsurie is couetousnesse (which is the root of all euill) it cannot be denied, but that euery vsurer is couetous: And euery couetous man is an idolater, Eph. 5. 5. and a seruitour of Mammon, Mat. 6. 24, and therefore no true seruant of the Lord. Now you must remember, that for couetous persons and idolaters,1. Cor. 6. 9, 10. there is no inheritance in heauen.

And therefore the vsurer as he sinneth against God by manifold impietie, so also against himselfe by desperat folly. For as euery notorious malefactor may truly be said to cast away himselfe, and is guiltie of selfe-murther, as it is said of Korah and his complices,Num. 16. 38. Num. 16. 38: so the vsurer likewise pulleth vpon himselfe the fearfull judge­ments of God, and is guiltie of his owne ouerthrow. For the Lord hath threatened not onely the translation of their goods from them in this world,Prou. 28. 8. Prou. 28. 8, but also as touching the world to come, that they shall not dwell in the mountaine of Gods holinesse (as may be gathered out of this Psalme) but that they shall die the death (mea­ning thereby the death of the soule:) and that you may know to whom the cause of the vsurers damnation is to be imputed,Ezek. 18. 13. it is added, and his bloud shall be vpon him. And that is it which Leo sayth,De Ieiun. 10. mensis serm. 6. Foenus pecuniae funus est animae, The gaine of vsurie is the graue of the soule.

Wherefore what extreame folly and desperat mad­nesse is this, for the vsurie, that is, as it were, the tenths of [Page 273] thine owne money, to cast away thy soule, which thou oughtest not to hazard for the gaine of the whole world. For as our Sauior sayth, What will it profit a man though he should gaine the whole world, if he loose his owne soule?Mark. 8. 36. Mar. 8. 36.

To these arguments I might adde if it were needfull, the testimonies of all wise and learned men who haue li­ued vntill our age: for first, the Philosophers, though heathens, haue written and spoken against it: the fathers of the church haue with one consent condemned it euen to the pit of hell: the Christian councels haue seuerely censured it: the schoolemen, though corrupt in many other things, yet herein they retaine the doctrine of the primitiue Church: the godly learned diuines of this age, and namely of this our Church, doe for the most part in­ueigh against it: those few among vs that seeme to de­fend [...]surie, doe in substance differ little from the rest, er­ring especially in this, that vnder the odious name of vsu­rie they defend and maintaine a lawfull contract of part­nership, as I haue shewed before. And because the judge­ments of those learned men, who seeme not to condemne all vsurie, are of such force with vsurers, that they seeme to build their practise vpon their authoritie; I will also take this hold from them, and out of their writings mani­festly demonstrate before their eies, that the vsurie which is practised in the world, is not allowed of any godly diuine.

For first, though they thinke a man may now and then lend vpon vsurie, such cautions obserued as they pre­scribe, yet they hold it to be vtterly vnlawfull for a man to be an vsurer, or to make a trade of it. Now whereas they doe not denie, but that a man may make a trade of gaining by any honest or lawfull contract, this euidently sheweth, that euen out of their assertions it may be proo­ued, that vsurie is not a lawfull contract. Quisquis ex pro­fesso foeneratur (sayth Caluin) [...]. in Eze. 18. ille omnino debet ab hominum con­sortio [Page 274] reijci. Whosoeuer is a professed vsurer, he ought to be excluded out of all humane societie. And againe, an vsu­rer ought not to be suffered in the Church of God.

Secondly, they absolutly condemne vsurie of vsurie, which in it selfe is no more vnlawfull than vsurie of the principall. Vsura vsurarum iudicio bonorum omnium etiam apud infideles damnata semper & infamis fuit. Iun. in Leuit.

The conditions whereby they circumscribe vsurie, are these and such like.

As first, That it be not required of them, who being in want, doe borrow for the supply of their necessitie; but onely of those who borrow mony to make a gaine there­of: And that their lending to such, doe not hinder them from free lending to those which would borrow for need.

2. That they require not gaine of him which bor­roweth for gaine, vnlesse he be a gainer. And therefore they define that vsurie which they allow, to be part of the borrowers gaine, and but such a part as the borrower may liue of the rest.

3. That he which lendeth for gaine, must not onely require no gaine, but also must be content to beare part of the borrowers losse, if without his owne default he prooue a looser.

4. That the end of this lending must bee charitie, wherby the lender is bound to seeke the borrowers good rather than his owne.

5. That in this contract he respect the good not only of the borrower, but also of the commonwealth: and therefore that he require not so much gaine as the partie cannot raise by lawfull meanes.

6. That this lending be agreeable to naturall equity, which is to be judged of not by mens practise, but by the word of God.

7. That it be contained within those limits which the laws of euery countrey concerning vsurie do appoint.

[Page 275] These cautions men must obserue, or else they may not build their practise vpon the authoritie of godly lear­ned men; who haue by these and such like conditions so qualified vsurie, as that where they be obserued, there is no vsurie, or at least no actuall vsurie committed.

And because the authoritie of that excellent instru­ment of God, I. Caluin, is much pretended for the defence of vsurie, I will therefore shew you briefely, how little encouragement vsurers can truly receiue from him.Resp [...]n. de vsur. He sayth it is more than a rare thing, that the same man shold be an vsurer and an honest man. Nay, he sayth,In Ezek. 18. That an vsurer is euer a theefe and a robber: and although hee sayth, it may happen sometimes, that a man may in some case take vsurie, and cannot precisely bee condemned therefore, yet he setteth downe this assertion: But we must alwayes hold it to be a thing scarcely possible, that he which taketh vsurie, should not wrong his brother. And therefore it were to be wi­shed, that the very name of vsurie were buried and vtterly blotted out of the memorie of men. Resp. de vsur. And in another place, It were to be wi­shed (sayth he) that all vsurie, yea and the name of it were banished out of the world.

Hauing thus by testimonies of scripture and by other arguments and testimonies prooued vsurie to be vnlaw­full, it now remaineth, that for the better satisfying of the reader, I should answere such arguments as are made in defence of vsurie.

But that you may not thinke, that the patrons of vsu­rie doe promiscuously defend all vsurie, therefore they circumscribe that vsurie which they allow with these conditions: first, That it be moderat; secondly, That it be not required of the poore and needie; thirdly, That it be not hurtfull to the borrower. Where, by the way we are to obserue, that no man of vnderstanding goeth about to justifie that vsurie which is commonly practised in the world: in which, being immoderat for the most part, though it be but after ten in the hundred, there is seldome [Page 276] or neuer any thing else looked after but the lenders secu­ritie, without respect, whether the borrower be wealthie or needie, or whether he shall gaine or loose thereby.

But let vs examine these three conditions seuerally: for as touching the first, whereas I haue prooued before, that euery ouerplus or gaine required for loane, is that vsurie which is condemned in the Scriptures, and that it is a thing in it selfe simply euill and vnlawfull, therefore I say with learned Chemnicius, The schoole­men say, Vsura est peccatum non solum in se, sed etiam secun­dum se, & ideo ex nulla circum­stantia bene po­test fieri. Sum. Angel. That when men make que­stion of moderat vsurie, whether that be lawfull, or not, they might as wel make question, whether moderat adul­terie, or moderat lying, or moderat theft is lawfull: for as adulterie, as lying, as theft are things in themselues sim­ply euill and vnlawfull, and therefore cannot well bee done, so is vsurie, as I haue prooued. It is a good saying and a true of D. Wilson in his booke of vsurie, That there is no meane in this vice, more than is in murther, theft, or whoredome: and as the stealing of one penny is theft, so is the least vsurie, though it be but of a penny.

And as touching the second, whereas they allow mo­derat vsurie taken of the wealthie: I answere (as before) That if God in his word had made this difference of vsurie in respect of the poore and the rich, as he doth in respect of the Israelite and the Canaanite, To the poore thou shalt not lend vpon vsurie, but to the rich thou mayest; their practise had beene justifiable, who require vsurie of the rich: but the Lord in diuerse places of the Scripture in generall tearmes absolutely condemneth all vsurie, as I haue shewed. And therefore, if because in the prohibition of vsurie in one or two places there is men­tion made of the poore, we may inferre, that therefore vsurie is lawfull towards the rich; by the same reason the most notorious sinnes against the sixth and eighth com­maundements may be justified, if they be not committed against the poore and helpelesse, because in the prohibi­tion of those sinnes, there is expresse mention made in [Page 277] diuerse places, of the poore, the fatherlesse, the widdow, the stranger, and such others as are helpelesse. And ther­fore when the holy Ghost saith, Prou. 22. 22, Rob not the poore because he is poore; the robber might by the same reason justifie his robbing of the rich.

And lastly whereas they allow vsurie, so it be not joy­ned with the hurt of the borrower: I answer, that by the same reason they may justifie the officious lye which is vttered to helpe and not to hurt the neighbour. But cha­ritie as it rejoyceth in the truth, so also in justice; and as a lye, so also vsurie is euer opposed to charitie, if not as an hurtfull thing to our neighbour, yet as an vnjust thing in it selfe. And it is a rule in Diuinitie,Rom. 3. 8. That we may not do euill, that good may come thereof: and therefore vsury though it were not hurtfull, yet were it vnlawfull. But as it is vnlawfull in it selfe, so is it euer hurtfull, if not to the borrower in particuler (as most commonly it is, in the judgement of Caluin) yet (as I haue before shewed) to the common weale, which is worse. Besides in the con­tract of vsurie there is an absolut couenant for gaine: and therefore no prouision made for the borrowers indem­nitie, seeing by the very contract of vsurie, the same gaine is to be required out of the borrowers losse as well as out of his gaine. Whereas therefore they say, vsurie is to be allowed, when prouision is made that the borrower shall not be hurt or damnified thereby: it is all one as if they had sayd, that vsurie is then to be allowed, when it is no vsurie.

But let vs consider their reasons, which are of three sorts, viz. proofes out of the Scripture, with other argu­ments and testimonies.

Their proofes out of the Scriptures are these. First the example of Ioseph, Ge. 47. which I haue heretofore shewed to haue none affinitie with vsurie.

Secondly, out of Deut. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4, the author of the aforesayd English Treatise would prooue, that in the se­uenth [Page 278] yeare of freedome the rich debtor was by the ap­pointment of the Lord himselfe to pay his debt with the vsurie thereof, though the poore were exempted from payments of debts that yeare: for so it is sayd vers. 4. Saue when there shall be no poore with thee: as if the Lord bad said (saith he) prouided alwayes that thy rich debtor shall haue no such priuiledge, &c. And how is this proued? Forsooth because the word Masshah which (as he saith) signifieth vsurie, and the verbe Nashah which signifieth to lend vpon vsurie, are there vsed. But I aunswere, that Masshah in no place of Scripture signifieth vsurie, and in that place sig­nifieth a debt which the creditor lendeth with purpose to exact againe: but there the Lord taketh order that it should not be exacted in the seuenth yeare. And Nashah in this place as appeareth by the text it selfe, and by the consent of all writers, signifieth onely to lend with pur­pose to exact againe that which is lent. For otherwise the Lord should allow the lending vpon vsurie to the poore, and the exacting of it also, so it were not in the seuenth yeare. But that author absolutly condemneth all vsurie towards the poore: yea he affirmeth (though without reason) that the exacting of the principall alone from the poore is vsurie. But of the signification of these words I haue sufficiently spoken before. As for the prouiso which (as he saith) followeth, vers. 4, it appeareth by the reason following, that it is not an exception of the rich,Quicquid fit, ne patiamini vestra culpa quenquam esse inter vos men­dicum. Calu. for the Lord shall blesse thee, &c for the words as Iunius readeth, and Caluin expoundeth them, are thus to be red, Only because thy brother ought not by thy meanes to become poore, or be impouerished, and therefore are a reason of that law of remission. For seeing in that yeare of Sabbath the ground was to rest, and men had not the meanes of rai­sing profits whereby to pay their debts as in other years; therefore if the creditors should that yeare haue exacted their debts, they would haue brought many to beggerie: for the preuention whereof, the Lord saith he instituted [Page 279] this law concerning the remission of debts in that yeare of freedome. And that the creditors should not alledge for themselues, that they should be vnable to forbeare their money so long; the Lord addeth another reason, being a promise, That if they kept that & other his com­mandements hee would blesse them in the land,Verse 4, 5, 6. and so blesse them, that they should be able to lend to many na­tions, and should not need to borrow of them. So that in conclusion, this being not an exceprion of the rich, and the word Masshah not signifying vsurie, there is no shew of reason in this allegation.

Thirdly, no more is there in the next out of Pro. 22. 16, which notwithstanding the same author commendeth as a notable place to proue that the rich ought to giue in­terest or increase. He that oppresseth the poore (saith Salomon) to increase himselfe, and giueth to the rich, shall surely come to pouer­tie: whence he inferreth these consequences: First, that it is as great a fault to giue or lend freely to the rich, as to oppresse the poore by taking vsurie of them, because the same punishment, Viz. pou [...]rtie, is awarded to both. And secondly from the contrary, that it is as lawful and good to lend to the rich with a iust increase, as to giue or lend freely to the poore: and that the like opposit blessing of plenteousnesse equally belongeth to both. As if Salomon had also said, he that giueth to the poore freely and cheerefully, and lendeth to the rich to increase himselfe, shall vndoubtedly attaine to great riches. Thus you see how a partiall and prejudicat mind, seeketh rather to draw the Scriptures to it selfe, than to conforme it selfe to the Scriptures. This prouerbiall sentence is diuersly expounded: the most of them, that I haue seene, expound the latter clause as a punishment of the former. As if this were the sence and meaning of this pro­uerbe, That he which seeketh to enrich himselfe by op­pressing the needie, shall contrarie to his expectation, ei­ther by bribes giuen to magistrats that he may escape the punishments which by the lawes belong vnto him, or else by forfeiture of his goods into great mens hands, fall into [Page 280] pouertie. Others obserue here to be noted two practises of worldly men, which they read copulatiuely; that is, to take from the poore and to giue to the rich, both of them in their intent and purpose referred to the enriching of themselues, but by the just prouidence of God so dispo­sed, that in the euent they tend to their impouerishment. As if Salomon had said, He that taketh from the poore to enrich himselfe, and giueth to the rich, that from them he may receiue greater benefits (which commonly is the end of gifts giuen to great men) shall by the just judge­ment of God come to pouertie: or as one vnder­standeth this prouerbe, He that oppresseth the poore to enrich himself: also who giueth to the rich small things, that he may receiue from him greater matters, and that he may do it, oppresseth the poore in the meane while, that he may haue to giue to the rich; hee shall surely come to pouertie.

But suppose the holy Ghost did here match these two as equall sinnes, to take from the poore▪ and to giue to the rich; yet the latter is not generally to bee vnderstood, ei­ther as a sinne in it selfe, as though it were simply vnlaw­full to giue any thing to the rich, or as great a sinne as to lend vpon vsurie to the poore: but with limitation to such things as are giuen to the rich, being vnjustly taken, or vncharitably withheld from the poore. Howsoeuer it is, the holy ghost doth not speake here of lending at all, and therefore those two collections from hence are ab­surd and impudent, either that lending freely to the rich is as great a sinne as lending vpon vsurie to the poore; or that lending vpon vsurie to the rich is as good a thing in his kind, as lending freely to the poore. Which wic­ked and shamelesse assertions of this patron of vsurie, I wish, may bee an admonition both to others that haue taken vpon them the defence of the same cause, that through the partialitie of their affections they runne not into the like extremities; and also to vsurers, [Page 281] that they relie not much vpon such patrons, nor hazard their saluation vpon their credit: who are now growne to this passe, as to call vertue vice, and vice vertue. Would a man thinke it credible, that a Christian man ha­uing knowledge and learning joyned with a profession of the truth, should euer conceiue, and much lesse com­mit to writing, That to lend freely to the rich is as great a fault as to lend vpon vsurie to the poore; and to lend vpon vsurie to the rich as lawfull and good a thing, as to lend freely to the poore? O tempora! [...]o mores! in which it is a sinne not to be an vsurer, and a vertue not to be liberall, friendly, courteous, or ciuile. In which, religion is made to countenance vsurie for a vertue, and to condemne libe­ralitie and humanitie for a vice.

Fourthly, they alledge, Ier. 15. 10. I neither lent vpon vsu­rie, neither haue they lent me vpon vsurie. Whence they gather, that lending vpon vsurie is of the same nature with borrowing vpon vsurie, and both of them are there mentioned as indifferent things.

I answer that the Prophet speaketh not of lending vpon vsurie, or borrowing vpon vsurie, though some translations so read; but of lending vpon securitie, or with purpose to exact that which is lent. And this signi­fication better fitteth the purpose of the Prophet, which is to shew the contentious disposition of the people, who contended with him when he had giuen them not onely no cause (as he had done if hee had bene an vsurer) but none occasion of cursed contention: for he had forborne all worldly (though otherwise lawfull) contracts, from whence many times contentions arise among men: as if he had said, I did neither meddle nor make with them in worldly affaires, neither bought nor sold, neither bor­rowed nor lent, and yet they contend. Or if the Prophet had spoken of vsurie in this place, it would serue rather for the condemnation of borrowing vpon vsurie, which in manie cases is vnlawfull, than for justification of len­ding vpon vsurie, which in no case is lawfull; the Pro­phet [Page 282] disclaiming the one as well as the other, as causes, or at the lest as occasions of contention.

And these with some few other before confuted, are all their allegations out of the old Testament. Let vs come to the new: for (as some of them say,) It is not to be omitted that the Apostles of Christ in their sundry catalogues of sinnes do neuer once make mention of vsurie, which is an argument that it is lawfull, especially seeing in the Romane empire vnder which they li­ued, it was commonly exercised euen vnto twelue in the hundred, as also among the Iewes, to whom Iames, Peter, and Iohn did write.

I answer, first, although it be not forbidden by name in the new Testament, yet that proueth it not to bee law­full. An argument drawne from the testimonie of some one part of the Scripture negatiuely, doth not hold; it is sufficient that it is forbidden in the old Testament, and namely in the morall law of God, which is common and perpetuall. And farre be it from vs to thinke that Christ in his Gospell alloweth any sinne which is forbidden in the morall law, as I haue prooued vsurie to be. Againe, there are many other sinnes forbidden in the morall law, which are not once mètioned in the new Testament. For to seeke no further, biting and griping vsurie is condem­ned in the morall law, and is a thing in the confession of all, simply and vtterly vnlawfull; and yet thereof is no mention made in all the new Testament: and therefore if this argument be good, no vsurie at all, be it neuer so im­moderat or excessiue, is vnlawfull.

Secondly I answer, that vsurie is forbidden and con­demned in the new Testament, not indeed expresly and by name, neither is that needfull, for many things are contained in the Scriptures, which are not expresly men­tioned in the Scriptures. There be, I doubt not, some sinnes condemned in the morall law, which neither in the law, nor gospell, nor any where in the Scriptures are once named; for the condemnation whereof it is suffi­cient, if it may by just consequence be deducted out of the [Page 283] Scriptures. But vsurie is condemned both in the old Te­stament and the new: In the old, expresly and by name; In the new, by necessarie consequence, as sometimes vn­der the contrarie affirmatiue: for where free lending is commaunded, as Mat. 5. 42, not free lending (that is, vsury) is condemned; sometimes vnder the general, as Eph. 4. 28. 1. Thes. 4. 6, Let him that stole steale no more, Let no man oppresse or defraud his brother, 1. Corinth. 6. 10. neither theeues nor couetous persons shall inherit the kingdome of God. Sometimes abstinence from vsurie is comman­ded vnder the arguments of the greater and lesse, as Luke 6. 35. Lend looking for nothing thence. For if I must lend without respect of mine owne profit, or without ex­pectation of any benefit or gaine thereby, as the most ex­pound that place; then much more must I lend without a couenant, especially without an absolut couenant for gaine. And if I must lend without hope or expectation of recouering my principall, as others vnderstand that place, then much more must I lend without expectation of a gain and ouerplus aboue my principall: and if with­out expectation of gaine, much more without a coue­nant for gaine. Hence Ierome saith, In euangelio, Hieronym. in Ezech. 18. virtutis aug­mentum est, Ambros. de To­bic. cap. 15. & Ambrose, euangelium dicit quod est plenius. Some­times againe by an argument drawne from the lesse. Euen sinners, saith our Sauiour,Luk. 6. 34. are willing and readie to lend one to another without vsurie, how much more doth it become you that are Christians to lend one to another without vsurie? Do sinners, who are but naturall and ci­uile men, in common courtesie and humanitie lend one to another, to receiue their owne without increase, and shal it not be a shame to such as professe themselues mem­bers of Christ, to be behind sinners? And whereas they affirme that vsurie was in the time of Christ and his Apo­stles commonly practised among the Romanes and the Iewes, I greatly doubt of the truth of that assertion, in re­spect of the Romanes, seeing Tiberius in the latter part of [Page 284] his reigne had vsed effectuall meanes for the aboli­shing of vsurie,Lib. 1. cap. 7. as Alexander ab Alexandro reporteth: but much more in respect of the Iewes, among whom the practise of vsurie was forbidden by the law of God, and to whom in the sixt of Luke our Sauiour giueth this testi­monie,Luke 6. 34. That the very sinners among thē would lend one to another to receiue as much as they lent.Iam. 5. 3. Iames also in his Epistle findeth fault with the rich men of that time, that they suffered their gold and siluer to rust, which they would not haue done if they had bene addicted to vsury: and therefore the lesse practise of vsurie in those times, may be some reason why it is not expresly mentioned in the writings of the Apostles. And hereunto I might add the testimony of some Historiographers,Vincent. Mag­deburg ex P. Cantore. who affirm that vsurie in the primitiue Church, & in the time of the Apo­stles was most odious among all that professed the name of Christ. But (say they again,) What if our Sauiour Christ beso far from condemning vsurie, that he approueth it: for when as he con­demneth that slouthfull seruāt because he had not occupied his talent, he saith, that he should haue put forth his mony to the bankers, that at his cōming he might receiue his own with vsurie, Mat. 25. 27. Mat. 25. 27. Where (say they) our Sauior speaketh of vsurie as of a lawfull gaine: and withall signifieth, that it is better for a man, who hath no other lawful trade to gain by, to put forth his mony to vsury, than to haue it idle by him. And how is it proued that Christ speaketh of vsury as of a lawful gain, seeing this is not Christs own speech, but by him assigned to a worldly master? Forsooth, because by this Lord or master, Christ himselfe is represented: and therefore it is not likely that he would assign to him such a speech as should contain any dishonest thing in it. Answ. First, it may be doubted whether this lord or master would haue had his mony put forth to vsury, though he speake of receiuing it again with vsurie. For when any thing is restored to a man with increase, that increase by a metaphoricall speech is called vsurie. As for example: the earth is sayd by the Orator neuer to repay that which it receiued, without vsurie, and therefore [Page 285] that is called naturall vsurie.Cic. de senect. The Lord is said to repay him that is mercifull to the poore, as it were with vsurie. Likewise when men shal haue imployed the gifts of God to the glorie of God and good of his Church, the Lord when he shall call his seruants to an account, wil acknow­ledge that he hath receiued his owne with vsurie: and this (as also the former) is called spirituall vsurie, whereof the holy Ghost speaketh in this place. Againe, when the debtor hauing gained by the imployment of the money borrowed, doth restore the principall, with the increase of a free gift or gratuitie, the creditor may be said to receiue his owne with vsurie: and that is called liberall vsurie. Likewise if a man should deale by way of partnership with a merchant or exchanger, which in this place is cal­led a Trapezite, to receiue part of their gaine when they do gaine; he may be said when by partnership he proueth a gainer, to receiue his owne with vsurie.

But suppose this speech were so to be vnderstood, as that this Maister would haue had his seruant to haue put forth his money to vsurie: yet this prooueth not, that Christ doth therefore approue vsurie. First, because the maister speaketh of himselfe according to that opinion which his seruant had conceiued of him; Thou knowest me to be an hard man,Luke 19. 22. who (as vsurers vsually doe) take vp which I laid not downe, and reape where I sowed not, and gather where I strewed not, why then diddest thou not accommodate thy selfe to my disposition, and do thy best indeuour that I might receiue mine own with vantage? Or if thou wert so idle as that thou wouldest not according to my commaundement,Luke 19. 13. Luke 19. 13. take the paines, or so diffident and distrustfull, as that thou wouldest nor beare the hazard of negotiation; yet at the lest thou mightest haue committed it to the bankers. From whence you may gather by the way, that the course of vsurie fitteth them best, who are both idle and distrustfull. But this speech of this maister, who repre­senteth [Page 286] our Sauiour Christ, doth no more prooue, that he alloweth vsurie, than that he acknowledgeth himselfe to be an hard and austere master, who taketh vp where he laid not downe, &c.

And suppose againe, that our Sauior Christ had com­pared himselfe to a master who was an hard man indeed, and would require his seruants to put forth his money to vsurie; yet this would not be a sufficient warrant either for the hardnesse or austeritie of masters, or yet for the vsurie practised by the seruants. For euen as here hee compareth the bestowing of his gifts vpon his seruants, (that they employing them and vsing them to his glorie and good of their brethren, and increasing them in the vse, he might seeme to receiue his own with vauntage) to a straight and austere masters deliuerie of talents to his seruants, that they might occupie or traffique therewith, to the end that he might make vs all carefull to vse and imploy the good gifts of God according to our seuerall places and callings, remembring that we shall be called to a straight account for the same: so elsewhere he com­pareth his comming to the suddain comming of a theefe,Mat. 24. 43. to the end that he might make vs vigilant and watchfull:Apoc. 16. 15. and yet me thinkes this should be but small warrant for theeues suddainly to breake into mens houses.

Yea but (say they) though theft it selfe be vnlawfull, yet the wisedome of theeues in chusing a fit time, in respect whereof the com­ming of Christ is compared to their comming, is not vnlawfull. To omit, that the comming of Christ is compared to the comming of theeues onely in respect of suddainnesse: it cannot truly be said, that the wisdome of theeues in chu­sing their best oportunitie, is lawfull: for all such wisdom Iames calleth earthly,Iam. 3. 15. carnall, and diuellish. Yea, but you will say, although the vnjust stewards dealing with his master were vnjust and vnfaithfull, Luke 16. 8, yet our sa­uiour Christ commendeth his wisdome. I answere, euen as in that place our Sauiour Christ, though the dealing of [Page 287] that steward were vnjust, yet commendeth his wisdome; not that he simply allowed thereof, for it was (as Iames sayth of all such wisdome) earthly and diuellish, but com­mendeth it to his disciples, to be imitated in spirituall things, that we likewise should make vs friends with the riches of iniquitie, that when we must giue vp our stew­ardship, we may be receiued into euerlasting habitations: So in this place he speaketh not of vsurie as of a lawfull gaine, but commendeth the wisedome and care of the children of this world (who are wiser in their generation than the children of light) to be imitated of the faithfull in spirituall things. For as worldly men hauing receiued talents from their master to occupie for his best aduan­tage, vse not to keepe his mony idle by them, but do their best indeuour to increase the stocke committed to them, by traffique or negotiation; or if they be idle or distrust­full, will commit it to the bankers, that their master may receiue his owne with vsurie: so those who haue recei­ued spirituall gifts and graces from God to be employed to his glory, ought not to burie or to hide them, but ought to imploy them as it were by traffique and mutuall com­munication of them for the common good of the church; that by the imployment of them, the Church being pro­fited, and the gifts themselues increased, the Lord may receiue his owne with vantage. For such is the bountie of the Lord, that he accounteth the good of the church and the increase of his graces in his seruants, to be his owne gaine.

Thus haue I shewed, that although the similitude be pressed for the proofe of other matters than for which it is brought, yet nothing can be concluded thence for the justifying of vsurie. But now I answere further, That a similitude ought not to be pressed for the proofe of any matter besides the purpose for which it is bought: other­wise, from parables and similitudes a man might inferre very many absurd consequences. It is therefore a princi­ple [Page 288] among schoole-diuines, that Theologia symbolica non est argumentatius: that is, That arguments drawne from sym­bolicall and parabolicall speeches, prooue nothing in di­uinitie. And Basil speaking of this very parable, giueth this rule, [...] Parables doe not in their specialtie,Ascet. quest. 254 or seue­rally by themselues yeeld full rules or documents, but they lead a mans mind to the argument or cause which is in hand. The scope therefore and purpose of this para­ble, is to teach vs, that for as much as we are all to giue a straight account vnto God of those gifts and talents which we haue receiued from him, it behooueth vs ther­fore diligently and carefully to vse and imploy them, that by the imployment of them our brethren being pro­fited, and the graces themselues being increased in vs, God may haue the glorie, and we euerlasting comfort. This doctrine our Sauiour Christ illustrateth by a para­ble or fained example of a master, who hauing at his de­parture into a strange countrey giuen talents to his ser­uants in diuerse degrees to be occupied, at his returne calleth them to an account, how they haue imployed his talents, and accordingly rewardeth the diligent & faith­full, and punisheth the idle and vnfaithfull seruant, taking from him his excuses, and condemning him out of his owne mouth: this was the proposition of the similitude, the reddition (which is not expressed) is this: So our Lord and master, both when he ascended into heauen gaue, and also since by his spirit giueth gifts and graces to men, to some more, to some lesse, that we may imploy them to his glory, and to the good of our brethren; and at his return in the day of judgement, he shall call vs all to an account, how we haue imployed our talents; and so many as he findeth to haue beene diligent and faithfull seruants, he will reward with euerlasting joy and happinesse; but such as haue buried the gifts of God by idlenesse and vnfaith­fulnesse, he will punish, taking from them their friuolous [Page 289] excuses, and euen condemne them out of their owne mouth. When as therefore they say, that our Sauiour Christ in this parable signifieth, That it were better for a man to put forth his money to vsurie, than to keepe it idle by him: I an­swere, That this is altogether besides the purpose and in­tendment of our Sauiour Christ in this place: His drift is to shew, that as worldly masters require their seruants to increase their worldly wealth by one meanes or other, and will not admit their excuses which they pretend to their idlenesse and vnfaithfulnesse: so the Lord requireth of all his seruants, that they should vse all diligence to imploy his spirituall gifts to his glorie: neither will he accept the friuolous pretences of such as are idle and vn­faithfull. And to this purpose onely, as I take it, is this speech concerning the putting forth of the mony to the bankers, vsed; not that the like is to be done or can be done in spirituall things.

3. Againe, they alledge the authoritie of Iohn Baptist, Luke 3. 12, 13. for when as the Publicanes, who fermed the customes, tolls, and tributes in euery prouince, and vsed to put forth money which they gathered, vnto vsurie, demaunded of him, what they should doe; Iohn Baptist answered, Exact nothing aboue that which is appointed you. Which the author of the aforesaid English Treatise vnderstandeth thus, That they should not in taking vsurie exceed the centefima, that is, twelue in the hundred: as if Iohn had approoued vsurie, so it exceeded not that rate.

I answere, That the Publicans who came to Iohn, were not Romanes, of the worshipfull order of knights, or other Gentiles, but certaine of the Iews, who being called soc [...] publicanorum, the Publicanes associats, as Beza rightly judgeth, were hired by the Romane Publicanes to helpe and assist them, in gathering the customes, tolls, tributes, and reuenewes which were due in Iurie, being a prouince to the citie of Rome: for which cause, though they pra­ctised not vsurie, these Publicanes being Iewes, were ha­ted [Page 290] and detested of the other Iews, and esteemed as most notorious sinners, insomuch, that they might not enter into their assemblies, both because they associated them­selues vnto Gentiles, and also assisted them in a businesse most odious to them, viz. in exacting tributes and tolls from them, being a free people. These Publicans there­fore being in this common disgrace, and comming to Iohn Baptist to be baptized, propound this question to him, Whether it were lawfull for them to exact the tributes in behalfe of the Romanes; or if it be, how they were to demeane themselues, and to that purpose aske him, What shall we doe? Vnto which question Iohn answereth thus, Require or exact no more than is appointed for you. Which answere most plainely concerneth their dutie in exacting of tributes, tolls and customes, that they should extort no more than was due, as the Publicans by forged cauillations many times did.Luke 19. 8.

Vnto these testimonies the same authour addeth two more, Mar. 4. 25, To him that hath, it shall be giuen: and Act. 20. 35, It is a more blessed thing to giue than to re­ceiue: but I will not trouble the reader with them.

And these are their allegations out of the Scripture. Now I desire euery Christian in the feare of God and without partialitie to compare these allegations which haue beene made for vsurie, with those testimonies of Scripture which before I produced against it: & name­ly with that one, Ezek. 18. 13, He that lendeth vpon vsurie, or taketh increase, shall he liue saith the Lord? he shall not liue, but he shall die the death, and his blood shall be vp­on him. And let him vprightly consider to which part he ought rather to incline: For this may not be denied, but that if vsurie may be lawfully practised, it is to be done in faith, that is, in a sound persuasion out of the word of God, that it is lawfull. But whereupon shall this found persuasion be grounded? On a few far-fetched allegati­ons drawne into the defence of vsurie perforce, contradi­cted [Page 291] with such manifest testimonies of scripture, and con­futed by most euident arguments?

But it may be, though their allegations out of scripture be weake, yet their reasons are strong. Though they were neuer so strong, yet ought we rather to denie our owne reason, than not to yeeld simple and absolute obe­dience to the word of God. But let vs examine their strength.

And first, that vsurie so qualified as I said before, is not vnlawfull, they prooue first by the name thereof. For say they, Although the name vsurie in English tongue be odious through the abuse of the ignorant, yet in the learned tongues it is of a middle and indifferent nature.

Answ. By the learned tongues, are commonly vn­derstood the Hebrew, Greeke, and Latine: the first and ordinarie name of vsurie in Hebrew is Neshek, in Greeke [...] in Latine foenus. Neshek signifieth biting, and is deriued from the same verbe which oftentimes in the scripture is ascribed to the biting of serpents. [...] is deriued either of the Hebrew Toc, which signifi­eth deceit and by the Grecians is translated [...] Psal. 55. 13 & 72. 14. as also Isb Tecachim, Prou. 29. 13. The man of deceit, is commonly vnderstood to be the vsurer, and so by diuerse is translated. Or else of the verbe [...] to sig­nifie (as the Philosopher rightly noted) that vsurie is a monstrous and vnnaturall contract, whereby money, and other things which naturally do not fructifie nor haue no fruitfull vse, but are spent in the vse, are made against na­ture to fructifie and to bring forth gaine. For which cause Ch [...]ysosiome calleth vsurie a pestiferous wombe.In Math. homil. 57. Others giue this reason of the Greeke name, that vsurie is called Tokos, because it breedeth griefe to the borrower, or as Ambrose sayth,De Tob. cap. 12. because it worketh in the borrowers soule griefes answerable to the paines of childbirth. In Latine it is called foenus, either quasi foetus, as Nonius Marcellus and others haue taught, by the same reason that it is [Page 292] called [...] in Greeke, because it is as it were the mon­strous and vnnaturall brood of that which is borrowed: or else it is named, foenus, quasi funus (for in many Latine words u is changed into oe dipthong: as in Pomoerium for Pomurium, and Moenia a muniendo) because it is the graue of the borrowers state, and of the lenders soule. Wherefore Ambrose sayth,Se [...]. 6. de Ieiu­nio 10. mensis. Nihil interest inter foenus & funus. And Leo sayth, Foenus pecuniae, sunus animae.

The other words, viz. Tarbith and Marbith in Hebrew, signifying increase, and vsura in Latin, were as Caluin faith deuised by vsurers themselues, when as the odious names of Neshek and foenus did seeme to make their practise odi­ous. And therefore disclaiming Neshek and foenus, they professed themselues to take Tarbith and vsura; euen as vsurers among vs and the French refusing the name vsu­rie, as growne odious, haue deuised the names of interest, vse, and vsance. But for as much as the vsurers among the Iewes, vnder the name Tarbith exercised Neshek, a­mong the Romans vnder the name vsura practised foenus, euen as the vsurers among the French, as Caluin sayth, and also among vs, vnder the names of interest, vse, & vsance, practise plaine vsurie; therefore the words Tarbith and Marbith are euery where taken in the ill sence, and are for­bidden as well as foenus: and vsura among the latter La­tine writers growne as odious as foenus. Quid foenus & Ca­lendarium & vsura, Lib. 7. de benif. sayth Seneca, nisi humanae cupiditatis extra naturam quaesita nomina? What is foenus and the Kalender (for so the vsurers debt-booke was called) and vsurie, but names of mens couetousnesse sought out besides nature? And therfore it is a wonder, that any learned man should affirme, that the name of vsurie in the learned tongues is of a middle and indifferent nature. Wherefore from these premisses this first argument may be retorted vpon them which made it. For if as the names of things be, such commonly be the things, for [...] sayth Aristotle, [...], names doe follow or imitate the things: and [Page 293] Plato calleth names the similitudes and resemblances of things; [...] in Craty. then, odious and detestable names, are arguments of odious and detestable things: but the names of vsurie are odious, as hath beene shewed, for which cause the vsu­rers themselues do auoid them, and are ashamed of them, and therefore such a thing is vsurie it selfe.

2. Obiection. No vsurie is forbidden by the law of God and by the law of nature, but that which is hurtfull, and ioyned with the hurt or losse of the neighbour.

But some vsurie is not hurtfull but rather helpefull to the neighbor. Therefore some vsurie is not forbidden.

First, the proposition is vntrue, and of dangerous con­sequence: for the law of God forbiddeth all vsurie in generall, as a thing in it own nature and in his whole kind simply vnlawfull, without any such restraint or limitati­on, euen as it condemneth adulterie, lying, theft, or any other notorious sinne. And therefore, if it were lawfull thus to argue in fauour of vsurie, mincing the commaun­dement of God in an intollerable presumption, and re­straining and limitting the same out of our owne braine: why may it not be lawfull so to argue in defence of other sinnes; as indeed some haue done in defence of lying, which as you heard before is generally forbidden as a thing simply euill, and yet some haue taken vpon them the defence of such lies as are not hurtfull but helpefull to the neighbour. And why might not the pick-thanke as well haue justified his murthering of Saule, if he had according to his owne report slaine him in charitie, and at his owne intreatie to end his paine, being past reco­uerie, and to preuent the scornings of the Philistimes, which he feared more than death?

But they prooue their proposition thus.

Vsurie is not forbidden, but as it is against charitie, for charitie is the summe of the law, and he which obserueth the rules of charitie, keepeth the law.

But that which is not hurtfull to the neighbour, is not against [Page 294] charitie, therefore that vsurie which is not hurtfull to the neighbour, is not forbidden.

Answ. Charitie, which is the summe of the law, hath reference towards God; towards our neighbour, not on­ly in priuat, but also in publicke; and towards a mans selfe. And in this sence I acknowledge the proposition of this syllogisme to be true, viz. that vsurie is not forbid­den, but as it is repugnant to charitie. But hereby the as­sumption of this syllogisme is prooued to be false, for there be many things which are not perhaps hurtfull to our neighbour in particular, with whom we deale, which are notwithstanding repugnant to charitie. The officious lie helpeth the particular neighbour, in whose fauour it is told, yet because it is repugnant to veritie, it is repugnant to charitie. God who is truth hath forbidden all vntruth, and he will destroy euery one that speaketh lies: The ly­ing mouth destroyeth the soule: therefore no lying can stand with that charitie and obedience which we owe to God, nor with that loue which we owe to our own soules. So in like sort suppose that the borrower sometimes is not hurt by vsurie, but rather holpen; yet notwithstan­ding all vsurie is against charitie, for the practise of it can­not stand with charitie and our allegiance to God, who hath forbidden it, denounced his judgements against it, made gracious promises to them that will do the contra­rie: nor with our charitie and dutie to our countrey, vnto which vsurie is in many respects noysome, as hath beene shewed: nor with that loue which we owe to our owne soules; for whosoeuer putteth foorth to vsurie, or ta­keth increase, he shall not liue, but die the death. And moreouer, you may remember what I haue before proo­ued, that vsurie is euer repugnant to charitie, if not as a hurtfull thing to our neighbour, yet as an vnjust thing in it selfe.

Yea but say they againe, to proue the former proposi­tion, That vsurie which is ioyned with the hurt of the neighbour, is [Page 295] condemned, therefore that which is not ioyned with the hurt of the neighbour is not condemned.

Answer. I denie the consequence: for there are other respects which make vsurie vnlawfull, besides the hurt of the neighbour, as euen now I shewed. By the same reason the patrones of officious lies might ar­gue thus: God forbiddeth vs to tell a lie against our neighbour; therefore the lie which is not against the neighbour, but for him, is not forbidden. But you will say, All lying is forbidden: so is all vsurie, as I haue alrea­die prooued.

And thus I haue shewed against the proposition, that all vsurie is vnlawfull, though all were not hurtfull. Now I add against the assumption of the first syllogisme, That all vsury is hurtfull: hurtfull I say, either to the borrower, as commonly it is, or else to the commonwealth, as before hath beene prooued.

Obiection. 3. Vsurie is not vncharitable neither in re­spect of the borrower, nor yet in regard of the common­weale: the former they prooue thus. There is no propertie of charitie which may not well stand with vsurie. No not that, charitie seeketh not her owne: for I am not otherwise bound to loue my neigh­bour than my selfe. Nay rather the debtor should offend against cha­ritie in too much seeking his owne, if he would haue another mans money freely, by which he is sure in all likelyhood to gaine.

Answer. In traffique and negotiation it is lawfull for a man as well to respect his owne gaine, as another mans good. But in lending, which is an act of charitie, and a contract ordained for the good of the borrower, to seeke gaine, it is against charitie, which seeketh not her owne. We ought to lend by the commaundement of Christ, not respecting our profit or gaine, but the good of the borrower. But the vsurers charitie is, by his lending to seeke ease out of the borrowers labour, securitie out of his hazard, and gaine as well out of his losse as out of his gaine.

[Page 296] Againe, out of the vncertaine negotiation of the bor­rower to couenant for certaine gaine, it is not onely vn­charitable but also vnjust and vnequall. But in the con­tract of actuall vsurie there is an absolut couenant for cer­taine gaine, as I haue proued before, which the borrower whether he shall gaine or loose is absolutly bound to pay together with the principall. And this absolut coue­nant for certaine gaine, is not an abuse happening be­sides the nature of the contract, but of the verie nature and essence of actuall vsurie. But the borrower (you say) is in a maner sure to gaine. Why then (say I) will you not ad­uenture with him? for if the lender will be content to ha­zard his principall, so as he will not onely looke for no gaine but when the borrower gaineth, but also will bee content to beare part with him in his losse, hee shall not deale by vsurie, but by partnership.

And whereas they say that the borrower should of­fend against charitie in seeking too much his owne, if hee would desire to borrow freely, &c. I answer by distin­ction, Men borrow either to supply their need, or to pro­cure gaine: Of the former there is no question, but that they may with good conscience desire in their necessitie to borrow freely: onely men must beware, how they fall into this necessitie. As for them which borrow for gain, you may consider their dealing in the time, either of the borrowing, or of the payment. In the time of borrowing, he doth not therefore sinne against charitie, if he will not out of his vncertaine traffique promise certaine gaine to the lender, who will beare no hazard with him: Indeed if the lender will be content to beare part of the losse, the borrower ought to yeeld him part of the gaine. At the time of payment he is bound to be thankfull to the cre­ditor if he haue gained, and willingly to afford him some part of that gaine wherewith it hath pleased God by the creditors meanes to blesse him, especially if the creditor could not well forbeare his money. As touching the lat­ter [Page 297] point, that vsurie offends not against publike charitie, they indeuour to proue by these two reasons. Because it is both profitable and necessarie to common weales. It is profitable: For if the creditor haue no skill in any trade or traf­fique, and the borrower hauing skill wanteth a stocke, not onely both they shall be gainers, but the commonwealth also shall receiue good by the imployment of the one mans stocke, and of the others skill, where­as contrariwise the common wealth should sustaine losse, if neither the creditors money be occupied, nor the borrowers skill imployed.

I answer, there are other lawfull meanes whereby mens money may better be imployed for the good of the common weale, than by vsurie: For when the borrowers do gaine by that which they haue taken vp on vsurie, the common wealth commonly payeth the vsurie, as hath bene shewed. But why wilt not thou imploy thy mony thy selfe in some honest contract? Is it because thou wilt take no paines, nor beare any aduenture, but wilt be sure to prouide for great and certaine gaine with ease? Then art thou an vnprofitable member in the commonwealth, liuing of the sweat of other mens browes, &c. Or hast thou any lawfull reason either because of thy calling, age, or condition, that thou canst not indeed imploy thy mo­ney thy selfe? then mayest thou buy either lands or rents after that maner which before hath bene shewed, or else thou maiest deale by partnership. But you must remem­ber, there is no partnership without partaking in the losse as well as in the gaine.

That vsurie is necessarie they prooue, Because as the world now goeth, and as mens maners now are, no common weale can stand without it.

Answer. If that be true, then vsurie is proued to bee a necessarie euill: and this necessitie argueth not the law­fulnesse of vsurie, but the wretched estate of the world, which as Iohn saith, lieth in euil. 1. Iohn. 5. 19. For to say absolutly that cō ­monweales cannot stand without vsurie, were deroga­torie to the wisedome of God, who would not suffer vsu­rie [Page 298] in that cōmonweale which he ordained, as hath before bin shewed. But whence ariseth this necessitie? the neces­sity of borrowing & so of lending ariseth frō mens wants, and hardly can humane societies stand without that con­tract: but the necessitie of vsurie ariseth of mens couetous­nes and hardnesse of their hearts. For although there may be a necessitie of borrowing vpon vsurie, when men that must needs borrow cannot borrow freely, yet there is no other necessitie why men should lend vpon vsurie, but that which their owne couetousnesse (when they haue once said they will be rich) hath imposed vpon them:1. Tim. 6. 9. for vnlesse thy neighbour haue need to borrow, there is no necessitie of lending at all imposed vpon thee. But if thy neighbour haue great need to borrow, and thou be well able to forbeare, the Lord hath laid a necessitie of dutie vpon thee to lend freely, which without sinne thou canst not auoid. Or if there be a necessitie that thou shouldest imploy thy stocke to gaine, there be other lawfull con­tracts to that purpose, so that thou shalt not need (vnlesse it be for idlenesse and distrust) to deale by vsurie. Now if a pretended necessitie, arising from the hardnesse of mens hearts, and setled resolution to go on in the practise of vsurie, contrarie to the commaundement of God, be of sufficient force to justifie vsurie; then by the same argu­ment, may any other sinne be justified.

Object. 4. It belongeth to magistrats to determine of ciuile contracts, and therefore vsurie is so farre forth lawfull, as they by their lawes allow it.

Answer. The rule of our conscience is not the law of man but the law of God: and it is a principle, That the law of the inferiour cannot dispence with the law of the superiour. If therefore the Law of God condemne all vsurie, no law of man can make any vsurie lawfull.

Againe, we are to distinguish betwixt allowing and permitting: no good lawes allow vsurie as good, though some permit it as a thing euill, for auoiding of [Page 299] greater euils. Magistrats are faine sometimes to permit and tollerat that which they are not able altogether to amend. Moses for the hardnesse of mens hearts permit­ted the husbands to put away their wiues, so that they did giue them a bill of diuorcement, wherein their wiues in­nocencie should be cleered; not that he allowed thereof, but that he would prouide for the wiues safetie, deliue­ring them from the furie or tyrannie of their husbands. But notwithstanding this permission, whosoeuer put a­way his wife hauing not broken the bond of wedlocke by committing adulterie, by the sentence of our Sauiour Christ, himselfe committed adulterie.Mat. 19. So the magistrats, by reason of the couetousnesse and hardnesse of mens hearts are forced to tollerat vsurie, so it be kept within such bonds as they prescribe, not that they allow thereof, but that they might prouide for the good of those who haue need to borrow, both that they might borrow, and also that borrowing they should not bee too much op­pressed. But notwithstanding this legal tolleration, he that lendeth for gain is an vsurer & a theefe before God. And therefore as the judiciall permission of Moses in the case of diuorcements, so the ciuile permission of magistrats in the case of vsurie, doth not serue to cleere a man from the guilt of sinne before God, but onely to exempt the partie from ciuile punishment. And yet it cannot be truly said that our lawes do so much as permit any vsurie, excep­ting in the case of orphanes. Wherefore this argument may also be retorted vpon our patrons of vsurie: for see­ing as they say, magistrats haue authoritie by their lawes to determine of ciuile contracts; and seeing our lawes de­termine of all vsurie as of a sinne, allowing none at all as good, but punishing it as euill, and not so much as per­mitting any, except in the case of orphanes; hereof it is to be inferred, that no vsurie among vs can be practised with a good conscience.

Object. 5. If letting be lawfull, then vsurie also is lawfull, for [Page 300] vsurie is letting of money; but letting is lawfull, therefore vsurie.

Answer. To the prosyllogisme or proofe of the propo­sition: I haue before sufficiently shewed that vsurie can­not be cōmitted but in things which are lent to be spent; and therefore as they are the subject of vsurie, they are not lettable. And as for the proposition it selfe, you haue heard, that although letting in it selfe be a lawfull con­tract, yet vsurie in it selfe is simply and vtterly vn­lawfull. But why may not money be let as well as other things? Because none of those respects are incident vnto money, for which hire is lawfully required. For first, things which may be let haue a fruitfull vse in themselues, which a man may let and alienat for a time, reseruing the pro­pertie to himselfe; but money and those other things which are the subject of vsurie, which consisting in quan­titie are spent in the vse, haue no fruitfull vse, which ei­ther may be seuered from the propertie, or valued apart, as though it might be let or alienated, the propertie re­serued. Secondly, the partie which hireth things that be let, after he hath according to the contract of hiring en­joyed the vse thereof, he restoreth the selfe same particu­lar which he tooke to hire, being for the most part impai­red in the vse. The partie which borroweth money and such other things as consist in quantity, after he hath spent the same, is not to restore the same particular which he hath spent, impaired in the vse, but the full value of the principall, with better rather than worse. Thirdly, he that letteth any thing to hire, as he retaineth the pro­pertie, so he beareth the hazard thereof: but it is con­contrarie in vsurie: for the money being once lent, the propertie is transferred to the borrower, and with the property the hazard. To omit the cost and charge which the letter to hire many times is at, with those things which he letteth: wheras the vsurer is at no cost at all.

There being these foure considerations, why letting is lawfull, and vsurie vnlawfull, the patrons of vsurie [Page 301] take exception against the first, neglecting the rest. For (say some of the most learned of them,) It is but an igno­rant obiection which is made out of Aristotle, that vsurie is a gaine contrarie to nature, because money begets not money: seeing the Scrip­ture condemneth the increase of meat as of money.

Answer. Be it so, for there is the same reason of mony and of other things which are spent in the vse. Let the Rea­der therfore judge whether Chrysostome and Ambrose which make this objection out of Aristotle, or he which vseth this reason, were more ignorant: for it were as monstrous to require gaine for the fruitfull vse of meat being spent in the vse, besides the price of the meat it selfe, as to require a gaine for the fruitfull vse of money which is spent in the vse, besides the full restitution of the principall. Yea but money, though it be not fruitfull in is selfe, yet by negotiation it bringeth forth greater increase them other things which are let.

Answer. The gaine which is raised out of any thing which hath not a fruitfull vse in it selfe but is spent in the vse, is not the fruit of that thing, but of his skill and in­dustrie which doth imploy it. No more haue other things (say they) no not the earth it selfe, without the labour and industrie of him that vseth the same.

Answer. We must distinguish betwixt fructum and que­stum, fruitfull vse, and gaine. The fruit or fruitfull vse ari­seth from the nature of the thing it selfe, and as the Lawyers speake, Ex ipso cui [...]sque rei corpore, and such is the fruit or fruitfull vse of things that be let, as of cattell, their yong ones, their milke, their wooll, their labour in draw­ing, and cariage of the earth, both that which groweth within it, as mettals and minerals, &c. and also that which groweth vpon it, as hearbes and trees and their fruits. Likewise of artificiall things, as of houses, the com­moditie of dwelling, of ships, the commoditie of sai­ling, &c.

Questu [...], or gaine, is that which ariseth not out of the nature of the thing it selfe, but is gotten by negotiation [Page 302] or making of contracts, as buying and selling, &c. And thus those which haue skill and will be at the paines and charge, may raise a gaine not onely out of those things which haue a fruitfull vse of themselues, as those which buy such commodities to sell them againe vsually do, as horse-coursers, drouers, and other trades men; but also out of such things as are spent in the vse, which as the Lawyers speake, Non corpore sed quantitate constant, as vi­ctuallers, mony changers, salters, vintners, and such as buy these kinds of commodities to sell them againe, vsually do. Now if things which haue a fruitfull vse in them­selues cannot be let in respect of any gaine which may be raised out of the buying and selling of them; much lesse may those things which in themselues are not lettable, because they haue no fruitfull vse, neither are to returne in the same particuler, be let in respect of any gain which may perhaps be raised by the imployment of them in ne­gotiation.

If you say that although things cannot bee let to this vse, because they are not to returne in the same particuler, yet they may be sold to this vse, and in respect thereof may be sold the dearer: I answer, that all commodities are, and indeed ought to be sold cheaper to such as buy to fell them againe, than to others who buy for their own vse; otherwise they which deale by retailing, which is a necessarie trade, should either themselves be continuall loosers, or be forced to enhance the prices of commodi­ties, to the prejudice of the common-wealth. Onely the vsurers who ought to lend freely to those which are in need, do thinke they may put forth their mony and com­modities at an higher rate, to those which meane to im­ploy them vnto gaine; whereby such persons become ei­ther banquerups, if their gaine be not great, or oppres­sors of the common weale, if it be.

But suppose that money hath a fruitfull vse in respect of the gaine which is raised by the imployment of it, yet [Page 303] to whom ought the profit arising out of the vse thereof appertaine? surely to him who hauing the property of the money, doth also beare the hazard, sustaineth the charge, taketh the paines, vseth his skill in the imployment of it, that is to say, to the borrower: to whom the losse also if there be any, wholly appertaineth. If you say that by the same reason the Landlord ought not to receiue any rent for the ground which he letteth: I answer, first, that the land hath a fruitfull vse in it selfe, answerable to the rent, both without mans helpe, as in medowes, pastures, woods, and mines, &c. and also with, as in arable grounds, wherein the rent is proportionated according to the fruitfulnesse thereof. Secondly, that the propertie of the ground belongeth to the Landlord, and therefore the profit belongeth partly to him in respect of the fruitfull vse of that which is his, partly to the tenant for his labour and charges.Colonus merce­dem, si qua ca­lam it [...]s a cide­rit, non debet. l. ex conducto. §. 1. & 7. Dig. lib. 19. tit. 2. Thirdly, the Landlord beareth the hazard of the ground, not only in respect of the title, but also in respect of calamities, which happening, he is as well to loose his rent, as the te­nant his labour and charges.

Againe, they alledge two other reasons, in respect whereof they do imagine that money may as well be put to hire as other things: The one is, the propertie of continuance which it hath, being not subiect to be consumed, as other things, and namely as cattell are: The other, because by mon [...]y a man may buy any thing which is vsually let. The former reason is to li­tl [...] purpose: for money though it continueth in it selfe and is not perished, yet it continueth not to him that vseth it: for to him that vseth it, it is spent; to him that vseth it not, it is vnprofitable: whereas other things remaine in the vse, and continue profitable to them which vse them. The latter I haue answered before: for although hire may not be taken for money, yet I doe not deny but that hire may be taken for things which are bought with money, if they bee not such as are spent in the vse: for besides other respects before mentioned, hee that letteth that [Page 304] which he hath bought, he standeth to the hazard of it; but so doth not he that putteth forth his money to vsury. These with some others which before I refuted when I propounded mine owne arguments, are the chiefe obje­ctions which are made in defence of vsurie. The rest, which I haue either read or heard, are either of small weight, or altogether impertinent.

Of the former sort are foure other arguments of mine English author:Obiect. 6. as first, If men may not sell the dearer for time, then wo-worth to all merchants and occupiers, whose vse is to sell the dearer for time.

Answer. He might as well haue said, If men may not lend vpon vsurie lawfully, then wo-worth to all vsurers, whose vse is to lend for gaine. But (say I) the former is true both in this proposition and in the former, as I haue proued heretofore, and therfore the conclusion of a fear­full woe is to be inferred against those, who will notwith­standing all that which hath bene said, continue still in the practise either of open vsurie, or of selling dearer for time, which is couert vsurie.

Secondly,Obiect. 7. Either all contracts o [...] gaine are vsurious, or those onely which are vniust and vnequall: but it is absurd to say that all contracts for gaine are vsurious (and that he proueth valiantly and at large) therefore those onely are vnlawfull, which are vniust and vnequall. All this I graunt: what then? And therefore by consequent vsurie is not vnlawfull. But how is that conse­quence proued? mine author had rather the reader should take it for granted, than put him to proue it: for I haue made it manifest before, that all vsurie is vnjust, vn­equall, and vncharitable.

Thirdly, Obiect. 8. Either men must lend vpon vsurie, or else let their mo­ney he idle by them: but the latter ought not to be done, therefore the former may.

To the proposition I answer, That there is no neces­sitie in that disjunction, for men must neither lend vpon vsurie, nor yet suffer their mony long to lie idle by them, [Page 305] but part they are to communicate to the vse of others, ac­cording to the rules of charitie and liberalitie: part they are to spend for their owne vse, according to the rules of frugalitie: and the rest they may imploy in some honest contracts, according to the rules of justice and thrist, or good husbandrie.

Fourthly, Obiect. 9. To lend vpon vsurie and to borrow vpon vsurie are relatiues, therefore if to lend vpon vsurie be a sinne, it is a sinne to borrow vpon vsurie, and if to borrow vpon vsurie be lawfull, than is it lawfull to lend vpon vsurie.

I deny the consequence, which is grounded vpon a false supposition, that there is alwayes the like reason of relatiues. The same author saith that the vsurer and the poore are as relatiues, therfore by this reason, if it be a sin to be an vsurer, it is a sinne also to be poore. In like sort, the oppressour, and he that is oppressed, the robber, and he that is robbed, are relatiues; but shall we hence con­clude, that if to be robbed, or oppressed is not a sinne, therefore it is not a sinne to rob or to oppresse?

To borrow vpon vsurie is lawfull onely vpon neces­sitie, as I shall shew, but hee that yeeldeth to pay vsurie when he is to borrow vpon necessitie, is oppressed, and therefore be which imposeth vsurie vpon him, is an op­pressor. And in this consectarie drawne from relatiues, there is indeed par ratio the same, or equiualent reason, on both sides. The borrower vpon vsurie is oppressed, therefore the lender vpon vsurie is an oppressor. And contrariwise.

The rest of the arguments which I find vsed in defence of vsurie are impertinent, seruing to proue the lawfulnes, not of gainefull vsurie, whereof is the question; but either of liberall vsurie, or recompencing vsurie and interest, or of some other lawfull contract.

And first for liberell vsurie. Obiect. 10. Equitie requireth that he who hath gained well by the imployment of money borrowed, should allow some part of his gaine to the lender, especially if hee could not well [Page 306] forbeare his money.

Secondly, Againe the lender hath holpen thee to thy gaine, therefore thou oughtest to make him partaker thereof.

Thirdly, Charitie requireth that he which hath raised great gaine out of my money, should impart some part thereof to me.

Fourthly, We must do to others as we desire that others should do to vs. But when others haue gained well by our money, we could be content to be partakers of that gaine.

Fiftly, Should a richer man occupie a poorer mans stocke, and gaining well thereby, make him none allowance? should be grow rich with another mans hinderance?

These reasons prooue that the borrower is bound in thankfulnesse, when hee hath gained well by that which he hath freely borrowed, to impart some portion of his gaine to the lender, especially if without some hinde­rance to himselfe hee could not forbeare his money so long. From whence this conclusion may be inferred.

That which the borrower ought willingly to giue, the lender may receiue.

The borrower ought willingly to giue some part of his gaine which he hath raised by the money freely borrowed of him who could not well forbeare it:

Therefore the lender may receiue such part of the borrowers gaine, as he doth willingly impart vnto him.

All this I graunt: but hereby the contract of vsurie, wherein is an absolut couenant for the receiuing of the principall with an ouerplus, whether the borrower gaine or loose, is nothing at all justified.

The second ranke of impertinent arguments fight for interest or recompencing vsury,Obiect. 11. of which sort there are in the aforesaid english Treatise, fiue, distinguished by notes of number, that author (as it seemeth) laboring more for number than for weight of arguments.

First, Shall the debtor (saith he) being an able man, by seeking delayes gaine time after time at his pleasure, to the losse, hurt, and [Page 307] trouble of his creditor, without recompence?

Secondly, Is it reason that a rich man should withhold any mans money against his will, and make his priuat gaine thereof?

Thirdly, The father in law making delayes for the payment of that portion which he promised with his daughter, is to make allow­ance by way of interest to his sonne in law, who beareth the charge and burden belonging to marriage.

Fourthly, When the creditor being disappointed of his money at the day of payment, is forced himselfe to take vp so much after ten in the hundred, may not he require the same to be allowed him of the debtor, through whose default he sustaineth that losse or hinderance?

Fiftly, When the suretie is compelled through the debtors default to pay the debt which he vndertooke for him, the debtor is bound to make him recompence, of what losse or hinderance hee sustaineth through the debtors default.

All this I graunt: but gaineful vsurie differeth much, as I haue shewed before, from recompencing vsurie or interest: for it is great reason that he which seeketh to be no gainer by loane, should be no looser. Neither ought any man to be enriched with another mans losse. But whosoeuer hath bene the effectuall cause of the cre­ditors losse or hinderance, he ought, if he be able, to make him recompence.

Sixtly, To these another reason may be added, which is the onely argument grounded vpon the Scriptures, which I find in one learned patron of vsurie. There is the like reason of ceassing from labour, and forbearing of money: but he that causeth a man to ceasse from his labour, is to make him recom­pence according to the law,Exod. 21. 19. Exod. 21. 19. therefore he which causeth another man to forbeare his money, is to make him recompence accor­ding to the time of forbearance.

I answer, first, that there is not the like reason, betwixt a mans labour, and the vse of money: A mans labour be­ing lettable, and yeelding to the labourer, if he worketh, certaine wages. Secondly, although there were the like reason betwixt them, yet nothing could bee prooued [Page 308] hence, but the lawfulnesse of interest or recompencing vsurie: For the law speaketh not of allowance to bee made for a mans voluntarie ceassing from his worke, but when he ceasseth against his will, hauing beene smitten and wounded by another man, so that he cannot worke; in this case the smiter is to make him recompence for the losse of his time and ceassing from his labour. In like case allowance is not to be made for voluntarie forbearing or lending of money: but when the creditor forbeareth it against his will, to his losse and hinderance, through the debtors default; the debtor hauing bene by his delay the effectuall cause of the creditors losse, is to make him re­compence.

7 Lastly, He which hauing bought wares maketh default of pay­ment, is by the ciuile law to pay vsurie to the seller, from whom the price is detained against his will to his losse and hinderance.

Answer. I deny not but that if the price were equall, the like allowance is to be made in this case, as after delay in that which is borrowed: but this allowance is not gaine­full vsurie, but recompencing vsurie or interest.

There is another sort of impertinent arguments,Obiect. 12. which serue to proue the lawfulnesse, not of vsurie, but of the contracts. As first of the gainefull contracts of negotia­tion and traffique, in buying and selling: for some haue a conceit, that if any contracts of gaine be lawfull, vsurie (which they like so wel) cannot be vnlawfull. And to this purpose the author of the English Treatise proueth, first, that merchandise is lawfull, by the description of the ver­tuous, godly, and wise woman, Prou. 31. 18. 24.

Secondly, That buying of rents and lands is lawfull.

Thirdly, That the gaine of drouers and grasiers is warrantable: from all which, as so many arguments, he would haue vs inferre, that therefore vsurie is lawfull. But vnlesse he can proue that men may as well lend for gaine, as buy and sell for gaine (which I haue before dis­proued) these arguments are to little purpose.

[Page 309] Secondly, He alledgeth the lawfulnesse of the ciuile lending, whereby a man lendeth expecting the like cour­tesie againe: as for example, When a man lendeth where he hopeth to borrow as much another time; when a mil­ler lendeth money to a baker, to the end he may grind at his mill; when a scriuener lendeth mony to a gentleman, to the end that hee should haue his writings made with him, &c. But although this ciuile lending with expecta­tion of the like courtesie, be not so commendable as the Christian and charitable lending, which is without re­spect of our owne good or profit, euen as the inuiting of our able friends is not so laudable as the feasting of the poore and helpelesse, yet is it lawfull, so long as the courtesie expected is not valuable by money, or such as is commonly and lawfully bought and sold for money. Such is the courtesie of lending expected from them of whom we borrow, the courtesie of their custome in fre­quenting our shops to buy our wares, or to haue their worke done with vs, and such like. Howbeit if we coue­nant with the borrower for these courtesies, they may be clokes of vsurie: as if I bind him to lend who will be more like to borrow, & more willing to pay vsurie for the for­mer loane, than to lend as much more (which hath bene a practise of some dissembling vsurers:) or if I require his custome, with this purpose, to make him pay the more for my worke or ware, because he is in my danger, or be­holden to me. Otherwise, if he haue a peni-worth for his peny, and be as well dealt with as others that are no way beholden to vs, euen by the naturall obligation which bindeth all men to thankfulnes, he is bound to shew that courtesie to those who haue well deserued of him, rather than to others.

And these are the arguments which are brought for vsurie, which also I would desire the Christian reader to compare with those which haue bene brought against it. Now we are to descend to their testimonies, which are [Page 310] partly the publicke allowance of lawes in these dayes, and common practise of most rich men in all Christen­dome, partly the priuat judgements of diuerse learned and reuerent men of this age.

Of the lawes I haue spoken before: that none allow vsurie; though some with certaine restraints doe permit and tollerat it as an euill thing, for the auoiding of grea­ter mischiefe. The commen practise of rich men doth not proue vsurie to be lawfull, but themselues to be co­uetous and void of charitie. As for the judgements of godly learned men: I answer, That none such do allow that vsurie which is practised in the world, or if any do, I oppose to them the judgements of many more worthie and learned men in this age, the testimonies of all the learned in former ages, both Christian and heathen, the censures of Councels, the authoritie of the word of God.

Now if the conscience of any be not clearly conuicted by the euidence of truth, which I haue deliuered concer­ning the vnlawfulnesse of vsurie, I will for their sakes add a further consideration; whereby it shall appeare, that although we were not sure that vsurie is vnlawfull, yet it cannot be practised with a good conscience. First, because it cannot be done in faith, that is to say, in a sound persuasion out of the word of God,Rom. 14. 23. that it is lawfull: and whatsoeuer is not of faith is sinne. Wherefore, if thou doest but doubt of the lawfulnesse of vsurie, thou art to abstaine from it, being well assured, that this is the safer course, for men are not to doe that which they doubt of, but euer in doubtfull things they must chuse the safer way. But it is to be feared, that many vsurers do not only doubt of the lawfulnesse of vsurie, but euen in their own consciences condemne it, and yet against their consci­ence doe practise it: for they had rather be vsurers than seeme so. Yea they account it a reproch to be called an vsurer: and although they practise the thing, yet they [Page 311] auoid the name, and in stead of vsurie vse these names, vse, vsance, consideration, interest: and as they auoid the name, so many times they cloke the thing it selfe with di­uerse other pretences, as hath beene shewed.

Againe, vsurie is a very odious thing and of ill report: the very heathen by the light of nature detest it. Tully sayth, such gaines are to be misliked which are odious,De off. lib. 1. as namely that of vsurers. Columella sayth,De re rustica. lib. 1. That vsurie is odi­ous euen to those whom it seemeth to helpe.Polit. 1. Aristotle saith, it is hated most worthily:Mostellar. Nullum aedipol hodie genus ho­min [...] est te [...]rius, Nec minus bon [...] cum iure quam Danisticium. for as Plautus well saith, There is no worse kind of men this day, or that deale with lesse right, than the vsurers. Alexander ab Alexandro reporteth in detestation of vsurie, that very many nations did so ab­horre it, that whereas they punished a theefe twofold, they punished an vsurer fourefold. As for Christians, vsurie in auntient time was so odious among them,Lib. 1. cap. 7. that if any were but suspected to be an vsurer,Vide Centur. 12. cap. 4. inter pec­cata 7. praecepti. his house was counted the house of the diuell, no neighbour would fetch fire at his house, or haue any thing to doe with him, children would point at him in the streets:See D. Wilson, fol. 13 6. b. yea, by the laws of Christians they are diffamed persons. The scrip­tures as you haue heard, censure vsurie as an abhominati­on, that is, as a sinne to be abhorred. And Psal. 109. 11, the holy ghost vseth this interpretation against the wicked: Let the exactour (meaning thereby the vsurer, [...]. as all transla­tions almost besides some English doe read) ensnare all that he hath. Whereby it may be gathered, both that to be an vsurer is an odious thing, and that it is a curse to fall in­to his snare.

Now the Scriptures teach vs,Phil. 4. 8. that we should doe such things as are honest and of good report,Rom. 12. 17. prouiding for honest things not onely before God,1. Thess. 5. 22. but also before men, abstaining from all shewes of euill.

Seeing therefore vsurie is and alwayes hath beene a thing so odious and of so bad report, no Christian can practise it with a good conscience.

[Page 312] And thus I hope this question of vsurie is sufficiently decided.

Now let vs consider what vse this doctrine affordeth; which briefely is thus much: that seeing vsurie is so dete­stable a sinne, as hath beene shewed, we should therefore take great heed, that we be not guiltie thereof, either as principals or as accessaries.

The former vse concerneth either those who haue not as yet beene attainted with this sinne, or those that haue practised it. Those who haue not defiled themselues with this vnjust gaine, are taught to confirme their reso­lution of abstaining from vsurie, and the rather, seeing the holy ghost in this place maketh it a note of a sound Christian and citisen of heauen.

As for those who haue practised this sinne, their dutie is to repent thereof, whereunto they may be mooued by this argument: Those that shall dwell in the mountaine Gods holinesse, are such as doe not put forth their money to vsurie. Thou (say I to him that is an vsurer) puttest forth thy money to vsurie, therefore thou shalt not dwell in the mountaine of Gods holinesse, namely, vnlesse thou repent. And againe Ezech. 18, He that putteth foorth to vsurie and taketh increase, he shall not liue, but die the death, viz. vnlesse he repent and turne from his wicked­nesse: for that condition is to be vnderstood by warrant of the Lords owne exposition, Ezech. 35. 14, 15, When I shall say to the wicked (as he sayth to the vsurer, chap. 18. 13) Thou shalt die the death: if he turne from his sinne, and doe that which is lawfull and right, to wit, if the wic­ked restore the pledge and giue againe that he had rob­bed, and walke in the statutes of life without committing iniquitie, he shall surely liue and not die.

Now vnto repentance, besides the inward loathing of the sinne and sorrow conceiued for it, is required (as that testimonie out of Ezech. 33. 14, 15, plainely sheweth) both a desisting from the practise of vsurie, and a restitution of [Page 313] that which hath beene gotten by vsurie with the harme of others. For the first: it is the expresse commaunde­ment of God by the Apostle, Eph. 4. 28, Let him that stole, steale no more: and by Nehemiah more particularly in this case of vsurie, chap. 5. 10, Let vs cease from this burthen, meaning vsurie: forsaking of sinne accompanieth forgi­uing of sinne: He that confesseth his sinne and forsaketh it, shall haue mercie, Prou. 28. 13. Neither may we thinke that God remitteth those sinnes, which we our selues retaine. But this point needeth no proofe. If vsurie be a sinne, and we guiltie of it, our conscience telling vs that it is a sinne, we cannot be saued, except this sinne be forgiuen vs; and it will neuer be forgiuen of God, vnlesse also it be forsaken of vs. Now vpon this forsaking of sinne, will follow the second dutie of repentance, namely restitution, as a ne­cessarie consequent thereof. Which restitution whoso­euer maketh not, being able to restore, he neither hath vnfained repentance for this sinne, nor any sound assu­rance of the forgiuenesse thereof. He hath not repen­tance: for he doth not forsake the sinne of theft and vsu­rie, that continueth in it; and he continueth therein, that doth not make restitution. For so oft as a man remem­breth, that whatsoeuer he hath vnjustly gotten by vsurie or any other kind of theft, to the damnifying of others, is not his owne, but theirs whom he hath wronged, and yet refuseth (being able) to restore the same, so often he com­mitteth theft.Si res alienae propter quam pec [...]atum est, cum reddi possit non redditur, non agi [...]u [...] poe­ [...]tentia, sed fin­gitur. Therefore Augustine sayth, That men doe repent indeed, but counterfeit repentance, if when they are able to restore other mens goods, wherein they haue offended, they doe not restore them. Zachaeus so soone as he repented him of his former life, promised restitution. Iudas hauing not true repentance, but onely a remorse for his sinne,Luke 19. 8. not [...] but [...], restored the thirtie pie­ces of money,Mat. 27. 3. for which he had betrayed his master.

But as he hath not repentance that maketh not resti­tution, if he be able, so neither hath he any sound assu­rance [Page 314] of remission. It is a true saying of Augustine, Non remitti peccatum, Epist. 54. ad Macedon. nisi restituatur ablatum, That the sinne is not remitted, vnlesse that which hath been vnjustly taken, be restored, namely, if the partie be able to restore: for whiles a man continueth in a sinne, he cannot beleeue the for­giuenesse thereof; and he continueth therein, vntill he make restitution. To restore, is to cease from doing wrong, therefore he that will not restore, doth not cease from the wrong.

But it is further to be considered, to whom and when this restitution is to be made, and how farre foorth. To whom? Surely to him that hath sustained losse or harme thereby, Leuit. 6. 5. Num. 5. 7, 8, that is, either to the vse of the debtour if he hath beene bitten, or to publicke and godly vses, if the commonwealth hath been endamaged.

When? So soone as thou desirest remission of thy sin, and reconciliation with God. For so the Lord hath ex­pressely commaunded, Num. 5. 6, 7, 8. Leuit. 6. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, viz. that first the sinne must be confessed to God: second­ly, restitution is to be made to the partie offended the same day that thou seekest reconciliation with God, if not before: and thirdly, a sacrifice was to be offred, &c. the equitie whereof remaineth vnto vs; that in the third place we should call vpon God for the forgiuenesse of our sinne, desiring him for and by the sufficient sacrifice of Christ (which was prefigured by the sacrifices of the law) to forgiue our sinne. Many will seeme to seeke re­conciliation with God, but neuer thinke of making a­mends to their brother offended. But our Sauiour Christ teacheth vs another lesson, Matth. 5. 23, 24. For whereas the priests and Pharisies taught (as the Papists doe now adayes) that the sinnes of the people were expiated by those oblations, whereof they themselues had the profit. Our Sauiour Christ therefore affirmeth, That no man is reconciled vnto God, or that his oblation is acceptable vnto him, that seeketh not to satisfie his brother offen­ded. [Page 315] If therefore (sayth he) thou bringest thy gift, that is, thy peace offering, whereby thou seekest reconciliati­on with God, and there remembrest that thy brother hath ought against thee, that is, that thou hast offended him and not made him amends, leaue thy gift there, and goe and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

How farre forth is this restitution to be made, that is, of what vsurie, and of how much? Not of mentall vsu­rie, where gaine for loane is intended only and expected: For howsoeuer that intent corrupteth the act of lending, yet it polluteth not the free gift of the borrower, which is voluntarily giuen in testimonie of thankfulnesse. And therefore it bindeth not the lender to restitution to bee made to the neighbour whom he hath not wronged, but to repentance towards God.

For the quantitie: so much at the least is to be restored as hath beene gotten by vsurie with the harme of others: or if the offendour be not able to restore so much, yet he must restore so much as he is able. The Lord in his law commandeth, that the offender should restore the whole summe, and also adde a fift part vnto it, Leuit. 6. 5. Num. 5. 7. And Zachaeus, Luke 19. 8. to testifie his repentance, promiseth foure­fold: that those men may know how farre they be from true repentance, who will restore nothing at all.

I am the briefer in this matter, because this doctrine of restitution is not peculiar to vsurie, but generally belon­geth to all sorts of vnjust getting. If therefore any shall thinke or say, Durus est hic sermo, This is a hard or harsh do­ctrine, which is not so esteemed in respect of other kinds of theft: I answere, the harder this doctrine seemeth to vsurers than to other theeues and robbers, the more des­perat is their estate than of others. And this may be ano­ther argument to aggrauat the grieuousnesse of this sin, That wheras other theeues and robbers, if once they be discouered, acknowledge their fault, and are willing to [Page 316] make restitution, vsurers though conuinced of this sinne, yet stand in defence thereof, and thinke not themselues bound to make restitution.

But as we may not be guiltie of this sinne as principals, so neither as accessaries. For they are worthie of death not onely that commit sinne, but also that consent there­unto, Rom. 1. 32. And this lesson concerneth either brokers or borrowers vpon vsurie.

As touching brokers, there is no question, but if vsurie in it selfe be vnlawfull, then the practise of brokers and scriueners, which are factors for vsurers, as spies for theeues, is also vnlawfull and wicked: not onely because they helpe the vsurer to rob his neighbour, and contriue the bargaine betwixt him and the debtour: but also be­cause they haue many shifts and deuices to wring from the borrower a fee for themselues, as it were for their brocage, besides the vsurie which is to be allowed to the creditour.

But the greatest controuersie is concerning borrowers vpon vsurie: for some doe hold, that all borrowing vpon vsurie is generally and simply lawfull, affirming that the borrower vpon vsurie neuer offendeth:Rainerius Pan­theolog. tis. de­vsur. cap. 2. others contrari­wise doe hold all borrowing vpon vsurie to be generally and simply vnlawfull, as well as lending vpon vsurie: others againe do hold, that borrowing vpon vsurie is nei­ther generally lawfull nor generally vnlawfull, but in some cases lawfull, and in some other vnlawfull; which assertion holding the meane, seemeth to bee true rather than either of the other, which run into contrarie extre­mities. The cases therefore are to be distinguished.

1. For first men borrow vpon vsurie, either for ne­cessitie, and so vnwillingly: or without necessitie, and so willingly. For necessitie, when a man (who is not to beg) must needs borrow for the supply of his want, and cannot borrow freely: For men who are able to repay▪ are not to beg or craue; and those who shall not in their [Page 317] owne opinion be able to repay, they are not to borrow: for borrowing impheth a promise of repaying, which promise a man ought not to make, vnlesse in his own pur­pose and persuasion he shall be both willing and able to performe it: for there is no necessitie of sinning, no out­ward inconuenience being so great, as to sinne. The first thing then required in borrowing vpon necessitie, is, that the partie which borroweth shall be in his owne persuasi­on able to repay.

The second, that he be in present want, in respect of the necessitie either of nature, person, or state. Of nature, as when a man wanteth food or apparrell: of person, as when a man wanteth necessaries for his familie & charge depending on him: of state, as when a man wanteth pre­sent meanes for the maintenance of his credit and estate in that calling wherein God hath placed him; and con­sequently, for auoiding of discredit, or of some notable impairing of his estate.

The third, that it be not a sleight, but an vrgent ne­cessitie.

The fourth, that the partie who is to borrow, haue no present meanes of his owne to supply his want. For he that hath meanes of his owne to supply his need, though it be by selling of any thing which he may spare, hath no vrgent necessitie to cause him to borrow.

The fift and last is, that being by vrgent necessitie for­ced to borrow, he cannot borrow freely: and therefore for auoiding of a greater inconuenience, is faine to yeeld to a losse.

Without necessitie men do borrow vpon vsurie, when there is no necessitie that they should borrow; either first because they cannot borrow without sinne, as when they cannot persuade themselues that they shall be able to re­pay: or secondly, because they be not in want, and there­fore borrow not for need, but either for pride, for ryot, or for couetousnesse: for the satisfying of any wherof, there [Page 318] is no necessitie: or thirdly, because it is no vrgent but a sleight necessitie, which may easily be either auoided or vndergone: or fourthly, because they haue present means of their owne, whereby their want may better be suppli­ed: or fiftly and lastly, when they may (if they will be so much beholden to others) borrow freely.

2. The second distinction, which after a fort is impli­ed in the former, is, that men borrow either for good and lawfull causes, or for bad and vnlawfull purposes. For there is no necessitie of borrowing for wicked and sin­full respects.

3. The third, that vsurie is either offered by the bor­rower, or imposed by the lender. And that it is offered either at the first, or after the lenders plaine deniall or pretended excuses.

4. The fourth, that men borrow vpon vsurie, either with assurance of future means to heale the biting of vsu­rie without the injurie of others, or impouerishing of themselues, or without any such assurance.

5. The fift, that the necessitie whereupon men bor­row, is either contracted and drawne vpon themselues by their own default: or else it is a blamelesse necessitie.

By helpe of these distinctions it will not be hard to cleare this controuersie, which otherwise is very intricat. For hereby it wil appeare, that neither all borrowing vp­on vsurie is to be allowed, nor all generally to be con­demned.

For against the former assertion, which alloweth all borrowing vpon vsurie, we are to hold, that the borrower vpon vsurie offendeth either first, when he borroweth without necessitie; or secondly, to ill purposes; or thirdly, when he induceth the lender to lend vpon vsurie; or fourthly, when in respect either of the time to come he shall not haue meanes to cure the wound which vsurie hath made, without doing wrong to others, or impoue­rishing himselfe; or fiftly of the time past, when as [Page 319] through his owne former default he hath brought him­selfe into this necessitie. For although his necessity when he is once in it, may excuse his borrowing, being rightly qualified according to the foure former distinctions, yet his fault in drawing vpon himselfe wilfully or negligent­ly this necessitie, cannot be excused.

But these fiue points need further explication. First therefore I say the borrower offendeth, who borroweth vpon vsurie without necessitie in any of those fiue re­spects before mentioned, that is, if either he find himselfe vnlike to repay that which he borroweth, or if he be not in want, or if his necessitie be not vrgent, or because he hath sufficient meanes of his owne, or if he might bor­row freely if he would.

For as touching the first: On those who haue no good hope or assurance that they shall be able to repay, the Lord hath not laid a necessitie to borrow, and much lesse vpon vsurie, but to seeke releefe by other lawfull means: for although the vsurer deserue to be deceiued, and by the auncient lawes of this land, it hath bene de­creed that it should be no fault to deceiue an vsurer; to which purpose Plato prouided also by law,5. de Legib [...]. that it should be lawfull for the debtour when the creditor hath lent vpon vsurie, to pay neither the vsurie nor the det: yet I do not see how a man can with a good cōscience borrow, & in borrowing promise the repayment of that which he purposeth not to repay, especially seeing the holy Ghost maketh it a note of the wicked,Psal. 37. 21. to borrow that which they neuer meane to restore.

As touching the second and third: they offend as ac­cessarie to the sinne of the vsurer, who borrow vpon vsu­rie without necessitie, yea without vrgent necessitie: for such, hauing no vrgent necessitie to compel them to bor­row, do willingly borrow vpon vsurie, and voluntarily consent to the vsurers sinne. Now this is the sentence of the holy Ghost, that they are worthie of death, not onely [Page 320] who commit sinne themselues, but also willingly consent to the sinne of others, Rom. 1: Rom. 1. 32. and therefore he hath giuen vs in charge, to haue no fellowship with the vnfruit­full workes of darkenesse, but rather to reprooue them, Ephesians. 5.Eph. 5. 11.

Such are they who borrow not for any great need, but for pride, riot, or couetousnesse.

For pride and ostentation: as those who desiring to seeme better and wealthier than they are, refuse to con­taine themselues within the compasse of their calling and estate, but desiring to beare an higher saile in respect of their diet, apparell, familie and port, take vp money vpon vsurie: but such persons sinne, first, in respect of the vsu­rer, to whose sinne they make themselues accessarie; see­ing there is no necessitie why their pride and vanitie should be satisfied. Secondly, in respect of themselues, offending against the rules of frugalitie and thrift: for whiles they desire to seeme rich, they become poore, vsu­rie conuerting their substance into debt.

For riot: as those who being addicted to gaming or to other pleasures, as whoredome, drunkennesse, belly­cheare, and such like, take vp money vpon vsurie, that there may not want matter either to maintaine their ga­ming, or nourish their pleasures; for such men, so they may haue present money to satisfie their lust, they care not vpon what conditions they procure it. But as these are of all borrowers vpon vsurie the most foolish, so those which lend vnto them to these vses, are of all vsurers the most wicked; and either of them is accessarie to the o­thers sinne. The riotous person to the sinne of the vsurer, wherunto he voluntarily and without any necessitie con­senteth at the least, if also he doe not mooue and induce the lender thereunto. The vsurer not only to the borrow­ers riot, whereunto he affoordeth matter, but also to his vtter vndoing, which he furthereth not onely as an acces­sarie, but as a principall also.

[Page 321] Wherefore these two sorts of men, I meane the proud and riotous persons, they are to be dissuaded from their sinne by this argument among many others, That besides their owne sinnes, which are too heauy for them to beare, they make themselues accessarie to the sin of the vsurer. For as Plutarch sayth well, [...], delicacie, riot, and excesse hath set vp vsurers. For if these men would liue soberly and frugally according to their cal­ling and estate, and would cut out their garment (as we say) according to their cloth, they should not need to flie to the vsurer. Wherefore as others when they be in the vsurers danger, flie to sanctuaries; so to preuent this dan­ger, the best course for these men were, to make vnto themselues a sanctuarie of frugalitie, as Plutarch speaketh.

Lastly for couetousnesse, as those which seeke to en­rich themselues by borrowing vpon vsury. And this their▪ couetousnesse, for which they borrow, is commonly joy­ned either with oppression and hard dealing, or with hy­pocrisie and dissembling, or with deceit and cousenage. Some therefore borrow for couetousnesse joyned with oppression and hard dealing: and of this kind there be diuerse sorts. First, those who borrow money vpon mo­derat vsurie, that they may put it forth againe vpon gri­ping vsurie: a generation of men not so much to be con­futed by a minister, as punished by the magistrat. Se­condly, such tradesmen as hauing set downe with them­selues, that they will be rich; 1. Tim. 6. 9. and being therefore not con­tent to traffique with their own stocke, to the intent they may compasse great matters, and perhaps that they may play the engrossers, they take vp money vpon vsurie: But these men offend, first, in maintaining the vsurer, and con­senting to his sinne; secondly, by making the buyers pay their vsurie; thirdly, by inhaunsing the prices of such commodities as they [...]ell, as before hath beene shewed. But as these men consent to the sinne of the vsurer, so is the vsurer also accessarie to their oppression of the buyer; [Page 322] and both of them conspire to the robbing of the com­monwealth.

Thirdly, those which borrow money on vsurie to purchase lands or houses: for besides that they offend in maintaining the vsurer and consenting to his sinne, in buying lands with money borrowed vpon vsurie, either they ouerreach the seller, taking aduantage of his want, or by racking of their rents, make their tennant pay the vsury; or themselues must liue by the losse, if buying lands after twentie yeares purchase, and so receiuing after fiue in the hundred, themselues doe pay after ten in the hun­dred; or else they must abate so much of their hospitalitie and housekeeping to the hurt of the poore, and perhaps betake themselues to some corner in a citie, where they may liue priuatly and obscurely, as if they were born on­ly for themselues.

Againe, there are which borrow for couetousnesse, joyned with hypocrisie and dissembling: as those which being indeed rich, doe borrow vpon vsurie, that they may seeme poore, and seeming poore, may auoid the commu­nication of their goods, either to the publicke vse of the Church, as in contributions, or of the commonweale, as in subsidies and taxes, or to the priuat necessities of their brethren. Would you borrow of them? alas, their estate is such, as that themselues are faine to borrow, and that vpon vsurie. Thus besides their wilfull communicating with the vsurer in his sinne, they offend through coue­tousnesse and hypocrisie.

But the most wicked sort of borrowers are those which borrow for couetousnesse, joyned with deceit and couse­nage. A generation of men in these dayes, who neuer minding to repay, borrow, or otherwise take vp on trust, they care not how much, nor vpon what conditions; and when their credit will extend no further, they become voluntarie bankrupts; and by that meanes forcing their creditors to take a third or fourth part of their debt, they [Page 323] enrich themselues with other mens goods: the most vile and basest cousenage that euer was practised. And thus we haue heard the three first cases, wherein men borrow without necessitie.

The fourth is, when men haue sufficient and conueni­ent meanes of their owne to supply their want. And I call those conuenient meanes, in this case speaking by comparison, which would not bring a losse vpon vs much greater than the biting of vsurie. For whiles a man hath meanes of his owne, he ought not to borrow of o­thers, and much lesse vpon vsurie. Wherefore Plato would haue it prouided by law, That no man should fetch wa­ter from his neighbours well, vntill himselfe had digged vnto the potters earth. The Scripture alwayes speaking of loane, presupposeth the borrowers want. Why there­fore doest thou goe to the vsurer, seeing thou hast in thine owne store a remedie against thy necessitie? thou hast plate or other stuffe which thou mayest spare, yea thou hast some lands, which thou mightest better sell than borrow vpon vsurie. Againe consider, that to be in state to borrow,Deut. 28. 12. & 44. & 15. 6. it is a crosse, but to borrow vpon vsurie, and so to fall into the vsurers nets, it is a curse, which we should not be hastie to draw vpon vs,Psal. 109. 11. vnlesse it be for auoiding of that which is a greater curse.

The fift and last case is, when men borrow vpon vsu­rie, who might if they would borrow freely. Yea, but I had rather (sayth one) giue ten in the hundred, than make my selfe so much beholden to any man. Why, but thou professest thy selfe when thou borrowest, much beholden to the vsurer, and so art, vnlesse thou dissemblest; and wilt thou be beholden to him rather than to thy friend? or if thou wilt be no more beholden to thy friend than to him, why maiest thou not giue to him voluntarily as much one way or other, as thou wouldest to the vsurer vpon couenant? But this euidently sheweth, that thou chuse [...]t rather to giue another man occasion of sinning by the practise of [Page 324] vsurie, than to giue thy friend occasion of well doing by exercising his liberalitie: and therefore canst not by any meanes excuse thy selfe from a wilfull consenting to the vsurers sinne. Neither mayest thou hope to bee ex­empted from partaking in the vsurers punishment, if thou wilt be partner in his offence. Thus then he offen­deth who borroweth vpon vsurie without necessitie: and that offence reacheth also to those, who without neces­sitie borrow vpon vsurie, though not directly, when as they taking vp of wares vpon trust, doe pay the dearer for the time.

The second point wherein a borrower vpon vsurie may offend, is, when as he taketh vp money to ill purpo­ses: as when he borroweth to maintaine his vnlawfull gaming, to nourish his vnhonest pleasures, to execute his couetous designes, &c. for if it be not lawfull to doe ill that good may come thereof;Rom. 3. 8. much more is it vnlaw­full to doe ill, that euill may come thereof. And there­fore he which borroweth for any ill purpose, he sinneth not onely in borrowing as an accessarie to the vsurers sinne (accessarie, I say, because he willingly consenteth thereto; and he consenteth willingly, because there is no true necessitie of borrowing to an ill purpose) but also he sinneth in that for which he borroweth: and besides the vsurers sinne to which he is accessarie, he addeth another of his owne, wherein he is principall.

The third thing wherein the borrower vpon vsury may sin, is, if he induce the lender to lend vpon vsurie, who ei­ther would haue lent freely, if it were needfull, or if it were not needfull, would not haue lent at all: for he which in­duceth another into any sin, which otherwise he were not willing to haue committed, seemeth of the two to sin the more fearefully: as the serpent which tempted Eue, and as Iezabell who prouoked Achab. But that it may appeare, when the borrower induc [...]th the lender to vsury, & when not, we are to remember the third distinction before men­tioned. [Page 325] For it is one thing for the borrower to offer vsu­rie of his owne ac [...]ord, and another to yeeld vnto it vp­on necessitie, being imposed by the lender: for he that doth onely yeeld to vsurie vpon necessitie, being impo­sed on him by the lender, cannot truly be said either to induce the lender vnto vsurie, or willingly to consent thereto. Againe, there is difference to be made, whether a man that would borrow, offer vsurie at the first motion of borrowing, or after the other parties refusall whom he desireth to lend: For seeing in a case of vrgent neces­sitie, it is a greater sinne for him that is of abilitie not to lend at all, than not to lend freely; therefore he who being in vrgent necessitie, intreateth an able man who hath re­fused to lend at all, that he would lend though it be vpon vsurie, cannot truly be said, either to induce him into sin, or willingly to consent thereto: for he doth not induce the lender into sinne, when onely he intreateth him to a­uoid the greater sinne; neither doth he willingly consent to that, which he maketh choise of onely as the lesse euill. As for example, a man being diseased with some dan­gerous sicknesse, commeth to a Phisition to be cured, promising an equall reward: the Phisition refuseth to meddle with him; the partie being in this extremitie, offereth the Phisition ten times the value of his cure, so he will not refuse to heale him: to refuse the cure alto­gether, is in a case of extremitie, the greater sinne in the Phisition; this therefore the sicke partie desireth him to auoid: to pay an vnreasonable fee, is a lesse euill to him­selfe, and therefore that he maketh choise of. Suppose a man vpon the way to faile vnder his burthen, or to bee in any other distresse (as wee are subject to many casu­alties) nay, suppose a mans horse or cart to be ouer­throwne, and himselfe not able to relieue himselfe or his cattell; therefore another able man passing by, who both could and ought to succour him in this case, he intreateth his helpe: the partie churlishly refusing [Page 326] his aid, he offereth him that which is tenne times more worth than his labour, so that he would not refuse to helpe him in his need. In like case, a man being in great need, and readie to faile vnder the burthen of his present want, commeth to an able man, who both could and ought to relieue him, and intreateth him to lend him twentie pounds: the partie vnchristianly refusing, hee sayth, Sir, if you will lend me this money in my need, I will make you allowance according to the statute. Why this borrower should be accessarie to the sinne of vsurie, and not the other distressed persons accessary to the sinne of oppression and extortion, as indeed they are not, I cannot conceiue. But if at the first motion thou offerest vsurie to the lender, thou inducest him vnto vsurie: and whatsoeuer thy case be, thou art accessarie to his sinne. But you will say, he is a knowne vsurer: of whom if I do but aske to borrow freely, I shall be sure not to borrow at all. Answer. Thou knowest not how God may moue and incline his heart to thee: and it may be, that if not in regard of thy need, yet in regard of thy friendship, or thy friends, or some other respect, he will not reject thee. Why but he is a notorious vsurer alreadie, and therefore my motion will not induce him to be an vsurer. Distin­guish betwixt the habit and the act: though thou doest not induce him to be an vsurer, yet thou inducest him to commit an act of vsurie: euen as a whoremonger allu­ring a common harlot to follie, though he doe not in­duce her to be a whore, for that she is alreadie, yet hee induceth her to the actuall committing of whoredome.

The fourth case, wherein borrowers vpon vsurie may offend, is, when they haue no good assurance of any fu­ture meanes to repaire the losse which vsurie inflicteth, without either the damnifying of others, or impoueri­shing of themselues. In respect of others therefore they offend, when as they purpose to make other men pay their vsurie: As he which borroweth money vpon vsurie, [Page 327] with purpose to put it forth at an higher rate, or that buy­eth wares either vpon trust, and so payeth the more, or with money borrowed vpon vsurie, with purpose to pitch his prices so, as that he will gaine sufficient both for himselfe and the vsurer too, and thus becommeth an hurtfull member to the commonweale: or buyeth lands with money borrowed vpon vsurie, meaning so to racke his rents, as that his poore tennants must pay his vsurie, and so becommeth an oppressor of others.

In respect of themselues, they offend when as they know no good meanes to cure the wound which the bi­ting of vsurie will make: but first borrow of one, and then to satisfie him, of another, and so of a third, &c. the debt in euery change of the creditour being increased one tenth part, vntill at length vsurie hath consumed their whole estate. Vnlesse therfore thy commings in do so much exceed thy expences as thy vsurie commeth to, assure thy selfe, the longer thou borrowest vpon vsurie, the more will be thy want. Neither mayest thou thinke, by changing thy vsurious creditors to better thine estate: for it fareth with such a man as with him who sticketh deepe in the myre and clay, who lifting vp the one leg, in hope to get out, thrusteth the other the deeper in, and then to get out that, shifteth to the other, but the oftener he shifteth, the deeper he plungeth himselfe: or, that I may vse Plutarch his similitude, it happeneth to them who change their creditours, as to a man, which being fallen into the dirt, turneth himselfe vp and downe; for the more he turneth, the more is he bedirted. If therefore thy future meanes are not like to be better than the present, extend thy present meanes to the vttermost, for the sup­ply of thy want, and where they be defectiue, acknow­ledge thy want, and stand to the fauour of others. For if thou canst not beare a lesse burthen, now when thine estate is better, how wilt thou beare a greater, when thine estate shall be weaker than now it is? Well therefore [Page 328] maiest thou vse that rediculous prouerbe which Plutarch mentioneth, [...], I am not able to beare a goat, lay on me an oxe.

The fift and last thing wherein borrowers vpon vsu­surie do sometime offend, is when the necessitie where­upon they do borrow, is not a blamelesse necessitie, but drawne vpon themselues through their owne default, as by riot, or any excesse, or through negligence, or impro­uidence: For although their borrowing vpon such a ne­cessitie may be excused, if they do not induce the lender to commit vsurie, &c. yet they cannot be excused for ca­sting themselues into that necessitie.

Their assertion therefore which hold all borrowing vpon vsurie to be lawfull, is by no meanes to be retained, seeing it is manifest that borrowers may and often doe offend so manie wayes. Neither may it be hoped that vsurers will make conscience of lending vpon vsurie, vn­till men haue learned to make conscience of borrowing vpon vsurie.

Now we are to proceed to the other contrarie asser­tion, which affirmeth generally all borrowing vpon vsu­rie to be vnlawfull: for although I must confesse, that I neuer read any author either Papist or Protestant, new or old, that maintaineth this assertion, yet for as much as I vnderstand it to be the priuat assertion of some well dis­posed persons, who are worthie to bee loued and reue­renced, and whose arguments are worth the scanning, I will therefore somewhat insist vpon this point.

But first you are to remember, that I doe not justifie borrowers vpon vsurie, vnlesse themselues and their bor­rowing be qualified according to those fiue points which before I recited: for although the borrower is to be con­demned which faileth in any one of those fiue, yet he is not to be approued or excused, vnlesse there be a con­currencie of them all: namely, vnlesse he borrow, first, vpon vrgent necessitie and not otherwise; secondly, for [Page 329] good and lawfull purposes; thirdly, without inducing the lender vnto the sinne of vsurie; fourthly, hauing future meanes to repaire the losse which by vsurie he sustaineth, and that without endamaging or wronging others; fiftly, his necessitie whereon he borroweth, being not drawne vpon himselfe by his owne fault, but being a blamelesse necessitie. Which fift point I added, as required to the justifying not of the act of borrowing vpon vsurie, but of the person of the borrower; for the act of borrowing, without it may be excused, so the other foure do con­curre therein: but the person of the borrower cannot be cleered, who by his default hath pulled vpon himselfe that necessitie: That therefore sheweth, that howsoeuer it may be lawfull to borrow on vsurie in a case of vrgent necessitie, yet men must take heed that they doe not through their owne default cast themselues into this ne­cessitie.

But let vs consider the arguments which may be ob­jected against this truth; by answer whereunto, it shall ap­peare, that there are no Scriptures nor sound reasons against it, but Scriptures and reasons for it.

First therefore it may be objected,Obiect. 1. that there is no warrant in the word of God for borrowing vpon vsurie, and therefore that it cannot be done in faith: and whatso­euer is not of faith is sinne.

Answer. Many things are contained in the Scriptures which are not expressely mentioned in the Scriptures, as verie many other particulers besides this in question; which notwithstanding may all be proued lawfull by just and necessarie consequence out of the Scripture: as for example, Where the generall is acknowledged to be no sinne, there also the specials which are contained vnder the same, are warranted. Thus therefore I argue.

To be oppressed is acknowledged in the Scriptures to be no sinne.

To borrow vpon vsurie in case of vrgent necessitie [Page 330] (with such cautions as before I specified) is to be op­pressed.

Therefore to borrow vpon vsurie in a case of vrgent necessitie, is acknowleded in the Scriptures to be sinne.

The proposition I prooue, because the Scripture pro­miseth mercy to them that are oppressed, whether by vsurie, or taking of pawnes, or by any other meanes, as Exod. 22. 23. 27. To be oppressed therfore is a thing not re­proued of God, but pitied.

If you shall reply, that the proposition is to bee vn­derstood of those who are oppressed wrongfully and against their wil, which cannot be verified of those which borrow vpon vsurie: I answer, that whosoeuer is op­pressed, is wrongfully oppressed and against his will: for there is no oppression but it is wrongfull, neither can a man be oppressed but against his will: for vol [...]nti non fit in­iuria, he that is willing, is not oppressed. The proposition therefore is generally true. It may be therefore that you will alledge against the assumption, That he which bor­roweth vpon vsurie is not oppressed, because he is wil­ling to borrow vpon vsurie, yea and so willing that he seeketh to the vsurer, and intreateth him to lend, offering to giue him consideration according to the statute, that is to say, vsurie.

I answer, he that borroweth vpon vsurie in a case of vrgent necessitie, with such cautions as before haue bene specified, doth yeeld to vsurie against his will, yea al­though he both offer and promise it: For in cases of vr­gent necessitie, men seeme many times willing to that which is indeed against their will. When a man is in dan­ger of shipwracke, as before I haue shewed, how will he bestirre himselfe to vnlade and lighten the ship, and with such earnestnesse cast his goods into the sea, that he may seeme to be very willing to be rid of them: and yet the thing which hee willeth, is not the casting away of his goods, but the safetie of his life: To cast away his goods [Page 331] he is simply vnwilling, and yet against his will vpon a conditionall necessitie he seemeth willing to do it. Or (to come neerer the question in hand,) A needie man de­sirous to borrow, which without giuing securitie he can­not obtaine, bringeth forth a pawne to the creditor (who by the law might not enter into the borrowers house to take it) but such a pawne as indeed he cannot spare,D [...]ut. 24. 10. but his necessitie is such that hee offereth it, and bringeth it forth, deliuereth it to the creditor to be kept as a pawne, vntill he restore the money borrowed: notwithstanding the creditor if he receiue this pawne and keepe it, he op­presseth the borrower,Exo. 22. 26, 27. and the borrower is oppressed:Deut. 24. 6, 10, 11, 12, 13. For indeed he was not willing to giue that pawne which he could not spare,Ezek. 18. 7. 12. but his necessitie for the auoiding of a greater mischiefe made him seeme willing to that wher­unto he was simply vnwilling. In like case a mā compel­led by vrgent necessitie to borrow, and being not able to borrow freely, offereth to his creditor, who otherwise will not lend, consideration after tenne in the hundred; this creditor if he shall lend vpon this couenant, or re­quire this consideration, he oppresseth the borrower, and the borrower is oppressed: For this borrower was no more willing to pay vsurie than the other was to giue his pawne, but his necessitie for auoiding a greater incon­uenience, made him seeme willing to that, whereunto simply he was vnwilling.

The assumption therefore may be proued by this vn­answerable argument.

He that lendeth vpon vsurie to him that borroweth for vrgent necessitie, oppresseth the borrower:

Therefore he which borroweth vpon vsurie for vr­gent necessitie, is oppressed, and that as I haue shewed, both wrongfully and against his will.

Againe, the like case are warranted in the word of God, and by the law and light of nature: for why may I not giue vsury, or promise to giue it in my necessitie? you [Page 332] will say, because the lender cannot take it without com­mitting a sinne, which the Lord hath forbidden vnder paine of damnation. If then I shew that in cases of neces­sitie, one man may offer that to another which the other without committing a damnable sinne cannot receiue, then is this question prooued by an argument of equals. Suppose then a man fallen into the hands of robbers and murderers, to whom he promiseth for the safegard of his life to giue them not onely that which is about him, but also such a summe of money besides: as the ten men men­tioned, Ier. 41. 8, offered to Ismael and the cut-throats that were with him, such treasures as they had in the field for the safetie of their liues: Or suppose a man being in sick­nesse or hunger, to offer ten times the value of the meat or medicine which he needeth, to a greedie cormorant that will take no lesse for the same. If you say these cases of necessitie concerne a mans life, and it is not to be doub­ted but that a man may giue all that hee hath to saue his life: it is true indeed, but yet a man may not sinne to saue his life. May I not sinne to saue my life, and may I giue for the safetie of my life that to another which he cannot receiue without a more haynous sinne than the sinne of vsurie, as in these cases euen now specified? then it is ap­parant that in a case of necessitie, a man may lawfully of­fer and giue that to another which the other cannot re­ceiue without committing of such a sinne as the Lord hath forbidden vnder paine of damnation. And this is true not onely in those cases that so neerely touch a mans life, but in all other cases of necessitie. A poore man hauing need to borrow, and not being able to borrow without giuing such a pawne as he cannot spare, is by his necessitie compelled to deliuer that pawne,Exo. 22. 26▪ 27. which the lender cannot receiue and keepe without committing a damnable sinne.Deut. 24. 6. 22. And that he may lawfully giue such a pawne,E [...]ech. 18. 12. when his necessitie is such as that he may much better want that pawne, than be without that which he [Page 333] would borrow, there is no question: for the children of God and such as are noted to haue feared God, when other pawnes haue failed, haue bene faine to bind ouer their sonnes and daughters to their creditors.2 King 4. 1. If my house be in danger to fall presently without the carpen­ters helpe,Nehem. 5. 2. 5. my cattell being diseased or hurt, in danger to miscarie without present cure; my corne or hay lying abroad in daunger to be spoiled vnlesse presently it be inned; or if any such other casualtie happen wherein there is necessitie of present helpe; is it not lawfull for me to giue, yea to offer and promise to such vnconscio­nable men, as taking aduantage at my necessitie will not otherwise helpe me, six or seuen times the value of that which in equitie were due vnto them: and yet it cannot be d [...]nied but that euery one of these doth sinne worse than the vsurer.

I will add onely one other instance which will make this matter euident. Suppose I want food or apparell, or any other necessaries for myselfe, or those that belong to me, and that also I want present money to buy that I need, and present meanes whereby to make readie mo­ney; I am forced therefore to take it vp on trust for three or six moneths, according as I shall be able to make payment: The partie which selleth these commodities, because he is to giue day of payment, he will not let me haue that vnder eleuen shillings which he would sell for ten shillings of present money: Well, my necessitie is such as I had rather giue twelue shillings, perhaps twenty shillings than not buy that which I came for: may I in this case of necessitie lawfully promise to pay at the end of six moneths eleuen shillings for that which of present money is worth but ten shillings? as I thinke no man can truly denie: and may I not as lawfully in a case of no lesse necessitie promise to the lender after ten in the hundred? Will you heare? this partie which selleth thus much the deerer for time, lendeth vpon vsurie, as I pro­ued [Page 334] before, and that after twentie in the hundred: there­fore this buyer borroweth vpon vsurie, which by this example appeareth in a case of necessitie to be lawfull.

But you will alledge in the second place,Obiect. 2. that all bor­rowing vpon vsurie is condemned in the Scripture. I an­swer, that all lending vpon vsurie is indeed condemned in the Scripture, but that all borrowing vpon vsurie is condemned, it cannot bee prooued out of the word of God.

It may be you will alledge Ierem. 15. 10. and Esay. 24. 2. In the former place the Prophet Ieremie professeth of himselfe (as some translations read) that neither he had lent vpon vsurie, neither had they lent to him vpon vsurie.

Answer. Suppose that the Prophet did indeed speake of lending and borrowing vpon vsurie; yet hereof it would not follow, that therefore all borrowing vpon vsurie is vnlawfull: it may not be doubted but that there are many things lawfull either of themselues, or at lest in cases of vrgent necessitie, which the Prophet Ieremie ne­uer practised. It may be that he might as truly haue said, I neitherFor his pur­chase of the field in Anathoth, was afterwards Chapter 32, and then not vnd [...]r­taken by him of his owne accord, as a worldly con­tract for his own profit, but enioy­ned of the Lord, as a type and as­surance of the restitution of the I [...]wes after the [...] captiuitie, verse 7, 8▪ 15, 43, 4 [...]. bought of them nor sold to them, I neither lent to them vpon pawnes or other securitie, neither haue I borrowed of them vpon securitie. Would it therefore from hence follow, that all buying and selling, all lending and borrowing vpon securitie is vnlawfull? Yea but the Prophet disclaimeth the practise of lending vpon vsurie, as a thing vnlawfull, therfore the like is to be vnderstood of borrowing vpon vsurie. The Prophet abstained in­deed from lending vpon vsurie, because it was vnlawfull, but thereof it doth not follow, that therefore he abstained from borrowing also, because it was simply vnlawfull. It may be, he had no need to borrow vpon vsurie: and ther­fore that had beene vnlawfull to him, without necessitie, which in a case of vrgent necessitie is lawfull to another. But the Prophet indeed, if he speake of vsurie at all, dis­claimeth both lending and borrowing, not as vnlawfull [Page 335] things, though to him both of them had beene perhaps vnlawfull, but as occasions of contention. For the pur­pose of the Prophet is to shew the contentious dispositi­on of the people, who contended with him that had gi­uen them no occasion of contention; which he prooueth by these two particulars of lending and borrowing (whe­ther freely or vpon vsurie) which are the most vsuall oc­casions of suits and contentions among men: therefore the Prophets meaning was not to professe, that he had done no vnlawfull thing, but that he had giuen the con­tentious people no occasion of contention.

But what if the Prophet speake not of vsurie at all in this place, as indeed he doth not, but onely of ciuile len­ding vpon securitie, that is, when a man lendeth with pur­pose to exact againe that which he lendeth. The verbe Nashah which here is vsed (as heretofore I haue shewed) signifieth in this argument exacting that which a man hath lent, or lending with purpose to exact that which is lent. Neither is there any necessitie that we should vnder­stand the word in any place where it is vsed in the Scrip­ture of lending vpon vsurie. Howbeit, the word Nosheh, which signifieth an exactour, sometimes is vnderstood of the vsurer, because he of all creditours is the greatest exactour. And because the vsurers aboue all others will be sure to lend vpon securitie, purposing to exact not on­ly their owne but also an ouerplus, therefore some tran­slatours vnderstand the word (which signifieth no more but to exact, or to lend with purpose to exact) of vsu­rious lending. Thus R. Dauid Kimhi, vnderstandeth this place of lending in generall.Lib. Radic. Thus Tremellius and Iunius translate,The Greeke: [...]. Non dedi mutuum neque mutuo dederunt mihi, or as some vnderstand the place, I am not in debt to them, nor they to me. Neither ought that to trouble any, that the Latine translation hath the word foenerare, or other Latin authours that follow it; for both in it and them the word foenerare is often vsed in the sence of free lending, as ap­peareth [Page 336] by these places, Deut. 15. 6. & 28. 12. 44. Prou. 19. 17. & 22. 7.As those which c [...]me from Gna­ba [...], and Lauah. where the Hebrew text and other translations haue those words, which signifie free lending: as also Luke 6. 34, likewise Ecclesiast. 29. 1. 2. Out of which places it is euident, that as the word [...] in Greeke authours, so foenerare and foenerari in Latine translations (which also may be said of diuines who haue written in Latine) are more often vsed in the signification of free lending, than of lending vpon vsurie. And euen in this place where the Prophet sayth, Non foeneraui, according to the Latine, Ly [...]anus expoundeth it thus, i. Non commodaui, I haue not lent. But you will say, Where Nashah is construed with the preposition [...], as in this place, it signifieth lending vpon vsurie. No such matter. Indeed some Hebrew writers haue ima­gined, that Nashah simply signifieth to borrow; but with the preposition, to lend; and so expound and read this place, I haue not borrowed, neither haue they lent to me; that is, I neither sought to borrow of them, neither did they lend to me of their owne accord. But the truth is, that Nashah signifieth to lend, and where [...] is added, it is a note (as the English to) of the Datiue case, hauing refe­rence to the partie which borroweth,Nos [...]im Bahem. as Nehem. 5. 10. I and my brethren (sayth Nehemiah) lend to them mony and corne: vnlesse we will with my aforesaid English author absurdly affirme, that Nehemiah and his followers did lend to their needie brethren vpon vsurie. Or if I would in like sort vrge the signification of the word Nosh [...]h (which is more often vsed to signifie an vsurer, than the verbe Nashah to lend vpon vsurie) I might bring a mani­fest example out of the Scriptures of a man which feared God to prooue the lawfulnesse of borrowing vpon vsu­rie, which the Prophet Elisha was so farre from condem­ning, that he helped the widdow of that partie by mira­cle to pay her debt, and as the Greeke translation hath [...], the vsurie, 2. King. 4. 1. 7.

The place therefore in Ieremie is thus to be read I ha [...]e [Page 337] not lent (meaning the ciuile kind of lending vpon secu­ritie, for so much the word signifieth) neither haue they lent to me. And therefore as I haue no cause to contend with them, besides the duty of my calling in striuing against their sinnes, so neither haue I giuen them any oc­casion to contend with me, and yet I am a man of conten­tion and strife to the whole land, (which may be vnder­stood both actiuely in respect of their opinion of him, and passiuely in respect of their behauiour towards him) and euerie one doth curse me.

And as this translation doth best expresse the force of the Hebrew text, so doth it best fit the scope and pur­pose of the Prophet, which is to shew the vntoward dis­position and contentious behauiour of the people to­wards him; who when as he neither cōtended with them about any worldly affaires, nor yet gaue them any occa­sion to contend with him (he had neither lent nor bor­rowed, he did neither meddle nor make in any worldly dealing or traffique with them, from which contentions vsually arise among men) yet they contended with him, and judged him a contentious man, and for that cause cursed him. But the signification of vsurie is not so fit, for the Prophet meaning as I sayd to set forth their vnto­ward and contentious behauiour towards him, would signifie that he had giuen them not onely no cause, but not so much as any occasion of contention and hatred: for although he had not dealt by vsurie with them, nor any way wronged them, but yet had otherwise inter­medled with them by ciuile lending and borrowing, or other worldly affaires, they might haue had though no just cause, yet diuerse occasions of contending with him: neither was vsurie so vsuall among the Iewes, as that he should mention it as the vsuall and ordinarie cause of contention among them. And thus much I hope may suffice for answer to that allegation out of Ier. 15. 10.

The other testimonie is out of Esay 24. 2: where the [Page 338] Prophet hath these words, as some translations read, Like lender like borrower, like giuer like taker to vsurie.

But this allegation, though it did speake of lending and borrowing vpon vsurie (as I haue shewed there is no necessitie to graunt so much, seeing the words may thus be read, the exactour, as he of whom he doth exact) yet it would prooue nothing concerning this controuersie: for there the Lord threatneth such a confusion of all estates, and ouerturning of the commonweale, that all men of dignitie and abilitie being bereaued of that which they had, and so made equall with them of low degree and poore estate, the people should be as the priest, the ser­uant as the master, the handmaid as the mistresse, the buy­er as the seller, the lender as the borrower, the exactour or vsurer, as he of whom he exacteth.

And thus much concerning the testimonies of Scrip­ture. 3 Now let vs consider what other reasons may be al­ledged against borrowing vpon vsurie.

1. As first, that lending and borrowing vpon vsurie are relatiues, and therefore if to lend vpon vsurie be vn­lawfull, it cannot be lawfull to borrow vpon vsurie.

I answere as before, that relatiues are not alwayes of the like nature and qualitie: for to offer wrong and to suffer wrong, to oppresse and to be oppressed, are rela­tiues; and such relatiues are to lend vpon vsurie, and to borrow vpon vsurie through necessitie: for to lend vpon vsurie to him that borroweth for vrgent necessitie, it is to offer wrong, and to oppresse: therefore he which vpon necessitie yeeldeth to pay vsurie, doth suffer wrong, and is oppressed.

Thus therefore I may reason from the light of na­ture, as before I did from the Scripture.

To suffer wrong is not sinne.

The borrower which vpon necessitie yeeldeth to pay vsurie, doth suffer wrong. Therefore he doth not sinne therein.

[Page 339] The proposition is an axiome of Aristotles in his Ethicks, where proouing,Eth. 5. c. 11. that it is a lesse euill to suffer injurie than to offer injurie, he setteth downe this principle, [...]. To be wronged or to suffer injurie, is without sinne and vnjustice.Eth. 5. c. 5. [...]. And in another place he sayth, That just dealing is a meane betwixt offering in­jurie and suffering wrong, the one is to haue too much, the other too little. But yet (sayth he) justice is a mean not as each other morall vertue is, a meane betwixt two con­trarie vices; but as a meane betwixt too much and two little, that is to say, as an equalitie: from which whoso­euer swarueth, runneth into both the extreames: for where too much is giuen to the one, too little is giuen to the other. As for example, the vsurer in taking from the borrower more than his own, leaueth to the borrower lesse than his owne.

2. You will say, to be meerely oppressed, or onely to suffer wrong, we graunt to be no sinne: but the borrower vpon vsurie willingly consenteth to that vsurie which is imposed vpon him, yea he intreateth the vsurer, that hee will so lend vnto him; and therefore he is guiltie of his owne harme, & accessarie to the oppression of the vsurer.

I answer, he that borroweth vpon necessitie with such cautions as before I mentioned, is guiltie neither of the one nor the other: For first in respect of himselfe, wheras there are two euils propounded vnto him, the one, the in­conuenience or mischiefe, for auoiding whereof he desi­reth to borrow, as perhaps the forfeiture of an hundred pounds: the other, the losse which he shall sustaine by vsurie, which perhaps is fiue in fiftie; the one whereof he must needs incurre: therefore this latter being the lesser euill, and hauing the respect of a good or eligible thing, in comparison of the greater euill, he maketh choise ther­of; not minding or desiring his owne losse, but hoping to redeeme a greater losse with a lesse. And yet he doth not willingly consent to the payment of vsurie, but his ne­cessitie [Page 340] for auoiding a greater euill maketh him seeme willing to that wherunto he is simply vnwilling, as I haue said before. And as touching the vsurer, whereas the bor­rower perceiueth him resolute to run into one of these two sinnes, either not to lend at all, or else vpon vsurie, from both which it is not in his power to keepe him, therefore the former (which is, not to lend at all to him that vpon vrgent necessitie is desirous to borrow) being the greater sinne, than the latter, which is to lend vpon vsurie, his desire is to keep both the lender from the grea­ter sinne, and himselfe from the greater euill.

Why, but you will say, if the borrower would not en­treat the other to lend, he should not need to fall into ei­to either of both those sinnes.

I answere, when a man is in a case of vrgent necessity, it is not onely lawfull for him, but also he is bound in con­science to vse lawfull meanes to come out of the same. When as therefore he wanteth presentmeans of his own, it is lawfull for him to borrow, hauing an honest purpose to repay, yea and to desire those whom God hath ena­bled, to lend vnto him. In desiring the able man to lend, thou onely moouest him to a worke of charitie and libe­ralitie: but if vpon this motion of thine, his couetous­nesse cause him to sinne, either by refusing to lend at all, or by requiring vsurie; well may that motion (as many other good and lawfull things are) be an occasion of his sinne, but there is no cause thereof but his owne coue­tousnesse and the hardnesse of his heart, and thou art not accessarie to his sinne. But if at the first motion thou in­treatest him to lend, with promise of vsurie, then thou in­ducest him to sinne, and art accessarie to his offence (as I haue shewed before) either by making him an vsurer who was none before, (and so art deeper in the sinne than hee) or at least by inducing him to the actuall committing of vsurie. Which being the vsuall custome of borrowers vp­on vsurie (whose manner is to goe to the vsurer, or to his [Page 341] broker to take vp on interest (as they call it) so much mo­ney as they desire, perhaps an hundred pounds, where no mention being made but of the principall (for the other is presupposed) bonds are drawn of two hundred pounds for the payment of a hundred and ten pounds) it cannot be denied, but that in this respect alone (not to mention the rest) the most borrowers vpon vsurie are accessarie to the sinne of vsurie. At the first motion therefore thou mayest not offer vsurie, but only desire to borrow: which if thy need require, thou mayest lawfully doe. But what if the couetousnesse of the partie who is able and there­fore ought to lend, and the hardnesse of his heart be such, that vpon thy motion of borrowing he wil either require vsurie, or refuse to lend altogether? in the former case, if thy necessitie be such, that thou must needs borrow, and knowest not where to borrow freely elsewhere, thou mayest lawfully yeeld to the vsurie imposed: for in yeel­ding, thou keepest both him from the greater sinne, (which is not to lend at all) and thy selfe from a grea­ter mischiefe.

Why but you will say, ought I not to admonish him at the least, and to dissuade him from the practise of vsurie, seeing my yeelding to pay, and my silence in not reproo­uing vsurie, may argue that I approoue it, and therefore am guiltie thereof, as accessarie thereto?

I answere, that difference is to be made of the partie with whom you deale: for if the partie be tractable and of any hope, that Christian course of charitable admoni­tion and brotherly reproofe is to be taken with him; but if he be a desperat sinner (such as common vsurers com­monly are) whom if you admonish or reprooue, you shall not profit him but hurt your selfe, before such an hog the precious pearle of Christian admonition and brotherly reproofe is not to be cast.Mat [...]h. 7. 6. Prou. 9. 7, 8.

But me thinkes a man of a tender conscience (you will say) should hardly seeke to such a man. So I say also: for [Page 342] if his necessitie doe not driue him, he should not seeke to such an one neither hardly nor at all. But seeing God hath enabled him to lend, and the magistrat doth tollerat him to this end, that he may supply the wants of men which are in necessitie: why may not I, vpon whom the Lord hath laid a necessitie of borrowing, seeke to bor­row of him who ought to lend to me? so long as I induce him not to sinne, nor persuade him to any thing which is not good.

But you will say, if the partie be a common vsurer, you know beforehand, that either he will lend vpon vsu­rie, or not at all: and therefore seeing vpon your motion he will take occasion to sinne, you ought rather to for­beare it, than that by your motion you should giue him occasion of sinning, which for no temporall commoditie you ought to doe.

I answere, that it is vnknowne to me, how the Lord (who would haue the wealthie men tried by the signifi­cation of their want who are in need) will moue his heart: and therefore so long as I mooue him onely to that good which he ought to doe, if he will thereby take occasion to offend,See Thom. Aq. sum. 2. 2. q. 78. 4. ad 2. it is an offence taken and not giuen. And for as much as this passiue offence is not of ignorance or infir­mitie, but of a resolued malice and of a setled resolution in euill, such as was the scandale of the Pharisies, Mat. 15. 14. it is to be neglected, neither am I being in a case of vr­gent necessitie to forbeare asking to borrow for feare of this passiue scandale.

But the latter point is more difficult, viz. whether after deniall made by him who was intreated to lend, a man in case of vrgent and extreame necessitie may offer that condition to him, which if he shall accept, he shall offend by vsurie. As for example, if vpon his deniall he should reply, Refuse not I pray you to lend vnto me, for my ne­cessitie is such, as that rather than I would not borrow, I would yeeld to very hard conditions; require what al­lowance [Page 343] you thinke good, or impose what condition you please, if it be not too vnreasonable, I will yeeld to it. Such an offer I haue shewed before by like instances, not to be vnlawfull: to which I will adde some others. Sup­pose a man in extremitie of hunger to come to another who hath victuals, intreating him to let him haue some food for his readie money: the other, though he percei­ueth his need, refuseth: wherupon he replieth, Refuse not I pray you to sell me food, for such is my necessitie, that rather than I would not buy victuals at this time, I would yeeld to what price you shall require, demaund what you will, though it be the double price, &c. Or suppose the same man in the like want of necessaries either for himselfe or such as belong vnto him, but wanting readie money, commeth to one who hath such commodities to sell, who refusing to sell without readie money, the other desireth him to let him haue them, though he pay the dea­rer for them. The partie thus selling the dearer, commit­teth vsurie. And suppose againe, that the partie who is intreated to lend, pretendeth as vsurers many times doe, that they haue no money to pleasure the borrower with: whereupon the borrower intreateth him to helpe him with some commoditie whereof he may make money: the lender (intending perhaps to buy the same himselfe vnder hand) lets him haue a commoditie, which he sayth is worth an hundred pounds, and causeth the borrower to enter into a bond for the payment of so much: when as notwithstanding, the borrower when he selleth the com­moditie, cannot perhaps procure fourescore pounds for it. These examples with those before mentioned, may prooue, that a man in present distresse may make such an offer, which being extorted from him by his owne neces­sitie, and by the hardnesse of their hearts with whom he hath to deale, is, by his owne necessitie compelling him, to make choise of the lesse euill, and by the hardnesse of their hearts, whom he dissuadeth from the greater sinne, [Page 344] to be excused, which otherwise were not warrantable.

3. But it may be objected againe: He without whom the vsurer cannot actually accomplish his sinne, is part­ner of his sinne. Without the borrower vpon vsurie, the vsurer cannot actually commit the sinne of vsurie, there­fore the borrower is partner of the vsurers sinne.

The proposition being generally vnderstood (as it must, or else the whole argumentation is a paralogisme) is vntrue: for although it be true in those sinnes which are committed betwixt a couple by the voluntarie and mu­tuall consent of both parties, yet where the one partie yeeldeth not voluntarie consent, but is a patient, and the object rather of the others wrong than an agent with him, it is vtterly false. The sinne of rape can no more be committed without the innocent partie that is rauished, than the sinne of whoredome without the companie of an harlot; and yet no man will say, that she which is raui­shed is partner of his sinne that committeth the rape. The robber by the high way cannot commit robberie, vnlesse the way faring man doe trauell that way: so like­wise one man cannot oppresse, vnlesse there be another to be oppressed, nor impose vsurie, vnlesse there be ano­ther on whom it is to be imposed: and yet he that is op­pressed is not partner of the oppressours sinne, nor the borrower who vpon necessitie borroweth vpon vsurie, of the vsurers sinne. Indeed he that willingly and with­out necessitie maketh that contract of vsurie, he is not oppressed; neither may it be denied but that he is part­ner of the vsurers sinne. But he that vpon necessitie and against his will yeeldeth to the payment of vsurie, he is oppressed; neither can it truly be said, that he is partner of the vsurers sinne: for whosoeuer is oppressed, is wrongfully oppressed and against his will: and whoso­euer is wrongfully oppressed and against his will, he is no partner of the oppressours sinne. When as therefore it is said, If there were no borrowers vpon vsurie, there [Page 345] would be no vsurers: to prooue that all borrowers are partakers in the sinne of vsurie, it might as well be said, That if there were no trauellers by the high way, there would be no robbers by the high way: if there were none to suffer wrong, there would bee none to offer wrong; if there were none to be oppressed, there would be no oppressours; to prooue that the robbed, the wron­ged, the oppressed are guiltie of the robberie, wrong, and oppression that is done vnto them. For I haue prooued before, that the borrower vpon necessitie yeelding to vsurie, is wronged and oppressed.

4. Againe, if it be objected, That we may not doe ill that good may come thereof: neither may we vse vn­lawfull meanes though to good ends, neither ought any worldly necessitie force vs to sinne; all this I freely con­fesse, and withall professe, that if all borrowing vpon vsurie were an euill thing, (meaning the euill of sinne) if to borrow vpon vsurie vpon necessitie, were to vse an vnlawfull meanes; or if it were to sinne, that this euill were not to be done, though much good might come thereof, this vnlawfull meanes were not to bee vsed, though our end and intent be neuer so good, and that no necessitie should compell vs to commit this sinne. But this is the matter in question, which must be prooued, and not taken for graunted. For the contrarie part I haue prooued, That to borrow in time of need is a lawfull meanes, and to yeeld to vsurie vpon necessitie, with such cautions as before haue bin specified, is not to do an euill, namely of sin, that good may come thereof, but to suffer a lesse euill, namely of losse, for the auoiding of a greater.

Hitherto we haue spoken of the negatiue, that is to say, of that which the sound Christian and citisen of hea­uen doth not, viz. That he doth not put forth his money vnto vsurie. Now we are briefly to consider the affirma­tiue, which euerie true Christian in respect of his goods is bound to do: For whereas the vsurer offendeth two [Page 346] wayes, both in respect of the vse, that hee exposeth his money to vsurie; and in respect of his gettings, that he in­creaseth his wealth by vsurie: we are to shew that two contrarie duties are required of euery faithfull man, both in regard of the [...], that is, the getting, that hee get his goods lawfully; and also in respect of the [...], that is, the vse, that hee freely communicate them to the good of others. Of just getting, because it is equally opposit to the vice mentioned in the next note, I will intreat after I haue spoken thereof, as being the common affirmatiue to both these negatiues.

The communication of our goods, whether by free giuing or free lending, to the good of others, as our abi­litie shall afford, and their necessitie require, is that spi­rituall vsurie which the Lord (who so seuerely condem­neth all worldly vsurie) doth highly commend vnto vs in diuerse places of the Scripture, affirming, That those who are bountifull towards the poore and needie, whe­ther by free lending or free giuing, doe lend as it were vpon vsurie to the Lord,Prou 19. 17. who will repay and recom­pence them with aduantage. Wherevpon Augustine, Deus noster qui te prohibetesse foener atorem, In Psal. 36. Con [...]. 3. iubet te esse foeneratorem, & dicitur tibi, foener [...] Deo: Our God (saith he) who forbiddeth thee to be an vsurer, commandeth thee to be an vsurer, and to thee it is sayd, Lend, as it were vpon vsurie to the Lord: To which purpose we are elsewhere exhorted, to distribute or communicate vnto the necessities of the saints. And againe,Rom. 12. 13. To do good and to destribut for­get not, Heb. 13. 16. for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

But there are three obstacles and impediments of free lending and free giuing, by the remouing whereof we may be effectually persuaded to put in practise this spiri­tuall vsurie. The first is an erronious conceit of worldly men, who imagine that the goods which they possesse are their owne, to dispose of as themselues thinke good; and therefore that they are not bound to distribut or communicat them to others, &c.

[Page 347] But the Scriptures do teach vs that we are not absolut Lords of that which we enjoy,Luk. 16. 1 [...]. but the stewards of the Lord, who hath committed these goods as talents to be imployed to his glorie in the good of our brethren, and that of our stewardship we are one day to render a straight account: neither may we thinke that our ac­count will be accepted, if we shall refuse to imploy the good gifts of God to such vses as he hath appointed. If a noble man should commit a certaine summe of money to his steward, appointing him to destribut the same to the reliefe of the poore; would not euery man esteeme that steward to be worse than a theefe, if hee should conuert that money to his owne vses? or if the Princes Almoner should not communicat vnto the poore the money com­mitted to his trust, but withhold it from them, or diuert it to other vses, would not euery man condemne him in like sort? But we are the Lords stewards, and so many as are of abilitie are the Lords Almoners; and therefore if when God hath commanded vs to communicat or de­stribut some part of our goods to the poore and needie, are not we as bad or rather worse than theeues, if we be­ing of abilitie shall refuse to communicat to the necessi­ties of our brethren? Let vs then consider whether the Lord hath not required this dutie at our hands.

The precepts of free lone I haue mentioned before: and for almes and free giuing the Scripture is plentifull, charging not onely the rich to be apt to communicate and so to be rich in good workes,1. Tim. 6. 17. 18 but euerie one that is not poore, to giue almes according to their abilitie:Luke. 11. 41. and we must not onely giue if we be able, but also we must doe our indeuour that we may bee able, and if other meanes faile, we ought to lobour and worke with our hands that which is good (that is,Eph. 4. [...]8. to take paines in some lawfull calling) that we may haue to giue to him that nee­deth. Yea if the necessitie of our brethren so require, we are to make sale of our goods and possessions for their [...]. 12. 33. [Page 348] releefe, according to the commaundement of our Sauior Christ,Act. 4. 34. and the practise of the primitiue Church. And these duties of free lending and free giuing are to be per­formed, readily, without delay, Pro. 3. 27, 28, constantly, without wearinesse, 2. Cor. 8. 11, cheerfully, without grud­ging: for the Lord loueth a cheerfull giuer, 2. Corinth. 9. 7. And that we should not thinke these duties to bee arbi­trarie, or the neglect of them not to draw vpon vs ei­ther guilt or punishment; therefore the Lord besides his manifold precepts straightly enjoyning these duties, hath added both seuere censures, and dreadfull comminations against the neglect thereof,De. 1 [...]. 9, 10, 11. it is censured as an euident signe of no loue of God,1. Iohn. 3. 17. 1. Iohn. 3. 17. as a sinne, Deut. 15. 9. yea as a sinne of Sodome, Ezech. 16. 49.

The comminations are either generall,Prou. 28. 27. as Prou. 28. 27, He that hideth his eyes (from the poore) shall abound with curses; or speciall, in this life, that hee shall not ob­taine any thing at the hands of God: For he that stoppeth his eare at the crying of the poore, Prou. 21. 13. he shall also cry & not be heard: in the life to come, that he shall bee cast into euerlasting fire which is prepared for the diuell and his angels: For such shall be the sentence of Christ our judge at the last day, Depart from me you cursed, Mat. 25. 41, 42. into euerlasting fire, for I was an hun­gred (viz. in my poore members) and you gaue me no meat, I thirsted and you gaue me no drinke, Luke 16. 2. &c. Seeing therefore our goods are not our owne but the Lords, whose stewards we are, it cannot bee denied but that we are to imploy them as our Lord and maister appointeth: and seeing our Lord and maister appointeth vs, and that vpon paine of damnation, to communicat them to the necessities of our brethren, as their need shall require, and our abilitie af­ford; it behoueth vs as we tender our owne saluation, so also to tender the distressed estate of our poore brethren.

The second impediment is couetousnesse, joyned with distrust: for when as men are couetous they will not lay forth any thing, vnlesse it be for their aduantage: and be­ing [Page 349] distrustfull they imagine that what is giuen, is lost. But hereunto I will oppose, as an antidote, the gracious promises of God made to those who are gracious to the poore, whether by free giuing or free lending. Thou saist thou wilt not giue because thou knowest not what want thy selfe may haue: but what saith the holy Ghost,Prou. 28. 27. To him that giueth vnto the poore shall be no want: but to him that hi­deth his eyes, shall be plentie of cu [...]ses. Thou wilt not lend to the needie, because thou doubtest that what is lent to them will neuer be repaid: But what saith the spirit of God? He that hath mercy on the poore, Prou. 19. 17. lendeth vnto the Lord, and the Lord will recompence him that which he hath giuen. To which you may adde, Deut. 15. 10. & 23. 20. Luke 6. 35. Seeing therfore the Lord hath made such gracious promises to those that are mercifull towards the poore and needie: were it not extreme infidelitie to imagine, that by our liberalitie to­wards the poore we should become loosers; seeing he hath promised to repay what is lent, and to reward what is giuen? Nay, so farre shalt thou be from losse or hinde­rance by the charitable communicating of thy goods, as that this is the surest way not onely of sauing them that they be not lost, but also of laying them forth to increase: For whereas we are stripped of all other our goods by death, which turneth vs as naked out of this world as we came into it; these which we haue charitably giuen, do remaine vnto vs after death. And therefore as they which trauell into forraine countries, doe not cary their mony with them, partly for feare of robbing by the way, and partly because it would not be currant in the coun­trey whereunto they trauell, but deliuer it to the bankers vpon a bill of exchange, whereby they may be assured to receiue their money: so we, being to depart out of this life, for as much as we cannot take our money with vs, neither is it currant in heauen, ought to commit it to the poore and needie, as it were the Lords bankers, vpon his promise in his word, as it were his bill of exchaunge, [Page 350] whereby he assureth vs of full recompence in the life to come: Wherefore that which we commit to the poore according to the rules of charitie, Illud non amittimus, sed promittimus, That we do not loose, but as it were send be­fore vs. And that is it which our Sauiour saith,Luke 16. 9. Make you friends of this Mammon of iniquitie, &c. For it is most certaine that we shall be put out of the stewardship by death, nei­ther shall the administration of these temporal goods any longer appertaine vnto vs. What course therefore may we take, that when we are put out of our stewardship, we may haue some benefit and comfort by the imployment of our goods in the time of our stewardship? we are by the charitable exposing of our goods, to make vs friends of this vnrighteous Mammon, that when we shall be put out of this stewardship, we may be receiued into euerla­sting tabernacles.

Againe, the charitable exposing of goods, in the Scriptures is compared to sowing of seed in the ground, 2. Cor. 9. 6,2. Cor. 9. 6. Therefore as the husbandman casteth his seed into the ground in hope of good increase in time of har­uest, although his seed do rot in the meane time, and die in the earth; so we should cast our seed vpon the poore, as it were the Lords plowed land, in certaine assurance of a plentifull increase in the great haruest, at which time it shall be sayd,Mat. 25. 34, 35. Come you blessed of my father, inherit the kingdome which is prepared for you: for when I was hungrie, you gaue me meat, when I was thirstie, you gaue me drinke; &c. That there­fore which hindereth men from giuing almes (that is a couetous desire of bettering our estate) would chiefly stirre vs vp thereto, if we yeelded any credit to the pro­mises of God. Wouldest thou then thriue by vsurie? lend not vpon worldly vsurie to men, who will pay thee but ten in the hundred, but lend vpon spirituall vsurie vnto the Lord, who hath promised to repay an hun­dred fold.

The third and last impediment, is hardnesse of heart, [Page 351] shutting vp the bowels of compassion in the richer sort, and taking from them all feeling and regard of other mens necessities. For the remoouing whereof, let the ri­cher sort consider, first, that the poorest Christian that liueth, is his owne flesh, Esay. 58. 7. Secondly, that he is his brother in Christ, redeemed by the same most precious bloud of Christ. Yea thirdly, that he is a fellow mem­ber of the same bodie, whereof Christ is the head: and therefore in the fourth place that Christ esteemeth that giuen to him,Mat. 25. 40. 4 [...]. which is giuen to his poore members; and that to be denied to himselfe, which is denied to one of them. Consider then with me, if any man ought to deny vnto Christ an almes, who hath not denied himselfe to vs: or if any should, whether he were not to be esteemed a most wicked and hard hearted man. If you shall say, farre be it from vs that we should deny any thing to Christ our Sauiour, and yet are hard hearted towards the poore; I would aduise you to call to mind the excuse which the wicked shall make at the day of judgement, with the answer of Christ the judge: When (say they) did we see thee hungrie, Mat. 25. 44, 45. or thirstie, or a stranger, or naked, or sicke, or in prison, and did not minister vnto thee? To whom our Sauiour answereth, Verily I say vnto you, in as much as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me, Mat. 25. 44, 45, where also we may obserue that the sentence of saluation and condemnation shall be pronounced at the last day, ac­cording either to the performance or neglect of this du­tie. Wherefore as we tender the saluation of our soules, so let vs thinke our selues bound not onely to abstaine from all worldly vsurie, which I proued to be a damna­ble sinne; but also to practise this spirituall vsurie, wher­in we hauing lent vnto the Lord, shall be sure to receiue a plentifull reward.

THere remaineth the tenth and last note of the sound Christian and citisen of heauen, in these words, Nor ta­keth [Page 352] reward against the innocent. Now rewards are taken ei­ther by way of briberie to p [...]ruert judgement, or by way of trecherie to betray innocent bloud. To peruert judge­ment, bribes are taken: first, by judges and those that be­long to them,1. Sam. 8. 3. after the example of the sonnes of Samuell, who when they were appointed judges did not walke in the wayes of their father (for he was free from taking re­wards, 1. Sam. 12. 3.) but turned aside after lucre, and ta­king rewards, peruerted judgement. Secondly, by coun­sellors and aduocats,Act. 24. after the example of Tertullus, who (so he might haue his fee) cared not what false calumnia­tions he vttered against the Apostle Paul. Thirdly, by witnesses who are hired to giue false witnesse against the innocent, according to the example of those who were suborned against Na [...]oth, 1. King. 21. and against our Sauiour Christ,Mat. 26, 59, 60. & 28. 12▪ 15. both before his death and after his resurrection. Of tre­cherie also we haue examples in the Scriptures, as of Da­lila, Iud. 16. 5, 18. who for reward betrayed Sampson into the hands of the Philistines;Mat. 26. 15. & 27. 4. and of Iudas the traytor, who for thirtie peeces of money betrayed our Sauiour Christ.

But that I may speake to the intendment of the holie Ghost in this place, I am to shew, that this is a note of Gods children, to be free from rewards: For the Lord in other places also of the Scripture, propoundeth absti­nence from rewards as a note of the godly; and contra­riwise the taking of rewards, as a certaine badge of the wicked. For as touching the former, when question was made who should dwell with a consuming fire,Deut. 4. 24. that is,Heb. 12. 19. God: the Prophet Esay maketh answer Chapter. 33,Esay. 33. 15. He that refuseth gaine of oppression, and shaketh his hands from taking of gifts, &c. he shall dwell on high. The same is testified,Prou. 15. 27. Prou. 15. 27. He that is greedie of gaine, troubleth his owne house: but he that hateth gifts, shall liue. On the other side, taking of bribes is acknowledged in the Scripture to be an vndoubted to­ken of the wicked,Prou. 17. 23. Prou. 17. 23. (The wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosome (to wit, of the giuer) to wrest the wayes of [Page 353] iudgement.) Of accursed persons,Deut. 27. 25. Deut. 27. 25. (Cursed be he that taketh a reward to put to death innocent bloud. And all the people shall say Amen.) Of reprobates and castawayes,Iob. 15. 34. Iob. 15. 34. (Fire shall deuoure the houses of bribes, that is, of them that take bribes.) And Psal. 26. 9, 10,Psal. 26. 9. 10. where the Prophet praying that he might not be destroyed in the destruction of the wicked and reprobat, he describeth them by this note, Gather not my soule (saith he) with the sinners, nor my life with the bloudie men: in whose hands is wickednesse, and their right hand is full of bribes.

The vse which we are to make of this doctrine is thus much, That seeing abstinence from rewards is made by the holy Ghost a note of the righteous which shall be sa­ued; and contrariwise, taking of rewards an vndoubted marke of the wicked, who if they continue in this sinne shall be condemned: therefore it behooueth vs to shake our hands from taking of rewards, if we would haue any hope or assurance that we shall dwell in the mountaine of Gods holinesse: For they that shall dwell in the moun­taine of God, are such (saith the holy Ghost) as doe not take rewards against the innocent. Wherefore if thou doest take rewards, and that against the innocent (for the innocent partie doth not vse to giue bribes, therefore bribes are commonly taken against the innocent) how canst thou hope that thou shalt euer inherit the kingdome of God? But these [...], these takers of rewards, doe not only depriue themselues of all true hope of saluation, but also incurre most certainely the just vengeance of God, which they pull not onely vpon themselues and their houses, as I shewed before out of Deut. 27. 25, Prou. 15. 27, Iob. 15, 34, but also vpon their countrey, which should be more deare vnto them than themselues; [...] therefore said to destroy it, Prou. 29, 4: [...]. 29 4. For among the [...] abhominations, for which the Lord doth threat [...] [...]struction against Ierusalem, this is none of the least, [...]zech. 22. 12, In thee haue they taken gifts to shed bloud, Ezech 22. 1 [...]. thou hast [Page 354] taken vsurie and increase, &c. But that which is spoken to all, seemeth to be spoken to none. I will therefore con­uert my speech to all the sorts of them that take gifts se­uerally, as to corrupt judges, aduocats, and witnesses. For as touching traitours, whom euery one knoweth to be worse than common cut-throats and murtherers (be­cause to the murther of the innocent, whereof they are guiltie, they adde persidious trecherie) I shall not need to speake.

First therefore and principally I am to speake to jud­ges, officers, and magistrats: for now adayes briberie hath so corrupted publicke places and functions, that euery petite office, whereof the stipends and lawfull fees are but small, is notwithstanding by such corrupt wayes and indirect meanes as are found out, sufficient to gather great wealth.

But let such men besides the generall arguments, be­fore vsed, consider with me how dangerous this kind of filthie gaine is, how wicked, and how pernicious. The danger is shewed, Deut. 16. 19, Wrest not thou the law (sayth the Lord to judges and officers) nor respect any person, Deut. 16. 19. neither take reward: Exod. 23. 8. for the reward blindeth the eyes (not of the vnwise onely, but) of the wise, and peruerteth the words (not of the wic­ked onely, but also) of the iust. But the grieuousnesse of this offence will more clearely appeare, if besides the danger to themselues, we shall consider how greatly they offend both against God and their neighbour: against God;Exod. 22. 28. for judges and magistrats are by the holy ghost in the Scriptures called Gods,Psal. 82. 6. because they are the Lords substitutes, sustaining his person: and the judgement which they execute, is not the judgement of man but of God. And that is the argument which I [...]hosophat vsed, when he exhorted the judges, whom he had ordained, to the vpright performance of their dutie;2. Chron. 19. 6. Take heed what you doe (sayth he) for you execute not the iudgements of man, but of the Lord, and he will be with you in the cause and iudgement. [Page 355] Wherefore now let the feare of the Lord be vpon you, take heed and doe it, for there is none iniquitie with the Lord our God, neither re­spect of persons, nor receiuing of reward. Whosoeuer therefore peruerteth judgement, as much as in him lieth, he maketh God (whose judgement it is) vntrue and vnjust.

Secondly they offend against that justice which ought to be exercised towards our neighbour: first, because they doe most grossely abuse the commonwealth, of whom they receiue both authoritie and maintenance, that they may doe much mischiefe thereunto. Secondly, because they are as the Prophet Esay speaketh,Esay. 1. 23. compani­ons of theeues. Thy princes (sayth he) are companions of theeues: euery one loueth gifts and followeth after rewards. Neither doe they onely helpe the wicked to spoyle his neighbour, but themselues also doe rob and spoyle them, and that also vnder the colour and shew of judgement and justice. So that whereas the Lord hath ordained the judgement seat, to be a rocke of defence and refuge for the innocent and guiltlesse, they haue made it an hill of robbers. Thirdly, because they haue not onely set judgement and justice to sale (which is an abhominable practise) but also as the Prophet Amos speaketh,Amos. 2. 6. They sell the righteous for siluer, and the poore for a paire of shoes. Such judges Demosthenes compa­red to a paire of scoles, which alwaies incline on that side whence they haue receiued any thing. And surely, a small weight many times will make them to incline to the wic­ked, who seeketh to corrupt them, and to decline from right,Prou. 28. 21. Prou. 28. 21, To haue respect of persons it is not good: for that man will transgresse for a piece of bread. It were therefore to be wished, that justice and judges now adaies were such, as they were wont to be painted: for justice was blindfolded, and judges were pictured without hands: whereby was signified, that judges should not receiue rewards, nor respect persons, which is commonly a con­sequent of rewards.

Vpon the greatnesse of this offence followeth the [Page 356] third thing, namely that is is pernicious to them that vse it: for therefore doth the holy ghost denounce a feareful woe against such persons,Esay 5. 23. Esay 5. 23. Woe be to them which iu­sti [...]ie the wicked for a reward, and take away the righteousnesse of the righteous from him, therefore, as the flame of fire deuoureth the stubble, and as the chaffe is consumed of the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, &c. But it is onely pernicious to them­selues, but also to the countrey wherein they liue, as I haue in generall shewed,Ezek. 22. 12. Ezek. 22. 12. and thereunto wee may adde the testimonie of the Prophet Micah, Mic. 3. 11, 12. chap. 3. 11, 12. for when as hee had said, that the heads or princes of Ierusalem did judge for rewards, and the priests did teach for hire, he inferreth; Therefore shall Sion for your sake be ploughed as a field, and Ierusalem shall be an [...]eape, and the moun­taine of the house as the high places of the forrest.

I come to corrupt lawyers and aduocats; who so of­ten take reward against the innocent, as they doe take vp­on them the defence of such causes, as they in their owne conscience are persuaded to be euill and vnjust. Which being so common a fault among lawyers, as that very few which plead causes either in ciuile or ecclesiasticall courts doe seeme to make any conscience thereof, to whom all is fish that commeth to their nets; therefore all lawyers are to be exhorted to apply this note vnto themselues. For if those which shall be saued, are such as doe not take a reward against the innocent, as the holy ghost here wit­nesseth; how then can they be saued, whose vsuall practise is to take rewards against the innocent? And that they may the more effectually be dissuaded from this sinne, let them a little consider with me, how fearefully they sinne against God, their neighbour, and themselues. Against God, whiles they seeke to ouerthrow the truth, and to peruert the Judgement, which is the Lords. Secondly, against their neighbour. And in this regard, euery cor­rupt lawyer is, as Salomon sayth of euery false witnesse, an hammer, Prou. 25. 1 [...]. a sword, and a sharpe [...]rrow, an hammer or mallet to [Page 357] the judge, a sword to his client, and an arrow to his ad­ursarie. For whiles our lawyers doe their indeuours, as the Greeke sophisters were wont [...], that is, to make the worse cause the better, they doe as it were knocke the judge on the head, amasing him so and daze­ling his eyes, that he may not see and pronounce the truth. To their client they are as two edged swords, wounding him two wayes, to wit, in body and soule. As touching his bodie and outward estate, they notably impouerish him to enrich themselues, and plucke off his feathers to feather their owne nest: for as the fowlers [...]age is full of birds, so the houses of these faulconers are full of riches gotten by deceit, Ier. 5. 26. 27. as Ieremie speaketh. The soule also of their client they wou [...]d, when they animate him to goe on in offering wrong to his neighbour, and cause him to sinne against his owne soule.

To the aduersarie, being indeed the innocent partie, euery Tertullus is a sharpe arrow, wounding him either in bodie, goods, or good name; against all or any whereof they care not what vntruths and slaunderous calumniati­ons they vtter, so their cause may therby be aduantaged.

Lastly, they sinne against themselues and their owne soules, first, because they aid the wicked vnto euill which is forbidden, Exod. 23. 1. and is reprooued, 2. Chron. 19. 2, as also Psal. 50. 18. When thou sawest a theefe, thou consentedst vnto him, and is condemned, Rom. 1. 31. Secondly, because they haue sold their tongues to speake likes: for an euill cause cannot be maintained but by manifold vntruths. Now riches or treasures gotten by a deceitfull or lying tongue, is vanitie tossed too and fro of them that seeke death, Prou. 21. 6.Prou. 21 6. And therefore it is greatly to be feared, least these men as they haue set their tongues, so also their [...]oules to sale: for that is truly affirmed of all couetous persons. Eccles. 10. 9.

The like is to be said of euery false witnesse, who for reward is suborned to testifie vntruths, That hee sinneth against God, whose judgement he seeketh to peruert; [Page 358] against the judge, whom he endeuoureth to auert from justice and truth; against the parties who suborneth him, to whom he consenteth vnto euill; against the innocent partie, whom by his false testimonie he hurteth, and sometimes killeth him with a word; against his owne soule; for seeing a false witnesse is an abbomination vnto the Lord, Prou. 6. 18. Prou. 6. 18, therefore he shall not escape, but surely pe­rish, Prou. 19. 5. 9. Prou. 19. 5. 9. And yet this is not all that may be said in detestation of false witnesse bearing: For seeing wit­nesses in places of judgement doe not deliuer their te­stimonies but vpon an oath; therefore euery false wit­nesse is guiltie not onely of false witnesse bearing, but also of perjurie: whereby he polluteth the holy name of God▪ wrongeth the innocent, abuseth the judge, and all that are present, and that vnder the religion of an oath; hee citeth the Lord himselfe, and that in the place of judgement to testifie an vntruth, and (which is most fear­full) he tempteth the Lord, and as it were dareth him in the audience of allthat are present to execute his fierce wrath and indignation vpon him. For in othes wee call vpon God not onely to be our witnesse, that we sweare truly, but also to be a reuenger of vs, if we sweare falsely: therefore he which sweareth that which he knoweth to be vntrue, he prouoketh the Lord, and as it were dareth him to take vengeance vpon him.

Thus then we see by these two last notes, what the sound Christian and citizen of heauen doth not, to wit, that neither priuatly in contracts, nor publickely in place of judgement, he getteth his goods vnlawfully: as for ex­ample, by vsurie, or briberie. Now we are briefly to consider the contrarie affirmatiue: namely, that euery sound Christian maketh conscience of his gettings, ha­uing a true purpose and vpright endeuour to obtaine and procure the commodities of this life onely by good and lawfull meanes, And that we may all of vs in like sort be persuaded to make conscience of this duty, let vs haue [Page 359] in our minds these considerations: first, that riches are fitly compared to thornes, which, if we be not carefull in the gathering of them, will pricke and wound, not the hand but the conscience; yea, and if we be ouer-greedie of them, will pierce vs through with many sorrowes:1. Tim. 6. 10. and secondly, that so oft as they (being offered to our de­sire) cannot be compassed by good and lawfull meanes, they are the baits of the Diuell. And therefore we are not to lay hold vpon euerie commoditie which is pro­pounded vnto vs, but we are to looke vnto the lawfulnes of the meanes: for if we attaine them by vnlawful means, we do with them swallow the hooke of the Diuell. And this is a certaine truth, that those which will be rich, 1. Tim. 6. 9. that is, which haue set downe with themselues that they will at­taine to wealth, whether the Lord do giue them lawfull meanes or not; they fall into temptation and snares of the Diuell, for he cannot lay any bait of commoditie to en­trap them, which they will not be readie to obtaine by sinne, which is the very hooke of the Diuell.

Thirdly, we are to acknowledge that it is the blessing of God which maketh rich, Prou. 10. 22, and that the Lord doth not blesse ill gotten goods, see Prou. 13. 11. and I [...]rem. chapter 17. 11.

Fourthly, that better is a little with righteousnesse, than great reuenews without equitie, Prou. 16. 8. Psal. 37. 16, and that it is better to be in meane estate with a good consci­ence, [...]. Hesiod. than with the shipwracke of a good conscience to be rich.

Fiftly,, that goods justly gotten, are the good gifts of God, and pledges of his loue towards thee, if also thou hast grace to vse them well: but contrariwise, that ill got­ten goods, obtained by sinne in the seruice of the diuell, they are the wages which the prince of this world giueth to his seruants, and are as Nazianzene sayth, the earnest penny of perdition: or that I may speake more effectu­ally, they are the price of mens soules, for which coue­tous [Page 360] men,Ec [...]les. 10. 9. who haue set their soules to sale, doe sell them to the diuell.

Lastly, let vs esteeme that onely to be gained, which is gotten lawfully. And when any thing which we de­sire cannot be gotten lawfully, let vs remember, that as the Apostle sayth,1. Tim. 6. 6. Great ga [...]e is godlinesse with contentednesse: Whereas contrariwise, in that which is vnjustly gotten thre is exceeding great losse. And therfore the heathen man did well aduise vs, to chuse losse rather than vnho­nest gaine: for the one (sayth hee) will grieue thee but once, [...]. Chilo. and the other for euer. For indeed, what is gained in that which is gotten by sinne? an earthly commodi­tie, which to a worldly man is not onely vaine and vn­profitable, but also hurtfull. But what is lo [...]t? thy soule: For the wages of sinne as death, and the soule that s [...]neth shall die. Now if the soule should bee weighed in the ballance of Critol [...]us against al the commodities of the world, it would ouerweigh them all. Wherefore let that diuine Oracle of our Sauiour Christ alwaies sound in our eares, What will it profit a man, if hee shall gaine the whole world, and loose his owne soule. Mar. 8. 36. should we not sinne to gaine the whole world, and shall we be readie to sinne for eue­ry trifle in the world? Would not the whole world be a sufficient ransome to redeeme our soules, and shall wee [...]ell our soules to the diuell for euery nothing in this world? Was Esau prophane and foolish, who in his hun­ger sold his birthright for a messe of pottage, and are not we much more prophane and foolish, if for matters of like value but lesse necessitie, wee shall make away an euerlasting inheritance, yea, an eternall kingdome in heauen?

And thus much may suffice to haue spoken concer­ning the description of the sound Christian and citizen of heauen. Now followeth the priuiledge of euery sound Christian, who is qualified according to that de­scription, viz. That he shall neuer bee remooued: for so [Page 361] sayth the holy ghost, He that doth these things, shall neuer bee remooued. Where we are to consider two things: first, who it is to whom this priuiledge belongeth; and secondly, what this priuiledge is: the partie to whom it belongeth, is, He that doth these things. He doth not say, he that know­eth these things, nor he that can discourse of these mat­ters, but he that doth these things. For as we judge of the health and soundnesse of the heart, not by the words of the mouth, or colour of the countenance, but by the pulse of the arme: so of the soundnesse and vprightnesse of the heart, judgement is to be made not so much by the words or countenance, as by the fruits of the hands. It is a good thing to say well, but we are no sound Christians or citizens of heauen, vnlesse also we doe well.Mat. 7. 2 [...]. Not euery one that sayth vnto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of hea­uen, but he that doth the will of my father which is in heauen. It is a good thing to read and heare, and by reading and hea­ring to know the will of God, but we shall neuer attaine to happinesse, vnlesse we be also carefull to doe it.Apoc. 1. 3. Blessed it [...]e which readeth (sayth Iohn the Diuine) and blessed are they which [...]e are the words of this prophecie (but he stayeth not there) and obserue (sayth he) the things which are written therein. It is a good thing to haue the word of God preached and a mi­serable thing to be without it, as Salomon sayth,Prou. 29. 18. Prou. 29. 18. but he that so heareth it as that he keepeth it, ô happie is he. They are blessed (sayth our Sauiour Christ) that [...]eare the word of God and keepe it. Luke 11. 28. And againe, If you know these things, Iohn 13. 17. happie are you if you doe them. We are therefore from hence to bee exhorted vnto well doing: For seeing a sound Christian and citizen of heauen is to be discerned by do­ing these things,2. Pet. 1. 10. as the holy ghost here teacheth, it beho­ueth vs by doing them to make our calling and election sure. For if we doe these things, we shall neuer fall, as Pe­ter also by the same spirit affirmeth.

The priuiledge it selfe is, that he shall neuer be remooued, or as some read, that he shall not fall for euer: not for euer, that [Page 362] is, neuer, as Iohn 13. 8. Thou shalt not wash myfeet for euer. And the same priuiledge in the same words is repeated, Psal. 112. 6. The good man shall neuer be remooued: and Prou. 10. 30. The righteous shall neuer be remoued. Psal. 112. 6. And this priuiledge doth so truly and properly belong to euery sound Christian,Prou. 10. 30. as that to the holy ghost in this place it is one & the same thing to be a sound Christian, and to be such an one as shall neuer be remoued. For when D [...]uid had demanded, Who shall soiourne in tby Tabernacle, and who shall rest in thy holy hill? that is, Lord, by what tokens may a sound Christian and heire of the kingdome of heauen be discerned? The Lord maketh answere, He that walketh vprightly and worketh righteousnesse, and speaketh the truth which is in his heart, &c. he is a sound Christian, and heire of the kingdome of heauen. But he vseth not those words, but in stead of them he vseth these to the same sence, He shall neuer be remoued. Whereupon it plainely followeth, that euery vpright and sound Christian is such an one as shall neuer be remoued.

These words therefore affoord this most comfortable doctrine, That the perseuerance, & consequently the sal­uation of the vpright, of the righteous, of the faithful and sound Christian, is certaine. And this truth is elsewhere in the Scriptures most plainely and plentifully taught, as shal be shewed, when my treatise of Perseuerance, which I haue alreadie finished, shall be thought fit to be publi­shed. In the meane time, let vs from this doctrine gather this vse, That seeing it is the priuiledge of the vpright & sound Christian neuer to be remoued, we ought therfore by walking vprightly, by exercising righteousnesse, by speaking the truth from our hearts, &c. labour to make our calling and election sure; for if we doe these things, wee shall neuer fall.


The Faults escaped are thus to be corrected.

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