THE LAWFULNES OF Mixt-Marriages WEIGHED.

OR An Answer to a Dialogue, between A. and B. Written by STEPHEN TORY, In Vindication of Mixt-Marriages,

By a Conference between C. and D. Con­cerning the same Dialogue.

By J. D.

I also will answer my part, I will also shew my Opinion, Job 32.17.

LONDON, Printed by J. D. for the Author, and are to be sold by Thomas Fabian, at the Sign of the Bible, in Pauls Church-Yard, a Corner-Shop next Cheap-Side. Anno 1681.

THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.

READER,

AS Solomon saith, there is no end (I do assure thee I take no pleasure) in Writing Books, I never was Ambi­tious (after this manner) to Expose my self to publick View. This ensu­ing Conference, was occasioned (and I may in a sence say, Extorted from me) by a Dialogue, concerning mixt [Page] Marriages written by, Stephen To­ry: which when I had perused, I did disaprove thereof; and perceiving it to proceed from an evil Root, and well knowing both by Scripture and Expe­rience, the Poisonous Fruit thereof, I thought my self obliged to give it a Nip; that (if it may be) the maturi­ty of the Fruit might be prevented. Howsoever, in this I have shewed my dislike, which I commend to thee, that thou mayest judge what is said; Read it patiently, Consider it seriously; And I pray, God may open thy Eyes, that thou mayest clearly see to distin­guish between Truth and Errour. Amen.

Farewel, Thine in the Lord, JOHN DENN.

THE LAWFULNESS OF Mixt-Marriages WEIGHED.

C.

WEll met Brother, I am heartily glad to see you.

D.

And you also, I am as glad to see you; and the rather, because I have had for some days, a mind to speak with you.

C.

Pra'y what is your Business?

D.

I have seen a Dialogue concerning Mixt-Marria­ges; wherein such Marriages are vindicated, which I pre­sume you do not allow of: and I have been exceedingly desirous to speak with you, to hear whether you have seen it, and what you say to it.

C.

I have (I presume) seen the Book which you mean: is it not a Dialogue between A. and B. shewing (as the Author saith) first, That for persons to be marred, who differ about Institutions in matters of Religion, is contra­ry to no Law, and therefore lawful?

Secondly, That if such Marriages were the Breach of [Page] a Law, yet there is no Rule for the Church to Excom­municate such persons for so doing.

D.

It is the same, pray what do you say to it?

C.

I think the Author might have been better employ­ed, for sure it was needless (I will not say evil) to write in the Encouragement of such things, that (if they were lawful) are altogether inexpedient, by the Author's own confession: [...] 51. yea in such a measure, that he tells you, such a Marriage lets in Contention and Strife, depriveth the Man and Wife of those Comforts they might otherwise enjoy, and (without doubt he saith) layeth them open to Temptations, and hazardeth their Reputation, the ho­nour of God and Religion: [...] 52. For which also, God Al­mighty will certainly some way or other deal with them: Sure no Wisdom can be apparent in the vindication of such inconveniences.

D.

The design of the Author was, to prove the law­fulness of such Marriages, and not the conveniency: which he well demonstrates in his Title Page.

C.

I say again, there is no prudence in the encourag­ing lawful Acts, when attended with such inconvenien­ces: but I do not perceive your Author hath as yet proved the matter lawful: what he pretends in his Title Page, is so far from Truth, that I do wonder he should expose it to publick view.

D.

Wherein? for my own part, I apprehend no such thing.

C.

He pretends to shew two things. First, That what is contrary to no Law, must be lawful. Secondly, If there be a Breach of a Law, yet the Church hath no Rule to Excommunicate persons for such a Breach: what think you of these things?

D.

I think he saith very well, and it must be true, that what is contrary to no Law, is lawful.

C.
[Page]

I suppose ye think, that the Author Believes the Baptism of Infants to be unlawful,, as also the Baptism of Bells &c. Yet it will trouble the Author to shew me the Law it is contrary unto. Besides, I am able to shew you divers things practised, which are contrary to no positive Law: yet neither you nor the Author (I presume) dare to vindicate, as the use of Cream, Oyl, and Spittle in Baptism, the Cross, Holy Water, &c. In truth it is a strange Assertion, that all things are lawful which are not contrary to the Law. I must put the Author in mind of Transgression as well as Disobedience; now to tansgress is to go beyond the Law: to do that for which there is no Law, and this is a Sin. But what of all this, if it be the Breach of a Law, (which is Disobedience and Rebel­lion) it matters not, the Church cannot (ought not saith your Author) to Excommunicate for such a Breach. Is not this the ready way, to make the House of God a Den of Thieves? Doth not this Doctrine Extirpate all Order and Discipline?

D.

Indeed, I did not think when I Read the Book, that those Positions had such Tendency; I now perceive they are very dangerous: I wish the Author had been better ad­vised; but do not you stretch this too far, he himself car­ries it with a fair Gloss throughout his Book.

C.

The Author indeed endeavours it, but by what means, may with facility be perceived. For, 1. He doth but lightly touch his own Positions, (as if he was afraid to venture upon them.) 2. He frames such Arguments, as he thinks himself able to answer: a man may fight with Courage, when he hath the liberty to choose his Adversa­ries Weapons.

D.

I am afraid Brother you are partial, and too Censo­rious in this matter: I confess you have made me stumble [Page] at the Title Page, but I think the Substance of the Book is very sound and weighty.

C.

It is an evil Omen, to meet with a stumbling-block at the Threshold.

D.

Pray Brother, let me interrupt you, and I entreat you candidly to weigh the Book it self.

C.

I have weighed it, and find it too light.

D.

For my satisfaction, pray condescend to give me a particular account thereof in order, that so I may be sen­sible of the mistakes, if any be▪

C.

What do you mean by a particular account?

D.

To pass through the whole Dialogue, and to consi­der as we go, the Arguments and Answers, which are there found, as to the matter in hand.

C.

At your request I will do it: let us begin.

D.

I am content to pass over the Introduction to his Discourse, and take notice, 1. Of the Answers to what is alleged (or pretended [...]n the Dialogue so to be) a­gainst Christians marrying with unbelievers, or such as are not Church Members: wherein pray, what say you to the Answer to the Argument, drawn from the Creation of the Woman, [...] [...]8. Gen. 2.18.

C.

I must tell you the Author is very prudent, in fight­ing with his own Shadow, from which no man can expect harm. I never heard (or can believe) that a Rational Man would produce that Text, Gen. 2.18. against such Marriages as the Dialogue intendeth: but the less force the Argument hath, it is the easier answered. But before I leave this, I must take notice of a strange mistake in the Author, who tells us, that it was not the design of God Almighty in creating the Woman, that she should be meet help to Man in the best things: which he endea­vours to prove, because it fell out otherwise, the Woman [Page] being first in the Transgression, and a Temptation to her husband, Gen. 3.6, 12. I must herein tell you and the Author also, that it was the design of God Almighty, that the Woman should be a meet help in the best things: for certainly God design'd his own Honour in the creation of Male and Female, which is most advanced when they a­bound in good things. What afterwards fell out, is no good Argument against the design; Events prove many times contrary to Designs and Expectations. And it must be thought the Author had little foresight, when he thus argued: for if he had but considered what himself intend­ed, and afterwards wrote,Fol [...] he would have perceived the weakness of his own Weapon. For he tells you, good and lawful Acts (and then much more designs) may be at­tended with contrary accidents. He that kindles a Fire with a design to warm himself, it may perhaps (saith the Author) burn the House. &c. Thus you see what in­consistences accrue through want of preconsideration.

D.

I will not undertake a reply to what you have said, I must leave that to the Author: but let us proceed to his Answer to the Argument from Gen. 6.2.Fo [...] [...]

C.

I must again say, it is best answering Arguments of a Man's own framing: and therefore, 1. As to the Exposition of Gen. 4.26. (then began Men to call up­on the Name of the Lord) I tell you whatsoever the meaning of that Text is, it is nothing to the purpose in hand, for that Argument and Answer may shake hands. 2. As to the Sons of God, mentioned chap. 6. It mat­ters not who they were, it is nothing to our purpose: But I suppose the Author to be strangely mistaken in his conceit, that they were the Inhabitants of Eden, begot­ten by Adam before his Fall, whom (he pretends) remained uncorrupt till that Day: at which time they [Page] defiled themselves by accompaning with fallen Wo­men.

D.

But he sheweth you many Reasons for that Opini­on.

C.

I will consider them in order, 1. For the Continu­ation and Preservation of the Garden of Eden: it will be hard for your Author to prove that it continued so many hundred Years as passed between the Creation and the Flood: but if so, before the Author concludes that it was preserved for an Habitation for Men, not corrupted by the fall of Adam, he ought to have proved that there was such a Generation: which, when he doth, I will con­sider more of it. His conclusion in the second place from the Text, [...] [...]7. that their Acquaintance was by accident, and not from their Cradles, is nothing to the purpose; I ap­prehend no such necessary Deduction from the Text: but if so, must they be such Inhabitants in Eden, because their Acquaintance was new? Is it not common for persons not acquainted from the Cradle, to Marry in our days, yet not to come from Eden, but of the same Country?

And for the manner of Speech, it imports no such thing as your Author surmiseth: but this is to be considered thence-from, that Men preferred Beauty before Vertue, their choice in Marriage was according to their own wills, without respect to the Honour of God, or any bounds and limits by him set. 3. Whereas your Author argues, that as their Acquaintance, so the Effects of their Union was strange and unexpected to the then World: I cannot but think it strange, (and it was unexpected too) that your Author should so mistake; 1. himself: doth not he tell us the Eyes of the People were fixed upon these Marriages, to see what would be the Effect thereof, as looking for something not common, and then how could the Effects [Page] be unexpected to those who were looking for them? 2. He mistakes the Text I am sure; that doth not say the Effect of their Union was strange: and why he should conjec­ture it, I know not: the contrary is apparent from the Scripture, which saith, Gen. 6.4. There were Giants in the Earth in those days, and also after that, when the Sons of God came in unto the Daughters of Men, and they bare Children unto them, the same became mighty Men, which were of old, Men of Renown; the Words (and also) demonstrate there was nothing new in that Case, and therefore not strange to the then World. Besides, this is evident from what is said, such Men were of old Men of Renown: it is but your Author's Fancy, which in­duceth him to think not only above, but contrary to what is written. Yet, 4.Fol [...] He comes to tell us of those prodi­gious Births which were in those days, as another Reason to perswade us to think that there were such incorrupted Inhabitants in Eden. But would not a Man think that to be verified in your Author, as he saith of his Brethren,Fol [...] that they may be imagined not only besides the Truth, but their Wits also. For 1. There were no prodigious Births: he that consults the Text, Gen. 6.4. will per­ceive there was nothing but what was usual in those days, (as appears in the beginning of the verse, and also after that, &c.) and also in the former days, for their off-spring was such as was of old. 2.Fo [...] [...] Doth not your Author argue, that those Marriages were not sin, because God blessed them with a great blessing, in giving them an Ho­nourable Off-spring? What, an Honourable Off-spring, yet a prodigious, (viz.) a monstrous Birth: this is your Author. But what if there had been such prodigious Births, doth that demonstrate any such Inhabitants in Eden, as your Author conceits? Surely no, but if it [Page] should, your Author is besides the Cushion, and caught in his own Snare. For the only reason must be, in that one Party was Righteous, and the other Wicked, for they were all of Mankind: and so as to that, no diffe­rence in reference to the Act of Generation. His 5. Reason from verse 12. is as prodigious as his pretend­ed Births: [...] [...]7. and may we not think it strange, that any Man (in his right wits) should think it most rational arguing, that some Men remained Pure and Incorrupted until those days, because that Text saith, All Flesh had corrupted his ways? Doth not the Apostle say, Rom. 3.23. All have sinned? may we suppose you argue from thence, that some were Pure untill those days? But since I have entred upon this conceit, I will enquire a little farther into the matter. For to me it is apparent there were no such Pure Inhabitants of Eden, who had their Residence there from before the Fall of Adam to those days, above 1500 Years.

Your Author would think in another Case, it was De­monstration sufficient, because that in all the Genealo­gies from Adam, there is no mention of any such Children that Adam had, which sure in so many hundred Years we should have heard of; if there had been any such, their Praise-worthy Integrity would not have been concealed. But the Truth is, there were no such: Eve who was the Mother of all living, brought forth Cain her first born Son; this is evident in that at his Birth she said, Gen. 4.1. I have gotten a Man from the Lord: this Expression would not have been used, if she had brought forth a Son before. Again, these pretended People (it seems) did not fall in Adam: but the Apostle Paul saith, Rom. 5.12. In Adam all sinned: and ver. 18. by the offence of one (viz. Adam) Judgement came upon all Men. From [Page] whence I argue thus, 1. That if all men sinned in Adam, then there were no such Pure Inhabitants in Eden, who sinned not until the days of Noah:

But all men sinned in Adam: Ergo, &c.

2. If through Adam's offence, judgement came upon all Men to Condemnation, then the sin of Adam was de­volved upon all Men: but through Adam's offence, judg­ment came upon all Men to Condemnation: Ergo, &c.

These Arguments considered, which do confirm each other, may convince any Man; that there were no such innocent Men, which (as your Author pretends) were not defiled by Adam's Transgression.

D.

I am at a stand, and dare hot adhere to the afore­said Opinion, because your words do almost convince me of the contrary.

But whether this Opinion be true or false,Fol. 8 [...] our Author saith, it cannot be proved from the Example of the old World, that those Marriages were sinful, or that the World was drowned because of that Sin: Yea, he suggests they were not sinful, because the Breach of no Law: for (saith he) if there was a Law, he desires to be shewed,

  • 1. What Law it was.
    Fol. [...]
  • 2. When it was given.
  • 3. By whom it was given.
  • 4. To whom it was given.
  • 5. Where it was given.
  • 6. The Penalties for breaking it.
  • 7. The Reward promised to those that kept it.

Again he tells you, The Act might be lawful, yet some subsequent Accident unlawful, whereof also he gives divers instances.

C.

I am also at a stand, as not knowing what to think of your Author, who dares affirm that those Marriages before mentioned, cannot be proved sinful.

[Page]Sure he doth not perceive the coherence of the Word, which plainly demonstrats God's displeasure for that thing. The Text saith, Gen. 6.2. They took them Wives of all, which they choose. And the Lord said, (for that thing) my Spirit shall not always strive with Man. What can be more plain, then that their choice was limited: (else what means the Word, they took them Wives of all which they choose,) and that God was displeased with their Marriages; but God is not displeased with such things, that are not contrary to his minde. From whence you may perceive, it will be no difficult matter to prove those Marriages sin, although your Author propounds (to evade it) many questions about the Law which should make it sin: whereto in Answer I must tell him, that the Sacrifice which Abel offered, and God accepted, may as well be reckoned to be without a Law, (and then it was a trans­gression:) for I will now ask the Author,

  • 1. What Law it was?
  • 2. When it was given?
  • 3. By whom it was given?
  • 4. To whom it was given?
  • 5. Where it was given?
  • 6. What Penalty for breaking it?
  • 7. What Reward was promised to those that kept it?

All these will be hard to be answerd: for in truth a Child may tye more Knots, then a Man can untye.

Secondly, As to his unlawful Accidents, I wonder why they are mentioned, whereas there is so little Congruity between an Act, and a subsequent Accident, that nothing ought to be concluded concerning any Act, from a fol­lowing Accident.

Again, I know none that pretend those Marriages to [Page] be the only cause that the World was drowned: (although they much displeased God) and therefore your Author might have spared his labour in disproving it.

D.

But to put all out of doubt, for the decision of the Controversy, and that the Proofs may be more certain,Fol. [...] There is a plain question stated as the Rule of the Dis­course, (viz.) Whether a Contract of Marriage between two Persons of different perswasions about Institutions in matters of Religion being performed and continued in, be lawful or unlawful, what say you to this?

C.

What doth he mean by Institutions?

D.

By Institutions, he means that part of Religion which is no way our Duty without a Command.

C.

That is, all parts of Religion; for there is nothing a Duty without a Command.

D.

No, it is but some part, (my Author saith) as under the Law, Circumcision, the Passover,Fol. [...] &c. and un­der the Gospel, Baptism, the Lord's Supper, and laying on of hands.

C.

And why not Repentance from dead Works, and Faith towards God?

In a word, I would know of you, (or your Author) what makes any thing a Duty but a Command?

And all things which are commanded as they are Du­ties, so they are Institutions?

D.

Why, are all Commands of God, Institutions?

C.

Yes surely, no Wiseman will gainsay that.

D.

Then the question is not so plain, for the decision of the controversy, as I thought it to be: for you will have it (according to your Explication of Institutions) to be thus, (viz.) Whether a Contract of Marriage made between two Persons of different perswasions, in all mat­ters of Religion, be lawful or unlawful?

C.
[Page]

That is the question properly understood.

D.

Then I think that I must answer, it is unlawful.

That is the most unequal Yoak that may be. That is worse then for Israel to plow with an Ox and an Ass to­gether.

This is an evil not to be born, this will hinder Pray­ers, this will dishonour God, and hinder the bringing up of Children in the Fear of God.

C.

Then I have done, there is no need (I see) for me to tell you what I say to it.

D.

In truth the stating of the question (as you explain it) desides the matter.

But I presume, the Author did not think so: I sup­pose he did not consider that all Commands of God are In­stitutions.

Wherefore pray let us proceed, and give me an ac­count what you say to the following Discourse, wherein we first find his answer to the Patriarch's Care in the Mar­riage of their Children. [...]. 11.

C.

As to that Answer, it is much like the rest. For 1. [...]. 11. He saith, good Men have done things for Examples to others, as Paul, 2 Thess. 3.8, 9. 1 Cor. 9. from verse 1. to the 9. Nehem. chap. 5.15. Uriah, 2 Sam. 11.11. all which (saith the Author) did refuse to do those things they might lawfully do for Examples to o­thers. It seems your Author puts no difference between the Omission of a lawful thing, and the Commission of an unlawful: a lawful thing may be omitted for divers Rea­sons, but no Reason will justify the doing an unlawful; and if that be done for an Example, it will be an evil Ex­ample: and if your Author supposeth that it was lawful for the Patriarchs to take the Daughters of Canaan for their Sons: it is a begging the question, and he must give [Page] us Leave not to believe him, until we see better proof. But in the next place he tells us, they might do it for the Love they had to their own Kindred, and the Disesteem they had of the unnurtured Cananites: It may be so, but as they might do it upon those accounts, so they might not; this Answer is not positive, and therefore as uncer­tain, I will leave it.

D.

But although he is not positive in this part of his Answer, yet he is in the next; for he saith,Fol. [...] he is sure it was not upon the account of Religion, that Abraham and Isaac took such care of their Childrens Marriage.

C.

That indeed is a bold position without good Reason I am sure: If Religion had not been the great (I will not say the only) Aim of Abraham, he would never have been so earnest with his servant about his Son's Wife: and Isaac and Rebecka must have Religion in their Eyes, otherways what meaneth these Words, Gen. 27.46. If Jacob take a Wife of the Daughters of Heth, such as these which are the Daughters of the Land; [such as these] hath respect to their qualifications, and what qualifications could that respect but a Religious?

D.

But he tells us it could not be Religion that was in their Eye, because the Church was in Abraham's house, and he needed not to have sent so far for that: Fol. [...] He could not want a Wife for his Son amongst his own Servants. And touching Jacob, his Father Laban was an Idolater, and Rachel no less; a Daughter of Heth could not have done much worse then she, when she stole her Father's Ima­ges, and framed a Lie to hide them.

C.

There may be many reasons given why Abraham would not take a Wife to his Son from amongst his Ser­vants: and if it was not from this Author, I should think it strange that it should be concluded, that Abraham did [Page] not (therein) respect Religion, because he did not give one of his Servants to Wife to his Son.

And for Laban and his Family, surely Rebecka did not reckon them Idolaters, (such as were the Daughters of the Land) when she sent her Son thither to prevent his taking such a Wife: and he that observes Laban's Saluta­tion unto, and his Entertainment of Abraham's Servant, Gen. 24.31, 50. may be of Rebecka's mind. It is true he had Images in his House; that was his miscarriage, as it was often found in Israel; Aaron was found guilty of making a Molten Calf, Exod. 32.4. God's selected People have many times been guilty of great defects: & it will be hard for the Author to prove Rachel an Idolatress; she might steal her Father's Images, because she disliked that in her Father: yea it is probable she had little Vene­ration towards them, whenas she allowed them no better place then amongst the Camels Furniture, Gen. 31.34. And for the Lie your Author so much condemns, sure he forgets what James saith, In many things we offend all, chap. 3.2. Your Author would as severely have said, a Son of Belial could not have done worse then David, and he would have condemned Isaac with the like severity, who, for as little reason (or less) than Rachel had, deny­ed his Wife, Gen. 26.7. yet a good and Religious Man, one beloved of God: But why do I thus Apologize for Rachel? 'Tis only to check your Author's severity, who tells us a Daughter of Heth could not have done much worse then she in, framing such a Lie to hide the Images.

But what Restitution your Author will make to Rachel I know not: surely he thinks the Pillar which Jacob [...] [...]ut upon her Grave, Gen. 35.20. will prevent her Resur­rection, so that she will never demand any: However I must charge him with falshood in so accusing Rachel, and [Page] I think a false Accuser is as bad, if not worse, than a Liar. These Circumstances considered, for the awful respect which Rachel had to her Father, and the fear of his dis­pleasure, might somewhat mitigate her Fault; and ex­cuse her from being as bad as the Daughters of Heth, if she had been guilty of the Lie, as your Author chargeth her; but there is no Reason for his false Accusation, ex­cept his passionate Zeal, which will be so far from extenu­ating, that it doth Aggravate his fault.

D.

But you seem to justify Rachel, as if she was not guilty of a Lie; so I do: for although your Author hath not learned that he should not speak evil of the Dead: I think my self obliged to vindicate those who are not able to speak for themselves: and therefore must put your Author to prove his Accusation. I am sure the Scrip­ture doth not charge her, she did not say she did not take them: what she said, is found, Gen. 31.35. Let it not displease my Lord, (speaking to her Father) that I can­not rise up before thee, for the custom of Women is upon me. You see here a prudential Excuse, which she offers to her Father; and he accepts: but wherein the Lie is, or whether it was so or no, I know none (except your Au­thor) that would have made a strict Scrutiny concern­ing.

D.

Pray what say you to the Mistakes he endeavours to discover, concerning the Texts alledged both in the Old and New Testament, against Mixt-Marriages?

C.

I think the Mistakes are on your Author's part.

For 1. He tells us those Texts, Exod. 34.16. Deut. 7.3. Josh. 23.12. are not Commands at all,Fol [...] but Cautious relating to their prudent and politick Govern­ment. But by his Favour, they are more then Cauti­ous, for they are strict Prohibitions, (Commands we do [Page] not pretend) and ought to be observed strictly: For if it be well weighed, what difference in these Words. Deut. 7.2. Thou shalt not make Marriages with them: and thou shalt not steal, chap. 5.19. I must say, what­soever is thus forbidden, the Prohibition makes it unlaw­ful to be done, and so a Sin: neither doth the Reason of the Prohibition abate the force, (as your Author suggests) but adds to the Weight thereof: for what Reason soever the God of Heaven forbiddeth any Act, we are not to question him, what he forbids is unlawful: but when he is pleased not only to forbid, but to add (in Condescen­tion to us) a Reason, why we should observe it: This is a double Restraint.

[...] 15.2. What he saith about other Covenants, doth not lessen the Fault: if God saith, Thou shalt not spare his Life, it is of the same force, as when he saith, Thou shalt not kill. You may perceive that in Saul's sparing (but) the Cattel of the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15.21, 22, 23. Whatso­ever is forbidden is Sin, and so accounted by the God of Heaven: for, Rebellion is as the Sin of Witchcraft, and Stubbornness is as Idolatry.

D.

[...] 14.But it seems there is a great difference, for some things are evil in themselves; but such Marriages are not evil in themselves: But God forbids them (our Author saith) by way of Prevention, because it might open a Door to evil. [...] 14. Thou shalt not make Marriages with them, saith the Lord, and why? (saith the Author) not be­cause it is a Sin so to do, but because she may draw away the Heart.

C.

It is well he is forced to confess that God forbids such Marriages, and I am sure whatsoever God forbids is evil in it self, and a great Sin in those who act it. The man that did but gather Sticks upon the Sabbath day [Page] found it so, Numb. 15.5. And therefore I must check the Presumption of your Author, who endeavours to extenuate the evil, and tels you the danger urged by the God of Heaven is only probable: It may open a Door to evil, thy Heart may be drawn away; when God himself is positive, Deut. 7.4. They will turn away thy Son from following me.

But (as if this was not sufficient) your Author will go further and vindicate the Fact, wherein (citing Joshua 23.12.) he will not stick at wresting (and adding to) the Scripture.

He saith,Fol. 1 [...] (and would have Joshua say) Know for a certain if thou cleave to this People, it will be a snare to thee; not a Sin in thee, not an Immorality in thee, but a snare to thee.

How darest thou say not a Sin, not an Immorality, when God hath positively forbidden it? Is it no Sin, no Immo­rality to transgress the Law of God?

How darest thou wrest the words of Joshua, doth not he reckon it a Sin, or where doth he lay it will be but a Snare? Add not unto his Words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a Liar, Prov. 30.6. Doth not Joshua say, If you in any ways go back (viz.) from loving God, ver. 11. and cleave unto the Remnant of these People, and make Marriages with them, Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out the Nations from before you, but they shall be Snares and Traps unto you, and Scourges in your Sides, and Thorns in your Eyes, untill you perish, Josh. 23.12, 13. It seems Joshua accounts such Marriages a going back from loving God, which sure is a Sin, yea, a Sin attended with a severe Commination, as aforesaid.

D.

But if all this be as you say, yet (it seems) this Prohibition only intended the Seven Nations in Canaan, [Page] which Israel were to root out and destroy; [...]. 16. and therefore it was not general.

C.

That the Seven Nations were more particularly in­cluded, I grant, because there was more danger through their Cohabitation, but that it only intended them; I won­der a wise Man should pretend, but much more that he should so forget himself, whenas himself confesseth Mar­riages with the Philistines were forbidden: and they were none of the Seven Nations, but a distinct People.

D.

But to put all out of doubt, my Author tells us that he will prove, [...]. 17. that the Jews were permitted to marry with other uncircumcised Nations.

C.

That will do something, (although not decide the Controversie) but I fear his proofs are insufficient; I will consider them in order:

The First is, because the words of the Prohibition (or Caution saith he, [...]. 17.) Deut. 7.1, 2, 3. expresseth no other People.

Is this sound arguing? Must all things be lawful which are not expresly forbidden? What think you of this? And besides, may it not be forbidden in another place, al­though not in Deut. 7? must we be limited to those Pro­hibitions? Ought we not to compare Scripture with Scrip­ture, according to the Example of Paul, 1 Cor. 2.12?

But Secondly, He tells us, there was a Toleration for the Jews to marry with the Ammonites, Moabites, Edo­mites and Egyptians, [...]. 17. with also any People whom they should conquer.

This I must confess is a new thing: but it is but one (I will not say) Doctors Opinion.

True it is said, Deut. 23.3, 7. those Nations were not so to be abhorred, but that after some Generations, they might enter into the Congregation of the Lord: But [Page] it doth not allow Marriages with them, until they were admitted into the Congregation, which is plainly demon­strated by the Complaint made in the days of Ezra, chap. 9.1, 2. That the People had taken Wives of the Cananites, Hittites, Perizites, Jebuzites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites: This also was in the days of Nehemiah, Chap. 13.23. Some of the Jews married Wives of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab; these were more then the Seven Nations intended by your Author.

Yet, Ezra accounts it a Trespass exceeding great, chap. 10.10. Saying, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange Wives to encrease (mark that) the Trespass of Israel; he reckons it a Sin before God, chap. 9.4. A Breach of God's Command, ver. 10 to the 14th; A just Provocation of God's Anger: and Nehemiah did not only tell them of (yea, reprove them chap. 13.27. for) their great evil in so transgressing against God, in marrying strange Wives; But, he cursed them, and smote some of them, and pluckt off their Hair, and made them swear by God, say­ing, ye shall not give your Daughters unto their Sons, nor take their Daughters unto your Sons, or for your selves, ver. 25.

It seems neither Ezra nor Nehemiah, who (we may well think) did understand the Law in this Case, (as well as your Author) were of his mind.

Again, touching the Captives, I conceive that is no­thing to the purpose.

You find a Direction in that case, Deut. 21.10, 11, 12. the Woman amongst the Captives, whom any the People of Israel had a desire to marry, She was to be brought home to the Man's house, her Head was to be sha­ven, her Nails pared, &c. and so one Month she was to re­main.

[Page]Now, this was for her Instruction, and those Ceremo­nies, as a demonstration of her forsaking her former ways, and owning the true God: And after that, thou shall go in unto her, and be her Husband, and she shall be thy Wife.

Suppose a Christian should take a Woman, an Infidel into his house, and instruct her in the way of God: and she thereupon receives Information, and receives the Truth in all things, and after that he takes her to Wife; Doth this reach the matter in question?

But then, Thirdly, He pretends divers Examples of such Marriages, to prove the lawfulness thereof, and some of them by Men most Eminent in the Church, who were never blamed for so doing.

Whereat I cannot a little wonder, what if you do not read that all were blamed who were therein guilty; do you expect Persons to be particularly reproved, that in many Cases cannot be found?

[...]l. 18.But to come to his Examples, that of Sheshan, 1 Chr. 2.35. will not prove it lawful; I rather think, it is ta­ken notice of so particularly, as a Fault in him. Your Author may as well alledge the Example of Lot's Daugh­ters, Gen. 19.32, 33, &c. to prove the lawfulness of their Facts, and to justify the like in others. Pray where are they blamed? Yet, I hope your Author thinks them Blame-worthy.

As for Solomon who married Pharoah's Daughter, is it not strange your Author should so paraphrase upon it, to prove it lawful, when the holy Ghost sets a Brand up­on him for it? 1 Kings 11.1, 2. But King Solomon (viz. notwithstanding all his Glory, and the Kindness the God of Heaven shewed him; yet he offended, he sin­ned against God: he) loved many strange Women (toge­ther with the Daughter of Pharaoh) Women of the Moabites, [Page] Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians and Hittites, (and to put all out of doubt, it is said, ver. 2. that these were) of the Nations, concerning which the Lord said unto the Children of Israel, You shalt not go in unto them, neither shall they come in unto you. Here Marriages with the Edo­mites, Egyptians, Moabites and Ammonites are forbidden.

The same Answer will serve to the Example of David and Moses; and the Author is strangely mistaken, to think that God justified Moses in that Act, Numb. 12.4. No, God speaks to Aaron and Miriam, and reproves them, because they vilified Moses as to his Office, ver. 2. Hath the Lord indeed (saith they) spoken only by Mo­ses? Hath he not spoken also by us? Herein God takes his part; but his Marriage is past by; God doth not vindi­cate that, although much may be said in his Excuse. But since we are mentioning Examples, I will put your Au­thor in mind of one Example, (viz.) Ahab King of Israel, 1 King. 16.31. who took to Wife Jezebel, the Daughter of the King of the Zidonians; which, altho a thing too common, how laudable it was, may be easily perceived: for saith the Text, He did evil in the sight of the Lord, above all that were before him. For he walked in the Sins of Jeroboam the Son of Nebat, and as if that had been a light thing, he took to Wife Jezebel, Daughter of Ethbaal King of the Zidonians: That was an Aggrava­tion of his Fault; this was a Sin attended with many o­ther evils. But,

Again, your Author saith,Fol. [...] the Jews were allowed to mar­ry with Edomites, Egyptians, &c. and this he proves from what is said, Deut. 23.7, 8. Thou shalt not abhor them; the Children begotten of them, shall enter into the Congregati­on in the third Generation.

It is strange what Conceit will do. What is this to the [Page] Jews marrying with those Nations? Is here any Allow­ance? Is there a Word spoken of such Marriages? If any such thing was intended, surely it was disapproved; in that the Children were to be excluded the Congregation until the third Generation. Is this the Allowance your Author boasts of? Concerning Moab and Ammon, of them it is said, ver. 6. Thou shalt not seek their Peace or their Prosperity for ever: These would be unkind as well as unlawful Marriages. Besides, what is spoken of the Children of Moab and Ammon, is also said of a Bastard, ver. 2. so that in Truth to lye with an Harlot, comes with­in your Author's Allowance from those Words.

D.

But, doth not the Author give a sufficient Answer to the Texts alleadged out of the New Testament? and if so, it is not much to us, although you could make what he hath already said to be invalid.

C.

Touching those, I will begin with his Answer to that place, 2 Cor. 6.14. (for what he saith before, doth not merit our Consideration as to the matter in hand) wherein He saith, [...] 25. he cannot but wonder that Text should be urged. I commend him to endeavour to put his Adversary out of conceit, that he may voluntarily lay down the Cudgels, for otherwise he can hardly force him, & indeed I cannot but wonder that he should so blow it off. If all should be granted which he saith touching Church-communion, yet sure it would not exclude Marriage. Be not unequally yoaked, saith the Text, that is in no Case whereof Marriage is one.

Yea, it is more then probable that the Apostle design'd it; for be not unequally yoaked; It is a Prohibition, and intends something which is a Man's own Act; wherein I would know of your Author when it is said in the Church of Christ, that a Member yoaks himself with an Unbeliever, only as to Church-Communion: An evil Per­son [Page] winked at, will not come within that Prohibition.Fol [...] Your Author saith it is plain, it respects the Church and their assembling, &c. And tells us, it as plain, that where Per­sons of different Religions have married, they have had notwithstanding the same Agreement as to the Marriage-Bed, and other worldly Affairs, as others do enjoy, and sometimes more to their Content and Profit: and therefore it cannot be this Relation which is reprehended in this Chapter.

Is not this the Man that before hath told us,Fol. [...] that Acts must not be judged by their accidental Events? and yet now therefore, saith he, Marriage is not intended, because such unequal Marriages are attended with the same Content and Profit as others: out of his own Mouth this Reasoning may he judged unsound. But far­ther, I must tell him, one Swallow doth not make a Summer: if sometime God blessed the Off-spring of Judah, by his Daughter Tamar; I hope your Author will not (therefore) plead for such Acts: howsoever his mutual Content may be reckoned rara Avis, Fol. [...] &c. He confesseth in the same mat­ter, he made himself Work for Repentance, and freely confesseth it to be his Folly: and notwithstanding the mutual Enjoyments, and equal Contentment he boasts of, he is forced to acknowledge that he saw by Experience,Fol. [...] the Inconveniency of such a Marriage, which now he would vindicate; one would think his own Words may give a Solution to his Arguments in this Case.

But again, notwithstanding your Author's, therefore, I conceive Marriage is intended, and an unequal Marriage with Unbelievers strictly forbidden: I think I need not tell you Marriage is properly called Conjugium, and a Wife Conjuga from the yoaking together, & not Church-Commu­nion; and that such Marriages were then reckoned unequal [Page] Yoaks, is apparent, and the Interrogations used by the A­postle in the following Words are, to strengthen the Prohibition, that we may perceive the Illegality thereof, at­tended with great inconveniences: there being no true Fellowship, no pleasant Communion, no Concord, but Prayers hindred, frequent Contentions, and the Instructi­on of Children in the fear of God impeded: This the Apostles urge. As also is found, when Paul argueth a­gainst Fornication, (which your Author detests,) 1 Cor. 6.15. Shall I take the Members of Christ and make them the Members of an Harlot? God forbid: Know ye not that your Bodies are the Temple of the Holy Ghost? ver. 19. The same Argument as you find, 2 Cor. 6.16. Ye are the Temple of the Living God: wherefore let there be no Conjugali­ty with Unbelievers; God hath forbidden it, he desires a godly Seed, Mal. 2.15. which cannot be expected from an unlawful Conjugality. In the next place, your Au­thor comes to that Text, 1 Cor. 7.39. where the Apostle saith of the Widow, she is at liberty to marry whom she will: (only) in the Lord; whereto his Answer is very strange. [...] 26. In the first place he saith, he m [...]ght ask many Questions concerning it, as what it is to be in the Lord, (viz.) whether it may not respect a Person allowed of by the Lord? 2. Whether men are bound by the same Law? And then he positively denies the Word to be a Command, and endeavours to prove his denial: But he might have spared his Labour; for we say it is no Com­mand, but it is a strict Limitation, which to surpass is a Sin; for the words plainly declare she is not at Liberty, (God hath restrained her) from marrying any Person not in the Lord; and therefore such a Marriage is that which God doth not willingly permit; it is a great Presumption to transgress the Bounds which God hath set, which one [Page] would think might deter any sober Christian from such an Enterprize. But I must answer your Author's Que­stions. 1. What it is to be in the Lord? Whether it may not respect a Person allowed of by the Lord? This se­cond part of the Question is soon answered, for you may perceive by what is aforesaid, that God allowes of none but such as are in the Lord, the Text plainly saith it [...], only in the Lord. Now who are those? let the same Apostle answer, 2 Cor. 5.17. [...], If any one be in Christ he is a new Creature; those who are in Christ, are regenerate, they are in the Profession of the Faith: whereupon Paul saith Rom. 16.7. Andronicus and Junius were [...], in Christ before me. To this I will add the Confession of your Author, which may be a sufficient Answer to himself, to marry in the Lord, i. e. in the Faith, a Brother,Fol. [...] a Member of the Church.

Now to his second Question, Whether Men are bound by the same Law? I must answer with the Apostle, that Male and Female are all one in Christ Jesus, there is the same Law, as to the Limitation of Marriage for one, as to the other; which your Author himself observes, was al­ways so, and why he should look for a particular Expres­sion of Men here, I know not: whenas from the begin­ning they were reckoned as one; but howsoever it is well your Author is convinced, that there is a Law in this Case for Women to observe; which sure he is, other­wise he would not have put the Question, whether Men bound by the same Law, Fol. [...] do acknowledge it to be a Law: from whence the Apostle urgeth his Limitation; and indeed he that considers it may perceive it was a Mat­ter out of doubt amongst the primitive Churches. Can any imagine if the primitive Saints had been of your Au­thor's [Page] mind, they would have thought it unlawful for Hus­band and Wife to live together, after one of them was converted to the Faith? no surely. But they being all perswaded, that in Marriages they were limited to such as were in the Lord; they thereupon begin to doubt, whe­ther a Woman converted, was not to leave her unconver­ted Husband, and whether a Man converted, was not to put away his unconverted Wife. Hereupon they write to the Apostle Paul about these things; 1 Cor. 7. and he returns Answer, that if one were called in a married State, he or she should so abide and not part one from another, ver. 12, 13. But when they were unmarried, then the former Restraint took place, to marry only in the Lord.

In the next place, I must take notice of what your Au­thor saith concerning the Advice of the Apostle, as to that time; unto which he would have the Words of the Text refer, to take away the Force thereof.

But herein it is strange, he should be so mistaken. That there are some things so offered by the Apostle, in that Chapter I confess, and that we may not be at a loss, the Apostle tells you which they be; but in many things he declares not only his own Judgment, but also the will of God; and the same is apparent in the Text, where the A­postle speaks positively, she is at liberty to marry, only in the Lord: wherein I hope every prudent Christian will rather apprehend themselves bound by such a Limitation, than to take Liberty from the Opinion of your Author, who is so inconsistent with himself, that we may fear it pro­ceeds from the Spirit, that did endeavour to vindicate our First Parents eating the forbidden Fruit.

D.

But I am not yet satisfied, for the Author tells you, That if ever there was any such Law, that a Widow might marry with none but one in the Church; then it is either [Page] given by the way of Precept, or by the way of Prudence.Fol. [...] If it be by the former, then it is some where to be found amongst God's Commands; and then I pray shew when it was given, and by whom, and where the Record is to be found, that we may have recourse thither, for our fur­ther satisfaction; wherefore pray shew me these things, and I will consent to you.

C.

Your Author is very wise, I presume he may be able to convince any rational Persons of the truth of all his Opinions, for as one would think by what he saith, he hath plain Scripture Precepts for what he believeth; so he is able to shew his Adversary where the Record is to be found, that to satisfy all Scruples they may have recourse thither. I wonder the difference about laying on of Hands should so long continue between the Author and his Brethren: surely your Author hath been too blame, that all this time he hath not shewn them the Record of the Precept in that Case, that they might have had Recourse thither to have seen, when and by whom it was given, for their ample Satisfaction; for I cannot believe it would have been with­stood if your Author had done this.

But to return to the Matter; your Author ought not to question whether there be such a Law concerning Wi­dows: for he believs that, otherwise why doth he question whether Men are bound by the same Law, Fol. [...] seeing the A­postle speaks only of Women? if he did not think there was a Law by which Women were bound, (viz.) Wi­dows, to marry only in the Lord: what means that Ex­pression of his by the same Law? wherefore one would think there needed no further Enquiry concerning the Record for your Author's satisfaction.

Again, Give me leave to tell your Author; there may be a Law in this Case, which may not be given by way of [Page] Precept, yet of as great force: for it is by way of Prohi­bition, (be not unequally yoaked) and by way of Limitati­on; as in the Text alledged, she is at liberty to marry only in the Lord; wherein it it easy to be found by whom this was made, the Time when, and where the Record is to be found: and yet all this consisting with the Law of Prudence; for our God was prudent in all and every part of his Laws.

D.

I pray give me leave to proceed a little farther, for if I mistake not, the best is at at last, and there are such Answers given to the pretended Punishments inflicted by God for such Marriages, as every Man must confess are very weighty.

For 1. Our Author sheweth it was for Idolatry, and not for marrying with Persons of other Religions, that they were punished.

2. The Punishments were so far from being inflicted up­on the account of Marriage, that Israel were permitted to marry with Egypt, Ammon, Moab, &c.

3. The Command was only a prudential Command.

4. It was a prevailing evil at that time, which induced the Scribes so much to oppose it.

And Lastly, That none of the Instances given decide the Controversy, (which is about Persons differing about Institutions in matters of Religion) for in all the Instan­ces alledged, the difference is about the moral part of Re­ligion; what can you say to these things?

C.

[...]l. 52.I say, with you, The best is at last, for your Author gives (and that for divers Reasons by himself urged) this Advice (viz.) As you tender your own Peace, your Re­putation, the Honour of God and Religion, make your choice in the Church: What more can be said? if our Peace, our Reputation, the Honour of God, and our [Page] Religion is concerned? We may then conclude, it is unlawful to do that which destroys all these, and (what­soever your Author pretends) if this was not, yet it de­served to be severely punished.

But I will proceed, to give some reply to those things which you think are very weighty; and First, Whereas your Author pretends it was only for Idolatry that the People were punished; this is a nice Distinction, as if a Drunkard should be punished for Spewing, and not for Drinking so excessively to occasion it. That they were punished for Idolatry is true; but must the occasion there­of be excused? surely no, your Author (in this Case) forgets we are to avoid all Appearances of evil; but more, those Marriages were the Cause of Evil, Idolatry was the Effect thereof, which also God had foretold would ensue: besides, why are those Marriages mentioned and complained of when the Punishments are recited, if the Holy Ghost did not intend, that we should consider those Punishments were for that Evil? But to come to a parti­cular reply, your Author saith in Answer to that Punish­ment mentioned Numb. 25.4. (1.) That they were not married, but committed Whoredome with the Daughters of the Land. (2.) That the crying Sin which displeased God was their Idolatry: Slay ye every one his Man, that was joyned unto Baal-Peor, Fol. [...] not (saith your Author) those that were married, but those who were joyned unto Baal-Peor.

A prudent Answer! for First he tells us they were not married, and then saith, God was not displeased with those who were married, when it seems (if it be as he saith) there were none married. But again, if his displeasure was for their joyning with Baal-peor, and limited to that, I [Page] must then say, it was not for committing Whoredom with the Daughters of Moab, and so justify that as well as your Author doth their Marriages: But in truth God was displeased with both those things.

They first joyned themselves with the Daughters of Moab; (in Marriage saith Josephus, who we may believe had as true account of that affair as your Author) and then were enticed to sacrifice to Baal-Peor, these occasio­ned the displeasure of God: This is apparent by many Demonstrations, but particularly ver. 6. Behold one of the Children of Israel brought into the Congregation a Midiani­tish Woman, in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the Congregation of Israel: (by your Author's leave) this de­monstrates as much a Marriage as was used in those days: and I may argue, that they would not have been so pub­lick, if they had not been married. 2. The Woman was a Daughter of the Prince of Moab; and we may well ima­gine would not have consented to have left her People, to come into the Congregation of Israel, and into the Man's Tent, if he had not taken her to Wife. It is very probable some might not be married, (and commit Whoredom) but that others (yea many of them) might be married, which was also displeasing to God, and might be reckoned in respect of the Illegality, Fornication; that Man that took his Father's Wife, (to be his Wife as it is thought) committed therein Fornication, (viz.) Whoredom, 1 Cor. 5.1. This was the Fault which Phineas avengeth by the Death of them both ver. 8. there was nothing of Peor then mentioned: yet in truth it was for both, (viz.) their Marriages, and their Idolatry; this is plain, ver. 18. the matter of Peor, (which was their Idolatry) and the matter of Cozbi [Page] the Name of the Daughter of the Prince of Midian) which was their joyning in Affinity with the Daughters of Moab.

The second Instance of Punishment in this Case is, from Judg 3. whereto in Answer, your Author tells his Antagonist, that he forgot the last Clause, of the sixt verse, and served their Gods: but surely if he had not forgotten the first Part of the verse; which saith they took their Daughters to be their Wives, and gave their Daughters to their Sons; he would not have denied the Punishment to be inflicted for strange Marriages, which surely was. Here was, amongst o­ther, two great Sins committed by Israel, (viz.) mar­rying strange Wives, and serving strange Gods: for both these, the Anger of the Lord waxed hot; and he sold them into the hands of the King of Mesopotamia. Nothing can be more clear; it is the same we find concerning Ahab, 1 King. 16.31. It is true he served Baal; but the God of Heaven first reckons his Marriage with Jezebel, as the Aggravation of his Sin.Fol [...]

The next Instance of Punishment which your Author would avoid is, touching Solomon, 1 King. 11.11. wherein he tells us, Solomon was not threatned for his Marriages, much less punished: Nay he saith, he was not in the least reproved for it, or warned about it as his Evil. He was married (saith your Author) many Years to his strange Wives, yet not reproved for that; But when he became guilty of Idolatry, then God reveals his Displeasure, and not before.

Here is indeed a fair Tale; but that the Vanity there of may appear, I must tell you, Solomon did sin in those Marriages; and then every wise Man will grant there were Reproofs and Threatnings sufficient in the Law, except your Author is of the Rich Man's mind, Luke 16. [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] 30. that thought nothing prevalent unless one was sent either from Heaven or Hell to give Warning.

Now the Sin of Solomon is apparent; 1 King. 11.1. But King Solomon (as if the Holy Ghost would have you take notice, that the Glory and Honour of Solomon was much eclipsed, in that he) loved many strange Women, (together with the Daughter of Pharaoh,) of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians and Hittites, of the Nati­ons concerning which, the Lord said to Israel, Ye shall not go in unto them; Solomon clave to these in Love. Now what can be more plain than this, that the Women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians and Hittites, together with the Daughter of Pharaoh, (who was an Egyptian) to whom Solomon clave in Love, were of the People concerning whom the Lord said, ye shall not go in unto them, the Text plainly saith it; and then sure­ly it was a great Evil in Solomon, so to transgress the Word of God. I will add the Words of Nehemiah, chap. 13.26. Did not Solomon sin by these things? This was the beginning of his Sin, and his Idolatry succeeded: for both which, God was displeased, and his Repetition of (and continuing in) Sin, provoked God to rend the Kingdom from him, after much Patience and Forbear­ance.

[...] 33.The last instance is, of the Jews in the days of Ezra, and Nehemiah; wherein your Author tells us, that men­tion was made of the Jews marrying with Moab, Ammon and Egypt: but that was not reckoned as their Sin, but much of the contrary.

What have we here? We need not speak further of the unlawfulness of such Marriages: for now your Author tells us they are more than lawful, (viz.) very good, and [Page] righteous, for they are much contrary unto Sin. Then he proceeds and tells you, whereas it is said, Nehemiah contended with them, and cursed them, and smote some of them. It is true, saith your Author, he contended with some Body: But with whom?Fol. [...] Not (sa [...]th he) with those that married Wives of Moab and Ammon, but with those that married Wives of Ashdod.

Indeed your Author in his Epistle reckons himself un­learned, and beggs Excuse upon that account: But I did hope he would not have appeared so unlearned, as to wrest the Scriptures at this rate, as he if knew not what he said. I will again enquire, (but not of your Author) who Ne­hemiah did contend with? And he himself will inform us, chap. 13.23. In those days he saw Jews that had mar­ried Wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab; and he con­tended with them, and cursed them, &c. Who were they? No man that understands his Native Tongue will be of your Author's mind, Whom I will now ask, why Nehe­miah speaks of Ammon and Moab? Why doth he say he took notice of the Jews that had married Wives of Am­mon and Moab? Why, doth he mention them in this mat­ter more than those who had married Wives of Israel, if he did not intend that those Jews which married the Daughters of Ammon and Moab, should be included in his Curse and Reprehension? surely it was Nehemiah's Intention; he cursed them, and did account it a great Ev [...]l, and transgression against God to marry stange Wives, 1 ver. 27. And tells you, Solomon King of Israel (hujuscemodi peccavit) sinned after the same manner, ver. 26.

Again, Let me ask your Author, why mention was made of Moab, Ammon and Egypt, by Ezra upon this oc­casion, if it were no Sin to joyn in Marriage with them.

[Page]But if you will believe Ezra himself, chap. 9.1, 2. he tells you that he was ifnorm'd, that Israel had not separated them­selves from the People of the Lands, (viz.) the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, the Ammonite, the Moabite, the Egyptian, and the Amorite: for they (viz. the Israelites) have taken of their Daughters for themselves, (viz. the Daughters of all the aforementioned People) and for their Sons; so that the Holy Seed have mingled themselves with the People of those Lands: it was these ti­dings that made him rend his Cloaths and sit astonished, ver. 3. and this Affinity he confesseth to God, ver. 13, 14. as a great Trespass, and a Sin of great Provocation, chap. 10.2, 10. Wherefore I must conclude with Ezra, God punished them for their strange Marriages, chap. 9.13. notwithstanding your Author's Word. Besides, I cannot but wonder at your Author, so to limit Nehemi­ah's Contention, (viz.) that it was only with those that married Wives of Ashdod, [...] 34. which, if granted, will stand him in no stead: for Ashdod, a City of the Philistines, was no part of the Seven Nations, which Israel were commanded to destroy. If your Author will consent to the Relation of the Scripture, he will find it so, Deut. 7.7. Where they are reckoned up: 1. the Hittites, 2. the Girgashites, 3. the Ammonites, 4. the Canaanites, 5. the Perizzites, 6. the Hivites, 7. the Jebusites, seven Nations greater and mightier than thou; which also is found exactly, Josh. 3.11. but here are none of the Philistines mentioned or intended, so that all your Author's Evasion falls to the ground: for in truth the Philistines were another People distinct from the Seven Nations, and always so account­ed, and by your Author's favour were not of the Chil­dren of Anak, who were Hittites. His proof Josh. 11.22. [Page] is too weak; that only informs you that some of the Chil­dren of Anak escaped Joshua's Sword, and dwelt amongst the Philistines in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod.

Now to his second thing, that Israel were permitted to marry with Edom, Egypt, Ammon and Moab, Fol. [...] and so it was far from being a Sin in them: I cannot but wonder that your Author who sometimes is so exact, that he must know, when, where, by whom, and to whom &c. a Law is given, should presume to affirm such a Permission.

I would now know of your Author, when, and where it was permitted, and by whom, and where the Record is to be found, that we may have recourse thither for our further satisfaction; for we are not satisfied with what your Author saith in that Case, his words are not of such weight to convince me; and his only Text which I find him mention is, Deut. 23.3. wherein I find no Tolera­tion for Marriages with Edom, Ammon, Moab and Egypt Recorded: Nay, it is so far from being there found, that it doth not once mention any Marriage: It is said of Edom and Egypt, Their Children should enter into the Congregation of the Lord in the third Generation; but what that is to Marriage, I do not understand: but if it was, what is it to Ammon and Moab, (so such pleaded for by your Author) concerning whom it is said, ver. 6. Thou shalt not seek their Peace or their Prosperity for ever? Surely no Marriage was permitted with them.

I perceive your Author is sometimes content with slight proofs, although at other times he is so exact; but if it were so, the Philistines, by your Author's Confession, were exempted, and it hath been shewn before, they were none of the Seven Nations, so that his Foundation is removed, and thereby his Building fallen.

[Page] [...] 34.I come now to his third Matter, (viz.) that the Com­mand in this Case was only prudential.

I think I have now done; your Author confesseth it a Command of God, that Israel should abstain from marry­ing with those Nations, and then it was a Law which ought not to be broken: but seeing himself in a snare, he saith, by Command we are to understand such Commands as are prudential. [...] 35. I readily grant that, and further say, all God's Commands are so; and the Reason he insists up­on, adds to the weight thereof. As also, what in the next place he alledgeth, where he confesseth it to be a prevailing Evil (surely he forgot himself) which did endanger the State, [...] 35. and tells us when an Evil came so much into fashion, it was time to take some speedy course to suppress it, [...] 36. as we see they did; and how was that? Was it not to suppress Marriages made with Am­mon, Egypt, Moab, Edom? &c. and good reason they had; for (as your Author hath now at last acknow­ledged) it was contrary to God's Command.

[...] 36.The next and last thing urged is, That none of the In­stances alledged decide the Controversy; because their Differences were only about Morals, and not Instituti­ons.

But this also is like the rest; as if Morals were not Institutions, and Institutions Morals; (is not Baptism a moral Precept in the Gospel given unto Christians?) which when your Author hath better defined and distin­guished, he may hear more.

D.

I give you thanks for this trouble, and now I per­ceive the Arguments and Answers not so weighty as I did apprehend? I would now farther desire you to let me have your Opinion concerning the second part of the Dialogue, [Page] touching the Censure of the Church for Mixt-Marriages, wherein the Author propounds a Question, (viz.) Whether if such Contracts of Marriage as have been de­bated, be proved unlawful, the Church then hath power to Excommunicate Persons for the same?

This the Author denies, (and saith the Church hath no such power,) because (saith he) there is neither Pre­cept, nor Example for it.

C.

My Opinion you shall know, and you may easily perceive it, (viz.) that I think your Author is mistaken, although he is so exact as to require a Precept or Example as to every Sin; which in many Cases (he knows) cannot be found. What Precept or Example is there for any Church to Excommunicate their Brethren that do not sub­mit to laying on of Hands? What Precept or Example have you to Excommunicate those who shall baptize their Children? Cum multis aliis quae nunc prescribere l [...]ngam est.

D.

But the Author distinguisheth in this Case between things that are plain and out of dispute,F [...] [...] and the Case in hand which is so disputable, that the greatest Skill cannot convince him of the Evil.

C.

This is but a Flourish; when he looketh seriously into his Conscience, he then will tell you and the World, it was an Evil in himself, and made work for Repentance, F [...] [...] and it was an Evil in the Jews also: But what,F [...] [...] are not the aforementioned things as disputable as Mixt-Marria­ges? Are not Men as hard to be convinced thereof, al­though great Skill is used? But we are not now to con­vince your Author of the Evil, but to examine whether, if it be a Sin, the Church hath power to Excommunicate, &c.

Now surely if it be a Sin, an unlawful Act, the Church hath power to deal with those which are guilty thereof; however to reprove them; whereto if they will not hear­ken, [Page] but persist obstinately against the Advice of the Church, such a one is to be rejected as an Heathen, (viz.) separated from the Communion of the Church: which Rule is general as to all unlawful Acts, otherwise Church-Discipline would soon fall to the ground. And therefore what your Author speaks as to the degrees of Sin, is not to be considered here; for every Sin whereby God is disho­noured, and the Brethren grieved, if it be attended with an Heart hardened against Reproof, it is thereby so ag­gravated, that it is within the greatest Censure of the Church; whenas the greatest Sin (simply considered in it self) attended with speedy Repentance ought by the Church to be forgiven. So that in truth your Author is at a loss here, he hath not well learned upon what account Church-Censures are to be passed: the end whereof is for Edification, and not for Destruction, 2 Cor. 13.10.

As touching his Observation, That God did at all times bear with the Breach of his positive Law, when it fell in Competition with his Moral Law: I will only say that the God whom I serve, is a God of that Foreknowledge and Wisdom, that he never makes a positive Law that falls in Competition with his Moral Laws.

That God is not always severe to punish, I grant, yea many times (touching the matter in hand) be punisheth Men, (as Ezra saith, chap. 9.13.) less than their Ini­quity deserueth. But for God's Laws to be in Competition I understand not. I am sure the Disciples plucking the Ears of Corn was against no positive Law▪ and how in the Case of David when he did eat the Shew-Bread, or in the Case of the Gibeonites mentioned by your Author, how God's positive Law was against his Moral Law, I perceive not?

I conceive your Author's Zeal to surpass (in this thing) [Page] his Knowledge, otherwise he would not have taken so much pains to so little purpose, as he hath in his second part of his Dialogue. And at last to advise, that if Per­sons be Excommunicated, they should joyn themselves with another Church of their own Profession, where he saith, they may be entertained.

I am sure this will make the Churches to be in Compe­tition, and doth design the overthrow of all Order, and the slighting of all Church-Discipline, which the God of Or­der and Mercy prevent.

D.

I have heard you patiently, and do perceive now that there is a great mistake about the Cause of Church-Censures, and the Weight of them when passed.

C.

There is so, and this is of evil Consequence; some are puffed up and vaunt themselves in evil; thinking (with your Author) the Church hath no power to deal with them: or again, if so (they boast) they can joyn with o­thers, and be lovingly accepted.

D.

But I perceive (by what you have said) the least Offence deserveth Church-Censures, if it be attended with Obstinacy.

C.

Our Saviour saith the same, If thy Brother trespass a­gainst thee [...], and therefore much more when God is tres­passed against, and his Name dishonoured; if they refuse to hear the Church, let such be Anathema.

D.

But then sure another Church ought not to receive such.

C.

It is the Advice of your Author, but how wisely given, let all sober Persons judge: for my own part, I am not of that mind, but I am willing to follow the counsel of him, who saith, let all things be done decently and in order.

D.

God grant we may all so do.

C.

Amen.

FINIS.
[...]
[...]

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