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himself like a just lawgiver to his own prescriptions, gives himself to be understood by men, judges and is judged, measures and is commensurate to right reason; cannot require less of us in one cantle of his law than in another; his legal justice cannot be so fickle and variable, sometimes like a devouring fire, and by and by connivent in the embers, or if I may so say, oscitant and supine. The vigor of his law could no more remit, than the hallowed fire upon his altar could be let go out. The lamps that burned before him might need snuffing, but the light of his law never.

Whenas the doctrine of Plato and Chrysippus, with their followers, the academics and the stoics, who knew not what a consummate and most adorned Pandora was bestowed upon Adam, to be the nurse and guide of his arbitrary happiness and perseverance, I mean, his native innocence and perfection, which might have kept him from being our true Epimetheus and though they taught of virtue and vice to be both the gift of divine destiny, they could yet give reasons, not invalid, to justify the councils of God and fate from the insulsity of mortal tongues that man's own free will self-corrupted, is the adequate and sufficient cause of his disobedience besides fate; as Homer also wanted not to express, both in his Iliad and Odyssee. And Manilius the poet, although in his fourth book he tells of some "created both to sin and punishment"; yet without murmuring, and with an industrious

cheerfulness, he acquits the Deity. They were not ignorant, in their heathen lore, that it is most godlike to punish those who of his creatures became his enemies with the greatest punishment; and they could attain also to think, that the greatest, when God himself throws a man furthest from him; which then they held he did, when he blinded, hardened, and stirred up his offenders, to finish and pile up their desperate work since they had undertaken it. To banish forever into a local hell, whether in the air or in the centre, or in that uttermost and bottomless gulf of chaos, deeper from holy bliss than the world's diameter multiplied; they thought not a punishing so proper and proportionate for God to inflict, as to punish sin with sin. Thus were the common sort of Gentiles wont to think, without any wry thoughts cast upon divine governance. And therefore Cicero, not in his Tusculan or Campanian retirements among the learned wits of that age, but even in the senate to a mixed auditory, (though he were sparing otherwise to broach his philosophy among statists and lawyers,) yet as to this point, both in his Oration against Piso, and in that which is about the answers of the soothsayers against Clodius, he declares it publicly, as no paradox to common ears, that God cannot punish man more, nor make him more miserable, than still by making him more sinful. Thus we see how in this controversy the justice of God stood upright even among heathen disputers. . . . .

But it was not approved. So much the worse that it was allowed; as if sin had overmastered the word of God, to conform her steady and straight rule to sin's crookedness, which is impossible. Besides, what needed a positive grant of that which was not approved? It restrained no liberty to him that could but use a little fraud; it had been better silenced, unless it were approved in some case or other. But still it was not approved. Miserable excusers! he who doth evil, that good may come thereby, approves not what he doth; and yet the grand rule forbids him, and counts his damnation just if he do it. The sorceress Medea did not approve her own evil doings, yet looked not to be excused for that: and it is the constant opinion of Plato in Protagoras, and other of his dialogues, agreeing with that proverbial sentence among the Greeks, that "no man is wicked willingly." Which also the Peripatetics do rather distinguish than deny. What great thank then if any man, reputed wise and constant, will neither do, nor permit others under his charge to do, that which he approves not, especially in matter of sin? but for a judge, but for a magistrate, the shepherd of his people, to surrender up his approbation against law, and his own judgment, to the obstinacy of his herd, what more unjudgelike, unmagistratelike, and in war more uncommanderlike? Twice in a short time it was the undoing of the Roman state, first when Pompey, next when Marcus Brutus,

had not magnanimity enough but to make so poor a resignation of what they approved, to what the boisterous tribunes and soldiers bawled for. Twice it was the saving of two of the greatest commonwealths in the world, of Athens by Themistocles at the seafight of Salamis, of Rome by Fabius Maximus in the Punic war; for that these two matchless generals had the fortitude at home, against the rashness and the clamors of their own captains and confederates, to withstand the doing or permitting of what they could not approve in their duty of their great command. Thus far of civil prudence. But when we speak of sin, let us look again upon the old reverend Eli, who in his heavy punishment found no difference between the doing and permitting of what he did not approve. If hardness of heart in the people may be an excuse, why then is Pilate branded through all memory? He approved not what he did, he openly protested, he washed his hands, and labored not a little ere he would yield to the hard hearts of a whole people, both princes and plebeians, importuning and tumulting even to the fear of a revolt....

The political law, since it cannot regulate vice, is to restrain it by using all means to root it out. But if it suffer the weed to grow up to any pleasurable or contented height upon what pretext soever, it fastens the root, it prunes and dresses vice, as if it were a good plant. Let no man doubt therefore to affirm, that it is not so hurtful or dis

honorable to a commonwealth, nor so much to the hardening of hearts, when those worse faults pretended to be feared are committed, by who so dares under strict and executed penalty, as when those less faults tolerated for fear of greater, harden their faces, not their hearts only, under the protection of public authority. For what less indignity were this, than as if justice herself, the queen of virtues, descending from her sceptred royalty, instead of conquering, should compound and treat with sin, her eternal adversary and rebel, upon ignoble terms? or as if the judicial law were like that untrusty steward in the Gospel, and instead of calling in the debts of his moral master, should give out subtile and sly acquittances to keep himself from begging? or let us person him like some wretched itinerary judge, who, to gratify his delinquents before him, would let them basely break his head, lest they should pull him from the bench, and throw him over the bar. Unless we had rather think both moral and judicial, full of malice and deadly purpose, conspired to let the debtor Israelite, the seed of Abraham, run on about a bankrupt score, flattered with insufficient and ensnaring discharges, that so he might be haled to a more cruel forfeit for all the indulgent arrears which those judicial acquittances had engaged him in. No, no, this cannot be, that the law, whose integrity and faithfulness is next to God, should be either the shameless broker of our impunities, or the in

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