hateful it is for a Man to swallow twenty of these light Offences, and to digest sundry of these pretenced Scruples, than by violating of a Custom no less common than commendable, to leave to Posterity an odious Memory and Obloquy of his Name.

The last Objection against Wives is no less ridiculous then tyranical, grounded upon an unjust Desire to restrain them from Marriage. Marriage is an honourable Ordinance of God, fit and necessary for all Persons disposed thereunto, to the avoiding of Sin, and Maintenance of a comfortable and sociable Christian Life. To restrain or prohibit the same either in Maids or Widows, as St. Paul saith, is the Doctrine of Devils. And to indent or condition with any, that he or she shall not marry, is a Condition limited against Law, and by the same pronounced unlawful and unreasonable. Make it thine own Case; admit thou didst match with a wealthy Wife, whose Furniture and Riches hath increased thy Estate; if God should call for her, wouldst thou in a kind Memorial of the Benefits attained by her Means, make thyself a Votary to live unmarried? Do those which marry great Heirs, being Women, and after their Wives Deaths enjoy their whole Inheritance by the Curtesy of England, making their Wives Heirs to expect during their Lives, take it for any Matter of Conscience or Scruple to marry again? Unless it be in some Place where the Force of the Custom and the Benefit of the Living joined together, work a contrary Resolution in some Husbands: Which Custom annexed to Gavelkinde Lands in Kent and other Places is of this Quality, That the Husband shall, after the Decease of his Wife, be Tenant by the Curtesy of her Land, as long as he remaineth unmarried, whether he have Issue by her or not; but upon his next Marriage shall utterly forgo all his Interest therein. A Custom therefore the less unreasonable, because the Restraint of Marriage on the one Side is countervailed by the beneficial Favour of the other Side, to have the Land by the Curtesy without Issue, and also for that he is to deprive the next Heir of his Wife, who perchance hath been married with him but few Months or Days, of the Profit and Commodity of the whole Land during his Life. But chiefly because it is a Custom grounded and grown in Continuance to such religious Observation and Regard, that it seemeth an Offence of Conscience to infringe it. But in our Case, sithence there is neither Custom nor Conscience to warrant thy Will, why shouldst thou then seem to quarrel with the lawful Liberty of thy Wife, if she survive thee, she being weak by Kind and Education, and thereby less able to direct her Occasions, and govern her Estate without a Companion and Coadjutor? No, on God's Name refer her to her own Choice and Conscience therein, and make it no Pretence and Colour to abridge her of her Right, because she seemeth inclinable unto that which God hath ordained, and all Men and Women do embrace. As to the Fear and Suspicion pretended, that another matching with thy Wife should be enriched by thy Travaile: What should move thee to make that superstitious Account of thy Goods when thou art gone? Were they any longer thine, than while thou hast Life and License to employ them? Thou must needs know and acknowledge, besides thy daily Experience, by the very Etymology and Signification of the Word, the true Nature and Quality of the Thing. These worldly Goods are called Temporal, because they serve one but for a Time: They are termed Transitory, for that their Property is fleeting from one Owner unto another: They are named Moveable or Current, because all their Grace and Credit is in running and removing into divers Hands, accordig to that rude and old (but yet true) Latin Rhime:

43 E. 3. 6.

16 E. 3. aid 129.

19 E. 3. aid 144.

Omnia mundana per vices sunt aliena,
Nunc mea, nunc hujus, post mortem sunt alterius.

This worldly Wealth each Day doth change     
Their Owners, as we see;
Now mine, now his, and after Death     
Another's Goods they be.

Now sithence thy Wealth hath waited upon thee all thy Life long; wouldst thou require the same to rest at thy Devotion after thy Death? If that seem impertinent and unprofitable unto thee, then relinquish this Care, and suffer the Goods of this World to have their natural Course and Condition, which is to be still in Exchange, Passage, and posting from Hand to Hand, serving all Men, ut peregrinationis viaticum, that is, A Pilgrim's Charge, or Defrayment in his Journey, as Saint Hierome termeth it. And address thy Mind to the Desire of such Goods as are neither temporal, transitory, current, not moveable, but perpetual, permanent, constant, and not only immutable but inestimable.

Heironymus in Epist.

But finally, to satisfy the last Objection against thy Children, I wish thee to look back unto that I have said, that thou mayst not, for a private Injury or Displeasure, seem as much as lyeth in thee to supplant and abrogate a publick Custom, to the no less Prejudice than Offence of a great Number that have Interest therein. In enriching thy Son, thou dost discharge the Duty of a natural Father towards him, which, if he prodigally or wickedly mispend or abuse, he carrieth his own Condemnation, and proveth a wilful Enemy to himself. The good Father mentioned in the Gospel, who, at the Suit of his undutiful Son, (that would needs abandon the Service and Attendance on his Father, to run the Course of an extravagent Libertine with lewd Company) gave him a great Portion of his Wealth, is not any Way blamed by our Saviour for that Indulgence, but rather recommended to all Posterity, as a true Pattern of a kind Father. Saint Paul commandeth the Father to be well affected to his Children, and no Way to discourage them. What may breed greater Discouragement or Discontentment in any Child, than to see himself by the Place of his Birth, and the good Fortune of the City entitled to the Commodity of a good Custom, and yet injuriously, by his own Father, (whose Affection should be always occupied and earnest in procuring the Good of his Children) disappointed of his Hope, and defrauded of his Right. And as well as some, having just Cause of Displeasure against their Son and Child, may, in this unlawful and disorderly Sort, practise their Revenge: So may some other inconsiderate and wilful Father, upon a Conceipt taken against a good Son and of singular Desert, for that he concurreth not with him in some Humour or Disposition, most wrongfully distress and undo him by such a President. Thus the Mischiefs objected on the one Side are light and of small Moment, whereas the Inconveniencies apparent on the other Side be manifold and of dangerous Consequence.

Luke ca. 15.

Col. ca. 3.

I will not vouchsafe to answer that undiscreet Sarcasmus, or bitter Scoff that some use, We may play our Wealth at Dice, without Offence to the Custom; wherefore should we not then dispose the same from our Wife and Children by our Deeds of Gift? This amounteth to as much as if a married Man would say, I may commit Felony, or Treason,