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A Letter from a Friend concerning the ensuing Cases.*
Having perused the papers you sent me, I can safely vouch them for genuine, and not in the least spurious, by that resemblance they wear of their Reverend Author ; and therefore you need not fear to bring them to the public test, and let them look the Sun in the face.
It is true, their first commission was but short, and long since expired, they being designed only to visit and respectively satisfy. some private friends; yet I cannot see what injury you will offer to his sacred ashes, if, by renewing that, you send them on a little further embassy for the common good.
Indeed, the least remains of so matchless a Champion, so invin. cible an Advocate in foro Theologico, like the filings and fragments of gold, ought not to be lost; and pity the world was not worthy many more of his learned labours.
But,—Praestat de Carthagine tacere quam pauca dicere, t-far be it from me to pinion the wings of his fame with any rude letters of commendation, or, by way of precarious pedantry, to court any man into a belief of his worth, since that were to attempt Iliads after Homer, and spoil a piece done already to the life by his own pencil, the works whereof do sufficiently praise him in the gates.
All I aim at is, to commend and promote your pious intention to give the world security, by making these Papers public, that they shall never hereafter stand in need of any other hand to snatch them out of the fire, † a doom, you say, once written upon them.
Nor do I less approve your ingenious prudence in determining to prefix no Name, it being as laudable not to speak all the truth sometimes, as to forbear telling a lie for advantage.
'Tis, I confess, the mode of late to hang jewels of gold in a swine's snout: I mean, to stamp every impertinent Pamphlet with
* Prefixed to the Five Cases, pub- I'fire.' So in a MS. of the Case of lished in 1666.
Marrying with a Recusant, belonging + De Carthagine silere melius puto, to the late Sir J. E. Dolben, the corquam parum dicere. Sallust. Jugurth. recter readings of which Dr. Routh xix. Quoted by Quintilian, Inst. Orat. noted some years ago on the margin
‘De Carthagine tacere satius of his own Copy. The printed books pulo, quam parum dicere.'
some great name or voluminous title, to make it vend the betterLaudat venales qui vult extrudere merces- -at which the gulled Reader, repenting his prodigality of time and patience, is forced to cry out all along, Beaucoup de bruit, peu de fruit, and in the end sums up its just character in a few words, Nil nisi magni nominis umbra.
But yours is the only method to deal with wise and rational men, who are not so easily taken with chaff, (the multitude or greatness of words and names,) as with the true weight and worth of things.
Yet let me tell you that whoever is not a mere stranger to your learned Author's former Tractates, must needs spell his name in every page of this without any other monitor. I have no further trouble to give you,
* unless I should be. speak your vigilance over the Press, which, by her daily teeming and inexpertness, † or at least negligence of the Midwife, is wont of late to spoil good births with monstrous deformities and unpardonable errata. So you will avoid a double guilt contracted by some without fear or wit, of abusing your critical Reader on the one hand, and your most judiciously exact Writer on the other; and, if that may contribute any thing more, very much gratify the most unworthy of his Admirers.
* In subsequent Editions, when the gent Reader will easily discern; with number of the Cases was increased from which, as an accession to this Edition, Five to Eight, the four preceding para- your care and piety hath obliged the graphs were omitted; and the opening Public. Only again let me bespeak of this was altered to, 'I have no fur- your vigilance over the Press,' &c. ther trouble to give you, but to thank t'inexpertness' Dolben MS. The you for these excellent pieces of the printed Books, "expertness.' same hand and stamp, as every intelli
CASE OF THE SABBATH.*
To my very loving Friend, Mr. Tho. Sa. at S. B. Nottingh.
March 28, 1634.
WHEN by your former Letter you desired my present Resolution in two Questions therein proposed concerning the Sabbath, although I might not then satisfy your whole desire, being loath to give in my opinion before I had well weighed it, yet that I might not seem altogether to decline the task imposed on me by you, I engaged myself by promise, within short time, to send you what upon further consideration I should conceive thereof. Which promise, so far as my many distractions and occasions* would permit, I endeavoured to perform by perusing the books you sent me, in the one whereof I found, written on the spare paper with your hand, a note moving a third Question, about the Name of the Sabbath also; and by looking up and reviewing such scattered notes as I had touching that subject. But then I met with difficulties so many and great, whereof the more I considered, the more still I found them to increase, that I saw it would be a long work, and take up far more time than I could spare, to digest and enlarge what seemed needful to be said in the three Questions, in such sort as was requisite to give any tolerable satisfaction either to myself or others. Wherefore I was eftsoons minded to have excused myself, by Letter to you, from further meddling with these Questions, and to have remitted you over for better satisfaction to those men, that have both better leisure to go about such a business, and better abilities to go through with it than I have. For to Questions of importance, better
* First printed, anonymously, in they watch for our sake as they that 1636, with this Title-page :
must give account, 1 Tim. iii. 15. • A Sovereign Antidote against 1 Cor. xvi. 10. Heb. xiii. 17: Whose Sabbatarian Errours, or a Decision office is so honourable, that God of the Chief Doubts and Difficulties Himself not only hath given a touching the Sabbath. Wherein these charge, that every man that will do three Questions (beside others co- presumptuously, and will not hearkincident) are clearly and succinctly en unto the Priest, the man shall determined, viz.' (as in the body of put away from Israel, but hath also the Case, p. 7.]. 'By a reverend, reli- severallý this inobediency punished. gious, and judicious Divine. London, The wrath of the Lord arose against Printed by Tho. Harper for Benja- His people, and gave them into the min Fisher, and are to be sold at his hands of the King of Chaldees, beshop in Aldersgate Street at the cause they mocked the messengers of Signe of the Talbot, 1636 :' with this God, and despised His words and Imprimatur at the end of the Tract, misused His Prophets. Deut. xvii. • Perlegi brevem hunc Tractatum de 12, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 16. Sabbato, in quo nihil reperio sanae Yet this is the contumacy and fidei, aut bonis moribus contrarium. madness of some boasters, and some Tho. Weekes, R. P. Ep. Lond. Cap. unthankful men, which no otherDomest.'
wise, but as Jannes and Jambres And with the following Address withstood Moses, 2 Tim. iii. 8, so to the Reader prefixed.
they them, whom Divine Oracle It is a matter of great use and hath adjudged to be worthy of necessity to have now in remem- double honour, 1 Tim. v. 17, saying brance the admonition of the Apo- in effect to them as Korah did (with stle and Teacher of the Gentiles, certain of the children of Israel, two Remember them which have the rule hundred and fifty princes) to Moses over you: obey them, and submit and Aaron; Ye take too much upon yourselves, Heb. xiii. 7, 17. and you, seeing all the congregation are esteem them very highly in love for holy, every one of them : wherefore their works sake, i Thess. v. 13. then lift you up yourselves above the And it is not without reason; be- congregation of the Lord? Num. cause in the House of God, which xvi. 3. is the Church of the living God, The experiment of these things they work the work of the Lord, and gives every day our England, in the
business of the Sabbatarians, who, grow, sine spinis, without a thorn, measuring themselves by themselves, and yet be as fair and fragrant as and comparing themselves amongst any other : so that his Dedalean pen themselves, even as in times past the delivered us a theological decision Scribes and Pharisees, for a pre- of Sabbaths difficulties, sine spitence make long prayer, devour wi- nosis et paedagogicis argutiis : yet dows' houses, Matt. xxiii
. 14. so they punctually to the mind of Christ creep into houses, and in a shape of and the Church. Worthily theresanctimony (is it through the envy, fore may it be presented to the or strife, or ignorance? I cannot Church of England, and to be actell) they cast snare upon the silly cepted of thy favour.' consciences of men, making conci- The Case, as there exhibited, is sion in the Church of the Lord; and headed “A Decision of the chief so the middle wall of partition which Points and Difficulties touching the Christ hath broken down, Ephes. ii. Sabbath, written to a private friend, 14, they do renew; and, this doing, and now published for the satisfacshow themselves to be the deceitful tion of others;' but it omits the inworkers.
troductory portion, and begins with “Therefore, to avoid this confusion, the words, 'I have now sent you we bring forth in the light this Dis- but a naked
my course penned for private satisfac- thoughts,' on p. 7. tion, and now approved to be print- * occasions,' occupations. The ed for the public edification of the Cambridge Latin Version has 'mulChurch. Wherein the excellent Au- tae, quibus districtus éram, occuthor seems to have imitated them pationes.' which have the art to make roses