2. Quest. May this libertie be extended any further then to a second mariage?
Answ. We finde no restraint from a third, or fourth, or more mariages, if by the diuine prouidence so many wiues, or hus∣bands one after another be taken away while there is need for the suruiuing partie to vse the benefit of mariage. The woman of Samaria that had fiue husbands one after another, is not bla∣med for being maried to so many, but for liuing with one (af∣ter the other were dead) that was not her husband, (Ioh. 4. 18 Neither did the Lord condemne that woman which was said to haue seuen husbands one after another, (Mat. 22. 25, &c.)
Contrarie is the opinion of a Montanists, and Cataphryges, ancient heretiques that accounted those mariages which the suruiuor made after the death of a yoke-fellow, to be adulte∣rous: with which heresie bTertullian an ancient and learned father was so farre infected, as he wrote a treatise in defence thereof. It seemeth by their arguments that one maine ground Page 188 of their error was a misinterpretation of those Scriptures which forbid men to haue two wiues at once, and women to haue two husbands at once, as, Two shall be one flesh, Gen. 2. 24. A Bishop and a Deacon must be the husband of one wife, 1 Tim. 2. 2, 10. Let a widow be taken that hath beene the wife of one hus∣band, 1 Tim. 5. 9. These are indeed expresse texts against such Digamists, and Polygamists as haue beene described * before: but they make no more against second or other after-mariages one mate being dead, then against first mariages. Into the roll of these heretiques may they be put, who denie such after ma∣riages to any kinde of Ministers. So doe our aduersaries: they * exclude such as are maried againe after one wife is dead from such functions of inferiour orders, as they admit those who are but once maried vnto. They alleage many of those Scrip∣tures which Montanists doe (as 1 Tim. 2. 2, 10. and 5. 9) which sheweth that they are infected with the same heresie, though they pretend to renounce it.