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not mourn in passion: and the laws enjoin to a man and woman respectively annum luctus,” a year of solemn mourning;' all which time, it is not supposed, the passion should be troublesome and afflictive. Thus we find David pretending madness before Achish the king of Gath; it was for his life: and we do not find any of the ancient doctors blaming the dissimulation.
47. (4.) But that which is here the principal inquiry is, whether signs not vocal, which have in them ambiguity, and may signify several things, may be used with a purpose to deceive. And to this the answer is the same with the former in the case of equivocation, with this only difference; that as there is some more liberty in the use of equivocal words, than of a simple lie; so there is some more liberty yet in equivocal actions than in words, because there may be more reasons for such dubious actions than for dubious words, and they are not so near, so usual", so intended significations of our mind, nor ministries of intercourse and society. But where they are taken so, they are to be governed by the same rules; save only that a less necessity may be a sufficient legitimation of such dubious signs: concerning which, besides the analogy and proportion to the former rules, there is no other measure but the severities of a good and a prudent man taking into him the accounts of Christian simplicity and ingenuity.
48. I have only one thing to add in order to practice. There is a liberty in the forecited cases there, where there is a necessity, and where there is a great charity. For in these cases it is true what St. Chrysostom says ", " Fraudis quidem magna vis modo ne fraudulento animo fiat : quam ipsam tum ne fraudem quidem nominandam putaverim, verum economiam quandam potius ac sapientiam artemque, qua possis è mediis, iisque imperviis, desperatarum rerum angustiis difficultatibusque, correctis et emendatis animi vitiis, evadere :" “ There is a great use of artifices in our words and actions, when we are hard put to it in desperate cases and extremest difficulties, and then these arts are not indeed deceptions, but just escapes.” But yet this I say, that it is not safe to use all our liberty; because when it is practised freely, we oftentimes find ourselves ill judges of the necessity. And how
# Vide Aquinat, in 3. lib. dist. 38. art. 3. ad 5. o Lib. 1. de Sacerdot.
ever it be, yet it is much more noble to suffer bravely than to escape from it by a doubtful way; 1. For the love and honour of simplicity, 2. For the endeavours of perfection, 3. For the danger of sin, 4. For the peril of scandal. And it was bravely done of Augustus Cæsar, who when he had promised ten thousand sesterces to him that should bring Corocotta, a famous Spanish thief, alive into his presence; Corocotta himself came and demanded the money, and had it, and he was spared besides : he escaped for his wit and confidence; but had the money'pro fide Cæsaris,' 'according to the faith and nobleness of Cæsar's justice :' for he might have made use of the ambiguity of his words to have kept the money, and hanged the thief; but he thought it nobler to do all that he could be thought to have intended by his words. 'Oueγαλόψυχος, παρρησιαστικός και αληθευτικός, says Aristotle P, “The brave and magnanimous man does not sneak, but speaks truth and is confident."
49. It cannot be denied what St. Clemens Alexandrinus said, 'Επί των πλησίον ωφελεία μόνη ποιήση τινα, και ουκ αν προηyovuévws aŭtw apaxhein, " A good man will, for the good of his neighbour, do something more than he would do willingly and of his own accord :" yet when it is his own case, it is better to let go his liberty than to run a hazard. Sarah did lie, and she was reproved by the angel; Abraham did so too, says Tertullian; “Saram sororem suam mentitus est,” but he was reproved by Abimelech : Jacob did lie to his father, but he is not commended for it; and Rachel did dissemble, but she died in child-birth, and it was occasioned by that, say the Jewish doctors: Simeon and Levi destroyed the Shechemites by a stratagem, but they troubled the house of Israel by it: Tamar deceived Judah, but she played the harlot in deed as well as in words. And concerning those worthy persons mentioned in Scripture, who did lie or dissemble, the Christian doctors have been put to it to make apologies and excuses, and justifications for them, and are not yet agreed how to do it. St. Basil and St. Chrysostom are two examples of several proceedings. St. Basil always bore his heart upon his hand, and shewed it to every one that was concerned. St. Chrysostom used craft against the simple, and fraud against him that spoke all things in sim
P Lib. 4. Eth. cap. 3. Wilkinson, p. 157.
plicity. Chrysostom was forced with laborious arts 9 to ex cuse and justify it, and did it hardly: but St. Basil had no scruple concerning his innocence ; what he had concerning his prudence and safety does not belong to the present question. But of this last particular I have given larger accounts in a discourse on purpose.
50. The conclusion is this, If a man speaks a downright lie, he can very hardly be innocent: but if by intrigues of words and actions, “per involucra” (as Cicero calls it),—"per orationem intortam” (as the comedy), “by covers of words,” and by crooked speeches,' a man have intercourse, he had need be very witty to be innocent; according to the Hebrew proverb, “ If a man have wit enough to give cross and involved answers, let him use it well;" if he knows not how to do it well, let him hold his peace. It was but a sneaking evasion of St. Francis, when the pursuers after a murderer asked if the man came that way; ‘No,' saith the friar, thrusting his hand into his sleeve, he came not here.' If a man's wit be not very ready and very clear, while he thinks himself wise, he may become a vain person. The devil, no question, hath a great wit, and a ready answer; yet when he was put to it at his oracles, and durst not tell a downright lie, and yet knew not what was truth many times, he was put to most pitiful shifts, and trifling equivocations, and arts of knavery; which when they were discovered by events contrary to the meaning which was obvious for the inquirers to understand, it made him much more contemptible and ridiculous than if he had said nothing, or confessed his ignorance. But he that does speak, and is bound to speak, must speak according to the mind of him with whom he does converse,—that is, so to converse, that by our fault he be not deceived against his right, against justice, or against charity, and therefore he had better in all things speak plainly: for truth is the easiest to be told; but no wit is sufficient for a crafty conversation. 4 Vide in fine lib. 1. de Sacerd.
Serm. of Christian Simplicity. s Orat. 1. c. 35. n. 161. Harles. p. 104.
It is not lawful for private Christians, without public Authority,
to punish Malefactors, but they may require it of the Ma
gistrate in some Gases. 1. In the law of nature it was permitted: but as the world grew older, and better experienced, and better instructed, it became unlawful and forbidden; in some places sooner, in some places later. The Ephori among the Lacedemonians, might kill criminals extra-judicially; and Nicolaus of Damascus relates, that, amongst the Umbrians, every man was the revenger of his own injuries : for till by laws men were defended, they, by revenges and retaliation, might drive away the injury as far as was necessary. But because when a man is in pain and grief, he strikes unjustly and unequally, and judges incompetently, laws were made to restrain the first license, and to put it into the hands of princes only, because they, being common fathers to their people, were most likely to do justice equally and wisely. “Idcirco enim judiciorum vigor jurisque publici tutela videtur in medio constituta, ne quisquam sibi ipsi permittere valeat ultionem,” said Honorius and Theodosius ; " That no man might avenge himself,laws, and judges, and tribunals, were appointed for public justice.”
2. But for this, provisions at first could not be made so generally, but that some cases would happen, and some gaps be left open, which every man must stop, and provide for as well as he could. Thus we find that Phinehas, when he saw God was angry with the sons of Israel about the matter of Moab, himself, to divert the anger that was already gone forth, smote Zimri, a prince among the Simeonites, and his fair mistress in his arms, and killed them in their crimes. From his example many zealots among the Jews took liberty to kill a man that sinned apparently. So Matthias killed a Jew, that offered sacrifice according to the manner of the Greeks; and the people killed three hundred of their countrymen upon the like account. But this quickly grew into excess and irregularity; and therefore when our blessed Lord was zealous for the honour of the temple, he went no further
but to use a little whip to affright them from their profane
3. And yet, in some cases, God permitted private persons to be executioners; as in case a Jew tempted his child, or brother, or neighbour to idolatry, the tempted person might kill him, without delating him to the judge; and in a cause of blood, the next of kin might kill the manslayer, if he overtook him before he took sanctuary. But here the cases were such, that the private person was not judge, but by leave from God, was executioner upon the notoriety of the fact: for although for a dead person his nearest relation might with his own hand take vengeance; yet if himself was wounded, he might not, but by the sentence of the judge, say the doctors of the Jews; because he ought not to be judge, where he could hardly be moderate.
4. In the sea, and in desert places, where there can be no appeals to judges, every man is executioner of the sentence of the law of nations. Thus we find that Julius Cæsar pursued the pirates in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas; and because the proconsul would not, he gathered a sudden navy, and overtook them, and hanged them upon the mainyards of their own vessels. Thus the wild Arabs and Circassian thieves,—that live in vast places, and under no government, being public enemies of mankind, and under no laws, nor treaties or communications of peace,-may be killed by every one that is injured and spoiled by them, when he can do it. To this agrees that of Tertullian; “In publicos hostes omnis homo miles est;" and that of Democritus : Ληστην πάντα κτείνων τις αθώος αν είη, και αυτοχειρία, και κελεύων, και ψήφω, “He that kills a thief and a robber with his own hand, or by command, or by consent, is innocent.”
Είχε πάθοι τα κ' έρεξε, δίκη κ' θεία γένοιτο . But this is to be understood of the permission in the law of
5. For in Christianity, men are not easily permitted to touch blood ; not hastily to intermeddle in the causes of blood; not to give sentence for the effusion of it: these things are to be done with caution, and a slow motion, and after a loud call, and upon a great necessity, because there
! Deut. xiii. 9.
u Hes. frag. 69. Gaisford. p. 194.