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pertaining to him who letts-it. But mony is consumed in the use, How then can it be lett to use, which makes it away ?

My assertion is, that Mony may be Lett.

That it may be lett to other uses than spending, as for a show, tending to preservation of credit, and not to cheat, as Sir Robert flurts at Catholick divines, or to be a pledge, is owned by St. Tho. 2da 2da, and by the schools in general, but denied by him in order to spending; by reason he supposes, that property of things consumed in the use, is not distinct from the use of them, so that who has the use, has property of them too. The hirer then having the use, has both; and therefore, is no more a hirer, but a proprietor, for the time he has the use, so that paying consideration for it, he will pay for what is his own, and the lender receive interest for what belongs to the borrower, and in this he places the sin of Usury.

What the holy doctor supposes of the indistinction of property and use, in things consumptible, since his time, has not only been questioned, but the opposite goes for the more current among divines, approved by no less than five popes, witness Lessius (De Just. lib. 2. c. 3. Dub. 8. n. 38.) in this (the now more probable opinion). I see no greater difficulty in letting mony, than letting a horse, for the hirer pays only for the use, the property still remaining to the letter.

But the property of what; since mony in the use perishes to him that lays it out?

Ans. That is to say, mony is in the time it is used, and no longer, and for that time the owner letts it.

But that is almost momentary.

Ans. Be it never so short, it is preferable, or at least equivalent to the longer use of a horse or house. This holds, speaking of the same physical and individual mony, which in its uses perishes not in itself but to its hirer. Yet morally it still remains, in the right the creditor has to as much; it remains in the security for its reimbursment; it may also remain in the effects of using it, redounding to the hirer's profit; so that the letter retains the property, though not the possession of as much as the hirer ows, and according to law may dispose of it by gift or sale.

To the confirming what has been said, upon due reflection you will discover little or no difference between the letting mony or a horse. A horse is lett to be restored the same, not absolutely but conditionally, for if by the hirer's fault it dies, he is only obliged to make amends to its full worth. And though the same be not returned, yet it cannot be denied that it was lett. The like happens

in putting out money; the letter retains a right either to the same, or as much; for the nature and intention of hirage is to have a horse proper for the turn; the being this, or that, is wholly indifferent; by reason it is the species, or quality, which render things valuable and serviceable for hirage, and not the individuality.

In like manner the letter being insured of having back a horse, in all respects as good as his own, ought to content himself as well, as with the right he has to his own. And what if one should lett a horse, conditioning to have as good, if not his own back; I inquire, whether this would not be a true letting? Certainly it would. Why may not one then, in the same manner put out mony? For the letter keeps a right to have his summ back, and one 201. in moral estimation, is the same with another 201. so that the summ remains still the creditor's to be restored, as a horse to the letter.

This seems to have been acknowledged by the learned Cajetan, Verbo Usura exterior §. Nota. fol. 578. Nota 2do quodquia lucrum usurarium est ex mutuo, ideo siquis non mutuat sed accommodat seu locat, aut vendit pecuniam cum pacto recipiendi aliquid plus, non est Usura, sed liciti sunt hujusmodi contractusque dum modo pacta sint moderata juxta qualitatem temporis. Since Usurious gain is for lending, therefore if a person doth not lend, but lett, or sells mony, bargaining for somewhat more, it is no Usury, but such contracts are lawful, so they be moderate, according to the quality of times. Now our law has struck up a bargain for all, to the easing each particulars of that trouble; it hath also provided against all immoderate gain, assigning a set interest now more and now less, proportioned to the condition of times, to the exclusion of all exactions and extortions; and thus the law renders the putting out mony, no lending, and the interest allowed, no Usury.

Where, by the way, I take notice of a construction in common law, which Sir Robert teaches us, of the word extortion and exaction. They are thus distinguished, says he: extortion is a wrong in taking more than is due; exaction is the taking of what is not due at all. This distinction, had it come from a school divine, would scarce have escaped Sir Robert's censure, he is so severe upon them; for my part, I should conceive, that the more that is due, is not due at all; he then who takes more than is due, in that more he takes, takes what is not due at all; and so extortion in substance, falls in with exaction. The digression may serve at least, for the promiscuous use, with Sir Robert's leave, of the words extortion and exaction without cavil, upon a nicety scarce worth the law's notice.

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On what has been said in the preceding chapter, an enquiry

attends by course, concerning the obligation of lending, it being manifest, that where the obligation of giving or lending mony ceases, it may be lett. To assigne the bounds of this obligation,

First. I reduce dealings relating to exchange of property, either to donation, or sale; in contracts reducible to buying and selling, a just profit is allowed of; acts appertaining to donation, as such admit of no gain by way of justice; for such a gain were Usury in taking interest, for what donation has made no more one's


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Of the obligation of Lending.

Now lending is a sort of giving, as letting is of selling, and one and the same thing may be lett, or lent, or given; giving makes the thing no more the donor's; lending makes a thing, or at least, the use of a thing, no more the lender's, for the space of the time it is lent; so that to require payment for what is given, or lent, as being another's, is palpable injustice, and Usury, as has already been declared. In letting, one sells the use of what he letts.

I secondly reflect, that as no man is obliged to prejudice himself, so where self-prejudice intrudes not itself, the law of nature obliges one man to help another, the preservation of each having a reference to the whole, and in this case arises an obligation of supplying our neighbours.

Thirdly. In extreme necessity, no place for lending. The necessitous having a natural right to take what may relieve their present want, all things in that occasion becoming common, and to refuse a person in extreme necessity is a sort of theft, in retaining from him what necessity makes to be his own, and no less folly, in pretending to lend what in extreme necessity is more another's than yours.

Fourthly. In cases of great, though less urgent necessity than extreme, the wealthy are bound under mortal sin, to succour the poor, out of what they have superfluous; in ordinary necessities, they are obliged under venial; yet in those cases, if letting or lending will suffice their occasions, all obligation of giving ceases; this is generally the doctrine of divines.

Hence this conclusion follows. The obligation of lending is conditional. Thus to be expressed. If a person will not by giving, by selling, or letting, cannot relieve his poor neighbour by the law

of nature, he is bound to lend out of what he abounds with; and in that case to exact interest, is Usury unjustifiable by any aw whatsoever. The saying of St. Basil being most true, upon the text of the 14th Psalm, Qui pecuniam suam non dedit ad Ūsuram. He that hath not given his mony to Usury. Enim vero inhumanitas est maxima, si is qui egestate premitur; mutuum ad vitæ subsidium qui erat: dans vero sorte minime contentus, ex miseri calamitate proventus et opes excogitet. For certainly, says the Saint, it is the greatest inhumanity, whilst one borrows a subsidy for life, the lender not content with the principal, devises incomes and riches out of the calamity of one in misery. In this passage you have, in what, according to the sense of St. Basil, Usury consists.

In other cases containing no obligation of lending, mony may, be lett or put out as law and custom allows, since the obligation of lending, generally speaking, extends no farther than to small sums sufficient to relieve pressing necessity. Yet in case a person freely lends never so great a sum, the law cannot allow him consideration for it, for this were Usury, as hath been more than once repeated and proved, forbidden by the law of nature and God, to which inferior laws, to be laws, must conform.

Having proved what occurred unto me, not so expressly treated of in schools, towards the making out the lawfulness of taking interest for mony put out, it is time I should produce the common titles assigned by divines for the justification of it.


The common-Title assigned by Divines.

Considering the nature of things which may be lett, I find in none so many and so good titles for just gain, as in the letting of mony. Á house for instance, stands empty, of no profit or present use to the owner, apt to decay for want of inhabiting, yet it may be lett and rent received for it. Upon what score? For the living in it? But that kept it in repair; and is it just the inhabitant should pay for what he betters? It may be said, it is the tenant's conveniency which deserves the rent. The same with greater reason, may it not be said of mony ?

But besides the hirer's convenience, the inconveniences which attend the lettor are yet more considerable, by reason, mony being the price of things, contingencies daily produce occasions of lucre, and the want of it unforeseen damage. The depriving oneself of the profit which probably might be made, and the danger of un

dergoing prejudices are rateable, worth recompence, and may be bargained for, reason dictating as just to provide for self-indemnity. For which cause, as I suppose, the mony taken upon those accounts is named interest, as behoving each one to require it as due.

One may interpose: these titles have no place in such as hoard and keep mony idle in their coffers.

Answ. An inconsiderate objection. Whilst the mony lies in coffers, the difficulty may be shut up with it. But every one hath right to open his coffers and to make use of his mony to his best advantage; and this right by putting it out, he makes it over to another. Besides, in good philosophy, mony being a pure medium, it is not coveted and loved for its own sake, but for the service it may be put to; as advantageous purchases, traffic, and the like, in order to profit; and in cases of suits, sicknesses, imprisonments, and other too frequent accidents, in order to prevent the harm, the want of mony in like misfortunes would occasion; of these services he that puts out mony deprives himself, and that deprivation deserves to be considered. Upon this ground runs the decision of S. Thomas, Opusc. de Usuris, where treating of such as sell dearer, because upon trust, affirms it is Usury. Si tantum propter expectationem solutionis fiat: that is, if it be for mere forbearance, but if it be to keep himself harmless, that it neither may be Usury nor injustice. But grant that neither cessation of profit, nor emergent damage be in the case.

Still the hazard of principal is constant and great. What a multiplicity of false dealers? Casualties frustrate the best intentions, securities of soundest appearance prove often litigious, producing much cost, trouble, and care; the exposing oneself to all this, is it not estimable and worth its value?

It may be said: All lenders are exposed to these inconveniences, for which cause, they being essentially connexed with lending, either use-money upon such titles, as being for lending, is Usury; or those titles, taking away the nature of lending, Usury will become a mere sound, and not a word, as signifying nothing.

Answ. It is granted that all lenders are more or less subject to those inconveniences, but it is denied that they are essential to lending. For lending includes no more than the act of lending, the use of what is lent, and futurity of repayment; these possibly may consist without loss of gain, adventitious damage, or hazard of principal, as a lender presumes they will, and ventures it. So that he retains no title for interest. This an Usurer heeds not, but blinded by avarice, even in that case will have profit with the principal. A lender then, though he be exposed to loss, it is because he will lend; be it for motives of charity so commended in holy

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