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The Synod of Mecklin, in the sense Du Tertre wrings it to, is not excepted of, in the very province, which only it could oblige, as appears from constant practice. For my part, I guess the decree strikes, at deceitful trustees, and guardians, the word under pretext denotes as much. They commit Usury, in taking mony for lending; expressed twice in the decree, they cloak it under a specious pretext, of the orphan's profit, and it is no wonder if such practices be condemned by the Synod. Setting aside this or a like gloss; the Synod would pass for extravagantly uncharitable, in forcing orphans, to live from their infancy, upon the principal, to the beggaring them, when come to age; wherefore even our statute laws, though judged by some dubious in the point of loan, allow the putting out orphan's mony. On the other part with what conscience can a guardian expose his pupil's mony, without securing the principal, and power of calling it in?

Trustees therefore may put out their pupil's stock, so it be effectually for their profit, as it is done without reclaim either of church, or magistrate, taking always such methods, as may exclude not only the intention, but all appearance of Usury. Hence Lessius, not long after this Synod, writing in that same diocess, makes no mention of this decree, but justifies the way of putting out orphan's mony; and though, he thinks fit it should be forbid for the future, I conceive, he added that clause, for fear ignorance might be an occasion to some of committing Usury, by taking interest purely for lending, which without Usury, might have been bargained for, on other accounts, and in due forms.

The assemblies of Melun, Bordeaux, and Rheimes, are fully answered, by what has been said, and the practice of all France, in case of real opposition, oversways in authority, those few particucular Synods.

The assembly of Melun, Du Tertre tells us, repeats the words of that of Milan, concluding with the saying of Christ, Lend hoping nothing thereby; the like doth that of Bourdeaux. The council of Rheimes, of greater authority, as being approved by the Pope, clearly allows the doctrin delivered hitherto of Usury, in these terms, Tit. de fœnore: Cum sacræ litteræ excludant eum a divino tabernaculo, qui pecuniam dederit ad usuram, aperteque nuntient, ut mutuum demus, nihil inde sperantes: quisquis præter sortem præcipuam ex mutuo aliquid amplius exegerit, vel acceperit, cujuscunque generis illud sit modo pecunia estimari possit usurarius esse censeatur.' Since the holy scripture, excludes him from the tabernacle, who gives his mony to Usury, and manifestly declares, That we lend hoping nothing thereby; whoever shall exact, or receive above the principal of what was lent, of whatsoever kind it be, so it be worth mony, let him be judged an usurer. Remark

well the expression, 'for what was lent;' there lies the stress: but what council, or assembly ever say, that mony put out, as in our -case, is mony lent?

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CHAP. XVI.

The authorities of Popes.

Alexander the III. having condemned usurers in the councils of Tours and Lateran; to the case of the archbishop of Genoa, proposing the dealings of some merchants, who sold dearer for retardment of pay, writes thus: Licet contractus hujusmodi, ex tali forma non possit censeri nomine usurarum, nihilo minus tamen, venditores peccatum incurrunt, cum cogitationes hominum, omnipotenti deo nequeant occultari.'

Answ. What could be alledged less favourable, to Du Tertre's purpose? For the Pope seems to excuse from Usury, what divines condemn for such; though such contracts,' says the Pope, as to their forms, be not to be held usurious, yet those that sell after that manner, sin;' whereas divines, affirm to be Usury, to take any thing for pure delay of payment; the said delay being essential to lending. The Pope's meaning then I take to be, that such a contract, cannot be prosecuted in the exterior court as usurious; yet that such dealers, for the ordinary sin, by forcing those, who cannot give present mony, to pay for the forbearance, which is plain oppression, arguing an usurious intention of gain, such to have been his holinesses meaning appears from the ensuing clause: since the thoughts of men, cannot be hidden from the omnipotent God;' if this wise Pope was so cautious, as not to condemn for express Usury, interest for pure forbearance; would he approve the forwardness of some, no Popes, in condemning of Usury, an interest settled by common agreement, or by covenants, and titles thought just by divines? One of these is the danger the seller undergoes, of losing both his ware and price, with the trouble in recovering it, and that consideration on this score may be taken, is not only the opinion of Iconnes Martinez de Prado, tom. 2. Theolog. Moralis, c. 27. §. 2. Citing 16 more, but before him of the learned Sylvester, master of the sacred palace, and eight others quoted by him, insisting on the doctrin of their great master, St. Tho. Opusc. 73. c. 10. Si enim venditor rem suam,' &c. If a seller intends to sell dearer, not for the time only, but for the damage like to befall him, or to redeem the vexation, probably to be suffered, in recovering his debt, either by reason of the malice, or impotency of his debtor; then he is excused from sin.

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To Urban the III. three like questions were proposed, cap. Consuluit;' whether those were to be looked upon as usurers, who sold dearer by reason of staying for their mony? Or those who tacitly intended it? Or finally those, who would not release the buyer, without drawing advantage on that account? The Pope declares them usurers, as sinning against the command. Lend, hoping nothing thereby.'

Answ. Voluntary forbearance, is equivalent to lending; and therefore the seller is no more obliged, to forbear, than to lend; but in case he forbear, he doth as good as lend, and in that case sins against Christ's precept. And this is the full of the Pope's answer: he makes no mention of any other title, as the prejudice ensuing to a tradesman, and hinderance of gain for want of his mony, or the danger of no pay, or the losing all; these are considerable, and it is but just the buyer should make them good.

Leo the 10th in the Lateran council, having alledged Christ's words, Lend hoping nothing thereby,' concludes; Ea enim est propria usurarum interpretatio, quando videlicet ex usu rei quæ non germinat, de nullo labore, nullo sumptu, nullo periculo, lucrum fetu conquiri studetur.' For this is the proper interpretation of usuries, viz. when one studies to gain, and receive profit from things which are unfruitful, without labour, without expence, and without danger.

Answ. I should think the author had made it his employment to cull out places, to the settling what he pretends to overthrow. The Pope in that Bull, silences the zeal of such, as impugned the Mounts of piety, as usurious, having premised the reasons invented by them; of those reasons, one is contained in the words, which Du Tertre, either by oversight, or disingenuity, makes to be the Pope's. Whereas His Holiness, having related the arguments of such, as disapproved of the Mounts of piety, as usurious, encourages the erecting of them, by granting indulgencies; and who shall either by word or writing, preach or dispute against them, he makes liable to the punishment of excommunication. • Latæ sententiæ, nullo obstante privilegio,' That is, ipso facto, to be incurred no priviledge whatsoever withstanding it. What greater evidence of this Pope's judgment of the invalidity of their reasons, and amongst the rest of this objected, which Du Tertre inconsiderately brings for the Pope's, though rejected by His Holiness? But Du Tertre would appear somebody.

To answer reason with reason. That mony cannot fructify, has often been denied, and is apparently untrue, in the gain to be made, in purchasing good pennyworths; insomuch after all, Du Tertre himself, pag. 134, and 135. acknowledges that saying to be verified only of mony lent, which being no more the lender's, but the bor

rower's, can yield nothing to the lender; by reason, Res fructifi cat Domino.' The thing fruits to its owner, and so far he is in the right; but seems not to reflect, that it may fructify before it is lent, and then to bargain for what it may yield, is no lending, nor Usury. Nor is it without labour, expences, and danger, that mony is lett out. What labour in getting it? In preserving it? To omit lesser cares and troubles, in drawing up deeds, counting? &c. The want of its profit, is it not a sort of charges? The danger of damage, the exposer of his mony, takes upon himself, which may happen from frequent casualties, for want of his mony, as in accidents of fire, sickness, imprisonments, war, or the like; is it not very sensible? And where is the principal? And yet by confession of those very divines, no Usury where such causes intervene.

But Greg. the 9th. excludes even the danger of losing the principal, from being a good title. Cap. Naviganti vel eunti ad nundinas, &c. The person lending a certain summ of mony, to one that puts to sea, or goes to a fair, receiving somewhat above the capital for taking upon himself the danger, is to be judged an

usurer.

Answ. How doth this cohere with the objection of the precedent pretended authority? There it is required there be no dangers here, even in case of danger, it is made Usury to take interest. Bernartius cited by Laym. n. 13. de Usura,' suspects a mistake of print, by the omission of a Non. So that in the place of, is to be judged,' ought to be read, is not to be judged. This is clearly gathered from the connexion, as you may see there. If this like you not, even take the words as they lie. He that lends ventures the danger of losing; so that to bargain for that danger, by way of insurance, is either not to lend, or taking for the danger of what is lent, is Usury.

Innocent the 3d. declares Usury to be against both Testaments. Answ. We say it is also against the law of nature, and by its being so, we have evinced, that the putting out mony, as in practice, is no Usury.

To make an end of tiring my reader with these and like citations; custom, the best interpreter, of authority, and the definition of Usury, by which all Usury must be tried, are fully sufficient, to solve whatever objection. I have not made it my business to trace Du Tertre, step by step, he is ever upon the wing, and rather flutters, than walks to amuse with the noise of his prones, where he cannot convince with reason, himself presumptuous, inflicts that character, upon three divines of known ability, Medicina, Lessius, Valentia, pag. 138. where he abuses his reader, by imposing upon Lessius very grosly, as will appear to the examiner, from whence I guess, how he treats the others, which I have not by me.

To

what purpose, pag. 145. doth he unite opposits, as Lessius, and Valentia, with the author of the letter he impugns? Is it any wise astonishing, that opposits should contradict one another? His inference, that the danger of the principal is greater, when in the hands of the poor; therefore more may be taken from them, than of the rich, is a pure inference of his own brain, without premises. Who commits any considerable summs to the poor, and knows he not that interest taxed by law, cannot be exceeded; and that this only increases, as the sums putt out do, less for little sums, and more for greater? The law therefore is favourable to the poor, where the danger of the principal is greater.

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Who will not smile at the man's eloquent simplicity, pag. 144? Where after pretensions to universality, after having in one leaf, no less than thrice rallied up fathers, popes and councils, by way of crowning all he tells you, that many learned doctors of Sorbon, and of the faculty of divinity of Paris, among which, were the most illustrious curats of that great city, have signed the common sentiment of the church in the matter of Usury.' I suppose in condemning the common practice.

Answ. Was it their signing that made it common? Or if common before, what need of their signing? They signed then what was not common to all, and what he would make common. But how? By the signing of many. He says, not by the signing of all; he says not of the greatest part, the opposit then, might be as common, as what they signed. Many doctors therefore, and they doctors of the Sorbon too; many curats, and they curats of Paris too, with whole towns, and provinces in France, practising what he abusively stiles Usury, are of poise enough, not only to counterballance, but to outweigh the authority of his many doctors and curats, as to the common sense of the church. And the bishops of France, are they to be slighted, because silent lovers of peace, and enemies of novelty? Can they be thought to be less concerned for the good of souls, or less knowing than some curats of Paris? And their silence, is it not a loud rebuke, to his many? And the divines of other nations, are they to pass for shadows? they to pass for shadows? With all respect due to the Sorbon, be it said, other countries, have given, and daily afford to the world, men as eminent for learning; why not then to be relied on, as well as his many? For which we have his bare word. England alone has oftner given masters to the Sorbon, than the Sorbon to England.

Perchance Du Tertre might have insisted, as some of late have done, upon the propositions condemned by Innocent the 11th, Anno 1679. I therefore set them down, leaving to the reader, to judge how far they affect our case.

The 24th proposition runs thus: Usura non est, dum aliquid ul

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