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tra sortem exigitur, tanquam ex benevolentia, et gratitudine debitum, sed tantum si exigatur, tanquam debitum ex justitia.' It is no Usury if something above the principal be exacted, as due by way of benevolency, and gratitude, but only as exacted by way of justice.

Answ. The proposition is deservedly condemned, and condemns itself. For a benevolence, or spontaneous act of gratitude, cannot be said properly to be due, and therefore to exact it as due, is injustice; and if for the use of a principal lent, it is Usury. To receive a benevolence, or gift by way of gratitude, is not condemned. Nay to exact a gift once made, is not even injustice, it being his, to whom it is given; now by the general agreement this gift is made, antecedently to the putting out mony, it may therefore be required; besides, the proposition reaches none of the forementioned ways, or titles, for which interest is due, by way of justice.

The 41st proposition is: Cum mutuata pecunia sit preciosior numeranda, et nullus sit qui non majoris faciat pecuniam præsentem quam futuram, potest creditor aliquid ultra sortem a mutuatario exigere, et eo titulo excusari. Since mony lent, is better than mony to be payed, and that there is no body, who doth not esteem present mony, more than future, the creditor upon that account, may require something above the principal, from the borrower, and so be excused from Usury.

Answ. Condemnations being stricti juris,' fall upon propositions precisely as they lie; now this proposition taken as it is worded, is both scandalous and false. For one that lends, parts with present mony, upon future repayment, a token they are equal, at least, in his esteem. Is he nobody? Besides, difference of time, alters not the worth of mony. Whence it ensues that to ground a title of receiving interest, upon so clear an untruth, and futurity of repayment, essential to lending, is to excuse taking interest for lending, which is scandalous, and therefore justly condemned.

To the aforesaid propositions, may be added the 47th. Among those condemned by Alex. the 7th. Licitum est mutuanti aliquid ultra sortem exigere si se obliget ad non repetendam sortem usque ad certum tempus.' It is lawful for a lender, to exact something above the principal, provided he oblige himself, not to call it back, for a set time.

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Answ. Who sees not, that such a lender would have interest, for a pure forbearance, which is flat Usury, as we have often affirmed, and follows from its definition. So that the propositions `condemned by the late Popes, leave our case untouched.

And no

ways oppose what has been said for the lawfulness of putting out mony, considered as was promised, as to the law of nature, scrip ture, and church.

I should not have concerned myself in an answer to Monsieur Du Tertre's book, long since printed, and I question not, but already answered, by some of his own nation, had not his genius passed the seas, and appeared with no other weapons than his, to the terror of timorous souls, and perplexing of consciences,

The Conclusion.

To conclude as I prefaced. Having presented the reader, according to promise, with what your reformers, in the point of putting out mony, have to say to us, and we in answer to them, let him call a Jury, of his impartial thoughts, to the case of putting out mony, and upon evidence, brought in against it, let him condemn it, of Usury. But if no evidence appears, possession of its innocency still holds, grounded in agreement, and custom, upheld by Judges, justified by divines, upon several titles, and generally practised. If scripture, church, and fathers inveighing against Usury, reflect not upon it, if the law of nature disallows it not, let it be cleared at the barr of, unbyassed reason. Let the practisers make conscience of real sins; let them of their just gains, be charitable to the needy; let them hope no increase for lending, but from God; yet at the same time, they are rightly informed, they have no obligation of prejudicing themselves, but a duty to improve honestly the talents God has left with them, by putting them out at an easy rate. It is a service they owe to the publick, for which we are born. Such as scrupulise at it; let them much more make conscience of judging others. Let them be careful, lest upon surmises of Usury, or rather under a false pretext, they become slaves of avarice, make their coffers temples, and mony their idols; by so doing, they clip the common stock; so that the share they have, goes no more, they cast trade into a deep consumption, by depriving it of its nourishment, and wholly cross the design of the general welfare of a nation, maintained by a circulation of mony, as our bodies are, by a circulation of blood.

No less zeal was shown by some preachers, and divines, against the Mounts of piety, than since has been, by a few others, against putting out of mony; when the Pope heading a council, in regard of the poor; and common necessities, judged fit not only to curb it, but when transported either to words, or writing, to excommunicate it as a disquiet to the Christian world. The rule of law, "Quod qui commodum sentit, onus quoque sentire debet," on which the Pope and council appear to ground themselves, is of no NO. XXI. Pam. VOL. XI.


less force in our case. The rule is that he who partakes of a conveniency, ought also to share of the burden annexed to it. It is for conveniency mony is taken up, the burden annexed to it is interest, which for just considerations, the law judges reasonable. It were a piece of signal temerity, to question the said Mounts of piety, and if the common practice have the same reason, even with some advantage, were it not too venturesome to condemn it? Would not the censure by parity of reason, equally affect both? And were not this to forfeit the respect, and submission due to Popes, the Lateran council, and Christendom in general? The ends of the Mounts of piety, is to relieve such as necessity compels to take up mony at exorbitant rates; this also is provided for by the common practice, though not so fully, it being not easy to find mony to take up; whereas the said Mounts are ever ready to supply; on which account they are to be wished for in this realm. The Mounts of piety, towards the maintenance of necessaries, receive somewhat more, than current interest; with current interest alone, the common practice contents itself, the Mounts are secured of their principal; the common practice for most part leaves it hazardous. Is it the taking less? Is it the hazard that creates Usury? If not, how can that guilt be charged upon the common practice, and not the Mounts of piety? And to reflect upon them as usurious, doth it not betoken undutifulness, and more want of charity than provision of true zeal, more temerity than prudence.

The simplicity of the dove is to be guided by the prudence of the Serpento, Believe not every spirit, (says St. John, 1 Epist. chap. 4.) Too much austerity of doctrine, savours more of affectation, than discretion, and drives oftner at libertinism, than true reform, every one inclining to shake off the yoke, when rendered too heavy. Excess of rigor is a kind of Usury, in that it extorts upon conscience to the oppression of a weak brother. The way to heaven is narrow, we ought not to streighten it more; nor to lay stumbling blocks in the way.

This was the sense of the most learned and illustrious order of St. Dominick, in the gloss upon the prologue, to their constitutions, Tex. 1. §. 3. to those words, "Cum ordo noster, &c. declaramus," &c. say they, we declare, that three things chiefly hinder the saving of souls of these, the third is too much rigor, and austerity in counsels, and opinions, for men are so terrified with them, as to neglect the salvation of their souls; wherefore rigor and sevevity are to be relented, as much as may be, and men are to be treated with benignity.


Yet nearer to our purpose the great son of so wise, and religious a parent, St. Tho. qudl. 9.. art. 15. in Corp. discourses it thus: "Omnis questio, in qua de peceato morali quæritur," &c. It is dan

gerous to decide a question, treating of a mortal sin; if no express truth appears; by reason the error, by which it is apprehended to be mortal, what is not mortal, binds under mortal. The express truth against the common practice, has not yet been discovered.

Du Tertre therefore, and those of his humor, should have taken and coned the lesson, being of so high importance, given them by the renowned chancellor, John Gerson, lib. 4. de Vita spirituali. Littera. O. pag. 3. Doctores Theologo, &c. Doctors of divinity, must not easily conclude certain actions, or omissions, to be mortal sins; for by such wilful, rigid, hard, and too strict assertions, men are never drawn out of the mire of sin, but are plunged into another deeper, because more desperate. To what purpose then to render more bitter, and heavy the yoke of Christ, which is sweet, and the burden which is light?

This had been much to Du Tertre's purpose, and perchance might have allayed his too fervorous rigor; when, pag. 172. he pretends with a scrap or two of a holy father, to block up the way to heaven, and to exclude all merchants, and tradesmen from eternal bliss. And is not this to endeavour to render salvation and God's precepts morally impossible? Or at least as impossible, as it is for human society to be maintained without merchandizing and commerce? Doth it not reflect upon Providence, as establishing a reli gion incoherent with all trading, so necessary to the welfare and preservation of mankind? It is a peculiar genius rules his pen; whether for love of novelty, or to appear somebody in the world, or out of mistaken zeal, to correct what needs no amendment, it is not for me to decide. As to myself, whatever I have writ in defence of the common practice, I shall entirely submit to better reason, it is my duty so to do; and having done what I thought my duty, to the quieting of conscience, in the case of putting out mony, I end.


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