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like to be the more hurtful encouragement of unlawful ones, such examples must be forborne, though the law were not against them. But to sell orders is undoubted simony; (that is, the office of the ministry, or the act of ordination;) though scribes may be paid for writing instruments. Quest. xxv. ‘May a man give money for orders or benefices, when they cannot otherwise be had 3' Answ. This is answered in Quest. xxii. 1. If the law absolutely forbid it, for the common safety, you may not. 2. If your end be chiefly your own commodity, ease or homour, you may not. But in case you were clear from all such evils, and the case were only this, whether you might not give money to get in yourself, to keep out a heretic, a wolf or insufficient man, who might destroy the people's souls, I see not but it might well be done. Quest.xxv.1. ‘May I give money to officers, servants or assistants for their furtherance 2' Answ. For writings or other servile acts about the circumstantials you may ; but not (directly or indirectly) to promote the simoniacal contract. What you may not give to the principal agent, you may not give his instruments or others for the same end. Quest. xxv.11. ‘May I give or do any thing afterward by way of gratitude, to the patron, bishop, or any others, their relations or retainers?” Answ. Not when the expectation of that gratitude was a (secret or open) condition of the presentation or orders; and you believe that you should not else have received them; therefore promised gratitude is but a kind of contracting. Nor may you shew gratitude by any scandalous way, which seemeth simony. Otherwise, no doubt, but you may be prudently grateful for that or any other kindneSS, Quest. xxvii.1. ‘May not a bishop or pastor take money for sermons, sacraments, or other offices !” Answ. Not for the things themselves; he must not sell God's Word and sacraments, or any other holy thing. But they that serve at the altar, may live on the altar, and the elders that rule well are worthy of double honour; and the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn should not be muzzled. They may receive due maintenance while they perform God's service; that they may be vacant to attend their proper work. Quest. xxix. ‘May one person disoblige another of a promise made to him?’ Answ. Yes, if it be no more than a promise to that person; because a man may give away his right; but if it be moreover a vow to God, or you intend to oblige yourself in point of veracity under the guilt of a lie if you do otherwise, these alter the case, and no person can herein disoblige you. Quest. xxx. “But what if the contract be bound by an oath, may another then release me?’ Answ. Yes, if that oath did only tie you to perform your promise; and were no vow to God which made him a party by dedicating any thing to him; for then the oath being but subservient to the promise, he that dischargeth you from the promise, dischargeth you also from the oath which bound you honestly to keep it. Quest. xxxi. “Am I bound by a promise when the cause or reason of it proveth a mistake 2' Answ. If by the cause you mean only the extrinsical reasons which moved you to it, you may be obliged nevertheless for finding your mistake ; only so far as the other was the culpable cause (as is aforesaid) he is bound to satisfy you; but if by the cause you mean the formal reason, which constituteth the contract, then the mistake may in some cases nullify it; (of which enough before). Quest. xxxii. “What if a following accident make it more to my hurt than could be foreseen 2' Answ. In some contracts it is supposed or expressed, that men do undertake to run the hazard; and then they must stand obliged. But in some contracts, it is rationally supposed that the parties intend to be free, if so great an alteration should fall out. But to give instances of both these cases would be too long a work. Quest. xxx 111. ‘What if something unexpectedly fall out, which maketh it injurious to a third person; I cannot sure be obliged to injure another ?’ Answ. If the case be the latter mentioned in the foregoing answer, you may be thus free; but if it be the former (you being supposed to run the hazard, and secure the
other party against all others) then either you were indeed authorized to make this bargain or not; if not, the third person may secure his right against the other; but if you were, then you must make satisfaction as you can to the third person. Yea, if you made a covenant without authority, you are obliged to save the other harmless, unless he knew your power to be doubtful, and did resolve to run the hazard. Quest. xxxiv. “What if something fall out which maketh the performance to be a sin?’ Answ. You must not do it; but you must make the other satisfaction for all the loss which you were the cause of, unless he undertook to stand to the hazard of this also, (explicitly or implicitly.) Quest. xxxv. ‘Am I obliged if the other break covenant with me?’ Answ. There are covenants which make relations (as between husband and wife, pastor and flock, rulers and subjects); and covenants which convey titles to commodities, of which only I am here to speak. And in these there are some conditions which are essential to the covenant; if the other first break these conditions, you are disobliged. But there are other conditions which are not essential, but only necessary to some following benefit; whose non-performance will only forfeit that particular benefit; and there are conditions which are only undertaken, subsequent duties, trusted on the honesty of the performer; and in these a failing doth not disoblige you. These latter are but improperly called conditions. Quest. xxxv 1. ‘May I contract to perform a thing which I foresee is like to become impossible or sinful, before the time of performance come, though it be not so at present 2' Answ. With all persons you must deal truly; and with just contractors openly ; but with thieves, and murderers, and persecutors, you are not always bound to deal openly. This being premised, either your covenant is absolutely, ‘This I will do, be it lawful or not, possible or impossible:’ and such a covenant is sin and folly : or it is conditional, “This I will do, if it continue lawful or possible: this condition (or rather exception) is still implied WO L. V. I. X
where it is not expressed, unless the contrary be expressed; therefore such a covenant is lawful with a robber with whom you are not bound to deal openly : because it is but the concealing from him the event you foresee. As e. g. you have intelligence that a ship is lost at sea, or is like to
be taken by pirates, which the robber expecteth shortly to come safe into the harbour; you may promise him to deliver up yourself his prisoner, when that ship cometh home. Or you know a person to be mortally sick, and will die before the next week; you may oblige yourself to marry or serve that person two months hence; for it is implied, if he or she be then alive. But with equal contractors, this is unlawful, with whom you are obliged, not only to verity but to justice; as in the following cases will be further manifested.
Tit. 3. Special Cases about Justice in Buying and Selling.
Quest. 1. ‘Am I bound to endeavour that he whom I deal with may be a gainer by the bargain as well as I?’ Answ. Yes, if you be equally in want, or in the like condition; but if he be very poor, and you be rich, charity must be so mixed with justice, that you must endeavour that it be more to his commodity than yours (if he be indeed one that you owe charity to). And if you be poor and he be rich, you may be willing to be the only gainer yourself, so be it you covet not another's nor desire that he be wronged; for when he hath power to deal charitably, you may be willing of his charity or kindness. Quest. 11. ‘May I desire or take more than my labour or goods are worth, if I can get it?’ Answ. 1. Not by deceit, persuading another that they are worth more than they are. 2. Not by extortion working upon men's ignorance, error or necessity (of which more anon). 3. Not of any one that is poorer than yourself, or of any one that intendeth but an equal bargain. 4. But if you deal with the rich, who in generosity stick not at a small matter, and are willing another should be a gainer by them, and understand what they do, it is lawful to take as much as they will give you.
Quest. 111. ‘May I ask in the market more than my goods are truly worth’ Answ. In the case last mentioned you may ; when you are selling to the rich who are willing to shew their generosity, and to make you gainers: but then the honest way is to say, it is worth but so much ; but if you give so much more because I need it, I will take it thankfully. Some think also where the common custom is to ask more than the worth, and people will not buy unless you come down from your first demand, that then you may lawfully ask more, because else there is no trading with such people. My judgment in this case is this, 1. That ordinarily it is better to ask no more at all but a just gain ; and that the inconveniences of doing otherwise are greater than any on the other side: for he that heareth you ask unjustly may well think that you would take unjustly if you could get it, and consequently that you are unjust. 2. But this just gain lieth not always just in an indivisible quantity, or determinate price. A man that hath a family to maintain by his trade, may lawfully take a proportionable, moderate gain: though if he take less he may get something too. To be always just at a word is not convenient; for he that may lawfully get two or three shillings or more in the pound of the rich, may see cause to let a poorer person have it for less: but never ask above what it is reasonable to take. 3. And if you once peremptorily said, ‘I will take no less,” then it is not fit to go from your word. 4. And if you do meet with such fools or proud gallants, who will not deal with you unless you ask dear, it is just that when they have given you more than it is worth, you tell them so, and offer them the overplus again. And for them that expect that you abate much of your asking, it is an inconvenience to be borne, which will be ever to your advantage when you are once better known. Quest. Iv. ‘How shall the worth of a commodity be judged of?' Answ. 1. When the law setteth a rate upon any thing (as on bread and drink with us) it must be observed. 2. If you go to the market, the market price is much to be observed. 3. If it be an equal contract, with one that is not in want, you may estimate your goods as they cost you, or