The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce: Restor’d to the Good of Both Sexes, From the Bondage of Canon Law was published by John Milton on 1 August 1643. An expanded second edition was published on 2 February 1644. The editions were published anonymously, and his name was not associated with the text until they were denounced before Parliament in August 1644. Milton’s basic scriptural argument is that Christ did not abrogate the Mosaic permission for divorce found in Deuteronomy 24:1 because in Matthew 19 he was just addressing a specific audience of Pharisees. The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce argues for the ability to have a second chance at marriage. In particular, Milton claims, in Book I, Chapter III, that no one can always know the disposition of their spouse before they enter into marriage. Milton’s argument progresses to merging ideas in Genesis and the epistles of Paul to argue, in Chapter IV, that the burning described by Paul was a longing to be united with a spouse. Milton’s argument and stance on divorce continues to the point that he implies that a divorcer could actually be the one who understands and defends marriage the most.
John Milton, Paperback, ISBN 10: 1519248229, ISBN 13: 9781519248220