Syngnome in latin called Ignocentia, is a form of speech by which the Orator or speaker being a patient of many and great injuries, or of some one great and greevous wrong, pronounceth pardon and forgivenesse to his adversary, who was the worker of all his miserie.
An example of our Saviour Christ on the crosse, praying for his enemies, saying: “Father forgive them, for they knowe not what they do.” Luc.3.34.
Another of Steven the Martyr at his death, who cryed with a loud voice, saying: “Lord laie not this sinne to their charge.” 2.Cor.2.10.
Another of Paul: To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also.
The use of this figure.
To commend the charme of the speaker.
The use of this figure doth aptly serve to commend the clemencie, charitie and mercy of the speaker, and also to note the impietie of the malefactor, and that significantly in the forme of remission,
, for pronouncing of pardon and forgivenesse, is never without a note and signification of injury.
In the use of this figure it is necessarie and also a speciall of poynt of wisedome to take heede, that forgivenesse be not graunted,
1. Too great sufferance, & too much remission are supporters of impunitie.
where punishment or correction is needfully required, for too great a lenitie and readinesse to forgive, is the manifest supporting of impunitie, whereupon the common proverbe did first rise: That foolish pitie, undoeth many a Citie.
Also it is a part of charitie, to regard that this forme of speech
2. A Cunning accusation to raise suspition.
be not used to raise a false suspicion, or an injurious accusation, which is doen by proclaiming or pronouncing forgivenesse to him which hath done no injurty, as for to say: God forgive him. This saying is a kinde of accusation, and sufficient to raise a suspition, and yet expresseth nothing.