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was to cease, as demonstrably appears by God's enacting the positive laws against marrying within certain degrees of confanguinity and afinity ; subject nevertheless, like all other of His general laws, to such exceptions, restraints, or qualifications, as He in his infinite wisdom should see expedient. Some of them carry their own reasons with them, others do not, but doubtless all equally wise, as equally the dispensations of Omniscience.
By the way, I cannot help observing it as a very extraordinary thing, that the Christian churches should adopt one part of the law respecting marriages, and pay no regard to the rest of it. They have made the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus, from ver. 6 to ver 18, inclusive, a part of our religion ; fo Exod. XX. 14. and some other passages of the law. But why this, and not the rest of the whole law of God, where marriage, as His ordinance relating to all mankind, is concerned ? Is not this proceeding of Christian churchmen, like that of the Jewish, Mal. ii. 9. where God complains-Ye have not kept my ways,
but bave been partial in the law ? The man who
wives from among the idolatrous nations with whom they lived.
This was the reason which Abraham gave, for chusing a wife for Ifaac from his own kindred, Gen. xxiv. 3, & feq. and his defcendents for following his example, Gen. xxviii. 1, & alib. but which was now entirely ceased, by their being so multiplied, so that they could easily find wives, without being neceffitated to marry their near relations, or to contract marriages with the heathen. See Ant. Univ. Hift. vol. 3. P. 140.
renders a solid reason for adopting Exod. xx. to ver. 17, inclusive, and Lev. xviii. from ver. 6 to ver. 18, inclusive, as well as many other parts of that chapter, and at the same time rejecting Exod. xxii. 16. and Deut. xxii. 28, 29, as touching the moral intendment of them, will perform a very difficult task, unless he can prove that marrying a wife's fifter, for instance, is a greater crime, and of more evil tendency to mankind, as well as more inimical to the interests of civil society, than enticing a virgin-debauching her-and then * abandoning her to infamy and proftitutution ; or, that though this was a fin in the days of Mofes, yet it is no fin now, and therefore the positive commandments which GOD enacted to prevent it, are no longer to be considered of any force or obligation.
It is true, that we do not keep precisely the * seventh day, as the Christian Sabbath, looking
This is what the Jews do not suffer to be done to this hour--if a single man debauches a virgin, he is obliged to marry her-if a married man does so, he is obliged to maintain her as long as he lives. This in countries where polygamy is not allowed; in others, where it is allowed, he mult marry her. Surely, in this respect, they may rise in judgment against this generation, and condemn
# I have lately seen a MS. of that laborious calculator -and chronologist, Mr. Kennedy, in which he would provę, that what we call Sunday, is the true original Sabbath. This is very clear, that the week was divided into sevent days, so early as at the creation of the world (see Gen. i.); that each day is distinguished by the works which God wrought therein ; that the day on which God is said to
upon the fourth commandment, in that respect, as ceremonial, typical, or prefigurative of something else (whether rightly or no does not come within my present design to consider); but as to the moral part, which lanctifies a given portion of our time for the public worship of Him to whom we stand indebted for all, we very rightly look upon this as the bounden duty and service of Christians, as well as Jews, till time shall be no more. So with regard to the sum of fifty Shekels, or the dower according to the dowry of virgins, (see Exod. xxii. 16. Deut. xxii. 29.) this may be set down among the monial or temporary observances of what may be called, to this purpose, the Jewish law. But with respect to the moral intendment of those laws in Exodus and Deuteronomy, which was to establish, ratify, and confirm the marriage-ordinance in the fullness of its obligation--they shall be one flesh—to prevent men from abandoning women to whoredom and prostitution, and all the bitter confequences of seduction and dereliction, those laws ought to be as binding on the consciences of mankind, as the morality of the fourth rest from all His work that He had made, is called the seventh day, which he hallowed and fanctified on that account; that the fourth commandment recites all this, as the reason for its being kept holy; that the Jews have at all times observed our Saturday as the seventh day or Sabbath; that its Greek name Edralov, and its Latin name Dies Sabbathi, always denoted the Jewish SABBATH; and that the day we call Sunday, is in the New Testament called Mid Eu66ulwr, the first day of the week-ergo, it cannot be the seventh. 3
commandment, or of any other law of GOD whatsoever. To these purposes they are as much moral laws as any of the ten command
If this be not the cafe, why do we waste the time of public worship in causing these chapters to be red over to the people? Deut. xxii. is our first lesson for the eveningservice every 4th of March ; as is Exod. xxii. for every 8th of February in the morning. But it would be very strange if the minister was to preface with Good people, ye are " assembled here to hear the word of God; “ but ye are not to mind what ye hear, be“ cause the protection of females from the “ lust, villainy, treachery, and cruelty of
is no longer an object of the “ laws which I am going to read to you.
They bound the Jews, but we Christians “ have nothing to do with them.” Dreadful as such language would be to hear, it says no more, than every man does, who contends for the obfoleteness and abolition of these wise, holy, and falutary provisions for female security.
With respect to the New Testament, the subject of polygamy, simply considered, is not so much as mentioned, either as good or bad. The more I have searched, the more I am convinced that it is not to be found, unless incidentally in the epistles to Timothy and Titus, and there only hinted at as the possible situation of certain people. Nor is there the least occasion it should be mentioned, as it was amply explained and deterVOL. I.
minately settled in the law which was given by Moses (see John i. 17.); where we do not find it said, that one law was given by Mofes, and another law by Jesus Chrift; but 'O vólas, THE LAW-which, in the connection it stands, must signify the whole law-all the law which God ever ordained or revealed to mortals-was given by Moses; Grace to pardon the transgressions of that law; Truth
to fulfil and answer every demand of its moral requirements, as well as every ceremonial prefiguration came by Jesus Christ. Heb. ix. 15. Col. ii. 17. So that CHRIST is the end of the LAW for righteousness to every one that believeth. Rom. x. 4.
However, as it is almost universally taken for granted, that “though polygamy might “ be allowed under the Old Testament, yet " it is forbidden under the New Testa
ment;” and as this opinion is as prevalent as that of transubstantiation, and the worThip of the Virgin Mary, are in the church of Rome, and for centuries were in the church of England, let us proceed farther to examine the foundation upon which it stands.
In the first place, I cannot find, or even conceive, an instance in which the writings of the apostles of CHRIST contradict those of Moses and the PROPHETS. If there could be such a thing, both must be rendered suspio cious-one must be false—both fides of a contradiction cannot be true." The adversaries of revelation have long tried, as they have earnestly wished, to find such a thing,