Page images
PDF
EPUB

'Eyvolav—which is saying the same thing, is other words indeed, but with the same meaning. To render to another their due, is not to withold it; and not to withold it, is to render it. Paul says, un àTOS EPEITE Moses says yuler's, which the LXX actually translate su ÀLT 05 Epúoel. This is the very identical verb which we translate defraud not. you fignifies to subtračí or withdraw-to withold or keep back;—the Greek dacsafew has the same meaning—so that Paul may be said to translate, just as the LXX have done, the yod-of Moses. The only shadow of difference between the Jewish law-giver, and the Christian apostle, consists in the explicitness of the latter, and conciseness of the former. Moses's words imply what Paul's declare, and, vice verfâ, Paul declares what is implied by Moses. If the husband is not to withold the marriageduty from the wife, this must imply that the wife is not to withold it from the husband. There must be a parity of reason in both cases. Neither husband nor wife can have any such power over their own bodies. This is plainly said by Paul, and, in consistence with the law of marriage, must evidently be meant by Mofes. For my own part, I as much believe that Paul had the doctrine in Exod. xxi. 10. in his mind, when he * wrote

* On looking into Pole Syn. in 1 Cor. vii. 3. I find him of the same opinion-«' Respexit hîc Paulus locum “ illum, Ex. xxi. 10. ibi enim idem quod hîc marito “ præcipitur." " Paul here looked back to that place " in Exod. xxi. 10. for there the same thing is com“ manded to the husband as here."

that

[ocr errors]

that part of the answer to the Corinthians letter, wherein he solved their difficulties about the intercourse of married people, as it is now in my mind, while I am writing these words ; and thus, upon good authority, even that of the mind of God as delivered by Mofes, he could be so peremptory in declaring that such intercourse was duty on both fides, and therefore could not (as the Gnostic doctrine might have led them to suppose) be a fon.

St. Paul, who, before his conversion, had profited in the Jews religion above many bis equals in his own nation, Gal. i. 14. could hardly, after his conversion, be ignorant of the law of Mofes; so far froin it, he was, undoubtedly, a most accomplished teacher of it. Witness the masterly manner in which he explains the sense and meaning of the moral law, and unfolds the whole design of the ceremonial law. By the first, he demonstrated the necessity of the gospel for salvation-by the second, he shewed the gospel to have been one and the same, though under different dispensations of it, from the fall of Adam to the coming of Jesus Christ. Now to set Paul, as a law-giver, in Mofes

' seat, and to represent him as condemning that which was not condemned by the law of Mofes, is to make him act inconsistently with his own declaration, Rom. iii. 31. Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid! yea--we eftablish the law. It is to make him transgress the law, by despising that solemn fanction, which equally forbad adding to it, or dimi

Q3

nishing

nishing from it; and to put him in much the same situation with those, whether men, or angets, who preached any other gospel than that which he preached; for to preach any other law than that which was given by Moses, is as great an offence as to preach any other gospel than that which came by Jesus CHRIST. This we may learn from the very words of the law itself. Deut. iv. 2.

xii. 32.

Dr. Whitby, a very laborious and learned commentator, in his comment on the busband, fx &Ğsclafel, hath nat power of his own. body, &c. says—" Here is a plain * argument against polygamy.” That'here is a plain argument to prove that he shall not withhold the duty of marriage from the wife, and that, in this respect, neither shall defraud or withold from the other, on proper occasions, the conjugal debt, is very certain.. But as what is here faid, is founded in the very nature and essence of the marriage-relation, it must equally concern all that ever have married, or shall marry, to the end of the world, as

*" Sane patres Tridentini,faith one, “ fi adhuc in “ vivis eflent, ipfis immortales agerent gratias, quod a “ scripturis anathematis in polygamos vibrati justitiam

atque æquitatem defenderint, caque præstiterint quæ ipsi ne quidem audere voluerint." " Truly the fathers of the council of Trent, if they

were yet alive, would give immortal thanks to those ç who should defend, out of the holy scripture, the or justice and equity of their curse brandished against por " lygamists, and who should do that, which they themfr felves would not even dare to attempt.”.

well

well under the Old Testament as the New Testament; it bears equally hard, if it be an argument against polygamy, on the man who, having one wife, took another, in the days of Mofes, as on any one who should do so at this hour (for certainly the marriage-relation must always be the fame) and will prove much more against certain distinguished chara&ters under the Old Testament, than I dare say the author meant it should. For this we have his own word" Nor can I think” (says he) “ that Abrahan, Jacob, David, and other

pious men, would have had more wives, or wives and concubines, had this been a plain “ violation of the law of nature ; nor would “ God have fo highly approved of them, “ had they lived in adultery." Note on Matt. xix. 7, 8.

When learned and pious men find out

plain arguments” against things which are not mentioned, or even hinted at, in the text; it is a shrewd sign that * prejudice, and not

judgment,

[ocr errors]

* How this learned man's prejudices warred against his judgment (like many others who want to support a pre'conceived opinion, against the truth which would overturn it) may be seen from the concession he falls into, in his note on Mark x. 11. in the following words “Since to commit adultery is to violate the bed of “ another person, he that commits adultery against his şo wife, must violate her bed, which ng husband can do ♡ only by doing that which an husband lawfully might « do. Since then a right to polygamy, is a right to marry more wives than

one, he that hath this right, cannot violate the bed of his first wife, by assuming an“ other to it. It therefore must be acknowledged, either

94

[ocr errors]

judgment, dictates the comment. The Corin, thians had a very

plain argument” against their fears about married persons cohabiting together ; and if they compared this fcripture, ver. 3, 4, with what Mofes fo positively laid down, Exod. xxi. 10. the polygamist's among

them were no more to forsake the company of their wives, so as to withold the duty of marriage, than those who had but one wife were to withdraw themselves from her society in the same respect.

That there were many połygamists among the Gentile conyerts, as well as among

the Jewish, there can be but little doubt; for, as * Grotius, observes-Inter Paganos pauca gentes una uxore contenta fuerunt.-- Among

S the " that the husband, under Christ's inftitution, and by

the original law of matrimony, bad no such right, “ or that he that marrieth another cannot, by that,

commit adultery against his first wife." Here is a fair ISSUE IN · Aw joined-and must be tried by THE LAWfor CHRIST made no institution whatsoever on the subject of marriage, but only declared, explained, and inforced those already made and recorded in the Law which was given by Moses. This Law, like all other RECORDS, is to be tried by ITSELF-taking the WHOLE TOGETHER.

* De Verit. lib. ii. $ 13. So De Jure, lib. ii. cap. 5. $ 9. he fays-“ Sed & apud Græcos, CECROPS primus,

teste Athenco, unavenie Leučev, unam fæminam uni ma« rito attribuit : quod tamen ne Athenis quidem diu < observatum Socratis & aliorum exemplo docemur." But among the Greeks, Cecrops first, as Atheneus witnesJeth, allowed one woman to one man; which, nevertheless, was not long observed, even at ATHENS, as we are taught by the example of Socrates and others.

ειωθείσαν και-Ελληνες, και Ιεδαιοι, και δυο και τρισι, και αλειοσι γυναιξι νομω γαμε καλα ταυλον συνοικειν. Theodoret-cited by Whitby, on i Tim. iii. 2.

« Formerly

Παλαι γαρ

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »