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trimonial-service in our church, or any other, can make the parties more one flesh in the sight of God, fuppofing them to have been united, than the burial-service can make the corpse over which it is red more dead than it was before.
Supposing they have not been united, they are not one flesh in the fight of God, by any virtue in the words of the service, any more than a piece of wafer becomes flesh and blood by a Popish priest's consecration. It is not man, but God, which makes the twain one flesh; neither is it man's ordinance, but God's institution, which brings that to pass. If this be not so, why, notwithstanding the words of the service, does incapacity, inability, or impotency, in either party, render all that has been done null and void ? See Burn, Eccl. Law, vol. ii. p. 39.
By observing the outward ordinance, the intention of the parties is publickly recognized, and they are pronounced man and wife in the sight of the world; but they are not so in God's fight, unless by anticipation, as it were, with respect to the mutual promises made to each other, which the sacred scriptures call betrothing or espousing ; but the
The custody of the male.] It seems there should be added for the sake of procreation, and of mutual help.
Accessit fides.] Tacite significat fidem quam dat maritus uxori non esse a natura, fed ab instituto.
Acceded a solemn contract.] Here is tacitly signified, that the faith which the husband pledges to the wife, is not from nature, but by (positive) institution.
contract is then, and only then, complete in the sight of God, when the only ordinance which He has appointed has passed between them; and therefore it is very properly styled -the consummation.
As to the person celebrating the marriage - the place where-the manner how; it is very certain, that these things are wholly of human invention, and therefore not only various in different parts of the world, but also in the same country. We have amongst us Jews, Papists, Quakers ; all these observe an outward form or ceremony different from each other. As for the church of England, we have differed from ourselves; for the same ceremony which would have constituted a legal marriage before the 26th of the late King George II. will not do it now, unless certain circumstances, introduced and insisted upon by act of parliament, be observed.
But the all-wise Legislator of the universe hath not left His divine institutions on so vague, so precarious, so uncertain a footing. But fee, said He to Moses, that thou make all things according to the pattern hewn thee in the mount. Heb. viii. 5. We find every particular, down to the very pins in the tabernacle, every rite and ceremony, even to the ininutest circumstance, exactly delineated and revealed. But we find no marriage-service, or religious ceremony of an * Qutward kind, so
much ** As for the manner of celebrating marriage, Moses has left no direction about it. We do not find it ac
much as mentioned. The business of marriage, by which I understand, the parties actually becoming one flesh in God's sight, was left as at first ordained, to the one simple act of union. A conclusive proof this, that nothing else is of divine institution; consequently, that nothing else is essential to constitute a marriage in the fight of God, but that this is.
Should the Reader retain the least doubt of the truth of what has been said, or be under any difficulty in understanding what is meant by those words—They shall be one flesh, we may refer to a very clear explanation of the matter, not only by reviewing St. Paul's words, 1 Cor. vi. 15, 16. but also by considering more minutely what is meant by those passages mentioned before, from the law of Moses; but as the texts are not cited at length, I will here set them down as they stand in the places referred to.
Exod. xxii. 16, 17. If a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall
surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give ber unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
By this passage, as from many others in the sacred scriptures, it appears, that fathers, during the minority of their daughters, as in every other instance (see Numb. xxx. 3, 4, 5.) so in the business of contracting marriage, companied with any religious ceremony, such as going to the Tabernacle or Temple, offering facrifices, or even that it was performed by or before a priest. See Ant. Univ. Hift. vol, iii. p. 145.
had a negative in their own power : therefore if a woman being in her father's house in her youth, i. e. being under age, as we term it, betrothed or espoused herself to a man, the former by * verba de futuro, the latter by verba de prafenti, as the civilians speak; both which were held so sacred, that defiling either a betrothed or efpoufed woman was a species of adultery, and to be punished with death : -yet if the father withheld his consent, neither the betrothing nor espousals, nor any contract arising from them, could lawfully be carried into execution. But in the paffage before us, matters were gone too far to be recalled. The man had not only enticed the maid, but had actually lain with her; and therefore God commands that he mallsURELY endow her nue's 15 fibi in uxorem. Mont. for his wife. For now the primary institution took place, they fall be one flesh; and what God had joined together (by pronouncing them one fless) man could not put asunder. Therefore the 17th verse doth not fay—“ If the father utterly refuse to give her unto him, such marriage shall be null and void ; but
* Spousals de futuro are, according to our ecclefiastical law, a mutual promise, or covenant of marriage, to be had afterwards ; as when the man saith to the woman L“ I will take thee to my wife;" and she then answereth, “ I will take thee to my husband.”-Espousals de præsenti are a mutual promise or contract of present matrimony; as when the man doth say to the woman —“ I do take thee to my wife,”-and the then anfwereth-" I do take thee to my husband.” 2 Burn 16.
if-or-* though the father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. Which is but explanatory of what goes before, he shall surely endow her to be his wife, by paying 7773 the dower, into the hands of the father after becoming one flesh with her, as he ought to have done, and was usually done, before-hand. 712 is supposed to be a dowryor portion which the husband paid into the hands of the bride, or her father, as a kind of purchase of her person. This is, to this day, the practice of several t eastern nations; and this was not
to * So Ox is often rendered, as in Judg. xiii. 16. Pr. xxvii. 3. Ifa. x. 22. Jer. xv. 1. Lam. iii. 32. & al. freq. i and fo I think it ought to be understood here, (however I may differ from the Talmudists) in order to make this verse consistent with the preceding, where it is said 17270, 77 endowing he shall endow her, &c. as well as to avoid the very great difficulty of supposing that such an action as enticing the maid, lying with her, and then leaving her on the father's refusal, was of no higher consequence than paying a small sum of money ; for the p, or silver paid, amounted to very little, and rather secms to be payable as an acknowledgment of the contract, than any thing else, See Nold. Heb. Part. Ox, No. 13. translated by quamvis-although :-where the reader will find
Tacitus L. de Mor. Germ. mentions such a custom among the Germans.
Dotem non uxor marito, fed uxori maritus offert, intersunt parentes & propinqui, ac munera probant: In hæc munera uxor accipitur, hoc maximum vinculum, hæc arcana sacra, hoc conjugales Deos arbitrantur. “ The wife doth not bring a dower " to the husband, but the husband to the wife; the pa“ rents and relations are present, and approve the gifts. " On these gifts the wife is accepted; this is the chiefest 4 bond : there are facred mysteries, with which they