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general law was to be obferved. The permiffions of divorce which refpected the bondmaids, Exod. xxi. 11. the captive-women, Deut. xxi. 14. feem alfo exceptions to the general law; but these are things peculiar to the Jews at that time, and cannot concern us. Therefore, as we live under the general law against divorce, delivered Gen. ii. 24. which equally binds all mankind, it is most afsuredly as unlawful to abandon one wife as another, except for the cause of fornication. All divorces of human invention, fall as much under the interdict of God's law now, as in the days of CHRIST's difpute with the Pharifees ; wherefore a divorce, which declares the nullity of a polygamous marriage, is not only without all foundation from God's word, but is an arraignment of the wisdom and holinefs of GOD, as well in permitting, as in ratifying, bleffing, and owning fuch contracts to be valid in all refpects. That He did all this is manifeft, as hath at large been proved, nor is there a single inftance to the contrary throughout the whole bible.
* When King Henry VIII. was about to divorce Queen Catherine, all manner of people were confulted: among the reft, the Jewish Rabbins; who gave it under their hands, in Hebrew, that "the laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, "were thus to be reconciled-that the law of marrying the "brother's wife, when he died without children, did only "bind in the land of Judea, to preferve families, and "maintain their fucceffions in the land, as it had been "divided by lot. But, that in all other places in the "world, the law of Leviticus, of not marrying the bro"ther's wife, was obligatory." Burnet Hift. Ref. p. 88. 2d edit.
This matter is not a mere fpeculative point, but of the most important concerni for if women, taken by men already married, were not lawful wives in God's fight, then commerce with them was illicit, and the iffue must be illegitimate, and, if so, uninheritable. -Whither will this carry us? Farther, I dare fay, than the moft zealous anti-polygamifts mean it should, even to the bastardizing the MESSIAH Himself. Unless an aftertaken wife be a lawful wife to the man who takes her, notwithstanding his former wife be living, whether we take our LORD's genealogy on His fuppofed father's fide with St. Matthew, or on His mother Mary's fide with St. Luke, Solomon the ancestor of Joseph, and Nathan the ancestor of Mary, through whom our LORD's line* runs back to David, being the children of Bathsheba (whom when Da
* David being, by GoD's own appointment, feated on the throne of Ifrael, which was fettled on him and on bis feed-became the common ancestor in whom the whole royal family might be faid to center, and from whom the fucceeding kings muft make out a legal title-this is probably the reason why (Acts ii. 29.) he is styled the Patriarch David.
It is true that ten of the tribes were rent out of the hands of Solomon, 1 Kings xi. 31. but the kingdom of Judah, including the little tribe of Benjamin, ftill remained, which was inherited by a regular fucceffion of David's lineal and lawful defcendents, till it centered in the perfon of the Man JESUS, as to the hereditary right, though the poffeffion of it had been long interrupted, and, according to that antient prophecy of Jacob (Gen. xlix. 10.) the fceptre and lawgiver were departed from Judah, when Shiloh came to fet up a kingdom not of this world. Comp. If. ix. 6, 7. Dan. ii. 44. with John xviii. 36.
vid married he had also other wives by whom he had children) must fail in their legitimacy, confequently all that could be claimed from the common ancestor David must be defeated; for if there be a failure here, nothing can set it right even to the latest pofterity. We must therefore either allow that polyga mous marriages were valid and lawful in the fight of GOD, or deny CHRIST to be the fon of David; for in the language of scripture, a baftard, or one corruptly born, is not a fon *. So the apostle, Heb. xii. 8. Then are
* i. e. Not in a proper, legal, or inheritable fenfe.-In common acceptation the word may denote a boy or male child, of which an harlot, or even an adulterefs, may be delivered, (fee Judges xi. 1. and 1 Kings iii. 20, &c. 2 Sam. xi. 27) as the word fon may among us-ftill this word is feldom ufed by us without fome note of diftinction, where a baftard is spoken of-such as natural or bafe-born fon; fo a female baftard is feldom called daughter -but natural or bafe-born daughter. The Hebrew word, Deut. xxiii. 2. for one corruptly or fpuriously born, is, which is thus explained by Le Clerc :-" Hoc eft-natus ex illegitima uxore, qualis erat peregrina mulier, 66 quam Hebræus fortè compreffiffet, nec tamen duxiffet, "aut meretrix, aut cujus matrimonium lege vetitum erat. Selden de Jur. Nat. & Grot. lib. v. c. 16.”"A baftard is one born of an illegitimate wife, as of a frange woman (or foreigner) whom a few might have "accidentally lain with, and yet could not have married;
or an harlot, or one whofe matrimony was forbidden "by the law." -The Greek volos, a bastard, is opposed to vios, a fon. The Hebrew 1 is ufed alfo for the male offspring of a brute, (fee Zech. ix. 9. 12-to which the vior To(vyı8, Matt. xxi. 5. anfwers)—it therefore seems to denote, in a general fenfe, male offspring of any kind; but in the true, legal, and proper fenfe of it, when applied to the male offspring of mankind, frequently to denote lawful issue, in oppofition to that which is corrupt or spurious.
je baftards and not fons-volo nai s'y viol.-Nor could he be hereditary king of Ifrael. To make out His title to this, all his ancestors up to David must be proved to be David's lawful and inheritable iffue, for that is one meaning of the feed of David according to the flesh. Rom. i. 3; as we should say, in modern language-heir of his body lawfully begotten. This could not be on any other footing than a polygamous marriage being as lawful as any other in the fight and judgment of the MOST HIGH ; otherwife Solomon was νόθος καὶ ἐχ υιός -a baftard and not a Jon-through whom must be derived the heirship to David on CHRIST'S fuppofed father's fide. So likewife was Nathan a baftard and not a fon, through whom CHRIST's heirship to the throne of Ifrael must be derived on the fide of His mother the Virgin Mary. It is fufficient to prove one link in the chain of CHRIST's genealogy from David faulty, to defeat all His title to the appellation of Son of David-King of Ifrael. We might go farther, and say that Rehoboam, the immediate defcendent from Solomon, was also a polygamist. He took Mahalah, then Abihail, then Maachab the daughter of Abfalom (whom, it is faid, he loved above all his
It is to be remarked, that the Angel, which is recorded to have appeared Matt. viii. 20. emphatically styles Jofeph,TION AABIA-SON OF DAVID-a clear proof, that the whole line from DAVID had been kept pure from all illegitimacy and baftardy; but this could not have been, if the Jewish law, like ours, baftardized the iffue of a polygamous contract, of which there were fo many inftances in the family between DAVID and JOSEPH.
other wives) by whom he had Abijah, his fucceffor in the throne of Ifrael, and who stands on record as a lawful descendent of David. Matt. i. 7. See 2 Chr. xi. 18,
We might alfo reckon the good king fo fab among the polygamous kings of Judah; we read of two of his wives, 2 Kings xxiii. 31, 36. the name of one was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnak, by whom he had Jeboabaz; and the name of the other was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah, of Rumah, by whom he had Jehoiakim, the father of Jeconiah, who is found, Matt.i. II, 12, in the line of CHRIST's ancestors from David. For the character of Jofiah, fee 2 Kings xxiii. 25. Like unto him there was no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his foul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Mofes, &c.
Now, to go no farther, if a polygamous marriage was unlawful, and of courfe null and void before GOD, then was not CHRIST legally defcended of the house and lineage of David, but from a fpurious iffue, not only in the inftances abovementioned, but also in others which might be mentioned. So that when CHRIST is supposed to condemn polygamy as adultery, contrary to the inflitution of marriage, and to the Seventh commandment, He must at the fame time be fuppofed VOL. II.