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laws-to the unfcriptural and antifcriptural power affumed by man in things relating to GOD to our making marriage and its obligation confift, not in what God hath made them to confift, that is to fay-fimply in the union of the parties-but in the words of a priest, in the fanction of an human outward ceremony, in a ye*, invented at Rome, adopted by the ambition and avarice of Pope Innocent the IIId. and his clergy, and from them handed down and received, by the credulity of mankind, ever since. Hinc illæ lachrymæ! Hence flow the tears of the feduced, the deferted, the ruined female—hence heave thofe fighs which affect none but the heart they come from, and which ferve to little other purpose than to grace the tri

* Viz. That marriage is a facrament, and as fuch muft be administered by the hands of priests. Afterwards the Council of Trent decreed-" If any shall say that matri"mony is not one of the feven facraments inftituted by "CHRIST, and doth not confer grace-Let him be ac"curfed."

Again" If any fhall condemn the benedictions and "other ceremonies-Let him be accurfed." See Brent Counc. Trent. p. 784.

It is granted, that Proteftants do not receive that part of the lye which turns marriage into a facrament; but the other, and perhaps the most mischievous part of it, as far as female ruin is concerned, namely, that there can "be no marriage-obligation, but by the act of a priest in "a church," is not only a general belief, among Proteftants as well as among the Papifts, but is honoured with the fanction of a public ftatute (26 Geo. II. c. 33.) exceptis excipiendis for fpecial licence among the Protef tants, and the Bishop's licence, or the POPE's difpenfation among the Papifts.

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umphs of luft, perfidy, and treachery, over juftice, mercy, and truth. Cuftom has fixed the odious name of whore, on her whom GOD accounts a wife-whoredom and fornication on that which he esteems marriage, by pofitively establishing it as fuch in His word -baftardy is ftamped on those whom GOD legitimates and thofe are put afunder whom GOD for ever joins together.

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The Hebrew -which we translate an barlot or whore-like the Greek оp, denotes πόρνη, a woman, who from a principle of luft, idlenefs, or avarice, beftows or fells her favours promifcuously to all men alike: whereas the virgin who bestows her perfon on the man of her choice, with an intent to be his and his alone, fo long as both fhall live-or being enticed, or even on a more fudden occafion feduced-is in the language of fcripture the 7x-or yʊvy—the woman or wife of that man from that moment. He is bound to maintain, protect, and provide for her as fuch; and no ceremony of man's invention can add to this obligation, or the want of it make any diminution from it, in the fight of GOD. Our ideas of baftardy are derived from the former error, and are very confiftent with it: we firft, without all warrant from fcripture, make the woman an whore, and then as unwarrantably ftamp the name of baftard on the iffue: whereas the word denotes the iffue of a 1 or harlot (en opvns fay the LXX, Deut. xxiii. 2.) who by having promifcuous intercourfe with diffe

rent men, must render the iffue fpurious, and uncertain to whom it belongs. For this reason the iffue of an adulteress is also properly a baftard; because if a wife gives her perfon to others befides her husband, the iffue must be as uncertain to whom it belongs as the iffue of an barlot.

Nor was a man who, having one wife, took another, ever called or reckoned an whoremonger or adulterer-nor was the woman. which he fo took called an whore, or faid to commit adultery with the man-nor was the iffue of fuch woman by that man deemed a baftard;-but the whole was by the divine law ratified, confirmed, and deemed lawful and right, as hath already been shewn at large.

In short, the whole system of our laws, in thefe refpects, is like the fyftems of the Scribes and Pharifees, who took as much of GOD's law as fuited with their own traditions, and rejected all the reft. The paffage Mark vii. 9, &c. is very striking-He Jaid unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of GOD, that ye may keep your own traditions. For Mofes faid, Honour thy father and mother, and whofo curfeth father or mother, let him die the death;-But ye fay, If a man fhall fay unto bis fatber or mother, it is Corban, that is to fay a gift (bestowed and devoted by me to the temple-treafury, for the repairs or fervice of the temple, according to King Jehoah's inftitution, 2 Kings xii. 9.) by whatsoever thou mightest (otherwise) be profited by me, he shall

be

be free; and ye fuffer (or permit) him no more to do aught for his father or mother, making the word of GOD of none effect through your traditions which ye have delivered: and many fuch-like things do ye. Let us modernize this -Mofes faid, that if any man (N * ̄) entices à virgin not betrothed, and lies with her, he fhall Jurely endow her to be his wife. She shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. But ye fay, that if a man entice a virgin, &c. and fay unto her" I have not been married by a priest at "church, according to act of parliament"therefore I have no more to do with thee" -he shall be free, and ye fuffer him no more to do aught for her, nor permit her to claim him

as her husband.

Again, Mofes faid-If a man have two wives, the ONE beloved, and the ONE hated, and they have borne bim children, &c. then it shall be, when he maketh his fons to inherit that which he hath, he may not make the fon of the beloved first-born, before the fon of the hated, which is indeed the firft-born. But he shall acknowledge the fon of the bated for the firft-born, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; for he is the beginning of his ftrength, and the right of the firstborn'is his. But ye fay, that if a man, having a wife, marrieth another, fuch marriage is null and void; that the iffue is not inheritable, but shall be baftardized.

Again, Mofes faid-The man who committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, VOL. II.

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the adulterer and adulterefs fhall furely be put to death. But ye fay, that if a man hath two wives of his own, he fhall be deemed a felon, and fuffer death as fuch-whereas if he committeth adultery with another man's wife, he Shall be free: thus condemning those whom GOD acquits, and acquitting thofe whom God condemns, making the word of GOD of none effect, through your traditions which ye have delivered: and many fuch-like things do ye.

Still GoD is a jealous GOD; that is His character with refpect to His laws, indelibly written on the facred page, and awfully manifefted throughout the volume of divine revelation. So thofe wretched Jews found it in the dreadful deftruction which He fent upon them. They could not juftify themfelves by appealing to their traditions, nor repair the dishonour which they had done to the divine law, by vacating its obligations in order to establish their own inventions. However pious or pure they might feem in their own eyes, or in the eyes of those who were deluded into as high an esteem for human tradition as they themselves were, yet they found to their coft-and fo will every. one, fooner or later, who fets up human wifdom against the wisdom of GoD, and human inventions against the ordinances of Heaventhat the wisdom of this world is foolishness with GOD, (I Cor. i. 20.) and—that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the fight of GOD. Luke xvi. 15.

Happy those whofe paffions have fo little power

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