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power over them, and those who have fo much power over their paffions, as to steer clear of all difficulties. But this is not the lot of all. The apoftle, fpeaking on this fubject, 1 Cor. vii. 7. fays-Every man bath his proper gift of GOD, one after this manner, and another after that. So His Divine Mafter, speaking alfo on the gift of continency, faith
Matt. xix. 11.-All cannot receive (xwpõva, do not receive) this saying (viz. it is not good to marry, ver. 10.) jave they to whom it is given. The fcriptures fhew us, that no one, while in a body of fin and death, is out of the reach of temptation: therefore let him that is thinking to stand (ò dontv ¿çávai) take beed left he fall. I Cor. x. 12. Comp. Gal. vi. I. Yet when perfons are involved in difficulties, by means of any of the things heretofore difcourfed upon; let them not confult with flesh and blood, and, by following vulgar error, under the influences of fuperftition and prejudice of education, endeavour to right themfelves by wrong methods, and. be led, under a notion of repentance, to act contrary to God's word, and to every principle of humanity, gratitude, truth, benevolence, and even common honefty, by abandoning and forfaking those who have a right to their affiftance, comfort, and protection: -Let them, under the guidance of real prudence and found difcretion, regulate their outward conduct fo as to avoid all needless offence; but let the inward conduct of the confcience be fubject only to the law of God. As to the world, it loves its own (John
XV. 19.) its own maxims, cuftoms, and inventions, and, above all, its own eafe, too well to give itself the trouble of enquiring into the foundation on which either what it believes or profeffes is built. The Papist jogs on with his Mass-book-the Turk with his Koran-the Perfian with his Zendavefta-the Gentoo with his Shafter-the Chinese with his Confucius-the Englishman with his Marriage-Act; and nothing is fo ill received— because nothing fo attacks the pride and expofes the ignorance of one part of mankind, and the knavery of another as the discovery of the fuperftition, folly, and oppofition to GOD, which cleaves to worldly fyftems, efpecially thofe of the religious kind. Still individuals may be profited, and thankful, to be fhewn, by fome diligent enquirer after truth, that, in many things, perhaps the most important, whereon the prefervation of millions may depend, they have been taught to believe a lye, and that while they have been following the opinion of the world, even of what paffes (like the Pharifees) for the devout and pious part of it, they have been only following a multitude to do evil. Exod. xxiii. 2.
CHA P. X.
Of POPULATION.-Comparison of the JEWISH
LAW with OURS.
HEN we fearch the fcripture, and take an impartial view of the divine law, we must acknowledge its harmony and confiftency, both with refpect to itself, and all things which are the objects of it. It perfectly agrees with its original defigns, the glory of GoD and the happiness of his creatures. In no inftance doth this obfervation appear more true, than in that part of the facred code which is to regulate the commerce of the fexes. The brute part of this lower creation is restrained by a fort of phyfical neceffity, which is ufually called instinct, within due bounds; fo that the several species may be kept distinct, and not create a monstrous confufion from unnatural or improper mixtures; and though, partly from the inventions and contrivances of men, contrary to the positive law of GOD-Lev. xix. 19.-. animals, both among beasts and birds, have been generated, yet it can go no farther; it is ftopped in the firft inftance, and no mule*
* I believe no inftance can be produced of the male and female mule propagating with each other. As to what Buffon, or others, may have faid of the fhe-mule's bringing
is known to carry the confufion any farther than itself.
With regard to reasonable beings, it pleafed the CREATOR to enact and publish written laws, the moral obligation of which, was to circumfcribe and regulate their actions. Whether these wife ftatutes are departed from by thofe whofe infidelity and malicious contempt reject them utterly-or by those who, under a mistaken notion of greater purity and perfection than they are fuppofed to prefcribe, make themselves wifer and holier than the divine Law-giver-the effect will be much the fame, as to the grand objects which thefe laws are to promote. These are, 1. The propagation of mankind. 2. The vention of confufion, and every evil work.
The first general commandment was-Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and fubdue it. Gen. i. 28; which last words, taken in connection with the beginning of the verfe, and with what follows, clearly prove, that this command was addreffed in an efpecial manner to the human* fpecies, then wholly in the loins of their firft parent. To suppose that every law given to mankind fubfequent to this first ordinance, was calculated
bringing forth, I cannot help entertaining great doubt of it, as well as of the he-mule engendering with a mare; as I never heard of fuch a thing being attefted, on the knowledge of any perfon whom I have yet met with.
* It is remarkable that this command was repeated a fecond time, to Noah and his fons, with a blessing alfo, on the renovation of the earth after the flood. Gen.
ix. 1, 7:
to promote it, is certainly confonant with the highest reason, and accordingly we find this to have been the cafe. Celibacy was hardly known among the antient Jews, they looked on it with abhorrence, and confidered it as a reproach; and we find, that their whole œconomy, with respect to marriage, all tended to the fulfilment of that promise to Abraham, Gen. xv. 5. that his feed fhould be as the ftars of heaven for multitude. Mofes-Deut. i. 10.
-even at their arrival on the borders of Canaan, declares this to be the cafe. Marriage was looked upon as a facred duty, whose chief end was population, and population as the riches, ftrength, and bleffing of the ftate. No impediments or difficulties were, therefore, laid in its way-all promifcuous intercourse of women with men, which Montef quieu juftly ftyles the bane of population, pofitively forbidden-the honour of their wives, the chastity of their daughters, were fecured by the wifeft inftitutions; and thus they became populous, profperous, and happy.
From this scene of things, let us advert to that which is daily before us, fince Chrif tian churchmen have invented other fchemes of marriage, and Chriftian politicians have found out other maxims of population. What fwarms of unmarried people fill our capital and counties! fome through caprice and voluptuoufness, others through mifery and indigence. Could we form a juft calculation of the marriageable of both fexes, who have no thought of altering their condition, and