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Some have found out, that " 'polygamy was "allowed for the more expeditious peopling "of the world."-Suppofing it is a mean of increafing population (which by the way will admit of great doubt) yet where was the use of this amongst the Jews, when, before their
*This common notion, or rather vulgar error, is adopted by St. Auguftine, De Civ. Dei, lib. xvi. c. 38. where, fpeaking of the antient polygamy, he fays it was lawful-Quoniam multiplicandæ pofteritatis caufâ plures uxores lex nulla prohibebat. "Because, for the fake of "multiplying pofterity, no law forbad many wives.”— Thus thought many of the fathers, and the Romish church in general, till the doctrine of difpenfations was introduced; then they faid it was a fin; but God gave a difpenfation to fome to practise it-thus artfully making the Holy GOD a difpenfer with fin, and setting an example for the Pope's first making fins, and then difpenfing with them. But let us fuppofe ten men and ten women-can it be imagined, that if these ten women are each severally married to one man, they are not likely to have as many children as if they were all married to one of the men? Porter, in his Obfervations on the Turks, fays, p. 292, that the number of children in Turkish families is not what the idea of polygamy fuggefts; that they have not, in general, fo many children as are found in common families of Chriftians and Jews-He even uses this as an argument against polygamy. On the other hand, many have contended for the permiffion of polygamy as "speedier means of peopling the world; it appearing, "that in polygamous countries, people abound more than in "others that are monogamous. 29 But I take the real state of the cafe, upon the whole, to be this; wherever there are the moft married women, there the increase of the people will be the greatest. Polygamy, therefore, as tending to increase the number of married women, must certainly tend to population. But then we are to suppose, that women who are married under polygamous contracts, would not otherwife be married at all; for in no other view can polygamy be faid to increase population; in this it certainly muft.
entrance into Canaan, they were as the stars in heaven for multitude? Deut. i. 10; and yet polygamy did not cease after their entrance into the promised land.
As for all popular arguments against polywhich the wifdom of this world has ingamy, vented, and believed as fo many certain conclufions on the fide of truth, they equally apply against the wisdom and holiness of GoD in allowing it, as against those who maintain it: therefore, as He will be juftified in His fayings, and clear when He is judged, Rom. iii. 4. the best answer which can be given, for the present, is that included in the awful queftion of the Apostle, Rom. ix. 20. Nay but, "O man, who art thou that repliest against "GOD?" Though this immediately relates to another point, yet it is applicable to all the vain reasonings of men against the dispensations of Providence, either in the natural or moral world. Which faid reafonings, when thoroughly canvaffed, and fet in their true light, will appear to be neither more nor less, than the pleadings of human pride, on the behalf of human ignorance. Our prejudices and our opinions reciprocally affect each other, and, upon examination, they will usually be found as much alike as the image and the mold it is caft in.
"Go wifer thou, and in thy fcale of fenfe,
"Snatch from His hand the balance and the rod, "Rejudge His justice, be the God of God.
"In pride, in reas'ning pride, our error lies,
"All this dread order break-for whom?-for thee?
"From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning fprings-
Effay on Man. In fewer, but in ftill more forcible and humbling words, doth Paul exprefs himself to the Self-wife among the Corinthians-and in them to us--I Cor. iii. 18, 19.-Let no man deceive bimfelf-If any man among you seem to be wife in this world-ev TW α 787-like the philofophers, politicians, and rabbies of the age, (GUYSE) let him become a FOOL that he may be wife-for the wisdom of this world is FOOLISHNESS with GOD.
Though it be befide my defign, in this treatife, to confider the subjects thereof on any other footing than as they appear in the fcriptures; yet I will fo far depart from my purpose, as to take notice of a popular argument against polygamy, which, in the minds of fome learned and confiderate men, has been of fuch importance, as to outweigh all that could be faid for it. It is this "The males "and females brought into the world are
nearly on a balance, only allowing a little "excefs on the fide of the males; whence it "follows, that nature intends only one wife
"for the fame perfon; if they have more, "fome others muft * go without any." This argument,
So muft it be even upon the principle of monogamy; for if, according to thefe calculators, there be more males than females, it is not poffible that every man can have a wife; fome must go without. However, a departure either way from the original proportion of one male and one female, deftroys all arguments which can be drawn from thence against polygamy; for the precedent which this. might otherwife have been, being departed from by the Creator himself, it of courfe ceafes with refpect to his creatures. Major Grant obferves, that a little excess on the fide of the males-" is to make up for the extraor"dinary expence thereof in war and at fea"-to which others have added, as a confideration also, "the labo❝rious and dangerous employments in which men are engaged, and women are not." As for war-it is written-Whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lufts (ndover, the defires after fenfual gratifications) which war in your members ? Ye luft and have not, ye kill and defire to have, and cannot obtain, &c. James iv. 1, 2. So Plato in his Phado, § 10. Edit. Cantab. 1673, p. 88. και γαρ πολεμος και στάσεις και μαχας δεν αλλο παρέχει η το σωμα και αι τοῖς ἐπιθυμια!. For nothing but the body and its lufts (or evil de
fires) produce wars, feditions, battles.” Can it be reafonably fuppofed, that the Almighty, whofe gracious command is-Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is directed, in the proportion of males and females, by the most horrid and fatal proofs which men are daily giving of their enmity to Him and each other! and that more men than women are born into the world on this account?
Thefe wars, together with the extenfion of commerce, and the calls of numberlefs artificial wants which luxury has introduced, certainly expose the lives of men to the dangers of the fea. But who hath required this at their bands ?-Let an Heathen give the answer:
Nequicquam DEUS abfcidit
Non tangenda rates tranfiliunt vada.
argument, plaufible as it may feem, wants one effential to folidity, which is truth. For
Audax omnia perpeti
Gens humana ruit per vetitum nefas.
GOD hath the realms of earth in vain
Can the prefumptuous race of man confine.
GOD hath made man upright, but they have fought out many inventions, faith Solomon, Eccl. vii. 29. To imagine that the providential difpenfations of the ALL-WISE GOD, are to be accommodated to these, or regulated by them, is furely too abfurd to bear an argument.
As for "laborious employments, many of which are "attended with danger, and which usually fall to the "fhare of the males," let as many of these be selected as can be deemed neceffary, and then, against them, let us fet -the many diseases to which females are peculiarly liable, and to which men are not- let us add to thefe the peril of child-birth, and then, this last fuppofed reafon for more males being born than females, will be as groundless as the two former.
I fhould imagine, that no opinions whatfoever, however falfe and abfurd, are without having reafons given for them. Nor is it to be doubted, that a Ptolemaift would give as many reafons for the fun's going round the earth, as a Copernican would for the earth's going round the fun.
The following queftion is faid to have been once laid before a certain very learned body:-Take a tub of water weighing one ton weight-into which put a falmon of thirty pounds weight; Why will not the tub be heavier than before the fish was put into it? The fact being taken for granted, produced many wife reafons for it; but none were thought fo wife and adequate, as-Corpora non gravant in loco fuo-therefore the fish being in its place or proper element, loft its power of adding any thing to the weight of the tub of water. At laft, it was propofed