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mits men, with impunity, first to feduce, and then to betray, to infamy, want, mifery, disease, and even death itself in many inftances, thousands and tens of thousands of unhappy women, who (were the laws of Heaven regarded, as they ought to be, and made the foundation of our municipal laws) instead of becoming nuifances, and reduced to the ftate of Devils incarnate, might have been the comforts of their families, the delight of their friends, the ornaments of civil fociety.


As to what fhall be advanced on thefe, and on the other fubjects of the following difcourfe, the author is not wild enough to imagine that, what he has to fay, will meet with any better reception than that book does from whence he takes his authority; or that any person who does not regard the Bible fo far as to pay an implicit regard to its facred

*This expreffion will not be thought too ftrong, when the appendages, and concomitant-vices of proftitution are confidered; fuch as profane curfing and fwearing -blafphemy-obscene talking-drunkenness-lying-thieving-and even the unnatural crime mentioned Rom. i. 26. This is fo frequent, as even to have become common. When fuch are the gradual confequences of eradicating every principle of modesty and virtue from the female mind, how ought that law to be reverenced, which was ordained of Heaven for their protection! Montesquieu, L'efprit des Loix, vol. i. Liv. 16. c. 12. obferves, that there are fo many evils attending the loss "of virtue in a woman, the whole foul is fo degraded

by it, and fo many other faults follow upon it, that, in a popular state, public incontinence may be regarded 66 as the greatest of misfortunes."


dictates, will be in the least perfuaded by what will be offered: much less that there will be any alteration in our national fyftem of laws, 'till, as a nation, we practically adopt, as we certainly profefs to believe, and as it is evidently. true, that GoD is to make laws for man, and not man for GOD; or, in other words, that the world is to conform to the Bible, and not the Bible to the world.

It is now long fince Chrift charged the Jewish Rabbies with making void the law of God through their traditions, and teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, hereby proving themselves the children and followers of thofe of whom he complains If. xxix. 13. This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men. Human nature is * just the fame now that it was then, and the fame leaven has run through human fyftems, more or lefs, to this hour.

Our laws concerning marriage, especially fince the famous marriage-act, are full

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*"August 1, 1543, the Parifian divines affem"bling the people by the found of a trumpet, published "five-and-twenty heads of Chriftian doctrine, propofing "the bare conclufions, and determinations, without add"ing reafons, perfuafions, or grounds, but only pre"fcribing, as it were by authority, what they would "have believed. These were printed, and fent through

all France, confirmed by the King's letters, under moft "grievous punishments against whomfoever fpake or taught otherwife." Brent. Hift. Coun. Trent. 195.



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of this, and hence in part arifes the mif chief complained of. By: fubftituting a human ceremony of man's invention, in the place of the only ordinance of marriage which GOD ever inftituted or revealed, we have reduced the most folemn of all ties to a fort of civil inftitution, the most facred of all obligations to a mere civil contract; and where the latter can be avoided, the former is as totally vacated, as if it had never


By God's exprefs command from Mount Sinai, where the laws concerning moral good and evil, were eternally and unalterably fixed, no man could take a virgin and then aban don her. He fhall furely endow her to be his wife. Exod. xxii. 16. And again, Deut. xxii. 29. She shall be his wife; BECAUSE HE HAS HUMBLED HER, he may not put her away all bis days.

Will any fay" thefe laws are antiquated?" I answer, " they are as unchange

able as the GOD that made them." His law is His will, and therefore can no more change than Himself. The ftrength of ISRAEL is not a man that He should repent on change his mind, opinion, or purpose. 1 Sam. xv. 29. I am JEHOVAH, I change not, is the character

*We read in the memoirs of the great Scriblerus, that one of the philofophical works of that profound genius was intitled, "A complete digeft of the laws of Na"ture, with a review of thofe that are obfolete or repealed, and of those that are ready to be renewed and "put in force."


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which he records of himself, Mal. iii. 16; and to fhew that he hath ftamped the fame unchangeableness upon his laws, he fays, Deut. iv. 2. Ye shall not ADD unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye DIMINISH ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your GOD. And again, Deut. xii. 32. What thing foever I command you, obferve to do it, thou shalt not ADD thereto nor DIMINISH from it.

Now, I do take it for granted, that He, who, fpeaking to the people of Ifrael, calls himself THE LORD YOUR GOD, is alfo THE LORD OUR GOD. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not alfo of the Gentiles? Yes-of the Gentiles alfo. Rom. iii. 29. For which very evident reafon, I do conclude, that both Jews and Gentiles are equally fubject to thofe laws which the LORD THEIR GOD once revealed and established for the moral government of the world: and therefore (as we may learn from the teftimony of the Apostle of the Gentiles under the New Teftament, Gal. iii. 1o. as well as from Mofes under the Old Teftament, Deut. xxvii. 26.) Curfed is every one, that continueth not in ALL things which are written in the BooK OF THE LAW, to do them.

Thefe laws therefore ftand on the fame footing with what we ufually call the Ten Commandments-and are no more fubject to decay or alteration than they are. I fay they stand on the fame footing, because they were equally delivered by GoD to Mofes, on the


fame divine veracity, the fame awful, and indifputable authority, and are guarded by the fame tremendous fanction.


That the merely ceremonial laws are waxed old, and vanished away, Heb. viii. 13. is certain, because they were only established for the time then prefent, Heb. ix. 9. to point out, and prefigure things to come. They had their end and accomplishment in CHRIST, and of course their utter abolition. This, so far from arguing any change of mind or will in God, is one of the highest and most illuftrious proofs of the uniformity, and confiftency, with which he has laid down, carried on, and perfected the fame one defign from the beginning.

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But the moral laws which respect the wellbeing of fociety, the prevention of disorder, confufion, and all other appendages of moral evil, muft endure, as long as the objects to which they relate endure on the face of the earth. When St. Paul, Gal. iii. 10. and Rom. x. 5. cites the fanctions of the moral law from the Old Teftament, he fhews very clearly, that it ftill remains as an invariable rule of conduct, from which all the people of GOD, whether Jews or Gentiles, are equally forbidden to depart.

Can any perfon therefore, in his fober fenfes, imagine that it was unlawful in the fight of GOD (because expressly by a pofitive law forbidden) three thousand years ago, to take a virgin and then abandon her, but that now it is lawful? or, because there is no law of

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