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His miniftry, but left that, as He did all other moral actions of men, upon the footing of that law under which He was made, and to which He, for us men, and for our falvation, became not only subject, but even obedient unto death. Phil. ii. 8.
Upon the whole, I take the truth to be, that the first general inftitution of marriage, accompanied with the first general bleffing, is to be found in thofe words of Gen. i. 28, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.The fpecial manner of this, together with the indiffolubility of the obligation created by it between the parties, is revealed, Gen. ii. 24. where it is faid-A man shall be joined-p -προσκολληθήσεται——-agglutinatus erit—to his woman-and they, as in confequence thereof, Shall become one flesh, i. e. infeparable from each other. Gen. iii. 16. reveals the entire fubordination and subjection of the wife to the bufband-and the reft of the Bible fhews us, that virgins could not be feduced, and taken as appetite might prompt, and then abandoned and forfaken as licentiousness might inclinebut that monogamous and polygamous contracts were equally valid and binding, equally lawful as to the inheritableness of the iffue, and all other marks of legitimacy, that is to say, on the man's fide; but that, on the woman's, polygamy was, for the most apparently-wife reafons, forbidden under pain of death.
While this fyftem was reverenced and obferved, we read of no adultery, whoredom, and common prostitution of women among the daugh
ters of Ifrael: no brothels, fireet-walking, venereal difeafe: no CHILD-MURDER, and thofe other appendages of female ruin, which are too horrid to particularize. Nor were these things poffible, which, fince the revocation of the divine fyftem, and the establishment of human fyftems, are become inevitable. The fuppofing our blessed Saviour came to destroy the divine law, or alter it with refpect to marriage, is to fuppofe Him laying a foundation for the mifery and deftruction of the weaker fex; whereas no being lefs wicked than Satan himself, could ever have devised the almoft total departure from God's LAW, which, from even the earliest ages of the church, fince the Apostles' times, is to be found among the Chriftians.
I now put an end to this long chapter, in which polygamy, divefted of all the nonfenfe of human reasonings, is fet in its true fcriptural light, as not finful in itself, but, in fome cafes, highly expedient-in others-duty; and
*Much has been faid concerning the antiquity of this difeafe. The fubject is ably handled, and indeed exhausted, in that learned and laborious work of Johannes Aftruc, de Morb. Ven. lib. i. I will only here obferve, that as the divine law punished adultery, or the defilement of another's wife, with death in both parties-and whoredom was, on the part of the woman, also a capital offence -the confequences of prostitution muft of courfe be prevented, by the prevention of the thing itself. Befides, the almoft univerfality of marriage among the Jews (for celibacy was a difgrace) and the fixing the virgin on the man who first took her, fo that he could not put her away äll his days, left little room for prostitution, had their laws been even less fevere against it.
in this last view of it, forming one link in that divine chain of heavenly legislation, on which the fecurity and protection of the weaker fex is fufpended; it being, upon the footing of God's law, as highly criminal for one man as another, to feduce and abandon to prostitution and ruin, thofe who have a most indefeasible claim upon him for their safety and fupport.
If among us, as among the Jews, and as formerly in France, and now in fome other parts of the world, a fingle man, be his rank and station what they may, was constrained to * marry publicly the woman he seduces; and if the spirit of the divine law was fo far complied with, as to compel the man already married, to give fecurity for the maintenance and provifion of fuch woman as he feduces, and, if his prefent engagement shall determine, to marry publicly her whom, in God's account, he has married privately-it would be such a check upon the licentioufnefs of mankind
* In the book for the reformation of the ecclefiaftical laws, in the time of Edward VI. it was propofed," that "those who corrupted virgins, were to be excommuni"cated if they did not marry them, or, if that could not "be done, they were to give them the third part of their "goods, befides other arbitrary punishments." See Burnet, Hift. Ref. vol. ii. p. 198. This, and many other falutary propofals, fell to the ground by the death of that excellent young Prince, Edward VI.-Had Queen Elizabeth paid attention enough to the mifchiefs accruing to her fex from the want of fome fuch regulation, to have had it paffed into a law, it might justly have been reckoned one of the glories of her reign.
fuch a restraint upon what is called gallantry -fuch a fecurity for female chastity-and fuch a prefervative against prostitution, might make those who live to see it sayJam redit & virgo, redeunt Saturnia Regna.
VIRG. Now Justice and the Golden Age again return. Doubtless, irregularities there always were, and always will be, while human nature is human nature. Still, a vaft difference there must be found, between a fyftem which is formed as a check to the luft, treachery, and cruelty of mankind, and one which, in numberless inftances, lets them loofe to act without controul.
APPENDIX TO CHA P. IV.
INCE the preceding chapter went to the prefs, the author has been favoured with a tranfcript from a tract in the British Museum, which contains the whole of * Bishop Burnet's opinion on polygamy. The reader has before feen it partially quoted; but the whole is
here inferted verbatim.
"IS polygamy in any cafe lawful under the gospel?
"For ANSWER. It is to be confidered, that marriage is a contra& founded upon the laws
*Bishop Berkely thought polygamy agreeable to the law of nature. See Lond. Mag. for June 1754, p. 267. U 2
"of nature, its end being the propagation of "mankind; and the formality of doing it by "churchmen, is only a fupervenient benedic
tion, or pompous folemnizing of it; and "therefore the nature of marriage, and not any form used in the celebration of it, is to "be confidered. It is true, the cafe is harder, "when any is married by fuch a † form, as "binds
+ The Bishop here doubtless alludes to that part of our form, where the priest is to afk the man-"Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife-&c.—and, forfaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as 86 ye both fhall live?
"The man fhall answer,
Here is no decent qualification, as in the ordination of minifters-" I will endeavour fo to do, the LORD being my helper"-" I truft fo"-" I think fo"-" I have "fo determined, by God's grace"-or the like; but, with the peremptorinefs and confidence of a Stoic, who held—ἐφ ̓ ἡμιν ἐσιν ὅσα ἡμετέρα ἐργα—“ all our own altions "are in our own power"-ill fuited to a frail and fallible creature, who knows not what a day may bring forth(fee Prov. xxvii. 1. comp. fer. x. 23.) the answer is to be-I WILL-I-REX DOMINUSQUE MEI-I WILL.
The man is afterwards to take her-" for better and "for worse"-but, be the ever fo much worse than he took her for, fhort of actual adultery, ftill he is to groan under the fore bondage of what is called HIS VOW; which his fellow-creatures have just as much right to impofe upon him, from any authority in fcripture, as another fet of people had, to make a man vow voluntary poverty— perpetual chastity-and implicit obedience to a fellow-mortal-on becoming a monk.
There was a time when, if fuch a one had married, the law (fee 31 Hen. VIII. c. 14.) would have fent him to the gallows, and no doubt the church would have sent him to the devil. TEMPORA MUTANTUR-Well if we could fay-as touching all the foolish and unfcriptural fnares,