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binds him to one woman, than where he is "bound only by the tie of marriage, con"ceived in general terms.
"The cafe of mankind, fince the fall, varies very much from what it was in innocence; " for then the foundness of their bodies, and "purity of their minds, did keep out of the way all the nazards of barrenness, fickness, uncleanness, or croffness of humours, which made the former law not fo proper for "mankind; yet still a fingle marriage was the perfecter, as being nearer the original. "Before the flood, we find Lamech a poly→ " gamift; fuch were Abraham and Jacob af"ter it; not that this was not indulged by Mofes; for all that he did relating to thefe affairs, was only to allow a DIVORCE, which was a provifo for the hardness of the hearts "of the Ifraelites. Every man was bound to
"maintain whom he had first married; left,
therefore, such as defigned another wife, “and could not maintain a former, might "ufe indirect ways to be rid of them, this fair one of divorce was allowed by GoD; "and
which mankind have invented, and laid for one another's confciences-ET NOS MUTAMUR IN ILLIS. observe that the aforefaid vow, exacted by the priest in the marriage ceremony, is a corruption of Gen. ii. 24 -Therefore fhall a man leave his father and his mother, and hall cleave unto his wife.
* See Burnet on the Articles of the Church of England, 3d edit. fol. p. 288,
+ I just take the liberty to obferve, that it is best to keep to the expreffion of fcripture. Our BLESSED SAVIOUR doth not fay, that God allowed divorce-but-MoU 3
"and their polygamy was practifed, without "either allowance or controul, as the natural "privilege of mankind. Neither is it any "where marked among the blemishes of the "patriarchs; David's wives, and store of "them he had, are termed by the prophet, "GOD's gift to him: yea, polygamy was made "in fome cafes a duty by Mofes's law ;-when "any died without iffue, his brother, or ❝ nearest kinsman, was to marry his wife, for raifing up feed to him; and all were "obliged to obey this, under the hazard of "infamy, if they refufed it; neither is there
any exceptions made for fuch as were mar"ried. From whence I may faithfully conclude, that what GOD made neceflary in "fome cafes to any degree, can in no cafe be finful in itself; fince GOD is holy in all His "" ways.
"But it is now to be examined, if it is forbidden by the gofpel. It is certain, that "our LORD defigned to raise mankind to the highest degrees of purity and chastity; and "therefore OUR LORD and St. PAUL do pre"fer a fingle life to a married state †, as that "which qualifies us for the kingdom of heaven, and was loaded with the feweit
fes allowed or permitted it;-fo the Bishop expreffes himfelf a few lines higher.
↑ "This was meant only with refpect to particular perfons in particular circumstances, fuch as an apostle; which is the reason why St. Paul applies it chiefly to himself." I Cor. vii.
"incumbrances ; and by this rule, a fingle
"no where to be found.
"It is true, our LORD difcharges divorces, except in the cafe of adultery; adding, that "whofoever puts away his wife upon any "other account, commits adultery: fo St. "Luke and St. Matthew in one place have it -or commits adultery against her: so St. "Mark has it-or caufes her to commit adultery: fo St. Matthew in another place.
If it be adultery then to take another woman after an unjust divorce, it will follow that the wife has that right over the husband's body, that he must touch no other.'-This is indeed plaufible, and it is "all that can be brought from the New Tefta"ment, which feems convincing; yet it will "not be found of weight.
"For it is to be confidered, that if our "LORD had been to antiquate polygamy, it being fo deeply rooted in the men of that << age, confirmed by fuch fashions and unquef"tioned precedents, and riveted by fo long 66 a practice, he must have done it plainly and authoritatively, and not in fuch an involved manner, as to be fought out of his words by "the fearch of logick.
"Neither are thefe dark words made more "clear by any of the apostles in their writings: *words are to be carried no farther, than
"the defign upon which they were written "will lead them to; fo that our LORD being, in that place, to ftrike out divorce fo explicitly, we must not, by a confequence, "condemn polygamy; fince it feems not to "have fallen within the fcope of what our LORD does there disapprove.
Befide, the term adultery may be taken "in general, for fuch a breach of wedlock as "is equivalent to adultery; and such is an unjuft divorce. This may be the impor"tance of the phrase used by St. Mark, viz. "-he committeth adultery against her; or all may be better explained by the phrase St, "Matthew ufes about it, in one place-he caufes her to commit adultery; fince he that expofeth or tempteth to fin, shares in the guilt with the person that fuccumbs: and "from this it appears, that polygamy is not "declared adultery, neither in the place cited, nor any other that I know of.
But it is true that polygamy falls fhort "of the intendment of marriage, in innocency, to which state, we that are under "the gospel must return as near as it is pof"fible. It is to be confeffed that polygamy, "was much condemned by the ancients,
though I think I have met with something "about it, that is little noticed; but of that "I can adventure to fay nothing at this distance from my books and papers.
How unfairly Dean Delaney reprefents this paffage in the Bishop's paper, may be feen before, p.
"But all that being granted, it is to be "confidered that the antients were unjust and * fevere against marriage (itself), and did exceffively favour the celibate, or fingle (life); "so that in some places, they who married a fecond time, were put to do penance for it; and, indeed, both Jew and Gentile had run into fuch excess by their free commixtures, "that it is no wonder if the holy men of those ages, being provoked to a juft zeal, "against fuch unjust practices, must have "been carried, through immoderate swaying "of the counterpoize, into fome extremes on the other hand.
"Therefore, to conclude this short answer, "wherein many things are hinted, which might have been enlarged into a volume, I "fee nothing fo ftrong against polygamy, as "to balance the great and visible imminent hazards that hang over so many thousands, if it be not allowed."
The author cannot help expreffing the highest fatisfaction in finding, that in what he has written on the fubject, he has had the honour of coinciding in fo many points,
we are to fuppofe his Lordship making "the best excuse "he could, for giving a rash opinion-whereas, he seems to give the circumftance of being at "a diftance from "his books and papers," as a reason for not producing teftimonies from the antients "little noticed," but which, if produced, would tend to fhew, that fome of them thought as his Lordship did upon the subject.