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which had been created by his antecedently taking poffeffion of her perfon.
From the 17th verfe it is ufually underftood, that, if the father refused to give her to him, the man was to pay a fatisfaction in money for the injury and difgrace he had done her and though the law, ver. 16. appointed the marriage, both as a punishment to him that had done the wrong, and a recompence to her that had suffered the wrong: yet that there was an exprefs refervation of the father's power (ver. 17.) if he refused his confent, it must be no marriage; only the money to be paid as τὴν τιμὴν τῆς ὕβρεως—a fatisfaction for her reproach, as Jofephus fpeaks.
The Jewish doctors were very lax in their interpretation of this paffage of fcripture, who would not have it to be a command (ver. 16.) that he should marry her (though that was beft) but only that he fhould make fatisfaction for taking away her virginity; which was by paying fo much in the nature of dowry as would render her fit to be his wife if both of them could agree.
This interpretation of the 16th verse, is one of thofe arbitrary expofitions of the Talmudifts, which by robbing the text of its plain meaning, leave us to the uncertainty of human imagination, which being various in various men, muft render the fcriptures totally uncertain as to any determinate meaning whatsoever.
The 17th verfe fays nothing of the marriage, whether it fhall or fhall not be binding,
on the father's refufal; but only-" If the father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he fhall pay money according to the dowry of virgins." Here I take the words according to our tranflation-" If," &c. and fuppofing it (for argument's fake) to include a refervation of the father's authority, so that he might, even where matters had gone fo far as described ver. 16. invalidate the contract, by witholding his confent-which, though infifted on by the Talmudifts, is hardly reconcileable with the peremptory and pofitive command, ver. 16.-yet this does not affect the principal point which I contend for, and which is contained in ver. 16; namely, that it is the taking poffeffion of the woman's perfon which creates the contract, or marriageobligation. Therefore, no man, agreeably to the divine law, can entice a virgin, defile her, and then forfake her at his own will and pleafure, as is done every day among us in this Chriftian land, where the law of God is suppofed to be the rule of right and wrong, but is, in truth and in fact, put entirely out of the question.
I thought fit to lay these feveral expofitions of this fcripture before the reader, that he might the better judge how far I may be right in my views of it, which are before fubmitted to his confideration, p. 25-28; and, at the fame time, form his own judgment of the matter, from that which appears to him to be moft agreeable to the context, as well as to the reft of the fcripture.
The apostle tells us, Rom. iii. 19. Whatfoever things the law faith, it faith to them that are under the law, therefore no few, who by circumcifion was a debtor to do the whole law (Gal. v. 3.) could be exempt from any part of it. For a like reafon, the believing Gentiles, who are compared to the olive-tree wild by nature, but grafted into the good olive-tree (fee Rom. xi. 24.) and become members of GOD's church by the circumcifion made without hands (Col. ii. 11.) are certainly under the law as a rule of life, and therefore subject to its moral precepts in every inftance. From hence it ought to be concluded, that Chriftians are as much bound by Exod. xxii. 16. and Deut. xxii. 28, 29, as the Jews are. No reafon can be given to the contrary, which will not equally apply to their exemption from the ten commandments; for these were at first delivered, and immediately and particularly addreffed to the Jews, as appears from the short preface, Exod. xx. I, 2. But can there be found a man, mad enough to fuppofe, that because they were emphatically addreffed to the people which God brought out of the land of Egypt, out of the houfe of bondage, no others have any thing to do with them?
APPENDIX TO CHAP. II.
HE celebrated Martinus Bucerus, one
TH of our excellent and learned Reformers,
in enarrationibus ad cap. 19. Libri Judicum, has left us the following obfervation concerning concubinage; which feems to throw much light on the fubject.
"Concubinæ erant legitimæ etiam uxores: "fed hoc a matronis differebant, quod fine "dote & fine folenni fanctificatione recipie"bantur: & erant ferè ex ancillis, & fervilis "conditionis: & non erant adjutoria illius præftantioris gradus, ut omni rerum com"munione gauderent fed humiliore gradu, " & quæ haberentur humiliore loco, quod "ad adminiftrationem domus attinet, & ad "filiorum fucceffionem.-Legitimum verò genus concubinarum eft, quum habentur conjunctæ copula matrimoniali, ne abjici " temere poffint: tametfi non habeant com"munionem plenam omnium rerum cum "marito, ut matres-familias: nec convenerunt pactis dotalibus, unde & nati ex illis non habent fucceffionem in hæreditate pa"ternâ cum natis ex matre-familias: ficut "Abraham ex concubinis veris uxoribus, fed non matribus-familias, dona quædam deputavit, portionem hæreditatis nullam ad"dixit.-Ex legitimo genere concubinarum fu"erunt concubinæ fanctorum patrûm. Et "quia DOMINUS dignitates & patrimonia, quæ fuis contulit, confervari vult, optan"dum omninó ut hoc genus uxorum, uti Dd
"apud fanctiffimos olim Patres obfervatum
wives, but gave them no portion of the inheritance.-The concubines of the holy "fathers were of the lawful kind. And becaufe the LORD wills, that the dignities "and patrimonies which He has conferred His people, fhould be preferved, it "is altogether to be wished, that this kind "of wives, as obferved among the holy patriarchs, might be again obferved among "Chriftians,