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Of Marriage as a Divine Institution.
WHEN the great and all-wise Creator had formed man upon the earth, male and female, He bleJJ'ed them, and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply y and replenijh the earth. Gen. i. 28. This command was to be fulfilled in a way of God's own appointment; that is to fay, by the union of the man and woman in personal knowledge of each other. This is the only marriage-ordinance which we find revealed in the sacred scriptures. Wherever this union should come to pass, though two distinct: and independent persons before, they now were to become as one. They Jhall be one*flejh. Gen. ii. 24. and so indissolubly
* TIN ~W&—as one ftejk—iti a-AfKtt (iiav, Gr. Test. The Hebrew b prefixed, hath often this fense. See Jofli. vii. 5. Lam. i. 17. So the Greek preposition tic, which answers to it. Compare 2 Sam. vii. 14. ■with Heb. i. 5. where the •pb and 2N1? of the Old Testament, are rendered by tif *«J«p* and in uior in the New Testament; and clearly evince the names of Father and Son to be (economical names of office in the covenant of redemption, not descriptive of an inferiority and subordination in the persons of the GodHead, Compare I»uke i. 55.
one, as to be inseparable. What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Matth. xix. 6.
That this oneness arose from this act of union, and from the command consequent upon it, that they jhould be oneflejh, is evivident from the Apostle's reasoning, I Cor. vi. 15, 16. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members ofan * harlot? God for bid! What, know ye not that he that is Joined to an harlot is One Body ? for two, faith he,st>all be One Flesh.
This question of the Apostle's—Know ye not that he that is joined to an harlot is o?ie body? and what follows, being taken together, have a plain reference to what Adam said, Gen. ii. 23, 24. This is now bone of my bones, andflejl} ofmyflejh, &c. and seems very fully to determine, not only the strictness
Also nVT with b, and a noun following, denotes some change of condition, state, or quality, and signifies—to become. Gen. ii. 7. 24. xvii.4. Exod. iv. 4. & al. freq.
* vopvn, from wsppn///, or 'Trtfva.K, to fell. A where, a woman who prostitutes her body for gain. So the Latin meretrix is from mertor, to earn, get money: and our Englijh word whore, from the German huren (Dutch hueren) to hire. Thus Ovid, lib. i. eleg. 10.
Stat meretrix certo cuivis mercabilis ære,
See ParkhurJTi G'r. L^ex.
C 2 Of of the marriage-union, but that which corrstitutes it in the sight of God. In all which there is not the least hint, or most distant allusion, to any outward rite or ceremony administered by any person whatsoever; but the whole is made to rest simply and only in the personal * union of the man and woman. It is this alone which, according to the Apojlle, makes them one fle/h.
If the licentious and temporary union with an harlot, makes a man to become
* It may be presumed, that in what Adam said, Gen. ii. 23. he had an immediate reference to her formation out of a part of himself; but that there was also an allusion to the personal union of the male and female, in what he says, ver. 24. is clearly proved by the Apojlle's argument, 1 Gor. vi. 16; otherwise his citing this passage of Gen. ii. 24. would have been nothing to the purpose to fliew that this mafces them ene flest. The Hebrew irUWO pm is rendered by theLXX, IIPO2KOAAH0H2ETAI, rrpo; ftiv yvrmx* *Lv% in Matt. xix. 5. nPO2KOAAH0HSETAI T» yvva.tx.1 Clu]*' Let the reader compare all this with the Apostle's 0 KOAAO'MENOS T» «r6pcn, and it will be very easy to see that the same idea runs through the whole; which is, that those who are thus joined, are qne body, and pronounced by God—one fiejh. This will appear still the more evidently, if we consider Our Lord's expression, as represented by the Evangelist, Matt. xix. 6. where he uses the word 2TNEZETSF.N, hath joined, Ot yoked together, as the tfftS of the cause expressed by TIfoffitoKKnitiftlAt. All this will appear still more evidently, if, with the accurate Ar, Mont, we translate TOM p211, adharebit IH
one body, and one flesh with her, we may suppose that the sin of fornication receives no small share of its malignity, from the abuse thereby committed of the ordinance of marriage as established by God: as entering into it without any intention of abiding by it, but merely to gratify a transient lust, and that with a woman who departs from one to another, as gain or evil desire may lead her. Nevertheless the Apojile, on the authority of Gen. ii. 23, 24. fays, that be that is joined to an harlot, is one body, and one flejh with her, by being engaged in that ordinance, of which these things are declared, in the passage referred to, to be the inevitable consequences.
From what has been said, it appears, that marriage, as instituted of God, simply consists (as to the eflence of it) in the union of the man and woman as one body -, for which plain and evident reason, no outward forms or ceremonies of man's invention, can add to or diminish from the effects of this union in the fight of God. What ends these things may serve, as to civil purposes, I shall not dispute: but I cannot suppose that the matrimonial-service in our church, or any other, can make the parties more one flejh in the sight of God, supposing them to have been united, than the burial-service can make the corpse C 3 over
over which it is red more dead than it was before.
Supposing they have not been united, they are not one jlejh in the sight of God, by any virtue in the words of the service, any more than a piece of wafer becomes jlejh and blood by a Popish priest's consecration, Jt 'is pot man, but God, which makes the twain one jlejh; neither is it man's ordinance, but Gop's institution, which brings that to pass. If this be not so, why, notwithstanding the words of the service, does incapacity, inability, or impotency, In either party, render all that has been done null and void? See Burn, Eccl. Law, vol', ii. p. 39.
By observing the outward ordinance, the intention of the parties is publickly recognized, and they are/pronounced man and wife in the sight of the world -, but they are not so in God's sight, unless by anticipation, as it were,; with respect to thq mutual promises made to each other, which the sacred scriptures call betrothing or espousing; but the contract is then, and only then, complete in the sight of GpD, when the only ordinance which He has appointed has passed between them; and therefore it is very properly styled—the consummation.;
As to the person celebrating the mar