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observed, we read of no adultery, whoredom, and common prostitution of women among the daughters of Israel: no brothels, fireetivalking, * venereal disease: no ChildMurder, and those other appendages of female ruin, which are too horrid to particularize. Nor were these things possible, which, since the revocation of the divine system, and the establishment of human systems, are become inevitable. The supposing our blejsed Saviour came to destroy the divine law, or alter it with respect to marriage, is to suppose Him laying a foundation for the misery and destruction of the weaker sex; whereas no being less wicked than Satan himself, could ever have devised the almost total departure from God's Law, which, from even the earliest: ages of the church since the Apostles'
'* Much has been said concerning the antiquity of this disease. The subject is ably handled, and indeed exhausted, in that learned and laborious work of "Johannes AJlruc, de Morb. Ven. lib. i. I will only here observe, 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 , al so a capital offence—the consequences x>f prostitution must of course be prevented, by the prevention of the thing itself. Besides, the almost universality of marriage among the "Jews (for celibacy was a disgrace) and the fixing the virgin on the man who first took her, so that he could not put her away all his days, left little room for prostitution, had their laws been even less severe against it.
times, is to be found among the Christians.
I now put an end to this long chapter, in which polygamy, divested of all the nonsense of human reasonings, is set in its true scriptural light, as not sinful in itself but, in some cases, highly expedient—in others—duty; and in this last view of it, forming one link in that divine chain of heavenly legislation, on which the security and protection of the weaker sex is suspended; it being, upon the footing of God's law, as impossible for one man as another, to seduce and abandon to prostitution and ruin, those who have a most indefeasible claim upon him for their safety and support.
If among us, as among the Jews, and as formerly in France, and now in some other parts of the world, zsngle man, be his rank and station what they may, was constrained to marry publicly the woman he seduces j and if the spirit of the divine law was so far complied with, as to "compel the man already married, to give security for the maintenance and provision of such woman as he seduces, and, if his present engagement shall determine, to marry publicly her whom, in God's account, he has married privately—it would be such a check upon the licentiousness X 3 of pf mankind, such a restraint upon what is called gallantry—such a security for female chastity—and such a preservative against prostitution, as might make those who live to see it say—
yam redit &f virga, redeunt Saturnia Regna.
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 vast difference there must be found, between a system which is formed as a check to the lust, treachery, and cruelty of mankind, and one which, in numberless instances, lets them loose to act without controul.
APPENDIX To CHAP. IV,
^♦INCE the preceding chapter went to jj the press, the author has been favoured with a transcript from a tract in the British Museum, which contains the whole of Bifoop Burnet's opinion on polygamy. The reader has before seen it partially quoted; but the whole is here inserted verbatim.
** IS polygamy in any case lawful under «' the gospel?
"For Answer. It Is to be considered, "that marriage is a contracJ founded up'* on the laws of nature, its end being *' the propagation of mankind and the "formality of doing it by churchmen, is, "only a supervenient benediction, or "pompous solemnizing of it j and there"fore the nature of inarriage, and nos '* any form used in the celebration of it, '* is to be confdered. It is true, the cafe "is harder, when any is married by such ** a * form, as binds him to one -woman,
* The Bijhop here doubtless alludes to that part of our form, where the priest is to ask the man— "Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife— "&c.—and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto "Izer, so long as ye both shall live?
"The man Jhall ansiver,
Here is no decent qualification, as in the ordination of ministers—" I will endeavour so to do, the Lord "being my helper"—" I trust so"—" I think so" —" I have so determined, by God's grace"—or the like j but, with the peremptorinefs and confidence of a Stoic, who held—ip" Yipiv er/f oen H/^srep* ipya.— "allow own actions are in our own power" —ill fuit-r ed to a frail and fallible creature, who knows not what ,a day may bring forth—(fee Prov. xxvii. It comp. Jer. 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 far-worse"—but, be she ever so much worse X 4 tfeaa "than where he is bound only by the tie "of marriage, conceived in general terms.
"The caje of mankind, since the fall, ** varies very much from what it was in "innocence j for then the soundness of '* their bodies, and purity of their minds, "did keep out of the way all the ha-. "zards of barrenness, sickness, uncleannefs, "or crossness of humours, which made "the former law not so proper for man"kind; yet still a single marriage was "the perfecter, as being nearer the orU "ginal. ' •
"Before the flood, we sind Lantech a "polygamist; such were Abraham and, "Jacob after it; not that this was not "indulged by Moses for all that he did
than he took her for, short of actual adultery, still he is to groan under the sore bondage of what is called His vow; which his fellow-creatures have just as much right to impose upon him, from any authority in scripture, as another set 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 such a one had married^ the law (fee 31 Hen. VIII. c. 14.) would have sent him to the gallows, and no doubt the church would have sent him to the devil, Tempora Mutantur —-well if we could say, as touching all the foolish and unscriptural snares, which mankind have invented, and laid for one another's consciences—Et NOS MUTAMUR IN ILtIS.