things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise,
think on these things," Phil. iv. 8. With this affecting and sublime group of words, the inspired
Apostle suggests the influence and extent of sanctified principles, and recommends that beauty of holiness
and undeviating rectitude of Christian manners, which include all that is implied in decency and delicacy.
Christians are "the salt of the earth" - "the light of the world," - "a city set upon a hill." They
must "do more than others," and "through Christ which strengtheneth them," they actually do more than others.
Morality in all its extensive branches, from purer motives and with greater precision, is practiced by them than by any other men.
They deny themselves, and are afraid to sin; they avoid every appearance of evil, and hate "even the garment spotted by the flesh."
This refinement of sentiment and principle makes little or no impression upon the wicked, whose pursuits
and habits have never been regulated by such exalted standards, and who have no desire to be saved
from their sins; but to real Christians it is full of interest, and expresses their predominant wishes.
To such, the article now before us appeals. They can enter fully into the subject - they know what DECENCY
requires, and under its influence, will yield to all that has been suggested against commiting incest
with a sister in law.
Marriage is justly styled "a delicate institution," essentially connected with order and decency. Sweet
spring of purest comforts, exuberant source of domestic happiness, it pours its precious blessings
wherever it is honoured, and amply pays for protection and defence. But, exposed to insults and susceptible of
injuries, it withholds its invaluable benefits from those who suffer it to be abused and polluted.
Any people who tolerate incest of any description; who countenance adultery; or sanction divorces for
any other cause, than what the word of God prescribes; will quickly realise the pernicious effects of
their conduct. They will rapidly depreciate in taste and sentiment, and infallibly degenerate in morals.
If the fountain of social virtue be troubled and poisoned, the streams will inevitably be turbid, bitter,
and fatal - "thine own wickedness