want of knowledge or a deficiency in a well informed zeal to obey and vindicate the law of God; and they
are not disposed, at the present day, to repair to young expositors for instruction, nor to modern
innovators for new morals. No fear of resentment nor desire to please, no frowns nor smiles can
intimidate or allure Christians from their duty. Firm to their vows and faithful to their Lord, they now,
as heretofore, are resolved to ask for the old paths - the good way, and they will walk therein.
How different from these boasters, were the principles and conduct of the humble and holy Apostle!
He trembled at the idea of offending his brethren, even in matters which were indifferent and certainly
not sinful. He would not "offend in any thing," if even his eating meat would create an offence, he
"would eat no flesh while the world standeth", lest "he make his brother to offend," - and he commands
all "to give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God."
Let not then the advocates for marrying a sister in law pretend, that such marriages, by being often repeated
and unblushingly defended, do not any longer
give offence. They know that to be impossible. The Church which is not offended by them, would
be an apostate from truth and duty, and cooperate to its own destruction. - The fear therefore of giving
offence, abstracted from every other consideration, ought to restrain the advocates for such marriages
from affording their patronage, and especially deter all from committing that evil. It is well
known, and cannot be denied, that those connections always have been, and still are, considered by
all the Churches, a shameful violation of the divine law and an open reproach to religion. That, with
very few exceptions, Christians of all denominations are greatly offended and seriously grieved by such
marriages. And it is time to have it known by experience, without further indulgence, wavering, or
hesitation, that the Church of Christ, possesses sufficient information, authority, and means, to remove
offences and punish offenders.