Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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PAGE 114

1. Marriage was not devised by man. It is a divine ordinance which constitutes an union between two persons, and renders them no longer twain, but one flesh. It was the exclusive perogative of God to protect and vindicate his own institution; and he has done this, in the most authoritative manner, by his positive precepts. The revealed will of God is therefore the only standard, agreeably to which all questions respecting those who may lawfully enter into that holy state, must be decided.

2. The kindred created by marriage is real; and, as it respects connubial connexions, is constituted by the law of God, as sacred and legal as that which is founded in blood. To the married persons reciprocally, affinity produces a relation of the same grade with consanguinity. The mutual relatives become blended and are equally related to both husband and wife, and this degree of kindred remains permanent. - It cannot, by the death of either of the parties, be ever changed or dissolved.

3. Incest is a detestable crime. - The human mind revolts against it as filthy, injurious to virtue, and inimical to the comfort and prosperity of society.

PAGE 115

God has forbidden Incest in terms which indicate his holy indignation against it, and his righteous determination to punish the individuals, who commit the crime, and even to inflict judgments upon any people, who countenance and permit such abominations. - The Heathen reprobated it; Mahometans condemn it; the Church under both dispensations forever censured it; and civil Governments have always considered it a crime against society, and punished it, as such. In every form it assumes, it is criminal; and whatever approximates to this accursed sin is injurious to the morals and character of the community. - But, a marriage with a sister in law is not a species of distant or slight Incest, it is of the highest grade. Who is so near as a sister? What higher incest can be practiced? There is no collateral relative nearer than a sister. It is the first in that line; none but a mother or daughter, in the lineal descent, are nearer. - It has been demonstrated that the Law of God makes a sister by affinity as near to the husband, in respect to marriage, as a sister by blood. It is therefore Incest of the first degree for him to marry his sister in law. And shall a crime of such magnitude be palliated with frivolous arguments, or defended by superficial


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