he them; and God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the
earth," Gen. ii. Gen. i. The DIVINE REDEEMER honoured marriage with his presence, and crowned it
with his approbation and benediction, by a beginning of miracles in Cana of Galilee, where he manifested
his glory, John. ii. - In his discourses upon the sublime doctrines and sacred precepts of his
kingdom, he frequently condescended to notice marriage as an ordinance of the highest importance
to mankind, and to the interests of religion in the world. He confirmed its divine origin; defended
its purity; and by establishing the perpetual obligation of the moral law and explaining its extent, he
retained, in their full authority and force, the precepts against incest and adultery.
The CHURCH honours marriage. Under the dispensation of the Old Testament, the institution was
venerated and every violation of it severely punished. Under the New Testament, marriage is declared
"to be honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, while whoremongers and adulterers God will judge,"
Heb. xiii.4. The Apostles expressly recognise the ordinance; they enforce the laws by which it is protected;
and often inculcate the reciprocal duties of man and wife, as essential to the welfare of society and the honour of religion.
The WORLD has always honoured marriage, and considered it as the fountain of social comfort and
prosperity. All the civilized governments on earth, both ancient and modern, have taken it under their
immediate protection. They have made it a prominent article in their civil codes, and enacted laws to
ascertain with precision what constituted a lawful marriage, and what determined a legitimate offspring.
Even the most barbarous nations have received the institution, and were never without some laws, which, although not written, were well
known and defined by maxims and customs, whereby the interests of husband and wife were rendered
secure, and it became criminal for strangers to interrupt or violate them.
But among the properties essential to marriage, the creation of an union, whereby two persons, who
were previously strangers, become ONE, is the most singular. As this is the source of affinity, and the
basis upon which our conclusions in the discussion