unfounded. It is astonishing that any should dare to invalidate an authoritative law of God against Incest,
upon the mere phraseology of a single precept which has no respect to Incest at all; that any should
presume to make the divine law, which is plain and decisive; and obedience to it, which may not be disputed
or withheld, to depend upon a quibbling construction of a single word, which is nothing but
want of information could suggest.
V. It is objected that the Jews maintain "the law against Incest does not forbid an Israelite to marry
his sister in law; and as they must be supposed to be the best expositors of their own law,
we may conclude that this relative was not forbidden." Indeed! - how much of the Misehna, or of the Babylonish
or Jerusalem Talmud these men of erudition, who suggestion the objection, may have read, and how
familiar they may have been with the Rabbinical writers, is of very little weight in this argument.
The fact is denied. Many of the Jewish Rabbins in answer to the application from Henry VIII. gave it
under their hands in hebrew, "that the laws of Leviticus and Deuteronomy were thus to be reconciled. -
That the law of marrying the brother's wife
when he died without children did only bind in the land of Judea, to preserve families and maintain their
successions in the land, as it had been divided by lot. But that in all other places of the world, the
law of Leviticus, of not marrying the brother's wife was obligatory."
Whatever some modern Jews may have asserted, it is not assuredly the doctrine of the Misehna .
But grant it were so; admit it to be one of the interpretations in the farrago of their traditions; what then?
What argument can it produce to the purpose? Had not that unhappy people, even previous to their
terrible excommunication from the Church of God, lost the key of knowledge? Did
not our blessed Lord call them "blind leaders of the blind, who transgress the commandments of Gode,
by their traditions; making the word of God of none effect?" And is this the people to whom
Christians must go for instruction? Are these the men who are the best expositors of the scriptures,
which they evidently do not understand? Is the law against Incest their law exclusively, is it not
also our law? Does it not bind us as fully as it did them? Do we not know how to expound our