Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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PAGE 140

own law, without the assistance of the enemies of the cross, upon whose face the veil still remaineth? Whether some ignorant and licentious Rabbies patronised the marriage of a sister in law, or whether the learned and virtuous Caraites opposed it, is of small concern to us. We are in the school of Christ and have the promise of being taught of God.

VI.  The difficulty raised from the first marriages in Adam's family, where brothers and sisters by consanguinity, were necessarily connected, is so fully obviated by what has been observed respecting the nature of a positive moral law, that it requires no attention. Other objections have been sedulously collected; but they are altogether foreign to the principles upon which the subject rests, and too frivolous and sophistical, to be worthy of notice. ONE however remains, which is mentioned with sincere grief and great reluctance. It would gladly be suppressed, but faithfulness imperiously forbids. It has no essential respect to the merits of the question, but it is popular, and, upon minds unaccustomed to think for themselves, has probably had more influence than the weightiest arguments. It may not therefore be passed in silence.

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It is objected that "there are instances of men, maintaining a good standing in the Church, and even highly, esteemed for their piety, who have married the sisters of their deceased wives; and as such men are presumed to be acquainted with the word of God, and conscientious in their conduct, it must be taken for granted, by persons of inferior standing, that it is not an unlawful act, and that their example should encourage and ought to justify others in doing the same."

If it be indeed a fact, that men of piety have married their sisters in law, it is greatly to be lamented. It is a cause of sorrow and offence that those who are commanded to shine as lights in the world, and, above all others, to avoid the appearance of evil, should be the unhappy instruments of leading their weaker brethren into sin, and strengthening the hands of the wicked. But in answer to the objection.

1. None will deny that characters are known to God alone. Men may make a profession of religion, and even obtain a high reputation among the Lord's people, and yet be actually strangers to the


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