shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be ONE FLESH, Gen. ii. 23, 24.
Again, "they twain shall be ONE FLESH," Matt. xix. 5. And again, "so ought men to love their wives as their
OWN BODIES. He that loveth his wife, loveth HIMSELF - they two shall be one flesh," Eph. v. 28, 31.
If these terms have any meaning, worthy of divine inspiration, they indicate that, consistent with distinct personal identity, and individual responsibility,
there is, if not a physical, still at least a moral union produced. And whether, in a certain respect, both are not comprehended,
we, most assuredly, are not competent to decide.
2. That it is a union which constitutes a root or centre of new relations and kindred. The parties
stand no longer separate, but their mutual relatives, as it regards the married persons, are completely blended and consolidated.
3. That it is an union which renders the communion of bodies legitimate and honourable; or,
Vidimus hic duo non pluribus opponi, sed uni. Ante foedus matrimonii duo erant, postea PRO UNO censentur legis interpretione. - GROTIUS
as the Apostle delicately expresses it, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband;
and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife," 1 Cor. vii. 4. - Nulla arctior
amicitia quam mariti et uxoris, quae communionem requirit affectuum, CORPORIS, prolis, vitae denique totius. - Eadem locutio de communione
CORPORIS usurpatur a Paulo, ubi de SCORTO agit, 1 Cor. vi. 16. Sed nimirum qui scorto se miscet, ea utitur PRO UXORE.
4. That it is a mysterious union.
- There is a mystery in all the works and institutions of God. The means and subordinate ends, which he in his
infinite wisdom adopts to accomplish his vast designs, cannot by fine minds be fully comprehended.
This is exemplified, with respect to the article now before us, in the fifth chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians.
The Apostle in his exhortation to husbands and wives to fulfil their reciprocal duties, exhibits the union produced by marriage, as a type
of the union of Christ with his church; and closes.
Magna est conjunctio interparentes et liberos, cum liberi quasi pars sint paentum; attamen major ex instituto divino inter conjuges, non sine MYSTICA sigificatione. -
Grotius in Math, cap. xix.