Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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PAGE 162

standards, must be supposed to adhere to them, and to entertain the same sentiments upon this subject. It may therefore be asserted, without risking a contradiction, that there is not a respectable Church, of any denomination, in the United States, that would hesitate one moment in pronouncing such cohabitation to be incestuous, and excommunicating any member who married the sister of his deceased wife.

The testimony of the REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH, has been reserved for the last, as it is judged expedient, for the information of the members of that Church, to introduce an extract from her Canons upon the subject of Incest.

The construction which the Reformed Dutch Church puts upon Levit. xviii. verse 16. is evident from the marginal notes, which the translators, who were appointed by the national Synod of Dortrecht held 1618 and 1619, have annexed to that text. "Uit deese wet volght nootsakelyk; dat eene vrouwe met den eenen broeder getrouwt zynde, niet en magh, na syn doot, met den anderen broeder trouwen; cude gelyk zynde, en magh na haare doot

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d'andere suster niet trouwen. From this law it necessarily follows; that a woman who has been married with one brother, may not, after his death, marry with the other brother; and upon the same principle, a man who has been married to one sister, may not after her death, marry the other sister." - So their note upon verse 18. "Diens volgens en kan geensins daar uit besloten worden, dat de man haar suster soude mogen trouwen. It consequently can by no means from this be concluded, that the husband, after the death of his wife, may marry her sister.

A DOCUMENT which expresses the sentiments of the Reformed Dutch Church upon the law respecting Incest in general, and the marriage with a sister in law in particular, is found in an interesting publication, under the signature of the Professors of Theology in Leyden, dated Kal. July, 1711.

A man who resided in the western parts of Germany, on the confines of the Netherlands, had married his sister in law. The chief magistrate of that district, from favour and personal attachment, approved the marriage; but the Churches there


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