Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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PAGE 164

remonstrated against it; and by a formal application, requested the sentiments and direction of the Church of Holland in the case. It was brought before the Synod of South Holland and determined to be incestuous. To render public the grounds of their decision, and warn the members of their own Church against a similar crime, the Synod requested the celebrated professors MARK, VAN TIL, and FABRICIUS to exhibit a correct view of the divine law against Incest, and the prohibition with respect to this particular case. - It would gratify the reader to have the whole of this jucious publication translated and inserted here. But the limits of this dissertation forbid it - a few paragraphs only can be introduced.

"The divine Law is not only that which proceeds from the perfections of God, such as the command to love, fear, and serve him, and the injunction not to worship other gods, not to profane the divine name, &c. but also, that which God, in his infinite wisdom and good pleasure, has positively enjoined upon all men, and in all places. In this two-fold view of the moral law a distinction is evident. For while God cannot, consistent with his own perfections,

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determine otherwise respecting the former, nor make any exceptions, or in any case, dispense with obedience; yet, as to the latter, he might have determined the contrary, and can at any time, dispense with obedience, or make whatever exceptions his inifinite wisdom and good pleasure shall dictate. - In this latter class may be ranked, among many others, the laws concerning marriage, which constitute an union between one man and one woman; and forbid its dissolution excepting in cases of adultery or death. - Although these laws do not appear to be deduced from the essential perfections of God, yet, when revealed, they are justly considered to be moral, divine, and universal. - Men possess no more power to dispense with this latter kind of laws than with the former. For the will of God, from whatever source it proceeds or however it may be promulgated, must conscientiously be observed as the rule of conduct; and human commands, opinions, or dispensations can never sanction its violation. - The principle upon which all the prohibitions in the law against Incest proceeds, is, that the relation of consanguinity and affinity, in the question respecting marriage, is the same - The universal opinion of both ancient and modern divines accords with our sentiment."


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