Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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PAGE 174

declared by the great Lawgiver, to be equally near with that in blood. THEREFORE, the relatives by affinity are to be estimated in the same degree with those of consanguinity; and the nearness of kin must be measured by the same scale.

Incest is a crime abhorred of God and detested by men; a crime against which the Church is enjoined to be vigilant, and is commanded to cast those who have committed it, out of her communion. THEREFORE she may not look upon it with indifference, nor delay to punish it with immediate censure.

The Moral Law of God, whether it be founded in his perfections and in our nature, or proceed from a positive precept, is of universal and perpetual obligation; - The law contained in Levit. xviii. 6-17, xx. 11. 12., 14. 17. 19. 20. 21. is not ceremonial or restricted to the Theocracy, but is a moral law. THEREFORE, it must of necessity bind Christians and all Mankind, equally with the Jews, and the precept which prohibited a marriage with a sister in law under the Old, forbids also a similar marriage under the New-Testament.

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In Marriage the dearest comforts of the human family are involved, and society is deeply interested in the preservation of its purity. THEREFORE, it is incumbent upon the Community to stigmatise with infamy every species of Incest, and particular to denounce a marriage between brothers and sisters in law, as an evil practice of modern date, as indecent, and inimical to virtue.

The Church cannot possibly avoid being offended with such marriages. It is tHEREFORE inadmissible, for those who contract them, to plead ignorance of offence; nor can they have any cause for complaint, when they are made to feel the weight of that authority wherewith the Lord Jesus has invested his church, and which she is bound, without partiality, to exercise.

It is conceded that brothers and sisters in law are prohibited to intermarry by the law in Leviticus; and it has been proved that the Objections, against the extent of that law, and its binding power upon Christians are unfounded and frivolous. THEREFORE, those objections ought to be abandoned and never, from interest or prejudice, be again suggested.


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