Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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PAGE 176

The greatest and best Men in every age of the Christian dispensation, who have been a blessing to the World, and an honour to the Church, have uniformly determined the law of Leviticus, against Incest, to be moral and of universal obligation, and have decidedly declared the marriage with a sister in law to be incestuous; and all the Churches of every denomination have concurred in this judgment: it will THEREFORE, be advisable for those who deny this doctrine, to suspect their own private opinions, and read more and study the subject better, before they venture to oppose Men of erudition, piety and character, with whom, to institute a comparison, would be odious and humiliating.

The REFORMED CHURCH IN HOLLAND has established by her Canons, "that no man may marry his sister in law, and no woman may marry her brother in law," and has never deviated from that rule. - The REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA is the same with the Church of Holland, has adopted the same Canons, corresponds with that Church, and is esteemed and beloved by it, as a valuable portion of the same Church, and is bound by the most sacred obligations to transmit

PAGE 177

unimpaired to posterity the precious treasure with which she is intrusted. There can THEREFORE be no cause of suspense, no motive for hesitation; but on the contrary, every consideration, suggested by faithfulness to God and attachment to his Church, renders it an imperious duty, to avoid even the appearance of SCHISM, and strictly to ABIDE BY THE ESTABLISHED CANONS.

It has pleased the Lord to preserve this Church, during two centuries in America; * and render her conspicuous and respectable for her faithful adherence to the doctrines of the gospel and the purity of her morals. It is, THEREFORE, fervently hoped, this distinguished Church will never relax in her holy discipline, nor tarnish her high and worthy character, by abandoning her standards, or rescinding her own Canons - above all, that she will not be the first; the only one in this country, or even in


*   The Records of the Reformed Dutch Church, inthe City of New-York, commence in the year 1639, and contain, in several folio volumes, an accurate Register of all the successive officers of the Church, and members in full communion; and of all the marriages and baptisms, beside the acts of the Consistory, to the present day. The former parts are written in an elegant old character, and are probably the most ancient Church Records in America. - A Copy is extant of a list of members, dated 1622, which proves that then a Dutch Church was already organized in New-York.


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