him to marry THE SISTER, who is much nearer of kin than either of the former.
3. The relation produced by marriage is PECULIAR. It affects the husband and wife alone, and does not, as such, create any new relations between their respective relatives;
agreeably to the adage, affinis mei affinis non est affinis meus.
4. As the relation created by marriage arises from the union established by God himself, and is therefore real and legal, so
it is PERMANENT AND INDISSOLUBLE. The nearness of kin which affinity
has formed will never cease. The death of either of the parties cannot cancel the kindred, or cause any change in the degree of relation.
This duration proceeds from the very principle of affinity, as well as from the express declaration of the divine law,
and it is consonant with the universal consent and language of all nations. The step-mother remains a mother, after the death of the father, as much as
in his life time; the wife of a son, after his decease, is still a daughter; the sister of a wife, continues to be a sister, after the death of the wife, exactly as
she was before; the wife of the uncle, after his
death, is still an aunt, and will be so as long as she lives. All these are sacred and forbidden in marriage.
The degrees of kindred are unalterable. They remain in their whole extent, the same they were before. Such persons may never be approached
for cohabitation. The maxim admits of no controversy: any person with whom, AT ANY TIME, it would have been incest to cohabit, will FOREVER
remain forbidden. No circumstance can obliterate the relation. Every marriage with such is always incest.
How men of discernment and candour can permit themselves to hesitate in the case of a sister by affinity, when they admit the relation and prohibition
to extend to others by affinity, is truly astonishing. To assert that the sister may be exempted, when those who are more distant, are acknowledged to be too near of kin,
can never be sustained by any rational argument. - It will be seen, when we explain the law of prohibitions, that it avails nothing to
search for ambiguity in the letter of the precept; it is explicit, intelligible and decisive. Had even the
divine law been altogether silent upon that particular case, and the sister in law not mentioned at all, it