Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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upon custom, education or profession. The mind revolts at the transaction, as contrary to all order in society; and pronounces it to be indecent and filthy - infamous and wicked - an offence which cruelly invades the sacred recesses of families and endangers the purity of the most protected members. *

It is a crime not only punishable in civil society; but a sin which will bring down the judgments of God upon any land, where it is tolerated and practiced - that very sin which served to fill the cup of the Amorites, and render them obnoxious to extermination. *


*   "Incest is the first class of those sins which make a land mourn, and bring the wrath of God on the children of disobedience. - Whether it be lawful for a man to marry his wife's sister, is doubtless a question of great magnitude, of high and general concern. - A question in which every person is deeply interested, lest by such a marriage he should involve himself in great guilt, live a course of gross wickedness, and bring on himself and others the vengeance of Almighty God. Families are no less interested than individuals; because if the marriage of such a relative be incest, they become, by this means, guilty and exposed to the curse of God. Ministers of the gospel are deeply concerned in it, as they are set of keep the doors of God's house, and to make a difference between the clean and the unclean, the holy and the profane. If the marriage connection with a wife's sister be incest, they are not only under indispensable obligations to avoid it themselves; but to bear a united, firm and decided testimony against it. - The Churches of Christ are greatly concerned in the question, lest they become contaminated by such incestuous persons, and bring on themselves the divine abhorrence and curse. Pastors and churches are called immediately to act relative to them. It highly concerns them to know and do their duty. As communities are composed of individuals and families, so, as they are corrupted and become exposed to divine judgments, the great body becomes corrupt and exposed to the judgments of God. - How highly interesting then, how practical, and of what general concern is this question? How seriously ought it to be discussed, and with what impartiality ought all to attend to the subject? Fully persuaded as I am of the unlawfulness of conjugal connections with a wife's sister, I am bound in duty, in love to God, to individuals, to the churches of Christ, and to the community in general, fully and fairly to discuss the subject, and to make my appeal to every candid reader, and to the public, with respect to the conclusiveness of the argument." - See an excellent Essay entitled, "an appeal to the public relative to the unlawfulness of marrying a wife's sister," by the Rev. Dr. B. Trumbull, page 3, 4.


Incest is a disgrace to marriage and pollutes the institution. The incestuous parties are forbidden to enter into that holy state. They are not, they cannot be married. The form, with respect to them, is void. It is no marriage. Their cohabitation is a continual fornication, with the aggravated guilt of prohibited commerce. What is wicked in the first instance cannot by repetition become innocent. What is accursed of God in the commencement can never become less criminal or obtain the divine approbation and blessing, by habitual indulgence.

"In order to preserve chastity in families, and between persons of different sexes brought up and living together in a state of unreserved intimacy, it is necessary by every method possible, to inculcate an abhorrence of incestuous conjunctions; which abhorrence can only be upheld by the absolute


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