Marriage Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection

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they not be acknowledged as such, wherever they are found, and in whatever connection they are introduced? Are not many of them expressly cited in the New-Testament, and applied to Christians? And will any dare to say, that they do not bind all men as much as they did the Jews?

The books of the Old Testament are received as inspired volumes, and venerated as the standard of faith and conduct by Christians as much as they were by the Israelites. There is but one Church, as there is but one Saviour. Under both dispensations, the Church is essentially the same. What was the word of God to the Old Testament, is the word of God to the New-Testament. The five books of Moses are a precious portion of the sacred oracles. Those who understand the scriptures know how to explain and appreciate them. Christians can distinguish between what was peculiar and attached to a particular period of the Church, before the coming of the precious Saviour; and that which is moral and applicable to all men.

As every command in the Decalogue is afterwards recognised and fortified by particular moral precepts,


expressly given for that purpose; we may, a priori, be assured, that the seventh command will also be protected, and what respects its scope and extent will find some conspicuous place in the book of laws. The prohibition of adultery preserved the honour of the sacred institution, after it is consummated - but important inquiries respecting the parties who might lawfully enter into that state were left undecided in the letter of the Decalogue. - Whether the ordinance of marriage be free, without any restraint or limits, so that all, whatever be their mutual kindred, may lawfully approach each other? or whether there be any prohibitions, and if any, what are the specific prohibited degrees? These were of the highest importance to be known and remained yet to be more plainly revealed. If by the light of nature, they could in some measure be discovered, it would still be a benefit to have them specifically ascertained by the authority of a divine revelation. It was therefore to be expected that in some part or other of the divine law, this subject would be introduced. Every other precept of the Decalogue is distinctly recollected, illustrated and enforced; and surely what respects an ordinance, which God most solemnly instituted and blessed, which he honours,


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