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such the primitive Christians certainly understood it, and in all successive generations, believers have always considered it a duty, expressly enjoined by their Lord, to cut off from their communion every person who commits Incest. But to what a fearful dilemma is the Church of the New-Testament reduced, if the Law contained in Levit. xviii be ceremonial and intended for Jews only? Where then is the standard by which Christians are to judge of this crime? How can they excommunicate a person for being guilty of Incest, if they cannot define the sin or ascertain the prohibited degrees? And how can they do this, without a written document, some infallible rule, by which they are to be guided? Must it be left to conjecture, to prejudice, to the arbitrary decision of the officers of the Church? Must it be measured by any vague and indefinite scale? Is not "to the law and to the testimony," a maxim and rule of proceeding for the Christian Church, as much as it was for the Jews? The divine Saviour has most assuredly not commanded his people to be vigilant against any sin, and faithful in their discipline respecting it, without informing them what constituted that sin. But where is the information given? Where has he explained that sin to them? There is no


Passage in the whole book of God which defines the crime, excepting in Levit. xviii and xx. If that law be ceremonial, then it is now abrogated and no longer in force. If that law were peculiar to the Jews, then Christians have no law respecting Incest, beside the law of nature; and they are placed exactly upon the same level with the unhappy Heathen, who sit in darkness and in the region of the shadow of death. If that law be exclusively attached to the Theocracy, then the Church of the Old Testament had more light and clearer information in an article essential to the preservation of her purity, and for promoting the glory of God, than the Church of the New-Testament. Under the former dispensation the crime was clearly ascertained, and the Church of the Old Testament proceeded safely in her censure. But if that law be not moral, the crime ceases now to be defined, while the obligation to avoid the crime still continues. The Christian Church is then indeed called to a severe duty, she is commanded to punish criminals, without possessing any infallible rule, or having any means of knowing, what constitutes the crime. - The truth is, the Church of the New-Testament has always considered the law in Levit. xviii to be moral and of


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