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UNLAWFUL MARRIAGE.

the law? Were they so stupid as to be incapable of instruction? Were not the precepts that prohibited a son to marry his mother, or a brother to marry his sister, as intelligible to Hebrew women as the precepts in the Decalogue, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife?"

3. The Hebrew women were not passive in marriage. They had a voice in forming this interesting contract. Rebecca was consulted in regard to her marriage with Isaac. This indeed occurred before the giving of the Mosaic law; but it indicates the custom among the ancient Hebrews. Ruth certainly was not passive in forming a matrimonial connexion with Boaz. She took decisive measures for effecting it. See Ruth, chap. 3. The childless widow was authorized by law to require her husband's brother to marry her, and to treat him with great indignity if he refused. (Deut. 25:5–10.) A daughter betrothed by her parents, was allowed, when she came of age, the privilege of refusing to consummate the marriage with the man selected, and afterwards forming a matrimonial connexion with any one she might choose. See the form