Page:Unlawfulmarriage00jane.djvu/187

This page has been validated.
183
UNLAWFUL MARRIAGE.

riage "an obscene transaction;" and afterwards, in proving it to be unlawful, reasons thus: "We might, in the first instance, object, (and in matters of this kind, such objection is of great importance,) that among Christians, there is no such custom; and custom has the authority of law. But I am far from admitting that the divine Lawgiver has been silent on this subject. On the contrary, I assert that he has most severely and pointedly condemned such marriages; for that alone, Thou shalt not approach to any who is near of kin, certainly includes this species of relation; for what is so near to a man as his wife? are they not one flesh? By the wife, therefore, her sister becomes nearly related to the husband. For as he may not marry the mother of his wife, or the daughter of his wife, so, for the same reason that he may not take the mother or the daughter, he may not take the sister of his wife; yea, no more than he may take his own sister by blood."[1]

In this extract we have, besides the reasoning of this great Christian divine, his testimony to

  1. Dr Livingston's Disser. pp. 149, 150.