Page:Unlawfulmarriage00jane.djvu/206

This page has been validated.
202
UNLAWFUL MARRIAGE.

To all these reasons we subjoin another, that a man is expressly prohibited to marry his wife's sister. (Ver. 18.)

The prohibition is so plain that our brethren do not deny that it was unlawful to marry a wife's sister, while she was living. But they contend, that the prohibition was binding only during the life-time of the first sister to whom the man was married.

In replying to this objection, we shall not avail ourselves of the position taken by our friends, who contend that this part of the law relates to Polygamy. Allowing the construction put upon the text by our opponents to be correct, we shall meet them on their own chosen ground.

Two remarks will aid us in coming to a right conclusion.

1. The question under debate, is not whether it was lawful for a Jew, but whether it is lawful for a Christian, to marry his deceased wife's sister? These questions are materially different; because the circumstances of the two individuals are widely different. The Jew lived under a Theocracy, a civil government in which God was the king; and the light which he enjoyed was com-