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which had been created by his antecedently taking possession of her person.

From the 17th verse it is usually understood, that, if the father refused to give her to him, the man was to pay a satisfaction in money for the injury and disgrace he had done her : and though the law, ver. 16. appointed the marriage, both as a punishment to him that had done the wrong, and a recompence to her that had suffered the wrong: yet that there was an express reservation of the father's power (ver. 17.) if he refused his consent, it must be no marriage ; only the money to be paid as την τιμήν της ύβρεως-a fatisfaction for her reproach, as Josephus speaks.

The Jewish doctors were very lax in their interpretation of this passage of scripture, who would not have it to be a command (ver. 16.) that he should marry her (though that was best) but only that he should make satisfaction for taking away her virginity; which was by paying so much in the nature of dowry as would render her fit to be his wife if both of them could agree.

This interpretation of the 16th verse, is one of those arbitrary expositions of the Talmudists, which by robbing the text of its plain meaning, leave us to the uncertainty of human imagination, which being various in various men, must render the scriptures totally uncertain as to any determinate meaning whatsoever.

The 17th verse fays nothing of the marriage, whether it all or shall not be binding,

on the father's refusal; but only " If the

father utterly refuse to give her unto him, be fall pay money according to the dowry of vir

gins.Here I take the words according to our translation—" If,&c. and supposing it (for argument's fake) to include a reservation of the father's authority, so that he might, even where matters had gone so far as described ver. 16. invalidate the contract, by witholding his confent-which, though inlisted on by the Talmudists, is hardly reconcileable with the peremptory and positive command, ver. 16.-yet this does not affect the principal point which I contend for, and which is contained in ver. 16; namely, that it is the taking polèfon of the woman's perfon which creates the contract, or marriageobligation. Therefore, no man, agreeably to the divine law, can entice a virgin, defile her, and then forsake her at his own will and pleafure, as is done every day among us in this Christian land, where the law of God is fupposed to be the rule of right and wrong, but is, in truth and in fact, put entirely out of the question.

I thought fit to lay these several expositions of this scripture before the reader, that he might the better judge how far I may be right in my views of it, which are before submitted to his consideration, p. 25-28 ; and, at the same time, form his own judgment of the matter, from that which appears to him to be most agreeable to the context, as well as to the rest of the scripture.



The apostle tells us, Rom. iii. 19. Whatsoever things the law

faith, it saith to them that are under the law, therefore no few, who by circumcison was a debtor to do the whole law (Gal. v. 3.) could be exempt from any part of it. For a like reason, the believing Gentiles, who are compared to the olive-tree wild by nature, but grafted into the good olive-tree (fee Rom. xi. 24.) and become members of God's church by the circumcision made without hands (Col. ii. 11.) are certainly under the law as a rule of life, and therefore subject to its moral precepts in every

instance. From hence it ought to be concluded, that Christians are as much bound by Exod. xxii. 16. and Deut. xxii. 28, 29, as the Jews are. No reason can be given to the contrary, which will not equally apply to their exemption from the ten commandments; for these were at first delivered, and immediately and particularly addressed to the Jews, as appears from the short preface, Exod. xx. I, 2.

But can there be found a man, mad enough to suppose, that because they were emphatically addressed to the people which God brought out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, no others have any thing to do with them?





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HE celebrated Martinus Bucerus, onc

of our excellent and learned Reformers, in enarrationibus ad cap. 19. Libri Judicum, has left us the following observation concerning concubinage ; which seems to throw much light on the subject.

Concubinæ erant legitima etiam uxores : “ sed hoc a matronis differebant, quod fine “ dote & fine folenni fanctificatione recipiebantur: & erant ferè ex ancillis, & servilis “ conditionis : & non erant adjutoria illius

præftantioris gradus, ut omni rerum com“ munione gauderent sed humiliore gradu, & quæ haberentur humiliore loco, quod “ ad administrationem domus attinet, & ad “ filiorum fucceflionem.-Legitimum verò

genus concubinarum est, quum habentur conjunctæ copula matrimoniali, ne abjici temere pofsint: tametsi non habeant communionem plenam omnium rerum cum marito, ut matres-familias : nec convene

runt pactis dotalibus, unde & nati ex illis “ non habent successionem in hæreditate pa“ ternâ cum natis ex matre-familias : sicut Abraham ex concubinis veris uxoribus, sed

non' matribus-familias, dona quædam de

putavit, portionem hæreditatis nullam ad“ dixit.--Ex legitimo genere concubinarum fu“ erunt concubinæ sanctorum patrûm. Et

quia DOMINUS dignitates & patrimonia,

quæ fuis contulit, conservari vult, optan“ dum omninó ut hoc genus uxorum, uti VOL, I,




apud sanctiffimos olim Patres observatum

eft, rursus apud Christianos, & maximè in “ præftantibus familiis observaretur, &c.”

* Concubines were also lawful wives ; but “ in this they differed from the matrons, that

they were received without dowry and a “ folemn fanctification. They were usually from maid-servants, and of a servile con“ dition ; and they were not help-mates of " that superior degree, as to enjoy a commu" nion of things in every respect, but in a “ lower degree, and were reckoned in a lower

sphere, as to the administration of the house, and the succession of their sons.

They are a lawful kind of concubines, who

are joined to their husbands by a matrimonial tie, so that they cannot rafhly be put

away; although they may not have a full communion of all things with their huf

bands, as mistresses of the family, nor did “ they agree (or come together) by dowrycontracts; wherefore the fons born of them " have not a succession in the heritage of the “ father, with the sons of the mistress of the

house. Thus Abraham gave gifts to the “ fons born of his concubines, who were true wives, but

gave them no portion of the “ inheritance. The concubines of the holy “ fathers were of the lawful kind. And be• cause the LORD wills, that the dignities “ and patrimonies which He has conferred on His people, should be preserved, it is altogether to be wished, that this kind " of wives, as observed among

the holy patriarchs, might be again observed among 5


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