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the merely civil contract of marriage, confirmed without a religious ratification.
Whatever may be thought-of. exceptions of a character so entirely negative, they cannot be suffered to counteract the positive evidence of the religious ratification of marriage which is derived from the ordinary practice of the heathens and the Jews, and which is recommended in the allusions of Scripture, explained by the rites which have been used in the Christian Church from the earliest periods, which together form a cumulative argument in favour of the religious ratification, equivalent to an universal tradition, corresponding with the common sense and reason of mankind. The consecration which God has given to marriage is, “ by the sense of all civilized nations, attested in their earliest writings: which are the only proofs that can in reason be expected of a consecration of the state by God himself in the first settlement of civil societies long before the earliest writings.”
The ancient Alexandrians required the presence of a priest, and did not allow any marriage of which the priest of the goddess Isis had not signed the instruments with his own hands; and it is related of the Egyptians in general, that their marriages were anciently celebrated in the temple of Isis, and that the man swore that he would love the woman dearly; and the woman, that she would make the man her husband, and lord of all that she hadh.
'Leslie's Sermon concerning marriages in different communions, prosecuted by Dodwell, p. 30.
& Ux. Ebr. 1. ji. c. 28,
Sacrifices at marriage were also customary among the ancient Latins and the ancient Greeks in Italy, as was the sacrifice of a victim on the day following the marriage. In Hetruria, when the kings and chief men contracted marriage, it was usual for the bride and the bridegroom to slay a hog. The practice of the Thessalians was to celebrate sacred rites before marriage under the name of youoônio 14. And even in Mexico marriages were not contracted without the use of incensei. It is a remark old and true, that even the men whom the first origin of society has scattered in the uninhabitable regions of the earth do not contract matrimony without the proper solemnities of marriagek.
In countries of which the manners are more fully known there is more clear and distinct evidence of the religious ratification of marriage, and of the sacerdotal benediction, either expressly asserted, or implied in the oblation of prayers and sacrifices, without which there was no celebration of marriage!.
Sufficient traces are preserved of the form of celebrating marriage among the Greeks to leave no doubt of the use of religious rites. Among the Locrians and Baotians the bride and bridegroom usually ratified the marriage by a solemn libation"; and before the marriage they offered sacrifice to Euclia, who had an image in the market-place, and is supposed to have been the same with Diana, the goddess of virginity. There is the most copious evidence
i Ux. Ebr. l. ii. c. 21. I Servius ad Æneid. üi. Gerhard.
* Arnob. Adv. Gentes, l. i. c. 2. in Plutarch. in v. Aristid. apud
of the law and ceremonies of marriage among the Athenians, which they ascribed to the Muse Erato, and which were certainly of remote antiquity, and had the sanction of the highest authority, that of Plato, who recommended, in different treatises", that the inauguration of marriage should be conducted by the priests, with the oblation of prayers and sacrifices, and that certain festive rites should be appointed by the laws, in which the bridegroom and the bride should make their covenant ; in which sacrifices should be offered, and hymns be sung, appropriate to the celebration of marriage. When the Athenian girls attained the age of marriage, it was usual, xampogelv, to offer baskets full of curious trifles to Diana, to deprecate the anger of the goddess, and to obtain her permission to quit her train, and cease to be one of the atunyes xogai, offering at the same time the sacrifices of a calf or young heifero, which had never been joined or married to the yoke. When the girl was betrothed, she was led by her parents into the temple of Minerva in the citadel, to take her leave of that virgin goddess, and sacrifices were offered upon the occasion P: she was also presented to Diana before it was lawful for her to marry, and that she might propitiate the favour of the goddess with certain ceremonies. On the day before the marriage, which was thence called younaoce xougEwtis, or the day of the matrimonial tonsure, it • De leg. I. v. De rep.
apud Gerhard. μοσχοι τε προ γαμων, ας θεα πεσειν χρέων,
Αρτεμιδι. . Eur. Iphig. in Aul. v. 1112. • This day, according to Julius Pollux, Onomast. I. iii. wa called apotidia. Brisson de Jur. Con.
was usual to shave the head and to present a lock of the hair to the goddess4. Sacrifices were also offered to Venus and the Graces for the past, to Jano, as Pronuba, for the present, and to Lucina, or Materfamilias, for the future; and, whether they were offered to Diana or to Juno, these sacrifices and the prayers which accompanied them were called γαμηλιοι ευχαι, προγαμεια, προτελειαι ευχοι Or προτελεια. It is known that marriage was called Tedos, to marry τελειωθηναι, married persons τελειοι, the gods who were the chief patrons of marriage Jupiter Tedios and Juno Tedeia, the marriage, the day and the sacrifice of marriage, Te.£lov, and the preparatory sacrifice TGOTEdex. It may be difficult to ascertain the original use and intention of these terms, which, although they may contain an allusion to marriage, as a perfect state of life, proper to perfect men, may be more distinctly and decisively referred to the religious rites of marriage, and to the sacred initiation of the persons to be married. The Athenians understood by Agotedeia generally any acts or gifts preceding the dedication of any thing which was offered to the Deity, and especially the prayers and sacrifices which accompanied marriage, which they called Tedos, because it was a sacred perfection of things which concern human life. They held marriage to
4 Rous Archæolog. Att. l. iv. c. 7. Potter represents this ceremony with its appropriate titles to be peculiar to one day of the ceremony, called Apaturia, when fathers had their children entered in the public registers, and offered sacrifices for their prosperity, with a particular respect to their marriages. Antiq. b. iv. c. 11. from whence, and from the corresponding chapter of Rous, this account of the Grecian marriages is chiefly taken.
be a mystery, and therefore they used terms denoting the initiation and purification preparatory to the mysteries'. The classical writers, in their frequent allusions to the prayers and sacrifices of marriage, convey the strongest proof of the ordinary practice of the ages.
Other gods, besides those which have been mentioned, were concerned in the nuptial solemnities. The Spartan mothers, notwithstanding the secrecy and clandestinity of their marriages, sacrificed to Venus Juno when their daughters were married ; and the most ancient Athenians paid the same honours to heaven and earth, whose combined energy in the production and maturity of all fruits was esteemed a fit emblem of marriage. The Fates were also propitiated, as were different deities at different places: and religious honour was especially shewn upon the occasion at Træzen, to Hippolytus, who died to preserve his chastity; at Megara, with libations to Iphinoe, who died a virgin ; at Delos,
Lycurgus apud Brisson de ju. Con. Dionysius Areop. Ep. 7. with the note of Maximus the Scholiast, apud A. Hotman de Vet. Rit. Nupt. c. 1. πολλης δε
τησδε τ' ακροθινια παιδων
και γαμηλιου τελους. . Æsch. Eumen, v. 832.
-ut Solenni more sacrorum
Prætulit, ut dextrum pariter vertantur in orbem. Val. Fl. Argon. 1. 8. apud Brisson. “ Aristoteles in (Econ. I. i. c. 3. citat Pythagoræ sententiam, quod maritus debeat uxori beneficentiam et tutelam, quia sponsa ei ad aram, ut supplex, commendatur." Gerhard.