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in which the words seem to be confounded are not conclusive. 5. Togueix in the use of the Hellenistic writers signifies chiefly the apostacy of idolatry. Citation of texts in which the words nogueuw, EXTOgVEUW, Togun, and noguerol, occur in the sense of apostacy: of texts in which the same words denote idolatrous initiation : and in which they denote incestuous marriage of the faithful with the unbelieving Application of the argument in exposition of Acts xv. 20, 29. Vatt. v. 32. xix. 9. The argument confirmed by the use of the words in the writings of Philo Judæus, Josephus, and other Hellenistic writers before the time of Christ, and by the use of the Christian writers of the three first centuries.
No. II. DOCUMENTS EXPLANATORY OF THE OBJECTIONS OF UNITA
RIANS AND FREE-THINKING CHRISTIANS TO THE OFFICE FOR THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY, AND OF THE GROUNDS UPON WHICH THEY SEEK THE PRIVILEGE OF MARRYING IN THEIR PRIVATE CONVENTICLES.
Petition to the Houses of Parliament. Resolutions of the Unitarian Association. Forms of Protest. Defence of Protest.
Page 570. CHAPTER VI. THE DIFFICULTIES WHICH EMBARRASS THE
PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICE OF DIVORCE.
authority. The divine institution of marriage is not only a speculative opinion, but it is a powerful principle, affecting the whole law and doctrine of marriage, elevating its dignity, requiring its religious ratification, restricting its impediments, enforcing its duties, and aggravating the guilt of its violation. It is also a principle of the highest authority, in settling the term and period of marriage. If marriage be but a civil contract and nothing more, no reason can be alleged why the contract should not be limited to a certain period, or why it should not contain a covenant for the dissolution of the contract at the mutual pleasure and discretion of the parties. It is certain, that wherever the divine institution and the religious ratification, conformable with that institution, have been depreciated or neglected, the facilities of sepa-' ration have been indefinitely increased : and this is the natural result which might be expected, that parties to a contract merely civil should fix the terms upon which they shall enter into a conventional agreement, into a voluntary association of persons
and of interests. There is nothing in marriage, considered merely as a civil contract, which essentially distinguishes it from other contracts, or which proves that it contains, what many have ascribed to it, a natural incapacity of being dissolved by the consent of the parties, at the option of both or either of them“. Expedience is the only ground of the permanence of marriage, considered merely as a civil contract.
“ It is evidently most essential, according to every view of public expediency, as well as of justice between private parties, that of all contracts, that of marriage should have a fixed and indelible character, which it shall not be in the power of the husband to alter at pleasure. But the municipal laws as to divorce in almost every state, ancient and modern, are peculiar and local. These too are sometimes quite opposite even in neighbouring provinces of the same state. No example can be more striking than that of the three kingdoms of the British empire ; in two of which marriage is indissoluble by judicial sentence; while in the other it may be dissolved either for adultery or continued non-adherence after legal requisition. By the law of the French revolutionary governments, and by the law of Russia, as to certain classes, incompatibility of temper has been made a ground of divorce. In the Netherlands opposite rules prevail. Those of the several states of Germany are altogether different from each other, and at variance. The municipal systems of the
a Paley's Mor. Philos. b. iii. pt. 3. c. 3. Selden de Jure Nat. et Gent. 1. v. c. 7.
other countries of Europe are equally discordant on this head. In America, while some of the United States follow the English rule, in others six weeks' absence is a sufficient ground of divorce : and the European colonies throughout the world follow each the law of the kingdom to which they belong. Indeed, quotations from each would only prove, that perfect agreement between any two of these codes, as to the extent of the remedy to be afforded for conjugal wrongs, if it exists at all, is extremely rare; and that there is scarcely any other point on which such unbounded freedom of judgment has been exercised by each legislature. ...»
« Regulations as to divorce, both in respect of their origin and of their nature, have been held to form a subject altogether different, and to belong to a class entirely separate and distinct, from the essential qualities of marriage. No contrast indeed was ever more striking than that which subsists between them. Never was the different impress of divine and human origin more manifest. According to views of expediency and internal policy, often doubtful and transient, each legislature, following exclusively its own objects, has not only laid down peculiar rules, but has changed these from time to time as the circumstances of its own subjects happened to alter. Hence in these municipal rules there is so little of fixed and essential principle, that a collection of the whole, even upon the single article of divorce, would at first sight appear little better than a ludicrous exhibition of human inconsistency and caprice. Nor even
Fergusson's Reports of Consistorial Decisions, p. 101.