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being thus great, and the wickedness thus heinous, no punishment could be too severe to deter them from it.--And as to the 18th verse of chapter xviii. tho many learned men have thought it to be a prohibition of polygamy, which is also the opinion of Dr. Rutherforth, (whose Institutes on Civil Law, we have lately had the pleasure of perusing, and shall mention in our next); yet Mr. Fry thinks that sense of it rejected by the best Commentators : and having mentioned Bishop Pa trick, Bishop Kidder, Mr. Ainsworth, and Mr. Poole, if, fays he, the observations of those learned Commentators bę right, may not the sense of the text be. Thou shalt not take
thy wife's fister and debauch her in thy wife's presence, or
before her face, thereby to vex, or be revenged of, thy < wife,' that being the most effectual way to vex her. :
Our Author also citing Lev. xviii. 3, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, together with chap. xx. verse 23, and Deut, xii. 31, makes this remark, It is surely then altogether unreasonable to suppose that the things, here forbidden, were, any of them, such as God himself made necessary to be done at the institution of marriage, in the time of man's innocence; or which the best of his own people, even the fathers of those very persons to : whom these laws were especially given, frequently practised, and that not only without blame, but even with approbation..
Besides, to throw still further light on this eighteenth chapter of Leviticus, our Author refers us to Jer. v. 7, 8, 9. and Ezek. xxii. 9, 10, 11, and remarks on the eleventh verse of the twenty second chapter of Ezekiel, that in all our former tranflations, and agreeably to the plain sense of the Hebrew WIN7, it stood thus. Every one hath committed abomination with his neighbour's wife, and every one hath wickedly defiled his daughter-in-law; and in thee hath every man forced his own fifter ; which manner of rendering it is also approved of in the margin of our present Bibles. He quotes also the affair of Reubeng Genesis xxxv. 22. and xlix. 4. with 1 Chron. V. I; of Amnon, 1 Sam. xiii. 11, 12, 13, 14, and of Abfalom,, 2 Sam. xvi. 21, 22; as violations of right, which this law intended to prevent.
Having thus far ascertained the genuine design and meaning of those Levitical laws, he next proceeds to obviate an objection or two-; one is, that the Jews, to whose forefathers those laws were given, take them to be prohibitions of marriages, and must be supposed to understand their own laws. To this Mr. Fry replies, that all the Jewish traditional books, having been composed long after the times of their Prophets, can be of no authority, nor deserve any regard, especially since
our bleffed Lord himself observed, when here on earth, that the Jews, by their traditions, transgreffed the commandments of God, making them void and of no effect; Matth, xv. 3-6. and Mark vii. 8 to 13; Another objection is, that if mar, riage with near kindred is not the thing intended to be forbidden, what need could there be, after the general prohibition against defiling, to proceed fo minutely to particulars ? This Nr. Fry looks upon to be the most plaufible and weightry argument that has yet been, or ever can be, offered in
opposition to the notion advanced by himself, but thinks the fol lowing considerations are a clear and full answer to it. First, That it is usual in the law of Moses, to prohibit expressly some particular aggravating circumstances of some fins, on account of their heinous nature, the danger people may be under of being tempted to the commission of them, and the dreadful consequences attending them; notwithstanding these very çircumstances are included under some general prohibition. Of this he gives instances in the case of prophane cursing, Exod. xxi. 17. Levit. xx. 9. Exod. xxii. 28. Leỹ. xix. 14 ; in the cale of oppression, Exod. xxii. 21. and xxiii. 9. Exod. xxii, 22. Deut. xxiv. 14; of unrighteous judg. ment, Lev. xix. 15. Exod. xxiii. 6. Deut. xxiv. 17 ; of false measure, Lev. xix. 35. Exod. xx. 3, 4. Deut. v. 8, and of idol worship, Lev, xix. 4. Exod. xxxiv. 17. Exod, **. 23.
And 2dly, he remarks, that the defiling of near kindred is a circumstance of the above nature, and therefore fit to be particularly prohibited.
Nor does Mr. Fry stop here ; but having fhewed, in the panner already explained, that marriages betwixt near kindred are not prohibited by the Mosaic laws, he farther asserts, that such marriages were well approved of under that difpenfa. tion; and in one case exprely commanded.
This he exemplifies, 'first, in the case of Zelophehad's daughters, who, being five in number, married five brothers, who were their own cousin-germans. This cafe happened not only in the time of Mofes, by whom the Levitical laws were given, but under his inspection, and with his approbation. Numb. xxxvi. 10, 11. 2dly. In the case of Archa, the daughter of that eminent servant of God, Caleb, who gave beş în marriage to Othniel, his younger brother's son. Judg. i. 13. 3dly. In that of Ruth, mentioned Ruth iii. 9, 12, 13: whence it is evident, that the being near of kin was then made a reason for marriage, and not an objection against it. And Athly; as to collateral kindred by consanguinity; tho'it is probable, that marriage betwixt the nearest of them, viz. brother
and fifter, was unusual; yet from the story of Amnon and Tamar, it is highly probable, that such a marriage was not then deemed unlawful: for surely, if these laws in Leviticus had been then taken for prohibitions of marriage, King David, whose delight it was to study and exercise himself in God's law day and night, must have been well acquainted with them. And as there are therein, commands to teach the law diligently unto their children, &c. without doubt the royal Prophet did it; and therefore, had there been therein any prohibitions of marriages with near kindred, his children certainly must have known it. And if those laws had been then taken for such prohibitions, as Tamar could not have been ignorant of it herfelf, fo muft she likewise have known, that her brother Amnon also knew it. But by her words to him, 2 Sam. xiii. 13. it is plain the knew of no law against such a marriage; from whence, therefore, it is highly probable, that these laws were not then taken in that sense. But sthly, what puts this beyond all doubt, and is a full demonstration that the law relates not to marriage, is God's absolute command to marry the fifter. in-law. Deut. xxv. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10. It is plain, adds our Author, by what has been proved in the former part of this difcourse, that by the Mosaic law, brother and sister-in-law were at liberty to marry, when the brother, at his death, left children; but if he left no child, the brother was under an express command, as above, to take her to wife.
This part of our Author's argument is also compleated, by solving the following inquiry; Were then no marriages forbidden in fcripture? Yes, says Mr. Fry; at the original inftitution of marriage by Almighty God, he commanded them, with relation to it, to leave father and mother ; by which it is very plain, marriages between parents and their children were prohibited, and consequently all marriages in the ascending and descending line; and this is all prohibited in the Holy Scriptures, as to marriages betwixt kindred. But some other marriages, such as marriages with the Canaanites, and the inhabitants of other countries, are there clearly forbidden to the children of Ifrael, and that not in dark and doubtful expressions, but in such plain words as cannot be mistaken. Deut. vii. 2, 3. And it is very evident they also broke this law, and were severely reprehended for it. Ezra x. 10, TÍ, 12, 13, 14. Neh. xiii. 23, 25, 26, 27. 1 Kings xi. 1, 2, 3, 4. Do we find any thing like this, adds he, with respect to marriages betwixt near kindred? Do we find any where in Scripture, that any were separated, or in the least blamed, on that account? Shew me but ane instance, and I will give up the whole point. The
quite contrary is the truth. The being near kin is there made an argument for marriage, and those who married their near kindred are commended for it. Ruth iii. 9. Numb. xxxvi. 10, 11. Tobit i. 9. and iii. 15. and iv, 12, 13.
Thus far our Author reasons, as to what appears in the Old Testament relative to his subject. And as to the New, he observes, with respect to the affair of Herod, taken notice of in Matt. xiv. 3. Mark vi. 17. and Luke iii. 19, 20. that tho’ this hath been produced as an evidence of the unlawfulness of marrying a brother's wife, yet that notion will be sufficiently refuted, by only relating the true state of the fact, as given us by Dr. Whitby, on Matt. xiv. 3, 4. from Yosephus, and the old Jewish chronicles, which in short is as follows. This Herod, whilft married to the King of Petrea's daughter, took away from his brother kis wife Herodias, and kept her as his own; which was a moft gross act of adultery, and not at all a marriage. And as to the only other initance from the New Teftament, alleged as favouring the same notion, viz. the man spoken of i.Cor. V.d, our Author, remarks, that by having the father's wife, is not there meantmarrying the father's widow, but taking the father's wife from him, and adulteroully living with her in the father's life-time; as, is evident fromn 2 Cor. vii. 12. Wherefore, tho? I wrote unto yout, I did it not for his cauje that had done the wrong, i.e. the fornicator's, mentioned i Cor. v. 1. nor for his cause that suffered wrong, i, e. the father of the fornicator, who was injured by his son's wickedness. Had the Apostle meant it of marrying the father's widow, he would not have said, it was sucb fornication as was not named amongst the Gentiles; for marrying the father's widow was 'not only named, but allow'd, by many Gentile nations. Taylor's Duct. Dub. I. 2. c. 1, v. 1. fect. 9. p. 174; and Dr. Hammond's Annot, on i Cor. v. 1. And our Author, upon the whole, concludes, that had there been any impurity in marriages between near kindred, our blefled Saviour would have fhewn it, whose constant practice it was to take all opportunities to reclify erroneous opinions, and reprove wicked practices. We have an instance of this, among many others, in the case of divorce, Matt. xix. 3---9. Mark x. 2. But tho' it is certain, that the case of marriage betwixt bộother and sister-in-law came before him, Matt, xxii. 24, &c. Mark xii. 19, &c. Luke xx. 28, &c. yet we do not hind he fpake one word againit it. Neither did the holy Apostles, who were sent by him, and to whom he gave the fpifit of truth, and who kept back neibing profitable, but declared
all the council of God, Acts xx, 20, 27, leave us one line against marriages with near kindred. That our Readers may
, conceive justly of our Author's in tention, they will please to take notice, that he not only allows marriage to be unfit, and therefore unlawful, betwixt parents and children, or all in the ascending and descending branch, as has been already observed; but that for the preventing of uncleanness, as families are now circumstanced, and male and female children brought up together, it ought to be discountenanced betwixt brother and sister; yet he thinks it unreasonable to extend this limitation any farther; since, by a parity of reason, it might as well be extended to neighbours, school-fellows, and all other persons wont to converse freely together,
Thus of the three standards by which this writer tries the case of marriages: between near kindred, we have presented the Reader with his manner of applying the first. But he is no less instructive in the recourse he has to the law of nature, and to the laws of England, than in what we have thus epitomized, with respect to the doctrine of Scripture: but for these we refer to the work itself.
We cannot conclude without observing, that our Author seems to have wrote his title-page before he had finished his treatise, and to have forgot one article in the body, which he promised in the front of his book. For in the title, he professes to give us some observations relating to the late act to • prevent clandestine marriages ;' but we do not find that his performance furnishes any thing suitable to such intimation.
The Banishment of Cupid, &c. An allegorical Poem, in the an
tient taste. 4to.' is. Crowder.
10 this poem the following bill of fare, by way of ar
gument, is prefixed. The genealogy of Cupid. His power and qualities. He reigns on earth. The happy state
of mortals then. The amours of Hermaphroditus and Sal« macis. Hymen,-The innovations he introduced.- Venus ç turns prostitute,-becomes pregnant, and is delivered of a
dæmon, who fills the world with distempers.--Mercury faves 6 mankind from destruction.'
The Author is, pleased to term his piece an allegory in the antient taste, but we do not perceive its title to that character. Allegory, as the best critics define it, is a fable, in which, un