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expressed in the second part of the law, but it must be understood, otherwise all the evils just noticed will flow from its omission. This fulness, in one sentence, explaining the more limited mode of expression in the reversed order of the preceding, or subsequent one, is familiar to every reader of Scripture. A very plain one occurs in St. Matthew : “ Whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life, for my sake, shall find it.”* Here it is evident, that the quo intuitu, the spirit and meaning of the act, as expressed in the latter clause, are to be taken in explanation of the former. The ellipsis, in the first part of the sentence, must be supplied by an analogy with the last, as the conditions of the promise, in both cases, are precisely the same. Temporal interests, or an overweaning attachment to this world, are placed in one scale; and spiritual interests, or a supreme attachment to the Saviour, in the other, and the preponderance of these attachments is the subject of the statement in both divisions of the sentence. Whosoever, then, will save his life, by violating his duty, shall lose it; and whoso shall lose his life, by doing his duty, shall find it, in the heavens. And so it is in
the Adultery law; the particular clause, “ except for fornication,” mentioned in the first, is dropped in the second part of the sentence: but the mind prepared to retain the impression of it must understand it to qualify the second as much as it did the first. It is then sufficiently clear, that the power of remarriage follows the use of Divorce ; Divorce, for this cause of Adultery, to which it is now limited, working a dissolution of the marriage bond ; that is to say, the dissolution of the first contract, and the power of re-marriage, are so far effected as to render the marriage of the innocent party, as Dr. Hammond carefully states it, but as we contend, if of one, it must be of either party, not adulterous; while he that should marry again after any other Divorce, save for this one cause, would be guilty of a most unchristian sin. The sexes, too, are both placed on the same footing; this was very important; the restraint was placed equally on the husband and the wife, and the remedy equally imparted to the wife with the husband. Some have carried this sentiment beyond, perhaps, its legitimate bounds; so as to infer, that the husband could not support his claim to a separation on account even of Adultery, unless he himself stood clear and exempt from all imputations of the same kind. This reasoning was soon afterwards deduced from the doctrines of Christ : “ Periniquum esset ut pudicitiam vir ab uxore exigat quam ipse non exhibet; quæ res potest et virum damnare, atque ob compensationem mutui criminis rem inter utrumque componere vel causam acti tollere.” We shall have occasion to notice, in a subsequent part of the Essay, the doubts that have arisen on the legal soundness of this construction. For the present,
it may be sufficient to observe, that no place · in Scripture appears to have stated, that a
woman, who was an adulteress, should be deemed otherwise, because her husband had committed the same crime.
This explanation of the laws of Christ appears the most satisfactory and reasonable of any that have been put upon them; the most free likewise from all inconsistencies, and the most likely to surround the temptation to the crime, and the use of the remedy, with all necessary guards.
In consequence of this, no view of the matter has been so approved and adopted by the learned and pious writers, who have commented upon it. So Eusebius, so Chrysostom, Hammond, Benson, and Dr. Clarke, have paraphrased, criticised, and explained it. So, likewise, Le Clerc, whose words are very remarkable ; “ Itaque, nunc pronuncio quicunque usi fuerint eâ licentiâ, quæ inter vos adeo usitata est, dimiserintque uxores leviore de causâ quam propter Adulterium, et sibi alteras nuptias contrahere licere crediderint; eos, aliâ domum ductâ, dum vivent uxores, a quibus nec sunt nec possunt esse sejuncti, fore reos Adulterii : eumque pariter, qui dimissam mulierem, quæ viri alius uxor est, duxerit, adulterum futurum.”
Dr. Clarke, justly termed the learned and acute, enlarges the sentiment, thus ; “ Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, except only where it be for the case of Adultery that the first is put away, shall be accounted guilty of causing both her and him, that shall afterwards marry her, to commit Adultery.”
And thus, the celebrated Benson ; “ Whosoever,” says he, “shall put away his wife, except it be for Adultery, and after such unlawful Divorce, shall marry again, he shall be guilty of Adultery; and whosoever shall marry the woman that is unlawfully divorced, shall also be guilty of Adultery ; because the marriage bond is not dissolved, and she is legally still the wife of her former husband.”
The interpretation affixed by these writers
to the term Topvela, is sufficiently definite; those which follow respect the latter point of remarriage. Whitby remarks ; “ Note, hence, that, according to either interpretation, where it is lawful to put away the wife, it is lawful to marry again.”
Thus, also, Lightfoot comments on it. “ Our Saviour does not abrogate Moses' permission of Divorce, but tolerates it; yet, keeping it within Mosaic bounds ; i. e. in case of Adultery: condemning only that laxity in the Jewish commentators which allowed it for every cause; and Moses, in permitting Divorce, permitted the separated to marry again."
But the question of re-marriage after Divorce for fornication, is, perhaps, by no one discussed with greater perspicuity, than by the learned Hammond, in his exposition of the law of Christ. To him the passages which have been cited from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, convey, as he states, ideas so definite on the one cause of Divorce allowed to the Christians, the breach of the conjugal vow, and the commission of Adultery by whosoever divorces and marries again, save in that single excepted case, that as no paraphrase can make them more intelligible, so there is but one question that can reasonably be started respecting them, viz. whether he