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truth. Their declamations on this subject discover great refinea ment of sentiment: particularly the eloquent Chrysostom's. He expressly says, that “ second marriages are not denied to Christians: they are only exhorted, if they have the gift of continence, to be facisfied with the first.” Hence he reasons on the ground of prudence, policy, and domestic peace; but attempts not to enforce his arguments by any fandtion of law, or any express declarations of the Gospel. [Vid. Orat. de Uxore et Pulchritud.]

Mr. Madan, in the present volume, frequently mentions the opposition that was made to second marriages by the Fathers; and going back to a very early period, produces the name of Clemens of Alexandria, and puts it at the head of the opposition. · This Clemens of Alexandria, whatever he mighe write in behalf of marriage self, did not approve of second marriages. Dupin says, that though he did not entirely condemn them, yet he blames them. It is Mr. Madan's custom to deal chiefly in general assertions. To convince an impartial inquirer, it is new cessary to be particular. The question is-“ how, and on what grounds, did this learned Father blame fecond marriages ?” Now, the best answer we can give to the question is, to permit Clemens to speak for himself.- After having treated of the opinions of Tatian, whole distinctions refpecting the old and the new husband, tended, as Clemens reniarks, to diffolve the law, as if it was the inftitution of another God, he hath the following expreflion ; viz. *“ But although, from a condescending regard to human infirmities, and the natural warmth of constitution, the Apostle gives a licence to any one to enter into a second marriage (because such a one doth not thereby commit any trela pass with respect to his former covenant, for he is not forbidden by the law), yet he doch not arrive to that highejt standard of Christian perfection which is proposed in the Gospel.”

If Clemens had spoken half lo favourably of polygamy, as he hath of second marriages, his teftimony would have been appealed to; not as a slender tribute of mere sufferance, reluctantly given, but as a full and decisive evidence, bestowed with the warmth of friendship, in the clear day-light of conviction ; and this Clemens, instead of being desecrated to the company of Mir: Madan’s – Mother Goose,' would have been exalted to a high diftinction in Mofes's feat.

Mr. Madan's account of the first and fecond centuries is comprized within the scanty limits of eight pages; though it was to the opinions and practises of those centuries that we first made

* Και ει τινι ο αποτολος δ. ακρασιαν κ πυρωσιν, καία συγγνωμην δευτες3 METODWon yaus (ETTEL X 8TOS ale al price FTA!56 jucy zezeic dicerent, y CyfneKwAUlub προς το νομο) 8 πλεροι δε ητς καλα το ευαγίλιον πολιτείας, τον κα.α επασιν Tescila. Clem. Strom, lib. iii. pag. 336. Edit. Lug. Lat. !016.


our appeal * : and it is chiefly to the testimonies of those writers who lived neareft to the age of the Apostles that we now confine our inquiry.

Mr. M. quotes the writings but of four Fathers through this most interefting period. As to his fidelity respecting two of them, we have already faid enough to convince the world how little it is to be depended on.

He next speaks of Tertullian, whom we readily resign to Mr. Madan, with the whole feet of the Montanists, to be scourged at pleasure: Though, indeed, the pleasure of scourging will be much abated, when Mr. Madan reflects, that not one stroke will rebound on an orthodox Father; and that he is only chastising those whom the men he hates have sufficiently lashed already.

The venerable name that closes the history of the second century, is that of Athenagoras; and all that is said of this ancient Apologi/t, is contained in the following words : Athenagoras commends virginity, condemns second marriages - calling them honet adultery.'

We trust we shall not trespass too far on the indulgence of our Readers, if we give this passage a particular and critical examination. It is of consequence in the present argument; and we have some observations to offer on it, which, if free, are, we hope, no way presumptuous; and, if novel, not groundless.

When we read the above passage in Mr. Madan's book, and recollected the original in Athenagoras, we at first supposed, that he had borrowed from some Latin author, who had translated EUT PETINS MOI Eld, adulterium HONESTUM. We suspected that Mr. Madan's ear had been caught by the found; and concluded, that the same judicious guide would have led him to have transa Jated the honesta facies of Terence-" an honest countenance." While we were smiling at the blunder, a conjecture crossed our minds, that poflibly Mr. Madan's ear was imposed on by the French word honni te ; and that Dupin might make use of it in the same sense as the Latins. At last, after many idle suspicions, that did little credit to Mr. Madan's knowledge of language, our doubts were thoroughly removed ; and we discovered that Mr. Madan had neither borrowed from Greek, Latin, or French, but, in good truth, from plain English! For the passage quoted above is transcribed verbatim from an old and wretched translation of Dupin ; and is a farther confirmation of what we hinted at in the beginning of this paper, that our Author's acquaintance with the Fathers seems to be wholly of the second-hand fort.

As the paffage referred to is the only one which hath even been pretended to be brought 'rom Athenagoras, in proof of the una Jawfulness of a Chriftian's marrying a second wife after the death of the first, we fall examine it distinctly; insercing the

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whole of the original in the margin, for the inspection of the learned Reader *

In the sense in which it hath been generally understood, it contains a glaring absurdity and contradiction. Even Dr. Cave, whom Mr. Madan, with equal elegance and good manners, calls " the whitewasher of the Fathers,' hath the following severe Itrictures on it, in his View of “ Primitive Christianity.”

“ Hear (says he) what one of their Apologists says of second marriages-- Amongst us every man remains as he was born, or 'engagesh himself in one only marriage; for, as for second marrriages, they are but a more plausible or decorous kind of adul'tery; our Lord affuring us, that, whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery :'-- which text how perversely he interprets, and how impertinently he applies to his purpose, I am not willing to remember.”

For our parts, we cannot fo readily dispense with the ingenuousness and good sense of this eininent Father, as to suppose him guilty of the perversiness and impertinence here laid to his charge. It is at least an act of charity to endeavour to rescue him from so heavy an accusation, both on his integriry and his understanding.

To us it is evident, that the whole passage in dispute is levelled directly-not against second marriages that are entered into in consequence of death; but lo!ely against those which are entered into, in consequence ef a divorce, that hath not the plea of fornication or adultery to sanctify it.

On the ground of this observation, we offer the following translation, with which we shall interweave a paraphrase, illurtrative of the whole passage ; and let Mr. Madan dispute, or contradict it, if he can.

“ Every person (among the Chriftians] either continues in the state in which he was born, or remains in a single marriage : for a second [or double] marriage is but a fpecious adultery ; BECAUSE he who PUTTETH AWAY HIS WIFE, says Christ, and marriech another wife, commitreth adultery. He [who is the Lawgiver of the Christians] neither allows a man to put away the wife, whose virginity he had pofl fed, nor to add another in marriage to her: For he that DEPRIVES HIMSELF by his own alt and dred, or by a voluntary divorce which is the very crime our

* H 1995 Tı; ETE/C9n fl!!!!, 9 sợ svo yo pow" oyup deutEpos EUTAPETENS 956 μοιχε α' ος γαρ αν απολυση, φησι, την γυναικα αυτ8, και γαμηση αλλ.ην, μοιxal' ETI 17:41Del Etolpcaki ng EU UUTE TIS TYY 77 09:&', E55 ETIYE LLE ve o yap επιςεραν εαυτος της τριλερας γι'αικος, κ. ει τεθνηκε, μοιχης εςι παρακεκαλυμμεyos, pa 3 ziya) per mu 28815% 9% 96(076 EX CX7, 9605 kva aroo ETT ACE * μιας γυναικα) λυων δε την σαρκα προς σαρκα καλα την ενωσιν, προς μιξιν τ8 γενεθς xovwn.c%--Vidi Alhenag, Legat. §. 37. pag. 130, Edit, Dachair.

Savicur Saviour fo expressly condemns in the text just quoted ;-or, in other words, he who RIDS HIMSELF] of his first wife, though the hath afterwards died ( yet his marrying another in consequence of an unlawful divorce, stamps him with the crime of adultery, and), he is [in reality] a masqued adulterer ; for, indeed, he transgresseth the appointment of God (since in the beginning he made one man and one woman) diffolving (by the act of divorce), the union that subfifted between Atlh and Acth; and which was appointed to be the common medium of generation.”

Is it not clear, that this whole pallage is pointed entirely against second marriages that take place under the sanction of a divorce ? Athenagoras might, with great propriety, call such marriages specious adultery; and the persons who engaged in them, veiled adulterers. For the practice, here condemned, was so common at the time that this Father writ his apology, both among the Jews and the Heathens, that it was by no means esteemed disreputable. The former pleaded the Law of Moses ; the latter, the customs of the nations. But the excellent Apologist, in opposition to this unjust and fayitious practice, pleaded the law that was established among Christians, and was regarded as their meafure of juftice and purity. αλλ' εςιν νομος ημιν ος δικαιοσύνης μετρον εποιησεν .... γυναικα μεν εκαςος ημων, ην ngayeTO MOTO TYS UR' nuwe totes leeves vouers. Now, what were those laws respecting marriage? They were the following: That a man should have but one wife at the same time :-that he should not put her away if he found her a virgin :--that if he did put her away, he loosened the very connection that was esta. blished by the hand of God himself : that, if he married another in consequence of a divorce, even if the first wife died after the divorce took place, he was to be regarded, by Christians, as intentionally an adulterer, notwithstanding the Jewith and the Ro. man law might give a sanction to his crime.

We have thus given what we apprehend to be the plain sense of Achenagoras, in a passage which, we think, hath hitherto been generally misunderstood and misapplied. Viewed in the light in which it is now placed, nothing is more confiitent with the universal tenor of the New Testament, and that particular authority of our Lord, to which it makes a direct and formal appeal. Confidered in any other.view, the quotation is impertinent, and the reasoning on it perverse and ridiculous. · On the above passage we would offer the following remarks :

I. Athenagoras seems to consider fornication before marriage as an exception to the general prohibition of divorce by our Lord, as well as adultery afterwards. Many expositors have fo interpreted our Saviour's words, as to include the same exception; (Vid. Henry's Expos.) He that putteth away his wife, except in case of fornication, &c. &c. Now an illicis con


orld letily, indeble kind.' was ar

in its' rious divorceme was punithe feverity

nexion with another man, previous to a woman's marriage with a lawful husband, was deemed by the Mosaic law to be a crinie worthy of death; because it was an imposition of the groílest and most unpardonable kind. It carried with it an equal degree of hypocrisy, indelicacy, and injustice. In after-times, as the world became more corrupt, the severity of this law was relaxed, and the crime was punithed by an open and a 'most ige nominious divorce.—The Jewith law indeed cannot be revived in its full force, for reasons which it is not necessary to mention. But we think, that if, the fact could be clearly and ciscumstantially proved, the woman who imposes herself as a virgin. on a man; after the violation of her purity, is in every view subjected to the same and penalty of a divorce; and we know no. law, of Christ or his apostles that would forbid it. " IF (says Athenagoras) the man hath poffefled himself of her virginity (or more literally destroyed it, TZUSÉ TYY Tap.Jeyban), he shall not put her away, atter he hath made her a wife.” But may we not infer, from this method of expreffion, that the good Father thought divorces allowable; if those who had been defiled by an unlawful commerce with other men, imposed themselves for virgins, and were married, in consequence of their being considered as fuch?

XII. It ought to be particularly observed, that through the whole of the preceding passage, the man alone" is spoken of as the agent. If it had been designed to forbid or discoun- . tenance li cond marriages, after the death of either of the parties, this restriction would hardly have been preserved. The woman ought equally to have been admonished. Divorces, though not absolutely confined to the men, yet most generally 'took place in consequence of their caprice, or cruelty, or lutt, or jealousy,

II. Through the whole, the man is made* answerable for . the transgrellion actually and voluntarily committed by the

dismission of his wife. Now we ask, if such a mode of expression could, with the lightest degree of propriety, or on any principles of common fense, be applied to his loing her

by death? Could he be said, " to send her away,"_" to : violate the institution of God,"4" to disolve the connexion · that sublisted between him and his wife, for the sake of

mutual cohabitation?” Certainly not! - The absurdity is so glaring that so fine a writer as Athenagoras could not porfibly have failen into it. it is too ridiculous to charge the most ignorant Monk of after-times with.

IV. To place the nonsense and contradiction of the par. {age, when made to refer to second marriages (as Mr. Madan wouid represent it), in its true light, we need only to translate it, according to its common acceptation, “For.' Rev. Septi 1781.

. N.


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