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same words are found in the same sense in other passages. This is true; but it is only where the context precludes the possibility of any ambiguity, as in Gen. xxvi. 31. juraverunt vir fratri suo, that is alteri, they sware one to another. one would infer from this passage that Isaac was the brother of Abimelech; nor would any one, on the other hand, entertain a doubt that the passage in Leviticus was intended as a prohibition against taking a wife to her sister; particularly as the preceding verses of this chapter treat of the degrees of affinity to which intermarriage is forbidden. Moreover, this would be to uncover her nakedness, the evil against which the law in question was intended to guard; whereas the caution would be unnecessary in the case of taking another wife not related or allied to the former; for no nakedness would be thereby uncovered. Lastly, why is the clause in her life time added? For there could be no doubt of its being lawful after her death to marry another who was neither related nor allied to her, though it might be questionable whether it were lawful to marry a wife's sister. It is objected, that marriage with a wife's sister is forbidden by analogy in the sixteenth verse, and that therefore a second prohibition was unnecessary. I answer, first, that there is in reality no analogy between the two passages; for that by marrying a brother's wife, the brother's nakedness is uncovered; whereas by marrying a wife's sister, it is not a sister's nakedness, but only that of a kinswoman by marriage, which is uncovered. Besides, if nothing were to be prohibited which had been before prohibited by analogy, why is marriage with a mother forbidden, when marriage with a father had been already declared unlawful? or why marriage with a mother's sister, when marriage with a father's sister had been prohibited? If this reasoning be allowed, it follows that more than half the laws relating to incest are unnecessary. Lastly, considering that the prevention of enmity is alleged as the principal motive for the law before us, it is obvious, that if the intention had been to condemn polygamy, reasons of a much stronger kind might have been urged from the nature of the original institution, as was done in the ordinance of the Sabbath."
But they were to look back to the first institution; nay, rather why was not that individual`institution brought out of Paradise, as was that
A third passage which is advanced, Deut. xvii. 17. is so far from condemning polygamy, either in a king, or in any one else, that it expressly allows it; and only imposes the same restraints upon this condition which are laid upon the multiplication of horses, or the accumulation of treasure; as will appear from the seventeenth and eighteenth verses.
Except the three passages which are thus irrelevantly adduced, not a trace appears of the interdiction of polygamy throughout the whole law; nor even in any of the prophets, who were at once the rigid interpreters of the law, and the habitual reprovers of the vices of the people. The only shadow of an exception occurs in a passage of Malachi, the last of the prophets, which some consider as decisive against polygamy. It would be indeed a late and postliminous enactment, if that were for the first time prohibited after the Babylonish captivity which ought to have been prohibited. many ages before. For if it had been really a sin, how could it have escaped the reprehension of so many prophets who preceded him? We may safely conclude that if polygamy be not forbidden in the law, neither is it forbidden here; for Malachi was not the author of a new law. Let us however see the words themselves as translated by Junius, ii. 15. Nonne unum effecit? quamvis reliqui spiritus ipsi essent: quid autem unum? It would be rash and unreasonable indeed, if, on the authority of so obscure a passage, which has been tortured and twisted by different interpreters into such a variety of meanings, we were to form a conclusion on so momentous a subject, and to impose it upon others as an article of faith. But whatever be the signification of the words nonne unum effecit, what do they prove? are we, for the sake of drawing an inference against polygamy, to understand the phrase thus-did not he make one woman? But the gender, and even the case, are at variance with this interpretation; for nearly all the other commentators render the of the Sabbath, and repeated in the body of the law, that man might have understood it to be a command?'-Doctrine, &c. III. 240.
5 Though the words of this difficult clause are rendered very variously by the different commentators, yet, with the exception of Grotius, who explains the passage with reference to the origin of souls ex traduce from our natural parents, nearly all agree in considering it as an argument against polygamy. The interpretation which Milton seems to prefer, is suggested by Tirinus and Menochius. See Poole's Synopsis in loc.
words as follows: annon unus fecit? et residuum spiritus ipsi? et quid ille unus? We ought not therefore to draw any conclusion from a passage like the present in behalf of a doctrine which is either not mentioned elsewhere, or only in doubtful terms; but rather conclude that the prophet's design was to reprove a practice which the whole of Scripture concurs in reproving, and which forms the principal subject of the very chapter in question, v. 11-16. namely, marriage with the daughter of a strange god; a corruption very prevalent among the Jews of that time, as we learn from Ezra and Nehemiah."
With regard to the words of Christ, Matt. v. 32. and xix. 5. the passage from Gen. ii. 24. is repeated not for the purpose of condemning polygamy, but of reproving the unrestrained liberty of divorce, which is a very different thing; nor can the words be made to apply to any other subject without evident violence to their meaning. For the argument which is deduced from Matt. v. 32. that if a man who marries another after putting away his first wife, committeth adultery, much more must he commit adultery who retains the first and marries another, ought itself to be repudiated as an illegitimate conclusion. For in the first place, it is the
It wrought so little disorder among the Jews, that from Moses till after the captivity, not one of the prophets thought it worth the rebuking for that of Malachi well looked into will appear to be not against divorcing, but rather against keeping strange concubines, to the vexation of their Hebrew wives.' Doctrine, &c. Prose Works, III. 271. 'He that reads attentively will soon perceive, that God blames not here the Jews for putting away their wives, but for keeping strange concubines, to the profaning of Judah's holiness, and the vexation of their Hebrew wives, v. 11 and 14. Judah hath married the daughter of a strange god: and exhorts them rather to put away their wives whom they hate, as the law permitted, than to keep them under such affronts. And it is received, that this prophet lived in those times of Ezra and Nehemiah (nay by some is thought to be Ezra himself) when the people were forced by these two worthies to put their strange wives away. So that what the story of those times, and the plain context of the 11th verse, from whence this rebuke begins, can give us to conjecture of the obscure and curt Ebraisms that follow, this prophet does not forbid putting away, but forbids keeping, and commands putting away according to God's law, which is the plainest interpreter both of what God will, and what he can best suffer.' Tetrachordon, III. 348.
7 The original of this sentence affords no satisfactory sense. • Id ejusmodi est profecto, ut argumentum ipsum pro adulterio sit protinus
divine precepts themselves that are obligatory, not the consequences deduced from them by human reasoning; for what appears a reasonable inference to one individual, may not be equally obvious to another of not inferior discernment. Secondly, he who puts away his wife and marries another, is not said to commit adultery because he marries another, but because in consequence of his marriage with another he does not retain his former wife, to whom also he owed the performance of conjugal duties; whence it is expressly said, Mark x. 11. "he committeth adultery against her." That he is in a condition to perform his conjugal duties to the one, after having taken another to her, is shewn by God himself, Exod. xxi. 10. "if he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage shall he not diminish." It cannot be supposed that the divine forethought intended to provide for adultery.
Nor is it allowable to argue, from 1 Cor. vii. 2. "let every man have his own wife," that therefore none should have more than one; for the meaning of the precept is, that every man should have his own wife to himself, not that he should have but one wife. That bishops and elders should have no more than one wife is explicitly enjoined 1 Tim. iii. 2. and Tit i. 6. "he must be the husband of one wife," in order probably that they may discharge with greater diligence the ecclesiastical duties which they have undertaken. The command itself, however, is a sufficient proof that polygamy was not forbidden to the rest, and that it was common in the church at that time.
Lastly, in answer to what is urged from 1 Cor. vii. 4. "likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife," it is easy to reply, as was done above, that the word wife in this passage is used with reference to the species, and not to the number. Nor can the power of the wife repudiandum.' The fondness for that play upon words which is so characteristic of Milton, and of which, as has been already observed (see p. 14) this treatise furnishes numerous examples, renders it not improbable that it was originally written pro adulterino; for which the amanuensis employed in transcribing this part of the manuscript, substituted the more common word adulterio. The same word is used with a similar conceit in another treatise. Si quis conductitios ejulatus, et compositos venalissimi hominis ploratus, si quis declamatiunculas, quas etiam ancillaris concubitus, adulterinas edixit et spurias, Morilli nothi gemellas, fide
over the body of her husband be different now from what it was under the law, where it is called y, Exod. xxi. 10. which signifies "her stated times," expressed by St. Paul in the present chapter by the phrase, "her due benevolence." With regard to what is due, the Hebrew word is sufficiently explicit.8
On the other hand, the following passages clearly admit the lawfulness of polygamy. Exod. xxi. 10. "if he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage shall he not diminish." Deut. xvii. 17. "neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away.' Would the law have been so loosely worded, if it had not been allowable to take more wives than one at the same time? Who would venture to subjoin as an inference from this language, therefore let him have one only? In such case, since it is said in the preceding verse, "he shall not multiply horses to himself," it would be necessary to subjoin there also, therefore he shall have one horse only. Nor do we want any proof to assure us, that the first institution of marriage was intended to bind the prince equally with the people; if therefore it permits only one wife, it permits no more even to the prince. But the reason given for the law is this, that his heart turn not away; a danger which would arise if he were to marry many, and especially strange women, as Solomon afterwards did. Now if the present law had been intended merely as a confirmation and vindication of the primary institution of marriage, nothing could have been more appropriate than to have recited the institution itself in this place, and not to have advanced that reason alone which has been mentioned.
Let us hear the words of God himself, the author of the law, and the best interpreter of his own will. 2 Sam. xii. 8. "I gave thee thy master's wives into thy bosom.... and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things." Here there can be no subsatis locupletes, arbitratur esse, ad me quod attinet, nihil quidem moror, quo minus ita existimet.'-Defensio Secunda pro Populo Anglicano, Symmons' ed. V. 237.
8 ..Love's due rites, nuptial embraces sweet. Paradise Lost, X. 994. 9' Regi etiam futuro leges constituit, quibus cautum erat, ut ne multiplicet sibi equos, ne uxores, ne divitias, ut intelligeret nihil sibi in alios licere, qui nihil de se statuere extra legem potuit.....Ex quo perspicuum est,