Page:Againstprofanede00kebl.djvu/28

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22
AGAINST PROFANE DEALING

affinity, not consanguinity: the case of Herod, and that of this incestuous Corinthian.

Certain it is, that for many ages the Church so understood the mind of the Lord. There are certain Canons called Apostolical, concerning which Bishop Beveridge gave this opinion, that they are a genuine “Code of Canons of the Primitive Church, whereby, at least in the greater number of places, discipline was administered before the time of the Nicene Council.” The 15th of these Canons is, “He that hath married two sisters, or his niece,” (i.e. before he was converted,) “cannot be a Bishop or Clergyman.” It is the same evil mark which in the 13th and 14th Canons of the same series is set upon bigamy, and upon other discreditable marriages, and in the 53d upon all kinds of unchastity; which were besides punishable by direct censure and excommunication.

In the 2d Canon of Neocæsarea, A.D. 315, it is enacted, “If a woman marry two brothers successively, let her be excommunicated till her death.” In a Canon of the Council of Elvira, A.D. 325, “If any man after the death of his wife have married her sister, she being also a communicant; let them be suspended