Church especially receives,—the first Canon pronounces it “fit and just, that the Canons of the holy Fathers made in every Synod to this present time be in full force:” thus adopting among others the censures which had been previously enacted against marrying two sisters. St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, in the fourth century, distinctly recognise the Levitical degrees, as binding on all Christians: not only those which are expressed, but those which are implied by parity of reasoning.
There is no need to go farther down in proof that the Church has always prohibited these marriages. It is acknowledged on all hands. Only, because the Church of Rome often dispenses with the prohibition, men infer that she cannot account it any more than a human law. Yet St. Gregory the Great, writing to St. Augustine of Canterbury, who had enquired of him what should be the limits of the
our country, but in what places it may have been ventured on, there it may remain.” [Ep. 160.] Again, whereas it is subtilely conjectured, that the Church had borrowed this piece of discipline from the State of Rome, Dr. Pusey's evidence clearly proves, that the State rather borrowed it from the Church: for it was not civil law till the time of Constantius and Constans, A.D. 355. (Report, qu. 445.)