course we are committing ourselves to. We cannot, I apprehend, make this, or any similar change, without virtually accepting the principle, that the Gospel precepts in such matters are less strict than those of the Law: although our Divine Master has distinctly and repeatedly intimated, in the kindred matter of divorce, that concessions were made to the Jews, “because of the hardness of their hearts,” which could in no wise be allowed to us Christians: although St. Paul, in the other kindred matter of polygamy, has once for all told us the mind of Christ, saying, “Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband:” (1 Cor. vii. 2.) and although the whole spirit and tendency of the Christian Dispensation is to require more of man, in proportion as it gives him immeasurably more grace.
See then what will in all probability ensue. It being once admitted that the Levitical prohibitions are not to be considered as the law of God, persons in other degrees of affinity, no nearer than that now in question, will have a door opened for them, first to indulge irregular desires, and then (if they be numerous and important enough) to scheme and agitate in their turn for a further change in the law.