Before concluding this part of my subject, I wish to draw
forbidden a man to marry his own daughter or his own sister. But His design was, that men should use their reason in drawing logical inferences from the principles laid down in the Code. This is our moral probation." "In the New Testament (1 Cor., v. 1) a man may not marry his father's wife, because she is one flesh with his father: so he may not marry his wife's sister, because his wife is one flesh with him. But here it may be alleged by some, that since in a certain case Almighty God commanded that a wife should be joined in marriage to a deceased husband's brother; namely, in case that her husband had died without issue (Deut. xxv. 5-10); and since God cannot be supposed to command anything immoral, therefore the marriage of a wife with a deceased husband's brother cannot be sinful; and that therefore, by parity of reasoning, the marriage of a man with his deceased wife's sister cannot be immoral. Is then God inconsistent with Himself? In His Word He has forbidden a woman to marry her husband's brother. In a special case, for a special reason, applicable only to the Jews, God was pleased to dispense with His own Law; and in the plenitude of His Omnipotence, to change the prohibition into a command. . . . But it would be presumptuous to say that we may dispense with God's law concerning marriage, because He in one case dispensed with it." " That the Jews were permitted in a certain instance, and for a certain end, to marry the brother's wife, does not abrogate or impair the general law, which in all other instances, and to all other people, declared alliance with the brother's wife to be incestuous" (Eccles., Vol. VII., p. 184). This law "was special and peculiar; a temporary dispensation appointed by the Supreme Lawgiver in a particular case, which did not weaken, but confirm the general law, in cases not excepted" (see Dr. W. Berriman's correspondence, quoted below). Such marriage, Dr. Pusey says (I., p. 30), "is nowhere forbidden now, except under this general rule, 'None of you shall approach unto the whole flesh of his flesh'. As a law for a passing state of things, God enjoined for a time the re-marriage of the childless widow with her brother-in-law. That law being done away, the original prohibition stands in its full unmitigated force."