not of the moral law of the Jews, we must remember that the whole object of the sermon on the Mount was to purify Christian morals from the loose glosses and interpretations which the Rabbis and others had put upon it, and that to give our sanction to any marriage connection less pure than the law here enforced on the Jews is to read God's dispensations backwards, and to lower Christianity in favor, not of Judaism, but of Heathenism. Those, therefore, who argue that all Jewish laws are obsolete, need to be reminded that the law of the Ten Commandments is read in our Churches every Sunday, and that the Gospel spirit not only binds us to receive them in substance, but to carry them out on a higher, purer and more exacting principle than a servile adherence to the letter would indicate. Polygamy, for instance, and an easy system of divorce, were tolerated among the Jews because of the "hardness of men's hearts," but the Christian system supposes a higher power of self-restraint, and therefore demands a higher, not a lower code of morals. The very incest with a father's wife, which has been treated with so much levity in our Colonial Parliament, is by St. Paul looked on with the deepest abhorrence, and is punished with immediate excommunication.
So that if we were not bound by the table of degrees in Leviticus, which is impossible to be proved, if that table be part of God's moral law, given for the guidance of other nations beside the Jews as is there indicated, we are bound by a purer and holier law to Christ, and it would be a most strange argument that what the lower and less perfect rule of life condemns as immoral, the higher and more perfect rule may allow. On this reasoning there is nothing whatever to prevent the legislative sanction being given to Polygamy, man's passions being apparently the only admitted rule, and the word of God being entirely thrown aside as the true basis of sound legislation in religious matters.
I am aware that some kind of argument is attempted to be built on the 18th verse of the chapter in Leviticus, which in our translation is obscure. But this argument comes with a very bad grace from persons who repeatedly assert that they are not bound to consider the Levitical law at all,