Page:Unlawfulmarriage00jane.djvu/147

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143
A NATURAL LAW.

was retained, more or less, by the nations that sprung from him; and additional light in regard to religious subjects, was diffused among Gentile nations, by intercourse with the Jewish people, who lived in their own land, and those who were scattered abroad in different parts of the world, especially after the Babylonish captivity. Their sacred scriptures were translated into the Greek language, two hundred and fifty years before the Christian æra.

It is no unreasonable supposition, that the best laws and customs of the ancient heathen nations were derived from Divine revelation. Selden expresses his belief on this point, in the strongest terms. Referring to the received sentiments and institutions of Gentile nations, ancient and modern, in regard to incestuous marriages, on account of relationship, he says, in a parenthesis: "Quæ, procul-dubio, Legi Sacræ ejus que interpretamentis diversimode acceptis, originem suam inprimis debent." Uxor Ebraica Lib. I. chap. vi. This learned man had well studied the subject, and his opinion is probably correct.

The repeated revelations of the Divine will,