given at various periods of the world, will justify the belief, that God has left none of his creatures to collect the knowledge of duty, merely from the contemplation of the nature of things; but has revealed and announced a law of moral duty and of marriage, corresponding with the nature of things established by Himself, and which of course He knows most perfectly. A portion of the light of His revelations has reached, more or less, all nations.
If this reasoning be or be not admitted as correct, one thing has, we think, been proved: God has revealed a law of incest, and authoritatively determined the limits of legitimate marriage; and this law is found in these Levitical statutes. The prohibition against the marriage of parents with children, and of brothers with sisters, is generally admitted to be founded in nature, and therefore to be a natural law.
But beyond this, jurists and legislators seem unwilling to extend the limits of unlawful marriages. Sir William Scott, however, (afterwards Lord Stowell,) who is styled, we repeat it, by Chancellor Kent, "a great master of public and municipal law," has recently adjudged a