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void ; he, who wishes to learn, may profitably consult the chapter of Mr. Morgan, of which we are now writing.
The tedious prolixity of this discussion (our author observes) of incestuous and illicit marriages, admits the addition only of a very brief recapitulation; that in all ages, in all countries, and under all dispensations of religion, various restrictions have been laid upon marriage; that these restrictions have been carried to an extent which is not required by any moral policy, or justified by any religious authority; and that in England these restrictions are explicit and distinct, and established upon a Scriptural foundation.—Vol. I. p. 282.
Lord Hardwicke's Act, Dr. Phillimore's speech, and the debates in the House of Lords, on the several propositions for restricting the nullity of marriage, and for substituting 'voidability, our limits forbid us to touch. The reciprocal duties of husbands and wives form the subject of his fourth chapter; and the sinful and criminal character of adultery is powerfully delineated in Chapter V. We recommend the perusal of this beautiful portion of Mr. Morgan's volumes to all admirers of pure and eloquent writing, of holy and honourable feeling, with a full assurance that they will reap an abundant harvest of satisfaction and improvement; that their virtuous purposes will be strengthened, and their evil inclinations be effectually checked, by the sound argument, the indignant reprehensions, and the beautiful pictures of domestic charity, which the master-pencil of our moralist and divine has so ably painted. The offence of adultery, than which there is no crime more detested by God, nor more mischievous to man; the offence of adultery, comprising within itself the basest fraud and the foulest perjury; the offence of adultery, “ only less. heinous than murder and idolatry;' the offence of adultery, destructive of the peace of families, and inflicting irreparable injury upon innocent children ;- the object of which is, the dirty gratification of merely animal passion;—the accomplishment of which is wont to be effected by fraud, treachery, and disguise ; and the end of which is infamy, wretchedness, and vulgar debauchery of mind and manners :- this loathsome crime of adultery, the mischiefs resulting from which “ numbers cannot calculate, and tongue cannot describe;" —this villanous and swindling iniquity is, by the law of our boasted constitution, excluded from the catalogue of crimes and misdemeanours, and held to be merely a civil injury, for which a pecuniary fine is deemed an adequate compensation!!! Who can be surprised that this practice of the English law is an occasion of censure and offence to foreigners? Who does not wish this law to be amended? What the amendment shall be is the important question to be solved. Shall we have a criminal process against the adulterer, instead of the civil action? Shall the guilty delinquents be made liable to indictment? Shall their punishment be a fine in proportion to their means, or imprisonment for a longer or
shorter period, according to the circumstances of the case ? Let us hear Mr. Morgan, who is of opinion,
That among other measures a criminal proceeding should be engrafted on the civil process; that the verdict of damages should be followed up by a criminal punishment of fine and imprisonment; that the prosecution should be by indictment before the grand jury, and carried on by the injured husband, after obtaining damages in a court of record.--Vol. I. p. 514.
As for the woman, if the delicacy due to her sex forbid a parity of punishment with the man,
Might not the Lord Chancellor, or the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, or “ some private guardian, amenable to the courts," be appointed the official judge of her conduct? If she continued vicious, or drew impure gains from other quarters, might not the portion first awarded to her revert to her family? If there were appearances of contrition and a better behaviour, might not the judge have power to command from the husband a certain discreet addition to the allowance originally made.... The temporary seclusion of the woman, for a period to be limited by the aggravated or mitigated circumstances of the case, to be terminated by the consent of the husband to receive her again, might afford the best opportunities of moral inspection, and coincide with the popular opinion of the age in favour of a penitentiary discipline for the reformation of offenders. The degradation of the adulterer, under the same limitation, at the prosecution of the wife whom he has neglected, or the husband whom he has injured, to a state of infamy.... would be a revival of the virtual excision of the offender, of the true excommunication from all virtuous and honourable society.-Vol. I. p. 518, &c.
Alas! alas! the tone of society forbids us to hope for the adoption of such salutary measures: “quid leges vanæ sine moribus proficiunt ?" The partiality and inadequacy of the present laws cannot be denied ; but the remedy, we fear, is distant. However, we are not the less indebted to Mr. Morgan for his endeavour to attract due attention to the important topic under discussion. So much for the doctrine and law of marriage and adultery. Come we now to our author's second volume. In the sixth chapter of his work, he treats, Sect. 1. “ of the Difficulties which embarrass the principle and practice of Divorce;" — Sect. 2. “ of the Restrictions involved in the received interpretation of the doctrine of Divorce for Adultery;"-Sect. 3. “ of the Objections to the received interpretation of the clause of exception in the Law of Divorce," and then attempts “ to recover the original and primitive signification;"—and the fourth section of this chapter details “ the history of the Christian doctrine of Divorce ;" whilst the fifth and sixth sections embrace the subjects of the English law of Divorce, and private acts of separation.
We utterly condemn the laxity of divorce which Milton has, with equal eloquence and sophistry, so pertinaciously advocated; and yet we are unable to digest our author's doctrines of the absolute indissolubility of marriage, and the unlawfulness of divorce. Divers nations may have framed ludicrous and inconsistent rules, devoid of principle often, and sometimes dictated by mere caprice. Mahometan voluptuousness may degrade woman from her liability to be discharged when she ceases to be the instrument of pleasure or of profit; the hard-hearted Jew may have abused the privilege of divorce with wantonness and cruelty; the too frequent practice of divorces without sufficient cause, may undoubtedly relax public morals, and accelerate the ruin of states; the continued union of the parents is, indeed, the best means of securing the education of a godly seed; and the severance of the nuptial tie is ever to be contemplated with sorrow; yet that divorce is lawful in foro conscientiæ, and, in some cases, necessary for the good of society and the happiness of individuals, we see no reason to doubt, from anything that has been stated in the ingenious and learned argument of the excellent minister of Castle Hedingham. We would restrict divorce, as it is restricted by our Lord, to the single case of adultery; not that adultery itself is a virtual dissolution of the bond of marriage, and equivalent to an act of divorce; but that such an enormous violation of the marital contract should empower the injured party, by due process of law, to seek release from the connubial agreement. We do not mean that divorce should be the unavoidable and “necessary consequence” of adultery (for we would leave it to the election of the injured party to seek or to decline that remedy); and we are little anxious to contend that divorce is the proper punishment of adultery, being quite willing to visit the base delinquent with any penal infliction, which the legislature in its wisdom may be pleased to appoint. Nor, indeed, would we sanction the notion, that simple adultery, without due consideration of the circumstances of the case, should be pleadable as an imperative ground for divorce; nothing could be more baneful than such a law; for if divorces were allowed, on the mere confession of the parties, to depend upon a matter within the power of either, they would become alarmingly frequent, and the nuptial tie would be weak as the fragile withes, which Samson snapt asunder when he arose from his sleep. And, therefore, we would have each case depend upon its own merits, upon the circumstances under 'which the act was committed, and the justice of the claims of the party challenging redress. This, in fact, is the state of the law now; and we doubt whether the principle can be altered for the better, though the grievous expense attendant upon an application to the House of Lords amounts to a denial of justice, and demonstrates the necessity of establishing some more accessible tribunal for the adjustment of appeals connected with adultery and divorce.
On this one point we differ from Mr. Morgan, though the learn-ing and research with which he has fortified' his position, made us hesitate in coming to a conclusion against him. His simplicity (we use the word in no bad sense), his earnestness, his pious pertinacity, remind us strongly of our old friend, Dr. Primrose, sometime Vicar of Wakefield, “ that courageous monogamist,” and “ glorious pillar of unshaken orthodoxy," whom the pen of Goldsmith has rendered so dear to us all. We are persuaded, however, that our author's erudition, and, above all, his critical knowledge of Greek, would have surprised the good old vicar, to whom we have taken the liberty to allude. Mr. Morgan must rank high as a scholar in the estimation of every man, who shall possess the ability and the patience to read his elaborate and learned Appendix, touching the meaning of the word Topvela; the heads of which investigation are,
That polyela means adultery, and is distinguished from topvela, and neither included under Topvela, nor synonimous with it; that the ecclesiastical etymology of topvela implies the notion of apostasy or idolatry, which is recognized by the Lexicons, and confirmed by the constant usage of the Septuagint and Hellenistic writers, who apply the word in this predominating sense to the peculiar desecration of the heathen priesthood, and to the marriage with the Gentiles, in which the Jew apostatized from his family and his God. There is no clear and unexceptionable example of the use of the word in the Old or in the New Testament to denote adultery; it is not ordinarily to be interpreted even of simple fornication ; but it is in continual use to signify apostasy and the several acts of apostasy, and there are indisputable examples of its appropriation to marriage out of the peculium, which was a principal act of apostasy and alienation from God.-Vol. II. pp. 98, 99.
We must own that the sense of idolatrous apostasy, for which Mr. Morgan so learnedly contends, does not seem to us to be the original meaning of topvela ; and we are rejoiced to find him stating, with his wonted modesty, “ that it is not presumed that the proposed exposition has been established beyond controversy or exception." (Appendix, p. 444.) We will not say, with the learned Spencer, “ Liquidius nihil est, quam quod adulterium iis in locis Matt. v. 32. xix. 9, nomine topvelas contineatur;"* but we must assume the privilege of demanding more unexceptionable proof of the propriety of the new, ere we surrender the almost universal and very ancient interpretation, which has been affixed to the word under discussion. The erudition, however, displayed in the investigation, and the labour of examining, throughout, the writings of Josephus, and the early Fathers, to determine their acceptation of the word, entitles Mr. M. to most unreserved commendation.
The seventh chapter of Mr. Morgan's work shews “ the practical results of the admission of marriage to be a merely civil contract;" whilst the eighth and last treats of " the law of rape, seduction, and bastardy."
We earnestly hope that some amendment may take place with regard to Scotch marriages, for nothing is more unseemly or more deplorable than the anomaly of what are called Gretna-Green mar
* De Leg. Hebr. lib. ii. cap. 1. sect. 2. VOL. XI. NO, III.
riąges ; and we should boldly recommend the jurisdiction of the Scottish courts, in respect of foreign marriages, to be totally abolished. The evils of the law of bastardy, in its principle, its operation, and its effects, cry loudly for restraint. What shall be said of a law which fixes the maintenance of an illegitimate child upon rate-ridden and unoffending persons, in whose parish such child shall happen to be resident, it having been born in an extra-parochial place, and gives no authority to make the means of the father, however competent and proved, available to the support of the offspring of his illicit amours ? But, for these points, non est hic locus.
We take our leave of Mr. Morgan, with great respect for his talents, and sincere admiration of his learning. We have experienced no ordinary gratification in the perusal of his labours; and we recommend his elaborate volumes, as comprising a candid and impartial consideration of a subject, which is surrounded with so many difficulties, and liable to so many misconstructions ; “the ignorance and mistake of which hath heaped up one huge half of all the misery that hath been since Adam!"*
Some explanation may, perhaps, be required for so late a notice of the work, which has been published nearly four years. Our attention was casually directed to it a few months since, and we were struck with the unmerited silence of the Reviews in its behalf. The only critique upon it, which has fallen in our way, is wholly unworthy of the work, and written in a spirit not very creditable to the reviewer. We determined, therefore, to direct the public attention toward Mr. Morgan's labours, and we trust that they will meet with the reward which they so amply deserve.
Art. III.-The Clergyman's Obligations considered : as to the celebra- tion of Divine Worship, Ministration of the Sacraments, Instruction
of the Poor, Preaching and other official Duties; and as to his personal Character and Conduct, his Occupations, Amusements, and Intercourse with others; with particular reference to the Ordination Vow. By RICHARD Mant, D.D. M.R. I. A. Bishop of Down and Connor. Oxford: Parker. London: Rivingtons. Pp. xxvi. 397. 1830. Price 6s. 6d.
THERE cannot be a more salutary exercise for the conscientious minister of God's word, than frequent and serious meditation upon his ordination vow. The Prelates of our Church, most eminent for the primitive simplicity of their lives, their pious zeal in the mainte. nance of true religion, and their earnest endeavour in perfecting the
* Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, restored to the good of both sexes. Fol. edit. p. 277.