Peacemaker continued 1
Doctrines for the Millennium
For the private families are nuneries of the mind: and the
evils of a bad government here cannot be calculated. Many sons in their teens are
roving about the land like the wild asses' colt, unbridled; these oft times become
associates and partners, with pick pockets, theives and robbers. Many husbands, are
induced by the unnatural and intolerable nature of female tyranny and usurpation, to
even abandon their families to the mercy of a heartless world. Such
unnatural crimes never did exist under the ancient law of God.
All law or government of a woman over a man, except it be the law
of kindness, is an usurpation of power destructive of the order, peace, and well being of
society. These evils are indeed the most ruinous in their results, of any that
exist among us, and cannot be remedied by our laws. But it is obvious that some effectual
power should exist to annihilate the possibility of such a prolific ruin, at the very
fountain head of human life.
A recognition and common consent, to the existance of the cause of those untold evils
operating on, and in our minds from infancy; is such an unnatural shackle to the dignity
and original excellency of the mind of man; that although we may personally some of us be
happily married; yet the obnoxious principle bears upon the whole body of manly intellect
This ruinous, disorganizing, debasing principle cannot be eradicated but by the strong arm
of the law. Our ladies have long possessed a power, which the
very nature of things, the nature of women, and the law of God utterly forbid;
it must and does produce misery, vanity, confusion, and sorrow both to them and us. You
have placed the husband under the law of the wife as long as the wife lives; and at the
same time placed the wife under the law of the husband as long as the husband lives! What
an absurdity !
What an attempt to an impossibility! ! What a confusion! There is no head here, or
there is a double headed monster, with two different sets of brains that pull different
ways! How many such glaring absurdities are found in the prevailing principles of Religion
and ethics !
As it is written. They have spoken frauds swearing
falsely in making a covenant (that is the marriage covenant). Thus judgment springeth up
as hemlock in the furrows of the field, Hosea 10:4 Well did the scriptures
say, that mystery Babylon was the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth. These
are the sources of our ruin and misery, and the very root of the poison. From hence
springeth up the poison hemlock in society. This is the seed.
There is a great evil that lies in our law of divorcement.
This law in our country is imperfect in principle. That it is imperfect is evident from the changes it is frequently undergoing and from the fact, that it is now different in different States.
How can it be that a divine law should be imperfect and changeable? Does
not this prove at once my countrymen, and countrywomen, that
you are not married, neither are you divorced according to the law of God? We
must return in this particular to the standard, to the law of God which is a perfect law
upon this important subject. Who I ask has a right to make a law of marriage
but God? much less to alter or change it. The marriage law
is admitted by all to be a divine law. It is therefore spiritual in its nature, as indeed
are all the laws of God, who is himself a spirit, and therefore obligatory on the spirit
or mind, as well as on the body. Let us now examine the law of
Christ upon this matter.
Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you that whosoever shall put away his
wife saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her
to commit adultery: and whosoever marrieth her
that is put away committeth adultery.
Here we learn the only
true and lawful cause of divorcement. It is the
fornication of the wife against her husband. But surely
this is not what is commonly called fornication literally, or of the body; for
this offence a married woman cannot commit. Fornication as it is generally understood, is
the lewdness of unmarried persons. But you will say that in this case you have always
understood it to mean the same thing as adultery. But what propriety is there in thus
understanding it? When Christ here teaches that the body of a married woman must first be
prostituted, or joined to another, or again married, and the former marriage bed defiled
before adultery is committed.
Fornication cannot defile the marriage bed. The nature of
marriage is such, that it cannot be perfected until the bodies are actually joined, hence
saith Christ, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave unto his
wife, and they twain shall be one flesh. Paul perfectly illustrates this thing when he
saith, shall I take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God
forbid. Hence it is clear that Christ teaches that the body of a
married woman must be first prostituted before adultery is committed; and that a
man has a right to put away his wife for fornication only, and she is then free. But if a man should put away his wife for the crime of adultery;
would the man who should afterwards marry her, or the woman either be less guilty of
adultery by that marriage, than if the woman had not been before guilty of that crime?
Can one crime clear a person from the same crime afterwards?
Christ does not call fornication a crime in a married woman; but a justifiable cause for
putting her away. It does not read, if a man put away his wife except it
be for the crime of adultery. But it reads, if a man put away his wife, except
for the cause of fornication; he thereby causeth her to commit adultery by a
second marriage. Now it is evident that the cause why a man might put away his wife, could
not be the consequence of putting her away without the existence of that cause.
The one is fornication,
the other adultery.
The truth is this; the spiritual law of marriage is binding upon both the
body and mind of the wife equally. The prostitution
of the body after marriage constitutes adultery; but
the alienation of the mind or affections from her husband constitutes fornication in a
married woman. The sexual cohabitation of unmarried persons is not adultery but
fornication. Because although their minds may be united in the closest
ties of affections and love; yet she is not given in marriage by the marriage covenant.
Therefore it is fornication.
But after the body and mind are both obligated by the marriage covenant; if
the mind of the wife which was equally bound with the body to obey, and to be
in subjection in all things, by the spiritual nature of that covenant, becomes
alienated from her husband, she commits fornication against her husband;
because the mind of the wife was bound to yield obedience and submission
to her husband in all things as well as the body, by the spiritual nature of that
covenant. In this latter case the mind of the married woman is prostituted; in the former,
that is of the unmarried woman the body was prostituted: In either case it is fornication and in case of the married woman the only
proper and legal cause of divorce. And the wife can commit fornication
against her husband in no other possible way.
For if she prostitute her body after marriage, it is
adultery. When a woman apostatizes in spirit from her husband, she then commits fornication against the spiritual law of marriage, and
in no other way can a married woman commit fornication. If
she prostitutes her body, it is adultery. There is also a
spiritual adultery as well as adultery of the body which may be committed by the man. If a
man looks on another man's wife and lusts after her; he has committed adultery already in
his heart. If he carries his unlawful desires into effect, it is adultery of the
Adultery signifies simply the act which adulterates, legally, that which defiles the
marriage bed. But fornication can be committed without defiling
the marriage bed; in fact, it cannot defile the marriage bed in any case whatever.
They are entirely two different things. It is impossible to understand this word
fornication to mean adultery in this case, because Christ
makes the most clear, and positive distinction; and expressly
declares that fornication is the only lawful cause for which a man may put a-way his
wife; and that adultery is the consequence of putting her away without the existence of
that cause. You might as well suppose that he meant covetousness, by the word fornication,
as to suppose that he meant adultery. There is not so great a distinction between
covetousness and fornication as there is between adultery and fornication.
But a misunderstanding in this important point is the root of this
great evil. Again, adultery by the law of God, was punishable with death.
This would have been a divorce with a lasting witness. With our eyes
upon the law of God we can by no means admit the common and erronious understanding of
this matter. Some may have supposed no doubt that Christ, in the
case of the woman who was accused before him of adultery; softened or entirely
disannulled this law. If he entirely disannulled this law, then there is no law against
adultery; for he did not enact a substitute; and no gentile legislature, has a right to
meddle with the law of Jehovah. But the above idea is no doubt, an incorrect understanding
of the matter. We should recollect the office in which Christ acted. The law was given by
Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. John, 1:17. Christ
did not act in the capacity of a legislator, but an illustrator of the law, a
teacher, a servant. It was incompatible with his mission to even act as a judge in legal
matters. Hence he would condemn no sinner. It was not consistent that he, who
came to redeem sinners from the condemning power of the law with his own blood; should
condemn them by the law. The Jews knew this to be his profession; hence they brought the
woman before him, thinking to entrap him in this case. But with what wisdom he frustrated
their design, is manifest. Stone her said he, I do not teach
the violation of the law; but let him who has not violated it, cast the
first stone. None but the Son of God, situated as he was, could have escaped from this
trap. You recollect the young man who applied to him to settle the division of inheritance
between him and his brother. But Christ refused to interfere in the matter at all. Said
he, who made me ruler and judge over you? Had he proceeded to pass sentence upon sinners,
it would have forever put out the candle of the Lord in our minds; and we could not have
come to the knowledge of the truth, the glorious redemption that is in Christ Jesus by the
means which God hath appointed. Therefore he condemned no man neither did he condemn the
woman, but told her to go in peace, and sin no more. If he had repealed the law which
stood against her; such an act of which she was accused, would thenceforth have been no
But God has ordained a proper power to execute wrath upon the
transgressor; upon him that doeth evil. And this power the true teacher never
crippled in the least. Did he make void the law in any particular? No verily He established the sacred authority of the law, by submitting to it
himself in all things in his own name, and in the name of the everlasting God; the
unchangeable Jehovah, the author of that law. But you have made it void by your
ignorance and traditions. We should recollect that the marriage relation is clearly
illustrated to us by the relation that exists between Christ and his Church. When the church
ceases to obey Christ, and to love him,
they then commit fornication against him, and thus is the term used when speaking
of a bride,
throughout the scriptures. When the church rebels
against her lawful husband and master Jesus Christ, and will not submit to him in all
things; she then commits
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