« PreviousContinue »
of the keys of the kingdom of heaven ;' or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. I Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the Church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persous whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger.h And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his Church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief.: It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretence of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.k
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to
f Matt. xvi. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2. Let a man so account of us, as of the min. isters of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
9 John xviii. 36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. Acts v. 29. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Eph. iv. 11, 12. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
" Isa. xlix. 23. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers. See Rom. xiii. 1-6.
i Psa. cv. 15. Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm. See Acts xviii. 14-16.
k 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. See Rom. xiii. 4.
IV. 11 Tim. ii. 1-3. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all
honor their persons,m to pay them tribute and other dues," to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience sake.0 Infidelity or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to him :P from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted; ? much less hath the Pope any power or jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and least of all to deprive them of their dominions or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever.”
men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.
m 1 Pet. ii. 17. Fear God. Honor the king.
n Matt. xxii. 21. Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's. Rom. xiii. 6, 7. For, for this cause pay ye tribute also : for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues : tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
o Rom. xiii. 5. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake. Tit. iii. 1. Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.
P 1 Pet. ii. 13, 14, 16. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme: Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well.- As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
9 Rom. xiii. 1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. Acts xxv. 10, 11. Then said Paul, I stand at Cæsar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Cæsar.
2 Tim. ii. 24. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. 1 Pet. v. 3. Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
OF MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE.
I. MARRIAGE is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.a
II. Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; b for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;c and for preventing of uncleanness.d
III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry who are able with judgment to give their consent;e yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.f And,
I. a Gen. ii. 244. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Matt. xix. 4-6. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. See Rom. vii. 3.
II. Gen. ii. 18. And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.
cGen. ix. 1. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. Mal. ii. 15. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the Spirit. And wherefore one ? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
d1 Cor. vii. 2, 9. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.-But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
III. • Heh. xiii. 4. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 1 Tim. iv. 3. Forbiding to marry, and communding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. Gen. xxiv. 57, 58. And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
f1 Cor. vii. 39. The wife is bound by the law as long as her hus
therefore, such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, Papists, or other idolaters : neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life or maintain damnable heresies. I
IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden in the Word ;” nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.
V. Adultery or fornication, committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party
band liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
9 2 Cor. vi. 14. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers : for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness ? Sce Deut. vii. 3, 4; 1 Kings xi. 4; Neh. xiii. 25-27.
IV. "See Lev. xviii. 1 Cor. v. 1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.
i Mark vi. 18. For John had said unto llerod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Lev. xviii. 24-28. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations ; neiller any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled ;) That the land spew not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spewed out the nations that were before you.
V. k Matt. i. 18-20. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wise: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
to sue out a divorce,? and after the divorce to marry an. other, as if the offending party were dead.m
VI. Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments, unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage; yet nothing but adultery, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:n wherein a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills and discretion in their own case.
? Matt. v. 31, 32. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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 shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
m Matt. xix. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. See Rom. vii. 2, 3.
VI. n Matt. xix. 8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 1 Cor. vii. 15. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases : but God hath called us to peace. Matt. xix. 6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
. Deut. xxiv. 1-4. When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Ezra x. 3. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my ford, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.