[Copied from the original title page...]
FROM A MANUSCRIPT
THE PEACE MAKER, OR THE DOCTRINES OF THE MILLENNIUM:
BEING A TREATISE ON RELIGION
OR A NEW SYSTEM OF RELIGION AND POLITICS
FOR GOD, MY COUNTRY, AND MY RIGHTS
BY UDNEY HAY JACOB,
AN ISRAELITE, AND A SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL
J. SMITH, Printer
The 1842 Nauvoo, Illinois "PEACE MAKER" Pamphlet
THE PEACE MAKER
By Udney Hay Jacob
[Note: The following manuscript is a copy of the original two chapter Peace Maker pamphlet published in 1842 at Nauvoo, Illinois with Udney Hay Jacob as author, and Joseph Smith (The Mormon Prophet) as printer. However, corrections in spelling, grammar and format have been made for easier reading.
The history of this pamphlet is still shrouded in mystery. Udney Hay Jacob was not a member of the Mormon Church when this was published, but later did join. This two chapter pamphlet deals mainly with Bible marriage laws, and the original manuscript it is stated to have been taken from has never been found-- although Udney is reported to have sent the entire book to US President Van Buren before he became a Mormon.]
In the following extract, which is two chapters only, taken from a larger work, there are some allusions to matters contained in the larger work, which will not appear with the same clearness and force, as if the whole work was before the reader. This cannot be remedied in making an extract.
It is written in Malachi 4:5-6:
"Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD, and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
The author of this work professes to be the teacher he foretold. Some may object that John the Baptist was the character there alluded to.
But if it was necessary that Christ should have a forerunner when he came to this world as a servant only-- not to be ministered unto, but to minister-- and to give his life for the ransom of the world, how much more requisite is it that he should be thus honored, when he comes in His glory and majesty, to be King over all the nations of the earth?
Moreover, please take notice of the character spoken of. He shall "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, (nothing is here said of the mothers) lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." This is a matter of great importance in the eyes of God, in its proper time.
No teacher since this prophecy was given has made the least approximation towards the accomplishment of this great work, which is to save the world from a dreadful curse. But did not Christ do anything to effect this purpose, says an objector? Hear him:
"Suppose ye that I am come to give peace to the earth? I tell you nay, but rather division-- the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father, the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, etc And a man's enemies shall be they of his own house. Ye hypocrites can discern the face of the sky, and of the earth, but how is it that ye do not discern this time?" (see Luke 12:51-56)
However, the public can form a better judgment of the author's pretensions by reading this extract, than by mere professions.
And when the whole work shall be published, and its glorious object accomplished, then will the whole world know assuredly that he is indeed the teacher foretold by the Prophet Malachi, more than two thousand years ago.
Then will the truth of the holy prophets be established, and the judgments of God and His wisdom will be manifest.
The author of this work is not a Mormon, although it is printed by their press. It was the most convenient. But the public will soon find out what he is, by his work.
On The Law Of Marriage
"Yet once again I shake not the earth
only, but also heaven. And this
word yet once again signifies the
reviving of those things that are
shaken, as of things that are made--
that those things which cannot be
shaken may remain." (Hebrews
12:26-27; Haggai 2:6-7)
I now enter upon an important matter which I would gladly have omitted, did not the restitution of the law of God require that we should clearly understand it.
If we were doomed of necessity to continue involved in sin, it could not be a reproach, whatever else the consequences might be. But sin is a reproach to any people. A reproach to our understandings. [See Proverbs 14:34]
We all admit that sin is an unreasonable thing, and not to our interest. Yet we practice it. This proves that an astonishing frailty exists in our minds. But our sin is not the cause of this frailty, for it is manifest that this frailty is the cause of our sin. When then arises this frailty, or imbecility of mind? I answer that:
"I have applied myself to seek and
search out wisdom, and the reason
of things, and to know the cause of
madness and foolishness. And I find
that more bitter than death is the
woman, whose heart is snares and
nets, and whose hands are bonds."
(See Ecclesiastics 7:26-27)
And thus we are involved in Adam's chains, and all the penalties and pains of slaveries' growth. But what should we understand by Adam's chains? Answer: Adam was enslaved by the woman, not by the serpent in the first instance, as we are taught by the word:
"Adam was not deceived, but the
woman being deceived was in the
transgression." She gave unto man
and he did eat. Therefore, said Paul,
"I suffer not a woman to teach or to
usurp authority over the man, but to
be in subjection."
(See 1 Timothy 2:12-14)
Her law and government over a man we are thus taught by the Holy Spirit is an usurpation of power. But Adam was enslaved by the woman, and so are we.
It is the nature of an unnatural and unlawful bondage to degrade the mind, bred and born and involved therein. Hence, we have lost the original dignity, nobleness and excellency of the masculine mind; and have, as it respects the sex of our minds, become effeminate.
That such is the character of our mind is evident from the fact that we are constantly deceived by the devil like Eve of old.
It would have been impossible that the Christian nations with the Bible in their hands could have remained to this day servants of servants, and slaves of sin, continually deceiving and being deceived, even by the devil like Eve of old, had they not been possessed of the effeminate mind like Eve.
We are placed by our laws under the law of the woman. But the Word of God saith,
"The wife is bound by the law as
long as her husband liveth, but if
the husband be dead, she is at
liberty to be married to whom she
will, (take notice not to marry) but
to be married to whom she will only
in the LORD." [1 Corinthians 7:39]
This text shows what is meant by her being under the law of her husband, that is she is not at liberty to be married to another while she has a lawful husband yet living.
And if a man is bound to his wife in the same manner, then is he under the law of his wife. Again,
"For a woman that hath a husband is
bound by the law to her husband as
long as her husband liveth, but if
her husband be dead, she is loose
from the law of her husband."
But in no place in the holy book do we read that a man is bound by the law of his wife as long as his wife liveth. Such an idea and law would be, and is, subversive of all righteous government; and it disorganizes the whole system of truth. A man cannot be lawfully placed under the law of his wife, for he is the head.
The government of the wife is therefore placed in the husband by the law of God, for he is the head. "I suffer not a woman, saith the LORD, to teach or to usurp authority over the man, but to be in subjection."
How then can a man be righteously placed under the law of a woman? The word of God here expressly declares that such authority is an usurpation of power.
Neither can the woman herself, nor the human family prosper when the woman takes a station for which she was not created.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve, the man is therefore nearer the fountain than the woman, as Christ is before the man.
"Therefore as the church is subject
unto Christ, so let the wives be to
their own husbands in all things.
Husbands, love your wives, even as
Christ also loved the church and
gave himself for it..."
And it is written, [Ephesians 5:33] "let the wife see that she reverence her husband", for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.
A man ought not to be brought under the law of a woman in any wise. But by our law he is in ten thousand instances completely enslaved to an imperious woman-- whereby confusion and not peace rages in society at the very root.
And the principle that performs this wicked work is recognized and admitted by all, and therefore operates upon all, and disorganizes the universal mind of man throughout Christendom: it being begotten and bred in this disorganizing ruin.
The evil consequences resulting from the imperfection of our laws upon this subject are many, and destructive to this whole nation. And as Satan gained the ascendancy over man by the submission of the man to the woman, so he must be expelled by exalting man to his original authority and dignity, and by forming our laws exactly according to the divine pattern-- or reign forever [in misery].
This only can restore order, good family government and peace. Multitudes of families are now in confusion, and wretchedly governed. This is a great evil.
For the private families are nunneries of 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 oftimes become associates and partners with pick-pockets, thieves 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 existence 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 forever.
This ruinous, disorganizing, debasing principle cannot be eradicated but by the arm of the law.
Our ladies have long possessed a power, which by the very nature of things, the nature of woman 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 pulls 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
Well did the scriptures say, that 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 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 countryman and countrymen 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
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 offense 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." [See Mark 10:5-9]
Paul perfectly illustrates this thing when he says, "Shall I take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid." [1 Corinthians 6:15]
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 the crime? Can one crime clear a person from the same crime afterwards?
Observe, Christ does not call fornication a crime in a married woman, neither is it 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 for the crime of adultery." But it reads, "If a man put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication", he therefore 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 the mind of the wife equally. The prostitution of the body after marriage constitutes adultery, but the alienation of the mind or affections 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 the 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 the 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 prostitutes her body after marriage it is adultery.
There is a spiritual fornication as well as a spiritual 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 body.
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 away 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.
Without eyes upon the law of God, we can by no means admit the common and erroronous understanding of this matter.
Some may suppose, 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 as 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", he said, "I do not teach the violation of the law; but let him who has not violated cast the first stone." [See John 8:3-11; Deut 17:7] 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 the inheritances between him and his brother: but Christ refused to interfere in the matter at all.
Said he, "Who made me a ruler and judge over you?" [See Luke 2:13-14] 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 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 which she was accused would henceforth have been no sin.
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 the 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 fornication against him-- and this is the plain sense of the matter.
So in the case of the wife, when she refuses to submit cheerfully to her husband in all things, (a broad commandment this, but limited by reason and love only) when she ceases to reverence her husband, to be submissive to him, trusting in her husband and believing in him, then she commits fornication against the law of marriage, and against him-- even as the false church has against Christ.
And in no other possible way can she commit this act, and it then becomes the right of her husband to write her a bill of divorcement according to the strict letter of the law of God given by Moses, and to put her away unless she repents.
A right understanding of this matter, and a correct law properly executed-- together with the knowledge and restitution of the whole penal law of God, and the glorious and everlasting gospel-- would restore this nation to peace and order, and man to his true dignity, authority and government of the earthly creation.
It would soon rectify the domestic circle, and establish a proper head over the families of the earth, and be the means of driving Satan-- yea, of driving Satan from the human mind, and setting a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more until his time. [See Revelations 20:2-3]
And by no other means can order and peace be restored to man. And by no other means can the hearts of the fathers be turned to their children, and the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers.
The Spirit of God and Christ will then return to deliver us from all evil, and to guide the mind of happy and exalted man into truth. Length of days, peace and blessings foretold shall be ours.
Man shall then cease committing fornication against his head and husband, Jesus Christ:
"For the head of the woman is man,
and the head of the man is Christ,
and the head of Christ is God." [See
1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23]
It is disorganization and obedience of these eternal laws of order and of God that has ruined us. A schism in the body.
Gentlemen, the ladies laugh at your pretended authority. They, many of them, hiss at the idea of your being the lords of the creation. Even in the public prints they have styled you, the "would be lords," etc
Nothing is farther from the minds of our wives in general than the idea of submitting to their husbands in all things, and of reverencing their husbands. They will boldly ridicule the idea of calling them sincerely in their hearts lords and masters. But God has positively required this of them, even as Sarah of old, that excellent woman, having now no parallel on earth.
"Likewise ye wives, be in subjection
to your own husbands... even as
Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him
lord; whose daughters ye are, as
long as ye do well, and are not
afraid with any amazement." (See 1
And under existing circumstances our wives can never become the daughters of Sarah in the spirit, nor enjoy the inheritance with her in a glorious immortality. Alas! The ruin is unbounded even to them.
But gentlemen legislators, it now devolves upon you to open the gates of glory and blessedness, both for time and eternity, to a ruined world.
Alter your imperfect and wicked law of divorcement, make it according to the law of God, and the ladies will laugh at you no more. They will soon reform, and nothing in this world will they esteem higher than your affections. They will respect your authority sincerely, and you will command their kindest attention everywhere.
Then will you love your wives indeed, for they will be worthy. And then will the health of the daughters of the LORD's people be recovered. [See Jeremiah 8:21-22]
Then shall come to pass what is spoken by Isaiah the prophet:
"In that day shall the branch of the
LORD be beautiful and glorious,
...when the LORD shall have washed
away the filth of the daughters of
Zion.." [Isaiah 4:2-4]
It might be under our circumstances requite to compel the husband who thought of putting away his wife, to go before the magistrate, and there affirm the fact that he was about to divorce his wife-- stating under oath the true cause or causes, such as: willful disobedience to his reasonable commands, disrespectful language, a refusal to submit to him in all reasonable things; and make it the duty of the magistrate to record the oath and testimony thus given.
The magistrate would exercise no other judgment or supervision in the case, than to verify that the evidence did prove that the cause or causes did exist as described by law, and that no abuse or battery had been offered by the husband against the wife-- and that persuasion had been used kindly and gently, and space given her to repent, and she repented not.
This would be precisely the law of Christ on the subject, and in essence the very way he hath preceded with his own rebellious bride.
Then let the husband write her a bill of divorcement, and but her away; and she may then go and be married to another man; the bill would also be a matter of record, signifying a freedom from her former husband.
Thus does the law of God declare, and the explanation given by Christ clearly signifies the same thing. Because he makes this exception, saying, "If a man put away his wife save for the cause of fornication, by an after marriage she commits adultery, and he that marries her committeth adultery."
If the word fornication, here used by Christ means adultery, and the woman is put away for that crime, it would follow; that she is thereby free, and that by an after marriage she would not commit adultery; neither would the man that married her commit adultery. But if she is put away innocently, without committing adultery, then an after marriage is adultery.
Thus it is necessary according to such a definition of the word fornication, that the woman would commit adultery in the first place in order to protect her from that crime by an after marriage. This is absurd for any rational being to believe.
That Christ did not mean adultery by the word fornication is therefore absolutely decided beyond the possibility of error, for the following irrefutable reasons, if no others did exist:
1st. Because it is impossible that the crime of adultery committed by a wife should be the means of exonerating her from the same offense afterwards.
2nd. Because the crime of adultery was by the law of God punished with death, and with no other penalty, and Christ has declared that he in no case made void the law of God, although the truth which came by Christ is that he has redeemed the spirits of men from the condemning power of the law with his own blood, as we have before abundantly proven-- glory and honor be to his name-- yet the natural, earthly man is under the law, and liable to its penalties in the flesh, and by right ought so to be.
These are great hail stones of truth that cannot be resisted, beating with destructive violence upon the very foundation of mystery Babylon, and I am persuaded as we advance in the investigation of these things, that the storm will thicken.
But you may inquire, if the husband becomes alienated towards his wife, while she remains sincerely attached to him, has he not a right to put her away?
No! By no means. He shall not drive his affectionate and faithful wife from him, while she remains pure in heart, and sincerely attached to him. This is that putting away which the LORD hates, which he hath forbidden, and in which he has not set the example.
This was the principle reason why the disciples being bred Jews thought it was not good to marry. Moses for the hardness of their hearts suffered them to do this, for some fancied uncleanness, or personal dislike on the part of the husband. See Deut 24:1.
But from the beginning it was not so, and there is a legal reason, which is that a man shall not take advantage of his own wrong.
But more especially, the cruelty of the act forbids it.
But if a woman be alienated in her heart, the case is different. There is then a serious reason why she must be put away. Children begotten and born of an alienated woman are born of fornication in the spirit or mind. This is a great injury to the minds of such children. It injures their intellectual powers, and disposition of mind.
Hence, we have often observed that children born of young women in an unmarried state, the production of an illicit love, are often the most bright and active, and possessed of greater natural gifts than many other children. God, who knows the nature of His own work, has therefore forbidden the propagating our species from an alienated woman.
But in the case of the affectionate girl, saith Paul, there is no sin, let them marry, [See 1 Cor. 7:9,28; 1 Tim. 5:14] and so saith the law of God expressly. [See Exodus 22:16-17; Deut. 22: 28-30]
But a bastard, that is a child born of fornication, or of an alienated woman, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD to the tenth generation.
Here we are taught that the injury is so great as to disqualify them from becoming Saints to the tenth generation! What do you think of this My countrymen? How many bastards have we in these States completely disqualified from entering into the congregation of the LORD to the tenth generation?
It is evident that minds or souls are propagated by natural generation as well as bodies.
We marvel that wise men are so rare in Christendom. And that they have read the scriptures for ages, without understanding the plainest facts. And have consequently constituted so many jarring sects from the same authority, all in confusion like the builders of Bable.
The woman is the producer, and while she remains pure, truly attached in spirit to her husband, her children are pure, and born in honor, but not otherwise.
And idea from this root is alluded to by Paul, where he says,
"The husband is sanctified by the
believing wife, and the wife is
sanctified by the believing husband,
else were your children unclean,
but now are they holy." [See Cor. 7:14]
But in all cases the natural affections of the wife must be towards her husband, or it is fornication. She must be pleased to live with him as saith the apostle, else he must put her away.
But there is a sanctifying power in the belief and knowledge of Christ taught in this book, which is indeed the balm of Gilead to the children of suffering humanity, and if it be not received by this nation at this time, wo, wo be to them.
Cannot a man put away his wife for the crime of adultery? Answer: this crime was punished by the law of God with death, it is therefore absurd to talk about divorce in such a case. There is no act that can be named under heaven for which a man can lawfully put away his wife, save for the cause of fornication.
But if the husband commit fornication, shall not the wife be entitled to a bill against him? Impossible. Did Christ say a woman shall not put away her husband saving for the cause of fornication?
Here is a wrong idea in your head, an idea of a woman divorcing her husband. How can she do this for any offense? The man is not under the law of marriage to his wife. But the wife is bound by the law of her husband as long as her husband liveth. A divorced man is a creature no where recognized in the scriptures, or in the law of God.
Where did you ever read in the law of God, or in the holy book, such a false idea? or the least illusion to the righteousness of such a thing on any account whatever?
How can property put away its owner?
The Bible must become as absurd, and as foolish as the Gentiles themselves, and its whole phraseology entirely changed to make it read according to our perverted ideas and laws upon this subject.
The wife is given to her husband, and is bound by the law of her husband, and the husband cannot legally be put away under the law of his wife-- unless you should thereby indeed fulfill literally (as in fact you have done) the saying of the prophet Isaiah: "Children are the oppressors of My people, and women rule over them" (See Isaiah 3:12)
But if you have understood the true cause of divorcement to be adultery, yet you have not formed your laws upon that principle altogether. You have been compelled by your experience to deviate from it in several of the States.
What, although a woman is not known to be an adulteress, yet she may be a perfect devil to her husband, train him in the most imperious manner, despise him in her heart, abuse him before his children, drive him like a menial slave where she pleases-- and he must tamely submit to the ungodly law of his wife, must hug the serpent to his bosom, and love her as he does his own body!
Impossible! and degrading to the nature of man. It is altogether unlawful and ruinous to the families of the nation.
The means which your ungodly law puts into the hands of a proud termagant, and alienated woman of torturing her husband, and ruining all his affairs as well as his soul, and his children to the tenth generation, cannot be written on paper.
The evils that this nation now suffers by this erroneous law cannot be enumerated, neither shall be comprehend them until the law of God is restored, and true order and righteous government is established in the land. Then will we discover the contrast, and not till then.
And then will the smoke of the torment of those who now bow to the beast, or false government, ascend up forever and ever. [See Revelations 20:10] That is, it will be discovered by the contrast and the remembrance thereof will remain forever.
Order and government must and should exist, and God only knows where the power should be placed to effect it. And He has placed it in the hands of the man. And how is it possible that it ever should be effected by placing two powers of equal force in direct opposition to each other?
This power of the man over the woman does not consist in the right of abuse and corporal punishment, which does violence to the nature of the marriage relation, but in the true law of divorcement established by God himself for the purpose of righteous government and peace.
Neither has any legislature in Christendom a right to alter, amend or change it in the least; only to appoint the means, and order the execution thereof. For what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.
Bills of divorcement according to our laws of the Gentiles are therefore unlawful. They cannot by their acts separate lawfully what God has joined together-- he hath forbidden it. And many are now living in fornication and adultery in the sight of God., in which they, and all those who thus cause the violation of the law of God, must give an account to Him, who is ready to judge the quick and the dead at His appearing, and in His kingdom.
The ceremony or covenant of marriage should say to the man, "You thereby take this woman which you hold by the right hand to be your wedded wife according to the law of God?" He should answer, "I do." Then the officer should say to the woman, "You do hereby agree to become the wedded wife of this man which you hold by the right hand according to the law of God?" She should answer, "I do." Then the officer should say, "According to the law of God, I pronounce you husband and wife."
The idea of a woman taking a man to be her husband is not found in the Word of God. But the man marries the woman, and the woman is given in marriage. She is therefore the property of the husband in marriage. But the husband is not the property of the wife in any sense of the word.
It is not said, even in the holy decalogue when Mount Sinai was all on fire, and trembled at the presence of Jehovah, in that solemn exhibition of the power and glory of God, in the holy decalogue, written with the finger of God himself, it is not said, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's husband." No verily, she has no such property.
But, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, his ox, nor his ass, nor anything thy neighbor possesses." [Exodus 20:17] Here the wife is pronounced the husband's property, as much as his own body.
For she is the glory of the man, and if a virtuous woman, her price is above rubies. A different kind of property, and held by a different tenure, according to the law being bound to the husband, and cannot be sold.
By the law, a man had a right to buy and sell menservants and maidservants. Yet if he took a maidservant to be a concubine, she was under the same law to her master as was the wife, and the master then could not sell her, after she had been thus taken. But he could let her go out free, and she was then a free woman. [See Exodus 21:7-11]
But the man is in no sense of the word the property of his wife. How can property possess its owner? How can the owner be put under the law and government of his property?
When God made the woman, he gave her to the man, but he never gave the man to the woman. Therefore, the woman has no power to divorce the man. How can property divorce its owner?
Think of these things, my countrymen, seriously.
"For Zion shall be redeemed with
judgment and her converts with
righteousness: and the destruction
of the transgressors and the sinners
shall be together, and they that
forsake God shall be consumed."
Thus you see, my countrymen, how the old harlot Rome, the old mother of harlots, has committed fornication against Christ, and then has taught our wives to commit fornication against us with impunity. And has thus made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. [See Revelations 18:3]
This was in the first place most infamously and wickedly done by the Priesthood, by the aid of the old dragon, that is Paganism. The converts to professed Christianity having been brought up in Paganism, were by that means, that is by the power of their education and the fraud of the priests, deceived as it is written:
"The dragon gave the beast his
power, and seat, and great
authority. And they worshipped the
dragon who gave power to the
beast." (Revelations 13:2,4)
The authors, the Roman Priesthood, knew better than this, hence they forbid their own class to marry at all, and under the pretense of sanctity. O shame! And their object was to degrade and enslave the world, while they preserved their own dignity and power by not coming under the unnatural yoke of the woman.
For they well knew that putting the man under the woman would degrade his mind, and that of his posterity in many cases wretchedly-- and produce imbecility of mind, disorder and confusion therein, like intoxicating wine: and render them finally their passive slaves.
In the mean time, to justify their natural wants, the nunnery was invented, for they chose to degrade and prostitute their bodies rather than their minds.
No doubt the whole scheme of the Priests was never carried into full prosecution, which part that failed was the manner of bringing forward successors to perpetuate their "noble" order.
But poor souls, they must now bear their degradation forever. There is no help for them now, as they vainly imagined, by the means of purgatory. They turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, and their foolish minds became darkened.
But heaven smiles on us, a glorious day is now opening! The harvest has come, and in the time of the harvest will the LORD send forth His angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from under the whole heavens, and they shall bear rule over those wicked priests forever.
In ancient times, under the law of God, the permission of a plurality of wives had a direct tendency to prevent the possibility of fornication in the wife.
For the law of divorcement, and all the law on the subject, sustained the lawful and independent power of the husband over the wife, and his dignity of character was thereby supported.
The interests, the hopes, the prospects of the wife were all turned in the opposite direction by the law, where indeed her mind always should be. Her main object was to win and retain the affections of her husband.
And there was no means more successful for this purpose than to bear him many children: for reasons which will hereafter appear. Hence, wives were so grieved at the idea of barrenness.
The ruinous evil of a woman being jealous of her husband, could not then exist under the law, and this evil is almost the only source of fornication in a wife. This fruited source of evil was not then in existence. And the wife was perfectly passive, submissive and non-resisting towards her husband.
The existence of fornication in a married woman, this destructive evil even to her posterity, was then hardly possible. It was not therefore defined or even mentioned in the law.
It was improper so to do: as it would have had a tendency to create an unknown evil, as the woman was then perfectly governed in righteousness, nothing as it respected law on this subject was further necessary, but proper laws to govern the man.
But when Christ came they had by being under the Babylonians, and afterwards the Romans, and by mingling with the Pagan nations, and from various other causes, in many respects corrupted the law. It then became necessary to define the proper cause of divorce, to fit the law to circumstances of the age, and to all future generations-- not really to change the law at all, but to illustrate its spirit and real nature. This is all the Savior did at that time.
The first law ever made upon this subject of marriage is contained in these words,
"And unto the woman he said, in
sorrow shalt thou bring forth
children, and thy desire shall be
unto thy husband, and he shall rule
over thee." (Genesis 3:16)
This shows that the desire of wives cannot be maintained towards their husbands unless they do absolutely reign over them by the strong and righteous arm of the law. Because these prospositions ["thy desire shall be unto thy husband," and "and he shall rule over thee."] are both pronounced by God Himself in connection, and they must be connected or neither will exist. And it is so, in the nature of things.
It is evident that the sovereignty of the husband over his wife, herein bestowed by God himself, cannot righteously be supported by any other means, than by the law, neither can prosperity attend the human family upon any other principles.
But suppose a married man entice a maid, shall not the wife be entitled to a bill of divorce against him? This is not an offense against his wife, neither is it against the maid, but altogether in the maid's favor.
It is not against the wife, for the man is not under the law of marriage to his wife in any sense whatever, neither can he be put under the law of the woman without disorganizing the whole system of the law of God and of righteousness.
If he has addressed the maid without the father's consent, it is against the father, for which the law of God expressly provides. And the wife has no concern nor control in this matter.
The wife cannot put away the husband for any cause. As well might a servant put away his master, or a child his father. A divorced man is a creature not known in the whole canon of the scriptures.
Here lies your error, and the law of Him who made man must rule, and you my countrymen must and shall understand it, either in this life to your advantage, or in that which is to come to your everlasting loss.
But if a man commits adultery with another man's wife it has a direct tendency to produce the great evil of alienation in the wife, which is murder to her posterity in its nature-- and he robs the husband of his most precious rights, and violates the interests of his life and family in the most sacred points of man's existence. He therefore, and the adulteress, shall be put to death.
God now calls us to peace, and purity and order, for His house is a house of order, and not of confusion. This is the object of the whole law.
But your laws upon the subject lays the ax at the root of the tree of peace and order, and good government of the earth. And the fruits of disorder and cruelty and wickedness that have prevailed this thousand years, even with the gospel in your hands, is a demonstration of this fact.
Now then make the reasonable law of God your guide, instead of your misguided vain imaginations of what is fitting and best for mankind, and a glorious reward both in time and eternity will be the blessed consequences.
The families of the earth are the root of all righteous government among men. And unless order and a perfect and independent head is here established by law, wretchedness and confusion in the very nature of things will and must be the certain consequences.
The honor, the affections, and the prosperity of the father and husband are powerful checks to his becoming a tyrant. The fatherly government has in all ages where it has been supported, been found the most virtuous and just.
Besides, the law can easily and completely control any disposition of a tyrannical nature in the supreme head of a family, without bringing him under the unlawful and ruinous bondage of a woman.
If he requires anything of his wife which love and reason would not dictate, or if he inflicts blows upon his wife, it is of the nature of assault and battery.
And if he is convicted of such an offense, it is the law of God that he be publicly whipped, not to exceed forty stripes, according to the aggravation of the offense. And where, I inquire, would such a man go to get a wife after he was known?
Such men, if any there be among us, ought not to be the fathers of the rising generation, for we now enter the Millennium.
For by the Law of Christ, a man is bound to be kind to his wife, and he is under the Law of Christ, who is his lawful head, but not under the law to his wife. The wife has no right to teach, admonish, reprove, rebuke or to exercise any kind of dictation whatever He is her head, and she should be guided by the head.
If the wife wants to know anything, let her ask her husband at home. She hath therefore the right of petition. And this is a right that all who are governed should possess.
If she will seek any other guide, depending on something else besides her husband, (except it be the LORD, who is the head of all), she must be miserable-- she is out of the order which God has established in the creation, and wretchedness is the inevitable fruit. Therefore, the law should confine her completely under her husband's power for good, but not for evil.
Has the church a right to admonish or dictate to Christ?
"But the head of the woman is man,
and the head of the man is Christ."
"I suffer not a woman to teach or to
usurp authority over the man, but to
be in subjection." [See 1 Cor. 11:3; 1
Here we are informed that an attempt even to teach her husband is an usurpation of power forbidden by the Holy Spirit..
But the church has the free right of respectful petition, and Christ encourages the use of that right in His bride.
Some men argue that it is vain to petition the LORD in any case, for say they, the plans of the LORD are immutable, and cannot change to accommodate our petitions, without imperfection in Him.
But such persons do not consider that it is one of the grand objects of the Creator in creating rational beings, to bring them to be acquainted with Himself, and there is in the Head of man a design of creating a communion between Himself and them.
Therefore, the thing petitioned for by us might as well be foreknown by Him as any other thing, and to constitute the blessings of the communion of society with God, all those right petitions are included in the original design, without supposing any change in our Lord and Master.
While we may enjoy the comfort and consolation of beholding our petitions granted, and our faith is thus strengthened, and we may enjoy society and communion with God.
But to return. Let it be remembered that the law of God cannot be changed without bringing down ruin, misery and eternal degradation upon the heads of those who change it.
If a woman does commit fornication against her husband, and does not reform, it is his indispensable duty to put her away.
And how is it possible that a reasonable woman could desire to live with a man, when in her heart she is alienated from him?
Surely she would much rather be free, that she might lawfully united with some man whom she could respect and love.
It is therefore a privilege to a wife in such case-- it is a proof positive by her confession that she is alienated in heart from her husband.
And the law then should compel the husband to give her a bill, whatever the husband's feelings or affections towards her might be notwithstanding
Thus it is the woman that can break this covenant, not the man, because the woman is the subject of this law, and not the ruler by the law.
So neither can Christ Jesus Himself break the covenant of promise that binds the church to him. But the church can apostatize, as she has done, and thereby she has been put away.
Yet the law, however, fixes a check upon the light versatility of the mind of the woman by her not being allowed any dowry in such case, and no control over her children if she has any.
The support and education of the children belong to the father, and all his substance is to perform those duties with.
The law therefore in all respects is calculated to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Not only in this instance, but by exalting their authority, influence and dignity of character in the earth. Even so let it be, saith the LORD, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The father of a family is the image of God, and it is not well pleasing to Him that His particular image on earth should be degraded by law, unlawfully.
The wife in the above case takes nothing but her own property, unless the husband is pleased to give, for the law allows of no schism in the body, or grounds of contention, and there is none.
And the divorced wife, after being married to another, cannot return to her former husband.
The highest signification of the term law is governing power. And nations being thus brought under one and the same system of perfect government, would soon have no cause of war, and with clear illustration of the rational truth of God, they would soon beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks, and learn war no more [See Isaiah 2:4] So mote it be.
We have been treating the governing power of marriage, and we clearly show that it is placed in the hands of the husband as chief executive, and no where else under heaven. And that he is not a subject of that power.
To suppose that this governing power is placed in the husband and wife equally is an absurdity. In the name of common sense, who then would be the subject?
If the governing power of marriage was placed equally in the hands of the husband and the wife, there would be no subject, consequently no possibility of violating the power of the government, for it is the subject only that can violate a law-- and therefore there could be no possibility of divorcement.
For I cannot possibly hold a governing power over one that holds a governing power over me in the same case. If I hold the power as a father to govern my son, he cannot at the same time hold the legal power of governing me.
But you may object, that you place the governing power of marriage in neither of the parties, but in the court. But the law of God never placed this power in the hands of the Pope, nor court.
Do you not perceive that this opens a door of unlawful litigation between the husband and the wife, and places the power we speak of equally in the hands of both, separating in open hostility what God has joined together?
And thus your absurd unrighteous law binds the husband by the law of the wife as long as the wife lives, and at the same time binds the wife by the law of the husband as long as the husband lives.
What folly then to talk of divorce at all! For a righteous power cannot be constituted to violate another righteous power in any case. If thus they are wedded together, no power but death can righteously part them.
And in fact you have no settled principle of divorcement; but Popes and courts do as they please with the bodies and souls of mankind. Nothing but death could possibly dissolve such a covenant. Do you not even blush at your own absurdity?
This is not the nature of the true marriage covenant by any means, for that admits of divorcement, executed by the husband, who holds the power of this law in his hands, and to exercise it for the fornication of the wife, and for no other cause whatever. So saith the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Hence it is written of me that:
"Kings shall shut their mouths at
him, for that which has not been
told them, shall they see, and that
which they have not heard shall
they consider." (Isaiah 52:15)
Is Christ under the law to the church in any sense of the word? Impossible. So neither is the husband under the law of marriage to his wife in any sense of the word.
But is he not bound to love his wife, and provide for her by the law of marriage? Truly, he is thusly bound, but not by the law of marriage, but by the law of Christ, which also binds him even to love his enemies, consequently to provide for his own, and especially them of his own household.
So also by the law of his head and husband he is bound to give his wife a bill of divorcement when she becomes alienated from him.
God anciently said unto His church, "I am married unto thee." (Jeremiah 3:14) If the law of marriage places the husband under any government whatever, or if he is thereby laid under any obligation whatever, then was God under the law and government of His church, and under the same obligations to her by being married to her.
The fact is that the man is under the law to Christ, but not under the law of marriage to his wife-- or in any sense obligated to her as his law.
Moreover, the covenant of marriage is, or ought to be, conditioned according to the law of God, which admits of divorcement, but not according to the absurd law of the Gentiles, which consistent with itself admits of no divorcement.
According to this latter law, the kingdom of marriage has but two subjects, and both of them are equally sovereigns over each other, and consequently in reality there are no subjects at all; therefore no possibility of violating the sovereign authority--
Hence there can be no divorcement, and at the same time no possibility of exercising sovereignty, and finally no kingdom or government, but a tyrannical state of anarchy, whereby the families of the earth now are filled with confusion, and held together only by a principle similar to that by which the goats and wild beasts herd together. Hence, it is termed in scripture, the government of the beast.
But according to the law of Christ, there is but one supreme governor only, who is bound by Christ to govern according to law, and who has power thereby, if his subjects rebel, to banish them from his dominions, and at the same time absolve them from their allegiance. And then to supply his government with other subjects, that it may be a house of order and peace.
The former is a kind of mongrel imitation of the latter-- that amounts to a solemn absurdity and confusion. It establishes a positive ground of contention between the parties, (as among the beasts) to determine which shall be master.
As two oxen will not work peaceably together in the yoke until this point is settled, so in the marriage yoke there is no peace until this matter is determined-- which often remains a continual jar and confusion through life, begetting coldness and contempt for each other, and sowing the seeds of ruin in the family; because the strong arm of the law is the only thing that can peaceably settle this matter.
"The earth is also defiled under the
inhabitants thereof, because they
have transgressed the laws, changed
the ordinances, and broken the
everlasting covenant." (Isaiah 24:5)
That is, the ordinance and covenant of marriage, spoken of in the singular number and definite manner-- because there is no other everlasting ordinance that man ever had the power to change.
The everlasting covenant of the gospel found first in Genesis 3:15 is ordered in all things and sure. It is the covenant of life beyond the grave. That found in the next verse is the ordinance that regulates the introduction of man into this life, and provides for his childhood. This we have changed, on which account sorrow and affliction prevails on the earth.
"And I will put enmity between thee
(the serpent) and the woman, and
between thy seed and her seed; it
shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt
bruise his heel." (Genesis 3:15)
"Unto the woman he said, I will
greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy
conception; in sorrow thou shalt
bring forth children, and thy desire
shall be to thy husband, and he shall
rule over thee." (Genesis 3:16)
All the laws of our country and decisions of courts upon this subject have a direct tendency to establish the weaker vessel as the head of the man, and head of the family.
Many men of the best talents that their generation affords remain bachelors, or are totally ruined; and in their course are the ruin of many females-- for the better the intellect, the less willing he is to be a slave, and especially under the tyranny of an unnatural yoke of bondage.
But the law of God settles this matter at once, and declares that the head of the woman is the man, and the head of the man is Christ-- and fixes the governing power according.
In ninety-nine instances out of a hundred no doubt, where the woman is naturally of a mild and submissive make, the families live in peace. And where it is otherwise, it is reason that the law should enforce peace, so that this great and important object should be effected.
If the law of God was established, and faithfully executed in this important matter, it is manifest that peace in all the families of the nation would be the inevitable result, and the marriage state would become a paradise. And this would be the greatest blessing in its effects and consequences ever yet conferred upon any people.
And as we have already shown, the law of Christ, who is the proper head of man, has power effectual to correct any disposition in the present wicked generation of men to act the tyrant.
The practice of courts and legislative bodies in granting bills of divorcement is an assumption of power and tyranny in its nature, not authorized by the scriptures, the only true authority upon this subject, and in imitation of the Pope of Rome, who formally assumed all power, and from whom this wicked and unlawful assumption of power has manifestly been derived. And it was first effected when the beast made war with the saints and overcame them, and power was given him over all nations. (Revelations 13:7)
Then did the dreadful divorcement take place, called the apostasy, in consequence of which we have gone astray, and have run into disorder and confusion, wretchedness, ignorance, misery, bloodshed, wars, and cruelties; which have prevailed even among Christians ever since.
And we have lived in continual fornication and adultery in every sense of those words.
Hence the prophets and apostles, speaking by the Spirit, and when referring prophetically to these days continually use such language.
No doubt many persons in reading the prophets have passed over this kind of language lightly, considering it indelicate in them; and supposing the reason why they used such language so much was because of the unpolished age in which they lived-- and in fact have thought it strange that they could not find better figures to express their ideas, supposing it all to be figurative.
But they spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and we now discover, my beloved brethren and sisters, that the eyes of those holy men of old were upon us, upon the Christian nations since the apostasy, and upon the latter days, and they have foretold in the only language they could foretell our real situation.
Hence old Rome is styled correctly, "Mystery Babylon," the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth. And she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication [See Revelations 17:2,3]
And hence the confused state of our minds, as if inebriated with wine. And this wine is the poison of the dragon, and the cruel vemon of the asp. (See Deut. 32:33)
Sin is the transgression of the law. But we transgress the law of God by law. This is a national abomination, and from this great evil, by its very nature, a nation must be born at once, (if recovered at all) as the Prophet Isaiah more than two thousand years ago hath foretold.
"Before she travailed (that is, before
Zion travailed) she brought
forth-- before her pain came she was
delivered of a man child (even the
author of this book.) Who hath
heard such a thing? Who hath seen
such a thing? Shall the earth be
born at once:? For as soon as Zion
travailed, she brought forth her
children. (Isaiah 66:7-8)
"Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be
glad with her, all ye that love
her-- that ye may suck and be
satisfied with the breasts of her
consolation-- that ye may milk out
and be delighted with the
abundance of her glory."
"For behold, I will send My
messenger and he shall prepare the way
before Me; and the LORD whom ye
seek shall suddenly come to His
Temple; even the messenger of the
covenant whom ye delight in.
Behold he shall come, saith the Lord
of Hosts. But who may abide the
day of His coming? And who shall
stand when He appeareth? For He
is like a refiner's fire, and like
fuller's soap. And He shall set as a
refiner and purifier of silver. And
He shall purify the sons of Levi, and
purge them as gold and silver; that
they may offer unto the LORD an
offering in righteousness."
"Then shall the offering of Judah
and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the
LORD as in the days of old, and as in
former years. And I will come near
unto you in judgment, and I will be
a swift witness against the sorcerers,
and against the adulterers, and
against false swearers and against
those that oppress the hireling in his
wages, and the widow and the
fatherless, and turn aside the
stranger from his right and fear not,
saith the Lord of Hosts."
SEVERAL IMPORTANT LAWS OF GOD
Again, there is another law of God, respecting sexual intercourse, worthy of our respectful attention.
If a man lie carnally with a bond woman, married or betrothed, which would be adultery and punishable with death to both parties if she was free-- but yet, because she is not free, but a bond woman, she only shall be scourged, and the man must make a sin offering, and he is forgiven. [See Leviticus 19:20-21]
Thus does God in His law not only recognize the right of holding our fellow creatures as property and in bondage, but frames His laws in all cases agreeably thereto.
And what we would particularly notice in this matter, lowers down the penalty from death, to a trifling sin offering; while the woman, not the man, suffers the corporeal punishment, but certainly not severe.
For although the law does command scourging in some cases as the only proper penalty or corrective, yet in no case more than forty stripes.
How certain it is that God has never made all men equal, neither has he intended to make them equal in this world, nor in that which is to come. But He will reward every man according to his works.
O ye miserable fanatics of New England, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Teaching an endless torment of some of your fellow men, while you strain at the idea of Negro slaves not being made equal with the chosen people of God. You must be rebuked into obedience to the law of God, or you yourselves be made slaves everlastingly.
Abolitionists, like other fanatics, pretend to quote scripture in support of their unlawful doctrine
In noticing the absurdities of this generation, we have in no instance been struck with more profound astonishment, than when we hear abolitionists quote the following in support of their creed.
"Therefore, whatsoever you would
that men should do unto you, do ye
even the same to them also."
Thus they reason, "If I were a slave, I would wish my master to set me free. Therefore, it is my duty to set my servant free: for whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them."
But the whole text reads thus:
"Whatsoever ye would that men
should do unto you, do ye even so to
them, for this is the law and the
Hence, Christ teaches us that we are to understand this saying agreeable to the law and the prophets, not in direct opposition thereto.
A few examples, according to the manner in which abolitionists inculcate this saying of our LORD, will show their absurdity.
If a father desire in his heart that his children should obey him, and follow his instructions, then he must obey them and observe their instructions, for "whatsoever you would that others do unto you, do ye the same to them also."
Again, if a preceptor desire his pupils to obey his rules and authority, the preceptor must obey the rules and authority of his scholars, for "whatsoever you would desire others to do unto you, do ye the same to them also."
Again, if a slave or servant would that his master should set him free, his price or value being five hundred dollars, he should pay his master such and remain a slave still, for "whatsoever you would that others should do unto you, do ye the same to them also."
Again, if a man desire a woman to commit lewdness with him, then he must commit lewdness with her, for "whatsoever ye would desire others to do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.!"
But thou fool! dost thou not know that Jesus Christ never gave any instruction contrary to the law of God, and the prophets? and that in this particular instance He hath referred you to the law as an infallible guide to understanding of His precepts, and that no person has any right to desire anything of another contrary to the law and the order thereby established in society: for it is written, "thou shalt not covet."
Again, there is another law respecting the crime which we denominate a rape. (See Deut. 22:28-30)]
In this case the man was compelled to marry the maid, and was forbidden to put her away all his life. He must provide her a dowry as a wife, and provide for her forever; and moreover pay a heavy fine to her father.
If a man seduce a maid, and then refuse to marry her, it is the same offense as to put away a wife without a lawful cause;
He thereby causeth her to commit adultery as our Lord declares; therefore he is adjudged guilty of adultery being the cause of that crime-- and therefore worthy of death, by the perfect law of God, which searcheth the hearts and trieth the reins of the children of men.
This law would protect our young ladies from all harm of this kind.
If a man entice a maid without first obtaining the consent of her father to address her, and if the father refuses to give her in marriage, then the man is compelled to pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
"And if a man entice a maid that is
not betrothed, and lie with her, he
shall surely endow her to be his
wife. If her father utterly refuse to
give her unto him, he shall pay
money according to the dowry of
virgins." (Exodus 22:16-17)
Thus does the law of God make the father the supreme head of his family. Yet he has no right to compel his daughter to be married without her consent. For it is unlawful for the woman to be held even by marriage contrary to her free choice, for the woman must not be enslaved by marriage.
But suppose a man (that already has a wife) entice a maid, how then could he marry her? If a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. There is no condition that can justify him in refusing to marry her.
The kind hearted and affectionate maid of wife shall not be put away or neglected on pain of death. There is no positive law of God against a man marrying Leah and Rachel both-- so long as he is a good and faithful husband, he is justified by the law of Christ, his lawful head.
But one objects, that it is written "they twain", not they three, shall be one flesh. From this he infers that the law of God forbids him to marry more than one wife.
Yet you allow a man to marry another wife if his first wife be dead, which would constitute three as one flesh, as much so, as if both wives were alive at the same time.
But the fact is, two females cannot become one flesh-- when Jacob married Leah, they twain became one flesh, of this compound Rachel formed no part.
And when Jacob married Rachel, they twain became one flesh, of this compound Leah constituted no part, any more than if she had been dead when Jacob married Rachel. It is still no more than twain that became one flesh
And it is evident that none of other could be the result, had Jacob married as many wives as King David, a man after God's heart, or even as King Solomon.
And whether the former wives be dead or alive, it alters not the result in this respect in the least-- because this word is literally accomplished in the offspring only. Thus this objection vanishes into smoke.
The burden of maintaining the wife is a sufficient check. A man cannot be put lawfully under the law of marriage to the woman; she is his property in marriage.
The Word saith, that a woman is under the law to her husband as long as her husband liveth, but if her husband be dead, she is no adulteress though she be married to another man.
Here we learn what is particularly meant by a woman being under the law to her husband; that is, she has no right to be married to another man while her husband liveth.
And if a man has no right to marry another woman while his first wife liveth, then is he under the law of his wife, and the law of his wife is the governing power of his life.
Thus do our laws as I have before abundantly shown establish this gross absurdity. The man is under the governing power of his wife, and the wife is under the governing power of her husband; and both in identically the same premises.
Now, which shall be subservient? Certainly, neither, where both have equal power.
By taking away a man's lawful right of giving divorcement when his wife rebels; and by depriving him of the right of marrying more than one wife, you totally annihilate his power of peaceable government over a woman, and deprive the family of its lawful and necessary head.
But the husband is under the law to Christ, who is his lawful head. And He forbids the man from putting away his affectionate wife in any case.
When the law of God shall be restored, it will have a direct tendency to turn the desire of the wife towards her husband, as God has ordained, and fornication will finally cease to take place in a married woman.
Consequently, the husband will rarely have a lawful cause to put away his wife.
Let him be cautioned, that if he should afterwards appear by two witnesses that he accused his wife falsely, that it is death by the law.
God Himself has declared that He will be a swift witness against false swearers.
The expense and care of a numerous family and the support of many wives will be a sufficient check to men in ordinary circumstances, not to go excess in multiplying wives which they must support, and cannot put away or willfully neglect on pain of death.
And in fact, vile men will not be able to obtain wives so easily.
It is said, (1 Timothy 3:2) that a bishop must be a man of one wife. We must infer from this that other men might have more than one wife. This is not a law to govern men in general, or in any case, it is merely a mark of character, with several other marks of character therein specified-- such as to be vigilant, sober, given to hospitality, apt to teach, etc.
And it was proper that a bishop or elder who should take care of the church upon him, that he should not be encumbered with a numerous family or many wives.
But a man fortunate in the choice of one good wife whose character such as she must be, is also specified.
If it had been a law, it could not have been a mark of character, because it must have been enforced by law upon all. Neither is it now any mark of character compulsory upon all.
But when the law of God shall be restored, it will then as formally become a mark of character, and not till then can this direction of Paul become applicable to us.
The law must be restored in all things, for it is written that the times of the restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all God's holy prophets since the world began, shall come.
That is, all the true principles both of the law (or civil governing power) and of the gospel, for these are the things which have been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets.
And in the times of the restitution of these things shall Jesus again come. (See Acts 3:21)
A bishop or an elder in the church must however have at least one wife, which is in fact the principle meaning of this passage; or how could he have his children in subjection with all gravity? See the whole specification as given by the apostle. (1 Timothy 3:1-7)
But kings and men in power are forbidden to multiply wives or greatly to multiply gold and silver. (Deut. 17:17) It should be as reasonable to make a law, and ten thousand times less injurious to mankind, that a man should possess no more than one dollar, one servant, or one cow at a time, as is our law upon this subject. To God only are men accountable in this matter, and not to their wives.
But if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed to him, and lie with her, he shall suffer death. Such is the perfect law of God. And David by the Holy Spirit of Truth declares that the law of God is perfect. [See Psalm 9:7]
This penalty may appear unreasonably severe to Gentiles, educated as they are, but when we consider attentively the circumstances in which the man is placed by the law of God, why should he desire to put away the kind hearted wife, or the affectionate maid which he has only thought proper to woo to his embrace? Especially when the law not only permits him to retain them both, but requires it, at the peril or his life, and a disobedient one he can discharge.
As soon would a King wish to drive from his realm his most zealous and faithful subjects, or a man throw away his money because he had too much.
No doubt this law was so ordained by infinite wisdom, thus to prevent the possibility of such cruel and unnatural crimes, by annihilating all temptation thereto.
We might here remark, that the abominable crime of a maiden beguiled and deserted by the man, and a wife and family abandoned to the mercy of a heartless world, never did occur in the land of Israel. Neither can they occur where the perfect law of God bears rule.
A law therefore which would annihilate such unnatural and cruel crimes, with the endless catalogue of ruinous evils that follow in their train, and which at the same time would harm nobody, must be acknowledged by reason to be a holy and righteous and perfect law.
While the laws of the Gentiles to the contrary, do produce these outrageous crimes; with the addition of many cruel murders; and are in their very nature not only a complete disorganization of all righteous and peaceable government, but are temptations in many cases to commit the most unnatural and outrageous cruelties; and they are the fruitful source of an innumerable train of wicked and cruel evils.
A tree is known by its fruit.
"For their vine is worse than the
vine of Sodom, and of the fields of
Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes
of gall, their clusters are bitter."
That is, our law upon this subject is worse than Sodomy in its effects. But consider this and repent. What was the fate of Sodom?
If the true law of divorcement was restored, without any other improvements, and the penalty for adultery, they would be great blessings to this nation.
For then a man would have power to maintain peace and order in his family, and women would not be compelled to live with men whom they did not love, and all cruelty towards wives would cease.
And the propagating of our species from an alienated woman would be prevented, which in its effects and consequences is the greatest evil that exists among us.
But yet while a man is bound by law to one wife only, the cause of jealousy in a married woman still exists.
The jealousy of a married woman is a thing not named in the whole volume of the Bible, and because it could not exist under the law of God. And it is the principle cause of the alienation of wives.
And our young ladies still remain exposed to the arts of seduction-- a thing which the law of God wholly prevented, and such a circumstance is not recorded in the Bible.
These evils with all their wretched consequences would remain in their full force, and the filth of the daughters of Zion would not be washed away, and annihilated.
"Therefore I esteem all thy precepts
O LORD concerning all things to be
right, and I hate every false way."
The law of God does not forbid to marry, like the law of the Gentiles. See 1 Timothy 4:3. As we have before said, the woman cannot marry, but the man marries the woman, and she is given in marriage.
The law which forbids a man to marry any free woman whom he pleases is a particular mark of Anti-Christ.
"Now the Spirit speaks expressly
that in the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits, and doctrines of
devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy,
having their conscious seared as
with a hot iron, forbidding to
marry, (that is the man, for the
woman cannot marry), to abstain
from meats which God hath created
to be received with thanksgiving of
them which believe and know the
truth." (1 Timothy 4:1-3)
But the law of God forbids the man to put away his wife without a lawful cause, or to abandon her on pain of death. The word saith of the woman: if her husband be dead she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, only in the LORD.
But our law saith she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, provided the man has not a wife already.
It is evident that the apostle knew of no such proviso. In fact, he has declared by the Holy Spirit that there was no such exception. But the exception that can exist is that he should be a believer.
The liberty of marriage to persons of every description according to the law of God reads thus:
1st. A maid who has not been given in marriage, and who hath a father, is not at liberty to be married without the consent of her father. But with his consent she is at liberty to be married to whom she will.
2nd. The maid who has not been given in marriage, and has no father living, is at liberty to whom she will.
3rd. The woman who has been married, and is legally free from her husband, or husbands, p by death or otherwise, is free to be married to t whom she will.
4th. A man is at liberty at all times to marry any free woman or maid he pleases-- certain degrees of consanguinity in all cases excepted.
And a woman is not bound to live with any man contrary to her own free will and choice; but if she desire it she must be freed.
The law of God protects completely the rights of women from all oppression, so far as they have any rights that can be of use to them or the world of mankind.
And it protects the rights of men in like manner.
It also defines the rights both of men and women, and grants full protection to all good and virtuous men and women, while it rains down wrath and destruction upon all who do evil. Such as do well have naught to fear.
In everything respecting the communion of the sexes, the law of God lays down principles, and annexes penalties, where penalties are necessary, absolutely perfectly; and meets vice in every possible shape wherein it can present itself.
And no other being but He who made man is capable of determining the proper laws to regulate this intercourse.
Thus saith the LORD:
"I have written unto them the great
things of My law, but they have
counted it a strange thing." (Hosea 8:12)
Shall this be said of us who profess to be a Christian people, and to hold the inspiration of the Bible?
Did not the scriptures foresee and foretell this strange fact, in the very words here quoted? Is not this prophecy now literally fulfilled in our ears?
What shall we say to those who hold that the penal laws of God given by Moses were not given to the Gentiles to govern them?
We will say then that these Gentiles are doomed to perpetual damnation as long as the world stands.
For by no other means than the establishment of that law among us can we be saved from sin. For men shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God shall he live. [See Deut 8:3; Matthew 4:4]
If we have even heard, or understood, this perfect law, then it is given to us by the Spirit of the LORD.
"For every good gift and every
perfect gift cometh down from the
Father of lights, with whom there is
no variableness, nor shadow of
turning." (See James 1:17)
"Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and
Israel to the robbers?" (Did not the
LORD when he divorced them?)
"They would not walk in His way,
neither would they be obedient to
His law. Therefore has He poured
upon us the fury of His anger, and
the strength of battle, and it hath set
this people on fire round about, yet
they knew it not; and it burned
them, yet they have laid it not to
heart." (See Isaiah 42:24)
Surely the Gentiles who have the scriptures have no other authority over the holy divine law of marriage, than to execute it precisely in the manner God has ordained, and in no other way.
Yet in the United States we have so changed this law, that it is materially different in different States.
For a people to make a law to enforce the violation of the law of Almighty God is the most outrageous crime that a nation can be guilty of. Sodomy itself is a trifle to this.
This you have done, or the law on this subject would not be different in different States.
That we have done this wicked deed in this most important of all laws, which is the very foundation of human society and of all order and government among men-- that is family governments, which is indeed the very root of social order and righteousness in this life-- is manifest from our various, imperfect and different laws upon this subject. This grievous charge I now prefer against this whole nation.
But brethren, I wish that it were through ignorance ye have done it, as did also your fathers. [See Acts 3:17] You have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. [See Acts 7:51-53] You have put forth your hands like Uzza of old to steady the ark of God's covenant, and God smote him there and he died by the ark. (See 2 Samuel 6:6-7)
Again it is written:
"Who is like unto the Lord our God
who dwelleth on high? He raiseth
up the poor out of the dust, and
lifteth the needy out of the dunghill,
that he may set him with princes,
even with the princes of his people.
He maketh the barren woman to
keep house, and to be a joyful
mother of children. Praise ye the
LORD." (Psalm 113:5-9)
"If a man curse father or mother, let
him be put to death." [See Exodus 21:7]
Really, it was the intention of God to maintain the seeds of good government in the families of the earth.
But alas! We have wandered far from it-- of this identical evil the Jews became guilty, respecting the reverence and obedience children should always observe towards their parents, which is the first commandment with a promise thereunto annexed.
Of this fault Christ accused them, and said that they had made void the law through their tradition. And indeed so have we, not only in this particular, but in many others.
If a child curse father or mother, let him be put to death. Because the Jews had made void this law, Christ thought it of sufficient importance to rebuke their error in this case in a special manner. [See Matthew 115:4-6; Mark 7:10-13]
Did Christ abrogate this law? No, but he rebuked the Jews severely because they had made it void.
Did Christ find fault with the severity of this law? No, He expressly approbated it.
Was this a law of God, and expressly confirmed by Jesus Christ? Yes, verily.
Have we made this law void? Yes we have. Is there any such law now in operation among us? No.
Have we any just right, in the name of a Christian nation who do by law make void both the law of God and Christ? We have not.
But by reformation we live, without it we perish quickly, even this whole nation.
Blackstone says that all wise nations, especially in high northern latitudes, have forbidden polygamy by law.
The idea is here, I suppose, that in cold countries the constitutions of men are naturally colder, and one wife is sufficient.
If nature in such countries has produced this effect, and has formed the constitution temperate, temperance in this respect would be the natural result without a penal law to command it, and to enslave the man; and to be the foundation of an endless catalogue of crime, as well as mental stupidity.
Again says the same noted author, the New Testament forbids polygamy.
But Blackstone should have known that it was not the business of the New Testament to give law, but to establish the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ-- and that the law was given by Moses, and that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one jot or tittle of the law should in any wise fail.
"Think not that I am come to
destroy the law, or the prophets; I
am not come to destroy, but to
fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till
heaven and earth pass, one jot or
one tittle shall in no wise pass from
the law, till all be fulfilled."
(See Matthew 5:17-18)
It is evident that by the corruption of this holy law of marriage, an endless catalogue of crime has been created that otherwise could never have existed, and that does exist at this moment in these States.
Husbands forsake their wives, and often brutally abuse them. Fathers forsake their children, young maidens are seduced and abandoned by the deceiver, wives are poisoned and put to death by their husbands, husbands are murdered by their wives;
New-born babes are cruelly murdered to hide the false shame created by the false and wicked and tyrannical law against polygamy-- besides the innumerable host of evils created by the destruction of the righteous government of the husband as head of the family.
While on the other hand, polygamy regulated by the law of God as illustrated in this book could not possibly produce one crime; neither could it injure any human being.
The stupidity of modern Christian nations upon this subject is horribly astonishing.
The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, [See Daniel 9:27; 11:31] was the laws of the Gentiles, superseding the penal laws of God in the civil government of His people, and which began to be effected about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and was ultimately consummated, confirmed and established by placing the man under the law of the woman, by authority in the church of Rome.
This was indeed the abomination of desolation; a power standing by law where it ought not.
Do not appeal to the Turks as an example of this thing. It is expected that the Congress of these United States, who have the power, will immediately deliver us from the ruin and bondage we are now suffering, by restoring the wise and holy law of God to this nation-- for which they will then receive a glorious reward both in this world and in that which is to come.
But if you my countrymen refuse voluntarily to restore the law of God, to your own glory and honor, the Son of Man may compel you to do it-- to your everlasting loss-- for all power is committed into His hands.
"For when the overflowing scourge
shall pass through, then shall ye be
trodden down by it. From the time
it goeth forth, it shall take you, for
morning by morning shall it pass
over, by day and by night, and it
shall be a vexation only to
understand the report, (or when He
shall make you to understand
doctrine). For the (marriage) bed is
shorter than a man can stretch
himself in it. Now therefore, be not
mockers, lest your bands be made
strong, (even everlasting). For I
have heard from the Lord God of
Hosts a consumption determined,
even determined upon the whole
earth." (Isaiah 28:18-22)
"And the consumption decreed shall
overflow with righteousness."
"Watch, for in such an hour as ye
think not, the Son of Man cometh.
And what I say unto you, I say unto
all: Watch." (Mark 13:35-37)
The truth on this important matter is now clearly set before you my countrymen, and that by many strong arguments that cannot be gainsaid; and by many incontestable evidences-- and you can understand it.
The question is not now to be debated whether these things are so, neither is it a question of much importance who wrote this book. But the question, the momentous question is, will you now restore the law of God on this important subject, and keep it?
Remember that the law of God is given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Speak not a word against it at your peril.
O Americans, are you the people who will not have this man Christ Jesus to rule over you? I hope not. I should be grieved to see you slain before Him.
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[ This is the end of the 1842 Peace Maker Pamphlet. ]
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