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the doctrine of Marriage, and proceeded to follow that doctrine through all the relics of the three first centuries, observing the diction as well as the opinions of the primitive writers, and taking advantage of the light of various learning which Selden and other authors have thrown upon the question. The law has been collected chiefly from the Commentaries of Blackstone, the Parliamentary Debates, and the Term Reports; and when other resources have failed, the public journals have not been neglected.

No man has more occasion than the Author to regret, that the doctrine which he has undertaken to treat has not found a more able and more competent advocate, nor can any man be more sensible of the imperfection of the present attempt. The vital importance of a doctrine too generally neglected is the best apology which he can offer for presuming to intrude his sentiments on the public, and for entreating that candid consideration of the argument which is due to the interest of the subject, and the censures of such liberal criticism as may correct the errors and supply the deficiencies of the execution.

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SYNOPSIS OF VOLUME I.

CHAPTER I.

Doctrine of the divine institution collected from Gen. ii.

24. (Tobit viii. 10.) Malachi ii. 5. Proofs of divine

interposition in respect of marriage. Argument from
Matt. xix. 4, 5, 6. and Mark x. 6—9. Ephes. v. 30, 31.
explained. Misapprehension of 1 Cor. vi. 16. removed.
Traditions of the Church. The wise and beneficent in-
tentions, and careful preservation of marriage, argue its
divine institution. The doctrine not liable to the imputa-
tion of popery, and not involving a sacramental character
in marriage. The doctrine of the merely civil contract
restricted under the English law. Inaccurate statements
of that doctrine. Practical inconveniences of admitting
that doctrine. Advantages of maintaining the divine in-
stitution.

Page 19.

SECTION I.

Expedience and Antiquity of the Religious Ratification.

Simplicity of the primary institution not infringed by

the public celebration of marriage. Necessity of mutual
and irrevocable agreement before witnesses.

Inference from the holiness of marriage in favour of its religious ratification. Matrimonial rites common, with inconsiderable exceptions, among the barbarous nations of antiquity; Greeks; Romans; Hindoos; Jews, ancient and modern. Allusions in the New Testament explained by the practice of the Christian Church, until the Council of Lateran, A. D. 1216. Reasons for retaining the religious ratification.

Page 72. SECTION II. Religious Ratification in England. Religious ratification unjustly imputed to the fourth Council of Lateran. Distinction between the civil contract and religious ratification held from the earliest periods in the English law. Validity of the merely civil contract not recognized before the Toleration Act, nor by the Toleration Act, nor after the Toleration Act; and not disturbed by the Marriage Act of 1754. Exemptions under that Act. Objections of the Unitarians, and measures proposed for their relief. Protests and conduct of the Freethinking Christians. Dangers of abandoning the principle of the religious ratification of marriage. Objections to the Office for the Solemnization of Marriage, and suggestions for its revision in respect of alleged indelicacy and obscurity of expression; and the celebration of marriage in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Page 130. CHAPTER III.

IMPEDIMENTS WHICH PRECLUDE AND VITIATE THE

CONTRACT OF MARRIAGE.

SECTION I. Incestuous and Illicit Marriages. Restrictions upon the general freedom of marriage, agreeable to natural sense of propriety, and universally admitted. Prohibitions of marriage among Greeks and

Romans: not known among Egyptians and Canaanites : expressly asserted in the Old Testament: how far recognized in the New Testament, and by the primitive writers before Constantine ; under the Christian Emperors and Popes; under the Mahometan law: rules of the Council of Trent: Laws of Henry VIII. and Tables of Archbishop Parker : civil disabilities under the law of England.

Page 199.
SECTION II.
Marriages of Minors without consent of Parents or

Guardians. Moral necessity of obtaining consent. Objections to nullity of marriage considered as a religious and voluntary contract, and in respect of the woman and her issue. The principles of nullity various, and that of the patria potestas necessarily restricted, and often impracticable; not sanctioned by any scriptural, primitive, or canonical authority, nor by universal practice; derived wholly from the peculiar economy of the Roman law, and thence adopted by the Christian Emperors. Doctrines of the Council of Trent and Continental Reformers; of Henry VIII. and the English Reformers. Construction of the Office of Matrimony. Canons of 1603. Acts of William III. and Anne. Lord Hardwicke's Bill. Injustice of that Bill, and attempts to revise it. Speech' of Doctor Phillimore, and debates in the House of Lords. Exceptions in the amended Act.

Page 283. SECTION III.

Marriages of the Royal Family. Political inexpedience of the Royal Marriage Bill.

Page 380. CHAPTER IV. RECIPROCAL DUTIES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES. Relation of husband and of wife contracted in terms of the most exact reciprocity. Golden rule of Christianity

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