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c H A P.

XI.

CONCLUSION.

HA

AVING thus far finished what I had

to say on the foregoing subjects which are not of an indifferent or trivial nature, but of the utmost importance for every body's consideration—it may be proper, by way of conclusion, to recapitulate, and to commend what has been said to every man's conscience in the hight of God. 2 Cor. iv. 2.

While our laws are what they are, and suffer men to take virgins into their porsession, and then put them away, not all the devices of human wisdom, nor the most strenuous efforts of the most disinterested and best-contrived plans of reformation, can have any greater effect on the mischiefs which they would remedy, than a few buckets of water taken out of a river would have upon the stream. The water. would soon unite again, and Aow on with the same apparent fulness. So, though a few prostitutes may be taken from among the countless herd, and some of them so reformed as not to mix with it again, yet no apparent diminution meets the eye, no lessening of their numbers strikes the observation. The brotbels were fullthey are full-the streets were infested with prostitutes—they are still infested with them as much as ever-there is no more difference as to numbers, than there is in an army, from whence an hundred foldiers are discharged, and an hundred fresh recruits are listed in their room. The man who thinks it can ever be otherwise, as our laws with respect to marriage now stand, may go with Horace's rustic to the brink of a river, and expect that it will run itself dry.

reformed

Labitur & labetur in omne volubilis ævum.
It ftill flows on, and will for ever flow.

FRANCIS.

If an expedient could be found to drý up

its fource, and thus stop it at the fountain-head, the streams must cease, and the bed of the river become dry ground. So if a law be devised which can prevent feduction and dereli&tion, and thus stop proftitution at its remotest apparent causes, the thing itself must cease.

This has not been left for the invention of man, he never could have been equal

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to the task. --The ALL-WISE God Himself, who could alone be possessed of wifdom and authority sufficient for this, hath done it. His law delivered to Adam at the beginning, and afterwards in more explicit terms to Mofes at Mount Sinai, stands as a record of the divine mind and will, and, if duly observed by mortals, is adequate to the prevention or remedy of all the moral evils under the fun, among the reft, the dreadful and destructive evil of prostitution.

This law has been disregarded, a system very different from it has been set up in its place. This system, being of human contrivance, must of course oppose itself to the law of God-for His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. If. lv. 8. In short, that which God hath bound, man hath loofed. The obligation which is created by God's own fiat, must now give place to the inventions of men, which declare God's ordinance of marriagė null and void, unless ratified by * man's authority, What are the righteous conse

* “ As if the links of that eternal chain, whose " beginning is in the breast of the FIRST CAUSE of " all things, could ever be disunited by the insti“ tutions of men !" Essay on Crimes and Punishments, chap. xvi.

quences

EXALTED

- GOD DE

quences of all this ? Misery, ruin, defolation. Let men but keep clear of the buman ceremony, and they may bid defiance to the divine institution. The lewd, the designing, the merciless and cruel, are turned loose upon the female world, to make what ravages they can. Seduction precedes,' violation follows, dereli&tion comes next, and prostitution closes the monstrous iniquity! Shame and disgrace attend the divine institution, honour and reverence await the buman ordinance! Thus MAN IS SPISED! This is attended with the most fatal consequences to thousands, whose protection is provided for and secured by the laws of God, and whose ruin is invited and insured by the neglect of them.

What an alteration would it make in the regions of profligacy, was the whole entire law of God to be observed ? If no man, let his situation be what it might, could entice a virgin, &c. and not surely endow ber to be his wife? This in every case whatever ? What a security would this be to the lower order of females, on which the licentiousness of the higher order of men usually falls the heaviest? It is hardly to be imagined that men of family and fortune would pay their addresjes, or rather lay their snares, where the accoma plishment of their desires must be attended with an union, unsuitable in all respects to their rank in life. This would force them early to match themselves with their equals; they would not gratify their lust at the expence of their pride, and we 1hould not see so many victims of lust, treachery, and cruelty, filling the brothels, and walking our streets, till disease conveys them to an hospital, and from thence to the grave: cut off and lost to the public in the bloom of youth; when, had the protection which the law of God hath ordained for them, been afforded them by their seducers, they might have been happy in themselves, and blessings to society.

rather what

Nor does the rejection of God's law, by the substitution of man's inventions, confine its mischief even within the dreadful bounds above-mentioned, it extends itself even to murder, and that of the most foul and unnatural kind, that of infants by the hands of the mothers who bare them. As something else than God's ordinance is required to make parties one flesh, persons who are actually married in God's account, are under no legal obligation to each other. The unhappy mother of

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