About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Newton: His Friend and His Niece
Publisher: Dawsons Pall Mall
Publication Date: 1968
Book Condition: Good
About this title
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1885 edition. Excerpt: ...parties. For, until the Act of George II., marriage was in law a civil contract, and the system, which fell in 1836, had existed no more than eighty-two years. The old law of Christendom declares that a valid marriage is a contract between man and woman; and it requires simply that they should be able to contract, willing to contract, and that they should contract. If either of the parties deny the contract, it must be proved against him or her; as by witnesses who heard the declaration: if both admit the contract--and cohabitation under the name of man and wife was admission--this is proof that there was a contract. This is substantially the Scotch law in our own day, and it was the law of Europe. This is God's ordinance, and it is the law of nature, too, for man is a monogamous animal, and does not avail himself, as a rule, of the right of polygamy or of divorce, however free he may be to use them. I am told that the abolition of polygamy begins to be agitated among the Mormonites themselves. Marriage, then, was a contract, no more and no less; in most countries clerical influence superadded the notion that no such contract was a proper contract unless it were ratified by a church and performed in a mode dictated by a church. A long volume, of many.chapters, might be written on the consequences of this unwarrantable change in the meaning of a word; on the hundreds of thousands of adulteries and bigamies which it has produced; on the manner in which it has set conscience, where conscience exists, at work upon false meanings and false distinctions. The churches, one and all, as was their duty, enforced by every spiritual means the propriety of lending to the most solemn of human contracts the most solemn form of execution; but never, in old...
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