Archive for October 7th, 2017

Westminster Confession, week 40

October 7, 2017

Chapter 24: Of Marriage and Divorce

1: Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time.[474]

2: Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife,[475] for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed;[476] and for preventing of uncleanness.[477]

3: It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry, who are able with judgment to give their consent.[478] Yet it is the duty of Christians to marry only in the Lord.[479] And therefore such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.[480]

4: Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity forbidden by the Word.[481] Nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.[482]

5: Adultery or fornication committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, gives just occasion to the innocent party to dissolve that contract.[484] In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce and, after the divorce,[485] to marry another, as if the offending party were dead.[486]

6: Although the corruption of man be such as is apt to study arguments unduly to put asunder those whom God has joined together in marriage: yet, nothing but adultery, or such wilful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church, or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage:[487] wherein, a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned in it not left to their own wills, and discretion, in their own case.[488]

Advertisements