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THE MARRIAGE TIE.

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THE MARRIAGE TIE. T' VICAR OF PEMBROKE-DOCK AND DIVORCE. The vicar of Pembroke-Dock (Rev. D. L. Prosser), discussing divorce and the church in the Parochial Magazine, states :â "There is another matter, besides the obser- vance of Sunday, in which there are apparent signs of an increasing cleavage between the Church and the World; and that is in their respective views of the Marriage state. The World seems to be coming to regard it as merely a matter of contract between the two persons, which can actually be dissolved when they like. The Church holds fast the truth that it is Holy Marriage, a divine institution, the safaguard of the family, upon which human society itself is based she teacbes that the community, as well as the man and the woman, is concerned in the contract, and that by a solemn mystery they are no more two but one flesh.' It is with great concern that the Church views the tendency to weaken the marriage tie. At a great cost Chris- tianity drove out the curse of Polygamy; and she will resist to the last any attempt to re-introduce it. Fifty years ago the State took a. most serious atep in the direction contrary to the Christian standard of Holy Marriage as the Churoh upholds it. The Divorce Act was passed but the Church went on declaring that those whom God has joined together man may not put asunder. And since then there have been clear signs that the Church and the State have been going further and further apart upon this fundamental question. The Church stands where she has been from the beginning, but the State has become less Chris- tian. If, as some wish, the Church came down to the State's level she too would become less Christian, and her doom would be sealed. But the strain is becoming serious; and it is better to acknowledge that upon this subject we cannot agree with the State. The Bishop of Birmingham's suggestion to the Divorce Commis- sion is a weighty one; it is that all marriages should be made by civil contract, leaving the Church free afterwards to pronounce her benedic- tion upon the marriage or not. But that is not the end of the difficulty those who are living in what the New Testament calls adultery, must not claim a right to the Church's Sacraments until they have repented of their sin and renounced it. And in social life loyalty to our Lord, who gave us this law, will require us to shun the society of those who defiantly break it. It is not pleasant by any means; but that is just the share that we are each to take in upholding the sanctity of Marriage. It means that the Church and World will be becoming more separate; but there is nothing to regret in that. It will be no loss to her if now, far down the ages, she again goes through the experience of her first centuries. "There is no room here to set out the argu- ments at length, but merely to state the principles which guide us; and to urge the need of stirring the conscience of Christians upon this matter. This is the special value of the resolution passed by the Men's Society. Our men have shown us the true line upon which we are to go from that no Christian who is loyal to our Lord can turn aside. We do not want to force our views upon those who do not claim to be Christians, either in this matter or in the observance of Sunday. If they insist that the State must change its law to something further still from the Christian stan- dard, very well; England in that respect becomes so much less a Christian country. But that does not alter the unmistakeable law of God which His Church is charged to declare; that those whom He has joined together, no man can put asunder."

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