We present before you in this blog post a condensed summary of a portion of a large work recorded in Church history, which was presented to Joseph Smith in 1842 by a man named Udney Hay Jacob. Mr. Jacob, who claimed to be of true Jewish descent, was a nonmember at the time but later joined the Church. The original manuscript has never been found, although Mr. Jacob reportedly sent the entire book to U.S. President Van Buren before becoming a Mormon.
Mr. Jacob presented this book to Joseph Smith for his approval with the understanding that unless the true law of marriage were enforced among the people of the United States, dire results would occur. He explains in the narrative that God set strict laws encompassing the law of marriage, and any variance or abandonment of these laws would eventually result in total chaos. (Has not his prediction come true? Consider the divorce rates and recurring litigations among those who have been divorced.) Mr. Jacob says that when the “abomination of desolation” is mentioned in the scriptures, it refers to these sacred marriage laws being ignored.
Under the Babylonian System
The laws that Mr. Jacob presents may seem contradictory to everything that we have been taught under the Babylonian system we currently live in. Yet where does he get this concept of the law? It comes directly from the Bible and the teachings of the Savior himself. You cannot say that you believe in the Bible and the teachings of the Savior yet reject what is written here. Such would be a total contradiction.
Someday we are going to have to make a choice between these two systems by either accepting the present laws of the land or the laws of God. Right now we are under the obligation to obey the laws of the land and cannot practice all of God’s laws in their entirety. However, some of these laws can be lived under the present system on a voluntary basis, which would result in just exactly the blessing that is promised. If men were to take their responsibilities seriously and the women were to take their rightful place, would this not result in peace in the home?
The time will come, as has been promised throughout the scriptures, that Israel will be gathered together into one place and be a nation unto its own on the American continent. Once this happens, then these laws and others concerning the marriage covenant restored through Joseph Smith will be reinstated in their purity. Until such time we must obey the laws that currently exist.
We understand that the true descendants of Israel will be identified and finally realize their responsibility in being an example to all nations, tongues, and people. Right now we have crooked laws of marriage and crooked laws of divorce. We do not have to be partakers of these abominations and can live God’s law to some degree without breaking these corrupt laws under which we now live. It is up to us to do the best we can.
This discourse does not touch on further enlightenment received by Joseph Smith concerning the marriage covenant.
In the future we will eventually be covering all of God’s true laws. We are beginning with the marriage covenant, as we feel it is one of the most important laws and one which we can start implementing towards our goal of straightening the crooked path that many are now following.
We start now with extracts taken from the the “Part and Verse Edition” of The Peace Maker. If there is a desire by the reader to read verbatim The Peace Maker, they can download the following PDF file:
The supplementary comments of the author of this newsletter are indicated in square brackets throughout this document. Corrections in spelling, grammar, and format have also been made for easier reading.
Identity of the Original Author
It is written in Malachi 4:5-6:
“Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD; and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
The author of this work professes to be the teacher Malachi foretold. Some may object that John the Baptist was the character there alluded to. But if it was necessary that Christ should have a forerunner when He came to this world as a servant only — not to be ministered unto, but to minister — and to give His life for the ransom of the world, how much more requisite is it that He should be thus honored when He comes in His glory and majesty to be King over all the nations of the earth?
Moreover, please take notice of the character of which is spoken. He shall “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers (nothing is here said of the mothers), lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” This is a matter of great importance in the eyes of God, in its proper time.
No teacher since this prophecy was given has made the least approximation towards the accomplishment of this great work, which is to save the world from a dreadful curse. But did not Christ do anything to effect this purpose, says an objector? Hear Him:
“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace to the earth? I tell you nay, but rather division — the father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father, the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, etc. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own house. Ye hypocrites can discern the face of the sky, and of the earth, but how is it that ye do not discern this time?” (Luke 12:51-56).
However, the public can form a better judgment of the author’s pretensions by reading this extract rather than by mere professions.
And when the whole work shall be published and its glorious object accomplished, then will the whole world know assuredly that he is indeed the teacher foretold by the Prophet Malachi more than two thousand years ago. Then will the truth of the holy prophets be established, and the judgments of God and His wisdom will be manifest.
The author of this work is not a Mormon, although it is printed by their press. It was the most convenient. But the public will soon find out what he is by his work.
[Throughout the remainder of this document, each extract from the “Part and Verse Edition” of The Peace Maker will be referenced in standard scripture form.
If you desire to continue reading The Peace Maker
instead of this condensed version, download the following PDF file:]
Men under the Government of the Woman
Men are under the bondage of sin because they have come under the government of the woman in the marriage covenant (PM 2:2-6).
Adam first came under this bondage by obeying Eve and partaking of the fruit (PM 2:7-8).
The law and government of the woman over the man is a usurpation of power (PM 2:9).
By coming under the law of the woman, men lose the original dignity, nobleness, and excellency of the masculine mind, and, as it affects the sex of their minds, they become effeminate (PM 2:10).
If men in Christendom were not under the effeminate mind, they would not be continually deceived by the adversary (PM 2:12).
The scriptures teach that a woman is under the government of her husband until he dies, and then she is free of his government (PM 2:13-17; also see 1 Corinthians 7:39 and Romans 7:2).
But no scriptures teach that the man is under the government of his wife. Such an idea would be subversive of good government (PM 2:18-20).
The woman was not created to rule the man but was created after the man. Even as the man is to be subject to Christ, so the woman is to be subject to the husband and reverence him (PM 2:21-24).
Because the laws of men in many instances place the woman over the man, confusion reigns in society at the very roots (PM 2:25-27).
As the adversary gained control over mankind by subjecting men to the government of the woman, so the adversary will be cast out by restoring the government of the family to the man (PM 2:28-29).
Babylon is the mother of harlots and abominations. It consists of the false governments of men that place the man under the woman. It is the root of many evils among us (PM 3:1-12).
The Law of Divorcement
The law of divorcement in our government is imperfect. It is frequently changed and varies in different states and countries. How can this be a divine law if it is imperfect and changeable (PM 4:1-2)?
We must return to the divine law of divorcement (PM 4:3-4).
This is the law of Christ on divorce: “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced [without this reason] committeth adultery” (PM 4:5-6; also see Matthew 5:32).
The Savior himself says that the only true and lawful cause of divorcement is the fornication of the wife against her husband (PM 4:7).
Fornication, as it is generally understood, is the lewdness of unmarried persons. Since a married woman cannot thus commit fornication in this manner, the fornication of the wife against her husband must be a different kind of fornication (PM 4:8-9).
If the fornication spoken of in Matthew 5:32 as accepted in Christendom today is the same as adultery, how then would it make sense that by committing adultery a woman can be divorced and thus not commit adultery by a second marriage (PM 4:14)?
But Christ does not call fornication a crime but the one justifiable cause for divorce (PM 4:15-16).
Can a man justifiably divorce his wife without the existence of fornication? The answer is no, he cannot. If he divorces her for any other reason it causes her to commit adultery (PM 4:17).
The truth is this: The prostitution of the woman’s body after marriage constitutes adultery, but the alienation of the mind and affections of the woman constitutes fornication (PM 4:18).
The body and the mind are both obligated by the marriage covenant. If the mind of the wife becomes alienated from her husband, she commits fornication against her husband because the mind of the wife, as well as the body, is bound to yield obedience and submission to her husband in all things by the spiritual nature of that covenant. The mind and body must both be in agreement (PM 4:19-20).
If an unmarried woman is with a man unlawfully, it is fornication of the body. But the fornication of the mind is committed by a married woman who is alienated from her husband. If a married woman is with another man unlawfully, it is not fornication but adultery (PM 4:21-22).
Adultery by the law of God [not man’s law] was punishable by death. Thus if fornication in marriage were the same as adultery, how could we speak of divorce? The consequence would not be divorce but death [or banishment] (PM 4:29).
Some suppose that Christ, in the case of the woman who was accused before Him of adultery, softened or entirely disannulled this law. But Christ did not come as a legislator but as a teacher and servant. It was not consistent that He, who came to redeem sinners from the condemning power of the law with His own blood, should condemn them by the law. He did not do away with the law but put righteous conditions in its enforcement (PM 5:1-5).
The Jews sought to entrap Christ, but with what wisdom He frustrated their design! He did not teach the violation of the law but invited those who had not violated the law to cast the first stone (PM 5:6-7; also see John 8:7).
God has ordained a proper power to execute wrath upon the transgressor, and in this instance the true teacher never crippled this power in the least (PM 5:12-13).
The marriage relation is clearly illustrated by the relation that exists between Christ and His church. When the church ceases to obey Christ and to love Him, they then commit fornication against Him, and this is the term used when speaking of Israel as a bride throughout the scriptures (PM 6:1-2).
Enforcing the proper law of divorce would restore this nation to peace and order, restore man to his true dignity, authority, and government of the earthly creation, and drive the adversary from the human mind (PM 6:3-6).
And by no other means can the hearts of the fathers be turned to their children and the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers (PM 6:7; also see Malachi 4:5-6).
God has positively required women to be subject to their husband even as Sarah of old. Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands: “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (PM 6:13-15; also see 1 Peter 3:6).
If legislators were to establish the true order of marriage and divorce, wives would soon reform, and nothing in this world would they esteem higher than their husband’s affections. They would respect their authority sincerely, and husbands would command their kindest attention everywhere (PM 6:17-20).
A Man Putting Away His Wife
The husband who thought of putting away his wife would be required to go before the magistrate and there affirm the fact that he was about to divorce his wife, stating under oath the true cause or causes, such as willful disobedience to his reasonable commands, disrespectful language, and a refusal to submit to him in all reasonable things; and make it the duty of the magistrate to record the oath and testimony thus given.
The magistrate would exercise no other judgment or supervision in the case than to verify by investigation that the evidence did prove that the cause or causes did exist as described by law, that no abuse or battery had been offered by the husband against the wife, that persuasion had been used kindly and gently, that space was given her to repent, and that she repented not, thus proving the husband’s request as valid (PM 7:1-2).
After presenting the facts to the magistrate, and with the magistrate’s approval, the husband would write his wife a bill of divorcement and put her away; then she would be free to go and be married to another man. The bill would also be a matter of record, signifying her freedom from her former husband (PM 7:4).
If the husband becomes alienated towards his wife while she remains sincerely attached to him, has he not a right to put her away? Not by any means. He cannot drive his affectionate and faithful wife from him while she remains pure in heart and sincerely attached to him (PM 8:1-2).
Moses, for the hardness of their hearts, suffered men for some fancied uncleanness or personal dislike to divorce their wives (PM 8:3; also see Deuteronomy 24:1).
But from the beginning it was not so, and there is a legal reason which is that a man shall not take advantage of his own wrong. But more especially the cruelty of the act forbids it (PM 8:4-5).
Children Born of an Alienated Woman
But if a woman is alienated in her heart, the case is different. There is then a serious reason why she must be put away. Children begotten and born of an alienated woman are born of fornication in the spirit and mind (PM 8:6).
When there is no fornication against the government of a man by a woman, her children, even if born in an unmarried state, are often the most bright and active, and the children are possessed of greater natural gifts than many other children (PM 8:7).
It boils right down to this surety: God, who knows the nature of His own works, has forbidden the propagation of our species from an alienated woman (PM 8:7).
A bastard is a child that is born of fornication by an alienated woman. According to God this is a pretty serious consequence. These children are not allowed to enter into the congregation of the LORD to the tenth generation (PM 8:8).
Here we are taught that the injury is so great as to disqualify them from becoming Saints to the tenth generation! What do you think of this, my countrymen? How many bastards have we in these States completely disqualified from entering into the congregation of the LORD to the tenth generation? It is evident that minds or souls are propagated by natural generation as well as bodies (PM 8:11).
The woman is the producer, and while she remains pure, truly attached in spirit to her husband, her children are pure and born in honor (PM 8:13).
There is a sanctifying power in the belief taught in this book, which is indeed the balm of Gilead to the children of suffering humanity, and if it be not received by this nation at this time, wo, wo be to them (PM 8:17). [This prophecy was made in 1842.]
Power in the Hands of an Alienated Woman
Here is a wrong idea in your head, an idea of a woman divorcing her husband. The man is not under the law of marriage to his wife. But the wife is bound by the law of her husband as long as her husband liveth. A divorced man is a creature nowhere recognized in the scriptures or in the law of God (PM 9:3).
Because of the Gentiles’ perverted ideas and laws upon this subject, the saying of the prophet Isaiah hath been fulfilled literally: “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them” (PM 9:6-7; see also Isaiah 3:12).
Although a woman is not known to be an adulteress, yet she may be a perfect devil to her husband, treat him in the most imperious manner, despise him in her heart, abuse him before his children, drive him like a menial slave where she pleases — and he must tamely submit to the ungodly law of his wife, must hug the serpent to his bosom, and love her as he does his own body! Impossible! And it is degrading to the nature of man. It is altogether unlawful and ruinous to the families of the nation (PM 9:9-10).
The means which ungodly law puts into the hands of a proud termagant and alienated woman, into torturing her husband and ruining all his affairs as well as his soul and his children to the tenth generation, cannot be written on paper (PM 9:11).
The evils that this nation now suffers by this erroneous law cannot be enumerated, neither can it be comprehended until the law of God is restored and true order and righteous government is established in the land. Then will we discover the contrast and not until then (PM 9:12).
Power in the Hands of the Man
Order in government must and should exist, and God is the only one who knows where the power should be placed to effect it. And He has placed it in the hands of the man (PM 9:14).
This power of the man over the woman does not consist of the right to abuse and execute corporal punishment, which does violence to the nature of the marriage relation, but is to execute the true law of divorcement established by God himself for the purpose of righteous government and peace (PM 9:15).
No legislature has a right to alter, amend, or change the marriage and divorce laws of God in the least, only to appoint the means and order the execution thereof. For what God has joined together, let no man put asunder (PM 9:16; see also JST Matthew 19:6).
[One must notice here that the death sentence is indicated in certain severe breeches of the law of God. However, this would not be carried out as we understand it, for in Biblical times the death sentence constituted not only in the stoning of the offender but in the casting of that person from the congregation. That was also a death sentence and, in some cases if understood, was even worse than a physical death.]
Bills of divorcement according to the laws of the Gentiles are therefore unlawful. People cannot by their acts separate lawfully what God has joined together; He hath forbidden it (PM 9:17).
Because of these corrupt man-made laws, many are now living in fornication and adultery in the sight of God (PM 9:17).
The Woman Belongs to the Man
The idea of a woman taking a man to be her husband is not found in the word of God. But the man marries the woman, and the woman is given in marriage. [Review the temple marriage wording.] She is therefore the property of the husband in marriage. But the husband is not the property of the wife in any sense of the word (PM 10:2-3).
The woman is the glory of the man, and if she is a virtuous woman, her price is above rubies. She is a different kind of property held by a different tenure, according to the law being bound to the husband, and cannot be sold (PM 10:5).
When God made the woman, he gave her to the man, but he never gave the man to the woman. Therefore, the woman has no power to divorce the man. How can property divorce its owner (PM 10:8)?
Thus you see, my countrymen, how the old harlot Rome, the old mother of harlots, has committed fornication against Christ and then has taught our wives to commit fornication against us with impunity. Thus all nations have been made to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (PM 11:1; see also Revelation 18:3).
Fornication of the Woman Almost Nonexistent in Times of Old
In ancient times under the law of God, the permission of a plurality of wives had a direct tendency to prevent the possibility of fornication in the wife (PM 12:1).
For the law of divorcement, and all of the law of God on the subject, sustained the lawful and independent power of the husband over the wife, and his dignity of character was thereby supported (PM 12:2).
The ruinous evil of a woman being jealous of her husband could not exist under this law. The existence of fornication in a married woman, passing this destructive evil on to her posterity, was then hardly possible. Because of this, it was not therefore defined or even mentioned in the law (PM 12:5-6).
But when Christ came during the time of the Roman Babylonian system, it became necessary for the Savior to define the proper cause of divorce, to illustrate its spirit and real nature. This is all the Savior did concerning the marriage laws at that time (PM 12:8).
The first law ever made upon the subject of marriage is contained in these words: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (PM 12:9-10; see also Genesis 3:16).
It is evident that the sovereignty of the husband over his wife, bestowed by God himself, cannot righteously be supported by any other means than by the law (PM 12:12). [Neither can prosperity attend the human family upon any other principle.]
A Husband’s Offenses toward the Wife
But suppose a married man entice a maid; shall not the wife be entitled to a bill of divorce against him? As long as the maid is free of obligations, this would not be an offense against his wife, neither would it be against the maid but altogether to the maid’s favor (PM 13:1).
If a man has addressed the maid without the father’s consent, it is against the father, for which the law of God expressly provides penalties. But the man’s wife has no control in this matter (PM 13:3).
But if a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, this offense is murder to her posterity in its nature and robs the woman’s husband of his most precious rights. He, therefore, and the adulteress shall be put to death (PM 13:6).
For this very serious form of robbery has had the death penalty prescribed (PM 13:6).
God calls us to peace and purity and order, for His house is a house of order and not of confusion. This is the whole object of the law (PM 13:7).
The families of the earth are the root of all righteous government among men, and unless order and a perfect and independent head is here established by the law of God, wretchedness and confusion will and must be the certain consequences (PM 14:1).
The honor, the affections, and the prosperity of the father and husband are powerful checks to his becoming a tyrant. The fatherly government, in all ages where this law has been enforced, has been found the most virtuous and just (PM 14:2).
The enforcement of God’s law can easily and completely control any disposition of a tyrannical nature in the supreme head of a family, without bringing him under the unlawful and ruinous bondage of a woman (PM 14:3).
If a husband requires anything of his wife which love and reason would not dictate, or if he inflicts blows upon his wife, it is of the nature of assault and battery. And if he is convicted of such an offense, it is the law of God that he be publicly whipped, not to exceed forty stripes, according to the aggravation of the offense. And where, I inquire, would such a man go to get a wife after he was known (PM 14:4-5)?
For by the law, a man is bound to be kind to his wife, for he is under the Law of Christ, who is his lawful head (PM 14:7).
The Head of the Woman is the Man
The wife has no right to reprove, rebuke, or to exercise any kind of dictation whatever over a righteous husband. He is her head, and she should be guided by the head. If the wife wants to know anything, let her ask her husband at home. She has, however, the right of petition. And this is a right that all who are governed should possess (PM 14:7-8).
If a wife seeks any other guide, depending on someone else besides her husband (except it be the LORD, who is the head of all), she must be miserable. She is out of the order which God has established in the creation, and wretchedness is the inevitable fruit (PM 14:9).
The law must confine the wife completely under her husband’s power for good only. “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Even as the church [men] cannot admonish or dictate to Christ, so the woman cannot dictate to her husband. She has the same right of petition as her husband (PM 14:9-11).
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:12). Here we are informed that an attempt by a wife even to teach her husband is an usurpation of power forbidden by the Holy Spirit (PM 14:11-12).
The Divorced Woman
If a woman does commit fornication against her husband and does not reform, it is his duty to put her away. And how is it possible that a reasonable woman could desire to live with a man when in her heart she is alienated from him? Surely she would much rather be free, that she might be lawfully united with some other man whom she could respect and love (PM 16:2-4).
And the law then should compel the husband to give her a bill of divorcement no matter what the husband’s feelings or affections towards her might be, notwithstanding (PM 16:6).
The woman is a subject of the law and therefore is the one who can break it (PM 16:7).
To enforce this law to some degree, a woman is allowed, upon her separation, no dowry and loses her children if she persists in ignoring the law (PM 16:9).
The support and education of the children belong to the father, and all his substance is to perform those duties to accomplish this (PM 16:10).
By enforcing this law in all respects, it will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers — by exalting the father’s authority, influence, and dignity of character in the earth (PM 16:11).
The father of a family is in the image of God, and it is not well pleasing to God that His particular image on earth should be degraded unlawfully by a corrupt law (PM 16:12).
The law of God states that a divorced wife takes nothing but her own property unless the husband is pleased to give her more; for the law allows for no schism in the body, or grounds of contention, and there is none when this is done (PM 16:13).
And the divorced wife, after being married to another, cannot return to her former husband (PM 16:14).
Courts Governing Marriage
If conversely the governing power of marriage is placed equally in the hands of the husband and the wife, this would result in there being no subject and consequently no possibility of violating the power of the government, for it is the subject only that can violate a law; and therefore there could be no possibility of divorcement (PM 17:3).
Some states place the governing power of marriage in neither of the parties but place it in the court. But the law of God never places this power in anyone else’s hands but God’s (PM 17:5).
If the courts govern marriages, this opens a door of unlawful litigation between the husband and the wife and places the power we speak of equally in the hands of both, resulting in open hostility between what God has joined together (PM 17:6).
The husband is bound to love his wife and provide for her not by the law of marriage but by the law of Christ, which also binds him even to love his enemies (PM 18:2).
[This points out that we as priesthood holders are under God’s direction, not God under our direction. It is the same with the marriage covenant. The woman is married to the man, not the man to the woman. She is under his direction. It cannot be any other way] (PM 18:4).
If the husband and wife are equal in government there can be no divorcement, at the same time no possibility of exercising sovereignty, and finally no kingdom or government but a tyrannical state of anarchy whereby the families of the earth now are filled with confusion and held together only by a principle similar to that by which the goats and wild beasts herd together. Hence it is termed in scripture as the “government of the beast” (PM 18:8).
According to the law of Christ, there is but one supreme governor in every family who is bound by Christ to govern according to law and who has power thereby to execute judgments if his subjects rebel. He has the right to banish them from his dominions and at the same time absolve them from their allegiance. He then has the right to replace his government with other subjects, that it may be a house of order and peace (PM 18:9).
As two oxen will not work peaceably together in the yoke until this point is settled, so it is in the marriage covenant. There is no peace until this matter is settled. If it is not, it remains a continual jar and confusion throughout life, resulting in coldness and contempt for each other and sowing the seeds of ruin in the family (PM 18:11).
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 24:5). Isaiah is speaking of the ordinance and covenant of marriage. This is spoken of in the singular number because there is no other everlasting ordinance that man ever had the power to change (PM 18:12-13).
The laws of our country and decisions of our courts upon this subject of marriage have a direct tendency to establish the weaker vessel as the head of the man and head of the family (PM 18:15).
Many men of the best talents that their generation can afford remain bachelors or are totally ruined and, in their course of action, are the ruin of many females. For the better the intellect, the less willing he is to be a slave, especially under the tyranny of an unnatural yoke of bondage such as the woman (PM 18:16).
But the law of God settles this matter at once and declares that the head of the woman is the man and the head of the man is Christ — and fixes the governing power accordingly (PM 18:17).
Where the woman is naturally of a mild and submissive make, the families live in peace. And where it is otherwise, it is reason that the law should enforce peace so that this great and important subject should be settled (PM 18:18).
The practice of courts and legislative bodies in granting bills of divorcement for any other grounds than fornication is an assumption of power and tyranny in its nature. It is not authorized by the scriptures, which is the only true authority upon this subject. In contrast to this, the Pope of Rome in the past formally assumed all power in the matter, forcibly denying divorcement for any reason, necessitating that these abominations be included in the laws of men (PM 19:1).
Hence old Rome is styled correctly as “Mystery Babylon,” the mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth. And she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (PM 19:7; see also Revelation 17:2).
Other Marriage Laws Addressed in the Peace Maker
[These laws are not applicable at this time but were at the time the law was written.]
If a man lie carnally with a bond woman, married or betrothed, which would be adultery and punishable by death to both parties if she was free — but yet, because she is not free but a bond woman, she only shall be scourged; and the man must make a sin offering, and he is forgiven (PM 20:2; see also Leviticus 19:20-21).
This points out that God in His law not only recognizes the right of holding our fellow creatures as property and in bondage but frames His laws in all cases agreeably thereto (PM 20:3).
There is another law respecting the crime which we denominate as a rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). In this case the man was compelled to marry the maid and was forbidden to put her away all his life. He must provide her a dowry as a wife, provide for her forever, and moreover pay a heavy fine to her father (PM 21:1-2).
If a man seduce a maid and then refuse to marry her, it is the same offense as to put away a wife without a lawful cause. He thereby causeth her to commit adultery as our Lord declares; therefore he is adjudged guilty of adultery, being the cause of that crime and therefore worthy of death. Again corrupt laws have nullified this wise decision (PM 21:4).
If a man entice a maid without first obtaining the consent of her father to address her, and if the father refuses to give her in marriage, then the man is compelled to pay money according to the dowry of virgins (PM 21:6; see also Exodus 22:16-17).
Thus does the law of God make the father the supreme head of his family. Yet he has no right to compel his daughter to be married without her consent. For it is unlawful for the woman to be held even by marriage contrary to her free choice, for the woman must not be enslaved by marriage. In other words, only she can choose as to whom she is to marry (PM 21:7).
But suppose a man that already has a wife entice a maid; how then could he marry her? If a man entice a maid that is not betrothed and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. There is no condition that can justify him in refusing to marry her. This is according to God’s law, not man’s (PM 22:1).
The expense and care of a sizable family and the support of many wives will be a sufficient check for men in ordinary circumstances from overindulging in multiplying wives which they must support and cannot put away or willfully neglect on pain of death (PM 22:21).
And in fact, vile men will not be able to obtain wives so easily and hopefully not at all (PM 22:22).
But if a man entice a maid that is betrothed to another and lie with her, he shall suffer death (Deuteronomy 22:23-27). Such is the perfect law of God. And David by the Holy Spirit of Truth declares that the law of God is perfect (PM 23:11; see also Psalm 19:7).
This penalty may appear unreasonably severe to Gentiles, educated as they are, but when we consider attentively the circumstances in which the man is placed by the law of God, why should he desire to put away the kind-hearted wife or the affectionate maid which he has only thought proper to woo to his embrace, especially when the law not only permits him to retain them both but requires it at the peril of his life and, as explained clearly in this discourse which permits him to discharge a disobedient woman (PM 23:12)?
The abominable crime of a maiden beguiled and deserted by the man and a wife and family abandoned to the mercy of a heartless world never did occur in the land of Israel. Neither can they occur where the perfect law of God bears rule (PM 23:15).
Consequences of the Laws of the Gentiles
The laws of the Gentiles by their nature result in outrageous crimes and many cruel murders and are in their very nature not only a complete disorganization of all righteous and peaceable government but are the temptations in many cases to commit the most unnatural and outrageous cruelties. They are the fruitful source of an innumerable train of wicked and cruel evils (PM 23:17).
The law which forbids a man to marry with proper consent any free woman in Israel whom he pleases is a particular mark of the Anti-Christ (PM 24:10).
The law of God outside the law concerning marriage protects completely the rights of women from all oppression, so far as they have any rights that can be of use to them or the world of mankind. And the law of God protects the rights of men in like manner (PM 25:7-8).
For a people to make a law to enforce the violation of the law of Almighty God is the most outrageous crime of which a nation can be guilty (PM 26:9).
It is evident that by the corruption of this holy law of marriage, an endless catalogue of crime has been created that otherwise could never have existed and that does exist at this moment in these United States (PM 28:6).
The stupidity of modern Christian nations upon this subject is horribly astonishing (PM 28:10).
The abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Daniel 9:27, 11:31), refers to the laws of the Gentiles superseding the penal laws of God in the civil government of His people, which began to be effected about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and was ultimately consummated, confirmed, and established by placing the man under the law of the woman by authority of the Church of Rome (PM 28:11).
The truth on this important matter is now clearly set before you, my countrymen, by many strong arguments that cannot be gainsaid and by many incontestable evidences. And can you not understand it (PM 28:18)?
The question is not now to be debated whether these things are so; neither is it a question of how important it is as to who wrote this book. But the question — the momentous question — is: Will we now restore the law of God on this important subject and keep it (PM 28:19)?