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Verses 7-9

Matthew 19:7-9. They say, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, &c. “If divorce be contrary to the original institution of marriage, as you affirm, how came it that Moses has commanded us to give a bill of divorce? &c. The Pharisees, by calling the law concerning divorce a command, insinuated that Moses had been so tender of their happiness that he would not suffer them to live with bad wives, though they themselves had been willing; but peremptorily enjoined, that such should be put away.” He saith, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts Because neither your fathers nor you could bear the more excellent way; suffered, (or permitted,) not commanded, you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so And the account which Moses himself gives of the original constitution of things, which has now been referred to, proves it to be an irregularity which must have no place under the gospel dispensation. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication Which is a fundamental breach of the main article of the marriage covenant, by which they are one flesh; and shall marry another, committeth adultery Against her that was his former wife, and who continues still to be so in the sight of God. As the law of Moses allowed divorce, for the hardness of men’s hearts, and the law of Christ forbids it, we learn from hence that Christians being under a dispensation of love and liberty, tenderness of heart may justly be expected among them, and that they should not be hard-hearted like the Jews. Indeed there will be no occasion for divorces if we bear with one another, and forgive one another in love, as those that are and hope to be forgiven of God, and have found him reluctant to put us away, Isaiah 50:1. Divorces are unnecessary if husbands love their wives, and wives be obedient to their husbands, and they dwell together as heirs of the grace of life. These are the laws of Christ, and such as we find not in all the law of Moses.

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