By Amos Binney and Daniel Steele
WHEN God had made man he said, "it is not good that he should be alone," and, accordingly, he made a "help meet" for him; that is, man's counterpart, one exactly adapted to him both in body and mind; not a separate being, but made out of a part of man himself; so that, when presented to him, he saw the person to be a second self, having the same nature, the same physical powers, mental faculties, and inalienable rights. Gen. 2:7, 18, 21-24. Adam accordingly called his counterpart woman, she differing from man in sex only, not in nature or quality. Both bear in common the name Adam, or man. Gen. 1:26-27; 5:2.
We find in this arrangement the cause and origin of marriage: 1. God pronounced the state of celibacy not a good one. Gen. 2:18. (156. Is marriage a divine institution? What was its cause and origin?) 2. He made the woman out of the man, that man might ever consider and treat her as a part of himself. Gen. 2:23-24; Eph. 5:28-29, 33. 3. Marriage is therefore pronounced a good thing, Prov. 18:22; and honorable in all. Heb. 13:4.
To teach and practice otherwise is to give heed to seducing spirits, and the doctrine of devils. I Tim. 4:1-3. There may be, with some, good reasons for abstaining from marriage; these are exceptions to the general rule. Matt. 19:1-12; I Cor. 7:2,7-9, 28.
God has not prohibited the intermarriage of any of the human family on account of race, rank, or complexion; but, on the contrary, he has signally denounced all prejudice against the practice. Num. 12; Deut. 24:9. Christianity places all on a level. Col. 3:11.
The prohibition of the intermarriage of very near kindred in Lev. 18:6-18, grounded as it is on universal and permanent principles, was not repealed by Christ. All that is moral in the Levitical law is still in force. Luke 16:17. This prohibition is somewhat moral. (157. Is marriage therefore good and honorable? What is said of those who teach and practice otherwise? Are there any exceptions to the general rule? Is intermarriage, on account of race, etc., divinely prohibited? Is the intermarriage of near kindred forbidden?)
Marriage is limited to one man and one woman, that is, at the same time, Matt. xix, 5; Eph. 5:31; I Tim. 3:2, 12; and polygamy, of course, is strictly forbidden, Deut. 17:17; I Kings 11: 1-4; as is divorce, except for one cause only, Matt. 5:32; 19:6-9; Rom. 7:2-3; yet separation without re-marriage, in certain extreme cases, is allowed. I Cor. 7:10-17; Prov. 21:19; Amos 3:3.