Mataura Ensign, Volume 17, Issue 17, 19 February 1895, Page 4
Marriage with a Deceased Wipe's Sister, By Rev. W Bannerman. 20pp. J. Wilkie and Co., Dunedin. 1 Thia pamphlet is devoted to a review ot the resolution passed by the Presbyterian Synod of Otago and Southland at ita last meeting, to grant permission to the ministers of the Church to officiate at auy marriage with a decea&ed wife's sister, and to members of the Church to contrrct such marriages if they are so minded. The reso ution was adopted as the decision on the overture brought forward oy the Rev Mr Will and is as follows :—" The Synod haviug considered the overtures relative to marriage with a deceased wife's sister, resolves, after consulting presbyteries, in accordance with the provisions of the last article iv the Declaratory Act 1893, without in any way commending or authorising such marriages, that it shall be left to the individual conscience of ministers and members to determine what course they shall pursue in celebrating or entering upon such marriages, as they have to give account to God," Mr Bannermin holds that the Synod's resting ou the last clause of the Declaratory Act aa ground for allowing such a change of doctrine in the Church is contrary to tbe declared limitation of that Act ' which required that every change admitted should be consistent with the doctrinal constitution of the Church, which is not the case with this. He discusses tho question **' Is this marriage scriptural . ' He deals fully with the arguments from Scripture which support tho doctrine or* tbe Church — that a man m*»y not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer than he may of his own, and so with the wife in regard to her husband's relations. This is also the doctrine of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, and indeed, with few exceptions 13 and has been from the beginning the opinion of all Christendom. He argues clearly and forcibly against the views set forth in a pamphlet published by " Lnicus," generally attributed to a well-known lawyer of Inverciugill, who seeks to show that tbe marriage iv question is in harmony with the law of the Jews. We cannot go into the details of the discussion which is clearly and forcibly carried out. Those who are interested in the subject will find the pamphlet well worthy of their sludy. He fortifies his view by tho opinions of one of the most eminent English judges, Blackstone, and of an eminent American lawyer, Dwight. We quote the former of these: — " By marriage the busband and wife are one person in law. Upon this principle of a union of person in husband and wife depend almost all the legal rights, duties, and disabilities that either of them acquire by marriage. The same degrees by affinity are prohibited, As a husband ia related by affinity to all the consanguinei of his wife, and vice versd the wife to all the husband's consanguinei, for the .husband and wife bein« considered one flesh, those who are related to the one by blood are related to the other by affinity ; therefore a man after his wife's death cinnot marry her sister, aunt or niece."— Comment. Book Ij chap. 15.