(note: This node is 24th in a series of 33 nodes. for the entire series, please see the metanode Westminster Confession of Faith
CHAPTER 24 - Of Marriage and Divorce
is to be between one man
and one woman
: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband at the same time.
II. Marriage was ordained
for the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness
III. It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry who are able with judgment to give their consent
. Yet it is the duty of Christians
to marry only in the Lord. And, therefore, such as profess the true reformed religion
should not marry with infidels, Papists, or other idolaters: neither should such as are godly be unequally yoked, by marrying with such as are notoriously
wicked in their life, or maintain damnable heresies.
IV. Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consanguinity
or affinity forbidden in the Word; nor can such incestuous
marriages ever be made lawful by any law of man, or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together, as man and wife. The man may not marry any of his wife's kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the woman of her husband's kindred nearer in blood than of her own.
, committed after a contract, being detected before marriage, giveth just occasion to the innocent
party to dissolve that contract. In the case of adultery after marriage, it is lawful for the innocent party to sue out a divorce, and after the divorce to marry another, as if the offending party
VI. Although the corruption
of man be such as is apt to study arguments
, unduly to put asunder those whom God hath joined together in marriage; yet nothing but adultery
, or such willful desertion as can no way be remedied by the Church
or civil magistrate, is cause sufficient of dissolving the bond of marriage; wherein a public and orderly course of proceeding is to be observed; and the persons concerned
in it, not left to their own wills and discretion
in their own case.
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