Divorce; Question on Desertion of Marriage; Translation Work

Matthew 19:3-9; 1 Corinthians 7:15; 1 Corinthians 7:39
* * * My meaning in saying the tie was broken was this, that God never allowed the Christian to break the tie; but when adultery was committed the one doing so had broken the tie, and the Lord allowed the other party to hold it to be broken and act on it by formal divorce did not require it, but allowed it. The legalization of it is submission to the powers that be, for common order, just as the divorce was in Jewish law. Things are so loose in many parts of the States as in Illinois, that Christians should be very particular. A person having left and being a long time away is not sufficient, as they may come back, and the tie had not been broken—only that, as to criminality, after some seven years, in England the courts would not hold a person guilty of bigamy.
On the other hand, according to 1 Cor. 7, I cannot doubt that the Christian, deliberately deserted by the unchristian partner, was in every way free, free that is to marry; but it assumes deliberate forsaking by the one who went away. The Christian was never to do it, and if obliged to leave, to remain unmarried or return. Rom. 7:33So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (Romans 7:3) has nothing, I think, to do with it; the case supposed is of being (not "married") to another man while the tie subsists; then she is guilty of adultery—not, if the husband be dead. Divorce is not in question, but acts of sin while the marriage subsists. This is evident. Mark 10 does not annul Matthew mix.: a man putting away his wife is looked at as his act or will. If he puts away, he has broken a tie God formed, by his own will; then marrying another is adultery. By act of sin the tie was broken already, and judicial divorce allowed.
If all had passed before conversion, I should take it as I found it; but when a person has merely gone off now, when a person is a Christian, I should be very slow to accept a marriage as in the Lord. Have they sought them out, or proof of the unfaithfulness? If so, let them obtain a divorce, and then they are free to marry. But if not, I could not accept their doing their own will, any more than the unfaithful one doing his. The marriage is not in the Lord, and it says even of widows -"only in the Lord." Matt. 5 is to me equally clear with chapter six., but I think the person should obtain a divorce, otherwise they remain legally married, and the new connection is concubinage. In any case forgiveness is allowed.
I was aware of the state of-, but it had got a good deal better: in one family I knew there was still a feeling of rancor. It was partly baptism working on partially healed griefs. One has to work on in grace seeing the evil to be overcome, even if the more we love the less we are loved. We work for Christ, and His love was perfect. I am afraid I take it sometimes too much for granted that we are so to work on, for Paul cultivated the affections of the saints much. Here, thank God, with such trials as are incident to working where the world and temptation and flesh are, there is blessing and progress. Though we are far short of what we might be, and I look for more, still we have much to be thankful for. Here in the west, where I was somewhat downhearted, I find things much better than I thought.
As to my translation, it is all printed these two or three months, but a new edition of the French was transferring the notes and emendations, and in doing it they collected errata, and we waited till they had gone through it to publish it, but I have the last sheet of French in hand, so that it will be soon out now. But I have no satisfaction in critical labors.- wanted to publish an edition of what my translation has adopted as the reading to be accepted, but I declined. I feel no sufficient competency, though I have done the best I could, and am satisfied they have no adequate history of the text. I shall be glad, if the Lord permit, to see you all; but, at past seventy, such of course is on every ground uncertain. Kindest love to all.
Ever affectionately yours.
[July, 1871.]