From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [1]

The state of having more wives than one at once. Though this article, (like some others we have inserted, ) cannot be considered as strictly theological, yet, as it is a subject of importance to society, we shall here introduce it. The circumstances of the patriarchs living in polygamy, and their not being reproved for it, has given occasion for some modern writers to suppose that it is not unlawful: but it is answered that the equality in the number of males and females born into the world intimates the intention of God that one woman should be assigned to one man; "for (says Dr. Paley) if to one man be allowed an exclusive right to five or more women, four or more men must be deprived of the exclusive possession of any; which could never be the order intended. This equality, indeed, is not quite exact. The number of male infants exceeds that of females in the proportion of 19 to 18, or thereabouts; but this excess provides for the greater consumption of males by war, seafaring, and other dangerous or unhealthy occupations. It seems also a significant indication of the divine will, that he at first created only one woman to one man. Had God intended polygamy for the species, it is probable he would have begun with it; especially as by giving to Adam more wives than one, the multiplication of the human race would have proceeded with a quicker progress.

Polygamy not only violates the constitution of nature, and the apparent design of the Deity, but produces to the parties themselves, and to the public, the following bad effects: contests and jealousies amongst the wives of the same husband; distracted affections, or the loss of all affection in the husband himself: a voluptuousness in the rich which dissolves the vigour of their intellectual as well as active faculties, producing that indolence and imbecility, both of mind and body, which have long characterized the nations of the East; the abasement of one half of the human species, who, in countries where polygamy obtains, are degraded into instruments of physical pleasure to the other half; neglect of children; and the manifold and sometimes unnatural mischiefs which arise from a scarcity of women. To compensate for these evils, polygamy does not offer a single advantage. In the article of population, which it has been thought to promote, the community gain nothing (nothing, I mean, compared with a state in which marriage is nearly universal;) for the question is not, whether one man will have more children by five or more wives than by one; but whether these five wives would not bear the same or a greater number of children to five separate husbands.

And as to the care of children when produced, and the sending of them into the world in situations in which they may be likely to form and bring up families of their own, upon which the increase and succession of the human species in a great degree depend, this is less provided for and less practicable, where twenty or thirty children are to be supported by the attention and fortunes of one father, than if they were divided into five or six families, to each of which were assigned the industry and inheritance of two parents. Whether simultaneous polygamy was permitted by the law of Moses, seems doubtful,  Deuteronomy 17:16 .  Deuteronomy 21:15; but whether permitted or not, it was certainly practised by the Jewish patriarchs both before that law and under it. the permission, if there were any, might be like that of divorce, "for the hardness of their heart, " in condescension to their established indulgences, rather than from the general rectitude or propriety of the thing itself. The state of manners in Judea had probably undergone a reformation in this respect before the time of Christ; for in the New Testament we meet with no trace or mention of any such practice being tolerated. For which reason, and because it was likewise forbidden amongst the Greeks and Romans, we cannot expect to find any express law upon the subject in the Christian code.

The words of Christ,  Matthew 19:9 . may be construed by an easy implication to prohibit polygamy; for if "whoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery;" he who marrieth another without putting away the first is no less guilty of adultery; because the adultery does not consist in the repudiation of the first wife (for however unjust or cruel that may be, it is not adultery, ) but entering into a second marriage during the legal existence and obligation of the first. The several passages in St. Paul's writings which speak of marriage, always suppose it to signify the union of one man with one woman,  Romans 7:2-3 .  1 Corinthians 7:1-40 . the manners of different countries have varied in nothing more than in their domestic constitutions. Less polished and more luxurious nations have either not perceived the bad effects of polygamy, or, if they did perceive them, they who in such countries possessed the power of reforming the laws, have been unwilling to resign their own gratifications. Polygamy is retained at this day among the Turks, and throughout every part of Asia in which Christianity is not professed. In Christian countries it is universally prohibited. In Sweden it is punished with death. In England, besides the nullity of the second marriage, it subjects the offender to transportation or imprisonment and branding for the first offence, and to capital punishment for the second.

And whatever may be said in behalf of polygamy, when it is authorized by the law of the land, the marriage of a second wife, during the life- time of the first, in countries where such a second marriage is void, must be ranked with the most dangerous and cruel of those frauds by which a woman is cheated out of her fortune, her person, and her happiness." Thus far Dr. Paley. We shall close this article with the words of an excellent writer on the same side of the subject. "When we reflect, " says he, "that the primitive institution of marriage limited it to one man and one woman; that this institution was adhered to by Noah and his sons, amidst the degeneracy of the age in which they lived, and in spite of the examples of polygamy which the accursed race of Cain had introduced; when we consider how very few (comparatively speaking) the examples of this practice were among the faithful; how much it brought its own punishment with it; and how dubious and equivocal those passages are in which it appears to have the sanction of the divine approbation; when to these reflections we add another, respecting the limited views and temporary nature of the more ancient dispensations and institutions of religion how often the imperfections and even vices of the patriarchs and people of God in old times are recorded, without any express notification of their criminality how much is said to be commanded, which our reverence for the holiness of God and his law will only suffer us to suppose were for wise ends permitted; how frequently the messengers of god adapted themselves to the genius of the people to whom they were sent, and the circumstances of the times in which they lived; above all, when we consider the purity, equity, and benevolence of the Christian law, the explicit declaration of our Lord and his apostle Paul respecting the institution of marriage, its design and limitation; when we reflect, too, on the testimony of the most ancient fathers, who could not possibly be ignorant of the general and common practice of the apostolic church; and, finally, when to these considerations we add those which are founded on justice to the female sex, and all the regulations of domestic aeconomy and national policy, we must wholly condemn the revival of polygamy." Paley's Moral Philosophy, vol. 1: p. 319 to 325; Madan's Thelyphthora; Towers's Wills's, Penn's, R. Hill's, Palmer's and Howeis's answers to Madan, Mon. Rev. vol. 63: p. 338, and also vol. lxix; Beattie's El. of Mor. Science, vol. 2: p. 127-129.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( n.) The state or habit of having more than one mate.

(2): ( n.) The condition or state of a plant which bears both perfect and unisexual flowers.

(3): ( n.) The having of a plurality of wives or husbands at the same time; usually, the marriage of a man to more than one woman, or the practice of having several wives, at the same time; - opposed to monogamy; as, the nations of the East practiced polygamy. See the Note under Bigamy, and cf. Polyandry.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Polygamy. See Marriage .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [4]

See Marriage.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [5]

POLYGAMY . See Family, Marriage.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [6]

was anciently and still is a prevailing custom in the East (comp. of the Persians, Strabo, 15:733; Herod. 1, 135; 3, 88: Rhode, Heil. Sage, p. 443; of the Indians, Strabo, 15:714; of the Medes, 11:526; of the Getae, 7:297; see also 17:835; on the Egyptians, see Herod. 2, 92; comp. Died. Sic. 1, 80; Hengstenberg, Mos. p. 210 sq.), which stands in close connection with the great fruitfulness of Eastern women; and some have tried to show that it is connected with a preponderance of female births (Mariti, Reis. p. 14), but this is denied by Burdach (Physiol. 1, 403 sq.) and the most recent authorities. Even the Mosaic law did not forbid polygamy (Polygymy), which, indeed, existed among the Israelites from the beginning of their nation ( Genesis 28:9; Genesis 29, passim; 37:2; 46:10), but seems to be expressly permitted ( Deuteronomy 21:16 sq.;  Exodus 21:9 sq.;  Leviticus 18:18); and there are several direct instances under the law ( Judges 8:30), and more indirect ones (10:4; 12:9, 14), of polygamy, or at least bigamy, chiefly in the time of the Judges. Yet the lawgiver had certainly placed difficulties in the way of polygamy by many remarkable directions (comp. the Koran, 4:3, which allows a Mussulman but four wedded wives, without, however, limiting the number of his concubines!). The Mosaic law aimed at mitigating rather than removing evils which were inseparable from the state of society in that day. Its enactments were directed

(a.) To the discouragement of polygamy; this object was forwarded by the following enactments:

(1.) The castration of young men, which is usually associated with polygamy, was forbidden ( Deuteronomy 23:1), and thus attendants in the harem were not easily to be obtained; while marriageable women might reasonably expect each to obtain a separate husband.

(2.) Every act of sexual intercourse rendered the man unclean for a day ( Leviticus 15:18), which, with a considerable number of women, each of them having her peculiar claims upon him, would have been very burdensome.

(3.) The favoring of one wife among several was forbidden ( Exodus 21:8 sq.), and the man was required to perform his marriage obligations in equal measure to every wife. This limitation also would be oppressive to many. Besides all this, the mutual jealousy of the several wives of one man, which is the inevitable consequence of polygamy ( 1 Samuel 1:2 sq.;  2 Chronicles 11:21), renders home life unpleasant (Niebuhr, Beschreibung, p. 73 sq.). The same reason keeps some Turks from polygamy now (D'Ohsson, 2, 366 sq.; Volney, 2, 360 sq.). The result was that most Israelites contented themselves with a single wife (see  Proverbs 12:4;  Proverbs 31:10 sq.), or at most took one or two concubines in addition. The same appears to have been the case with the ancient Egyptians (Wilkinson, Anc. Egyptians, 2, 62 sq.). In the age following the Captivity monogamy appears to have prevailed (comp.  Tobit 1:11; 2:19; 8:4, 13; Susan. 29:63;  Matthew 18:25;  Luke 1:5;  Acts 5:1). It became acknowledged, too, as a prescriptive obligation, although the doctors of the law still held to their old canon, that a man might marry wives at pleasure hundred if he would-provided that he had means of support for them. Hence we cannot in  1 Timothy 3:2;  Titus 1:6, think of a simultaneous polygamy (comp. Vesperce Gronig. [Amster. 1698], p. 125 sq.), although it must be confessed that Paul's expressions, taken alone, most naturally bear this interpretation. The Talmudists insist that no Jew can have more than four wives at once, and a king, at most, but eighteen (Otho, Lex. Rabbin. p. 528 sq.; see esp. Selden, Jus. Nat. et Gent. 5, 6; Buxtorf, Sponsal. p. 47 sq., in Ugolino, Thesaur. vol. 30; Michaelis, Mos. Rit. 2, 171 sq.; Jahn, I, 2, 235 sq.; comp. Selden, De Polygamia. bk. 7:in his Otia theol. p. 349 sq.). According to  Deuteronomy 17:17, kings were forbidden to take Many wives; but in spite of this prohibition they (as e.g.David,  2 Samuel 5:13; Solomon,  1 Kings 11:3; Rehoboam,  2 Chronicles 11:21; Abijah, 13:21, and others; and so Herod the Great, Josephus, Ant. 17, 1, 3) had large harems, for whose service they procured eunuchs in foreign lands. (See Harem).

(b.) The second object of the Mosaic regulations on the subject was to obviate the injustice frequently consequent upon the exercise of the rights of a father or a master. This was attained by the humane regulations relative to a captive whom a man might wish to marry ( Deuteronomy 21:10-14), to a purchased wife ( Exodus 21:7-11), and to a slave who either was married at the time of his purchase, or who, having since received a wife at the hands of his master, was unwilling to be parted from her ( Deuteronomy 21:2-6), and, lastly, by the law relating to the legal distribution of property among the children of the different wives ( Deuteronomy 21:15-17). These provisions embrace two quite distinct cases.

(1.) The regulations in  Exodus 21:7-11 deserve a detailed notice, as exhibiting the extent to which the power of the head of a family might be carried. It must be premised that the maiden was born of Hebrew parents, was under age at the time of her sale (otherwise her father would have no power to sell), and that the object of the purchase was that when arrived at puberty she should become the wife of her master, as is implied in the difference in the law relating to her ( Exodus 21:7) and to a slave purchased for ordinary work ( Deuteronomy 15:12-17), as well as in the term amdh, "maid-servant," which is elsewhere used convertibly with "concubine" ( Judges 9:18; comp.  Judges 8:31). With regard to such it is enacted

(1) that she is not to "go out as the menservants" (i.e. be freed after six years' service, or in the year of jubilee), on the understanding that her master either already has made, or intends to make her his wife ( Judges 8:7);

(2) but, if he has no such intention, he is not entitled to retain her in the event of any other person of the Israelites being willing to purchase her of him for the same purpose ( Judges 8:8);

(3) he might, however, assign her to his son, and in this case she was to be treated as a daughter, and not as a slave ( Judges 8:9);

(4) if either he or his son, having married her, took another wife, she was still to be treated as a wife in all respects ( Judges 8:10); and, lastly, if neither of the three contingencies took place (i.e. if he neither married her himself, nor gave her to his son, nor had her redeemed), then the maiden was to become absolutely free without waiting for the expiration of the six years or for the year of jubilee ( Judges 8:11).

(2.) In the other case ( Deuteronomy 21:10-14) we must assume that the wife assigned was a non-Israelitish slave; otherwise the wife would, as a matter of course, be freed along with her husband in the year of jubilee. In this case the wife and children would be the absolute property of the master, and the position of the wife would be analogous to that of the Roman contubernalis, who was not supposed capable of any connubium. The issue of such a marriage would remain slaves in accordance with the maxim of the Talmudists, that the child is liable to its mother's disqualification (Kiddush. 3, 12). Josephus (Ant. 4:8, 28) states that in the year of jubilee the slave, having married during service, carried off his wife and children with him: this, however, may refer to an Israelitish maid- servant. (See Captive).

(c.) The third object of the Mosaic statutes on this subject was to bring divorce under some restriction; and this was effected by rendering divorce a formal proceeding, not to be done by word of mouth as heretofore, but by a "bill of divorcement" ( Deuteronomy 24:1), which would generally demand time and the intervention of a third party, thus rendering divorce a less easy process, and furnishing the wife, in the event of its being carried out, with a legal evidence of her marriageability: we may also notice that Moses wholly prohibited divorce in case the wife had been seduced prior to marriage (22, 29), or her chastity had been groundlessly impugned (22, 19).

(d.) The fourth object, which was to enforce purity of life during the maintenance of the matrimonial bond, forms the subject of one of the ten commandments ( Exodus 20:14), any violation of which was punishable with death ( Leviticus 20:10;  Deuteronomy 22:22), even in the case of a betrothed person ( Deuteronomy 22:23-24). (See Adultery).

The practical results of these regulations may have been very salutary, but on this point we have but small opportunities of judging. The usages themselves to which we have referred, remained in full force to a late period. We have instances of the arbitrary exercise of the paternal authority in the cases of Achsah ( Judges 1:12), Ibzan ( Judges 12:9), Samson ( Judges 14:20;  Judges 15:2), and Michal ( 1 Samuel 17:25). The case of Abishag, and the language of Adonijah in reference to her ( 1 Kings 1:2;  1 Kings 2:17), prove that a servant was still completely at the disposal of his or her master. Polygamy also prevailed, as we are expressly informed in reference to Gideon ( Judges 8:30), Elkanah ( 1 Samuel 1:2), Saul ( 2 Samuel 12:8), David ( 2 Samuel 5:13), Solomon ( 1 Kings 11:3), the sons of Issachar ( 1 Chronicles 7:4), Shaharaim ( 1 Chronicles 8:8-9), Rehoboam ( 2 Chronicles 11:21), Abijah ( 2 Chronicles 13:21), and Joash ( 2 Chronicles 24:3); and as we may also infer from the number of children in the cases of Jair, Ibzan, and Abdon ( Judges 10:4;  Judges 12:9;  Judges 12:14). It does not, however, follow that it was the general practice of the country: the inconveniences attendant on polygamy in small houses or with scanty incomes are so great as to put a serious bar to its general adoption, and hence in modern countries where it is fully established the practice is restricted to comparatively few (Niebuhr, Voyage, p. 65; Lane, 1, 239). The same rule holds good with regard to ancient times: the discomforts of polygamy are exhibited in the jealousies between the wives of Abraham ( Genesis 16:6), and of Elkanah (1 Samuel 1, 6); and the cases cited above rather lead to the inference that it was confined to the wealthy. Meanwhile it may be noted that the theory of monogamy was retained, and comes prominently forward in the pictures of domestic bliss portrayed in the poetical writings of this period ( Psalms 128:3;  Proverbs 5:18;  Proverbs 18:22;  Proverbs 19:14;  Proverbs 31:10-29;  Ecclesiastes 9:9). The sanctity of the marriage- bond was but too frequently violated, as appears from the frequent allusions to the "strange woman" in the book of  Proverbs 2:16;  Proverbs 5:20, etc., and in the denunciations of the prophets against the prevalence of adultery ( Jeremiah 5:8;  Ezekiel 18:11;  Ezekiel 22:11).

In the post-Babylonian period monogamy appears to have become more prevalent than at any previous time; indeed, we have no instance of polygamy during this period on record in the Bible, all the marriages noticed being with single wives (Tobit 1, 9; Tobit 2, 11; Susan. 29, 63;  Matthew 18:25;  Luke 1:5;  Acts 5:1). During the same period the theory of monogamy is set forth in Sirach 26, 1-27. The practice of polygamy nevertheless still existed; Herod the Great had no less than nine wives at one time (Josephus, Ant. 17, 1, 3); the Talmudists frequently assume it as a well-known fact (e.g. Ketub. 10, 1; Yebam. 1, 1); and the early Christian writers, in their comments on  1 Timothy 3:2, explain it of polygamy in terms which leave no doubt as to the fact of its prevalence in the apostolic age. Michaelis (Laws of Moses, 3, 5, 95) asserts that polygamy ceased entirely after the return from the Captivity; Selden. on the other hand, that polygamy prevailed among the Jews until the time of Honorius and Arcadius (cir. A.D. 400), when it was prohibited by an imperial edict (Ux. Ebr. 1, 9). (See Marriage).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

pṓ - lig´a - 1001  :

1. Meaning of the Term

2. Origin of Polygamy

3. The Old Testament and Polygamy

4. Polygamy Unnatural

The Eunuch

5. Weakness of Polygamy

1. Meaning of the Term:

Polygamy has been and is the open blazon by the human race of sex vice. The very term is a misnomer. Since man became moralized he has apprehended that the proper marriage relation between the sexes is monogamy. Whatever may have been the practice, since man could ask himself, What is right? he has known that ἀπ ἀρχῆς , ap' archḗs ("from the beginning,"   Matthew 19:4 ), au fond , at bottom, marriage is the choice of one man and one woman of each other for a life family relation. La Rochefoucauld said: "Hypocrisy is a sort of homage which vice pays to virtue." There is hypocrisy beneath the word polygamy. It is an attempt to cover up by the term "plural marriage" what is not marriage and cannot be marriage. There is no particular need of defining what the condition is, so long as we can look upon it as a violation and negation of the marriage relation. The very use of the term from any language covering a like condition is attempt -

"To steal the livery of the court of heaven

To serve the Devil in."

Polygamy is a general term and might mean a multiplicity of partners in the family relation by one of either sex. But it does not. Polygamy practically means exactly "polygyny" ( γυνή , gunḗ ), i.e. it describes a many-wived man . The correlative term "polyandry" describes the condition of a woman who has many men in family relation with herself. They are all husbands to her, as in polygamy all the women are wives to one man. But polyandry in historic times has had so little illustration that it may be dismissed as so exceptional as to be worthy of no further notice here.

Why polygamy has captured the whole position philologically covered by polygyny is readily apparent. The might of the physically strongest has dictated the situation. Man has on the average one-fourth more muscular force than woman. When it comes to wrong in sex relation, man has that advantage, and it has given him the field covered by the word "polygamy." There he is master and woman is the victim.

2. Origin of Polygamy:

It is plainly evident that polygamy is primarily largely the outcome of tribal wars. When men had separated into clans and had taken up different places of abode, collisions would soon occur between them. What would happen in such cases would be what we know did happen in North America soon after its first settlement by Europeans, to wit, the destruction of the Hurons by the Iroquois. The great majority of the men were massacred; the women and children, driven to the abode of the conquerors, disappearing there mainly in concubinage and slavery. What shall be done with this surplus of women? Here again the might of the strongest comes to the front. The chief or the most heroic fighter would assert his right to choice of captives, and thus concubinage or what is the same thing - polygamy - would be set up. Successes in further wars come and add other women to be distributed. Of course to the sheik or king there soon comes the seraglio and the harem. Polygamous practices will come in in other ways. The prisoner of war becomes property and passes from hand to hand by gift or sale. So woman - the weaker party - endures what comes to her as slave, concubine. We have now no longer the "helpmeet" originally destined for man - "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" - for whom he would "leave his father and his mother" and to whose single self he would "cleave" for life ( Genesis 2:18 ,  Genesis 2:24;  Matthew 19:5 ,  Matthew 19:6 ). Monogamy, with its unity in labor, thought and feeling, with its immeasurable modifying influences of moral, ideal and spiritual cast, is gone. Woman is reduced to the position of ministrant to man's unmodified sensuality.

3. The Old Testament and Polygamy:

The complications introduced into morals by polygamy are not often considered. But the Bible sets them forth in plainness. The marriage of Abraham and Sarah seems to have been an original love match, and even to have preserved something of that character through life. Still we find Sarah under the influence of polygamous ideas, presenting Abraham with a concubine. Yet afterward, when she herself had a son, she induced Abraham to drive out into the wilderness this concubine and her son. Now Abraham was humane and kind, and it is said "The thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight" ( Genesis 21:11 ). But he was in the toils of polygamy, and it brought him pain and retribution. A D ivine direction may be hard to bear.

The conditions of Jacob's marriages were such that it is hard to say whether any of his children were of any other than of polygamous origin ( Genesis 35:22-26 ). Where the family idea and affection went, in such mixed condition, is evidenced by the unblushing sale, for slavery in Egypt, of one of the brothers by the others ( Genesis 37:28 ).

David was a singer of sweet and noble songs and wanted to be a righteous man with his whole heart. Yet, probably in common with all the military leaders and kings of the earth of his day, he had a polygamous career. His retributions ran along an extended line. There was a case of incest and murder among his children ( 2 Samuel 13 ). The son in whom he had most hope and pride organized treason against his throne, and lost his life in the attempt. David left his kingdom to Solomon, of whom much might be said, but of whom this can be said - evidently originally a man bright, keen-witted, wise, yet in his old age he went to pieces by the wiles of the women with whom he had loaded his harem. Partly by his extravagance in his polygamous life, and partly in attempt to build temples in distant places for the religions represented by the inmates of his harem, he bankrupted his nation. As a consequence his kingdom was divided at his death, and there was never again a united Israel ( 1 Kings 11:12 ). Polygamy may be justly charged with these untoward results.

4. Polygamy Unnatural:

It can be demonstrated scientifically, even mathematically, that polygamy is a moral wrong. Statistics show that births are substantially equally divided between the sexes. Excess seems slightly on the side of males. When this fact is considered and also the fact of the wide prevalence of polygamy, it would seem that polygamy (polygyny) is a greater crime against Nature than polyandry. To put out of view for a moment the wrong to woman in denying to her the rights and privileges of monogamous marriage, the interference with the rights of man to such marriage looms up in vast proportion. Every harem is the denial to men of the right to seek among its inmates wives according to the dictates of their own hearts.

The Eunuch.

But we are not done with the crime against man. Given a harem, and he who set it up has made, or there brought, the eunuch. The lord of the harem must be served by emasculated men. A search in history will reveal an amount of this wickedness that is past belief. The eunuch has been everywhere among all nations and peoples and tongues. They have not only been servitors to women in harems, but they have acquired such influence with their masters that they have sometimes even dictated the policy of government. They have been the secret cabinet that has had the last word in public affairs. They have sometimes held public positions and shown therein astonishing ability. Witness Narses, the brilliant general of the emperor Justinian. See Eunuch .

5. Weakness of Polygamy:

Gibbon noticed the fact that nations began to decline in power when their policies were dictated and managed by eunuchs. But that is taking a symptom for the disease. There are weaknesses behind that weakness. We have found woman in muscular strength equal to three-fourths of a man. If we claim nothing more for woman than that ratio through the whole scale of her potencies, what would be thought of a nation that should try to reduce that three-fourths of potency as nearly to zero as it could? This is what polygamy has done - reduced woman as nearly to a cipher as it could in all the departments of her being. She has been held to the lowest and most primitive industrial pursuits. She has been deprived of intellectual development. She has been debarred from society, permitted to look at it only through a home lattice, or, if abroad, through a swathod face. The harem of sheik or sultan has fixed the condition of woman in province or nation - set the bounds to her life. The highest office assigned her has been breeder of children, and for one-half of them - the daughters - she could have no possible hope or ambition. See Woman .

Where in such degradation is the "helpmeet" for man in all his problems? This condition is reflected back over man. What possible appeal can there be to him for thought and energy except to repeat the same dull round exhibited in his daily life? Polygamous nations have never been industrial inventors, have contributed little to science. They have usually ruined the fertility of the lands they have occupied. They have been heavily weighted with the lethargy of a system that appeals to nothing but the most primitive instincts and vices of man.

The monogamous have been the forceful nations. Rome conquered the world while she was monogamous, and lost control of it when she dropped to the moral level of the sex corruption of the peoples that she had conquered. The Teuton trundled into and over Europe in ox-carts mounted on solid wood trucks. But his cart carried one wife, and now all polygamy is held under the trained guns of the Tenton.

There may seem to be two exceptions - the establishment of the Mogul empire in India and the subjugation of Western Asia and Eastern Europe by the Turk. That in both cases there was great success in war is granted. They were authorized by their religion to exhibit the frenzy of bloodshed and indulge in lust. Indeed, enjoyment of the latter was a bright hope for the life to come. But when they had possession of a country, and massacres and ravishing were over, what then? For what is mankind indebted to them?

A L yric.

A lyric has been put in the hand of the present writer by a friend who wrote it at the last date of the title. It is one of the lyrics of the centuries in its synthesis of history and in its insight into the forces physical, moral and immoral at work in the Mogul empire of India. Notice the dates. The text will show what took place between.

The Mogul 1525-1857

A war steed coursed out the wind-swept north,

Jarring the crags with hoofs of fire,

Snuffing far battle with nostril wide,

Neighing the joy of fierce desire.

The crisping herbage of arid plains

Had toughened his sinews like bands of steel;

The snow-fed waters of Zarafshan

Had nerved the might of a northern will.

The war steed grazed in the fertile meads,

Drinking the waters of indolent streams:

He rested at eve on bloom-dight beds,

Toyed with by maidens in the goldening gleams.

They charmed his ear with dalliant song:

They closed his eyes in witchery's glee:

They fed him the vineyards' wildering draught -

He slept in the breath of the lotus tree.

White bones lie strewn on the flowering mead,

In flesh-rank grass grown high and dark.

The carrion bird hath flown - hath died -

Riseth the war-horse? Neigheth? Hark!

- J osiah Torrey Reade, Amherst, 1856.

The above lyric may be taken as the epitaph of any polygamous nation. The last words are significant - "Neigheth? Hark!" Would the old war steed arise? "Hark!" The Sepoy rebellion was on! We "hearkened," but the rebellion went to pieces and an end was put to the Mogul empire. We have listened for half a century and heard no sound. We hear mutterings now, but the end will be as before - even if the "war-horse" riseth and is victorious. He will then again lie down in "flesh-rank grass grown high and dark," and the "carrion bird" will fly from his "white bones." Streams cannot rise higher than their fountains. The causes remaining, the same effects will follow. See Divorce; Family; Marriage .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [8]