Savages may regard "the Christian system of marriage as contrary to the laws of nature and reason"

— Brooke [née Moore], Frances (bap. 1724, d. 1789)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Dodsley
Savages may regard "the Christian system of marriage as contrary to the laws of nature and reason"
Metaphor in Context
I have taken some pains to develop their present, as well as past, religious sentiments, because the Jesuit missionaries have boasted so much of their conversion; and find they have rather engrafted a few of the most plain and simple truths of Christianity on their ancient superstitions, than exchanged one faith for another; they are baptized, and even submit to what they themselves call the yoke of confession, and worship according to the outward forms of the Romish church, the drapery of which cannot but strike minds unused to splendor; but their belief is very little changed, except that the women seem to pay great reverence to the Virgin, perhaps because flattering to the sex. They anciently believed in one God, the ruler and creator of the universe, whom they called the Great Spirit and the Master of Life; in the sun as his image and representative; in a multitude of inferior spirits and demons; and in a future state of rewards and punishments, or, to use their own phrase, in a country of souls. They reverenced the spirits of their departed heroes, but it does not appear that they paid them any religious adoration. Their morals were more pure, their manners more simple, than those of polished nations, except in what regarded the intercourse of the sexes: the young women before marriage were indulged in great libertinism, hid however under the most reserved and decent exterior. They held adultery in abhorrence, and with the more reason as their marriages were dissolvible at pleasure. The missionaries are said to have found no difficulty so great in gaining them to Christianity, as that of persuading them to marry for life: they regarded the Christian system of marriage as contrary to the laws of nature and reason; and asserted that, as the Great Spirit formed us to be happy, it was opposing his will, to continue together when otherwise.
(pp. 65-7
Searching "law" and "reason" in HDIS (Prose)
At least 8 entries in the ESTC (1769, 1775, 1777, 1784, 1786, 1800).

See The History of Emily Montague. In Four Volumes. By the Author of Lady Julia Mandeville. (London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1769). <Link to ESTC><Link to Penn's Digital Library><Link to LION>
Lockean philosophy
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.