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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

appears that it was not until 1164, in Peter Lombard's 

_Sentences_, that clear and formal recognition is found of 

matrimony as one of the seven sacraments (Howard, op. cit., vol. 

i, p. 333). 

 

The Church, however, had not only made marriage a religious act; it had 

also made it a public act. The officiating priest, who had now become the 

arbiter of marriage, was bound by all the injunctions and prohibitions of 

the Church, and he could not allow himself to bend to the inclinations and 

interests of individual couples or their guardians. It was inevitable that 

in this matter, as in other similar matters, a code of ecclesiastical 

regulations should be gradually developed for his guidance. This need of 

the Church, due to its growing control of the world's affairs, was the 

origin of Canon law. With the development of Canon law the whole field of 

the regulation of the sexual relationships, and the control of its 

aberrations, became an exclusively ecclesiastical matter. The secular law 

could take no more direct cognizance of adultery than of fornication or 

masturbation; bigamy, incest, and sodomy were not temporal crimes; the 

Church was supreme in the whole sphere of sex. 

 

It was during the twelfth century that Canon law developed, and Gratian 

was the master mind who first moulded it. He belonged to the Bolognese 

school of jurisprudence which had inherited the sane traditions of Roman 

law. The Canons which Gratian compiled were, however, no more the mere 

result of legal traditions than they were the outcome of cloistered 

theological speculation. They were the result of a response to the 

practical needs of the day before those needs had had time to form a 

foundation for fine-spun subtleties. At a somewhat later period, before 

the close of the century, the Italian jurists were vanquished by the 

Gallic theologians of Paris as represented by Peter Lombard. The result 

was the introduction of mischievous complexities which went far to rob 

Canon law alike of its certainty and its adaptation to human necessities. 

 

Notwithstanding, however, all the parasitic accretions which swiftly began 

to form around the Canon law and to entangle its practical activity, that 

legislation embodied--predominantly at the outset and more obscurely 

throughout its whole period of vital activity--a sound core of real value. 

The Canon law recognized at the outset that the essential fact of marriage 

is the actual sexual union, accomplished with the intention of 

inaugurating a permanent relationship. The _copula carnalis_, the making 

of two "one flesh," according to the Scriptural phrase, a mystic symbol of 

the union of the Church to Christ, was the essence of marriage, and the 

mutual consent of the couple alone sufficed to constitute marriage, even 

without any religious benediction, or without any ceremony at all. The 

formless and unblessed union was still a real and binding marriage if the 

two parties had willed it so to be.[328] 

 

Whatever hard things may be said about the Canon law, it must 

never be forgotten that it carried through the Middle Ages until 

the middle of the sixteenth century the great truth that the 

essence of marriage lies not in rites and forms, but in the 

mutual consent of the two persons who marry each other. When the 

Catholic Church, in its growing rigidity, lost that conception, 

it was taken up by the Protestants and Puritans in their first 

stage of ardent vital activity, though it was more or less 

dropped as they fell back into a state of subservience to forms. 

It continued to be maintained by moralists and poets. Thus George 

Chapman, the dramatist, who was both moralist and poet, in _The 


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