Main  Contacts  
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

Gentleman Usher_ (1606), represents the riteless marriage of his 

hero and heroine, which the latter thus introduces:-- 

 

"May not we now 

Our contract make and marry before Heaven? 

Are not the laws of God and Nature more 

Than formal laws of men? Are outward rites 

More virtuous than the very substance is 

Of holy nuptials solemnized within? 

.... The eternal acts of our pure souls 

Knit us with God, the soul of all the world, 

He shall be priest to us; and with such rites 

As we can here devise we will express 

And strongly ratify our hearts' true vows, 

Which no external violence shall dissolve." 

 

And to-day, Ellen Key, the distinguished prophet of marriage 

reform, declares at the end of her _Liebe und Ehe_ that the true 

marriage law contains only the paragraph: "They who love each 

other are husband and wife." 

 

The establishment of marriage on this sound and naturalistic basis had the 

further excellent result that it placed the man and the woman, who could 

thus constitute marriage by their consent in entire disregard of the 

wishes of their parents or families, on the same moral level. Here the 

Church was following alike the later Romans and the early Christians like 

Lactantius and Jerome who had declared that what was licit for a man was 

licit for a woman. The Penitentials also attempted to set up this same 

moral law for both sexes. The Canonists finally allowed a certain 

supremacy to the husband, though, on the other hand, they sometimes seemed 

to assign even the chief part in marriage to the wife, and the attempt was 

made to derive the word _matrimonium_ from _matris munium_, thereby 

declaring the maternal function to be the essential fact of marriage.[329] 

 

The sound elements in the Canon law conception of marriage were, however, 

from a very early period largely if not altogether neutralized by the 

verbal subtleties by which they were overlaid, and even by its own 

fundamental original defects. Even in the thirteenth century it began to 

be possible to attach a superior force to marriage verbally formed _per 

verba de praesenti_ than to one constituted by sexual union, while so many 

impediments to marriage were set up that it became difficult to know what 

marriages were valid, an important point since a marriage even innocently 

contracted within the prohibited degrees was only a putative marriage. The 

most serious and the most profoundly unnatural feature of this 

ecclesiastical conception of marriage was the flagrant contradiction 

between the extreme facility with which the gate of marriage was flung 

open to the young couple, even if they were little more than children, and 

the extreme rigor with which it was locked and bolted when they were 

inside. That is still the defect of the marriage system we have inherited 

from the Church, but in the hands of the Canonists it was emphasized both 

on the side of its facility for entrance and of its difficulty for 

exit.[330] Alike from the standpoint of reason and of humanity the gate 

that is easy of ingress must be easy of egress; or if the exit is 

necessarily difficult then extreme care must be taken in admission. But 

neither of these necessary precautions was possible to the Canonists. 

Matrimony was a sacrament and all must be welcome to a sacrament, the more 

so since otherwise they may be thrust into the mortal sin of fornication. 

On the other side, since matrimony was a sacrament, when once truly 

formed, beyond the permissible power of verbal quibbles to invalidate, it 


Page 3 from 5:  Back   1   2  [3]  4   5   Forward