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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

could never be abrogated. The very institution that, in the view of the 

Church, had been set up as a bulwark against license became itself an 

instrument for artificially creating license. So that the net result of 

the Canon law in the long run was the production of a state of things 

which--in the eyes of a large part of Christendom--more than neutralized 

the soundness of its original conception.[331] 

 

In England, where from the ninth century, marriage was generally 

accepted by the ecclesiastical and temporal powers as 

indissoluble, Canon law was, in the main, established as in the 

rest of Christendom. There were, however, certain points in which 

Canon law was not accepted by the law of England. By English law 

a ceremony before a priest was necessary to the validity of a 

marriage, though in Scotland the Canon law doctrine was accepted 

that simple consent of the parties, even exchanged secretly, 

sufficed to constitute marriage. Again, the issue of a void 

marriage contracted in innocence, and the issue of persons who 

subsequently marry each other, are legitimate by Canon law, but 

not by the common law of England (Geary, _Marriage and Family 

Relations_, p. 3; Pollock and Maitland, loc. cit.). The Canonists 

regarded the disabilities attaching to bastardy as a punishment 

inflicted on the offending parents, and considered, therefore, 

that no burden should fall on the children when there had been a 

ceremony in good faith on the part of one at least of the 

parents. In this respect the English law is less reasonable and 

humane. It was at the Council of Merton, in 1236, that the barons 

of England rejected the proposal to make the laws of England 

harmonize with the Canon law, that is, with the ecclesiastical 

law of Christendom generally, in allowing children born before 

wedlock to be legitimated by subsequent marriage. Grosseteste 

poured forth his eloquence and his arguments in favor of the 

change, but in vain, and the law of England has ever since stood 

alone in this respect (Freeman, "Merton Priory," _English Towns 

and Districts_). The proposal was rejected in the famous formula, 

"Nolumus leges Angliae mutare," a formula which merely stood for 

an unreasonable and inhumane obstinacy. 

 

In the United States, while by common law subsequent marriage 

fails to legitimate children born before marriage, in many of the 

States the subsequent marriage of the parents effects by statute 

the legitimacy of the child, sometimes (as in Maine) 

automatically, more usually (as in Massachusetts) through special 

acknowledgment by the father. 

 

The appearance of Luther and the Reformation involved the decay of the 

Canon law system so far as Europe as a whole was concerned. It was for 

many reasons impossible for the Protestant reformers to retain formally 

either the Catholic conception of matrimony or the precariously elaborate 

legal structure which the Church had built up on that conception. It can 

scarcely be said, indeed, that the Protestant attitude towards the 

Catholic idea of matrimony was altogether a clear, logical, or consistent 

attitude. It was a revolt, an emotional impulse, rather than a matter of 

reasoned principle. In its inevitable necessity, under the circumstances 

of the rise of Protestantism, lies its justification, and, on the whole, 

its wholesome soundness. It took the form, which may seem strange in a 

religious movement, of proclaiming that marriage is not a religious but a 

secular matter. Marriage is, said Luther, "a worldly thing," and Calvin 


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