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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

put it on the same level as house-building, farming, or shoe-making. But 

while this secularization of marriage represents the general and final 

drift of Protestantism, the leaders of Protestantism were themselves not 

altogether confident and clear-sighted in the matter. Even Luther was a 

little confused on this point; sometimes he seems to call marriage "a 

sacrament," sometimes "a temporal business," to be left to the state.[332] 

It was the latter view which tended to prevail. But at first there was a 

period of confusion, if not of chaos, in the minds of the Reformers; not 

only were they not always convinced in their own minds; they were at 

variance with each other, especially on the very practical question of 

divorce. Luther on the whole belonged to the more rigid party, including 

Calvin and Beza, which would grant divorce only for adultery and malicious 

desertion; some, including many of the early English Protestants, were in 

favor of allowing the husband to divorce for adultery but not the wife. 

Another party, including Zwingli, were influenced by Erasmus in a more 

liberal direction, and--moving towards the standpoint of Roman Imperial 

legislation--admitted various causes of divorce. Some, like Bucer, 

anticipating Milton, would even allow divorce when the husband was unable 

to love his wife. At the beginning some of the Reformers adopted the 

principle of self-divorce, as it prevailed among the Jews and was accepted 

by some early Church Councils. In this way Luther held that the cause for 

the divorce itself effected the divorce without any judicial decree, 

though a magisterial permission was needed for remarriage. This question 

of remarriage, and the treatment of the adulterer, were also matters of 

dispute. The remarriage of the innocent party was generally accepted; in 

England it began in the middle of the sixteenth century, was pronounced 

valid by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and confirmed by Parliament. Many 

Reformers were opposed, however, to the remarriage of the adulterous 

party. Beust, Beza, and Melancthon would have him hanged and so settle the 

question of remarriage; Luther and Calvin would like to kill him, but 

since the civil rulers were slack in adopting that measure they allowed 

him to remarry, if possible in some other part of the country.[333] 

 

The final outcome was that Protestantism framed a conception of marriage 

mainly on the legal and economic factor--a factor not ignored but strictly 

subordinated by the Canonists--and regarded it as essentially a contract. 

In so doing they were on the negative side effecting a real progress, for 

they broke the power of an antiquated and artificial system, but on the 

positive side they were merely returning to a conception which prevails in 

barbarous societies, and is most pronounced when marriage is most 

assimilable to purchase. The steps taken by Protestantism involved a 

considerable change in the nature of marriage, but not necessarily any 

great changes in its form. Marriage was no longer a sacrament, but it was 

still a public and not a private function and was still, however 

inconsistently, solemnized in Church. And as Protestantism had no rival 

code to set up, both in Germany and England it fell back on the general 

principles of Canon law, modifying them to suit its own special attitude 

and needs.[334] It was the later Puritanic movement, first in the 

Netherlands (1580), then in England (1653), and afterwards in New England, 

which introduced a serious and coherent conception of Protestant marriage, 

and began to establish it on a civil base. 

 


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