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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

It is supposed by some that to look upon sexual union as a 

sacrament is necessarily to accept the ancient Catholic view, 

embodied in the Canon law, that matrimony is indissoluble. That 

is, however, a mistake. Even the Canonists themselves were never 

able to put forward any coherent and consistent ground for the 

indissolubility of matrimony which could commend itself 

rationally, while Luther and Milton and Wilhelm von Humboldt, who 

maintained the religious and sacred nature of sexual 

union--though they were cautious about using the term sacrament 

on account of its ecclesiastical implications--so far from 

believing that its sanctity involved indissolubility, argued in 

the reverse sense. This point of view may be defended even from a 

strictly Protestant standpoint. "I take it," Mr. G.C. Maberly 

says, "that the Prayer Book definition of a sacrament, 'the 

outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace,' is 

generally accepted. In marriage the legal and physical unions are 

the outward and visible signs, while the inward and spiritual 

grace is the God-given love that makes the union of heart and 

soul: and it is precisely because I take this view of marriage 

that I consider the legal and physical union should be dissolved 

whenever the spiritual union of unselfish, divine love and 

affection has ceased. It seems to me that the sacramental view of 

marriage compels us to say that those who continue the legal or 

physical union when the spiritual union has ceased, are--to quote 

again from the Prayer Book words applied to those who take the 

outward sign of another sacrament when the inward and spiritual 

grace is not present--'eating and drinking their own damnation.'" 

 

 

 

If from the point we have now reached we look back at the question of 

divorce we see that, as the modern aspects of the marriage relationship 

becomes more clearly realized by the community, that question will be 

immensely simplified. Since marriage is not a mere contract but a fact of 

conduct, and even a sacred fact, the free participation of both parties is 

needed to maintain it. To introduce the idea of delinquency and punishment 

into divorce, to foster mutual recrimination, to publish to the world the 

secrets of the heart or the senses, is not only immoral, it is altogether 

out of place. In the question as to when a marriage has ceased to be a 

marriage the two parties concerned can alone be the supreme judges; the 

State, if the State is called in, can but register the sentence they 

pronounce, merely seeing to it that no injustice is involved in the 

carrying out of that sentence.[364] 

 

In discussing in the previous chapter the direction in which sexual 

morality tends to develop with the development of civilization we came to 

the conclusion that in its main lines it involved, above all, personal 

responsibility. A relationship fixed among savage peoples by social custom 

which none dare break, and in a higher stage of culture by formal laws 

which must be observed in the letter even if broken in the spirit, becomes 

gradually transferred to the sphere of individual moral responsibility. 

Such a transference is necessarily meaningless, and indeed impossible, 

unless the increasing stringency of the moral bond is accompanied by the 

decreasing stringency of the formal bond. It is only by the process of 

loosening the artificial restraints that the natural restraints can exert 

their full control. That process takes place in two ways, in part on the 

basis of the indifference to formal marriage which has marked the masses 


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