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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

a fact. Human relationships remained what they were before, as complicated 

and as various, but henceforth one rigid pattern, admirable as an ideal 

but worse than empty as a form, was arbitrarily set up, and all deviations 

from it treated either as non-existent or damnable. The vitality was 

crushed out of the most central human institutions, and they are only 

to-day beginning to lift their heads afresh. 

 

If--to sum up--we consider the course which the regulation of marriage has 

run during the Christian era, the only period which immediately concerns 

us, it is not difficult to trace the main outlines. Marriage began as a 

private arrangement, which the Church, without being able to control, was 

willing to bless, as it also blessed many other secular affairs of men, 

making no undue attempt to limit its natural flexibility to human needs. 

Gradually and imperceptibly, however, without the medium of any law, 

Christianity gained the complete control of marriage, cooerdinated it with 

its already evolved conceptions of the evil of lust, of the virtue of 

chastity, of the mortal sin of fornication, and, having through the 

influence of these dominating conceptions limited the flexibility of 

marriage in every possible direction, it placed it on a lofty but narrow 

pedestal as the sacrament of matrimony. For reasons which by no means lay 

in the nature of the sexual relationships, but which probably seemed 

cogent to sacerdotal legislators who assimilated it to ordination, 

matrimony was declared indissoluble. Nothing was so easy to enter as the 

gate of matrimony, but, after the manner of a mouse-trap, it opened 

inwards and not outwards; once in there was no way out alive. The Church's 

regulation of marriage while, like the celibacy of the clergy, it was a 

success from the point of view of ecclesiastical politics, and even at 

first from the point of view of civilization, for it at least introduced 

order into a chaotic society, was in the long run a failure from the point 

of view of society and morals. On the one hand it drifted into absurd 

subtleties and quibbles; on the other, not being based on either reason or 

humanity, it had none of that vital adaptability to the needs of life, 

which early Christianity, while holding aloft austere ideals, still 

largely retained. On the side of tradition this code of marriage law 

became awkward and impracticable; on the biological side it was hopelessly 

false. The way was thus prepared for the Protestant reintroduction of the 

conception of marriage as a contract, that conception being, however, 

brought forward less on its merits than as a protest against the 

difficulties and absurdities of the Catholic Canon law. The contractive 

view, which still largely persists even to-day, speedily took over much of 

the Canon law doctrines of marriage, becoming in practice a kind of 

reformed and secularized Canon law. It was somewhat more adapted to modern 

needs, but it retained much of the rigidity of the Catholic marriage 

without its sacramental character, and it never made any attempt to become 

more than nominally contractive. It has been of the nature of an 

incongruous compromise and has represented a transitional phase towards 

free private marriage. We can recognize that phase in the tendency, well 

marked in all civilized lands, to an ever increasing flexibility of 

marriage. The idea, and even the fact, of marriage by consent and divorce 

by failure of that consent, which we are now approaching, has never indeed 

been quite extinct. In the Latin countries it has survived with the 

tradition of Roman law; in the English-speaking countries it is bound up 


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