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PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

often contradictory Tertullian, but it is worth noting that, while he 

declared that woman is the gate of hell, he also said that we must 

approach Nature with reverence and not with blushes. "Natura veneranda 

est, non erubescenda." "No Christian author," it has indeed been said, 

"has so energetically spoken against the heretical contempt of the body as 

Tertullian. Soul and body, according to Tertullian, are in the closest 

association. The soul is the life-principle of the body, but there is no 

activity of the soul which is not manifested and conditioned by the 

flesh."[56] More weight attaches to Rufinus Tyrannius, the friend and 

fellow-student of St. Jerome, in the fourth century, who wrote a 

commentary on the Apostles' Creed, which was greatly esteemed by the early 

and mediaeval Church, and is indeed still valued even to-day. Here, in 

answer to those who declared that there was obscenity in the fact of 

Christ's birth through the sexual organs of a woman, Rufinus replies that 

God created the sexual organs, and that "it is not Nature but merely human 

opinion which teaches that these parts are obscene. For the rest, all the 

parts of the body are made from the same clay, whatever differences there 

may be in their uses and functions."[57] He looks at the matter, we see, 

piously indeed, but naturally and simply, like Clement, and not, like 

Augustine, through the distorting medium of a theological system. 

Athanasius, in the Eastern Church, spoke in the same sense as Rufinus in 

the Western Church. A certain monk named Amun had been much grieved by the 

occurrence of seminal emissions during sleep, and he wrote to Athanasius 

to inquire if such emissions are a sin. In the letter he wrote in reply, 

Athanasius seeks to reassure Amun. "All things," he tells him, "are pure 

to the pure. For what, I ask, dear and pious friend, can there be sinful 

or naturally impure in excrement? Man is the handwork of God. There is 

certainly nothing in us that is impure."[58] We feel as we read these 

utterances that the seeds of prudery and pruriency are already alive in 

the popular mind, but yet we see also that some of the most distinguished 

thinkers of the early Christian Church, in striking contrast to the more 

morbid and narrow-minded mediaeval ascetics, clearly stood aside from the 

popular movement. On the whole, they were submerged because Christianity, 

like Buddhism, had in it from the first a germ that lent itself to ascetic 

renunciation, and the sexual life is always the first impulse to be 

sacrificed to the passion for renunciation. But there were other germs 

also in Christianity, and Luther, who in his own plebeian way asserted the 

rights of the body, although he broke with mediaeval asceticism, by no 

means thereby cast himself off from the traditions of the early Christian 

Church. 

 

I have thought it worth while to bring forward this evidence, although I 

am perfectly well aware that the facts of Nature gain no additional 

support from the authority of the Fathers or even of the Bible. Nature and 

humanity existed before the Bible and would continue to exist although the 

Bible should be forgotten. But the attitude of Christianity on this point 

has so often been unreservedly condemned that it seems as well to point 

out that at its finest moments, when it was a young and growing power in 

the world, the utterances of Christianity were often at one with those of 

Nature and reason. There are many, it may be added, who find it a matter 

of consolation that in following the natural and rational path in this 

matter they are not thereby altogether breaking with the religious 

traditions of their race. 


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