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Table of contents
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

thought, that the Devil felt he had been made a fool of. 

 

In time the Catholic practice and theory of asceticism became 

more formalized and elaborated, and its beneficial effects were 

held to extend beyond the individual himself. "Asceticism from 

the Christian point of view," writes Brenier de Montmorand in an 

interesting study ("Ascetisme et Mysticisme," _Revue 

Philosophique_, March, 1904) "is nothing else than all the 

therapeutic measures making for moral purification. The Christian 

ascetic is an athlete struggling to transform his corrupt nature 

and make a road to God through the obstacles due to his passions 

and the world. He is not working in his own interests alone, 

but--by virtue of the reversibility of merit which compensates 

that of solidarity in error--for the good and for the salvation 

of the whole of society." 

 

This is the aspect of early Christian asceticism most often emphasized. 

But there is another aspect which may be less familiar, but has been by no 

means less important. Primitive Christian chastity was on one side a 

strenuous discipline. On another side it was a romance, and this indeed 

was its most specifically Christian side, for athletic asceticism has been 

associated with the most various religious and philosophic beliefs. If, 

indeed, it had not possessed the charm of a new sensation, of a delicious 

freedom, of an unknown adventure, it would never have conquered the 

European world. There are only a few in that world who have in them the 

stuff of moral athletes; there are many who respond to the attraction of 

romance. 

 

The Christians rejected the grosser forms of sexual indulgence, but in 

doing so they entered with a more delicate ardor into the more refined 

forms of sexual intimacy. They cultivated a relationship of brothers and 

sisters to each other, they kissed one another; at one time, in the 

spiritual orgy of baptism, they were not ashamed to adopt complete 

nakedness.[74] 

 

A very instructive picture of the forms which chastity assumed among the 

early Christians is given us in the treatise of Chrysostom _Against Those 

who Keep Virgins in their Houses_. Our fathers, Chrysostom begins, only 

knew two forms of sexual intimacy, marriage and fornication. Now a third 

form has appeared: men introduce young girls into their houses and keep 

them there permanently, respecting their virginity. "What," Chrysostom 

asks, "is the reason? It seems to me that life in common with a woman is 

sweet, even outside conjugal union and fleshly commerce. That is my 

feeling; and perhaps it is not my feeling alone; it may also be that of 

these men. They would not hold their honor so cheap nor give rise to such 

scandals if this pleasure were not violent and tyrannical.... That there 

should really be a pleasure in this which produces a love more ardent than 

conjugal union may surprise you at first. But when I give you the proofs 

you will agree that it is so." The absence of restraint to desire in 

marriage, he continues, often leads to speedy disgust, and even apart from 

this, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, delivery, lactation, the bringing up 

of children, and all the pains and anxieties that accompany these things 

soon destroy youth and dull the point of pleasure. The virgin is free from 

these burdens. She retains her vigor and youthfulness, and even at the age 

of forty may rival the young nubile girl. "A double ardor thus burns in 

the heart of him who lives with her, and the gratification of desire never 

extinguishes the bright flame which ever continues to increase in 

strength." Chrysostom describes minutely all the little cares and 


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