Part 3 out of 3
deliberate tampering with nascent life is repugnant to Christian morality."
In 1914 a Committee of Bishops issued a Memorandum  in which
artificial birth control is condemned as "dangerous, demoralising, and
sinful." The memorandum was approved by a large majority of the Diocesan
Bishops, although in the opinion of Dean Inge "this is emphatically a
matter in which every man and woman must judge for themselves, and must
refrain from judging others."  The Bishops also held that in some
marriages it may be desirable, on grounds of prudence or of health, to
limit the number of children. In these circumstances they advised the
practice of self-restraint; and, as regards a limited use of marriage, they
added the following statement:
"It seems to most of us only a legitimate application of such
self-restraint that in certain cases (which only the parties' own
judgment and conscience can settle) intercourse should be restricted by
consent to certain times at which it is less likely to lead to
conception. This is only to use natural conditions; it is approved by
good medical authority; it means self-denial and not self-indulgence.
And we believe it to be quite legitimate, or at least not to be
A _small_ minority of Bishops held that prolonged or even perpetual
abstinence from intercourse is the only legitimate method of limiting a
family. Finally, in Resolution 68 of the Lambeth Conference in 1920, the
Bishops stated that:
"We utter an emphatic warning against the use of unnatural means for
the avoidance of conception, together with the grave
dangers--physical, moral, and religious--thereby incurred, and against
the evils with which the extension of such use threatens the race. In
opposition to the teaching which, under the name of science and
religion, encourages married people in the deliberate cultivation of
sexual union as an end in itself, we steadfastly uphold what must
always be regarded as the governing consideration of Christian
marriage. One is the primary purpose for which marriage
exists--namely, the continuation of the race through the gift and
heritage of children; the other is the paramount importance in married
life of deliberate and thoughtful self-control." 
And the Committee on "Problems of Marriage and Sexual Morality" felt called
upon "to utter an earnest warning against the use of any unnatural means by
which conception is frustrated." 
If Resolution 68 be read in conjunction with the Memorandum of 1914, the
teaching of the Church of England is plain to any sane man or woman; it is
one with the teaching of the Church Catholic. Artificial birth control is
condemned as sin, but, under certain circumstances, the limitation of a
family by continence or by _restricted intercourse_ is permitted. As this
teaching forbids Neo-Malthusian practices, birth controllers have tried to
make the Church alter her teaching to suit their opinions. Although their
methods in controversy against the Church must be condemned by everyone who
values intellectual honesty, the reader, of his charity, should remember
that Malthusians are unable to defend their policy, either on logical or on
moral grounds. Without attempting to prove that the teaching of the
Church is wrong, birth controllers began the attack by _a complete
misrepresentation_ of what that teaching actually is. This unenviable task
was undertaken by Lord Dawson of Penn, at the Birmingham Church Congress of
After quoting Resolution 68, Lord Dawson said:
"Now the plain meaning of this statement is that sexual union should
take place for the sole purpose of procreation, that sexual union as
_an_ end in itself--not, mind you, _the_ only end--(there we should all
agree), but sexual union as _an_ end in itself is to be condemned.
"That means that sexual intercourse should rightly take place _only_
for the purpose of procreation.
"Quite a large family could easily result from quite a few sexual
unions. For the rest the couple should be celibate. Any intercourse not
having procreation as its intention is 'sexual union as an end in
itself,' and therefore by inference condemned by the Lambeth
"Think of the facts of life. Let us recall our own love--our marriage,
our honeymoon. Has not sexual union over and over again been the
physical expression of our love without thought or intention of
procreation? Have we all been wrong? Or is it that the Church lacks
that vital contact with the realities of life which accounts for the
gulf between her and the people?
"The love envisaged by the Lambeth Conference is an invertebrate,
joyless thing--not worth the having. Fortunately it is in contrast to
the real thing as practised by clergy and laity.
"Fancy an ardent lover (and what respect have you for a lover who is
not ardent?)--the type you would like your daughter to marry--virile,
ambitious, chivalrous--a man who means to work hard and love hard.
Fancy putting before these lovers--eager and expectant of the joys
before them--the Lambeth picture of marriage. Do you expect to gain
their confidence?" 
That sort of appeal is not very effective, even as rhetoric; but it is very
easy to give an exact parallel. Fancy a fond father (and what respect have
you for a father who is not fond?) being told by his daughter's suitor that
he, his prospective son-in-law, looked forward to the physical joys of
marriage, but intended to insist on his wife using contraceptives. Would
any father regard such a one as the type he would like his daughter to
There is, unfortunately, another answer to Lord Dawson, and I put it in the
form of a question. Can any intelligent man or woman, Catholic, Protestant,
or rationalist, maintain that Lord Dawson has given a fair, a true, or an
honest statement of the teaching of the Church of England? Moreover, it
is past all understanding how a gross libel on Anglican doctrine has been
overlooked by those most concerned. The address is actually hailed
as "wise, bold, and humane in the highest sense of the word" by _The
Spectator_,  and that amazing journal, "expert as ever in making the
worse appear the better cause in a way that appeals to clergymen," goes on
to say: "Lord Dawson fearlessly and plainly opposed the teachings of the
Roman Church and the alleged teachings of the Anglican."
Having by a travesty of truth created a false theological bogey, bearing
little resemblance either to Catholic or to Anglican teaching, Lord Dawson
proceeds to demolish his own creation by a somewhat boisterous eulogy of
sex-love. Now sex-love is an instinct and involves no question of good
or evil apart from the circumstances in which it is either gratified or
denied; but, in view of the freedom with which Lord Dawson discussed this
topic, it is only right to note that it was left to the Rev. R.J. Campbell
to add to the gaiety of nations by his subsequent protest that the
_Marriage Service_ "contains expressions which are offensive to modern
delicacy of feeling."
That protest is also a first-rate example of the anarchical state of the
modern mind. The Rev. R.J. Campbell is a modern mind, so is Mr. George
Bernard Shaw; but the latter refers to "the sober decency, earnestness, and
authority"  of those very passages to which the former objects.
Lord Dawson's eulogy of sexual intercourse was but a prelude to his plea
for the use of contraceptives:
"I will next consider Artificial Control. The forces in modern life
which make for birth control are so strong that only convincing reasons
will make people desist from it. It is said to be unnatural and
intrinsically immoral. This word 'unnatural' perplexes me. Why?
Civilisation involves the chaining of natural forces and their
conversion to man's will and uses. Much of medicine and surgery
consists of means to overcome nature."
That paragraph illustrates precisely the confused use of the word
"natural," which I have already criticised (p. 124). Lord Dawson says he
is perplexed, and I agree with him. Civilisation, he says, involves the
conversion of natural forces to man's will. So does every crime. Is that
any defence of crime? Even if physical nature be described as non-moral,
that description cannot be applied to the inward nature of will and
conscience. That I will an act may show it is in accordance with nature
in a certain sense, but the fact of its being in accordance with physical
nature does not justify my act. Does Lord Dawson agree? Or does he think
that any action in accordance with the physical laws of nature, which means
any action whatsoever, is justified; and does he approve therefore of mere
moral anarchy? His confusion of thought concerning the use of the word
"natural" is followed by the inevitable sequence of false analogies:
"When anaesthetics were first used at child-birth there was an outcry
on the part of many worthy and religious people that their use under
such circumstances was unnatural and wicked, because God meant woman to
suffer the struggles and pains of child-birth. Now we all admit it is
right to control the process of child-birth, and to save the mother as
much pain as possible. It is no more unnatural to control conception by
artificial means than to control child-birth by artificial means.
Surely the whole question turns on whether these artificial means are
for the good or harm of the individual and the community.
"Generally speaking, birth control before the first child is
inadvisable. On the other hand, the justifiable use of birth control
would seem to be to limit the number of children when such is
desirable, and to spread out their arrival in such a way as to serve
their true interests and those of their home.
"Once more, careful distinction needs to be made between the use and
the bad effects of the abuse of birth control. That its abuse produces
grave harm I fully agree--harm to parents, to families, and to the
nation. But abuse is not a just condemnation of legitimate use.
Over-eating, over-drinking, over-smoking, over-sleeping, over-work do
not carry condemnation of eating, drinking, smoking, sleeping, work."
These long extracts are here quoted because, as _The Spectator_ has
remarked, "an attempt at a detailed summary might destroy the careful
balance which is essential to Lord Dawson's purpose." It might indeed; and
many a true word is written inadvertently and despite the wisdom of the
serpent. As Lord Dawson believes that Malthusian practice is not of
necessity sinful, and as he is urging the Church to remove a ban on that
practice, it is necessary for him to prove in the first place that his
opinion is right and that the teaching of the Church is wrong. Elsewhere in
these pages I have stated _the reasons why_ Christian morality brands the
_act_ of artificial birth control as intrinsically a sin, a _malum in se_,
and those reasons have never been disproved by Lord Dawson or by anyone.
His comparison between the use of contraceptives and eating or drinking is
a false analogy. Eating is a natural act, not in itself sinful, whereas the
use of contraceptives is an unnatural act, in itself a sin. The extent
to which artificial birth control is practised neither increases nor
diminishes the sinful nature of the act, but merely indicates the number
of times the same sin is committed. Lord Dawson admits the danger of
Neo-Malthusian methods being carried to excess, and counsels that these
practices be used in moderation; but is it likely that those who have
discarded the teaching of a Church and the dictates of the moral law will
be seriously influenced by what he calls "an appeal to patriotism"?
Now there is one appeal to patriotism which Lord Dawson could have made but
did not make. He might have pleaded that for the sake of the nation all
attempts at unnatural birth control amongst the wealthier and more leisured
citizens should be abandoned forthwith, and that the lawful form should be
confined to those few cases where limitation of the family is justified on
genuine medical grounds. But he refrained from making that appeal, and
his plea for the use of contraceptives in moderation is more likely to be
quoted with approval in the boudoirs of Mayfair than in humbler homes.
Lord Dawson's grave error in failing to anticipate the inevitable
consequences of his deplorable speech is becoming more and more apparent.
In the columns of _The Daily Herald_, cheek by jowl with advertisements
concerning "Herbalists," "Safe and Sure Treatment for Anaemia,
Irregularities, etc.," "Knowledge for Young Wives," and "Surgical Goods and
Appliances," there appears the following notice:
"Lord Dawson, the King's Physician, says, 'Birth control has come to
stay.' Following up this honest and daring declaration, the Liberator
League have decided to distribute 10,000 copies of its publications
free to applicants sending stamped addressed envelopes to J.W. Gott,
Secretary ... London, N.W.5."
A stamped addressed envelope brought in return sample copies of two undated
newsprints, entitled _The Rib Tickler_ and _The Liberator_, and, to the
honour of newsvendors, we learn that these papers are "not supplied by
newsagents." The first print is devoted to Blasphemy, and the second to
Birth Control. Both papers are edited by J.W. Gott, "of London, Leeds,
Liverpool, and other prisons," who, when he is not in jail for selling
blasphemous or obscene literature, earns a livelihood by a propaganda of
"Secularism, Socialism, and Neo-Malthusianism," combined with the sale of
contraceptives. At Birmingham in 1921 this individual, according to his own
statement, was charged, on eleven summonses, with having sent "an obscene
book" and "obscene literature" through the post, and with "publishing a
blasphemous libel of and concerning the Holy Scriptures and the Christian
Religion." "The Malthusian League (at their own expense, for which I here
wish to thank them) sent their Hon. Secretary, Dr. Binnie Dunlop, who gave
evidence" ... that the Council of the Malthusian League ... "most strongly
protests against the description of G. Hardy's book, _How to prevent
Pregnancy_, as obscene, for that book gives in a perfectly refined and
scientific way this urgently needed information." This opinion was not
shared by the jury, who brought in a verdict of guilty, and Gott was
sentenced to six months' imprisonment. From the _Liberator_ we learn that
the Treasurer of the Liberator League was fined L20, having been found
guilty on the following summons--"for that you on the eleventh day of
September 1920, at the Parish of Consett, in the County aforesaid,
unlawfully, wickedly, maliciously, and scandalously did sell to divers
persons, whose names are unknown, in a public street, there situate, a
certain lewd, wicked, scandalous, and obscene print entitled 'Large or
Small Families,' against the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, His
Crown and Dignity."
Lord Dawson's advice was indeed perilous because "the British Empire and
all its traditions will decline and fall if the Motherland is faithless
to motherhood";  and the nation would do better to pay heed to the
following words of His Majesty the King: "The foundations of national glory
are in the homes of the people. They will only remain unshaken while the
family life of our race and nation is strong, simple, and pure."
All Lord Dawson's arguments are hoary fallacies. "Once more, careful
distinction needs to be made between"--anaesthetics and contraceptives.
Anaesthetics assist the birth of a child, whereas contraceptives frustrate
the act of procreation. The old explanation that man's progress has
been achieved by harnessing and not by opposing the forces of nature is
dismissed with ignominy. The age-long teaching of Hippocrates that the
healing art was based on the _Vis Medicatrix Naturae_ is overthrown by
Lord Dawson of Penn, in a single sentence; and in place of the Father of
Medicine as a guide to health of body and mind, there comes the King's
"To pestle a poison'd poison behind his crimson lights."
When a great leader announces the birth of a new epoch, it is meet that the
rank and file remain silent; and at this Congress of the Church of
England no jarring interruptions marred the solemnity of the moment. No
old-fashioned doctor was there to utter a futile protest, and there was no
simple-minded clergyman to rise in the name of Christ and give Lord Dawson
the lie. Without dissent, on a public platform of the Established Church,
presided over by a Bishop, and in full view of the nation, "the moth-eaten
mantle of Malthus, the godless robe of Bradlaugh, and the discarded
garments of Mrs. Besant,"  were donned--by the successor of Lister.
It was a proud moment for the birth controllers, but for that national
institution called "Ecclesia Anglicana" a moment full of shame.
[Footnote 100: _British Medical Journal_, August 6, 1921, p. 219.]
[Footnote 101: There is, or perhaps we should say there was, a legacy of
1,000 Rhenish guilders awaiting anyone who, in the judgment of the faculty
of law in the University of Heidelberg or of Bonn, is able to establish the
fact that any Jesuit ever taught this doctrine or anything equivalent to
it. Vide _The Antidote_, vol. iii, p. 125, C.T.S., London.]
[Footnote 102: Gen. xxxviii. 9-10]
[Footnote 103: Vide _Catholic Times_, August 27, 1921, p. 7.]
[Footnote 104: _The Army and Religion_, 1919, p. 448.]
[Footnote 105: _Universe_, November 4, 1921, p. 3.]
[Footnote 106: _Eighty-second Annual Report of the Registrar-General of
England and Wales_, 1919, p. xiv.]
[Footnote 107: _The Times_, January 13, 1885.]
[Footnote 108: _British Medical Journal_, November 19, 1921, p. 872.]
[Footnote 109: _British Medical Journal_, November 26, 1921, p. 924]
[Footnote 110: _British Medical Journal_, December 10, 1921, p. 1016.]
[Footnote 111: _Common Sense on the Population Question_, p. 4]
[Footnote 112: Dr. C.K. Millard, in _The Modern Churchman_, May 1919.]
[Footnote 113: Reproduced in _The Declining Birth-rate_, 1916, p. 386.]
[Footnote 114: _Outspoken Essays_, 1919, p. 75.]
[Footnote 115: _Report_, p. 44.]
[Footnote 116: Ibid., p. 112.]
[Footnote 117: _Evening Standard_, October 12, 1921.]
[Footnote 118: October 15, 1921.]
[Footnote 119: _Man and Superman_, Act III, p. 125.]
[Footnote 120: _Sunday Express_, October 16, 1921.]
[Footnote 121: On becoming a Theosophist, Mrs. Besant retracted her
approval of Neo-Malthusianism.]
THE TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON BIRTH CONTROL
Section 1. A FALSE VIEW OF HER DOCTRINE
One of the marks of the Catholic Church, whereby she may be distinguished
from all other Churches, is that her teaching is always clear and above all
logical. Yet this fact has not saved her teaching from misrepresentation
in the hands of Malthusians. For example, Dr. C. Killick Millard writes as
"The Churches have taught that it was the divine wish that human beings
should multiply and population increase--the more rapidly the better;
the traditional authority for this being the instruction given to Noah
and his family, after the Deluge, to 'be fruitful and multiply and
replenish the earth.' The Churches have continued to teach that the
duty of man was _to obey the divine command_ and still _to increase and
multiply_, and until recently any attempt by married couples to
restrict or regulate the birth-rate was denounced as sinful.
"This is still the orthodox attitude, I believe, of the Roman Catholic
Church, with its celibate priesthood; but, as it is clearly useless to
reason with those who claim infallibility, it is unnecessary to discuss
the question further so far as Roman Catholicism is concerned." 
Now, although it may be unnecessary for Dr. Millard to discuss the question
further, he will, I am sure, regret having inadvertently misstated the
truth. The Catholic Church has never denounced as sinful "_any_ attempt by
married couples to restrict or regulate the birth-rate." On the contrary,
the Catholic Church has taught, by her greatest doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas,
"that the essence of marriage is not primarily in the begetting of
offspring, but in the indissoluble union between husband and wife." 
Section 2. THE ESSENCE AND PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE
There is an obvious distinction between the _essence_ of a thing and the
_ends_ or purposes for which the thing exists. For example, in a business
partnership the _essence_ of the partnership is a legal instrument,
whereas the _purposes_ or _ends_ of the partnership are various commercial
projects. The following is a clear statement, by Father Vincent McNabb,
O.P.,  of Catholic teaching concerning the nature and end of marriage:
"Marriage is an indissoluble state of life wherein a man and a woman
agree to give each other power over their bodies for the begetting,
birth, and upbringing of offspring. The natural and primary end of
marriage is this duty towards offspring. But, as sin has despoiled the
human will and disturbed human relations, marriage has now the
secondary end of allaying sexual lust.
"But it is a principle of ethics that what is primary cannot be set
aside as if it were secondary, nor can the secondary be sought as if it
were primary. To invert the ethical order is to bring in that disorder
which is called sin. If the human act brings in a slight disorder, it
is venial sin; if the human act brings in a grievous disorder it is a
grievous or mortal sin.
"It is a grievous disorder, and, therefore, a grievous sin, to desire
satisfaction in such sexual intercourse as could not result in the
begetting of offspring.
"As the wedded pair have given each other power over their bodies it
would be a grave sin for one to refuse either altogether or for a
considerable time the fulfilment of the marriage debt. But it is not a
sin if by mutual agreement the wedded pair refrain from the marriage
debt for a time, or for ever. As a rule, and speaking objectively, it
would be heroic virtue for a wedded pair to abstain for a long time,
and still more for ever, from the marriage debt. To counsel such a
practice indiscriminately would be a sinful want of prudence, and, in a
confessor, of professional knowledge.
"It is quite clear that by mutual consent, even without any further
motive, the wedded pair can abstain from marital intercourse. Still
more may they abstain for a time or for ever, for a good motive, e.g.
in order to have time for prayer, for good works, for bringing up such
family as they already have to support."
Section 3. ARTIFICIAL STERILITY WHOLLY CONDEMNED
Artificial birth control is an offence against the law of God, and is
therefore forbidden by the Catholic Church. Any Catholic who wilfully
adopts this practice violates the law of God in a serious matter, and is
therefore guilty of mortal sin, an outrageous and deliberate insult offered
by a human creature to the Infinite Majesty.
The Catholic Church teaches that men and women should control the sex
impulse just as they should control their appetite for food or drink.
The principal end of marriage, as we have seen, is the purpose of its
institution, the procreation and bringing up of children. The secondary end
of marriage is mutual assistance and companionship, and a remedy against
concupiscence. Where it is advisable, owing to the health of the mother or
owing to reasons of prudence as distinct from selfishness, to limit the
number of children, the Catholic Church points out that this should be done
by the exercise of self-control, or by restricted use. As those who deny
the possibility or even the wisdom of self-restraint are not likely to pay
the slightest attention to the teaching of the Church, I will quote the
opinions of two clear-thinking, non-Catholic writers.
Mr. George Bernard Shaw has said:
"I have no prejudices. The superstitious view of the Catholic Church is
that a priest is something entirely different from an ordinary man. I
know a great many Catholic priests, and they are men who have had a
great deal of experience. They have at the back a Church which has had
for many years to consider the giving of domestic advice to people. If
you go to a Catholic priest and tell him that a life of sexual
abstinence means a life of utter misery, he laughs. And obviously for a
very good reason. If you go to Westminster Cathedral you will hear
voices which sound extremely well, and very differently from the voices
of the gentlemen who sing at music-halls, and who would not be able to
sing in that way if they did not lead a life extremely different from
the Catholic priest....
"I may say that I am in favour of birth control. I am in favour of it
for its own sake. I do not like to see any human being absolutely the
slave of what we used to call 'Nature.' Every human action ought to be
controlled, and you make a step in civilisation with something which
has been uncontrollable. I am therefore in favour of control for its
own sake. But when you go from that to the methods of control, that is
a very different thing. As Dr. Routh said, we have to find out methods
which will not induce people to declare that they cannot exist without
sexual intercourse." 
Of course the use of contraceptives is the very negation of self-control.
The late Sir William Osier, speaking of venereal disease, says:
"Personal purity is the prophylaxis which we as physicians are
especially bound to advocate. Continence may be a hard condition ...
but it can be borne, and it is our duty to urge this lesson upon young
and old who seek our advice on matters sexual."
Section 4. THE ONLY LAWFUL METHOD OF BIRTH CONTROL
There _are_ methods of control whereby people are enabled to exist, and to
exist happily, without being slaves to the sex impulse. These methods are
those of the Catholic Church. Her people are encouraged to take a higher
and a nobler view of marriage, to overcome their egoism and selfishness,
and to practise moderation and self-restraint in the lawful use of marital
rights. The Church urges her people to strengthen their self-restraint
by observing the penitential seasons, especially Lent; by fasting or by
abstaining from flesh meat at other times, if necessary by abstaining from
alcohol; and by seeking that supernatural help which comes to those who
receive the Sacraments worthily. When all other deterrents fail, it is
lawful, according to the teaching of the Church, for married people to
limit intercourse to the mid-menstrual period, when, although conception
may occur, it is less likely to occur than at other times.
All other methods are absolutely and without exception forbidden. This
limited use of marriage, which, as we have seen, is within the rights of
the married, differs from all methods of artificial birth-control as day
differs from night, because: [Reference: Explanation]
(1) No positive or direct obstacle is used against procreation.
(2) The intercourse is natural, in contradistinction to what is equivalent
(3) Self-restraint is practised in that the intercourse is limited to
(4) There is no risk to mental or physical health.
(5) There is no evil will to _defeat_ the course of nature; at worst there
is merely an absence of heroism.
Even if the question be considered solely as a matter of physiology
the difference between these methods is apparent. Physiologists and
gynaecologists believe that in natural intercourse there is, apart from
fertilisation, an absorption of certain substances into the system of the
woman. The role of this absorption is at present obscure, but it obviously
exists for a purpose; and it is permissible to speculate whether, under
natural conditions of intercourse, there is not a mutual biological
reaction that makes, amongst other things, for physical compatibility.
Whatever be its purpose or explanation in the marvellous mechanism of
nature, this absorption of vital substances is either hindered or is
absolutely prevented by artificial methods of birth control; whereas, in
the method permitted by the teaching of the Catholic Church there is no
interference with a physiological process. Even those who fail, from their
lack of training, to comprehend moral distinctions in this matter should be
able to appreciate the difference between a method that is physiological
and one that is unphysiological.
There are thousands who know little of the Catholic or of any other faith,
and thousands who believe the Catholic Church to be everything except what
it is. These people have no infallible rule of faith and morals, and when
confronted, as they now are, by a dangerous, insidious campaign in favour
of birth control, they do not react consistently or at all. It was
therefore thought advisable to issue this statement in defence of the
position of the Catholic Church; but the reader should remember that the
teaching of the Church on this matter is held by her members to be true,
not merely because it agrees with the notions of all right-thinking men and
women, not because it is in harmony with economic, statistical, social, and
biological truth, but principally because they know this teaching to be
an authoritative declaration of the law of God. The Ten Commandments have
their pragmatic justification; they make for the good of the race; but the
Christian obeys them as expressions of the Divine Will.
Section 5. CONCLUSION
Our declining birth-rate is a fact of the utmost gravity, and a more
serious position has never confronted the British people. Here in the midst
of a great nation, at the end of a victorious war, the law of decline is
working, and by that law the greatest empires in the world have perished.
In comparison with that single fact all other dangers, be they of war, of
politics, or of disease, are of little moment. Attempts have already been
made to avert the consequences by the partial endowment of motherhood
and by a saving of infant life. Physiologists are now seeking among the
endocrinous glands and the vitamines for a substance to assist procreation.
"Where are my children?" was the question shouted yesterday from the
cinemas. "Let us have children, children at any price," will be the cry
of to-morrow. And all these thoughts were once in the mind of Augustus,
Emperor of the world from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, from Mount Atlas
to the Danube and the Rhine.
The Catholic Church has never taught that "an avalanche of children" should
be brought into the world regardless of consequences. God is not mocked; as
men sow, so shall they reap, and against a law of nature both the transient
amelioration wrought by philanthropists and the subtle expediences of
scientific politicians are alike futile. If our civilisation is to survive
we must abandon those ideals that lead to decline. There is only one
civilisation immune from decay, and that civilisation endures on the
practical eugenics once taught by a united Christendom and now expounded
almost solely by the Catholic Church.
[Footnote 122: _The Modern Churchman_, May 1919.]
[Footnote 123: Rev. Vincent McNabb, O.P., _The Catholic Gazette_, September
1921, p. 194]
[Footnote 124: Ibid]
[Footnote 125: Speech at the Medico-Legal Society, July 7, 1921.]
_Marriage and the Sex Problem_. By Dr. F.W. Foerster. Translated by
Margaret Booth, B. Sc., Ph.D. London, 1912.
_The Menace of the Empty Cradle_. By Bernard Vaughan, S.J. London, 1917.
_Coffins or Cradles_. By Sir James Marchant. 1916.
_Moral Principles and Medical Practice_. By C. Coppens, S.J., and H.
_The Family and the Nation_. By W.C.D. Whetham and Mrs. Whetham. London,
_The Law of Births and Deaths_. By Charles Edward Pell. London, 1921.
_The Declining Birth-rate_. Report of the National Birthrate Commission.
_The Church and Labour (A Compendium of Official Utterances)_. Edited by
John A. Ryan, LL.D., and Joseph Husslein, Ph.D. London, 1921.
B.--CATHOLIC TRUTH SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS
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_The Condition of the Working Classes_. (The Encyclical _Rerum Novarum_.)
By Pope Leo XIII. Edited by Mgr. Canon Parkinson, D.D. 6d.
_Social Questions and the Duty of Catholics_. By C.S. Devas, M.A. 6d.
(_The Following are Twopence each_.)
_Birth-rate, The Declining_. By H. Thurston, S.J.
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