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100 yearsago

21 February 2007

The Church Times.

February 22nd, 1907.

IN ADDRESSING a congregation of women only at St Ann’s Parish Church, [Manchester,] on Tuesday afternoon, the Rev. Paul Bull, C.R., took for his text . . . St John xvi.20-22. Speaking on the sufferings in life, the preacher referred especially to the sufferings of women. . . The preacher then referred to the second part of the text, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow. . .” mentioning the diminishing birth-rate, which, he said, is to-day lower in England than in any other country in Europe, and this being, in a measure, due to fear of pain, the shrinking from the duties of motherhood, and so the threatened destruction of our race. The life of pure selfishness, self-indulgent selfishness, and pleasure will not allow itself to be hampered with a family; methods are adopted altogether contrary to God’s Holy Will by using artificial means for the prevention of the conception and birth of children, and these methods in turn bring a curse upon the whole community; destroy the ideal of womanhood, destroy the ideal of the home, the spiritual aspect of marriage. Such a life reduces marriage to mere licentiousness and prostitution; destroys all self-respect and self-restraint, which alone can make marriage holy. It destroys the check on man’s passions, and all that is most holy in womanhood, eventually killing the ideal of purity and life, and shattering in the end the nervous system of all who thus tamper with the springs of life. The preacher gave a case in point of a person who dare not pray to God, the methods adopted having been contrary to God’s laws, but at a later date the birth of a child was “the joy of the parent’s life”.

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