Clipped From The Paris News
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, JULY V, 1§M BACKWARD GLANCES By A. W. N15VILL* DIVORCE WAS MENACE, DR. DIX SAID Clergyman More Than Fifty Years Ago Condemned Looseness Of Marriage Bond Threatened disinflation of society was viewed with alarm more than fifty years ago, and likely furthsr back than that. One example of this fear was a Lenten address by the Rev. Morgan Dix, D. D., Rector of Trinity Church, New York, many years. Speaking to his congregation during the Lenten season of 1883, Dr. Dix said in part, after an analysis of "Society" and racounting some of its deceits: "We have reached in this subject of marriage the most grave of all. Seriously speaking, I assert that nothing degrades woman more effectually or deteriorates more hopelessly the womanly character than this awful indifference to this subject. There is something appalling in the utter irresponsibility of married people. It is ths result, in part, of that growing abomination of the day, the increased facilities for terminating any marriage contract by divorce. _ "Young people contract marriage apparently without an idea of responsibility for their conduct aftsrward; without a notion that it must involve a trial which will test their entire moral and religious nature, and in which nothing but conscientiousness and a high sense of honor and justice can give a victory. The id p a of duty would seem to be th? last to enter their heads. "It is a venture, a frolic, an amusing episode, a dubious experiment. If it does not result satisfactorily, never mind; some way will open to crawl out of tb/s thing and be gay, happy and contented once more. Some marry for money, some for position, some for more freedom; we are taught now by 'advanced thinkers' that love is the least of all motives, hardly to be regarded today as a rational motive. Now, when self-interest in some one of its protean shapes is at the bottom of this proceeding, the moment self-intirest is crossed, they kick against the restraint. The wife goes her way as calmly and coolly as if nothing had extraordinary had happened; as if marriage, after all, was not a thing of any consequence; as If it had fixed neither duty nor responsibility upon her soul. And no one seems to think the less of her, nor to be at all shocked or distressed; it is quite a matter of course way, a little trifling blunder — nothing serious. Let the carnival go on; let us keep up cheer: let us gad about in the sunshine and lose no joy in life! "Excuse the illustrations; I cannot explain without them. Irresponsibility—it is the blight, the curse of the day; no account to give, no one to call you to account. It is the result of reckless training in which the law of God and the rule of the Church are set not first, but last of all." One cannot h.rlp wonder what D6ctor Dix would have said of Reno and Hollywood, to say nothing of the dockets of practically every court in the land. Yet the world seems to go rolling along about like it always has done.