In Mere Christianity, in the chapter on Christian Marriage, CS Lewis says,

"As Chesterton pointed out, those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises. Love songs all over the world are full of vows of eternal constancy. The Christian law [of marital fidelity] is not forcing upon the passion of love something which s foreign to that passion's own nature......"

I'm looking for the place where Chesterton says this.

1 Answer 1


The source, most probably is A Defence of Rash Vows" which can be found here. Chesterton makes no mention of the appearance of such vows in popular culture, that appears to be Lewis's addition. Here's the relevant text:

They appear to imagine that the ideal of constancy was a yoke mysteriously imposed on mankind by the devil, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all lovers on themselves. They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words — ‘free-love’ — as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind itself...

With thanks to a very knowledgeable and well-read friend.

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