Searchlights on Health/The Curse of Manhood
THE CURSE OF MANHOOD.
1. MORAL LEPERS.—We cannot but denounce, in the strongest terms, the profligacy of many married men. Not content with the moderation permitted in the divine appointed relationship of marriage, they become adulterers, in order to gratify their accursed lust. The man in them is trodden down by the sensual beast which reigns supreme. These are the moral outlaws that make light of this scandalous social iniquity, and by their damnable example encourage young men to sin.
2. A SAD CONDITION.—It is constantly affirmed by prostitutes, that amongst married men are found their chief supporters. Evidence from such a quarter must be received with considerable caution. Nevertheless, we believe that there is much truth in this statement. Here, again, we lay the ax to the root of the tree; the married man who dares affirm that there is a particle of physical necessity for this sin, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Whether these men be princes, peers, legislators, professional men, mechanics, or workmen, they are moral pests, a scandal to the social state, and a curse to the nation.
3. EXCESSES.—Many married men exhaust themselves by these excesses; they become irritable, liable to cold, to rheumatic affections, and nervous depression. They find themselves weary when they rise in the morning. Unfitted for close application to business, they become dilatory and careless, often lapsing into entire lack of energy, and not seldom into the love of intoxicating stimulants. Numbers of husbands and wives entering upon these experiences lose the charm of health, the cheerfulness of life and converse. Home duties become irksome to the wife; the brightness, vivacity, and bloom natural to her earlier years, decline; she is spoken of as highly nervous, poorly, and weak, when the whole truth is that she is suffering from physical exhaustion which she cannot bear. Her features become angular, her hair prematurely gray, she rapidly settles down into the nervous invalid, constantly needing medical aid, and, if possible, change of air.
4. IGNORANCE.—These conditions are brought about in many cases through ignorance on the part of those who are married. Multitudes of men have neither read, heard, nor known the truth of this question. We sympathize with our fellow-men in this, that we have been left in practical ignorance concerning the exceeding value and legitimate uses of these functions of our being. Some know, that, had they known these things in the early days of their married life, it would have proved to them knowledge of exceeding value. If this counsel is followed, thousands of homes will scarcely know the need of the physician's presence.
5. ANIMAL PASSION.—Commonsense teaches that children who are begotten in the heat of animal passion, are likely to be licentious when they grow up. Many parents through excesses of eating and drinking, become inflamed with wine and strong drink. They are sensualists, and consequently, morally diseased. Now, if in such conditions men beget their children, who can affect surprise if they develop licentious tendencies? Are not such parents largely to blame? Are they not criminals in a high degree? Have they not fouled their own nest, and transmitted to their children predisposition to moral evil?
6. FAST YOUNG MEN.—Many of our "fast young men" have been thus corrupted, even as the children of the intemperate are proved to have been. Certainly no one can deny that many of our "well-bred" young men are little better than "high-class dogs" so lawless are they, and ready for the arena of licentiousness.
7. THE PURE-MINDED WIFE.—Happily, as tens of thousands of husbands can testify, the pure-minded wife and mother is not carried away, as men are liable to be, with the force of animal passion. Were it not so, the tendencies to licentiousness in many sons would be stronger than they are. In the vast majority of cases suggestion is never made except by the husband, and it is a matter of deepest gratitude and consideration, that the true wife may become a real helpmeet in restraining this desire in the husband.
8. YOUNG WIFE AND CHILDREN.—We often hear it stated that a young wife has her children quickly. This cannot happen to the majority of women without injury to health and jeopardy to life. The law which rendered it imperative for the land to lie fallow in order to rest and gain renewed strength, is only another illustration of the unity which pervades physical conditions everywhere. It should be known that if a mother nurses her own babe, and the child is not weaned until it is nine or ten months old, the mother, except in rare cases, will not become enceinte again, though cohabitation with the husband takes place.
9. SELFISH AND UNNATURAL CONDUCT.—It is natural and rational that a mother should feed her own children; in the selfish and unnatural conduct of many mothers, who, to avoid the self-denial and patience which are required, hand the little one over to the wet-nurse, or to be brought up by hand, is found in many cases the cause and reason of the unnatural haste of child-bearing. Mothers need to be taught that the laws of nature cannot be broken without penalty. For every woman whose health has been weakened through nursing her child, a hundred have lost strength and health through marital excesses. The haste of having children is the costly penalty which women pay for shirking the mother's duty to the child.
10. LAW OF GOD.—So graciously has the law of God been arranged in regard to the mother's strength, that, if it be obeyed, there will be, as a rule, an interval of at least from eighteen months to two years between the birth of one child and that of another. Every married man should abstain during certain natural seasons. In this periodical recurrance God has instituted to every husband the law of restraint, and insisted upon self-control.
11. TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE MARRIED.—Be exceedingly careful of license and excess in your intercourse with one another. Do not needlessly expose, by undress, the body. Let not the purity of love degenerate into unholy lust! See to it that you walk according to the divine Word. "Dwelling together as being heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered."
12. LOST POWERS.—Many young men after their union showed a marked difference. They lost much of their natural vivacity, energy, and strength of voice. Their powers of application, as business men, students, and ministers, had declined, as also their enterprise, fervor, and kindliness. They had become irritable, dull, pale, and complaining. Many cases of rheumatic fever have been induced through impoverishment, caused by excesses on the part of young married men.
13. MIDDLE AGE.—After middle age the sap of a man's life declines in quantity. A man who intends close application to the ministry, to scientific or literary pursuits, where great demands are made upon the brain, must restrain this passion. The supplies for the brain and nervous system are absorbed, and the seed diverted through sexual excesses in the marriage relationship, by fornication, or by any other form of immorality, the man's power must decline: that to this very cause may be attributed the failure and breakdown of so many men of middle age.
14. INTOXICATING DRINKS.—By all means avoid intoxicating drinks. Immorality and alcoholic stimulants, as we have shown, are intimately related to one another. Wine and strong drink inflame the blood, and heat the passions. Attacking the brain, they warp the judgment, and weaken the power of restraint. Avoid what is called good living: it is madness to allow the pleasures of the table to corrupt and corrode the human body. We are not designed for gourmands, much less for educated pigs. Cold water bathing, water as a beverage, simple and wholesome food, regularity of sleep, plenty of exercise; games such as cricket, football, tennis, boating, or bicycling, are among the best possible preventives against lust and animal passion.
15. BEWARE OF IDLENESS.—Indolent leisure means an unoccupied mind. When young men lounge along the streets, in this condition they become an easy prey to the sisterhood of shame and death. Bear in mind that evil thoughts precede evil actions. The hand of the worst thief will not steal until the thief within operates upon the hand without. The members of the body which are capable of becoming instruments of sin, are not involuntary actors. Lustful desires must proceed from brain and heart, ere the fire that consumes burns in the member.