Searchlights on Health/The Improvement of Offspring
THE IMPROVEMENT OF OFFSPRING.
Why Bring Into the World Idiots, Fools, Criminals and Lunatics?
1. THE RIGHT WAY.—When mankind will properly love AND marry and then rightly generate, carry, nurse and educate their children, will they in deed and in truth carry out the holy and happy purpose of their Creator. See those miserable and depraved scape-goats of humanity, the demented simpletons, the half-crazy, unbalanced multitudes which infest our earth, and fill our prisons with criminals and our poor-houses with paupers. Oh! the boundless capabilities and perfections of our God-like nature and, alas! its deformities! All is the result of the ignorance or indifference of parents. As long as children are the accidents of lust instead of the premeditated objects of love, so long will the offspring deteriorate and the world be cursed with deformities, monstrosities, unhumanities and cranks.
2. EACH AFTER ITS KIND.—"Like parents like children." "In their own image beget" they them. In what other can they? "How can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit?" How can animal propensities in parents generate other than depraved children, or moral purity beget beings other than as holy by nature as those at whose hands they received existence and constitution?
3. AS ARE THE PARENTS, physically, mentally and morally when they stamp their own image and likeness upon progeny, so will be the constitution of that progeny.
4. "JUST AS THE TWIG IS BENT THE TREE'S INCLINED."—Yet the bramble cannot be bent to bear delicious peaches, nor the sycamore to bear grain. Education is something, but parentage is everything; because it "dyes in the wool" and thereby exerts an influence on character almost infinitely more powerful than all other conditions put together.
5. HEALTHY AND BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.—Thoughtless mortal! Before you allow the first goings forth of love, learn what the parental conditions in you mean, and you will confer a great boon upon the prospective bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh! If it is in your power to be the parent of beautiful, healthy, moral and talented children instead of diseased and depraved, is it not your imperious duty then, to impart to them that physical power, moral perfection, and intellectual capability, which shall ennoble their lives and make them good people and good citizens?
6. PAUSE AND TREMBLE.—Prospective parents! Will you trifle with the dearest interests of your children? Will you in matters thus momentous, head-long rush
- "Where angels dare not tread,"
Seeking only mere animal indulgence?—Well might cherubim shrink from assuming responsibilities thus momentous Yet, how many parents tread this holy ground completely unprepared, and almost as thoughtlessly and Ignorantly as brutes—entailing even loathsome diseases and sensual propensities upon the fruit of their own bodies. Whereas they are bound, by obligations the most imperious to bestow on them a good physical organization, along with a pure, moral, and strong intellectual constitution, or else not to become parents! Especially since it is easier to generate human angels than devils incarnate.
7. HEREDITARY DESCENT.—This great law of things, "Hereditary Descent," fully proves and illustrates in any required number and variety or cases, showing that progeny inherits the constitutional natures and characters, mental and physical, of parents, including pre-dispositions to consumption, insanity, all sorts of disease, etc., as well as longevity, strength, stature, looks, disposition, talents,—all that is constitutional. From what other source do or can they come? Indeed, who can doubt a truth as palpable as that children inherit some, and if some, therefore all, the physical and mental nature and constitutor of parents, thus becoming almost their fac-similes?
8. ILLUSTRATIONS.—A whaleman was severely hurt by a harpooned and desperate whale turning upon the small boat, and, by his monstrous jaws, smashing it to pieces, one of which, striking him in his right side, crippled him for life. When sufficiently recovered, he married, according to previous engagement, and his daughter, born in due time, and closely resembling him in looks, constitution and character, has a weak and sore place corresponding in location with that of the injury of her father. Tubercles have been found in the lungs of infants at birth, born of consumptive parents,—a proof, clear and demonstrative, that children inherit the several states of parental physiology existing at the time they received their physiological constitution. The same is true of the transmission of those diseases consequent on the violation of the law of chastity, and the same conclusion established thereby.
9. PARENT'S PARTICIPATION.—Each parent furnishing at indispensable portion of the materials of life, and somehow or other, contributes parentally to the formation of the constitutional character of their joint product, appears far more reasonable, than to ascribe, as many do, the whole to either some to paternity, others to maternity. Still this decision go which way it may, does not affect the great fact that children inherit both the physiology and the mentality existing in parents at the time they received being and constitution.
10. ILLEGITIMATES OR BASTARDS also furnish strong proof of the correctness of this our leading doctrine. They are generally lively, sprightly, witty, frolicksome, knowing, quiet of perception, apt to learn, full of passion, quick-tempered, impulsive throughout, hasty, indiscreet, given to excesses, yet abound in good feeling, and are well calculated to enjoy life, though in general sadly deficient in some essential moral elements.
11. CHARACTER OF ILLEGITIMATES.—Wherein, then, consists this difference? First, in "novelty lending an enchantment" rarely experienced in sated wedlock, as well as in, power of passion sufficient to break through all restraint, external and internal; and hence their high wrought organization. They are usually wary and on the alert, and their parents drank "stolen waters." They are commonly wanting in moral balance, or else delinquent in some important moral aspect; nor would they have ever been born unless this had been the case, for the time being at least with their parents. Behold in these, and many other respects easily cited, how striking the coincidence between their characters on the one hand, and, on the other, those parental conditions necessarily attendant on their origin.
12. CHILDREN'S CONDITION depends upon parents' condition at the time of the sexual embrace. Let parents recall, as nearly as may be their circumstances and states of body and mind at this period, and place them by the side of the physical and mental constitutions of their children, and then say whether this law is not a great practical truth, and if so, its importance is as the happiness and misery it is capable of affecting! The application of this mighty engine of good or evil to mankind, to the promotion of human advancement, is the great question which should profoundly interest all parents.
13. THE VITAL PERIOD.—The physical condition of parents at the vital period of transmission of life should be a perfect condition of health in both body and mind, and a vigorous condition of all the animal organs and functions.
14. MUSCULAR PREPARATION.—Especially should parents cultivate their muscular system preparatory to the perfection of this function, and of their children; because, to impart strength and stamina to offspring they must of necessity both possess a good muscular organization, and also bring it into vigorous requisition at this period. For this reason, if for no other, let those of sedentary habits cultivate muscular energy preparatory to this time of need.
15. THE SEED.—So exceedingly delicate are the seeds of life, that, unless planted in a place of perfect security, they must all be destroyed and our race itself extinguished. And what place is as secure as that chosen, where they can be reached only with the utmost difficulty, and than only as the peril of even life itself? Imperfect seed sown in poor ground means a sickly harvest.
16. HEALTHY PEOPLE—MOST CHILDREN.—The most healthy classes have the most numerous families; but that, as luxury enervates society, it diminishes the population, by enfeebling parents, nature preferring none rather than those too weakly to live and be happy, and thereby rendering that union unfruitful which is too feeble to produce offspring sufficiently strong to enjoy life. Debility and disease often cause barrenness. Nature seems to rebel against sickly offspring.
17. WHY CHILDREN DIE.—Inquire whether one or both the parents of those numerous children that die around us, have not weak lungs, or a debilitated stomach, or a diseased liver, or feeble muscles, or else use them but little, or disordered nerves, or some other debility or form of disease. The prevalence of summer complaints, colic, cholera infantum, and other affections of these vital organs of children is truly alarming, sweeping them into their graves by the million. Shall other animals rear nearly all their young, and shall man, constitutionally by far the strongest of them all, lose half or more of his? is this the order of nature? No, but their death-worm is born in and with them, and by parental agency.
18. GRAVE-YARD STATISTICS.—Take grave-yard statistics in August, and then say, whether most of the deaths of children are not caused by indigestion, or feebleness of the bowels, liver, etc., or complaints growing out of them? Rather, take family statistics from broken-hearted parents! And yet, in general, those very parents who thus suffer more than words can tell, were the first and main transgressors, because they entailed those dyspeptic, heart, and other kindred affections so common among American parents upon their own children, and thereby almost as bad as killed them by inches; thus depriving them of the joys of life, and themselves of their greatest earthly treasure!
19. ALL CHILDREN MAY DIE.—Children may indeed die whose parents are healthy, but they almost must whose parents are essentially ailing in one or more of their vital organs; because, since they inherit this organ debilitated or diseased, any additional cause of sickness attacks this part first, and when it gives out, all go by the board together.
20. PARENTS MUST LEARN AND OBEY.—How infinitely more virtuous and happy would your children be if you should be healthy in body, and happy in mind, so as to beget in them a constitutionally healthy and vigorous physiology, along with a serene and happy frame of mind! Words are utterly powerless in answer, and so is everything but a lifetime of consequent happiness or misery! Learn and obey, then, the laws of life and health, that you may both reap the rich reward yourself, and also shower down upon your children after you, blessings many and most exalted. Avoid excesses of all kinds, be temperate, take good care of the body and avoid exposures and disease, and your children will be models of health and beauty.
21. THE RIGHT CONDITION.—The great practical inference is, that those parents who desire intellectual and moral children, must love each other; because, this love, besides perpetually calling forth and cultivating their higher faculties, awakens them to the highest pitch of exalted action in that climax, concentration, and consummation of love which propagates their existing qualities, the mental endowment of offspring being proportionate to the purity and intensity of parental love.
22. THE EFFECTS.—The children of affectionate parents receive existence and constitution when love has rendered the mentality of their parents both more elevated and more active than it is by nature, of course the children of loving parents are both more intellectual and moral by nature than their parents. Now, if these children and their companions also love one another, this same law which renders the second generation better than the first, will of course render the third still better than the second, and thus of all succeeding generations.
23. ANIMAL IMPULSE.—You may preach and pray till doomsday—may send out missionaries, may circulate tracts and Bibles, and multiply revivals and all the means of grace, with little avail; because, as long as mankind go on, as now, to propagate by animal impulse, so long must their offspring be animal, sensual, devilish! But only induce parents cordially to love each other, and you thereby render their children constitutionally talented and virtuous. Oh! parents, by as much as you prefer the luxuries of concord to the torments of discord, and children that are sweet dispositioned and highly intellectual to those that are rough wrathful, and depraved, be entreated to "love one another."