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Clerical Lapses.--Our most profound disgust is justly excited when we
hear of laxity of morals in a clergyman. We naturally feel that one
whose calling is to teach his fellow-men the way of truth, and right,
and purity, should himself be free from taint of immorality. But when
we consider how these ministers are fed, we cannot suppress a momentary
disposition to excuse, in some degree, their fault. When the minister
goes out to tea, he is served with the richest cake, the choicest jellies,
the most pungent sauces, and the finest of fine-flour bread-stuffs.
Little does the indulgent hostess dream that she is ministering to the
inflammation of passions which may imperil the virtue of her daughter,
or even her own. Salacity once aroused, even in a minister, allows no
room for reason or for conscience. If women wish to preserve the virtue
of their ministers, let them feed them more in accordance with the laws
of health. Ministers are not immaculate.
The remedy for the dangers to chastity arising from this source, is
pointed out in the article on "Continence."
Tobacco and Vice.--Few are aware of the influence upon morals exerted
by that filthy habit, tobacco-using. When acquired early, it excites
the undeveloped organs, arouses the passions, and in a few years
converts the once chaste and pure youth into a veritable volcano of
lust, belching out from its inner fires of passion torrents of obscenity
and the sulphurous fumes of lasciviousness. If long-continued, the
final effect of tobacco is emasculation; but this is only the necessary
consequence of previous super-excitation. The lecherous day-dreams in
which many smokers indulge, are a species of fornication for which even
a brute ought to blush, if such a crime were possible for a brute. The
mental libertine does not confine himself to bagnios and women of the
town. In the foulness of his imagination, he invades the sanctity of
virtue wherever his erotic fancy leads him.
We are aware that we have made a grave charge against tobacco, and we
have not hesitated to state the naked truth; yet we do not think we
have exaggerated, in the least, the pernicious influence of this foul
drug. As much, or nearly as much, might be said against the use of liquor,
on the same grounds.
Bad Books.--Another potent enemy of virtue is the obscene literature
which has flooded the land for many years. Circulated by secret agencies,
these books have found their way into the most secluded districts.
Nearly every large school contains one of these emissaries of evil men
and their Satanic master. Some idea of the enormity and extent of this
evil may be gained from the following quotations from a published letter
of Mr. Anthony Comstock, who has been for some time employed by the
Young Men's Christian Association in suppressing the traffic by
arresting the publishers and destroying their goods:--
"I have succeeded in unearthing this hydra-headed monster in part, as
you will see by the following statement, which, in many respects, might
be truthfully increased in quantity. These I have seized and
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