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not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be
so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress
without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to
elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in
_In adults_, or youths, a different plan must be pursued. In these cases,
moral considerations, and the inevitable consequences to health of body
and mind, are the chief influences by which a reform is to be effected,
if at all. These considerations may be urged with all possible eloquence
and earnestness, but should not be exaggerated. The truth is terrible
enough. If there are any special influences which may be brought to
bear upon a particular individual,--and there always will be something
of this sort owing to peculiarities of temperament or
circumstances,--these should be promptly employed and applied in such
a manner as to secure for them their full bearing.
But after all, the most must be done by the individual himself. All
that others can do for him is to surround him with favoring
circumstances and arouse him to a proper sense of his real condition
and danger. If this can be thoroughly accomplished, there is much reason
to hope; but if the individual has become so lost to all sense of purity,
all aspirations toward good and noble objects, that he cannot be made
to feel the need of reformation, his case is hopeless.
_How May a Person Help Himself?_--The following suggestions will be
found useful in fighting the battle with vice and habit:--
1. Begin by a resolution to reform, strengthened by the most solemn
2. Resolve to reform _now_; not to-morrow or next week, but this very
minute. Thousands have sunk to perdition while resolving to indulge
"only this once."
3. Begin the work of reform by purging the mind. If a lewd thought enters
the mind, dispel it at once. Cultivate a loathing for concupiscence.
Never harbor such ideas for an instant, for they will surely lead to
the overt act. If, perchance, the physical sin should not be committed,
the thought itself is sin, and it leaves a physical as well as a moral
scar almost as deep and hideous as that inflicted by the grosser crime.
4. As a help to purity of mind, whenever impure thoughts enter,
immediately direct the mind upon the purest object with which you are
acquainted. Flee from the special exciting cause, if there is one, and
engage in some active labor or other exercise that will divert the mind
into another channel.
5. Avoid solitude, for then it is that temptation comes, and you are
most likely to fail. Avoid equally all other causes which may lead to
6. Strictly comply with all the rules laid down for the cultivation
of chastity and the maintenance of continence.
7. Above all, seek for grace and help from the Source of all spiritual
strength in every time of temptation, relying upon the promise, "Seek,
and ye shall find."
Hopeful Courage.--An individual who will earnestly set himself about
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