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groceries, and about bar-room doors. Everywhere we meet small faces
upon which sin and vice are as clearly written as though the words were
actually spelled out. Lying, swearing, smoking, petty stealing, and
brazen impudence are among the vices which contaminate thousands and
thousands of the boys who are by-and-by to become the _men_ of this
country, to constitute its legislators, its educators, its supporters,
and its protectors. Is it possible that such boys can become good,
useful, noble, trustworthy men? Scarcely. If the seeds of noxious weeds
can be made to produce useful plants or beautiful flowers, or if a barren,
worthless shrub can be made to bear luscious fruit, then may we expect
to see these vicious boys grow up into virtuous, useful men.
But the vices mentioned are not the worst, the traces of which we see
stamped upon the faces of hundreds of boys, some of whom, too, would
scorn to commit any one of the sins named. There is another vice, still
more terrible, more blighting in its effects, a vice which defiles,
diseases, and destroys the body, enervates, degrades, and finally
dethrones the mind, debases and ruins the soul. It is to this vice that
we wish especially to call attention. It is known as
Self-Abuse.--Secret vice, masturbation, and self-pollution are other
names applied to this same awful sin against nature and against God.
We shall not explain here the exact nature of the sin, as very few boys
are so ignorant or so innocent as to be unacquainted with it. To this
sin and its awful consequences we now wish to call the attention of
all who may read these lines.
A Dreadful Sin.--The sin of self-pollution is one of the vilest, the
basest, and the most degrading that a human being can commit. It is
worse than beastly. Those who commit it place themselves far below the
meanest brute that breathes. The most loathsome reptile, rolling in
the slush and slime of its stagnant pool, would not bemean itself thus.
It is true that monkeys sometimes have the habit, but only when they
have been taught it by vile men or boys. A boy who is thus guilty ought
to be ashamed to look into the eyes of an honest dog. Such a boy naturally
shuns the company of those who are pure and innocent. He cannot look
with assurance into his mother's face. It is difficult for any one to
catch his eye, even for a few seconds. He feels his guilt and acts it
out, thus making it known to every one. Let such a boy think how he
must appear in the eyes of the Almighty. Let him only think of the angels,
pure, innocent, and holy, who are eye-witnesses of his shameful
practices. Is not the thought appalling? Would he dare commit such a
sin in the presence of his father, his mother, or his sisters? No, indeed.
How, then, will he dare to defile himself in the presence of Him from
whose all-seeing eye nothing is hid?
The Bible utters the most solemn warnings against sexual sins. The
inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone
for such transgressions. Onan was struck dead in the act of committing
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