Friday, September 11, 2009


1. First Love.—This is the most important dire of all. The first love experiences a tenderness, a purity and unreservedness, an exquisiteness, a devotedness, and a poetry belonging to no subsequent attachment. "Love, like life, has no second spring." Though a second attachment may be accompanied by high moral feeling, and to a devotedness to the object loved; yet, let love be checked or blighted in its first pure emotion, and the beauty of its spring is irrecoverably withered and lost. This does not mean the simple love of children in the first attachment they call love, but rather the mature intelligent love of those of suitable age.

2. Free from Temptations.—As long as his heart is bound up in its first bundle of love and devotedness—as long as his affections remain reciprocated and uninterrupted—so long temptations cannot take effect. This heart is callous to the charms of others, and the very idea of bestowing his affections upon another is abhorrent. Much more so is animal indulgence, which is morally impossible.

3. Second Love not Constant.—But let this first love be broken off, and the flood-gates of passion are raised. Temptations now flow in upon him. He casts a lustful eye upon every passing female, and indulges unchaste imaginations and feelings. Although his conscientiousness or intellect may prevent actual indulgence, yet temptations now take effect, and render him liable to err; whereas before they had no power to awaken improper thoughts or feelings. Thus many young men find their ruin.

4. Legal Marriage.—What would any woman give for merely a nominal or legal husband, just to live with and provide for her, but who entertained not one spark of love for her, or whose affections were bestowed upon another? How absurd, how preposterous the doctrine that the obligations of marriage derive their sacredness from legal enactments and injunctions! How it literally profanes this holy of holies, and drags down this heaven-born institution from its original, divine elevation, to the level of a merely human device. Who will dare to advocate the human institution of marriage without the warm heart of a devoted and loving companion!

5. Legislation.—But no human legislation can so guard this institution but that it may be broken in spirit, though, perhaps, acceded to in form; for, it is the heart which this institution requires. There must be true and devoted affection, or marriage is a farce and a failure.

6. The Marriage Ceremony and the Law Governing Marriage are for the protection of the individual, yet a man and woman may be married by law and yet unmarried in spirit. The law may tie together, and no marriage be consummated. Marriage therefore is Divine, and "whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder." A right marriage means a right state of the heart. A careful study of this work will be a great help to both the unmarried and the married.

7. Desertion and Divorce.—For a young man to court a young woman, and excite her love till her affections are riveted, and then (from sinister motives, such as, to marry one richer, or more handsome), to leave her, and try elsewhere, is the very same crime as to divorce her from all that she holds dear on earth—to root up and pull out her imbedded affections, and to tear her from her rightful husband. First love is always constant. The second love brings uncertainty—too often desertions before marriage and divorces after marriage.

8. The Coquet.—The young woman to play the coquet, and sport with the sincere affections of an honest and devoted young man, is one of the highest crimes that human nature can commit. Better murder him in body too, as she does in soul and morals, and it is the result of previous disappointment, never the outcome of a sincere first love.

9. One Marriage. One evidence that second marriages are contrary to the laws of our social nature, is the fact that almost all step-parents and step-children disagree. Now, what law has been broken, to induce this penalty? The law of marriage; and this is one of the ways in which the breach punishes itself. It is much more in accordance with our natural feelings, especially those of mothers, that children should be brought up by their own parent.

10. Second Marriage.—Another proof of this point is, that second marriage is more a matter of business. "I'll give you a home, if you'll take care of my children." "It's a bargain," is the way most second matches are made. There is little of the poetry of first-love, and little of the coyness and shrinking diffidence which characterize the first attachment. Still these remarks apply almost equally to a second attachment, as to second marriage.

11. The Conclusion of the Whole Matter.—Let this portion be read and pondered, and also the one entitled, "Marry your First Love if possible," which assigns the cause, and points out the only remedy, of licentiousness. As long as the main cause of this vice exists, and is aggravated by purse-proud, high-born, aristocratic parents and friends, and even by the virtuous and religious, just so long, and exactly in the same ratio will this blighting Sirocco blast the fairest flowers of female innocence and loveliness, and blight our noblest specimens of manliness. No sin of our land is greater.