- Effects of Hereditary Disease - Mental or Nervous Organization - Living too Fast - Bilious Temperament - Coarse Muscles - Sluggish Brains - The Mental Dwarfed by the Physical - Well Balanced People - Perverted Passions - Violation of Physical Laws - Society in Upheaval - Young Ladies and Their Associates - Parental Responsibility - Transmitting Disease and Death - Sins of Parents Visited on their Children - Perfecting the Pace - The Characteristics of the Child Determined by the Parents

As the condition of man now is, many are not proper subjects to hand down to posterity a healthy, happy family. Persons who labor under hereditary diseases of any kind are poorly qualified for becoming parents; for by so doing they multiply sorrow, suffering and early death.

If persons affected with any hereditary disease marry with the intention of becoming parents, they should pay strict attention to the laws and physiology and marry those only who are particularly well fortified in those qualities in which they are deficient - those having a strong and well-balance constitution, a good stock of vitality, and an active and energetic mind.

The children, in th is case, will be like or resemble the more active and healthy parent, and be much less affected by the one diseased than they would if both were diseased or unhealthy; or than they would be if there were no counteracting qualities in either of the parties. Persons of the same physical qualities in the extreme should not marry.

Marks of the Mental Organization.

The mental or nervous organization may be known by a delicate frame, sharp features, think skin, fine hair, sparkling eyes, quick movements, rapid speech, joined with a great desire to read, think, and gratify the intellectual powers generally.

If the nervous organization prevails, the mind is predominant in power and activity; and the constitution suffers severely from the constant drains made on it. Such persons mature early, suffer or enjoy in the extreme, lead a brilliant but short career, and generally find a premature grave.

Two persons uniting with a predominance of this organization will live too fast, be too extravagant in thought, word, and deed, will enjoy and suffer in the extreme, carry everything to excess, devote themselves too exclusively to the exercise of mind as such, and will be restless, uneasy, feeble, irregular, uneven and inconsistent.

Precocious Children.

Children of such parents are generally few in number, dwarfish, puny and "too smart to live." The ranks of the insane are too frequently increased from families of this organization; and when young they consequently require double the care and attention, and are much more dependent than other children. They are endowed with feelings so keen, and susceptibilities so acute, that their existence is almost a burden for the want of the ability to look on the trials, privations and hardships of life as though they were prepared to meet them. Such families soon become extinct, and "the places that once knew them, know them no more."

The motive or bilious organization comprises the frame-work of the body, the bones and muscles, the moving part of man, the house which encases the vital functions.

The indications of t his organization, when greatly preponderating, are solid bones, hard muscles, firm flesh, close and large joints, large and irregular features, dark hair and complexion, heavy expression and slow movements. Such persons are difficult to excite and hart to restrain; have strong and well-fortified constitutions; are generally well-qualified to resist foreign influences, both mental and physical. Such persons are our hewers of wood and drawers of water; are capable of sustaining the fatigues and hardships of life: they do the coarse heavy work, are backward in youth, tenacious of life, and struggle in death.

Two persons with a predominance of this organization united in marriage would be far behind the age and the spirit of the times; would always be in the rear, and would act as machines or automatons for their neighbors. In them there is more ability to act than to plan; more strength and toughness than refinement and sensibility.

The children of such parents will be hardy and healthy, but awkward, homely, backward, and never in the element except when the harness is on; real plodders through life, doing all the hard work, fighting all the battles, raising all the monuments, but obtaining none of the credit. They help to make others rich, but die poor themselves, and are soon obliterated from memory.

They are the real sinews of the land, but rarely exert a moral and intellectual influence. Their standard is physical, their exertions are physical, and their atttainments physical.

This organization joined with the nervous or mental, gives vigor and strength of mind and produces greatness and power of intellect.

Full Chest and Broad Shoulders.

The vital organization is the combination of what is generally called the sanguine and lymphatic; it has reference to the thoracic and abdominal regions of the body and may be known, when in the ascendency, by a large, round, plump body, full chest, broad shoulders, round limbs, strong pulse, large base to the brain and lower portion of the face, with florid complexion, sandy hair, and a healthy, social and animated expression. All the vital organs, those on which life depends and is generated, are large and active.

Persons with a predominance of this organization place a high value on life and its pleasures, enjoy all there is to be enjoyed, sleep soundly, breathe freely, eat heartily, and like to partake of the luxuries of the table.

Their motto is: "Live while you live." They are fond of excitement and amusement; always busy, yet do not trouble themselves about hard and steady work; more disposed to oversee others and give orders than to obey those of others. They frequent social gatherings, have a predominance of the feelings and passions which, when perverted, render them violent and passionate.

Their feelings are tender, sympathies lively - are very sensitive and susceptible to foreign influences and change of circumstances. They act upon the high pressure principle with force and impetus. Two persons united with a predominance of this organization will be too impulsive - put on too much steam in proportion to their freight - are to easily carried away by the impressions of the moment - too little under the restraint of the controlling elements, and when excited are too warm, ardent and passionate - are too much under the influence of the feelings - may evince considerable intellect at times, but will have no uniform and steady mental action.

We never see persons of this class close students; neither do they have much patience or application of mind. The first thoughts are generally their best; they do not trouble themselves much about mental reflections or physiological investigations; they lack balance of power; have too much of the animal and not enough of the mental, and consequently act and live for present enjoyment, without reference to future results.

Making an Idol of your Stomach.

If the digestive functions (which are a part of the vital) predominate, then the person becomes dull, indolent, corpulent and gouty, especially in advanced life, after having retired from active service. Children born of such parents will be passionate, difficult to control, dull scholars, extravagant eaters, units and ciphers in society, mere non-entities, very liable to yield to licentious and intemperate habits, to violate law and good order, to exert a demoralizing influence over others, to live and die degraded, and are too frequently very inferior in intellectual and moral capacity.

It is not well to have any of these conditions of the body developed in the extreme, as it will be very unfortunate, both to the parents and the children for two of the same extremes or organization to be united, and equally so for two of the opposite extremes; for they will labor under many inconveniences which education or effort on their part cannot overcome. Their children will be imperfectly organized and subject to extremes; they will always be regarded as creatures of circumstances and the folly of their parents. Their existence would, in fact, exhibit only the phenomena of vegetable life.

The Golden Mean.

A balance of all the temperaments if the most desirable; and what one is deficient in let the other have to a sufficient degree to act as a counterpoise; by this means uniformity and evenness of action may be inherited by your children, instead of their becoming but second editions with numerous additional illustrations of their parent's original imperfections.

If persons will arose from their lethargy, and make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the theory and philosophy of the temperaments, and put in practice the knowledge so obtained, the cornerstone of a great social reform will be laid, which must produce more blessings, dissipate more evils, and advance mankind toward a state of perfection with greater rapidity than any other measure of the day.

Young gentlemen, or men having formed intemperate and licentious habits before marriage, are very liable to retain them, and should, therefore, receive no encouragement from the ladies. If they value the welfare of their family, wish to secure health and happiness in their union, and pay due regard to the moral improvement of society, they will, one and all, unite in reprobating by their actions in the most positive manner all tendencies of this nature.

Follies of Dress.

Young ladies who devote their time to leisure amusements and the follies that invariably attend them, should be regarded as entirely unworthy the notice of those young men who have any regard for a healthy and happy family.

They are entirely unqualified to discharge the duties of a mother and companion in a proper manner; and it is to be hoped that measures will be taken which will have the effect more thoroughly to open the eyes of all on this important subject. Do not allow yourselves and your "fair loved ones" to be victimized any longer, even if it be done in obedience to the imperious mandates of fashion, when that obedience renders them incapable of transmitting to posterity that vital energy and mental power necessary for long life or distinction.

It is true that there are many persons in society of corrupt and unnatural tastes, who are gratified by existing modes; young men, and married men too, there are, who encourages such fashions and habits; they like, forsooth, to be entertained by young ladies of leisure and accomplishment, who have small waists and bare shoulders.

But we would ask, who are these men? What are their characters, habits, and principles? Inquire here, and turn your investigations from the discovery of what their connections are into this channel. And mark the words. you will find that they are men of perverted passions, and generally accustomed to intemperate or licentious associations.

You will then perceive, and what emotions of shame and mortification

ought it to produce, that it is their animal natures and propensities which you are laboring so assiduously to please; while very few, indeed, are the efforts, which you make the please by gratifying their moral and intellectual faculties.

Let young men encourage honesty and industry, and a great change will be wrought in society. What a difference in our families and children! What great improvement may we not reasonably expect! Let things go on as they now are, and in a few centuries the result will be seen, and felt, too, in this country by a small, dwarfish, consumptive and incipient race of mortals - on whom will devolve the honorable task of perpetuating the political existence, name and constitution of this republic.

How are we situated at the present time? Why is some circles, and those now very limited in extent, every third woman is an invalid, and every sixth male also. They labor under dyspepsia, particular weaknesses, and many other diseases of the kind - all produced by a violation of physical laws. The only true means of saving this country from dismemberment, decreasing influence, and from being a nation of hospitals, is by commencing at once a great social reform.

Society Agitated by Great Questions.

Examine the condition of the times and see what can be foretold by their aspect. At what stage of the world, and at what period, as far back as our knowledge extends has there been a similar upturning, loosening and stirring up of every principle and institution, moral, social, political and intellectual? Every one is beginning to inquire into the abuses, visible and invisible, with which society is pregnant. Every one feels an indistinct prompting for a change. All are looking from the quarter from which it must emanate.

When has the religious world been do distracted by dissensions and differences of opinion? Were there ever as many changes and innovations in theology as at the present time? When did science unfold truths of greater importance and in greater profusion than at this moment? Have the political world and the political institutions of the day ever been in so strange a situation as they are now? When did our various systems of education differ as widely and hang as loosely together as they now do?

Overturning Old and False Systems.

None are stamped with the character of permanency, for all seem aware that errors will and must be reformed. Does not everything appear to be hurrying into one grand reservoir, as it were, where all principles shall become united in one chaotic mass? Theologians, philosophers and politicians may, from the purest motives, do all in

their power to reduce this chaos to order, but it will be of no avail. The commencement, to be complete and thorough, must be made farther back than their peculiar spheres of action; for all these various systems are mere offsets from the social circle. Political government originated from patriarchal authority. Education is affected materially by social manners and customs. And so with all other institutions - they proceed directly or indirectly from the family circle.

Let the reform be commenced here, on the principles of physiology and health, and a gradual process of regeneration will be entered on that will produce the most salutary effects upon the habits, characters, motives and actions of all mankind.

Parents and guardians must feel the full force of the obligations which rest on them, and, in consequence, train their children for true happiness and usefulness. Young ladies, in particular, should be careful with whom they associate and whom they encourage - for it must be borne in mind that it is not every talented, wealthy or fashionable young man that will make the best husband and father.

Responsibility of Marriage.

In these matters, rest assured we cannot be too careful. The act of marriage is the most responsible in which we can engage, as connected with our own happiness in this life, and through us to those who shall exist after our death. No individual is a proper subject to become an agent for the transmission of soul and body to posterity unless he or she is free from all hereditary disease, his or her organization sound and complete, his or her mind and body free from all those habits and vices which tend to weaken our powers, debase our feelings, and render us morally degraded, and he or she in the full, regular and natural exercise of all those powers and faculties which God, in his infinite wisdom, has so beautifully and harmoniously adapted to the wants of our condition.

One sufficient, amply sufficient reason, if none others existed, why we whould be thus particular, is because we hand down to posterity the qualities which we possess in the highest activity and strength.

Parents are to be blamed for the natural, primitive defects of their children, for it is an inevitable law of nature that consitutional qualities and deficiencies are hereditary. Children are impaired, and their physical structures ill-balanced, from various causes in harmony with the varieties of organizations that become united. The marriage of those who are enfeebled by age, or debilitated by disease, must be productive of little stamina in the offspring.

Sin of Transmitting Disease.

Those persons who are aware of being under the influence of a constitutional tendency to any disease have a moral law witin themselves why they should not enter into a matrimonial alliance. Look at some of our families; the diseases of insanity, idiocy, consumption, scrofula, and a host of others, have become incorporated with them - regular heir-looms, transmitted from father to son, and mother to daughter, with far greater regularity and certainty than relics or property of any kind - for they may be dissipated, lost, and destroyed, but the other runs throbbing through our veins, is united with our very system, and we become disenthralled from them only by the assistance of death, the great tyrant by whom all are freed.

We could deduce illustrations upon illustration which would enforce what is now stated, so that you could not violate the principle without doing your sense of right and wrong a grievous injury, from facts which have come under our own observation - when families have mourned the suicide of a grandfather, father and son, the lunacy of a grandmother, mother and daughter, and from families whose family registers of deceased members are filled with records of "died of consumption."

Evils of Marrying Near Relatives.

Another principle that can be relied on as a cause of deterioration is a continuation of marriage in near relations. This course, when pursued by a few generations, produces imbecility, degeneracy, and inferiority in the descendants of those who were once renowned for strength and vigor.

Early marriages is another fruitful source of imperfection. The bodily powers should be developed and in full vigor.

As agents in this great and important work, it is your duty to become well acquainted with these principles. If you do not, you prove yourselves unfaithful servants; and it is through ignorance in going contrary to the laws of nature that the world has been peopled with those who live a miserable existence and fill a premature grave.

Ignorance of Hereditary Influences.

Lay it up in your memories, that we give to our children their bad heads and bodies. The Bible says, speaking of the sins of the children, "And your sins will I visit upon your children, and your children's children unto the third and fourth generations;" and you may rely on it, this is the way the child receives the curse on his head and body.

It is high time that parents should recognize their obligations to understand these sources of hereditary influences better than they do; and mothers in particular - for if they properly understood them and were governed by their principles, which have for their distinct and only object the elevation of man towards perfection, they would do far more towards perfecting the human race and ridding the world of vice and immorality than all the benevolent and moral reform societies in existence.

A Lesson from the Animal Kingdom.

Take the admitted fact that the stronger and weaker faculties of the parents are transmitted to the child in similar proportions, and what an easy matter it would be for us to bear in mind those particular qualities which would be most desired in order to give balance when we select our partners for life. Either there are laws, and cause and effect in this matter, or there are not. It is a certainty - a matter which can be wholly understood and advantage taken of it - or it is mere chance.

If it can be shown to be capable of demonstration, and that fortune or chance does not direct it, every one must immediately admit the paramount value of these principles, and feel the necessity of acting in accordance with them.

If there be a law in these things then it is a fair inference that, in exact proportion as the parents are perfectly organized, physically and mentally, and in the full exercise of all the faculties of their mind and body, so will be their offspring; and that imperfection will be the result in precise proportion as the parents are imperfect, defective in proper exercise, or fail to comply with these rules which govern all organic matter.

The truth of the matter is, you might as well expect sixty or a hundredfold of wheat from off a barren, sterile, sandy soil, as to expect perfect children from imperfect parents.

Passions, desires, impulses and tendencies of mind, as well as special talents are given to the child by a special and particular exercise of these faculties in the parent. Both physical and mental qualities cease to grow or are not formed at all; and, in other cases, they are doubled in size and activity in consequence of the influence or impressions which circumstances have had upon the mind of the mother before the birth of the child.

Preface | Index
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