HEALTHFUL MATURER MANHOOD.
With the growing strength of maturer life, its ob ligations and privileges are more earnestly felt, the currents of thought and feeling deepen and widen, the most honorable purposes and purest affections are quickened by the intelligent recognition of a conscious virility.
In persons of the fullest vigor and strongest pro creative power, if it has been quietly controlled and never awakened by any voluntary perverted action, it is fully under the dominion of the conscience and will, and under trying and painful temptations is tractable.
Like the temper and will, it may be forceful to its largest extent, compassing the entire threefold being; but if the soul has been, and is, kept with all diligence, leaning upon the help so surely promised, the passion yields to the right, and, thus guided, will never usurp the place of a furious despot over the heart and life. Under circumstances calling out the affections where there is no return, or where an un certain, deferred, or crushed hope tries every manly susceptibility, he may have to fight, seeking Divine aid, as one who wars for life and freedom, but each victory brings exaltation of inherent manhood. In subtle and fascinating, or the more gross and low temptations—and every man must meet them —the more healthful the soul-life and its chosen principles of action have been hitherto, the more prompt will be, the recoil and triumph over the seductive illusion. There should be no sickness of soul or body from the possession of, or testing by temptation of this ripen ing power. On the contrary, there is better prepara tion for the most perfect fulfilment of the varied duties and obligation of a true Christian marriage.
If there is love and reciprocated affection (unless there is some unusual defect in organization) there appears a stronger interest in and love for children; a kindlier, more generous feeling toward the whole human family.
In the true man, the conviction that he can under take almost any hardship and endure great self-de nial for the one he loves and her children, is sincere and strong, and will be carried out in life to the full measure of his personal integrity of character.
No effort seems too great to secure and retain the love and possession of the one beloved. No loss or disappointment seems equal to its relinquishment. The highest mark of appreciation a man can bestow upon the woman he loves is to ask her to become his life's complement, — that finishing of his dual exist ence which alone elevates him to the possibility of fulfilling manhood's trusts.
It is the just estimate of his wife, children, and home, that is the source of his most rational satisfac tion, and stirs most deeply his profoundest convic tions and determination to labor, suffer, or fight for their protection. Much has been lightly said and written of the glamor with which this love lures to marriage, but if men and women were true to each other, and tried faithfully to fulfil the obligations of marriage, their homes would be far happier, and they would find that youth's brightest anticipations were more than realized.