MENTAL MANIFESTATIONS OF DISEASE.
As mental perversions take precedence of all other sources of the ills we seek to remedy, we should con sider them first. In all cases curative measures should begin with the sources of disease, not with remote symptoms. The control of thought and its results in determining destiny is justly measured in the curse God gave his own people, " Hear, 0 earth; behold I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.'' Our Saviour teaches the formative agency of thought in shaping character, and the great results of life, in the following earnest words, which will stand true as long as man exists (Mark vii. 21) : " For from within out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, mur ders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasci viousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; all these evil things come from within and defile the man." (Matt. xv. 19) : " For out of the heart pro ceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are the things which defile the man." In the earlier ages, the world's wisest teachers recognized the power of thought in determining man's destiny. (Isaiah lv. 7): " Let the wicked for sake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord; and he will have mercy upon him and to our God, for he will abun dantly pardon." (Isaiah lxv. 2): "I have spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts." (Prov. xxiii): "For as he thinketh in his heart so is he." The sickly thought, in boys or girls, may manifest itself at an early age, and the danger is equally serious to either; the extent of the mischief and its rapidity of inoculation being gauged by the intensity and excitability of the child's nervous organization. There is certainly no train of thought which so easily rouses brain and spine to an insane activity as this one, and the earlier it is awakened the more fixed its abnormal consequences if left unchecked. Notwith standing the powerful determining influences of heredity, if there is a fair measure of moral and physical constitutional strength, the thoughts awak ened and cherished in the child's mind will have more to do than we can estimate in overcoming the native bias, or greatly retarding its development.
Vicious teaching, awaking at an early age aphro disiac sensations and the thought that this irritation does no harm, is usually the initial lesson in self degradation.
When children show leering, prurient curiosity, and evince a desire to touch themselves, or other children, or adults, in an improper way, it is not acci dental, but there are diseased thoughts at work which will bring their natural physical consequences, con gestion of the sexual organs, and the hastening of puberty.
L? my professional experience, I have known not a few instances of purely mental self-abuse, causing in lads the loss of spermatic fluid, and in girls pro fuse leucorrhcea, when no mechanical irritation of the sexual organs had occurred. Of course, the brain ac tivity originated the excessive action of the organs and their redundant secretions, and cure of such diseased activity can never be secured till the mind and brain are healthful.
Parents have many times asked me, in all serious ness, " What is the meaning of masturbation or self pollution?" It is any mental or mechanical action which produces voluntarily the genetic thrill and its accompanying secretions, and consequent movements in the brain and spinal cord.
Many say : " I cannot see how so slight a cause can produce so much harm." The reason is this : the procreative organs are so arranged in both sexes, that through the medium of the sympathetic division of the nervous system, the brain and spinal cord—in fact every element of the soul and body — are in direct communication with them. With mental or physical excitation, there is great exaltation of the action in the brain and spinal cord, with congestion of the procreative as well as the nervous centres. Next follows the movement downWard, to the pelvis, of all the creative forces; and the vital energy, which is the source and sus tainer of all human activities, is given off and lost.