MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HYGIENE, Be honest in trying to get just ideas of a true, healthful manhood and womanhood, and choose the simple truth, whether it is pleasant or not, for no one can stand long or safely upon any other basis.
Avoid as poison the vile books or pictures that give lying, degrading views of the most sacred things belonging to human life, and let alone the love-sick, sensational trash that floods the world.
It is no better to feed the mind upon such aliment, than to try to build up a strong, healthy body upon delicate poisonous confections because one happens to like them. Do not cherish in the most secret chamber of the heart any current of thought or de• sire. which God could not bless if lived out openly, for thoughts and desires are the acts of the soul, the real man. Every one khows how the most hallowed and honorable thoughts of genesic affection will send the nervous currents bounding and surging through the brain, and along the spine to the pelvic organs, till every throbbing artery in that locality is loaded with blood. The vile, salacious thought permitted has power to keep up constant nervous action of this kind, causing not only intense unrest of brain and spinal cord, but, through these, permanent cmiges.. tion and disease of the sexual organs, with the train of nervous diseases referred to, in the chapter upon the diseased conditions of this power. Such results from mental impressions show how directly the soul presides over the creative trust, and how important it is that mental and moral influences should be carefully guarded. The heart here must be kept " with all diligence," for " the issues of life " to indi viduals and nations depend upon it. As mental action can produce such changes in the circulation of the blood towards the procreative organs, so it has great power to reverse this movement, and send the currents of blood and nerve force back all over the body into their accustomed channels. The ability thus promptly and happily to redirect these forces lies much in the estimate in which this precious trust is held, and in the habitual soul-choices of the indi vidual to do what is right at whatever cost.
The mental and physical rationale of the manage ment of this power is simple. Regard with all honor the stirring forces, and ever think only with rever ence of their hallowed design, either in your own life or others. As you recognize a movement of them that would lead you to do wrong in act or thought, lift up your heart to the Divine Helper for aid to control them. With a quiet muscular self-directing movement, like that used in resisting urination and defecation, the nervous excitement can be stayed, and a reversed action will slowly take place, and with the restoration of equilibrium thus gained, the blood vessels will unload themselves without secretions or loss, and the reserved forces are ready for diversion into other avenues of usefulness. Active absorbing occupation, especially physical exercise in the open air, which induces deep and quiet respiration, greatly aids in this redirection of the strength.
Persons of strong sensual tendencies, inherited or resulting from disease, of full habit, or very excitable temperament, whose avocations tax the mind and nervous system, confining them almost wholly to a sedentary indoor life, are liable to much suffering from undue genesic excitability. With such the necessity of carefully regulated exercise and well chosen good habits is very great. The health lift is, for them, a valuable means of exercise, as it brings into use at the same moment almost the entire mus cular system, making some four hundred calls from the nerve centres, and the points of internal conges tion, towards the surface and extremities of the body, thus relieving the overfilled organs, and giving the quiet of balanced forces to the entire nervous system. For the benefit of those who have not the advantage of the " lift," and yet need its benefits, I will suggest a plan which can be followed anywhere with equally beneficial results, not omitting the important requi site of cool, fresh air, without which half its value will be lost.