With God's wondrous gift of immortality, he has endowed us with the power of bestowing it upon others, thus entrusting his children with his own highest work. Man, in his dual form of organiza tion, is fully competent to meet this trust well, when parents, having fairly balanced organizations, give the very best of their united and preserved powers to their children. When the sacred trust is thus honestly held, the parental office, even in the hum blest home, may be a source of joy and gratitude to the givers, and recipients, of the gift of life, but such results cannot come from reckless parentage. With in the bounds of a Christian marriage alone has the Creator given permission for any exercise whatever of the genesic power, but even here there may be great disloyalty to the parental office. There is no time in any human life when any power or feeling can have blind, unlimited sway. Yet this grave error regarding license in marriage has left its bane everywhere. You blame the most menial ser vant in your employ if his or her trivial task be not well performed. Your physician, lawyer, and State representative are held responsible to do their work well for you. Does God do wrong when he holds his children accountable for the best fulfilment of the highest duties he has given them to do? None will dispute the truth that any act or habit, from the earliest childhood to mature age, which prevents the purest fatherhood or motherhood, should be carefully guarded against as a sin toward God and humanity. When we remember how little the passions, especi ally this one, have been under the domain of spirit ual power, it would seem as if Satan had ever stood at life's threshold, and parents were, in selfish or thoughtless ignorance, his willing ministers, to taint or blot every immortal life at its beginning. I assert but the truth when I say that each child in every home should be given as good an organization as the most vigorous one in that family; for any blight or defect in any one of them, if from birth, is one which you cannot remove, though you labor for years and shed tears of blood.
I have been struck with the frequency with which wives, coining to consult me about doubtful symp toms, reply to my inquiries, " If pregnancy exists, it was entirely accidental." I never hear the expres sion without a sense of real pain, as if a great wrong had been done to one who was helpless and innocent.
The " accident " may, as I have often known it to do, bear with it the worst conditions of inheritance the parents could give. Is the fraud less real or culpable because accidental, when humane, intelligent fore thought and self-sacrifice might have made the unfor tunate hap a chosen blessing to parents and child? If every act of parentage or marriage union were one of full consecration to God, and the overshadowing power of his spirit sought as its director, its mould ing and renewing influence would be seen in the hearts and lives of both parents and children. Surely the Divine Spirit should preside over this sacred inner temple of humanity, if its guidance is needed anywhere, and we know that it is the only safe lead ing all the way through life.
The earnest prayer that the sacramental obliga tions of marriage be fulfilled in such a way that God's highest blessing may rest upon it should be in every parent's heart. Civil law recognizes with severe penalties the act of one whose violence or carelessness maims the child, and God's law in nature is as just and sure in its penalty against the parents' act of selfish disregard of its weal from its earliest moment of being.
Husband, wife, father, mother ! I know of no lan guage strong enough to urge my just and rational plea for those who cannot plead for themselves. IT IS AS YOU VALUE ALL DIVINE AND HUMAN OBLI GATION, THAT YOU SHOULD GIVE TO YOUR CHILDREN THE BEST OF YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL LIFE, NO MATTER AT WHAT SACRIFICE OR SEEMING DISADVANTAGE. A wide range of choice lies before you. You can bestow the best of your life upon your children, or you can give the worst. Which will you choose? The power of choice is the key of destiny everywhere. Let us be careful how we unlock doors of misery and anguish under the subtle impulse or habit of perverted creative power.
There is not a good given us which, if abused, will not bring evil. Indeed all sin is the perversion of good.
Every power of mind and every bodily capability has its range of healthful activity, which is glad, free, and all-sufficient to minister to man's happiness and well-being; but, the boundary of right use over stepped, suffering surely follows, both for ourselves and others.