Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

where Satan dwells, and is the parent of bloody crimes. Therefore the necessity and propriety of marriage as its remedy is apparent. It is apparent from the fact that the evils which it would counteract and suppress, are great and alarming. Licentiousness is the most dangerous and destructive vice incident to the human race. It not only makes the guilty idle, consumes their earnings, deranges their business, blasts their credit, loads them with debts, impoverishes their families, transforms them into paupers, mendicants, vagabonds, and thieves ; but it impairs their health, weakens their intellect, vitiates their moral feelings, destroys their self respect, and shortens their lives. Every person intimately acquainted with the administration of justice, and the lives of convicts, knows that most of the murders, manslaughters, riots, tumults, and breaches of the peace, besides a large proportion of other offences, for which criminals are convicted and punished, are occasioned by prostitution. Kindred vices are associated with it. It fills the jail with convicts, the hospital with patients, the mad-house with maniacs, and the city and country at large with wretches whose families, if they have any, are left to beg or starve, and their children are brought upin ignorance, idleness, vice and rags. Hence the frequent calls upon us for chari. table contributions, which would not be required if the source of these streams of wretchedness was dried up.

This desolating evil is seen, admitted, lamented, and suffered to exist, without applying the remedy—the purification of public sentiment and the honoring of the marriage institution. Its ravages are under out daily inspection. We cannot easily avoid seeing this moral pestilence, and if we do not exert our power to prevent it, we are accessory to its continuance, and, in the sight of God, responsible for it. The preventive measure is in our power. We can abstain from it ourselves, and endeavor, both by precept and by example, to discountenance it in others. And this is an effective mode in which to operate; for the supply of unfortunates being equal to the demand for them, it is evident that a diminution of the demand must diminish the supply in the same. proportion, and that when the demand shall cease the supply will cease. But, supposing that the demand for loose women shall never cease, a supposition utterly inadmissible, still much misery may be relieved, and more prevented, by means of a society combining, concentrating, and directing its influence against this single vice. The object to be accomplished is momentous, and the proposed measure offers a hopeful prospect of success.

No. 8.

LICENTIOUSNESS SHORTENS LIFE.

“I saw him enter in, and heard the door
Behind them shut; aud in the dark, still night,
When God's unsleeping eye alone can see,
He went to her adulterous bed. At morn
I looked, and saw him not among the youths.
I heard his father mourn, his mother weep,
For none returned that went with her."

POLLOCK In the fall of 1830, I saw a young man from New Jersey in a house of ill fame in New York, sitting at the side of a girl of the town. The lines of vice, in his liyid countenance, prompted this abrupt addressSir, unless you reform, your head, in less than three years, will be in the grave.

A gentleman from the neighborhood' in which he lived, told me that the young man died in about three months after I saw him, and that, a little prior to his death, his head presented a most disgusting assemblage of the effects of lewdness.

It is probable that the history of this youth is brief. It may be, that on coming to the city a few years before I saw him, he was met at the corner of the streets by a ruined woman, who accosted and conducted him to her abode; or that he accidentally entered it, on the supposition that it was only a tippling house ; or, that some of his more knowing acquaintances persuaded him to go there; or, that his carnal passions influenced him to seek for it; or, that a pander, the pimp and house dog of such an establishnient, met him at the vessel, at the market, or in the grog shop, and persuaded him to go and visit the gardens, the museums, and the theatres, and then to accompany a theatre girl to her lodgings, where he first learned to be a drunkard, a gambler, a bankrupt and a thief.

To the young men in the country I would say, remember the Jersey boy. Hundreds of country boys fall as he fell. Others are treading in his steps. Now though a parent's, sister's, wife's or child's eye may not see you strolling through the street, at the side of an infamous woman, led as an ox to the slaughter, or as a fool to the penitentiary; or trace your guilty steps through doors that are locked behind you, until you step into that chamber of crime, the eye of an offended God sees you, and traces your steps, and marks all your behaviour. The curse of the Lord is on you there. Beware. Disgrace neither yourselves, nor your families, nor your neighbors. When you are about entering on guilty, degrading courses of conduct, ask yourselves whether she has a father, a mother, a husband, a brother, or a child susceptible of feeling the reproach you are about to impose and to deepen on them. Make the case your own. Suppose her to be your sister, or daughter, receiving like treatment from a stranger. Moreover, before you sin, be certain that you have a constitution able to resist the shock of lewdness, and a soul capable of bearing the suffering debauchery brings on it.

Country parents, keep a vigilant eye on your sons. From the adjacent towns in this and the neighboring states, hundreds of men every night visit places like that in which I saw the Jersey boy. On Saturday afternoon, but more especially on Sabbath morning, multi

some one.

tudes of countrymen visit the city to see a friend. On Sabbath evening they usually return. While it in many cases is true that they come to see a friend, it at the same time is equally true that that plea is the cloak many put on to hide the visiting of another friend, of more than dubious character. They come in steamboats,in stages, and in other ways, from villages and less populous places, and spend the Sabbath in New York in riotous living. And if a person rebukes them in those houses, they immediately, in most cases, charge him with an attempt to unite church and state, to stop the Sunday mail, to infringe on their liberty, to promote priestcraft, and ten thousand other things, so current in the cant of infidel vituperation, as to be beneath a record. This fact, that countrymen visit these haunts of criminality, will explain the reason why so many persons return from the city without a dollar in their pocket. For in these places men often drink liquor that is poisoned by a drug; and then, being deranged for a time, they are robbed, and are then kicked into the street, under

the charge of having attempted to abuse or to slander

Sometimes happens that men fare worse. The fol. lowing is an instance taken from the New York Gazette, of Friday morning, October 21.

POLICE, Oct. 20.--A young man from the country was enticed into one of the notorious dens of iniquity, in the vicinity of the “Five Points,” yesterday. The landlord took his money, $300, for safe keeping, as he pretended. “He (the young man) was discovered by a friend, who endeavored to get him away, but was prevented by the keeper of the house, who put him in a back room and locked the door. The friend of the young man got alarmed at the situation the latter was in, and repaired to the police office and related all the circumstances to the police officers, who repaired to the place, and found the young man had lost all his money except about thirty dollars. The officers promptly took the keeper of the house into custody_also all his vagrant inmates. The keeper of the house was committed to answer the charge of keeping the house, at the next court of sessions, and the inmates were sent to the penitentiary as vagrants.”

Wherefore, let youth take a wise king's advice :-My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to mine understanding; that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. For the lips of a strange woman drop as a honey comb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. Hear me now there. fore, Oye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house ; lest thou give thine honor unto others, and thy years unto the cruel ; lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labors be in the house of a stranger; and thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and body are consumed, and say, how have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof, and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil, in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. Let them be only thine own, and not stran. gers with thee. Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind, and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger ? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

No. 9.

THE ORPHAN-THE NEWBURGH GIRL.

Sin is a disgrace to any people.

It is disgraceful to wink at sin, and to cover iniquity. E. H., an orphan female, aged nineteen years and eleven months, a few days since died in the alnshouse hospital, at Bellevue. She was born in Newburgh, in this state, and came to the city at the age of ten, when her father went to sea, and her mother opened a board. ing house in New York. In her fifteenth year she was humbled by a boarder, who left the house on the following day. Suffused with shame, and conscious of demerit, she listened to the voice of a procuress, and entered a house of ill repute. After the lapse of several months, she sought and obtained honest employment, as a domestic in a respectable family, where she resided for a long time. At length, being discovered and visited by some of her former associates, she feared detection, listened to the procuress again, and soon after found herself mingling with the dregs of prisons and hospitals. The curse of the Lord early arrested her immoral career. She became a nuisance in the very market of impurity, and was turned into the street by her procuress, who retained the wages of her crimes and sufferings. She found shelter in a dark filthy cellar, kept by a negro for the vilest purposes.

In this situation, destitute of the means of a support, the girl suffered for weeks, while her seducer could " smile, and smile, and be a villain still ;" and shrug his shoulders, and wink his eyes, and speak with his fingers, and devise mischief and sudden calamity for some other poor widow's child. And the procuress was engaged in her traffic, and had no time or inclination to aid her. She was hold. ing out her baits for some other ignorant girl. Christians avoided even the street where shs was, and many of them looked on the condition of these women as hopeless, and some even assented to the libertine's doctrine, that this class of suffering women was sary evil.” And where were the philanthropists? Where was there a Magdalen asylum ? There she lay in pain, and the municipal authorities had no knowledge of it. And who was to inform

[ocr errors]

a neces

[ocr errors]

them? The tenant of the apartment was afraid to do it ; for he kept a disorderly house, liable to indictment. The licentious seldom have sympathy enough for this class of women to be guilty of so much humanity. There, wasting by disease, without medical attention, in the month of October, 1830, in a tenebrious abode of Satan, the Newburgh orphan was discovered and sent to the Bellevue hospital. There she remained eight months, and was then received into the New York Magdalen asylum, an institution recently got up by a few benevolent persons. Her residence in the asylum was short. The funds of that charitable concern being the voluntary donations of but a few persons, and of course very limited, and her health requiring daily medical attention, she was returned to the hospital, and died there of a consumption induced by a profligate life, fulfilling that scripture, • The wicked shall not live out half their days.” Thus she fell in less than five years.

I shall never forget her appearance in that abode of wo where I first saw her. She lay on a pallet of straw, and was unable to turn. The paleness of her countenance was like that of a corpse. Her eyes were full, and of a deep blue ; her forehead was smooth, and rose high above her brows; her cheeks were fallen; her hair was a dark olive, her stature small, and her figure good. In her features there were remaining traces of intelligence and beauty. While standing at her bed side, and looking on her, a tear had impercepti. bly stolen down my cheek, and lighted on my sleeve, ere I was aware of it ; and, on reflection, I found that my mind had been musing thus :- What if this was my sister! Shall some base villain steal her affections, clothe her in disgrace, bury her in such a den as this, far from father, mother, brother and friend? Or shall some procuress lure her by such false, though specious baits, as caught this friendless, poor, diseased, starving, dying orphan? My reflection at this moment was interrupted by her piercing shriek, and deeper than usual writhings and languor of countenance. What is the matter with you, madam ? was the question I proposed to her.

- Oh," said the girl, “I was trying to turn, but I cannot. When I try to turn, pains like needles run through me.”

I visited her in the hospital, and presented to her a Testament, given to me for that purpose by the president of the Magdalen society. She often perused it with delight. In the asylum she spent the most of her time in reading the sacred scriptures, and other religious books. She indulged a hope in the mercy of God, and died, as those persons present in her last moments say, in the triumphs of faith. She is dead, and is receiving her reward—either a crown of life and glory in heaven, through a Redeemer's obedience and blood, or a just inheritance in torment, in hell, there awaiting the arrival of that portion of her paramors who shall die in their sins.

Should the eyes of a seducer light on this narrative, it may suggest to him the consequences of his criminal conduct. If he is a boarder, it may teach him to revere the virgin purity and domestic happiness of the family in which he resides.

Should the eye of a philanthropist, who loves to lessen human misery, peruse this story, the aggregate of pain, wretchedness and crime this solitary vice causes among hundreds of thousands on

« PoprzedniaDalej »