This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
Would these instructions have been given with this solemnity and with this care were they of small moment? We cannot for an instant entertain the idea. Can we suppose that their intention was merely sanitary in character, that they had no reference to the moral relations of the individual ? Such a view were inconsistent with the known objects of revelation. Finally, if instruction on these relations was deemed so important in the infancy of the world, long before civilization with its new crimes and its new vices had multiplied temptations and penalties, can it be possible that they are now no longer needed ? Or if needed, that it is no longer right to give them.
If, as we believe, there is a profound moral significance in these apparently hygienic admonitions, has that significance departed from them now ?
The answer to this question is too palpably given by the enormous amount of vice and misery which results from sexual vice in this day and generation, for there to be any need of a reply from us. A keen student of human nature has bitterly said: "When modesty departs from the heart she takes up her residence in the lips;" and we fear that the prudishness which would leave unsaid the warnings to youth and men concerning the dangers to which their sex exposes them is, in reality, far more to be suspected than the candor which sounds aloud those warnings, even at the risk of shocking some sensitive minds.
We know from multitudinous examples that there is no one vicious tendency which more surely saps the strength of the state, destroys the happiness of the domestic circle, contaminates social life, and leads the individual to destructive habits, than that which regards the sexual relations. Where the mothers are virtuous, the sires will be brave, and the sons will be dutiful, Where libertinism is winked at, where Boiled reputations are excused, where statutes protect traffic in human sin, we may surely look for lack of courage, lack of patriotism, lack of prosperity; and though such a plague 6pot may appear fair and flourishing enough for a time, sooner or later a swift destruction will overcome it. And even since the time at which we penned the line where we characterized a certain city as the " lupanar of Europe," the curse has gone forth upon that city, and she is now in blood and ashes doing penance for her sins.