THE malice of lust consists in the abuse of a natural, a quasi-divine

faculty, which is prostituted to ignoble purposes foreign to the ends

by the Creator established. The lines along which this faculty may be

legitimately exercised, are laid down by natural and divine laws,

destined to preserve God's rights, to maintain order in society and to

protect man against himself. The laws result in the foundation of a

alled matrimony, within which the exercise of this human

prerogative, delegated to man by the Creator, receives the sanction of

divine authority, and becomes invested with a sacred character, as

sacred as its abuse is abominable and odious.

To disregard and ignore this condition of things and to seek

satisfaction for one's passions outside the domain of lawful wedlock,

is to revolt against this order of creative wisdom and to violate the

letter of the law. But the intrinsic malice of the evil appears in the

nature of this violation. This abuse touches life; not life in its

being, but in its source, in the principle that makes all vitality

possible, which is still more serious. Immorality is therefore a moral

poisoning of the wells of life. It profanes and desecrates a faculty

and prerogative so sacred that it is likened to the almighty power of

the Creator.

A manifold malice may attach to a single act in violation of the law of

moral purity. The burden of a vow in either party incurring guilt,

whether that vow be matrimonial or religious, is a circumstance that

adds injustice or sacrilege to the crime, according to the nature of

that vow; and the double guilt is on both parties. If the vow exists in

one and the other delinquent, then the offense is still further

multiplied and the guilt aggravated. Blood-relationship adds a specific

malice of its own, slight or grievous according to the intimacy of said

relationship. Fornication, adultery, sacrilege and incest--these, to

give to things their proper names, are terms that specify various

degrees of malice and guilt in this matter; and although they do not

sound well or look well in print, they have a meaning which sensible

folks should not ignore.

A lapse from virtue is bad; the habit or vice, voluntarily entertained,

is infinitely worse. If the one argues weakness, even culpable, the

other betrays a studied contempt for God and the law, an utter

perversion of the moral sense that does not even esteem virtue in

itself; an appalling thralldom of the spirit to the flesh, an appetite

that is all ungodly, a gluttony that is bestial. Very often it supposes

a victim held fast in the clutches of unfeeling hoggishness, fascinated

or subjugated, made to serve, while serviceable; and then cast off

without a shred of respectability for another. It is an ordinary

occurrence for one of these victims to swallow a deadly potion on being

shown her folly and left to its consequences; and the human ogre rides

triumphantly home in his red automobile.

But the positions may be reversed; the victim may play the role of

seductress, and displaying charms that excite the passions, ensnare the

youth whose feet are not guided by the lamp of experience, wisdom and

religion. This is the human spider, soulless and shameless, using

splendid gifts of God to form a web with which to inveigle and entrap a

too willing prey. And the dead flies, who will count them!

The climax of infamy is reached when this sort of a thing is made, not

a pastime, but a business, when virtue is put on the market with its

fixed value attached and bartered for a price. There is no outrage on

human feeling greater than this. We are all born of woman; and the

sight of womanhood thus degraded and profaned would give us more of a

shock if it were less common. The curse of God is on such wretches as

ply this unnatural trade and live by infamy; not only on them, but on

those also who make such traffic possible and lucrative. Considering

all things, more guilty the latter than the former, perhaps. Active

co-operation in evil makes one a joint partner in guilt; to encourage

infamy is not only to sin, but also to share all the odium thereof;

while he who contributes to the perpetuation of an iniquity of this

nature is, in a sense, worse than the unfortunates themselves.

The civil law which seeks to eliminate the social evil of prostitution

by enactment and process, gives rise, by enactment and process, to

another evil almost as widespread. Divorce is a creature of the law,

and divorce opens the door to concubinage, legalized if you will, but

concubinage just the same. The marriage tie is intact after as well as

before the decree of divorce; no human power can break that bond. The

permission therefore to re-marry is permission to live in adultery, and

that permission is, of its very nature, null and void. They who avail

themselves of such a permission and live in sin, may count on the

protection of the law, but the law will not protect them against the

wrath of the Almighty who condemns their immoral living.