CERTAIN excesses, such as we have already alluded to, however base and

abominable in themselves and their effects, have nevertheless this to

their credit that, while violating the positive law of God, they

respect at least the fundamental laws of nature, according to which the

universe is constructed and ordered. To satisfy one's depraved

appetites along forbidden but natural lines, is certainly criminal; but

an unnatu
al and beastly instinct is sometimes not-satisfied with such

abuse and excess; the passion becomes so blinded as to ignore the

difference of sex, runs even lower, to the inferior order of brutes.

This is the very acme of ungodliness.

There are laws on the statute books against abominations of this sort;

and be it said to the shame of a Christian community, said laws find an

only too frequent application. Severe as are the penalties, they are

less an adequate punishment than a public expression of the common

horror inspired by the very mention of crimes they are destined to

chastise. To attain this depth of infamy is at one and the same time to

sin and to receive the penalty of sin. Here culminates repeated

violence to the moral law. When one is sated with ordinary lusts and is

bent on sweeping the whole gamut of mundane experiences and

excitations, that one invariably descends to the unnatural and

extraordinary, and lives a life of protest against nature.

St. Paul confirms this. According to him, God, in punishment for sin

delivers over people to shameful affections, to a reprobate sense; he

suffers them to be a hell unto themselves. And nature seldom fails to

avenge herself for the outrages suffered. She uses the flail of disease

and remorse, of misery and disgust, and she scourges the culprit to the

verge of the grave, often to the yawning pit of hell.

People shudder at the very thought of such unmentionable things: but

there are circles in society in which such sanctimonious shuddering is

a mighty thin veil of hypocrisy. Infinitely more common, and little, if

any, less unnatural and abominable are the crimes that are killing off

the old stock that once possessed the land and making the country

dependent for increase of population on the floods of immigration. The

old Puritan families are almost extinct; Boston is more Irish than

Dublin. The phenomenon is so striking here that it is called New

Englandism. Why are there so few large families outside the Irish and

Canadian elements? Why are there seen so few children in the

fashionable districts of our large cities? Why this blast of sterility

with which the land is cursed? Look behind the phenomenon, and you will

find the cause; and the finding will make you shudder. And if only

those shudder who are free from stain, the shuddering will be scarcely

audible. Onan and Malthus as household gods are worse than the gods of


Meanwhile, the unit deteriorates alongside the family, being given over

to a reprobate sense that is centered in self, that furnishes, against

all law, its own satisfactions, and reaps, in all justice, its

inevitable harvest of woe. To what extent this vice is common it would

serve no purpose to examine; students of criminology have more than

once made known their views on the matter. The character of its malice,

both moral and physical, needs no comment; nature is outraged. But it

has this among its several features; the thralldom to which it subjects

its victim has nothing outside itself to which it may be compared.

Man's self is his own greatest tyrant; there are no tortures so

exquisite as those we provide for ourselves. While therefore we reprove

the culprit, we commiserate with the unfortunate victim, and esteem

that there is none more worthy of sympathy, conditioned, of course, on

a state of mind and soul on his part that seeks relief and freedom;

otherwise, it were pity wasted.

We have done with this infernal category of sin and filth. Yet we would

remark right here that for the most part, as far as they are general

and common, these excesses are the result of one cause; and that cause

is everyday systematic Godlessness such as our public schools are

largely responsible for. This system is responsible for a want of vital

Christianity, of a lack of faith and religion that penetrates the human

fibre and makes God and morality a factor in every deed. Deprived of

this, youth has nothing to fall back on when the hour of temptation

comes; and when he falls, nothing to keep him from the bottom of the


It is impossible to put this argument in detail before the Christian

and Catholic parent. If the parent docs not see it, it is because that

parent is deficient in the most essential quality of a parent. Nothing

but the atmosphere of a religious school can save our youth from being

victims of that maelstrom of impurity that sweeps the land. And that

alone, with the rigid principles of morality there inculcated, can save

the parents of to-morrow from the blight and curse of New Englandism.