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She sprinkled bright water from the stream
The Sensitive Plant.
Queen, and handmaid lowly!
Though where she is beloved and loves,
What more changeful than the sea?
REVELATIONS OF TRUTH.
The allegory of Love: the doom of Progression.
So God created man in his own image : male and female created he them.
And they were both naked, the man and the woman; their minds void, their bodies defenceless : and their ignorance was not ashamed, knowing nó better existence.
Now the Serpent—which is Love-was, in its dissatisfaction with the mere physical enjoyment, more subtil than any animal passion : and he said unto the woman, Yea, hath Sloth-the evil spirit of content which opposeth the progressive Love-hath Sloth said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the Serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: the mere animal pleasures which are around us.
But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden—the fruit of the tree of knowledge, the desire of improvement which is in the midst of satiety-he hath said, Ye shall not eat, lest ye die.
For the slothful Spirit had threatened the woman with much evil consequence, dreading the temptation of Love.
Then Love, feeling the insufficiency of the Present, and daring all in the prophetic faith of its own omnipotence, said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.
And the woman, Love-persuaded, took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
And the eyes of them both were opened; and they knew that they were naked, bare and exposed to evil and defenceless : and they made unto themselves a protection from the more immediate dangers and inconveniences of their rude existence.
And they heard the voice of the Slothful Spirit walking in the garden, in the cool of the day: when the first exultation of their improved condition had passed its noon; when the shades of evil supervened; and they felt the chill of troublous thought, dreading further advance toward the knowledge of good and evil, yet unable to reassume the former content.
And the man and his wife hid themselves, fearing to return to the worship of Sloth, knowing the dangers that environed them: he said, I was afraid, because I was naked.
And he said the Slothful Spirit, still disputing against Love for the soul of man-Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
And the man reproached the woman for the trouble which the new knowledge occasioned.
And the woman said, Love beguiled me: therefore I did eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
And Sloth cursed Love, and said, I will put enmity between thee and the woman; and thus the seed of the woman hath continually bruised the humbled head of Love: yet ever and anon Love turneth upon the trampler; and in the end shall overcome.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
And unto the man he said, Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, cursed is the ground for thy sake; sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
And the foreboding of the Slothful hath been fulfilled : for the good of humanity can be attained only by great travail and enduring pain.
And woman, the better-loving, hath been rendered the slave of man; the sorrows of Love have been multiplied, as knowledge engendereth capacity,
whether of good or evil: in the sweat of his brow hath man eaten of the wisdom of experience.
And he hath been shut out from the Garden of Eden, the pure instincts of the early life.
BUT THE CURSE IS NOT ETERNAL; Sloth shall be conquered, and the indomitable and ever-working Love re-enter the garden of content : the Serpent-Saviour shall give unto mankind the fruit of the tree of knowledge and of the tree of life, and both shall be unmixed and perpetual good.
CHASTITY AND CELIBACY.
"Let the gall'd jade wince !"
CELIBACY—the mere abstinence from sexual intercourse-is not chastity. Chastity, purity, modesty—these have one meaning: but celibacy may be none of these. The father or the mother of a family may be as chaste as the most immaculate virgin; and, on the contrary, even an eunuch may be impure, immodest, unchaste. Čelibacy is a mortification of our natural propensities, destructive of health, and preventing the due growth and development of the best affections; it is unnatural, in most cases (wherever the unconnected desires companionship) immoral, and the cause of abundant physical and mental suffering. There is nothing unchaste, or immodest, in the natural desire which one organized being has of being united to another. On the contrary, it is the basis of the highest virtues and greatest happiness which can be built up by humanity. “To the pure all things are pure." This is chastity—to behold no evil in gratifying all our natural desires in the most perfect manner of which our natures are capable, without injury to others: not transgressing the bounds of temperance; nor violating the integrity of our individual nature. This is the duty of both man and woman. The majority of women will never be chaste till men also are chaste-till both sexes feel what chastity is, and dare to value it above reputation. The woman who dresses to attract the attention of men, is scarcely less immodest than the wanton who strips herself
, for the same purpose. The woman who marries without a decided preference, either through disgust at her situation or to obtain a home, is a prostitute, even though she may never have connection, or, even, desire of connection, with any but one man. The man who marries merely to secure the attentions of a trustworthy, servant, to command a certain station in society, or to gratify, a mere physical desire (supposing his nature to be of a superior character), is a prostitute, even though he may never have connection, or, even, desire of connection, with any but one
Men and women who are no more than the beasts, cannot be expected to act otherwise than as beasts—and they are, in so doing, justified to themselves. We cannot make a silk purse of a sow's ear. They who are at all superior to the beasts, are not justified in acting as beasts. Prostitution is sexual intercourse without such affection as the nature of the individual is capable of feeling and inspiring. Such an intercourse is still prostitution, however the law may license it. When, some little time back, the church publicly licensed the markets of prostitution, no one thought therefore of calling the prostitutes virtuous.
We need not define what Love is. The Spirit of God liveth in the hearts of the Loving; and the Unloving have no understanding wherewith to appreciate the Beautiful.
" The dunghill kind
Delights in filth and foul incontinence:
Spenser's Faery Queene.