Encyclopedia of Health and Home
SACRED DUTY OF MOTHERHOODIt seems hardly conceivable that any wife could be willing to forego this divine joy of motherhood and this sacred duty of homebuilding, for the unnatural claims and doubtful pleasures of fashionable society; yet such wives we are assured there are, and not a few. In the larger towns and cities--the so-called centres of civilization--it is said that, with many society-ladies, motherhood is dreaded as a curse and prevented by crime. Undoubtedly, so far as they are concerned, the sin brings its own punishment, and the punishment is sufficiently severe. It makes no difference, that they are for the present unconscious and dreadless of the harvest of woe whose seeds their jeweled hands are sowing every day. It will come soon and fast enough. In broken health and blighted life--in loneliness and lovelessness--they will realize, at last, that they are reaping as thy have sown. But the crime against society--the sin against government and race--the infidelity to marriage vows and obligations--the putting out of the light of a home--the blighting of human possibilities of greatness and worth--the destruction of a factor in the purity of society and the strength of a state, what personal suffering of the wretched criminal can atone for this? During an eternity of misery--could she suffer it--this sin would grow blacker by all the smoke of her torment, and greater with every groan of her anguish. The sufferings of the sinner cannot undo the sin; albeit, it is ordained, by the organic law of our being, that the sinner shall suffer. We see, however, still more distinctly, by the lurid light of such a crime against nature and society, how essential is that second condition of home, which we have named as the relation of parents and children.
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