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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Boy in the Sun

Attic Treasures Dept.: Can't sleep. Figured I'd indulge in a favorite relaxation exercise. Crept up into the attic to escape possible scrutiny. And found a little booklet wedged in the lathe. Did some poor child in this old house of mine suffer a forced reading of W. E. Geil's blistering screed? Have my own sinful habits caught up with me? I warn you: what follows is very long, and it's puffed up with 1894-vintage passion. And it's (scarily) for real. At least as far as W. E. Geil is concerned.


Copyrighted 1894, by W. E. Geil

A Private Talk to Boys

With hints to parents, teachers, and all
persons having to do with the boys
and young men in America.


“Warn them, that they trespass not.”

Price, 5 cents. Six copies for 25 cents.



This is for the B. P. & T.

B stands for Boys – busy boys, bee-like boys.

P stands for Parents, preventative and purpose.

T stands for Teachers, tasks and triumphs.

“Teeth pulled while you wait” is on a dentist’s sign in Scotland. Boys sometimes think it nearly as unpleasant a thing to read a book as to have teeth pulled. I’ve tried to make this little book as enjoyable as a custard pie to a hungry boy.

As I send this message of warning out into the world, I am convinced, yes deeply impressed, with its importance. “A thousand years scarce serve to form a State; an hour may lay it in the dust.” ’Tis true of other things too. Many years to bring the boy where he is entering manhood, how short a time to wreck and ruin him!

Save the boys! Help save the boys! To save the men, save the boys! If this startling message does you any good, write and tell me. If I can help you to lead a pure, true, Christian life, I want to do it. Most sincerely,

William E. Geil
Doylestown, Pa, August, 1894.


Jump in Head-Foremost.

That is the way to do when you go swimming, and is about the best way to do most things. Be sure there are no rocks for your head to meet, then PLUNGE! Throw your whole being into whatever you go at. If it is right to do a thing at all, it is wrong not to do it right. Never mind apologies or excuses. It is the same with delivering an address to boys. “Get out of the way, what are you good for, anyhow,” said

silver-headed cane, silk hat and bad manners, as he rather rudely pushed a small boy aside and hurried along the boulevard. The little ragged street urchin shouted after him: “Sir, they make men out of such fellows as I am.” Ah! that is very true. If there are any men in the future, they will have been made out of boys, for there is no other way to get men that I know of. A prominent gentleman once said, “A man is only a boy grown up.” Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! But a great many boys will never grow up unless they are careful what they do. “Why, of course not,” you say, “for many will die while they are boys.” A large number will. However, I do not mean them. The boys I am thinking about will live long enough to be men, but they will not grow up into men. One day as I was walking in the country I came to a little twig which was


While looking at it I reached into my pocket and got out my penknife, and opening the big blade, I leaned over and cut the stalk so that when the sap, which ought to have gone up and given life and strength to the twig to enable it to grow into a strong tree, came up to the cut it did not go any farther in the tree but ran out and down the bark on to the ground. You can easily guess the result. The little shoot finally withered and died. Read each word carefully. And thus you, who ought to grow up into grand, strong men, never will if you do that to yourself which will take the life-giving, and strength-giving, and growth-giving substance out of your body.

The United States never seemed so large to me as when, beyond the ship-studded ocean, I stood on the English coast and thought of the home-country of Washington, Morse and Longfellow. My native land, when viewed from a foreign shore, appeared to me vastly more extensive than I had ever dreamed it to be. And there came to my mind the conclusion that there are more opportunities for advancement in the Nation of the Stars and Stripes than under any other flag. Here the poor may become rich, the ignorant well-educated, the humble, honest, toiling young man may by and by rest himself in the Presidential seat and dwell in the most renowned mansion on the hemisphere—the White House.

Did you ever thank God, young man, that your lot is cast in this great Republic, where every chance is offered you to excel. THOSE WHO FAIL HAVE USUALLY NONE TO BLAME EXCEPT THEMSELVES! It is passing strange, indeed, that many do make failures of their lives, even where it is so easy to succeed. Do you desire to make money? Some hints will follow. Do you wish to be a great physician? If you read right on there will be a secret told. Would you like to be prominent in the State? There is


that will put you on the right track. It is a pleasure for one to be first in his class. Would it please you to be the best ball player at school or university, and make the most home runs, pitch the greatest variety of curves? I doubt not but that you would like to have the highest medal for the highest vaulting, or the fastest running, or putting the shot the farthest. ‘Tis some considerable pleasure to come out ahead of all competitors. You ought to take the prize for debating, for declamation, for history, for composition, mathematics and grammar. SAY! Do you really want to be somebody and stand firmly on both feet, and look people straight in the eyes, and do what will make father and mother happy and benefit your fellows, and last and most important please the Lord Jesus Christ? In short do you want to be a success—out and out a success?

Now I am going to tell you about a boy who had good bringing up, and who lived at home in a beautiful house. He had first rate clothes to wear. He did not want for books, and when coasting time came his was as good a sled as went down the icy hill; or if skating was the go the skates he wore were of the most improved pattern. He had everything to make him happy. He used to like to play pretty well, but then he got his lessons, so he stood at the head of his class. He did not have much trouble to commit to memory, and although he would rather go fishing than study history, and would prefer


to an algebra lesson, yet he did not want to be an ignorant fellow when he became a man. He worked and played (and the work and play ought to go together), and he did well. He, however, did not obey one request of his mother, for he used to go with a bad boy with whom his mother did not wish him to have any thing to do. Very soon after he began to go with this boy he began to complain that he felt very tired, and a black ring round under his eyes could often be seen. He was often ugly, peevish and unkind and did not always tell the truth as he formerly did. From then on he could not get his lessons and soon went down to the middle of his class, often had the headache and wanted to stay away from school, and did not like to play so much any more. Often he did not eat heartily, as he used to, and found fault with the cooking and seemed to think his mother had forgotten how to make things good. So it went with him till he finally left school and tried business, but he failed. I cannot tell you all about him. He is only one of many I might tell you about.

“Where is he now?” Yes, I knew you would ask that question. I will tell you in a minute. He had all the opportunities for success and was on the road leading to prominence and most excellent and final success. Now I must tell you a very sad story about him. He is in an insane asylum.


He often holds his hands up high and stares with his wild eyes, which flash with madness from out their dark, sunken sockets. His face is very thin and pale, his hair uncombed, his garments torn. He often says bad words—words he never spoke when in his right mind, but words he often thought. Now, when he does not know what he is saying, he repeats over and over again the bad things he used to think about. Oh, it is an awful sight to stand in the hallway and look at him there behind the strong, grated door. His mother could not endure it, her hair turned white sooner than it ought, and they have laid her away in the church yard yonder in the beautiful valley where the buttercups grow on her lonely grave. His father cannot long endure the strain. That boy has killed his mother and ruined his father and lost his own reason—he who might have been a great man. I will now tell you why this all came upon him. He became guilty of self-abuse or as sometimes called self-pollution. The more he did the horrid act, the more the awful habit grew upon him. Thus he continued to sin against God and himself. The result is, he is a maniac behind the black, iron-barred door of the lunatic’s house. But for this sin he might have graduated from college with honors, or have been a most successful business man, or a physician. He might have been a blessing to his dear mother and father and done much good, besides enjoying himself. It cost him all this and his mind too just for a few moments of low gratification, through self-abuse. He paid very dearly indeed for his sinning, and so will you, if you do the things he did. “A tree will wither long before it falls,” and so one may commit self-abuse and live. No, not really live, but exist, like the withered tree. But such is surely not to be desired.

This summer I crossed the Atlantic in the beautiful, fast-moving vessel “Paris.” She is a noble craft.


There were hundreds of persons on board, and they enjoyed the voyage on the great, steady steamer, except when the sea was pretty rough and they got sea-sick. Then they might have made the same remark that the Rev. Dr. Cuyler made on a former occasion of much the same sort, “If I did not know this ship to be addicted to water I’d think she had been taking something stronger.” Many felt very ill when the giant thing, shaken by the warlike waves, rolled like an intoxicated person. It required hundreds of tons of coal, and scores of men were kept sweating day and night shoveling coal into the furnaces. That coal gave the power that sent the gallant ship ‘gainst wind and tide so swiftly over the sea. Suppose the men had thrown the coal into the ocean instead of into the furnaces. The vessel would have stopped and might have been lost in the storm.

There is in each of you a power-producing, a vital fluid which, if you commit sin and cast it out of your system, you will lose what power you yet have and will not be able to do much, and your whole body will feel the loss of it.

You cannot any more expect to succeed when casting out of your body that subtle substance which nature intended should strengthen every part of you, than that the great steamboat should go across the wide Atlantic, if the fuel be hurled into the deep.

The sin of self-abuse is usually committed in private or with one or two bad companions. Don’t have anything to do with such boys. Nothing at all. As a rule a boy’s conscience condemns him, for he is careful to go where no one sees him, and he thinks that he can commit this secret sin and that nobody will know it. But he is mistaken, many will know it very soon. I heard of a man once who had some


but he could not find out how or by whom it was done for the door was always locked and nothing disturbed only some things were stolen. So the storekeeper the next night put the shutters in the doors and drew down the shades and turned the lights very low and locked all the doors. Then he opened a flour bag and sprinkled the white flour on the floor and put out the last light, dropped some flour near the door and carefully sprung the lock and went home. That night the robber came and looked cautiously round to see that no one was watching, then he stepped into the shadow of the doorway, took a key from his pocket, which he had made to fit the lock and went in. He did not light a lamp or candle for he knew well where the things were. So he put in a sack what he wanted and went out the back door which had a spring lock on it and climbed over a couple of fences to his own house. When the merchant came next day he saw the man’s footprints in the flour and tracked him home and had him arrested. That burglar thought that he had left no track, but he had, and so, my dear young friend, you just as surely when you commit this horrid secret sin leave very distinct marks of your evil doings upon yourself which many can readily trace.

I once slept at the house of a friend in New Jersey. Had a good bed and a very refreshing sleep. When I awoke the sun was shining into my room and


was a motto on the wall right in front of me. It was this: “Thou God, seest me.” It was there all night. God sees you. Each evil thought and deed is a dark footprint on the whiteness of your character which God does readily detect and the recording angel writes it down opposite your name on the book of records in Heaven.

So remember that God sees and knows all, and the Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out,” and “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” Eccl. 12:14. There are also many people who will know of the secret sin about which I speak. The doctor will know it at once. Your father and mother will know it and many persons on the street will be able to tell what you have been doing. Pray the prayer that David did, “Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

Then recollect that you cannot be a success and commit this awful, hideous sin of self-abuse. Why do it? It does you no good nor anyone else. It makes life miserable, you will not enjoy yourself any more, you will not like other folks and you will be disgusted with your own self.

One time I received a letter from a young man and he told me he had been sinning in this awful manner, and oh, the suffering he said he had to endure. He asked me to help him and I told him to try and persuade men to serve Christ. To do what the Lord Jesus Christ wants us to do; it will make us more like Him. To do nothing for the Saviour is to commit sin and when we continue to commit a single sin and know all the while that it is a sin, we are putting ourselves in the way to do many more wrong things.

Someone has said “that when a man is by himself he is in about as bad company as he can possibly be in.” Whether that be true or not depends upon the man, but I do know that when we are not doing anything and have not our minds fully employed thinking about something good, at once an evil thought will suggest itself. You, of course, know that


till the mind says so. I cannot write these words with my hand until my mind has thought them out and ordered my fingers to take hold of the pen and dip it into the uncorked bottle and then run it along the lines on the paper and so my hand does only what my mind says. So your hand will not do anything wrong unless there be bad thoughts passing through your mind up there in your head. The way not to do bad things is not to think bad thoughts. Therefore a boy is always bad inside before he is bad outside.

A man many years ago said to another man, “you


and he told him how long each piece was to be; one piece was to be much longer than the other, while he himself went and got a large hammer and eight large nails or spikes. Then they used three of the nails to fasten the timber together, and after compelling some one else to carry it up a little hill the men took it. The shorter piece was nailed directly across the longer and nearer one end of the long piece than the other, and so formed a cross. There were three deep holes found on the top of the hill, but they put one end of the long piece right near the middle hole and the other ends had stones put under them. Then the men took a man and had Him lie down on this wooden cross of rough timbers, with his arms stretched out along the shorter piece. Then a soldier placed one of his hands flat on the back and putting the sharp end of the cold iron spike down against the skin of the palm of the hand, lifted his hammer high in air and taking steady aim brought it down with a heavy blow on the head of the nail and so drove it crushing through the hand and into the wood. They did the same with the other hand, and then bending the knees so as to bring the sole of the feet flat on the timber, a nail was driven through each foot into the beam. This was causing the sufferer awful agony and pain, but He said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” and so our blessed Lord Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross, with the thorn crown still piercing his brow, and from each thorn point came drops of blood that ran down that kingly forehead till it reached the eyebrows and there clotted and dried leaving red streaks. Thus my Saviour and yours, if you will believe on Him, shed His precious blood for you and me.


thought of it before he got them. Then he lifted the hammer ready to bring it down upon the upright piece of metal as it stood on the palm of our Saviour’s hand. He thought about it ere he did it and so the men crucified the Son of Man in their minds before they did it with their hands, and if they had never thought to do it they never would have done it.

“Jesus knew their thoughts,” and He knows our thoughts, and if we would keep from doing evil we must never think anything but what is good. “For as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” “Keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” Well, but Mr. Geil, sometimes a bad thought comes into my mind without any effort of my own. Get rid of it at once! As Luther used to say, “although I cannot prevent a bird from flying over my head yet I can stop it from making a nest in my hair,” and so although a bad thought may come yet you must not allow it to remain a moment.
“What exile from himself can flee?
To zones though more and more remote,
Still, still pursues, where’er I be,
The blight of life—the demon thought.”
This does not mean good thoughts and thoughts of good deeds done. I’m going to tell you how to get rid of bad thoughts and that is by at once thinking about something good and the good one will put the bad one out. I well remember when a boy I was


One day I was in the parlor looking over the music and getting ready to practice. It was summer time and a window was open. By and by in walked a cat. I like cats, but not in the parlor, so I took up my cornet and gave a loud sharp blast. Well, in shorter time than I can tell it that cat turned around and ran and jumped out of that window at a wonderful rate of speed. The cat ran as if something terrible was after it.

You see I put the sound in the room and the sound put the cat out. You may not be able to always stop thoughts coming into your mind which you do not want there, but you must put some good thoughts in at once and they will drive bad ones out and that right speedily. Now I am quite certain that you agree with me in this, that the best way and the only way to accomplish good deeds is to have our minds and hearts filled with the very best kind of thoughts and resolutions.

Boys, there are


Adam and Eve could not afford to know how the apple tasted. They paid dear for that apple. You and I cannot afford to disobey God. It won’t pay. It is said of a certain German poet that when asked why he did so many bad things replied he wanted to know how they felt by personal experience that he might describe them in his writings. So one time he wanted to tell how a man felt who hung himself. So he took a rope and put it around his neck under his chin and fastened it to a beam above and tried hanging. Well, the result was that something happened that he did not expect and if help had not arrived he would have hung there and died. So his foolishness nearly cost him his life.

Boys remember you cannot afford to know how it feels to take a dose of Paris Green, for it will kill you. You cannot afford to know how it feels to get drunk. You cannot afford to know by experience the result of committing any sin. No! No! “The wages of sin is death.” Many boys let their curiosity, their desire to know, lead them into doing bad things. Well, God has given us this desire to know that we may learn what is right to find out and so become greater and grander men and to do more for Him. You cannot afford to know how it feels to commit the sin of self-abuse. You will pay for the knowledge with loss of happiness here, and it may be beyond the grave too.


Let us learn to beware of those things which others having tried have proved injurious to them. Let us learn by the mistakes and misdeeds of others not to make the same mistakes ourselves.

Some men agreed to kill the king, but how was it to be done. They finally said among themselves, “we will put poison in the cup the next time he calls for drink.” Well, it was not long till the king called for his cup-bearer, and said to him as he was bowing low at the foot of the throne chair, on which the king was seated: “I’m very thirsty, bring me something to drink.” The cup-bearer bowed again to the king and then went out backwards, for no one dare turn their back to the king. Soon he returned with a golden cup, beautifully chased and set with precious stones, he knelt at the monarch’s feet and offered him the gem-decked bowl, but says the ruler, “you drink half of it yourself.” So the man did not dare to hesitate and soon fell dead. So the king’s life was saved. He saw the effect of the poisoned drink on his servant and of course would not drink any of it himself. So when we know what is the result upon others who commit self-abuse, we surely will not be foolish enough to do it ourselves and reap the same consequences of weak bodies, weak morals, weak minds and even insanity. Surely we will beware.

In the St. Louis Times a writer tells about one of the public schools there where many children who came from a distance


and thus save a long walk home to dinner. They generally ate it together and had a merry time. Among those who stopped one of the teachers noticed a little girl who looked wistfully at her playmates as they were eating the noon meal. But one day the girl brought her bundle also, wrapped in paper. At noon she did not go with the others, but remained at the desk, as if preferring to eat alone. The teacher thinking her unsocial, advised her to go to the lunch room with her playmates, and walked toward the desk to take the bundle. But the little girl, bursting into tears, said: “Don’t touch it; and oh, teacher, don’t tell, please. It’s only blocks !” The poor girl had no dinner to bring, but she wished to keep up appearances, so as not to seem unlike her schoolmates, and she was one of the best scholars in school. This is a very touching little story, but let me suggest to you that a very great many young people commit sins and acquire bad habits simply because they do not like to be different from some others. It is imitation that has led many a boy to a drunkard’s grave. Imitation has led many a boy to smoke and chew tobacco. Imitation has led many a boy to commit the horrid sin of self-abuse. Don’t imitate the bad things men do and say. Don’t imitate bad boys.

If you are poor don’t be ashamed of it, and don’t try to wear as good clothes as rich folks do. It is no sin to be poor; only work hard that you may not always be so. Many of earth’s greatest men were poor when boys, and then they did not try to have all the things rich men had, or they never would have gotten rich themselves.

Carlyle says that “genius is the ability to care for little things.” If you stand a long way off and look at a ladder leaning up against something, the ladder will appear to have no rounds, and if you see a man at the top it will seem as though he got up thereby making one big jump; but if you come closer you will see the rounds of the ladder, and if you ask the man how he got up there he will tell you he stepped from one round to the other and so ascended. The men who have succeeded have been men who have been careful about little things. When standing off a little distance and looking at


as it stands in all its ancient and stately grandeur, you are moved to say “how beautiful,” and it looks as though it might have just sprung up out of the ground by some magic power. Go closer and you will see that there are many small stones in it and each one carefully laid. Care for small things. A boy who commits self-abuse will be impatient about these little things. He won’t want to do them, and by and by, if he continues to be guilty of the horrid sin, he will not be able to care for small matters and so of course cannot do great things, and fails. The famous bridge across the Firth of Forth, requires


to give it one coat, and the surface to be covered is equal to 120 acres. Each year every piece of that great structure is examined, even every little bolt, and if one small rivet is found weak it is replaced by a strong one. One little bolt broken might bring great disaster.

If you don’t let any little bad thought in, you won’t let in a big one. But if you let a little bad thought remain in the mind, or do a little bad thing, it will bring disaster finally, and you will fall.

It is not necessary to sin in order to be popular. Some boys think they must do as bad boys do if they want the bad boys to like them. If 1 were you I would not care whether the bad boys liked me or not. Do the good boys like me? Be out and out a manly boy, and you will be popular. There is nothing takes so well as being really manly. A poet says, “who can view the ripened rose, nor seek to wear it?” The rose needs but to be a rose to be popular. To be a rose is to be beautiful in color and so look beautiful, and send forth a sweet fragrance. The rose has but to be a rose to be attractive and in demand. Boys, you have but to be true boys, to be manly, if you would be popular and have many friends.

Will Heaven be your home when you die? Are you a Christian? Are you saved?


and He is Jesus Christ. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.

“Jesus saith unto Him, I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me,” John 14:6.

“He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life,” John 5:12.

There is no saviour but Jesus.


He can save you from sin here and from Hell hereafter. He will give you strength to resist temptation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” Acts 16:31.

And now I have royal news for you and it is that


“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” John 6:37. What better news can there be than that?

Will you let the Lord Jesus save you? Will you kneel down just now and tell Him that you want Him to save you, and forgive all your sins, and help you to do as He has told you in the Bible. Jesus will both save and keep you if you will only trust Him. Pray much alone. Do not be afraid of praying, and after you have prayed then read the book of First John, and try to get some boy to kneel down and pray with you and tell him about Jesus and how to be saved.



I used to stroll around the ocean’s shore and climb up some of the rocky headlands. One day I was out on the crags of a bold promontory. I had been gathering some of the fair flowers which flourish on the dizzy edge of the precipice, when I heard the sound of a muffled drum. At once I hastened to a higher and less dangerous place and where I could have a good view of what was going on. There were four British war vessels in the harbor of Lerwick. There were many lads on board who were being trained as sailors, for Her Majesty’s fleet. One of the sailor boys had suddenly died. He was only 17 years old. The drum I heard was in the Marine band which was playing a funeral march. First came the royal marines, dressed in red coats and having white helmets on their heads, they carried their guns reversed. Then came eight sailor lads drawing a gun carriage, on which was the casket, covered with Great Britain’s flag. When the gate of the cemetery was reached, six of the sailors removed the coffin from the gun carriage and placing it on their shoulders carried it to the grave, followed by the whole company with heads uncovered.

The clergyman stood on the edge of the sepulchre and read out of the Holy Bible which was followed by prayer. The casket was let down into the cold damp tomb. The royal marines threw their gun stocks to their shoulders and fired three volleys above the open trench. The sound rolled across the waters and echoed and re-echoed as from mountainside to mountainside it passed, scaring the birds from their nests on the rocks, frightening the sheep on the heather-clad hills, startling the ponies on the islands of Noss, and finally died away far over the summer sea.

For a moment all was as still as he who lay in the embrace of death. Then the bugle sounded “To your rest!” “To your rest!” “To your rest!” Again for a little time there was no sound save the echoes of peace chasing the echoes of war. The band played. The people went away. The sexton filled in the earth over the casket, and all was silent but for the low moaning of the sea. Yes there he lay in the little village of the dead overlooking the northern sea. And as the shadows lengthened on the orphan sailor boy’s lonely grave, and the sun set behind “the twilight’s purple hill,” I was deeply impressed and said, “Was he a Christian?”


while his body rests on the shore of the mighty ocean? The ships have sailed away. They passed the place of the earthen beds. They left him there on the couch of clay where the green sward sweeps down to the brown rocks wet with the ocean’s spray, as they passed out of the harbor for the open sea. They have all sailed away, away past the light house on yonder clifts which stands like a lone sentinel keeping watch for the foe. A fire by night. A white pillar by day. They have all gone away and left him there. The winter’s winds will blow the winter’s snow over his resting place. The storm will beat the waves in fearful fury against that coast, and the foam from the mouth of the angry waves will be hurled past that tomb. But he will take no heed though the earth rock when the awful blasts blow the maddened waters inland. The war of the winds, the battle of the waves, and the crash of the great guns of the skies will not disturb his rest. But when the Mighty Angel descends and with one foot on the sea and the other on the land, lifts up His hand and declares that time shall be no longer; Ah! when the sound that will be above all the noise of earth and hell shall rip open the graves and from among the toppling tombstones the dead shall rise up and leap out of the ditches of death, and the lone sailor boy springs from his house of clay on the shore of the northern sea to stand at the final judgment will he hear the King say, “Come,” or will he hear the King say, “Depart.”

Will the Judge of all the earth bid him come to heaven or depart to hell. Was he a follower of Jesus e’er he died? ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?



Are you a Christian? Are you a Christian? The children often follow very closely in the footsteps of the parents. Shall your footprints lead them to safety or over the fearful precipice? They have confidence in you and feel secure if they follow you. You are responsible for the presence of your children in the world. Is your life a guide-post pointing them to Jesus Christ and to Heaven?

Amidst the whirl of temptation it were well for the boys if they, with father and mother, could stand on the Rock. You doubtless teach your boys to have reverence for holy things, and send them to the Sabbath school, and may even go with them to the regular service of the House of God on the Sabbath day; but do they see Christ in your everyday life? I write this because great numbers of parents come to me in the course of a year and ask me to do what I can to lead their sons into the Christian life. A most important matter—do what you can to do it at once.

You may say now about this matter of self-abuse. “I ought to warn my boys, but I don’t know how to go about it.” A well-known business man came to me at the close of a lecture to men only, which had been attended by a large crowd, as these meetings, in my experience, usually are, and said: “Mr. Geil, I would have given many dollars if my son could have heard that.” “Very important,” I averred. “Oh yes, and I know it, and yet it has proven one of the difficult things for me to do to talk to my son about it. It is of utmost importance, and I know well enough my duty, but how to do it is the question.”

Well, there was a parent who felt the weight of responsibility, and his words kept before me till I finally concluded to have this little book printed to help parents do this most important work of sounding alarm and giving warning. Give or read (or both) one of these talks to each of your children. They will cost but very little and be worth, it may be, years of life and happiness to them. So help send this little book along on its mission of love, for it is for that purpose only it is prepared. May God bless you and help you not to shirk a duty which is so important.

I now give you here a quotation from a work by Mr. Henry Varley, the well-known English evangelist:

“I have no desire to ignore either the difficulty or delicacy of the position. To the true father, however, difficulties are things to be overcome. I affirm that you cannot begin with boys at too early an age. A father well known to me, was called in the providence of God to visit the United States. This step involved leaving the two youngest sons at school in England. That father resolved that his boys, young as they were—eleven and thirteen—should not go to that school without instruction and warning.

“I mention the plan which he adopted because of its simplicity and intelligence, and as an aid to many fathers who may ‘go and do likewise.’ Taking the sons separately into the garden which surrounded the house, the father pointed out a young and vigorous plane-tree, which was then putting forth its spring dress of luxuriant foliage. He pointed out to the sons how the vital sap was climbing up the trunk and spreading itself in generous energy through every branch, and twig, and leaf. He then took a pocket knife, and laying it across the bark of the young tree, about three feet above the ground, asked the question: My son, supposing I should gash the bark of this tree with my knife, and cut into the wood, do you not see how the sap would exude, and the strength of the young tree decline? Would you be surprised if the leaves should curl up and wither, and the branches of the tree become shrivelled and dried? Would you be astonished if, in a year or two, that young, strong tree should decline and die?

“The sons understood the parable clearly. ‘Now,’ said the father, ‘remember that there is a secret and unclean sin, which is committed by large numbers of boys, which produces results as disastrous to young and early life as that which I have suggested. It is a sin which takes away the sap and strength from the tree of youthful life. Should you commit that sin, be sure that I shall find it out on my return. Instead of your cheeks being fresh and ruddy, your eyes bright, and countenance cheerful, your physical frame filling out and developing manliness and strength, I shall find you with pale face, with dull and sunken eyes, and dark marks under them. I shall find your arms soft and flabby, your hands without rich and fresh blood coursing through the veins. 1 shall hear that my boy has been bad tempered, idle and sleepy, with a bad record from school, and no prizes gained at Christmas.

“The boys knew perfectly well what secret sin the father referred to. There is but one to which he could, under such circumstances, have reference. He had placed the facts in their true light, and defenced those boys wisely and chastely. How should vicious boys at school now corrupt those lads? They had been intelligently warned, and these sins could only be committed in the face of that father’s invaluable counsel.

“The attempt to corrupt them, however, might be made; that father, therefore, wisely warned his boys against unclean language, or secret actions at school. He then charged them that if evil suggestions were made by any of the boys, they should instantly report it to the Principal.

“Beyond this, that father had given the boys information which would ever yield a keen edge to an intelligent conscience. Henceforth, that inner monitor would be as a set of knives cutting against and condemning each committed act. In each case this sin could not now be indulged, except against light and knowledge, and a loving father’s expressed caution.”



This talk is made strongly religious, but is not in the least sectarian. We believe that the most important matter of warning the boys against self-abuse should be done in an atmosphere of religion. Morals in these United States would soon fall as fell Byron were the religion of the Bible removed from under and out of the midst of morality.

Morality in our fair country might be likened unto a light house standing on a bold rock where the waters surge and dash. It stands upon the dangerous rock, but active Christianity is the light that flashes out a warning of danger and is a guide to a safe harbor for the night.

You can wisely distribute these talks to boys, and one by one, as you may be able to make opportunity, sound in their ears a word of caution and warning.

Next to the parent comes the teacher, in influencing the youth of the land, and you can in this particular be of inestimable value. ACT!
“I live for those who love me,
For those who know me true,
For Heaven that smiles above me,
And awaits my coming too;
For the wrongs that need resistance,
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good that I may do.”
Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.—James 5:20.

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.—Dan. 12:3.


For a dollar you can get 25 copies post free; 100 copies sent by mail, post free, for $3.00. Send order to W. E. Geil, Doylestown, Pa. Mark the envelope in upper left-hand corner: “Books.”

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