Wacky White Wednesday #9 Masturbation Part 3

Original article can be read here. This post is part of a series about the 1864 article, “Appeal to Mothers.” It is about masturbation. We pick up roughly where we left off.

This week we’re going to discuss the causes of masturbation. This is where the article starts getting weird.

I have been shown that children who practice self-indulgence previous to puberty, or the period of merging into manhood and womanhood, must pay the penalty of nature’s violated laws at that critical period.
Many sink into an early grave, while others have
sufficient force of constitution to pass this ordeal.
If the practice is continued from the ages of fifteen and upward, nature will protest against the abuse she has suffered, and continues to suffer, and will make them pay the penalty for the transgression of her laws, especially from the ages of thirty to forty-five, by numerous pains in the system, and various diseases, such as affection of
the liver and lungs, neuralgia, rheumatism, affection of the spine, diseased kidneys, and cancerous humors.

Now that talked about how masturbation causes cancer, we’re going to talk about how eating spicy food causes masturbation. Yes, I meant to type that. No, you did not read it wrong.

My sisters, as mothers we are responsible in a great
degree for the physical, mental, and moral health of our children. We can do much by teaching them correct habits of living. We can show them, by our example, that we make a great account of health, and that they should not violate its laws. We should not make it a practice to place upon our tables food which would injure the health of our children. Our food should be prepared free from spices. Mince pies, cakes, preserves, and highly-seasoned meats, with gravies, create a feverish condition in the system, and inflame the animal passions.
Now, it might be argued that spicy food was spicier or somehow worse than it is now. I don’t have anything to say to that I’m not that knowledgeable on the subject. Either way, I doubt there is a scientific connection between spicy food, cake, meat and gravy, and masturbation.
Ellen then goes on for many paragraphs about the importance of nutrition. Which I mostly don’t disagree with, I think nutrition is very important. I just don’t think that, scientifically, there is a link between nutrition and masturbation.
If there is a scientific study in a peer reviewed journal published within the last 5 years, I’d love to know about it. But do not waste my time with random internet articles.
We do not include all the youth who are feeble as guilty of wrong habits. There are those who are pure-minded and conscientious, who are sufferers from different causes over which they have no control.
After paragraphs of detailing exactly every sin caused by masturbation, and pounding home her point of saying that doctors don’t diagnose correctly for fear of the wrath of the mothers, we finally get this. It’s just one paragraph in a whole mess of awful, but you  know what, points to her for including it.
I skipped a couple paragraphs about God being awesome….
The reading of God’s word will not fascinate the imagination, and inflame the passions, like a fictitious story-book, but softens, soothes, elevates, and sanctifies, the heart.
Your mileage may vary on this one. If you find reading the bible soothes you, fine. But there are absolutely some parts of the bible that do fascinate the imagination and, er, “inflame the passions.” Has anybody ever read Song of Solomon?
After all this, Ellen White comes back to the consequences of masturbation.
A Mr.— professed to be a devoted follower of Christ.
He was in very feeble health. Our feelings of sympathy
were called out in his behalf. He could not hold his head steady. His eyes had a glassy appearance, his hands trembled, and when he walked, his knees shook; he staggered like a drunken man, and often seemed ready to fall. He was obliged to fix his eyes upon an object in the distance before him, and then make for that object. He would thus gain force enough to reach the place he desired.
If someone who’s a medical professional is reading this, I would welcome speculation as to what this could actually be. He kind of reminds me of a relative who had a stroke once, but I am not a medical professional of any kind and would be fully willing to admit to being wrong. But I am curious as to what this man actually had.
His case was shown me in vision. I saw that he was
deceived in regard to himself, that he was not in favor with God. He had practiced self-abuse until he was a mere wreck of humanity. This vice was shown me as an abomination in the sight of God. No matter how high a person’s profession, those who are willing to be employed in gratifying the lust of the flesh, cannot be Christians. As servants of Christ, their employment, and meditations, and pleasure, should consist in things more excellent. Many are ignorant of the sinfulness of these habits, and their certain results. Such need to be enlightened.
I have enlightened you. You’re welcome.
So, what happened to Mr. —?
Well, first Ellen has to talk for a bit about how people who masturbate are, um, committing suicide. Yes you read that right.

Such are just as surely self-murderers as though they pointed a pistol to their own breast, and destroyed their life instantly. In the first case they linger longer, are more debilitated, and destroy gradually the vital force of their constitution, and the mental faculties; yet the work of decay is sure.
At this point, I honestly hope no one is reading this. This is going to make people who struggle with masturbation want to kill themselves, figuring they may as well get it over with.
Or maybe that was just teenage!me who felt that way.
While they live, they curse the
earth with their imbecile influence, are a stumbling-block to sinners, and cause their friends living sorrow, and an immeasurable weight of anxiety and care as they mark the signs of their decay, and have daily evidence of their impaired intellect. To take one’s life instantly is no greater sin in the sight
of Heaven, than to destroy it gradually, but surely. Persons who bring upon themselves sure decay, by wrong-doing, will suffer the penalty here, and without a thorough repentance, will not be admitted into Heaven hereafter any sooner than the one who destroys life instantly.
Is Ellen White here saying that no one who commits suicide goes to heaven? The wording is such that I can’t really tell.
I’m gonna skip some paragraphs and come back to them. Ellen does a lot of jumping around. For now, I will leave you with this:
 The Mr.—-, mentioned, had practiced these habits so long he seemed to have lost the control of himself. He was naturally a smart man, possessing more than common abilities.
This man had gone so far he seemed to be left of God. He would go into the woods and spend days and nights in fasting and prayer that he might overcome this great sin, and then would return to his old habits. God did not hear his prayers. He asked God to do for him what had been in his power to do for himself. He had vowed to God, time and again, and had as often broken his vows, and given himself up to his own corrupt lust, until God had left him to work his own ruin.
He has since died. He was a self-murderer. The purity of heaven will never be marred with his society. Those who destroy themselves by their own acts will never have eternal life.
All because he masturbated.
It is little wonder that Adventists are terrified their children will develop masturbation habits.
I was going to stop there, but I wanted to Note that Ellen White seems to be saying that those who murder themselves never go to heaven. That’s horrifying.





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