The following piece is a commentary on a fictitious character named Jehu Jones. The author has been cautioning us against other sins when he begins this warning about licentiousness. –
“There is another element that enters into his ruin. He has for the last five years, consorted with ruined women. When he was younger, evil companions and evil desires and curiosity led him into their society. There were certain things in that society that disgusted him then. Today he is at home in it. Today, he is a beast. He delights in the company of women who shame the names of mother, sister, and wife; of prostitutes who sell for gold that which, in God’s pure economy, is sacred to love; of women whose touch is pollution and whose hold upon him is damnation. Oh, Heaven! When I think of the young life around me, that is permitting its feet to be directed into these terrible paths of sin; when I consider how seductive these paths are to youthful appetite and passion; when I remember how opportunity invites from ten thousand hiding places; when I realize there is no vice which so deadens or destroys the moral sense as that of licentiousness, I am sick and almost in despair. Jehu Jones is old in his vice, but there are those around me who are young in it, as he was once; boys, whose feet hang upon the verge of a precipice more fearful than death; young men, with Christian mothers and pure sisters, whose characters are as base as their bodies are diseased. Does he shrink from this vice, and from the society which it involves: Is he not in love with it; so much in love with it that he does not enjoy the society of pure women: Is he not so much in love with it that the society of pure women only brings to him shameful suggestions? And yet, he thinks he is not ruined! Ruined? He is rotten. If mind were subject to the laws of matter, and moral corruption accompanied by the phenomena which characterize physical decay, he would stink like carrion.
I have no words with which to express my sense of the ruin which this single vice has wrought in him. Men who drink are sometimes reformed, and if they have not proceeded too far in their vice, they come back to a self-respectful manhood. The taint left upon their morals is not so deep that it cannot be eradicated, but a man who has been debauched by licentiousness, is incurable.
I do not mean that he cannot reform, but that he must always be weak, and must always carry with him a sense of degradation and shame.” Timothy Titcomb
Needless to say this is a strong warning to avoid licentiousness (unrestrained morality). Now this piece was written in 1884, and if opportunity for immorality was in ten thousand hiding places then, it must be in ten million today. I differ in my conclusion to him in that I believe there is hope and that the blood of Jesus will wash away all our sin. But, that being said, the strong exhortations the Bible gives us to guard our hearts and seek Him when we are young, may well refer to the stains that run so deep one may never find the level of virtue that the person who has avoided such things enjoys.
Photo by Piotr Kowalik