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The law of heredity and environment are the two master forces in the organic world. The transmission from parent to child of physical, intellectual, and moral likeness, or characteristics, has been believed in for centuries; but only of late has the subject been understood and so methodized as to embody any substantial benefit to students who would seek to uplift the human race. It's been probed beyond successful refutation, that children may inherit moral defects from their parents as well as those of a physical nature. Without going into a scientific analysis of the suject, we wish to give a few examples of the awful effects of the law of heredity upon certain individuals, which we trust will cause parents to stop and think seriously before they give consent to acts against their nature which may produce fatal flaws in their offspring.

Sad Beyond Expression...

Recently there came to our notice the sad history of a man who was a murderer by heredity. In an alleged confession to a ministering friend, he recounted the oft-told story of a young woman (this time his mother) who tried to rid herself of the responsibilities of motherhood (out of wedlock). Attempt after attempt failed to accomplish the murderous object, and the unwelcomed child was born. Immediately he was placed in a "home," and with that murderous instinct impressed upon his mind, coupled with environment that was usually corrupt, he became a moral outlaw at a tender age. He was naturally cruel to both animal and man. He served a number of terms in the workhouse while in his teens, and was mixed up in numerous robberies and murders. He had the wrong start in the beginning and as sin is cumulative, he soon lost his civil liberty---he was finally caught and sent to the penitentiary for life.

Because of excesses made easy by a low sense of morals, he became diseased, and he wasn't in the prison until he developed the deadly tubercle-bacilli and was placed in the consumptive-ward. Removed as far from the pleasures of the world as if centuries separated him from our modern civilization, without the somber pageantry that marks the death-bed of one who passes off earth's stage of action surrounded by friends and the material evidences of work well done, he cast a lingering glance about him and quietly slipped away from this hard-hearted world that had deceived him and cut off his life when still young in years. No loving hands caressed his brow as he lay dying on the cot; for he was unknown. His picture hung in many rogues' galleries, but no on knew his real name or whence he had come. His achievements weren't recounted by the press, and perhaps it was just as well. On a certain page in the daily paper we read, "Prisoner NO. 9740 at _______ Penitentiary died at 11:45 o'clock last night of tuberculosis."

One of old, when asked for his identity, simply said he was a "voice"; but this poor man was known as "No. 9740." Can you imagine yourself, or your own dear boy, so swallowed up by sin that his identity is completely lost? Sin's an awful thing, an enemy of both God and men. The story of this death-bed scene must be left to the imagination, for the poor man was alone. In reality, in the prison infirmary there was a narrow cot surrounded by severe walls and iron barred windows. Great massive walls all around the buildings shut out everything but conscience and death. Perhaps he called for mother, or wife, and struggled vainly as he sought to grasp the falling torch of life or tried to hold off the monster death. Perhaps in that awful hour his memory recalled the bright scenes of better days---of robust health, of congenial friends, and of freedom from prisons and from pain. Hanging upon the walls of memory, no doubt, were pictures of home, love, and innocent children; but alas! sin had deceived him, and, awakening as if from a horrible nightmare, he found himself honey-combed by disease, exiled from society, haunted by visions of past crimes, and dying alone in the penitentiary. Slowly he drew near to the end of the bridge that spanned his probationary period, and his poor soul, driven by a greater force than the power of inertia, slipped out into a never-ending eternity---lost to God, to hope, and to the pure and the holy forever. If it were not right for God to force him to choose the good while he was upon earth, it wouldn't be right for God to force him into the company of the pure and the blest in that land beyond the sky.

There's no pardon for him now. He's passed beyond the day of mercy. He's a doomed man. He might have been saved at one time, but it's too late now. To him the doors of opportunity are forever closed. He was a free agent and had the power of choice, but he chose sin and with it the penalty, which is death. Hereditary influences gave him a wrong start, and his environments were strongly against him; yet he could have chosen the right path. The salvation of Jesus Christ will break every power of sin and set a captive soul at perfect liberty. Thank God, there's power in the blood of Christ to make a man a master of every evil that has ever mastered him, and he can reign a conqueror over every adverse element.

An Awful Dream...

Two boys were born of drunken parents and they both inherited the appetite for strong drink...Both became drunkards, for they couldn't control that awful thirst for intoxicants. After a few years, one of the brothers came in touch with better influences and finally was led to Christ, and the power of sin was broken. He became a free man, and was called of God to preach a gospel of freedom from every form of habitual and besetting sin. The other one, however, continued on and, finally, dissipated and broken in spirit, was lying upon his death-bed. Kind friends immediately sent for his brother who was a minister, and he arrived the night before the poor man's death. The brother minister in relating what occurred that night, said that after giving up all hopes of his brother's getting saved, being tired, he relaxed and tried to rest in an easy chair.

It was about two o'clock, and all was still except for the occasional barking of the watch-dog or the hoot of the great horned owl, wafting its love-song to its mate. He dropped asleep, and in a dream he saw in the distance a procession of dark-looking objects, which, when they drew nearer, were found to be devils. He watched their maneuvers, and they circled, like a lot of buzzards, over the house where his brother lay dyng. By and by they stopped and appeared to hold a consultation. One of them approached the house, and then returned and made some kind of a report. The minister dreamed that he watched his brother die and saw his soul slowly come out of the body of clay and, seemingly fearing danger, go outside and hide in a coal-shed. Suddenly the devils waiting in the air above swooped down and surrounded the house. One of them came into the bedroom and, finding the spirit of the man departed, went out and gave the signal to the rest to be on the watch as evidently the soul of the man was hiding somewhere near by. All started hunting for his poor brother's soul. Soon one devil scented the soul in the coal-shed. The poor soul, finding itself discovered, took to flight with a thousand devils in swift pursuit. He saw them slowly disappearing, when suddenly the nearest devil pounce upon his brother's soul. As it sank its talons deep, the soul uttered a piercing shriek, and they all sank into a darkness that was blacker then midnight.

The dream was so real that it awakended the sleeper, and he jumped from his chair. The lamp had gone out and the room was in darkness. Procuring another light, he found his brother lying dead, with mouth and eyes wide open and a look of awful agony upon his face. It's hard to convince the minister that what he saw was a dream, and he still believes that actual devils came for his poor lost brother's soul. I believe it was only a dream; but since the Bible teaches that angels of heaven carry the souls of our departing loved ones who die saved, it's only fair to conclude that devils come to claim their own to carry them away into the darkness of that bottomless pit. Language, however, would be inadequate to describe the anguish and awful feelings of remorse of a man in his dying hour who by reason of wilful rejection or careless neglect closes his earthly life in sin and rebellion against the throne of God. Reader, if you were to die tonight, where would you go and by what kind of angel would you be carried away? Think over this matter seriously, and if not prepared for such an eventuality, begin now to prepare to meet thy God. The Lord never turned a deaf ear to a cry for mercy. Call upon Him today and be saved. Don't wait, for tomorrow may never come.




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