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among the youth, and they would recommend: 1. That the pastors of the several churches take special pains to instruct the parents belonging to their respective churches and congregations upon this subject, and urge them to provide separate apartments for the different
can to deliver the nation from it, and especially intemperance, licentiousness, and gambling. On the middle one of this triad of vices, he speaks forcibly after this wise :
“Would you measure the evils which have come upon this people from this quarter ? Look abroad over the length and breadth of the land, and inquire after the multitudes who once inhabited villages now deserted—where are they? Why do you meet so few children in the streets and why are so many diseased, and sink into premature graves ? After long observation and intimate acquaintance with the natives, I am of opinion that the diseases consequent upon the vice of which I now speak, have contributed more than all other causes put together to depopulate these fair Islands, and produce the miseries which the inhabitants now suffer. And what it concerns us particularly to consider is, that these diseases, with all their deadly effects, were introduced here by the licentiousness of men from Christian lands; and for the untold evils which have resulted from them to this unsuspecting people, such men are responsible.”
In this opinion the author has the concurrence of all the missionaries, and of every careful inquirer into the causes of the nation's decay, and it is with propriety that he argues at the close
“If our reasoning in this discourse be correct, what a solemn account, will they have to render at the bar of God, who have taken a course directly contrary to that which God requires ! I refer to men who have come to these shores from Christian lands, and done evil instead of good; men whose general course of life has been to sink the natives deeper in degradation and misery; to encourage them in their vices, and teach them vices they never knew before, and make heathenism ten-fold more heathenish. For all these things will not God call them into judgment ? Are those dark deeds of past years all forgotten? The avenger of blood in Israel did not more resolutely and swiftly pursue the man-slayer, than evil pursues such men. If they are not overtaken in this life, they will be in the next.”
THE VICE OF LICENTIOUSNESS.
sexes in their families, and watch over the children with more than common solicitude in reference to this crying sin of the land; that pastors also use all feasible means to render the institution of marriage honorable and popular among the people.
2. That the teachers of our seminaries and schools form societies among their scholars similar to the plan of “ Juvenile Temperance Societies," and make vigorous effort to render the sin of licentiousness, in all its forms, odious and unpopular. 3. That a pledge be adopted which shall be alike in all the Islands, and that the signers of this pledge be furnished with some badge of their membership.
The Hawaiian government does not do so much to suppress the vice of licentiousness at the present time, nor is it so strong to keep good morals by law, as under the energetic administrations of Kaahumanu, at Honolulu, and of Hoapili at Lahaina. With more of liberty, the maxim is now in vogue by importation, that a man's house and premises are his castle, and that a constable has no right to enter them without a warrant. But then, on the least suspicion of evil in progress, officers would venture anywhere unresisted, and bale offenders to justice; and so vigilant were they, that vice had to skulk, and was driven out of many a hiding-place.
Once in the time of shipping, Hoapili sent all the women of Lahaina off to the other side of the mountain, and forbade their reappearing on the side where the ships were, under the penalty of imprisonment. Government now is not so despotic, and the Hawaiians of 1850 would not, probably, tolerate a measure that a mere word would have executed in 1824.
With written laws, and more of civil liberty and religion, there is less of personal restraint, and more freedom on the part of the governed, to practise wicked works with them that work iniquity. Houses of infamy are winked at and allowed at Honolulu, on the plea that they have become a necessary evil just as in all other countries, and the arm of government, in which both law and religion have vested the authority to suppress vice, bears the sword in vain as to this species of immorality, provided only it be not caught openly.
This ought not to be, either here or in any other State where there are good laws relative to lewdness. For it is not one of those things of which Milton says, “The law must needs be frivolous which goes to restrain things uncertainly, and yet equally, working to good and evil; and were I the chooser, a dram of well-doing should be preferred before many times as much the forcible hindrance of evil-doing: For God surely esteemeth the growth and perfection of one virtuous person, more than the restraint of ten vicious.” But it is a palpable and positive evil, unmixed with good. It is evil only continually. And they, in any community, who, having the administration of law in their hands, do not execute it, but suffer houses that are the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death, to entertain the harlot and the young man void of understanding, they are responsible for the wreck of morals, and the ruin of souls there made. It is THEY who will have to
THE VICE OF LICENTIOUSNESS.
answer for the many wounded, yea, the strong men slain there, and those guests in the depths of hell !
The plea of virtue and humanity in respect to what is called a “necessary evil” like this, is, that the prevalence of an acknowledged vice, and the consequent lucrativeness of pandering to it in seaport towns, are no good reason for letting off or lightly punishing one found guilty of it. If a crime were of such a nature that nobody would ever be tempted to repeat it, that circumstance might fairly be urged in bar of any severe or exemplary punishment therefor; but to hold the proneness of depraved humanity to any vice an excuse for those, who deliberately devote their lives to its extension and facilitation, making it a source of affluence, as many do in cities, and living in luxury upon its filthy profits; or to argue gravely that brothels are a necessary consequence of the growth of cities, and cannot therefore be suppressed, this is a perversion of equity and good policy little short of monstrous.
Such reasoning would subvert all morality and virtue whatever, and would excuse any crime, let it be but common, fashionable, and well fortified. Yea, 'twould “sugar o'er the devil himself,” and all his devices.
We commend to honorable magistrates at Honolulu and elsewhere the reasonings of the Duke in the moral play called Measure for Measure:
We have strict statutes, and most biting laws,
Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch,