Testimony of a young lady missionary (c.1900)

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From KAREZZA by Alice Bunker Stockham MD

The following correspondence was originally published in Creative Life - a brochure a brochure for young ladies. It is reproduced here as especially corroborative of theories advanced in Chapters I and X, and no doubt will be read with interest and profit:

DEAR DR. STOCKHAM:

When I read your great book, TOKOLOGY, and looked at your portrait, for the first time in my life I felt that I had found one in whom I could confide, and from whom I might hope for real help.

Very early in life I became addicted to a bad, secret habit. It does not seem as if I ever learned it. I seemed always to have had it; nor did I know I was doing wrong until about eighteen years of age, when my conscience seemed to tell me it was not right. I was a professing Christian, and I began to feel any secret propensity, no matter what the pleasure it gave, could not be right.

Sometime after I read of the fearful results that would follow this habit; I soon decided that I must stop. I made up my mind to conquer the habit solely by my own will power, but utterly failed. Humbled, I sought Divine help; but for a long time it seemed that to stop the sun in his course would prove as easy a task as to abandon the habit entirely.

At twenty-two, a year after graduating, I went out to China as a missionary. For more than two years I realized what it was to be kept by the power of God; but like many a drunkard, I began to think I was safe, and neglected to be as watchful and prayerful as I should have been, and, being overtaken by temptation, yielded several times. I know the desire is still there, and what I want to know is this:

What course of treatment will succeed in destroying the desire?

Should I entertain the idea of marriage?

What effect will the past have upon the marriage relation?

I do not expect to be married for a year or more. My intended husband is also a missionary. I am in perfect health, but have a poor memory. I take frequent baths and live an abstemious life. Please advise me at _______. If you can offer any relief, I shall always be

Gratefully yours,
C.

To this earnest appeal I sent this reply:

DEAR MISS C. :

I thank you most sincerely for your confidence. There certainly must be help for you as you so greatly desire it. I think you would not have had such a struggle if you had understood that passion is simply the evidence or sign of creative power. It does not follow that this creative power should be devoted to procreation, but it may be used in any good work. Now, according to your attitude of mind, will be your experience. When the feeling comes on, say, 'Yes, I know I am a creator. What am I to do?' It may be to form plans, help another, to teach school, to build a home, whatever comes before you in your life work. Respond quickly. At once think out your plans, create, and lo! what you call temptation is gone. It is a call from God. Do you know we are wrong in attaching baseness to these feelings? Get that idea out of your mind.

The treatment most surely lies in following the law. Turn your creative power to good uses, to tremendous uses, if need be. Your consecration to good work is all right, now consecrate especially your creative powers. Every indication of passion must be treated as a call from God for some new work - some creation. Put your mind to work to know what it is.

It is not the body that calls; it is the spirit, and obedience is the cure.

Say over and over again, 'I am a creator. What am I to produce?' Listen, listen, and God will answer.

Yours sincerely,
A.

No letter ever gave me such real joy as her answer. Believing that the perusal of it will be helpful to many, I quote with the writer's permission:

DEAR DOCTOR:
Your letter was received several weeks ago when I was away on a tour speaking at missionary meetings.

Really, I do not know when I have been at such a loss for words as I am in finding any that will correctly and sufficiently express my gratitude for what you have done for me.

For a long time I have thought that the work of the Christian physician is such a noble one that it is second only to that of the Christian minister and missionary. Since receiving your letter it has seemed as though I might go farther than that, and place it before that of the Christian ministry; but perhaps it would be more correct to feel that, in your particular case, both offices are combined, for who could better minister to the soul, or teach a spiritual truth of more vital importance than you have done in my case?

As I read and re-read that part of your letter in relation to the cure, and began to comprehend its full meaning and bearing, I felt as I have done at important crises of my life when some new spiritual truth has fully dawned upon me, and I have taken a great stride in the Christian life, and my feeling towards you was more than that of gratitude and admiration. You have done me good for life, as you have done many others, and who knows how much good to future generations?

Were I to send you five times the amount you charged, you would be no more nearly paid for what you have done for me than by the amount named. I take the knowledge gained as a gift from God, through you His agent, realizing that thereby my responsibility is increased, and knowing that from Him you will receive your reward.

All being well, I shall be married at home in August and return at once to China. I may go by Chicago. If I should do so, it would be a very great gratification to me to have the honor of meeting you and the privilege of thanking you in person for what you have done for me.

Sincerely yours,
C.

Another letter reproduced in Stockham's book:

I am a young man, 24 years of age, enjoying the most vigorous health. For two years after becoming engaged I delayed marriage, simply because I did not think my income sufficient to support a wife and the children which I regarded as an inevitable consequence. Happily for me a friend, who knew my circumstances, wrote me about Zugassent's Discovery. The ideas contained in this discovery were so different from all my preconceived ideas of what constituted marital happiness, that I was inclined to reject them as utterly impracticable and absurd. But the more I thought of the matter the more clearly I saw that if there was a possibility of these new ideas being true, they were exactly adapted to a man in my circumstances, and that they made my marriage immediately practicable. The wholly new thought that retaining the vital force within himself would naturally make a man stronger, cleaner, and better also seemed to me not irrational. With some misgivings, therefore, I determined to venture upon marriage, and it has been completely successful. I have had a continuous honeymoon for four years. I have never been conscious of any irksome restraint or asceticism in my sexual experience; and my self-control and strength, mental and physical, have greatly increased since my marriage. In the light of my own experience I regard the idea that the seminal fluid is a secretion that must be got rid of as being the most pernicious and fatal one that can possibly be taught to young people.
J. G.