To-day's Sermon concerns the Youth of our Parish, who as I speak are committing Perverted Acts of the Veriest Onanism; that is, the Manipulation and Touching of Bodily Organs God creat'd for the Enabling of the Propagation of Man, for the sole Purpose of Luxurious Pleasurement and Gratification of the Self.
This Infamous Sin has occupi'd the Fore Front of my Mind constantly, not only for its sick-making Depravity, but because of the Sloth and Idleness of its Practitioners. Many a Time, as I have left the Rectory to take my daily Stroll across the Green, have I spi'd Boys who were neglecting the Geese Tending and the Pig Shaving, instead furtively devouring Johnny-Cakes and lurking about with Sullen Countenances. Once I point'd my Walking Staff at their Direction, and demand'd to know why they were not honoring the Stipulations of their Apprenticeships. Their Response was that their Master has permitt'd them Leave to consume their Noon Day Repast, with the Promise to return to their Labors at the Hamburger Dispensary, or to whichever Trade to which they are Indentur'd.
"Fie, fie," I scold'd, "you are contemplating the filthy Practice of Onanism."
"Pray, eminent Sir," they answer'd, "we are only partaking of Nourishment." But the Tell-Tale Stains upon their Breeches and Pantaloons are Evidence enough of their unspeakable Skullduggery; and when I brought this to their Attention they burst into Tearful Supplications and with extreme Anguish begg'd for my Mercy and Forgiveness.
"It is not my Forgiveness that you should seek, ignorant, wicked Boys," I admonish'd them, "but that of the Blessed Creator who doth reign in Almighty Heaven above."
For did not God our Father intend His Children to follow the Path of Righteousness which is anoint'd in the Blood of the Lamb? And that this very Path can only be tread if the Pilgrim leads a Life of Temperance and Industry, and faithfully observes the Sabbath, and does not engage in the debauched Fondling of his own Endowments? Of all Mortal Sins, Onanism is the most base; I daresay that it is Worse than a Coupling with the wicked Whore of Babylon Herself.
Another piteous Result of Onanism is the Dementia that it induces. The Work Houses and Asylums of our very Parish are crowd'd with those whose Madness was directly caus'd by this Practice. Onanism besets its Practitioner with Fever, and a gruesome Pox upon his Cod Piece, and keeps him abed with fearful Reveries that sprang from the Head of the Devil himself. Soon the Victim cannot stir himself from his Lice-ridden Cot, and shivers with Apoplexy, his Mind fill'd with Torrid Visions of Tempestuous Ladies, very often Lady Actresses of the Photo Plays.
But the Whole of the Parish has suffered from the Perverse Effects of Onanism. Several Paces from the very Doors of the Rectory rests an Enormous Stack of Card Board Boxes about Twenty Hands high, which have not moved from their Location behind the Green Grocer's Establishment for nearly a Fort Night, because the Citizens of the Town are lolling about Prostrate behind their Shutter'd Windows, discharging their unspeakable Ichors and Humours.
Instead, the Boxes lie there, neglect'd and besieg'd by Weevils and other lowly Vermin. Out in the Dell not far from the Town Walls, the Oats have neither been reap'd nor stor'd in the Granary, and the Cows are in the Corn. The obvious Explanation for such wasteful Indolence is Onanism.
At the Parsonage, where I dwell with the Good Woman Hustings and our eight Offspring, I have impos'd strict Rules which prevent the Committing of Onanism. All Family Members must never be seen with Idle Hands; they must keep continuously Busy and Industrious, whether engaging in the Embroidery of Bible Verses, keeping the Hearth swept clean of Ashes, or carding the Wool. When retiring to Bed for nightly Slumber, Hands are to be kept outside of the Bed Cloths, even during the wintry Months. Limbs and other noticeable Appendages are to be kept covered under shapeless Woolen Garments and Hair Shirts, and during Family Prayers, Eyes are to be kept modestly Down Ward and must never stray, lest Thoughts be carried to Subjects other than the Contemplation of the Lord's divine Grace.
My Rules have worked; my Children range in Age from Thirty-Six to Fifty-Two Years Old, and have never been Married, instead piously serving the Lord Our God and taking Care to always be within Sight of the Church Steeple.
In this the solemn Season of the Michaelmas, I implore the Congregation to join with me in the Banning and Excisement of the loathsome Past Time of Onanism from our Parish, and to pray continuously for our Salvation, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.