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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 38

Care of the Body

Care of the Body.

Last, and least important, comes the care of the body. It asserts its wishes so persistently and so clamorously, that there is little fear on the score of neglect, while there is great danger on the score of indulgence. One of the purest pleasures of the body is the pleasure of health: that sensation which we do not usually advert to, because we are so accustomed to it, but which is occasionally so strong that the glow of vigor pervading our whole frame forces our attention, and excites a feeling of wondering delight. Religious, not witstanding the hard treatment to which they subject the body enjoy more of this blessing than any other class of men. From the absence of intense and exhausting enjoyments, their health is more even, and they often live to what Mr. Washington Irving was pleased to consider an exceedingly good-for-nothing old age, in praising and serving God; while those wretched beings, who seek only 'wealth and page 18 the pleasures it affords,' who live in a perpetual round of wearying excitement, who have never known what it was to deny themselves a gratification, and who have served only too well "the world, the flesh, and the devil," so often seek a refuge from their miseries in death, or expiate their indulgence in the hospital or lunatic asylum.

The body should be kept in good health, in order that the greatest possible amount of work may be got out of it. There is, however such a thing as too much health. The mind may be partially overgrown, so to speak, and thereby rendered in some degree less able to discharge its higher functions. The noblest condition of man is that his mind should be clear and vigorous, and his body full of endurance. The body should never be pampered, that it may be but little inclined to rebel, and that rebellion may be always quelled as soon and as easily as possible. All excess in eating or drinking is punished by some diminution of the pleasures of health, and great or continued excess by its loss. We are never tempted to exceed by plain wholesome food, any more than the lower animals. It is the highly-spiced meats and delicacies of the epicure that stimulate the appetite unduly, and lay the seeds of ill-health, by Imposing on the digestive organs an amount of work which they are not able to get through. But it is chiefly by drunkenness that the sin of gluttony is committed. Fatal vice! which ruins the body, extinguishes the light of reason, sets the passions in a blaze, and fills the world with impurity!

Such my fellow-countrymen, is Catholic civilisation; and such is yours, so long as you remain Catholic. You are not "ignorant nor superstitious, nor mentally prostrate, nor atheistical." On the contrary, "so long as you yield to no nation in Catholicity you are surpassed by none in civilisation."

If it is grievous to be robbed and persecuted, yet think it is one of the signs wherby we are known as the followers of Christ, and think of the special advantages arising for our children. Their education will pass entirely into the hands of religious persons. If the "Majority" are unjust enough to persist in forcing on us a law which we have abundantly proved to be oppresssive; if they are ashamed to acknowledge and undo, the mistake, there is nothing to be done but fight out our battle, careless of being plundered in this world, provided we but secure the next. In a few years we Catholics will stand face to face with this godless system. The Protestant churches have given up to it their schools and their children, and in a generation or two, it will have swept away every vestige of Christianity from these communions. The various Protestant names will probably still remain standing for some time longer but they will no longer shadow anything Christian; and when they will have crumbled and tottered into oblivion,—

The Catholic Church, Founded on The Rock of Christ, Will Stand Unshaken as It Stands To-Day!

Woodifield, Jolly & Co., Printers, Octagon. Dunedin.