In approaching the work which we have undertaken in these pages, we have not been blind to the difficulties which confront us in entering upon so delicate a subject. If we had thought only of these, we would never have taken up our pen in this work. We have been moved to it by the cries of disappointment and anguish which may be heard everywhere throughout our land, and by the pleadings that come up out of the dense ignorance which envelops palace and hovel alike. Knowing the importance of these "matters which are so central in our physical life, so essential in their relation to the condition, character, career and destiny of every individual, and so fundamental and vital to every institution and interest of society;" knowing also the importance of proper intelligence concerning the laws which govern our bodies, and knowing how the honest and the pure who seek information concerning these most sacred relations of human life are exposed, amid the dearth of pure and reliable books, to contamination by books whose secret character designedly fosters the very lusts and evils which they are professedly written to denounce, we have felt that we would be recreant to duty, to humanity and to God if we allowed difficulties to bar us from this important work. Turn where you will, the manifest consequences of the prevalent ignorance upon these vital and important subjects stare one in the face, and the appealing need of the hosts of honest men and women who desire such information as will enable them to attain the noblest and the best which God has placed within their reach is a sufficient condemnation of that spurious "modesty" which desires that a ban shall continue upon intelligence, so that men and women may remain in a hopeless bondage to vice and its awful consequences.
Knowing the universal need for the information which we have sought to communicate in a plain and pure way in these pages, and while laboring with an ever-present sense of the difficulties and delicacies of the undertaking, we have turned to our task with greater assurance when we have remembered the appreciative messages of eminent men and women which have come from all quarters of the globe, the unreserved and hearty commendations which the earlier books of the series have received from the entire religious, secular, educational and medical press of the United States, England and Canada; we have been inspired by the fact that these books are already being translated into other languages; that without suggestion they have been publicly commended at the different international conventions of Christian workers in this country, and are also being used by Christian missionaries in many lands in their efforts to redeem and save the heathen.
To many, marriage is not that source of blessing and happiness which God intended. Its purposes and possibilities are never realized. Thousands are constantly entering upon marriage only to be miserable and wretched because they do not understand the nature and intent of their own endowments, or the purpose of God in ordaining the institution. Whatever information they ever obtain is secured by blind blunderings, and at the most ruinous cost. Even where no permanent physical consequences are entailed, mental and moral effects, which are even more ruinous in their results, remain to mar the blessings of later years. Had they been intelligent, they might have possessed from the very first the benefits and blessings which ignorance has placed and kept beyond their reach. Sad as such results are, they are still more grievous because of the consequences which must be suffered by their families, and which are handed down to innocent children who are to reap the results of parental ignorance long years after the parents themselves may have passed away. It is to save young men and young women from such disastrous and far-reaching results, and to afford them the blessing and happiness which God intended, that we have set ourselves to the task undertaken in these pages.
To secure the largest assistance from these pages, it is necessary to know that this book is supplemental and stands related to the two which have preceded in the nature of an educational series. To comprehend the entire subject of the reproductive organs, their purpose, function and preservation, it would be well also to know the contents of the books which follow this present volume in the same series.
Gratefully acknowledging the valuable aid and assistance from many sources, trustfully seeking the continued co-operation of the good and pure everywhere, and relying upon the favor and blessing of Him whose guidance we have constantly sought, this volume is now sent forth on its important mission.