The Colporteur Evangelist


Chapter 13—Frivolous and Exciting Literature

The world is deluged with books that might better be consumed rather than circulated. Books upon Indian warfare and similar topics, published and circulated as a money-making scheme, might better never be read. There is a satanic fascination in these books. The heart-sickening relation of crimes and atrocities has a bewitching power upon many youth, exciting in them the desire to bring themselves into notice, even by the most wicked deeds. There are many works more strictly historical whose influence is little better. The enormities, the cruelties, the licentious practices, portrayed in these writings, have acted as leaven in many minds, leading to the commission of similar acts. Books that delineate the satanic deeds of human beings are giving publicity to evil works. The horrible details of crime and misery need not be lived over, and none who believe the truth for this time should act a part in perpetuating their memory. CEv 75.1

Love stories and frivolous and exciting tales constitute another class of books that is a curse to every reader. The author may attach a good moral, and all through his work may weave religious sentiments; yet in most cases Satan is but clothed in angel robes, the more effectually to deceive and allure. The mind is affected in a great degree by that upon which it feeds. The readers of frivolous, exciting tales become unfitted for the duties lying before them. They lead an unreal life, and have no desire for useful employment, and no desire to search the Scriptures, to feed upon the heavenly manna. The mind is enfeebled, and loses its power to contemplate the great problems of duty and destiny. CEv 75.2

I have been instructed that the youth are exposed to the greatest peril from improper reading. Satan is constantly leading both the youth and those of mature age to be charmed with worthless stories. Could a large share of the books published be consumed, a plague would be stayed that is doing a fearful work in weakening the mind and corrupting the heart. None are so confirmed in right principles as to be secure from temptation. All this trashy reading should be resolutely discarded. CEv 76.1

We have no permission from the Lord to engage in either the printing or the sale of such literature, for it is the means of destroying many souls. I know of what I am writing; for this matter has been opened before me. Let not those who believe the truth engage in this work, thinking to make money. The Lord will put a blight upon the means thus obtained; He will scatter more than is gathered.—Manual for Canvassers, 51-53. CEv 76.2