The Signs of the Times


June 13, 1906

Our Great Treasure-House
What Shall We Read?—Part 9


The enemy knows that to a great degree the mind is affected by that upon which it feeds. He is seeking to lead both the youth and those of mature age to read story books, tales, and other literature. Those who yield to this temptation soon lose their relish for solid reading. They have no interest in Bible study. Their moral powers become enfeebled. Sin appears less and less repulsive. There is manifest an increasing unfaithfulness, a growing distaste for life's practical duties. As the mind becomes perverted, it is ready to grasp any reading of a stimulating character. Thus the way is open for Satan to bring the soul fully under his domination. ST June 13, 1906, par. 1

Works that do not so decidedly mislead and corrupt are yet to be shunned, if they impart a disrelish for the study of the Bible. This Word is the true manna. Let all repress the desire for reading matter that is not food for the mind. You can not possibly do the work of God with clear perceptions while the mind is occupied with this class of reading. Those who are in God's service should spend neither time nor money for light reading. What is the chaff to the wheat? ST June 13, 1906, par. 2

Question your own experience as to the influence of light reading. Can you, after spending time in such reading, open the Bible, and read with interest the words of life? Do you not find the book of God uninteresting? The charm of that love-story is upon the mind, destroying its healthy tone, and making it impossible for you to fix the attention upon the important, solemn truths that concern your eternal welfare. ST June 13, 1906, par. 3

In order to have a healthy tone of mind, and sound religious principles, we must live in communion with God through His Word. Pointing out the way of salvation, the Bible is our guide to a higher, better life. It contains the most interesting and most instructive history and biography that was ever written. Those whose imaginations have not been perverted by the reading of fiction will find the Bible the most interesting of all books. ST June 13, 1906, par. 4

Resolutely discard all worthless reading. Such reading will not strengthen your spirituality, but will introduce into the mind sentiments that will pervert the imagination, causing you to think less of Jesus, and to dwell less upon His precious lessons. Keep the mind free from everything that would lead it in a wrong direction. Do not encumber it with trashy stories, which impart no strength to the mental powers. The thoughts will be of the same character as the food provided for the mind. ST June 13, 1906, par. 5

The Bible is the book of books. If you love the Word of God, searching it as you have opportunity, that you may come into the possession of the rich treasure that it contains, and be thoroughly furnished unto all good works, then you may be assured that Jesus is drawing you to Himself. But to read the Scriptures in a casual way, without seeking to comprehend Christ's lessons or to comply with His requirements, is not enough. There are treasures in the Word of God that can be discovered only by sinking the shaft deep into the mines of truth. ST June 13, 1906, par. 6

The carnal mind rejects the truth; but the soul that is converted undergoes a marvelous change. The books that before were unattractive, because they revealed truths that testify against the sinner, now become the food of the soul, the joy and consolation of the life. The Sun of Righteousness illuminates the sacred pages, the Holy Spirit speaks through them to the soul. To those who love Christ, the Bible is as the garden of God. Its promises are as grateful to the heart as the fragrance of flowers is to the senses. ST June 13, 1906, par. 7

Let those who have acquired a love for light reading now turn their attention to the Word of God. Let them begin to study with fresh interest the sacred records of the Old and New Testaments. The oftener and more diligently the Bible is studied, the more beautiful it will appear, and the less relish will there be for light reading. ST June 13, 1906, par. 8