A look back at an older perspective on novels:
The increasing rage for novel reading!
Fiction has often been a wholesome relief to a good man’s overworked and weary brain. Many of the recent popular novels are wholesome in their tone, and the historical type often instructive.
Exclusive reading of novels is to a person’s mind — just what highly spiced food and alcoholic stimulants are to the body. The chief objection to the best of them, is that they excite a distaste in the mind for any serious reading. The increasing rage for novel reading betokens both a famine in the intellect, and a serious peril to the mental and spiritual life.
The honest truth is — that too large a number of today’s fictitious works are subtle poison. The plots of some of the most popular novels are based on immorality, and the violation in some form of the seventh commandment.
They kindle evil passions;
they varnish and veneer vice;
they deride marital purity;
they uncover what ought to be hidden;
they paint in attractive hues — what never ought to be seen by any pure eye, or named by any modest tongue.
Two of the perils which threaten American youths, are a licentious theater and a poisonous literature. One who has examined many of the novels printed during the last decade, said to me: “The main purpose of many of these books is to knock away the underpinning of the marriage relation of the Bible.”
If parents give house-room to trashy or corrupt books, they cannot be surprised if their children give heart-room to “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” When interesting and profitable books are so abundant and so cheap, this increasing rage for novels is to me, one of the sinister signs of the times!
“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness!” 2 Timothy 2:22
[Editor’s note: One can only wonder what Culyer would say about the immoral and insipid media which paralyze, pollute and poison the minds and hearts of the vast majority of professing Christians today!]