Seite 108 - Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene (1890)

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Chapter 15—Mental Inebriates
What shall our children read? is a serious question, and demands a
serious answer. I am troubled to see, in Christian families, periodicals
and newspapers containing continued stories that leave no impress
of good upon the mind. I have watched those whose taste for fiction
has been thus cultivated. They have had the privilege of listening to
the truths of God’s word, of becoming acquainted with the reasons of
our faith; but they have grown to mature years destitute of true piety.
These dear youth need so much to put into their character-building
the very best material,—the love and fear of God and a knowledge of
Christ. But many have not an intelligent understanding of the truth as
it is in Jesus. The mind is feasted upon sensational stories. They live in
an unreal world, and are unfitted for the practical duties of life. I have
observed children allowed to come up in this way. Whether at home or
abroad, they are either restless or dreamy, and are unable to converse,
save upon the most common-place subjects. The nobler faculties, those
adapted to higher pursuits, have been degraded to the contemplation of
trivial, or worse than trivial subjects, until their possessor has become
satisfied with such topics, and scarcely has power to reach anything
higher. Religious thought and conversation has become distasteful.
The mental food for which he has acquired a relish, is contaminating in
its effects, and leads to impure and sensual thoughts. I have felt sincere
pity for these souls as I have considered how much they are losing by
neglecting opportunities to gain a knowledge of Christ, in whom our
hopes of eternal life are centered. How much precious time is wasted,
in which they might be studying the pattern of true goodness.
I am personally acquainted with some who have lost the healthy
tone of the mind through wrong habits of reading. They go through
life with a diseased imagination, magnifying every little grievance.
Things which a sound, sensible mind would not notice, become to
them unendurable trials, insurmountable obstacles. To them, life is in
constant shadow.