How would we react to this Today?
(written in 1871)
A more momentous subject could hardly engage the attention of a Christian parent than that of "books". One of our greatest practical difficulties is to preserve our children from the trashy and demoralizing literature of the present day; and the difficulty is vastly increased by the sad fact that, even in our schools, books are put into the hands of our young people which, as Christians, we cannot possibly tolerate. It is immensely difficult to keep clear in this matter; for, unless the children themselves have, through God's grace, a taste for better and higher things, it is almost impossible for parents to keep them out of the way of bad books. However, in this, as in all beside, we can stay our souls upon that precious word, "My grace is sufficient for thee' And, again, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me". We must, therefore, in the strength of such words, brace ourselves up to meet, with firm purpose of heart, our holy responsibility in this matter. We are surely bound to look even more carefully to what books our children read, than to what they eat, or what clothes they wear. We have to watch on all hands. There is a danger of drawing the reigns too tight on the one hand, and there is danger for laxity on the other. Still we must resolutely set ourselves to preserve our precious children, so far as in us lies, from bad books; and seeing they must have some books, let us keep them well supplied with such as will lead their young hearts upward and onward. Happily for us, there is no lack of good, sound, solid literature which we may, with perfect safety, place in the hands of our children; and if we can cultivate in them a taste for this class of reading, they will, of themselves, turn away in utter disgust from all the light, silly rubbish of religious novels and fabulous works of the day, as well as the novels and romances of an older date, the reading of which can only be designated intellectual dram-drinking (i.e. drinking alcoholic liquor). But, need we say, dear friend, the grand desideratum for our children is the establishment, in their hearts, of "the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost"? This will regulate their reading as well as all beside. May God visit, with His saving power, all the families of His people! May He convert the unconverted, and greatly raise the moral and spiritual tone of all who profess to be His!