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canon. The most popular writers of fiction a decade ago, who wrote books with high moral and spiritual tone, have step by step eliminated religion, and now deal with Socialistic questions and New Thought problems.
The most popular novels are teaching false standards of life, and some of the “best sellers ”
are base libels on religion and the Church. This is the situation, and a close observation of the output of the high-class, reputable publishers will confirm it. Why is this the status of our book makers ? Book writing and publishing, like all other branches of human endeavour, have become commercialized; writers and publishers are pandering to a vitiated taste for revenue only. It is not literature editors are seeking, but stories that will sell.
A librarian of one of our large cities told the writer that seventy-five per cent. of the books called for and read were positively harmful to the highest ideals. If such is true on this plane of literature, what can be said of the publishing houses which produce nothing but books utterly vile and immoral ? It is said there are two thousand publishing concerns in New York City issuing just such literature, circulated secretly in many instances. An army of writers are employed to furnish so many “thrillers" monthly. These “stories" deal with the lowest, vilest passions of humanity. What is true of New York is also true of Chicago and other cities.
Enough stories have been written of the James Boys, Wild Bill, Buffalo Bill, and other border heroes (?), could they have lived to take the least part in so many situations, to have required a century to pass through them all. As much blood as was shed actually at Shiloh has been shed by the writers of border outlawry during the past twenty-five years. The indirect influence of the books of the James Boys have caused more bloodshed than those Missouri bandits spilt by their unerring marksmanship.
A penniless orphan boy was adopted by his wellto-do uncle, who gave him all the comforts and opportunities of an actual son. Early in his teens he became a novel fiend—the lowest and vilest type ; reading several each week. When scarcely fifteen years old, he armed himself with his uncle's pistol, took from the barn the finest horse, and left in the early morning. The gentleman, suspecting the truth concerning the missing horse and boy, called a neighbour, and the two gave chase to the young ingrate. They came upon him late in the day, and as the uncle seized the bridle rein, the nephew shot him through the heart, and wounded the neighbour before he could be pulled from the horse and overpowered.
A beautiful girl was found dead in Central Park, New York. Her face, form, and the fabric of her clothing showed plainly that she belonged to a home of wealth and culture. In one hand was an empty vial labelled deadly poison ; in the other hand, gripped in the paroxysms of her last struggle, was a paperback novel. The explanation was simple: the heroine had a downfall, and rather than face her shame, committed suicide.
If you will observe the throng of factory girls, overworked, underpaid, heart-hungry from which the White Slaver reaps a rich harvest, they will be reading the class of book mentioned. They enter into the sacred relation of married life with false, distorted ideals, the end of which is often ruin: infidelity to marriage vows, abandonment, and divorce court.
There is another department of literature, written with but one purpose in view : the overthrow of orthodox faith. A thousand questions are raised which the common people cannot answer. Why is it the unchurched masses are continually drifting farther and farther from the Church and what it stands for ? Labour unions have almost repudiated religion; class hatred was never more pronounced than to-day, notwithstanding the loud proclamation of human brotherhood. Say what you will as to causes, this condition is not an accident; we must go far up the turbid stream to find the source of these defiling waters. When we find the source, it will be found that behind all these insidious influences stands the inspiring Author.
Why is there such an incessant effort to divert the minds of the best people from personal relationship of Jesus through faith in His blood? Where is the author, the editor-even religious editors—who stand four-square for the Bible of our fathers and mothers ? We are glad to say there are a few exceptions; but the drift of writers and editors is away from fundamentals. Satan boldly and thievishly appropriates every available avenue to the soul ; wherever his cold, clammy hand touches, it leaves a chill of death. Beyond a question more writers than we ever dreamed are only amanuenses of the Astute Author.
“ Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”.
-2 Thessalonians iï. 9. “ And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.” - Revelation xiii. 14.
“ Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead."-Ephesians V. 14.
Just where the natural and the supernatural exists is a most difficult psychological problem. Many marvellous doings and strange apparitions, from the beginning, were attributed to the supernatural. These same wonders are now known to be the application of physical and psychological laws. The “ enchanters," “ soothsayers," “ diviners," "magicians,” and
, “fortune tellers " have awed the simple-minded and superstitious in all ages. A clear understanding of Hypnotism, Mesmerism, Telepathy, Odylic Force, Psychological Phenomena, Clairvoyance, Black Art, and Spiritism, will throw light on many of these supposed supernatural mysteries. Under whatever name demonstrations may be known, they are all various phases of certain well-established laws touching our physical, mental, and psychical being.
One of the most common, and best understood, of these mystery workings is Hypnotism which, defined, is “an artificial trance, or an artificially induced state, in which the mind becomes passive.” The subject, however, acts readily upon suggestion or direction; and upon regaining normal consciousness, retains little or no recollection of the actions or ideas dominant during this condition. Hypnotism is purely mental and physical ; but this strange power which one can exercise over another strikingly illustrates the influence which Satan exercises over millions of blinded subjects. We shall avoid any attempt to discuss the science and philosophy of Hypnotism ; this phase of the subject is not germane to our discussion.
All these subtle laws of mind, acting in relation to the body, only now being understood by scholars, are undoubtedly familiar to our common Enemy. We believe that centuries before man knew anything about psychic laws, as understood to-day, strange, unaccountable influences were operating on the wills and consciences of men. Hypnotism is a form of sleep; but during the time the subject can receive and obey instructions. They are absolutely under the control of the hypnotist.
Paul caught an extraordinary vision of sin when he exclaimed to the Ephesians : “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead." Here is a fearful figure of sin : that it is sleep-semi-consciousness -unconsciousness; yet they think, act, move about, enjoy, love, hate, etc., etc., and they are as one asleep. Observe this state is, if allowed to remain in articulo mortis, Hypnotism, conducted by the Master of Black Art; and they obey his will, over against observation, warning, wisdom, experience of others,