The possibilities of good attaching to the present number and variety of means for the dissemination of thought can be exceeded only by their possibilities of ill. Never in the history of the world was there so broadcast a sowing of ideas, and never, it would seem, were the channels of youth so flooded with that which vitiates the appetite, degrades the sense, and debases the character. These things being true, the need of forethought and discrimination, upon the part of those who are responsible for the kind and quality of the reading-matter which supplies the young with "food for thought," was never so great.

All this was deeply impressed upon the attention of one individual some years ago by a discovery which he made while visiting in a beautiful country home. He had arrived late in the evening, and having gone immediately to his room, he made his first acquaintance with his surroundings on the following dawn, when he came downstairs to find that the other inmates of the home were enjoying the privilege of a Sunday morning nap. Being thus alone, he began to look about, and noted that the furnishings and decorations of the home gave evidence of much intelligence and taste, as well as of abundant resources, while the well-stocked library, together with numerous religious and literary periodicals, spoke more specifically of the high* ideals and aspirations of the parents. Nevertheless, in the midst of this Eden, the visitor found the trail of the serpent, when, to his utter astonishment, he chanced upon a pile of the emblazoned Sunday issues of an ultra "yellow journal," together with numerous well-worn copies of a paper devoted wholly to the exploitation of crime.

The shock attending this discovery led him to recall the fact that the eldest daughter of this household had brought untold pain to her parents through her frivolity and indiscretion, and that the depraved habits of the eldest son had for years been chiseling its sad record upon the rapidly aging faces of the father and mother; and as he mused upon these things, the Master's words, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," came to him with an altogether new force and significance. What a farreaching folly was this! An intelligent Christian father labors for years that he may provide his children with creature comforts and educational advantages, and then shows an indifference with respect to the daily nourishment of these children which he would have instantly recognized and condemned had the welfare of his animals been at stake! And yet is not a kindred offense committed by all those who thoughtlessly open their homes to readingmatter which conduces to a vulgar and frivolous, not to say immoral, sense?

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October 31, 1908

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