Ellen G. White Writings

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Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 92

Chapter 10—Danger of Reading Fictitious and Infidel Books

Every Christian, whether old or young, will be assailed by temptations; and our only safety is in carefully studying our duty, and then doing it at any cost to ourselves. Everything has been done for us to secure our salvation, and we must be not only willing but anxious to learn the will of God, and do all things to His glory. This is the Christian's life work. He will not try to see how far he can venture in the path of indifference and unbelief, and yet be called a child of God; but he will study to see how closely he can imitate the life and character of Christ.

Young friends, a knowledge of the Bible will help you to resist temptation. If you have been in the habit of reading storybooks, will you consider whether it is right to spend your time with these books, which merely occupy your time and amuse you, but give you no mental or moral strength? If you are reading them, and find that they create a morbid craving for exciting novels, if they lead you to dislike the Bible, and cast it aside, if they involve you in darkness and backsliding from God,—if this is the influence they have over you, stop right where you are. Do not pursue this course of reading until your imagination is fired, and you become unfitted for the study of the Bible, and the practical duties of real life.

Cheap works of fiction do not profit. They impart no real knowledge; they inspire no great and good purpose; they kindle in the heart no earnest desires for purity; they excite no soul hunger for righteousness. On the contrary, they take time which should be given to the practical duties of life and to the service of God,—time which should be devoted to prayer, to visiting the sick, caring for the needy, and educating yourself for a useful life. When you commence reading a storybook, how frequently

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