The Burning Books by T. De Witt Talmage

T. DeWitt Talmage
Acts 19:19

Paul had been stirring up Ephesus with some lively
sermons about the sins of that place. Among the more
important results was the fact that the citizens
brought out their bad books, and in a public place
made a bonfire of them. I see the people coming out
with their arms full of Ephesian literature and
tossing it into the flames. I see an economist
standing by, and hear him saying, "Stop this waste.
Here are some thousand dollars' worth of books; do you
propose to burn them all up? If you don't want to read
them yourselves, sell them, and let somebody else read
them." "No," said the people, "if these books are not
good for us, they are not good for anybody else, and
we shall stand and watch until the last leaf has
turned to ashes. They have done us a world of harm,
and they shall never do others harm." Hear the flames
crackle and roar!

Well, my friends, one of the wants of the cities of
this country is a great bonfire of bad books and
newspapers. We have enough fuel to make a blaze two
hundred feet high. Many of the publishing houses would
do well to dump into the blaze their entire stock of
goods, and a great many of the newspaper
establishments would do well to roll into the flames
all their next issue of fifty or a hundred thousand
copies. Bring forth the insufferable trash and put it
into the fire, and let it be known in the presence of
God and angels and men that you are going to rid your
houses of the overtopping and underlying curse of a
profligate literature.

The printing press is the mightiest agency on earth
for good or evil. The position of a minister of
religion standing in his pulpit is a responsible
position, but it does not seem to me so responsible a
position as that of the editor and the publisher. At
what distant point of time, at what distant cycle of
eternity, will cease the influence of the great
departed editors of th ...

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