(James, "The Christian Father's Present to His Children")
As to novels, I join with every other moral and religious
writer in condemning, as the vilest trash, the greater part
of these productions, which have carried a turbid stream
of vice over the morals of mankind.
Novels . . .
corrupt the taste,
pollute the heart,
debase the mind,
demoralize the conduct.
Novels throw prostrate the understanding; sensualize
the affections; enervate the will; and bring all the high
faculties of the soul into subjection to a wild imagination.
Novels generate a morbid, sickly sentimentalism,
instead of a just and lovely realism.
A wise man should despise novels, and a godly
man should abhor them!