On The Trinity College Dublin Book Sale 2012 – and Never Judging a Book by its Cover!

On Friday 9th March last I made my way into Dublin by train for the twenty-third annual second-hand book sale in Trinity College. First held in 1989, this sale raises funds for the college’s libraries. Antiquarian, rare books and journals are all auctioned off prior to the sale but some books of interest were still remaining when I reached there that Friday morning. I have previously discovered out-of-print Christian books, including the writings of John Wesley, but one thing I have learned from this year’s book sale is that where ‘Christian’ books are concerned, you can never judge a book by its cover!

I discovered a certain book which I thought would be a gem but later at home, when I tried to read it, I realised that there was something terribly wrong. Somehow it was too full of the writer’s own philosophies and although he quoted some wonderful scripture from 1Corinthians 13, I could not relate to his own words which felt strangely alien to me.

When the 19th century writer proceeded to quote from a well known humanist of the time, I realised that I had made a mistake in buying the book – even though it was only 50 cents!

Later these words from John 10v4&5 came to mind… “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

Somehow to read this book for me was the equivalent of listening to ‘the voice of a stranger.’

I thought about my Saviour of whom it was said… “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written…” (John 21v25)

So many books in the world and so much knowledge… yet only the written word which is written about, or seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ will pass the “hay, wood and stubble” test. And only the actions which spring from hearts that are filled with His love will stand on that day.

My prayer is that the He will give me discernment in all that I acquire to read, or to listen to of a spiritual nature.

”For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 3v11)


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