Poisoned in the Library

In a typical stately home or English mansion one is likely to find a grand library. I sometimes think how happy I should be if I were sentenced to a term of several years’ imprisonment, albeit in one of these great places, with nothing to do all day but read and ponder. Yet many of the books were likely bought for display purposes only. Even the religious tomes, such as Dr Coneybeare’s Sermons, which has a sweet title if e’er there was one, is a poisonous denial of Christian truth. Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (died 1924) wrote Myth, Magic, and Morals (1909) in which he defended the existence of an historical Jesus but essentially said Paul and others made up the rest. A member of the Rationalist Press Association, one wonders how anything he wrote or spoke could ever be deemed a sermon.

One need not become one of those pious folk who claim to read scripture only because all else is polluted and corrupted. Yet we must all be on our guard against false religious teachers, ministers, theologians and prophets who deny, distort and twist divine truth. Their books might look good on our shelves, but their contents would poison our souls, distress our spirits and blaspheme the Lord who bought us.