Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Shrunken Island (and The Great War)

The Captain took us out for lunch to Arundel yesterday.   Roast chicken for him, veggie lasagne for me.  The light was wonderful, because the weather was so strange. One minute that intense low Winter sunlight was making all the pebbles on the island shine like jewels, the next minute there would be a violent rainstorm. The water is still high and the islands have shrunk.  More rain on the way.

The water voles and rats have been flooded out of their homes in the banks.  Surely we could and should be providing them with warm dry nests?  When the earth is Paradise again...

The commemorations of WW1,  are starting, of course.  This from yesterday's GuardianTV review page:

"It wasn't that the series demanded a great historical debate on the causes of the war – though it did seem perverse that the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the Balkans or European imperialism didn't get a mention – but it did require something to explain the war as more than a random series of events that happened to Britain. A week or so before the war began, there was a mass peace rally led by Keir Hardie in London: war was something few wanted and most believed should be avoided. And yet, within a week or so of the outbreak, Paxman informed us, Britain was united in a determination that this was a war that needed to be fought, without any nod to how or why the mood of the nation had undergone a U-turn.
Nor was there even a hint of an explanation as to why so many in Britain thought the war would be over by Christmas when, days earlier, the politicians had apparently been weeping at the devastation they knew was to come. Was it just that no one could conceive of a war lasting any longer or was there a collective denial? It may be there are no straight answers – easy or otherwise – but the questions do need to be asked if any sense is to be made of the war."
Easy answers?   Yes and No.

Baldrick's (of Blackadder) explanation made as much sense as any political one I have ever heard.   Didn't he say that World War 1 started when a man called Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry?

Thomas Hardy seemed to understand something of the forces behind it in his brave poem called "The Pity of It".  Yet he was not a believer in the Bible, or in God.

And on August 30, 1914, the arresting headline “End of All Kingdoms in 1914” blazed across page 4 of the Sunday magazine section of The World, a leading New York newspaper. “The terrific war outbreak in Europe has fulfilled an extraordinary prophecy,” stated this feature article. “For a quarter of a century past, through preachers and through press, the ‘International Bible Students [Jehovah’s Witnesses],’ best known as ‘Millennial Dawners,’ have been proclaiming to the world that the Day of Wrath prophesied in the Bible would dawn in 1914. ‘Look out for 1914!’ has been the cry of the hundreds of traveling evangelists who, representing this strange creed, have gone up and down the country enunciating the doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God is at hand.’”

How did they know?  Because 1914 is a very significant year in Bible prophecy.  It marks a time of great trouble on the earth, but on a "darkest hour before the dawn" basis.    I hope to get back to this as the year goes on.  

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