“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Rev.18: 4-5)
Sixty years ago, Patience Strong wrote on Britain the following words of wisdom in an article entitled “The Challenge” “Not so very long ago we fought to save our land-pausing not to count the cost, – we worked with heart and hand-in the dark days of Dunkirk and through the bitter years-paying for our victory with blood and sweat and tears. Now we face another challenge . . . Are we to survive ? Can we hold our rightful place ? We can if all will strive-working for prosperity with energy and zest-giving all they have to give, their utmost and their best. We were rich-and now we’re poor.. . because we paid the price-Proud to bear the burden and to make the sacrifice . . Are we then to throw away the fruits of victory? Let us face it as we faced the Great Calamity.
For those who are old enough to remember the optimism for the future after the second devastating war of the twentieth century, it is almost inconceivable that we have, as Ms. Strong deliberated, “thrown away the fruits of victory.” For if you compare the Anglo-Saxon Nation status sixty years ago with our diminished status today, you might well agree with this statement. Ms. Strong also spoke of the great sacrifice Britain made, she could just as easily referred to the sacrifice of the Canadians, the Americans, the Australians, New Zealanders and all the other brave men and women who joined in on the sacrifice to preserve freedom. Then, she posed the challenge, “Are we to survive?”
My first thought is, “And if we are to survive, in what form.” Back in those days, a prominent member of the House of Lords, Lord Queenborough, G.B.E., was quoted as follows, “The community of nations, like every other community, needs leadership. In a number of past crises it has found it in England and the British peoples. To-day it is looking to us again, waiting for the decisive words, the decisive gesture that will strike through the fog of the world’s perplexities and bring mankind out to the clear uplands beyond.” As I read his article, it appeared to me that he was thrusting home the point of “leadership,” as portrayed by great Britons of the past, like Edward I, Elizabeth I, Drake, Wellington, Nelson, and so many others. Like, I think he, as a true Israelite, was not referring to “capitulation,” particularly to what even then was being referred to as “A United States of Europe.”
Many believed Prime Minister Edward Heath when in 1972 he assured Britons that the Common Market was simply a trading arrangement involving no loss of sovereignty. I suppose he had to make this statement because unlike Britons today, particularly younger ones who appear to have bought into the concept, 1972 Britons would not have accepted the giving away of their national identity, their government and their independence to an European Union government headquartered in a foreign country. Britain is just a step away from full immersion and it was only results of national referendums in two member states that prevented the Blair government from going all the way and becoming a small part of a 25 nation union.
Yet, let’s not think that Edward Heath was alone in spearheading the intended capitulation of Britain. In past articles, I referred to Prime Minister Harold MacMillan’s “Winds of Change” doctrine and his determination to dismantle the Commonwealth as a prelude to European integration. W.B. Grant, a correspondent of the now defunct “National Message” and a thorough researcher, pointed to the calls by influential leaders for unity as far back as World War I, as a stated intended solution to the Continent’s problems. Mr. Grant also referred to a October 20th, 1946 Sunday Graphic article in which then future Prime Minister Anthony Eden was quoted as saying, “The Western European family must draw even closer together,” adding ” expression should be found for their instinctive unity, and the sooner the better.”
The great war leader, Winston Churchill, is seen as an icon of statesmanship and certainly the courage he displayed during WW2 was remarkable. Many Christians are also deeply inspired by his admission that he felt some guiding hand was behind the allied victory. Yet, it is likely disheartening to many of us who have been ardent Churchill followers to learn that he too favoured the move toward a united Europe. Around 1938 he wrote his thesis about “The United States of Europe” and after the war, delivered many supportive lectures. Grant points to a December 30th, 1946 Daily Telegraph article by Churchill, “One Way to Stop a New War” in which he seemed ready to abandon the hard fought independence of Britain and its remarkable impact on history. I suppose what is most sad, for me anyway, was to see the tact of prevalent fear of war and terror of living in a police state advanced by Churchill as rationale for giving up independence. In his article, Churchill also said, “Yet all this could be ended at a single stroke. Two or three hundred millions of people in Europe have only got to wake up one morning and resolve to be happy and free by becoming one family of nations, banded together from the Atlantic to the Black Sea for mutual aid and protection. One spasm of resolve! One single gesture! The prison doors clang open. Out walk, or totter, the captives into the sunshine of a joyous world. I do not at all conceal from the reader that an act of the Sublime is required. It is a very simple act, not even a forward bound. Just stand erect, but all together.”
Among other things, Grant mused, “Does Mr. Churchill really believe it is as simple as that.” Obviously he didn’t and probably knew that the plan would take decades to complete, as it would certainly be necessary that the proud British heritage had to be re-moulded to the point where complete integration would be welcome. Sadly, Churchill’s call for an “all party” organization for the promotion of unity gives us a glimpse of what many of us will speculate to be a less desirable side to this otherwise great prime minister.
So, here Britain is today, poised on the threshold of sacrificing everything, from the protection afforded by the famed Magna Carta to the freedoms of its God inspired Constitution. Certainly when God said, “Come out of her, My People” He must, at least in part, been referring to Ephraim Britain’s temptation. As Grant pointed out, the opening verses of Isaiah 2 imply that Israel must be pre-eminent in leadership. Thus it is [True] Israel who must give the lead by coming so completely identified with the Lord that when the nations seek union with her they will also become joined with the redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Grant called upon the people to heed Isaiah’s call, “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.”
We should contemplate, “Will Ephraim Britain take that last fearful step?” Judging by the political climate of that nation, and its current leaders, it certainly looks that way. Still, I like the way W.B. Grant uses Daniel 2 to show why the United States of Europe, with a fully emerged Britain, is not possible. He points out that: “The image seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream symbolically portrays the four successive Gentile: empires beginning with Babylon and ending with Rome. The feet and toes of the image, part iron and part of clay (v. 33), symbolize the divide (condition of Europe following the downfall of th Roman Empire). Speaking of the remnants of the image prior to its final disintegration (v. 35), Daniel declares that ” they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay (v. 43).
May God bless the British people and open their eyes to what is taking place in their nation and with leaders who seemingly seek position rather than statesmanship.