Editor: Very few of us, particularly we older ones, have escaped learning of the loss of a loved one in war. Still, with trembling hands, thousands of mothers, have opened letters or such and was faced with the great fear, with which they have been living. Sometimes, the letter was directed to a close neighbour or relative, to help ease the suffering. One such letter, dated October 4th, 1918, one month before World War One ended, was opened by the mother of a great friend of the tragic incident. It began, “France, October 4, 1918 — Well, Mother, this has been a sad two days for me. Walter Adams was killed yesterday, and we buried him today. Was talking and joking with him not five minutes before. Saw him get his cup and plate and go for dinner about twenty yards away. But poor Walter did not return, for a shell landed in the “cook house” and twenty-two casualties was the result. He was the only one killed instantly. He and I have been such great friends since coming to France and have had such good times together. I know this, that a better living boy could not be. I certainly feel it keenly myself, as I have lost one of the best friends I ever had, and it sure has cast a gloom over the whole battery. But we must go on regardless”.
I could have picked hundreds of letters for this Editor’s Note but chose this one because Walter Adams was very special to my family. A month before he went overseas, he saved a young boy of 13 from drowning, my father.
War is truly hell and every day we should pray for those at the forefront of battles, whether on the ground, the air or the water. They are our heroes.
It’s been 101 years since the deadliest war in history ended and the noise of battle ceased. With mixed feelings, but with a grim determination that ‘it should never happen again’, the Celto-Saxon peoples faced the then future. For many that future held suffering of body and mind, and for many, too, a sense of deprivation and loss. Yet, surely, it held for all the hope, and perhaps the promise, of lasting peace. It never happened, of course.
The League of Nations came into being, and great indeed was the faith which was centred on its potential. If we could all look back to that time, we can but say, in words reminiscent of the famous Cardinal not have given us over in our extremity to the ravages of another war.” The League was like the wall spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel, which, being daubed with untempered mortar, fell.
British Israel writers and speakers declared that the League was not established on a sure foundation and hence it could not achieve its principal objective; even though they declared also, that God, having foreseen man’s need, had provided the means whereby peace could be maintained and economic stability assured. Still, one side benefit took place in Israel-Identity circles, the expression, ‘God’s League of Nations’, came into use, referring to the Celto-Saxon group of nations, identified as the modern continuation of God’s servant nation, Israel.
The League of Nations is now only a distant memory, and its place was taken by the United Nations organisation upon which millions, blind to the lessons of the past, pin their faith, stifling their fears as the organization struggles on from crisis to crisis, delaying (for it is no more than that) the evil day of a complete breakdown in international affairs. God’s League of Nations, however, still exists, and the ties which bind together the component units have been strengthened by perils faced together and sacrifices shared. Not only within the former British Commonwealth nations is co-operation and unity of purpose to be found, but the United States of America is more closely linked as well. Other Israel nations have been drawn into close alliance with us, bringing nearer the day when all Israel shall be found in one camp and under one leadership.
Sadly, during the past 100 years, millions of lives have been sacrificed in the struggle for freedom and justice which, alas, have not yet been achieved, nor will be until we learn that, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.”
This year, as in every year since 1918, the words of Kipling’s hymn will be sung: ‘Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, lest we forget.’ God grant that we may never forget those who have died in wars past and God help with our great fear of future wars. God give us grace to turn to Him in humble penitence and child-like faith, that, seeking His help in sincerity and with an unselfish willingness to serve Him, we may be accorded His protection and be saved from the appalling destruction which, according to prophecy, will overtake an unrepentant world.
Courtesy “The National Message”
Editor: It’s impossible for me to end this article unless I quote part of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. He was relating to the American Civil War but his words can echo the great sacrifices of the wars of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He said “But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”