What shall be our summing up of all these truly remarkable historical facts, for facts they all are?
What shall we say of “That Restraining Hand” which manifested itself time and time again as we have seen? What shall we say of all these interventions of the “Weather” and the elements?
What shall we say of those Victories that followed “National Days of Prayer?”
Can we dismiss them all as “CO-INCIDENCES” and happenings of Fate, or may it not be that the same Hand which Restrained at Stalingrad, at Moscow, in the Pacific Seas and at Cassino, is the very same Hand which controls the Elements, and decrees the Weather. Tat same Hand, which since Creation has ordered that “Seedtime and Harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and Day and night shall not cease?”
As it has not failed in the latter, so we have seen it has not failed in the former, and Never will.
Surely, in all honesty and sincerity (if we really wish to be honest), we must admit that it is so; and further, that it is nothing short of the very same hand (which holds the reins of the Universe and Governs Supreme in the affairs of men today) which, in answer to man’s sincere Prayer on those Days of National recognition, granted Divine and Miraculous deliverances.
Only those who wish to thank otherwise can dismiss such overwhelming evidence, which upon any other theme, would be brought forward with abounding confidence.
We make bold to say with the Psalmist, that these are God’s DOINGS, and are truly marvelous in our eyes. Do you not agree?
This Volume has been specially written and prepared to this end, and dedicated to the Service of God for distribution at cost, in order to broadcast this important message to those who have “ears to hear.”
We are persuaded that this favoured Nation of ours has left God too much out of account. Although, as we have seen, He has endeavoured to prove to us that the final issue rests with Him, for He controls the weather; and although our Leaders fully acknowledge that these successes and disasters ARE due to events beyond human control, YET, we DO NOT publicly acknowledge God’s sovereignty and supreme power, and until we do, Victory can never be ours in the fullest sense of the word. To win the War even, will not be the end, or even Victory, as our Leaders are now telling us. To win the Peace will be equally difficult, but herein lies the KEY to ALL TRUE VICTORY.
EVERYTHING of earth is liable to FAIL, and crumble beneath our feet, as we have surely seen in this War time and time again; but there is ONE who never fails, and His Might and resources are ALMIGHTY and LIMITLESS. When all other Allies FAIL, here is an unfailing source of strength and power. One who has NEVER failed those who REALLY-(and I emphasise that word-REALLY)-TRUST HIM.
The way out of the darkness for this Nations, and in fact the Nations of the World, and all free men, is to get BACK TO GOD. If men and women today only realized the Almighty Power of God they would be flocking to the House of Prayer daily.
General Sir Wm. Dobbie, late Governor and G.O.C. of Malta, said when addressing a large London meeting recently:
“Don’t you think that wars, like other judgments of God, are sent, or allowed, in order to teach us something which we cannot, or will not, learn in any other way; I personally, am convinced that
through this war in order to bring us to a proper attitude of mind towards Himself.
But we are ignoring Him; we are indifferent to Him; we think that we can, by our own efforts win the Victory. But we cannot do so.
VICTORY IS THE GIFT OF ALMIGHTY GOD,
who alone is the Arbiter in human affairs. We have got to learn that lesson as a nation; and I believe God is trying to get us to learn it, in His great mercy.
He has delivered us from disaster, and yet He has, so far, withheld success from us.
Even if we did win the war, we would make an awful mess of the peace if our attitude towards Him was not right.”
How true his words are!
But let me continue, For Gen. Dobbie is not the only leader who has spoken thus. It is another of the remarkable facts of this war that so many of those in the forefront of the fray have publicly expressed themselves thus, and may it not be another of God’s over-ruling Providences in permitting such men to be in such positions at just such a time as this?
Surely one of the most strikming instances of this over-ruling Hand in an Hour of need is to be seen in the coming into power, just at the critical moment, of our own Prime Minster-the Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill.
Writing in the “Sunday Pictorial” – as long ago as November 27th, 1932 (seven years before this War), G. Ward Price (who is today one of our leading and most far-seeing Journalists), wrote under the heading “The Right man in the wrong place” as follows:
“When the history of this long post – war crisis through which we are living, comes to be read by Britons yet unborn, one question they will ask and wonder is: ‘Why did England make so little use of Winston Churchill?’”
And then Ward Price added this significant and almost prophetic utterance:
“God’s greatest gift to the British Nation throughout its history has been the right men at the right time.”
But seven years ago, was NOT God’s right time for Winston Churchill to come to power, therefore that unseen Restraining Hand was exercising its power, mysterious as it seemed to such as G. Ward Price. BUT in the hour of need, the Right Man comes forward to the right place which none can deny.
Think too, of General Chiang Kai-Shek, the Christian General of China and his Christian wife, of whom a certain Canadian Official said recently that during a Japanese Air Raid when he himself was trembling from head to foot she went on writing as quietly and as calmly as if nothing was happening. Later, being invited by the General to stay to evening devotions he did so, and for thirty minutes God and His word held the attention of this Man of God.
Says the Canadian: “A Bible was produced, and the General began by reading some Scipture. Then the three joined in Prayer, the General leading. I never expect to hear such a prayer again in all my life. He began with a simple expression of thanks for their personal safety. Then he added thanks for the courage of the Nation under fire. Then he prayed for strength for the men in the field, and along the firing lines; he prayed for strength for himself, and added a most earnest plea for guidance and wisdom, that would not fail the people.
In the simplest and humblest terms, he laid himself at the service of Almighty God, and begged that he might know the Divine Will, and do it on the morrow.”
And is it not impressive to read Madame Chiang Kai-Shek’s own comment upon her childhood days and to learn some lesson from it in the light of OUR children’s spiritual education in these modern days:
“One of my strongest childhood impressions” she says,”is of my mother going to a room, she kept for the purpose on the third floor, to pray. She spent hours in prayer, often beginning before dawn. When we asked her advice about anything she would say, “I must ask God first.” Asking God was not a matter of spending five minutes to ask Him to bless her child and grant the request. It meant waiting upon God until she felt His leading.”
Such Mothers give the world such Great Leaders.
We have surely to thank God, that such as these are Leaders among us today.
But let us go on: Think of Admiral Sir John Tovey, C. in C. the Nore, who told his officers and men that the complete lack of casualties, to men and ships, when the Bismark was sunk was, in his opinion, an answer to prayer.
Then there was the Staff Officer who helped plan the Madagascar Campaign, who said: “Every detail was prayed over.”
And Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew Cunningham, before the anxious operations of Crete, asked a Chaplain’s Conference to pray for God’s help.
And Admiral Nimitz, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, wrote to a Sunday School Class thus:
“The prayers of these boys are appreciated by the officers and men the Pacific Fleet. It is an assuring encouragement to them. I know that the prayers of these boys for ultimate victory will be answered.”
And General MacArthur who before he graduated, had read the Bible through six times, asked divine guidance for his leadership in the South-west Pacific. He said:
And in recognition of National Bible Week, General MacArthur said that because of “the spiritual significance” of the world conflict, we can “declare our faith and confidence with God’s help in our final victory.”
“I read my Bible every day, gentlemen, and I would advise you to do the same.”
Such is the reported advice given by General Montgomery to a gathering of his officers. But again reference must made to this great General’s early training, and the influence of a godly mother.
“Picture Post” of October 126th, 1943, says of Lady Montgomery-the General’s mother:
“Permeating her life, her home, her character, is her strong sense of religion.
Lady Montgomery is an ardent Protestant in an ardent Catholic country. She holds prayers t 8.30 every morning in the private chapel, says Grace before every meal. She knows the Bible as so many Victorians knew it-almost by heart.
She takes a great interest in the teaching of Christianity to children. She has written many religious books, including a Life of Christ for children. She believes that children should be taught the Gospels and a belief in prayer at an early age.”
I repeat, such mothers and such parentage give the world its true leaders. May we heed such lessons as these today.
In the first World War, it will be recalled, there was an issue of Khaki-covered New Testaments, with a commendatory message inside the cover from Lord Roberts. In the present war the United States War Department ordered New Testaments for distribution to such troops as apply for copies. Stamped on the cover, in gold lettering, is a message from President Roosevelt, in these terms.
“Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and of diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a foundation of strength, and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.”
Recall also Viscount Gort, whom some jeeringly call the Praying General; Generals Wavell, Alexander, Anderson and Maitland Wilson not forgetting Mr. A.V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty, who recently said in reply to one who commented that “It must be a great thing to be First Lord of the Admiralty.” “Yes” he replied, “But there is a greater thing, I am a Baptist local preacher.” And no doubt you could readily add many more.
These are MEN in the true sense of the word-leaders of men-who know and believe sincerely that God Himself-ALONE-is the NATION’S GREATEST NEED: the WORLD’S greatest need today.
I repeat, thank God that there are such men in such places of power and authority, and I am persuaded that these are the men that God IS using, and WILL use, to honour with Victory, when we are ready to receive it from His Hand.