Cambria Will Not Yield

Saturday, November 04, 2006

“Only My Blood Speaks”

I saw a series of articles on the Internet recently that were of great interest to me. A group of Protestants who were united on the issue of white kinship were discussing the “by what authority?” question. They came up with no answers, but they asked the right questions. They agreed that the Bible alone could not be the sole authority nor could Luther and Calvin. It has always struck me as absurd that Protestants reject Papal infallibility only to adopt Calvinistic infallibility. But these Protestants rejected that absurdity. And they also, God bless them, rejected the pretenses of Rome. I think what a sincere Protestant is rejecting when he rejects Rome is the medieval accoutrements, not the Gospel story as told by such men as St. Patrick and Geoffrey of Monmouth. A genuine renewal in the Church will come from the ranks of those white, kinship-based Protestants, for they have two things that the so-called Catholics – let’s call them institutional Catholics – lack. And those two things are a sincere desire to know Jesus Christ and a determination to stand, alone if need be, with Europe.

A simple story is not of necessity silly and superficial. A simple story can have depth. All of Shakespeare’s tragedies, for instance, are based on rather simple stories. And the deepest story of all, the Christ story, is a simple one. And yet what depths are to be found in that simple story!

It has been Satan’s task to convince mankind that the complicated golden edifice of philosophical speculation from Aristotle, Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Freud, Darwin, Marx, and de Chardin is the real truth while the simple lead casket containing the Christ story is just dross. Some dross! It is the dross that ennobles all who come in contact with it and it is the dross that maketh the dead to rise.

The European peoples did not abandon their bardic cultures when they embraced Christianity. They simply realized that Thor and Odin were precursors of the True Hero. But their cultures remained bardic. The entire thrust of the speculators of the West has been to turn Western culture into a philosophical one instead of a bardic one. But it is only in the cultures that revere the bard that Christ can find a home. The Christian bard celebrates the hearth, the village, and the humble church. He celebrates the warrior only when the warrior goes forth in support of those sacred sanctuaries.

Faith, in the bardic cultures, is simple and concrete, as depicted by H. V. Morton in his book, In Search of England. While traveling through England in 1926, he comes upon a church where the people still believe as their bardic ancestors believed:

“It is, perhaps, difficult for you, a stranger, to understand. You see, we are, in this little hamlet, untouched by modern ideas, in spite of the wireless and the charabanc. We use words long since abandoned—why only to-day I heard a little girl use the word ‘boughten’ for ‘bought’. My parishioners believe firmly in a physical resurrection! They believe that a trumpet will herald the end of the world, and that the bones in this churchyard will join together. So you see they like to be buried on top of their fathers and grand-fathers, because they will rise together as a family. It is, to them, more friendly. Clannish in life and clannish in death. It is a very old and primitive idea. I know other country clergy who are in the same, as it were, box.”

It comes down to, for European man, the call of the blood. We should not hesitate to answer that call. The philosophical speculators will tell us that such things belong to our caveman past and that we must evolve beyond it. Not so, at least not for European man. His blood has been linked to Christ’s through the blood of his ancestors. It is not some siren or some inhuman creature that calls the European. It is the bard of bards that calls.

If you put a gun to my head and ordered me to say which Church, the Protestant or the Catholic, was the more anti-Christian, I would say the Catholic Church. But it is really not a question of either/or. The Protestants responded to the Thomistic manure heap of philosophical speculation with their own brand of Calvinistic manure. Neither church has preserved the bardic or poetic core of the Christian Faith.

Christ is the sacred harpist of Western Civilization. The European people once danced, cried, lived and died to the sounds of His sacred harp. Why can we no longer hear it? We can no longer hear it because we have left the bardic forest and settled in the philosophic city. If we leave that city of desolation and enter the forest, we will hear, ever so slightly, the sound of a harp. And if we follow that sound, with a heart emptied of all other emotions save the desire to trace that sound to its source, we will proceed through the forest and come upon a cottage by a brook. And then what visions we shall see!

A man, if he is going to be a man, will come to a crossroads in his life. At that time he will hear the din of philosophical speculation which will appeal to his pride. And he will also hear the sound of the harp which will appeal to his blood. If he follows the music of the speculators, the music of the harp will fade and become, in the mind of the man, a fantasy, a dream, something that has no basis in reality. But if the man answers the call of the blood, he will gradually become so imbued with the sound of the harp that he will be immune to any other claim upon him. He will, like Hamlet, (“It is I, Hamlet the Dane”) finally know who he is and to whom he belongs.

All peoples except the European people listen to the call of the blood. But the non-European people have not been Christianized. When they answer the call of the blood, it is a call to shed blood. And now that there are not white men of blood to oppose them, the Mexicans have returned to their Aztec roots, committing hideous barbaric murders, and the Africans have returned to their voodoo roots, committing hideous and atrocious murders. And yet the modern European approves of the blood faiths of the heathens (Aztec art is all the rage in academia), while disapproving of any manifestation of the blood faith of the Europeans. The popular play Equus, for instance, depicted the plight of a pathetic, gutted psychiatrist who wondered about the wisdom of “curing” a boy who had a pagan, religious belief in horses. “The boy felt something genuine,” the psychiatrist lamented, which was more than he had ever felt. The play was seen as quite wonderful by all the play-going white people. But what if the boy had wanted to return to the Christian faith of his fathers, the faith that was bred in the bone? Would a play with such a theme have found an audience with the post-Christian theater-goers? Of course not.

The entire mound of philosophical speculation that Western man has heaped up and his current obsession with the cultures of color are related. Philosophic speculation has brought a sickness unto death into the soul of Western man. And he thinks the barbarians have the cure, even if that cure brings about Western man’s death. The end result of philosophical speculation, whether it is done in the name of religion or in the name of atheism, is suicide. Nothing seems real, and man seems unnecessary. But when one sees the faith through the eyes of the bard, when one gets to the poetic core of Europe, one can see that man is needed. He is needed by God. Certainly God creates us and sustains us, but His humanity, especially His infant humanity, must be defended. And He does have needs. He needs our love. We are tied to Him by ties of blood. If the European could see that, and every European is capable of seeing Christ walking in the sacred woods, he could once again claim his birthright, he would once again be a European.

In a marvelous series of stories for children and the childlike, Kipling places Puck of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream in England. England as seen in the eyes of Puck and his young English companions is an enchanted fairy land. And so it was and is. The fairies have been driven underground and to the furthermost crags and crannies of Europe, but they are still there. Western man has been asleep, having a nightmare. In that nightmare he constantly tries to touch people and objects, but every time he reaches out to do so the people and objects turn to ideas and they fade away. If the European man awakes, he will see the fairies once again, and they will teach him what he already knows deep in his blood. They will teach him that the sacred woods of Europe come from the wood of the cross and the great King of Fairy Land is the selfsame carpenter who died on a cross at Calvary.

European culture is separate now, and was separate in the past as well, from all other cultures. She is separate now because she alone is rationalist while all other cultures are blood cultures. She was separate in the past because her blood culture was soaked in the blood of the lamb while all other cultures were soaked in the blood of their enemies. Surely a state of grace does not just consist of refraining from the more graphic mortal sins. It must also mean that one has overcome the obstacles that block the path to the living God. The rationalist culture must die and the bardic culture be restored before Christ can be seen on Blake’s English green.

I think Walter Scott demonstrates the way individual European men and women should go and the way European culture should go. He got his law degree and could have become a successful lawyer, but the fairy stories of Europe and the history of the European people were burned deeply into his soul. He answered the call of the blood and followed bardic Europe instead of rationalist Europe. And so should we all, but therein lies a great mystery. What can rekindle the fire of a love that has turned to ashes? From a strict scientific standpoint, the answer is nothing. You can’t rekindle ashes. But then the nonscientific Bard of Europe has told us all things are possible for those… But first we must see Him clearly. And then we shall love again and see ashes turned into a “chariot of fire.”

There are two European traditions, one of breadth and one of depth. The philosophical tradition is the tradition of breadth. It includes Plato’s unholy republic, Aquinas’s attempt to naturalize God, and Darwin’s attempt to turn man into an ape. The devotees of the tradition of breadth claim the glory of European man consists of his insatiable desire to expand his knowledge through the contemplation and the study of the natural world. Ever-onward means ever-upward to the man of breadth.

The bardic or poetic tradition, which I believe is the true Western tradition, is the tradition of depth. It is not knowledge of the natural world that activates the bardic tradition. It is the human heart. For those who follow the bardic tradition, the human heart, not nature, holds the secrets of the universe.

In the Aquinas-Darwinian tradition of breadth, the call of the blood must be suppressed because it is unclean and a deterrent to the pursuit of true knowledge, which always amounts to an accumulation of facts and observations about the natural world. This type of thinking is currently called ‘scientific’. In the bardic-poetic tradition of depth, man’s wisdom is viewed as imperfect but not unclean. It can be purified and perfected in the fiery furnace of the human heart. And when purified it becomes the true source of wisdom. It allows us to know God as a personality rather than as a derivative by-product of nature.

To me it seems obvious that the tradition of breadth is the golden casket that Bassania so wisely rejected:

“Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
T’ entrap the wisest. Therefore, then thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee;…”

Bravo! Neither the golden tradition of the philosophers and scientists or the silver one of the hard-eyed capitalists is the European tradition. Our tradition, from which we have strayed, is the bardic tradition of the simple lead casket. In that casket are the elves, the fairies, the knights, the ladies, and the Great King of all human hearts.

: but thou, thou meager lead,
Which rather threat’nest than does promise aught,
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence;
And here choose I. Joy be the consequence!

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All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men

It is difficult to say on what exact date institutional Christianity died, but it is not difficult to see that by the later half of the 20th century institutional Christianity, Protestant and Catholic, was dead. A wandering pilgrim stumbling through the rubble of institutional Christianity is forced to play detective. Why did this beautiful building crumble? There are fringe groups in both the Protestant and Catholic camps that will give you ready answers. “The building crumbled when we gave up on the Bible,” or “The building crumbled when we abandoned the Tridentine Mass.”

My own investigations turned me in a different direction from the fringe groups. I think the fringe groups’ views were tainted by party-line, vested interests.

I found that putting the rubble together again in order to ascertain how the building crumbled was a futile endeavor. Instead, I looked at the ideologies of the people who had been in charge of the building. Was there one common denominator among them, a common denominator powerful enough to destroy a strong edifice, to which I could point? I found there was. The leadership of the Protestants and the Catholics believed in a force more powerful than God. This belief was in stark contrast to that of Christians living before the 20th century. That new force, more powerful than God, was called science. Now, every word has multiple meanings; science can mean the study of nature, but science as a force, as a substitute religion, means ‘reality’. According to the leadership of Protestants and Catholics of our age, if one is thinking scientifically, one is thinking properly or realistically. In contrast, if one is thinking poetically, one is thinking in fantastical and unrealistic terms.

Scientific thinking, as we can see in Genesis, started with Satan. He wanted Adam and Eve to think realistically about the apple. “It won’t kill you; it will empower you.” And of course St. Thomas, that most realistic and scientific man, wanted us to know God by looking realistically at the natural world. Which leads us to the great rebellion: was a reformation necessary? Yes. The church needed to be redirected. It was heading for the swamp of desolation on the scientific express. But the Protestants did not divert the scientific express, they merely formed another express line. Did St. Paul deny the real presence? No, he did not. So why was it necessary for the Protestants to do so? But did St. Paul make the taking of the sacraments, in the prescribed form, the hallmark of the faith? And did he believe, in contrast to the Thomists, in a personal God above nature whom we could know without reference to nature or canon law?

The key point that a wandering pilgrim detective must keep before him is that Calvinism and Thomism are only explanations of the Christian Faith; they are not the Faith itself. Great saints have come out of both the Protestant and Catholic churches, but they have done so because they have drawn from a well-spring much deeper and purer than the well-spring recommended by their church. Conservatives in the Catholic Church, when they talk of getting back to their roots, go back to the very modern medievals. And conservatives in the Protestant church go back to Mr. Depravity, John Calvin. Why not go back to the original architect who said, “And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

The wisest words of the 20th century were written by Herbert Butterfield:

It may be that nature and history are not separable in the last resort, but at the level at which we do most of our ordinary thinking it is important to separate them, important not to synthesize them too easily and too soon, important above all not thoughtlessly to assume that nature, instead of being the substructure, is the whole edifice or the crown. The thing which we have come to regard as history would disappear if students of the past ceased to regard the world of men as a thing apart – ceased to envisage a world of human relations set up against nature and the animal kingdom. In such circumstances the high valuation that has long been set upon human personality would speedily decline.

At the midpoint of the 20th century Butterfield faces the modern dilemma. Man has ceased to look on himself as a creature of God. He now looks on himself as a creature of the natural world in which the Christian God has a part only to the extent that He conforms to nature. This type of thinking completely alters every aspect of traditional Christianity. For instance, I once reviewed a book, by a supposedly conservative Catholic theologian, in which the theologian agonized over the meaning of the resurrection of the body. He rejected out of hand the “Victorian notion” that we met our loved ones, family and pets, in the flesh in the next world. Instead he settled for a combination of Buddhistic life-force concepts and Shamanistic incantations. Why? Because in his polluted brain that sounded more natural. But if one has never ceased to look on God as separate and above the natural process, and one stills looks upon man as a creature of God, then the resurrection of the body seems to be a very simple concept. It means what the simple-minded Victorians and all the simple-minded Christians, such as St. Paul, always thought it meant.

A reformation is needed in both the Protestant and Catholic churches. But it must come from out of the depths. It must come from poor, bare, unaccommodated man seeking his maker, and not from the contemplation of the natural world.

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The Racial Divide

In a truly sickening age one of the most sickening spectacles to witness (at least for me) is that of a white man using the race card against a fellow white. There is black solidarity, there is brown solidarity, there is Asian solidarity, there is Aztec solidarity, but there is no white solidarity.

There are two ways that whites betray whites. The first way was illustrated recently by some liberal, white, degenerate government-something-or-other during a debate with Pat Buchanan. Buchanan, who is a milquetoast on the subject of immigration, was simply making the point that the Mexican immigration was coming too fast and that the U.S. was not going to be able to absorb the Mexicans. He was not even claiming, as he should, that we should close our borders to all Mexican immigration. The degenerate white liberal sneeringly played the race card, stating that Pat hated all non-whites and that he would not object to the immigration of people of the white race. Just once I would love to hear a white man respond to that sort of bullying with, “Yes, I would prefer that America restrict immigration to white people because they are my people and because they created this country.” But of course Pat would never say that. He very patiently stated that he was simply in favor of a slower Mexican invasion than was envisioned by the liberals. But the sneering liberal won. Pat was a racist. Case closed.
The white race needs to defend itself. But we do not have to become like the colored races to fight them. One does not have to hate, to the point of seeking their annihilation. One only has to love one’s own race.

The second way a white traitor betrays his own is by taking refuge in his ethnicity in order to betray his race. This allows the cowardly white to claim minority and victim status along with the people of color. The Irish and the Italians often are guilty of this form of betrayal.

The late Graham John, former head of the New Christian Crusade Church, had ethnicity and race in the proper order when he stated that he was European first and Welsh second. But it is very hard to resist claiming special victim status. The Scotts and the Welsh, though Celt, are lumped with the hated Anglo-Saxons and are therefore never granted victim status. And the Germans? Well, we know about those Germans. They are the only European group that is hated more than the Anglo-Saxons. Interestingly enough, the Spaniards, who are often lumped with the Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, are proud of their white European heritage and seldom claim victim status. The list goes on; you can fill it in as easily as I can. I personally agree with Thomas Dixon Jr., author of The Leopard’s Spots, when he lumps all whites together:

“Hear me, men of my race, Norman and Celt, Angle and Saxon, Dane and Frank, Huguenot and German martyr blood!

“The hour has struck when we must rise in our might, break the chains that bind us to this corruption, strike down the Negro as a ruling power, and restore to our children their birthright, which we received, a priceless legacy, from our fathers.”

Yes, that is how it should be. It is the white European against the colored hordes. And if you claim you don’t like that and you think I’m a racist, then I must tell you that you need to look at the world as it is and you will see that it matters not whether one likes it or not; this racial divide is reality. For the cultures of color certainly hate the white race and seek to destroy it. The white race needs to defend itself. But we do not have to become like the colored races to fight them. One does not have to hate, to the point of seeking their annihilation. One only has to love one’s own race. That should be motivation enough to fight for it. When will this white self-hate end? I don’t know. But it certainly would be a great blessing if we, the whites who still love whites, could dismantle the white-hating Christian churches, which are not Christian anyway, and dismantle the white-hating schools.

It is significant that the most anti-white organizations are church and school. Both those organizations are concerned with thought. And it is the mind of the white man that has gone so horribly astray. He issued divorce papers to his blood and is now a mind in search of a home. And where is home for the white man? The white man’s home is Europe, but not the Europe of Greece and Rome. This is the great and overlooked aspect of the European acceptance of Christianity. There was very little resistance to Christianity among the European tribes. When they heard the word, they embraced it. This was in marked contrast to the Greeks and Romans who clung to their pagan deities, giving only a nominal nod to the Christian God when the Roman emperor happened to be Christian. The Christian faith penetrated more deeply into the soul of the bardic Europeans than it did into the soul of the Gnostic Greco-Romans. If the European is ever to find his true home, he must purge his culture of the Greco-Roman accouterments and return to his bardic European way of perceiving existence. The village church containing the humble suffering servant represents the authentic Europe. The Sistine Chapel and the great cathedrals are magnificent and inspire awe, but they do not inspire the love that the simple chapel does. It is always to the meek and humble that the God-Man appears. And is not that the one constant theme of the European bards? Shakespeare’s forest of Arden, Scott’s heart of Midlothian, and Dostoyevsky’s tale of three brothers all point to the European way to God.

It may be that some day the colored cultures will see the virtue of European culture and convert, but before that can happen Europeans must appreciate the value of their own culture. It is not the accumulated wealth or any particular philosophy that distinguishes Europe from the colored cultures, it is the blood-relationship, which even the Greeks and Romans lacked, with the God-Man that makes the old Europe unique. And it goes without saying that meekness and humility do not exclude a fierceness in the face of evil.

I know it seems highly unlikely, when looking at the white children with green hair and rings in their noses walking home from the public schools, to believe there was once something called sacred Europe. But if one could only feel, even if just for a moment, what the older Europeans felt, then something might begin again, namely that painful and yet joyous pilgrimage that the old Europeans made from Odin to Christ. And once that journey is completed, the Europeans will rebuild the wall between the European and the cultures of color.

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In Search of Europe

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, an English writer by the name of H. V. Morton wrote a series of books in which he went in search of the soul of various European countries. He wrote about England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. What makes his books literature rather than mere travelogues is his religious sense. (He also wrote books about St. Paul and Christ.) He looks for the soul of the country he is writing about. I would recommend, to anyone that is truly interested in European history, that they read H. V. Morton. He, like Walter Scott, is infinitely superior to the factoid historians because he looks past the material façades of things to the spirit behind them.

Writing in a better time than now, Morton sees a Europe where Christianity is still a given. I don’t know that Europe first-hand as Morton did, for I was born in the post-Christian phase of the European experience. But I know the old Europe and love it through writers such as Shakespeare, Walter Scott, and H. V. Morton. In fact, my life could be summed up as “A Search for Europe.” It is an ongoing search. I once thought that Europe and Roman Catholicism were one and the same. But that is not so. Christianity and Europe are one and the same, but Roman Catholicism, in both its Novus Ordo and Tridentine form, is more closely wedded to modern science and modernity than I originally thought. Nor has Protestantism purged the modernist dragon. Europe still bleeds and longs for its lost Christian Faith.

H. V. Morton, who died in 1979, still has a devoted band of readers who admire him for a diversity of reasons. But I admire him because he captures the poetic core of every country he writes about. He says this, for instance, about his native England:

We may not revive the English village of the old days, with its industry and its arts. The wireless, the newspaper, the railway, and the motor-car have broken down that perhaps wider world of intellectual solitude in which the rustic evolved his shrewd wisdom, saw fairies in the mushroom rings, and composed those songs which he now affects to have forgotten. Those days are gone. The village is now part of the country: it now realizes how small the world really is! But the village is still the unit of development from which we have advanced first to the position of the great European nation and then to that of the greatest world power since Rome.

That village, so often near a Roman road, is sometimes clearly a Saxon hamlet with its great house, its church, and its cottages. There is no question of its death: it is, in fact, a lesson in survival, and a streak of ancient wisdom warns us that it is our duty to keep an eye on the old thatch because we may have to go back there some day, if not for the sake of our bodies, perhaps for the sake of our souls.

And later:

The old vicar mounted into the pulpit and talked to his people about the harvest and God’s harvest, as I knew he would. His wise eyes, that knew all their sins and the sins of their fathers, and loved them perhaps because of those sins, moved over them as he spoke; and I noticed a subtle change in his manner. As he addressed them he talked with a faint country accent and I realized then better than before how well he knew his people. The little organ whispered down the nave:

To Thee, O lord, our hearts we raise
In hymns of adoration,
To Thee bring sacrifice of praise
With shouts of exultation;
Bright robes of gold the fields adorn,
The hills with joy are ringing,
The valleys stand so thick with corn
That even they are singing.

We bear the burden of the day,
And often toil seems dreary
But labour ends with sunset ray,
And rest comes for the weary;
May we, the Angel-reaping o’er,
Stand at the last accepted,
Christ’s gold sheaves for evermore
To garners bright elected…

The church emptied. The noon sun fell in bright spears of colour over the old Jocelyns; beyond the porch was a picture of harvest set in a Norman Frame. The rich earth had borne its children, and over the fields was that same smile which a man sees only on the face of a woman when she looks down to the child at her breast.

I went out into the churchyard where the green stones nodded together, and I took up a handful of earth and felt it crumble and run through my fingers, thinking that as long as one English field lies against another there is something left in the world for a man to love.

‘Well,’ smiled the vicar, as he walked towards me between the yew trees, ‘that, I am afraid, is all we have.’

‘You have England,’ I said.

In his book about Scotland, Morton recounts the story of Prince Charlie and the lost cause:

In the days that follow the news speeds over the mountains. The adventurers reach the mainland. There is much coming and going of Highland chiefs. The heather is alight again! News goes out to the Jacobite strongholds that ‘some one’ has arrived in Scotland, and the Jacobite chiefs—a prey to various emotions—mount their shaggy ponies and ride secretly to meet a solemn young man addressed as ‘M. l’Abbe’. Sometimes those who must not know too much are told that he is an English clergyman anxious to tour the Highlands, and he dresses the part, coming silently among his friends in a plain black coat with a plain shirt, not too clean, black stockings, and brass-buckled shoes. ‘I found my heart swell to my very throat,’ writes one who saw him. A most unconvincing cleric!

So for days the enterprise hangs fire as the chiefs weigh up the consequences of rebellion. Cameron of Lochiel is the decisive factor. If he hangs back the clans will not rise. He begs Charles to return to France. There is no hope, he says. Then Charles wins him with the first of his many heroic gestures.

‘In a few days,’ he says, ‘with the few friends I have, I will erect the Royal Standard and proclaim to the people of Britain that Charles Stuart is come over to claim the crown of his ancestors, to win it or perish in the attempt. Lochiel, who, my father has often told me, was our firmest friend, may stay at home, and learn from the newspapers the fate of his prince.’

What could you do with such a prince?

‘No,’ says the gentle Lochiel, ‘I’ll share the fate of my prince; and so shall every man over whom nature or fortune hath given me any power.’

And then this:

An old Highland chieftain, whose name marches through Scottish history behind a fence of pikes, came into Inverness one day and stood looking into the window of a motor-car shop. He thought it would be nice to have a motor-car, but being as poor as only a man can be who declines to sell inherited mountains to Americans, he wondered whether he ought to afford it. He went inside the shop where he was told, to his surprise and delight, that he could have any of the cars around him by paying a small deposit and the rest by instalments. He chose a car with great deliberation and was preparing to write a cheque for the deposit when the salesman placed before him a hire-purchase agree-ment.

‘What is this?’ asked the chief.

The salesman explained.

‘Is not the word of a Highland chief good enough?’ he cried, insulted to the very depths of his being, as he stamped indignantly from the shop.

And in his book on St. Paul he warns England and all of Europe of the dangers of Moslem encroachment on the West:

Politicians of Western nations ought not to be eligible for election until they have traveled the ancient world. They should be made to see how easy it is for the constant sea of savagery, which flows for ever round the small island of civilization, to break in and destroy. Asia Minor was once as highly organized as Europe is to-day: a land of large cities whose libraries and public monuments were so splendid that when we retrieve fragments of this lost world, we think it worth while to build a museum to house them, as the Germans have housed in Berlin a fragment of Pergamum and Miletus. Yet a few centuries of occupation by a static race have seen the highest pillars fall to earth, have witnessed the destruction of aqueducts that carried life-giving water from afar, and have seen the silting up of harbours that once sheltered the proudest navies of the ancient world. I cannot understand how any traveler can stand unmoved at the graveside of the civilization from which our own world springs, or can see a Corinthian capital lying in the mud without feeling that such things hold a lesson and a warning and, perhaps, a prophesy.

Throughout his travels Morton makes reference to his service in World War I. Naturally, the war deeply affected him as it did so many others. There is a hope expressed in his books that such a war will never happen again. But of course it did. And this man, with such a deep love for England and for Europe, moved to South Africa. Is that so hard to understand? When you have seen something you loved in its magnificence, it is often hard to view it in ruin. Thank God he died before South Africa caved in to the barbarian hordes.

Morton, in his travels through Europe, reminds me of the Duke in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. He walks incognito through his kingdom, trying to find out who the truly virtuous are and who are merely shamming virtue. Morton views Europe as ‘one divine’; he looks past its material façade to the soul beneath. And the one common denominator in every European country that Morton writes about is Christ.

Morton views Europe as ‘one divine’; he looks past its material façade to the soul beneath. And the one common denominator in every European country that Morton writes about is Christ.

If you’re interested in reading some of Morton’s works, I would recommend you start with In Search of England. In that book he outlines his basic plan for all the other books. And it is important to note that although Morton is English, he is a poet, so when he writes about Italy, he is Italian, and when he writes about the Welsh, he is Welsh, and so on.

If you want to read the greatest apologetic for European Christianity every written, read the last chapter of Morton’s book, In Search of Wales. In the pit of hell, the Welsh coal mining district of South Wales, Morton finds men who have His sacred heart burned into their souls.

‘There’s a lot of very good work going on in the valley,’ said Emlyn, ‘in the way of feeding school-children and giving them shoes and things, but only if the father is out of work. Some of the worst cases of hardship I’ve known have been in homes where the father was trying to keep six children on £2 5s a week and was too proud to accept help from any one…

‘There was Bill So-and-So. We worked together in Number Two pit. When you’re on a shift you fall out for twenty minutes and eat bread and butter, or bread and cheese, which the wife puts in your food tin. Well, Bill and I used to fall out together and get away from the coal face into the stall, or heading, you see. And we’d sit on each side of the road with our feet on the tram rails and our lamps on the floor. Then we’d open our food tins and eat our food. Now, you’ve been down a mine. You know that when two fellows are sitting with their lamps on the floor the light only reaches to their knees. I could see Bill’s knees. That was all…

‘One day we were sitting like this talking when Bill didn’t answer. Then I saw his light go over, and he fell in the middle of the tram rails. He’d fainted. So I lifted him and carried him to the pit bottom to send him home, but before I did this I gathered up his food tin. There wasn’t a crumb in it! There hadn’t been a crumb in it for days! He’d been sitting there in the dark pretending to eat, pretending to me—his pal—Now that’s pride, if you like! You may think it’s silly, but it’s pride, isn’t it?’

Emlyn knocked out his pipe on the wall and looked at me for confirmation.

‘Yes; but that’s surely not the end of the story,’ I said. ‘A man getting money, no matter how little, doesn’t starve himself like that unless…’

‘Oh, doesn’t he,’ said Emlyn. ‘When you’re on the starvation line you must keep up appearances.’

‘Yes, but there was something more behind it.’

‘There was. Bill has five children. The week he fainted in the pit was the week they had to have new shoes. Now I’m the only one who knows that. His wife told me. But do you think I’d ever let him know I know? Not blinking likely.’

What Scott does for Scotland and Europe in the late 1700s and early 1800s – that is, makes it come alive for us – Morton does for Britain and Europe in the early 20th century.


Putting the Pieces Together

Jeanie Deans is the superlative heroine of Walter Scott’s masterpiece, The Heart of Midlothian. But there is also a hero of the book, Reuben Butler. He is not your typical hero, being spindly, homely, and possessing none of the martial attributes that heroes often possess. He provides the moral counterpart to Jeanie Deans. Toward the end of the story, the Rev. Butler, who by this time has become a Presbyterian minister, is offered a very lucrative position as an Anglican clergyman. All he needs to do is to abandon his present ministry. This he refuses to do:

He sounded Butler on this subject, asking what he would think of an English living of twelve hundred pounds yearly, with the burthen of affording his company now and then to a neighbour whose health was not strong, or his spirits equal. “He might meet,” he said, “occasionally, a very learned and accomplished gentleman, who was in orders as a Catholic priest, but he hoped that would be no insurmountable objection to a man of his liberality of sentiment. What,” he said, “would Mr Butler think of as an answer, if the offer should be made to him?”

“Simply that I could not accept of it,” said Mr Butler. “I have no mind to enter into the various debates between the churches; but I was brought up in mine own, have received her ordination, am satisfied of the truth of her doctrines, and will die under the banner I have enlisted to.” “What may be the value of your preferment?” said Sir George Staunton, “unless I am asking an indiscreet question.”

“Probably one hundred a-year, one year with another, besides my glebe and pasture-ground.”

“And you scruple to exchange that for twelve hundred a-year, without alleging any damning difference of doctrine betwixt the two churches of England and Scotland?”

“On that, sir, I have reserved my judgment; there may be much good, and there are certainly saving means in both, but every man must act according to his own lights. I hope I have done, and am in the course of doing, my Master’s work in this Highland parish; and it would ill become me, for the sake of lucre, to leave my sheep in the wilderness. But, even in the temporal view which you have taken of the matter, Sir George, this hundred pounds a-year of stipend hath fed and clothed us, and left us nothing to wish for; my father-in-law’s succession, and other circumstances, have added a small estate of about twice as much more, and how we are to dispose of it I do not know—So I leave it to you, sir, to think if I were wise, not having the wish or opportunity of spending three hundred a-year, to cover the possession of four times that sum.”

“This is philosophy,” said Sir George; “I have heard of it, but I never saw it before.”

“It is common sense,” replied Butler, “which accords with philosophy and religion more frequently than pedants or zealots are apt to admit.”

In the context of the book, I heartily support the Rev. Butler’s decision to stay with the faith he was born with. But then the question I ask myself is “why did I not just stay with the faith I was born with?” And my answer is that Reuben Butler lived in an age when every denomination of the Christian Faith still believed in the Christian Faith. Despite huge liturgical differences, there was still a common belief that Christ was true God and true man and that there was a genuine physical and personal resurrection for those who called on His name. The hodgepodge faith which I received as a child, watered-down Christianity in an American stew, was not enough to sustain me through my college years when the scientific attack on the faith was the reigning orthodoxy. So for me, it was not a case of switching faiths, it was a case of finding the Faith. I didn’t have the options available to me that Rev. Butler did. I couldn’t return to the church of my childhood because there was no church in my childhood. I needed to find a church that was still standing tall. Of course I thought, for a time, that the Catholic Church was the exception to the widespread apostasy of the Christian churches. But I was mistaken; the Catholic Church is the church, in the sense that she is the mother of all the other churches, but in terms of Christian faithfulness, she is the delinquent parent who has led her children astray.

I think the key to the Catholic Church’s estrangement from Christianity lies in her Romanness. I have grown up reading historians who always judge the progress of a civilization by how well that country has Romanized. In Trevelyan’s three volume History of England, for instance, he claims that the new roads and the great organization that the Romans left in Britain were a great blessing. Well, maybe. He also states that they left Christianity. But -- and this is the key point – the Britons, Celt and Saxon, whose gods were personal hero gods, added a personal and emotional content to the Christian faith of the more intellectual and superbly organized Roman Faith.

The Nordic religion was not a religion of dread, or of magic formularies to propitiate hostile powers. Instead of covering its temples with frescoes of the tortures of the damned, it taught people not to be afraid of death. Its ideal was the fellowship of the hero with the gods, not merely in feasting and victory, but in danger and defeat. For the gods, too, are in the hands of fate, and the Scandinavian vision of the twilight of the gods that was to end the world showed the heroes dying valiantly in the last hopeless fight against the forces of chaos—loyal and fearless to the last. It is an incomplete but not an ignoble religion. It contains those elements of character which it was the special mission of the Nordic peoples to add to modern civilization and to Christianity itself.

It is interesting how that idea of Christ as the hero God lived on in the poetic soul of the Europeans. One thinks of that superb vision of Thomas Hughes:

And let us not be hard on him, if at that moment his soul is fuller of the tomb and him who lies there, than of the altar and Him of whom it speaks. Such stages have to be gone through, I believe, by all young and brave souls, who must win their way through hero-worship, to the worship of Him who is the King and Lord of heroes. For it is only through our mysterious human relation-ships, through the love and tenderness and purity of mothers, and sisters, and wives,--through the strength and courage and wisdom of fathers, and brothers, and teachers, that we can come to the knowledge of Him, in whom alone the love, and the tenderness, and the purity, and the strength and the courage, and the wisdom of all these dwell forever and ever in perfect fullness.

The organizational aspect of the faith is not the essential element. It is the old conflict between Martha and Mary. The hero-worshipping Europeans had chosen the better part. I see the Protestant reformation as a great effort to restore Christ the Hero, Christ the personal God, to the heart of the Faith. But that effort failed because a Romanized Frenchman simply made Protestantism into another organized parallel to Rome. What was needed was a deepening of the Roman faith, not a competing system. Above every Christian church there should be this warning: To Romanize is to dehumanize.

So the battle continues. The soul of Europe lies with the personal, heroic Christ, not with the organizational, bureaucratic God presented to us by both the Roman and Protestant churches. Deep in our blood we long for the God with humanity who was hated by pagan Rome and dehumanized by Catholic Rome.

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Big Fat Liars

Do you remember the photograph of the three white fireman raising the American flag on September 11 on top of the rubble of the World Trade Center? Well, according to Paul Craig Roberts, a 19-foot bronze statue of the photo is going to be put at the site. But the race of the firemen has been changed. The statue will depict one white fireman, one black fireman, and one Hispanic fireman. When the white father of a fireman who had lost his life in the rubble of 9/11 protested the dishonesty of the statue, he was told: “The artistic expression of diversity should supersede any concern over factual correctness.” Such has been the situation in our society, schools, and churches for quite some time. It’s helpful to have it so clearly stated at last.

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A Welsh Coal Miner’s Prayer

Each dawn as we rise,
Lord, we know all too well,
We face only one thing –
A pit filled with hell.

To scratch out a living
The best that we can,
But deep in the heart,
Lies the soul of a man.

With black covered faces,
And hard calloused hands,
We work the dark tunnels,
Unable to stand.

To labour and toil
As we harvest the coals,
We silently pray,
"Lord, please harvest our souls".

By W. Calvert