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The threefold cord

by
12 August 2016

August 11th, 1916.

THERE must be very few Church­people who have not, at one time or another, noticed the pecu­liar appropriateness of phrases in the prayers or the Lessons to the circumstances of the moment. . . Divination by Sortes Biblicae is still, perhaps, practised in out-of-the-way places, but for most of us it is interesting enough to observe the strangeness of chance coincid­ences.

A correspon­dent draws our attention to the First Lesson for Evensong on August 4, which must have struck with force many who heard it in 1914, and with still more force on the day when we entered the third year of the war. The Lesson is taken from Ecclesi­astes iv., and contains these pas­sages: “So I returned and con­sidered all the oppressions that are done under the sun; and beheld the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and
on the side of the oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. . .

“Better is he . . . which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.”

And, in the light of our two years’ experience, we read a pro­found meaning into the verse: “If one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

That threefold cord — France, Russia, Great Britain — is not broken yet after two years of vain effort. It has been even streng­thened by the interweaving of fresh strands of steel, by the soldiers of the British Empire beyond sea, and those of newer Allies.

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Fri 12 Aug @ 02:58
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