Took the little boys to see Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda on Monday. Good clean fun. Very post-modern and interesting on that level but mainly good fun for little boys. (Could have done with a few more jokes I guess).
In my reading this morning in Jeremiah I came across a reference to Uriah son of Shamaiah [26:20-23]. The NIV puts it in brackets as it is an editorial addition, probably by Jeremiah. I'd not really given any thought to Uriah before. Matthew Henry criticises his flight into Egypt. The 'in fear' perhaps suggests it but elsewhere in Scripture we are encouraged to flee persecution. Certainly no-one can deny his bold speaking out in the first place, despite the likely consequences. Disregarding this, the servants of wicked King Jehoiakim showed him no mercy in life or in death. Most of us have never heard of Uriah, even though God saw fit to have his story recorded in this way. There must be countless thousands who are just as faithful today and just as unknown. It is an encouragement to know that God will not forget them.
The holidays are here. The youngest boys had no school last week and the older ones finished Wednesday. We're enjoying the hot weather. The older boys are away on CCIW camps this week. I took them across to Hayes to get the minibus Saturday morning. Later Eleri took the remaining two boys to Battersea Park to see the children's zoo. Sunday was funny with just the two boys and Sibyl here. Her sister and her children also joined us for a while. Even with 14 away on camps and beach missions we had decent congregations on Sunday. There were even 10 or 11 in the Sunday School. It was especially nice to see a Brazilian family back with us who we haven't seen in ages. There are always surprises in Childs Hill.
There is another reason which would have a great effect on a woman, but I don't know whether it wd so much on a man — I mean E (Erasmus Alvey Darwin, Charles's elder brother. Emma refers to Erasmus 'going before' Charles in doubting religion. See Correspondence vol. 1, pp. 171-2) whose understanding you have such a very high opinion of & whom you have so much affection for, having gone before you — is it not likely to have made it easier to you & to have taken off some of that dread & fear which the feeling of doubting first gives & which I do not think an unreasonable or superstitious feeling. It seems to me also that the line of your pursuits may have led you to view chiefly the difficulties on one side, & that you have not had time to consider & study the chain of difficulties on the other, but I believe you do not consider your opinion as formed. May not the habit in scientific pursuits of believing nothing till it is proved, influence your mind too much in other things which cannot be proved in the same way, & which if true are likely to be above our comprehension. I should say also that there is a danger in giving up revelation
which does not exist on the other side, that is the fear of ingratitude in casting off what has been done for your benefit as well as for that of all the world & which ought to make you still more careful, perhaps even fearful lest you should not have taken all the pains you could to judge truly. I do not know whether this is arguing as if one side were true & the other false, which I meant to avoid, but I think not. I do not quite agree with you in what you once said — that luckily there were no doubts as to how one ought to act. I think prayer is an instance to the contrary, in one case it is a positive duty & perhaps not in the other. But I dare say you meant in actions which concern others & then I agree with you almost if not quite. I do not wish for any answer to all this — it is a satisfaction to me to write it & when I talk to you about it I cannot say exactly what I wish to say, & I know you will have patience, with your own dear wife. Don't think that it is not my affair & that it does not much
signify to me. Every thing that concerns you concerns me & I should be most unhappy if I thought we did not belong to each other forever
I am rather afraid my own dear Nigger will think I have forgotten my promise not to bother him, but I am sure he loves me & I cannot tell him how happy he makes me & how dearly I love him & thank him for all his affection which makes the happiness of my life more & more every day.
—When I am dead, know that many times, I have kissed & cryed over this. C. D.
Mem: her beautiful letter to me, safely preserved, shortly after our marriage.
Charles and Emma were married on 29 January 1839.
Jesus, who lived above the sky,
Came down to be a man and die;
And in the Bible we may see
How very good He used to be.
He went about, He was so kind,
To cure poor people who were blind,
And many who were sick and lame,
He pitied them, and did the same.
And, more than that, He told them too
The things that God would have them do;
And was so gentle and so mild,
He would have listened to a child.
But such a cruel death He died!
He was hung up and crucified!
And those kind hands that did such good,
They nailed them to a cross of wood!
And so He died ! — and this is why
He came to be a man and die:
The Bible says He came from Heaven,
That we might have our sins forgiven.
He knew how wicked man had been,
He knew that God must punish sin;
So out of pity Jesus said
He'd bear the punishment instead.
And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise;
He justly claims a song from me -
His lovingkindness, O how free!
He saw me ruined in the fall,
Yet loved me notwithstanding all;
He saved me from my lost estate -
His lovingkindness, O how great!
Though earth and hell my way oppose,
He safely leads my soul along -
His lovingkindness, O how strong!
Has gathered thick and thundered loud,
He near my soul has always stood -
His lovingkindness, O how good!
Often I feel my sinful heart
Prone from my Jesus to depart;
But though I have him oft forgot,
His lovingkindness changes not.
Soon all my mortal powers must fail;
O! may my last expiring breath
His lovingkindness sing in death.
Then let me mount and soar away
To the bright world of endless day;
And sing with raptures and surprise,
His lovingkindness in the skies.
During her captivity, Mary's youngest child, Sarah, died, while the remaining two were separated from her; nevertheless, Rowlandson continued to seek guidance from the Bible - the text of her narrative is replete with verses and references describing conditions similar to her own. She saw her trial as a test of faith and considered the "Indians" to be "instruments of Satan". Her final escape, she tells us, taught her "the more to acknowledge His hand and to see that our help is always in Him."
Until recently, it has been assumed that she died before her narrative was published. However, more recent historical research indicates that Mary Rowlandson re-married after the death of her husband and lived as Mary Talcott till January 1711, thus reaching an age of approximately 73 years.
The book, however, not only became one of the era's best-sellers, going through four editions in one year, but also earned her an important place in the history of American literature. Her book is a frequently-cited example of a captivity narrative, an important American literary genre used by James Fennimore Cooper, Ann Bleecker, John Williams and James Seaver. Because of Rowlandson's intimate relationship with her Indian captors, her book also is interesting for its treatment of cultural contact. Finally, in its use of autobiography, typology, and in its homage to the Jeremiad, Rowlandson's book helps the reader understand the Puritan mind.
Eleri, Rhodri and Sibyl went to see the movie 'Mamma mia' last night. Rhodri talks about it here. He ventures his Abba favourite. Here's mine. The opening 20 seconds of the song and video are just great. And (as my father might put it) "'ark at that piano". This is about as good as pop music gets.
PS (and I might regret this) What's your favourite?
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"Jade Jacobs-Brooks, of Harlow, Essex, was born during a holiday in Spain and due to a mix-up she does not have a valid Spanish birth certificate.
This means that she is unable to register her birth in the UK and is unable to get a passport.
Jade was turned down for a Saturday job because she was unable to prove her ID.
Her parents Victor and Linda have spent 16 years trying to get the necessary paperwork.
Unless she can produce a Spanish birth certificate she will have to undergo a £750 Life in the UK citizenship test - usually required of non-English speaking immigrants.
Jade said: "It's so upsetting feeling like I don't exist in this country. My life is on hold at the moment. I can't get a job, a driving licence, go abroad, get married. I couldn't even go on a day trip to France. I have been really angry at times but I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to be allowed to live a normal life."
Jade was born in September 1991 at the Veya Baja Hospital, near Alicante on the Costa Blanca.
A few days after leaving hospital the family went to Orihuela civil registry office to register Jade's birth, but received the wrong paperwork.
Despite the initial mix-up Jade should still have been able to obtain a full Spanish birth certificate - if she had a certificate from the Veya Baja hospital confirming her birth, but was told: "There is no mention of her."
Like all UK residents, she can get treatment on the NHS, go to school and holds a National Insurance number. The Home Office said they were unable to comment on individual cases but said a citizenship test may be the best way to resolve the issue."
We caught the Oxford Espress in Baker Street and were in Oxford by 11 am, a little later than anticipated. I then headed for Regents Park College's Angus Library, where various Beddome items can be found.