“Eleanor Rathbone wrote to Churchill of how relieved she was that he had been to the Foreign Office, and she added: ‘There is a great longing for leadership and even those who are far apart from you in general politics realize that you are the one man who has combined full realization of the dangers of our military position with belief in collective international action against aggression. And if we fail again now, will there ever be another chance?’” (Gilbert, op cit; emphasis mine throughout).
Some people were beginning to wonder if Britain would survive. The policy of surrender after surrender to the Nazis was taking its toll.
There was a long period without real leadership. Some of the people were beginning to yearn for strong leaders.
Where are our strong leaders today?
How long will it be before we are longing for powerful leaders? How long are we going to seek leaders who will tell us “smooth things”? How much must we suffer before we change our desires? When are we going to learn from history?
“[O]n September 14, Josiah Wedgwood wrote to Churchill:
“‘My dear Winston,
“‘Do our folk really mean business? They seem to have seen everyone but you, and it is inconceivable to me that they should actually be facing up to war if they have not called you in—inconceivable that we should not be disgraced without you. …
“‘Not one of these people had anything to do with the direction of the last war. They are babies, if not cowards. You, or God, will have to help if this country is now to be saved’” (ibid).
The fact that Churchill was not in the government was a sign that the leaders hadn’t faced reality. But it is so easy for weak and fearful people to reason around the truth.
Were many of our leaders like babies? “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:1-4). God even prophesied that our leaders in this end time would be like babes. This is an end-time prophecy (Isaiah 30:8). And notice the nation is falling apart at the same time! There isn’t even enough bread and water for the people.
This is where weak leaders take us! It can only end in the worst possible calamity! There is cause and effect. What a terrifying price to pay for following the wrong leaders.
The military men and eloquent orators like Churchill are gone today. And our leaders are making childish decisions—and childish speeches!
We are so childish that we are almost totally unaware of our lack of real leaders. We fail to see it as a curse from God! No great nation can survive without strong leadership. Childish leaders lack the will to face strong tyrants. Our will is broken in our leaders, exactly as God prophesied. When will we face the brutal truth about ourselves?—and then repent? People who have faith in God never have a weak will.
In World War ii, Britain needed a leader as bold as a lion. Instead, it was getting rabbits, and Britain continued to falter. “While Chamberlain was speaking, a message was brought in from the Foreign Office, given to Lord Halifax in the Gallery and then brought down to Chamberlain at the despatch box. It was an invitation from Hitler for a four-power conference at Munich, to which Chamberlain, [French President Édouard] Daladier and Mussolini were invited. Chamberlain broke off his speech in order to announce the news. Then, amid great excitement and applause, he declared that he would accept the invitation, and fly to Munich. Most M.P.s rose in their seats and waved their order papers with enthusiasm. Churchill, Eden, Amery and Harold Nicolson remained seated. Those M.P.s near Churchill called out, as Lennox-Boyd recalled, ‘Get up! Get up!’” (ibid).
Weak people try to force others to follow them. In this they are very strong! Their reasons are very weak because they don’t have the truth. That leads them to demonize those who oppose them. They can’t accept the truthful message, so they attack the messenger.
That condition is rampant in American and British politics today.
The Munich Surrender
Neville Chamberlain quickly and meekly responded when Hitler summoned him to Munich. He went there to sign a document of shame.
The British and French had forced the Czechs into giving Hitler the Sudetenland, a vital part of their country. Winston Churchill was deeply ashamed and alarmed for his country. “‘How, [Churchill] asked, could honorable men with wide experience and fine records in the Great War [World War i] condone a policy so cowardly? It was sordid, squalid, subhuman and suicidal.’ ‘The sequel to the sacrifice of honor,’ Churchill warned, ‘would be the sacrifice of lives, our people’s lives’” (ibid).
There is always a sequel to sacrificing honor. Churchill had the vision to see where it was leading. It often leads to war. But that wasn’t all bad. It is only through war that the British people would ever have accepted Churchill’s leadership.
“Throughout the morning [of September 30] the British government urged the Czechs to accept the ‘Munich’ terms; at noon Beneš agreed to do so. That afternoon Chamberlain flew back to London. ‘Vast crowds in the streets,’ Oliver Harvey recorded in his diary, ‘hysterical cheers and enthusiasm’” (ibid).
People talked of giving Chamberlain the Nobel Peace Prize. One newspaper even labeled him the Prince of Peace.
Churchill was almost alone. Still he was unmoved by the tide against him.
This event led to a heated debate in the British Parliament. Here is what Churchill had to say: “‘I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely, that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and that France has suffered even more than we have. …’
“‘All is over,’ Churchill continued. ‘Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the Western democracies and with the League of Nations, of which she has always been an obedient servant.’ … [F]inally they [Britain and France] had accepted the ‘immediate transfer’ of large areas to Germany without even the semblance of self-determination. ‘It is fraud and a farce to invoke that name,’ he said. …
“The ‘abandonment and ruin’ of Czechoslovakia was not, Churchill said, to be considered only in the light of the September crisis. There was a far more somber perspective in which it had to be set:
“‘It is the most grievous consequence which we have yet experienced of what we have done and of what we have left undone in the last five years—five years of futile good intention, five years of eager search for the line of least resistance, five years of uninterrupted retreat of British power, five years of neglect of our air defenses. Those are the features which I stand here to declare and which marked an improvident stewardship for which Great Britain and France have dearly to pay.’ …
“Churchill refused to accept the view that the Munich Agreement was a triumph for British diplomacy, or that it would open the way, as Chamberlain believed, to a reduction of European tension, and to even closer relations between Britain and Germany. Starkly, he declared:
“‘We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that. It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi power.’ …
“In the five days since Chamberlain’s return from Munich there had been much public rejoicing. Almost every newspaper had been ecstatic in his praise. The enthusiasm of the crowds in Downing Street seemed to have no parallel. Churchill ended his speech by referring to this public jubilation:
“‘I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week—I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth.
“‘They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: “Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting”‘” (ibid).
That speech almost destroyed Churchill’s political career. He had been kept out of office for nearly 10 years. But still he played a role in Parliament. Now his own party was turning against him and most of them wanted him out of Parliament.
“Press reaction to Churchill’s speech was mixed. The Daily Express called it ‘an alarmist oration by a man whose mind is soaked in the conquests of Marlborough,’ and believed that his decision not to support the government ‘weakens his influence among the members of the Conservative Party.’ According to the Times, Churchill ‘treated a crowded House to prophecies which made Jeremiah appear an optimist’ and went on to refer to Churchill’s ‘dismal sincerity.’ For its part, the Daily Telegraph believed that Churchill’s warnings ‘verified by events, have entitled him to be heard …’” (ibid).
The prestigious Times labeled him a Jeremiah. What it failed to do was label itself as a type of the sinful and rebellious people Jeremiah had to deal with. But that’s not all. Jeremiah’s experience was only a type of what was prophesied to happen in this end time. So we all need to be familiar with the book of Jeremiah.
“The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (Jeremiah 23:20). The expression “shall consider it perfectly” should read “understand it thoroughly.” God prophesied that His very elect would proclaim to America, Britain and the world the meaning of Jeremiah’s book today. And so we are.
Jeremiah spoke of the worst suffering ever to come upon our peoples. But there is good news. David is about to be resurrected to rule over us, under Christ (Jeremiah 30:1-9). But times are about to get a lot worse, before that happens.
Robert Boothby, one of Churchill’s friends, was deeply agitated and worried by what Winston was doing. Churchill wrote to him: “I do not understand the agitation which seized you in these moments of what is, after all, only petty parliamentary action. You get so distressed about these matters both at the beginning and at the end, and nearly all our friends thought you had crumpled under the strain. You will certainly live to see many worse things than you have seen at present” (ibid).
Churchill had the vision to see what was coming, and warned his people—as we must do today. The trials we have today are petty compared to what is coming before Christ returns!
All these events are designed to turn us to God. How soon that happens is up to us. God is going to get our attention through words—or the Great Tribulation.
Churchill spelled out in precise detail what was coming. We do the same today, with God’s revelation. Our peoples are going to be without excuse. God is showering us with His loving message at this very moment.
French politician Pierre-Étienne Flandin even congratulated Hitler on the Munich Agreement. I doubt that he did the same when Hitler conquered France a few months later.
What happened at Munich in September 1938 discouraged Churchill more than any event ever before in his political career. But still he remained strong and kept warning—even as the British leaders kept dragging the people closer to war through weakness!
How glorious is strength—even in defeat. But there was some positive response to Churchill’s speech. “The impact of Churchill’s Munich speech was considerable. But Violet Bonham Carter wrote to him on October 6, as soon as it was over, ‘Will it pierce the shell of those drowsy tortoises? Dragging us to our doom?’ That same day Emery Revesz wrote from Paris: ‘Your speech in the House was grand. It made a very big impression over here on all those who can still be impressed. …’ Revesz added that in the Chamber everyone had voted for the Munich Agreement ‘in order to avoid being called a “bellicist,”‘ and he went on: ‘There will come a great reaction one day in France, but, of course, too late.’ Writing on October 20 Paul Reynaud declared: ‘One of your colleagues, a Labour M.P., told me of the very great success of your speech and the increasing importance of your position in Britain. I rejoice that this should be so.’ On October 22 Churchill received a letter from Germany from an anonymous ‘German citizen’ who wrote: ‘You have no idea of the respect which the German people hold for you, Duff Cooper, Eden and other English statesmen who defend justice’” (ibid).
France did wake up, after it was too late. And Britain and America are also prophesied to wake up in this end time—only after it’s too late. The Prophet Ezekiel warns, “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:30-33).
Britain was desperate for help. Churchill made an appeal to America. For the most part, we ignored him. “Churchill told his American listeners that only intense, rapid rearmament, and the immediate close cooperation of Britain and the United States, could redress the balance. ‘We are left in no doubt where American conviction and sympathies lie,’ he said, ‘but will you wait until British freedom and independence have succumbed, and then take up the cause, when it is three-quarters ruined, yourselves alone?’” (ibid).
He was giving us some gentle correction, but we rejected it. Churchill knew that America was sympathetic toward Britain. But not enough to do anything! Just like the people Ezekiel prophesied about! When war came, as Churchill predicted, then the people finally knew he was right. And when all of the prophecies of Ezekiel and other prophets come to pass, the people will know God’s watchman warned them. But then it will be too late physically!
Churchill and many Europeans wondered when America would take up the cause against the world’s worst tyrant ever! It was not a good chapter in America’s history. But what is worse, we learned virtually nothing from that time of tragic shame! Our leaders in America and Britain were leading our peoples into disaster. The leaders’ weaknesses had infected the people. Only Churchill was able and willing to speak out against the unparalleled evil of Hitler.
One of Churchill’s friends, the Conservative Duchess of Atholl, lost her election. He encouraged her not to quit, but to run as an Independent. He wrote to her: “[Your defeat] would be widely accepted as another sign that Great Britain is sinking under the weight of her cares, and no longer has the spirit and willpower to confront the tyrannies and cruel persecutions which have darkened this age” (ibid).
Repeatedly, Churchill mentioned Britain’s weakened or broken will. That process was well underway in World War ii. It is far worse today. But our people refused to heed Herbert W. Armstrong’s message before, during and after the war. And they continue to reject God’s warning today. So God intensifies the punishment.
“And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass …. And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins” (Leviticus 26:19, 21). That means God is going to keep putting on more intensive pressure until we repent! Our will to fight, militarily, is going to be totally broken! How much we suffer depends on how soon we repent. “And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins” (verses 23-24). Read the whole chapter. It is the future of America and Britain because these nations don’t repent. God deals with us according to our own hardness.
The leaders in America and Britain before World War ii were very weak. (Even Stalin exploited this weakness at the end of the war when it appeared as though we had regained our “strength.”)
“But Chamberlain was still reluctant to authorize any great increase in armaments, telling his cabinet: ‘There had been a good deal of talk in the country and in the press about the need for rearmament by this country. In Germany and Italy it was suspected that this rearmament was directed against them, and it was important that we should not encourage these suspicions …’” (ibid).
Not only was Chamberlain unwilling to arm Britain militarily, he was afraid to even talk of rearmament! He thought it might make the enemies more suspicious! How can you explain such a sick weakness?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “We cannot escape history.” This history must teach us a lesson or we will lose our freedom! It took courage and bloodshed to establish our freedom, and it will take courage and bloodshed to sustain that freedom. But even more, we must repent of our sins.
Hitler gave a good evaluation of our leaders, but did anyone really learn a lesson? “On November 14 the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Policy met to discuss the effects of the Munich Agreement. Halifax told the committee that Hitler was reported as saying, ‘If I were Chamberlain I would not delay for a minute to prepare my country in the most drastic way for a “total” war and I would thoroughly organize it. If the English have not got universal conscription by the spring of 1939 they may consider their world empire as lost. It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal’” (ibid).
Nobody can honestly and logically deny that Hitler was right. This is not God’s world. Satan rules this Earth (2 Corinthians 4:4), and such vile leaders will continue to come on the world scene. Even now they taunt and bully our weak leaders. And it’s going to get a lot worse because we didn’t learn from our weakness of World War ii.
Those grave mistakes should have been a call to action. Instead, we continue blundering—only 10 times worse today.
As Churchill warned, the leaders at that time also kept repeating mistakes. “In 1934 I warned Mr. Baldwin that the Germans had a secret air force and were rapidly overhauling ours. I gave definite figures and forecasts. Of course, it was all denied with all the weight of official authority. I was depicted a scaremonger. Less than six months after, Mr. Baldwin had to come down to the House and admit he was wrong and he said, ‘We are all to blame,’ and everybody said, ‘How very honest of him to admit his mistake.’
“He got more applause for making this mistake, which may prove fatal to the British Empire and to British freedom, than ordinary people would do after they rendered some great service which added to its security and power. Well, Mr. Chamberlain was, next to Mr. Baldwin, the most powerful member of that government. He was chancellor of the Exchequer. He knew all the facts. His judgment failed just like that of Mr. Baldwin and we are suffering from the consequences of it today” (ibid).
Robin Londonderry, a Conservative member of Parliament, wrote to Churchill: “I have listened to practically all your speeches since I have been in the House and your utterances have been strangely prophetic” (ibid).
Yet Neville Chamberlain still believed peace was coming. He wrote on February 19, 1939: “I myself, am going about with a lighter heart than I have had for many a long day. All the information I get seems to point in the direction of peace and I repeat once more that I believe we have at last got on top of the dictators” (ibid).
Winston Churchill always believed that free people ought to fight as much as possible against tyranny anywhere in the world. This was especially true if a freedom-loving country was being attacked by a tyrant. He thought that if you truly believed in freedom and law then you must be willing to fight to defend those precious values anywhere in the world.
Churchill had begun working on his epic History of the English-Speaking Peoples in the 1930s. About that four-volume set, he wrote to his research assistant in 1939: “In the main, the theme is emerging of the growth of freedom and law, of the rights of the individual, of the subordination of the state to the fundamental and moral conceptions of an ever comprehending community. Of these ideas the English-speaking peoples were the authors, then the trustees, and must now become the armed champions. Thus I condemn tyranny in whatever guise and from whatever quarter it presents itself. All this of course has a current application.”
Britain and America were the main authors and trustees of the rights of the individual. But they were refusing to be “the armed champions.” Hitler was destroying the freedom and rights of the individual wherever he conquered, and our peoples even helped him do it by influence or by remaining silent!
Notice, Churchill said “freedom and law.” If the law does not prevail, then freedom is destroyed and the nation probably is as well. It degenerates into everyone doing that which is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). That condition prevails today in Britain and America. Why? Because we don’t love freedom and law (specifically the Ten Commandments).
Hitler’s emergence gave a deeper meaning to those precious values, especially to Winston Churchill. But it should awaken the rest of us also. Today our peoples don’t understand those unparalleled blessings and how to maintain them.
“Churchill went on to say he supported the government’s present policies and the Military Training Bill because the situation was too dangerous to hold an election to endorse the change of policy, and he went on to warn that if compulsory service were rejected, ‘the whole resistance of Europe to Nazi domination would collapse. All countries great and small alike would make the best terms they could with the Nazi power and we should be left alone with our great possessions to settle up with the dictators ourselves.’
“Churchill then asked of the introduction of conscription in peacetime, ‘Is this peace?’ and went on to answer his own question:
“‘We have had three disastrous campaigns, and the battles, the actions of the war, have gone not only against us but against the principles of law and freedom, against the interests of the peaceful and progressive democracies. Those battles already make a long catalogue—the Rhineland, Abyssinia, Austria, Munich, Prague and Albania [and Spain]. We are all, then, agreed that circumstances are analogous to war actually prevailing’” (Gilbert, op cit).
He understood the deep psychology behind these events. Nations were being enslaved, and other nations were so fearful that their politicians and the media were often silenced about saying anything against Hitler!
It was not true peace for most of Europe, but fearful leaders called it that.
If we truly love freedom, we are not going to throw a freedom-loving nation to the wolves! Our actions reveal whether or not we truly believe in freedom.
Again, we didn’t learn the big lessons about Hitler and freedom from World War ii.
Hitler had now conquered all of Czechoslovakia and then denounced the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934. The danger kept intensifying.
Freedom was being squelched all over Europe. “In Greece, since the Italian occupation of Albania, and despite the British guarantee to Greece, ‘no article criticizing fascism or Nazism has been allowed to be published’ and articles by Churchill, Eden, Attlee, Duff Cooper and Wickham Steed had all been prohibited. Churchill sent a copy of Revesz’s letter to Sir Alexander Cadogan at the Foreign Office. The growing German control of the press in neutral countries was, he wrote in his covering letter, ‘a serious matter,’ and on May 8 he wrote direct to Revesz: ‘I am indeed sorry to hear that the net is closing round our activities, through fear of Germany’” (ibid).
The neutral nations were now afraid to even speak out against Hitler and Mussolini. They were more and more allying themselves with Nazism and fascism.
One strong, tyrant nation, if unchecked, destroys freedom. This has happened in many Arab countries of the Middle East. That is because America has allowed Iran, radical Islam and terrorists to strike fear in other nations. Now these same nations are moving away from the U.S. and becoming allies with Iran. This is causing massive shifts in world power. Dictators must be controlled, or this is the tragic result.
Where Are the Leaders?
What Churchill did before World War ii should be deeply remembered, even more than what he did during the war. That is because we must be better prepared than we were for World War ii or we won’t survive a nuclear attack. Being unprepared invites such an attack.
“On May 27 Robert Boothby wrote to Churchill: ‘One of the few things in my life of which I am proud is that in all matters of major policy during the past five years I have hitched my wagon to your star,’ and he added: ‘Long after the names of the miserable creatures who are now supposed to govern us have been lost in a merciful oblivion, the incredible services you have rendered this country since 1933 will be remembered’” (ibid). For six years Churchill had been strongly warning Britain. It has been remembered, but not deeply enough for us to learn the needful lesson.
Before World War ii, some people began to see Churchill’s value to Britain and the whole world. But today we live in good times and forget what he did and its importance to us.
He was a watchman used by God to help save the Western world. But Churchill’s example then was also intended to be a warning for us today! What value is a watchman if we forget his message? God will not send another Churchill—but He is sending a spiritual watchman to help us remember.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” (Malachi 3:16). We are to remember what God taught us in the past, whether it was through a Churchill or an end-time Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong (Malachi 4:5-6).
Human nature tends toward catastrophe, which is why we must remember. In this nuclear age, human survival is at stake.
In 1939, Churchill began to have a nightmarish fear. “As the summer progressed, Churchill became increasingly worried about the sense of defeatism and despair which he began to feel around him. At dinner on June 14, when he found himself sitting next to the American columnist Walter Lippmann, he was shocked to learn from Lippmann that the United States ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, was telling his friends that when war came Britain, facing defeat, would negotiate with Hitler. Harold Nicolson, who was present at the dinner, recalled that the moment Churchill heard the word ‘defeat’ he turned to Lippmann and declared: “‘No, the ambassador should not have spoken so, Mr. Lippmann; he should not have said that dreadful word. Yet supposing (as I do not for one moment suppose) that Mr. Kennedy were correct in his tragic utterance, then I for one would willingly lay down my life in combat, rather than, in fear of defeat, surrender to the menaces of these most sinister men. It will then be for you, for the Americans, to preserve and to maintain the great heritage of the English-speaking peoples …’” (ibid).
Joseph Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador (father of John and Robert Kennedy), graduated from Harvard. He was not a good representative of that institution. But then almost all of the college institutions were against Churchill! And those liberal beliefs are even more rampant in education today. That means our educational institutions, which are to set the example in learning truth, learned very little if anything from Churchill’s experience before and during World War ii.
The word “defeat” was a dreadful word to Churchill, and yet today America is forcing the little Middle Eastern nation of Israel to give back the land it has won after being repeatedly attacked by the Arabs from 1967 to today. And we have made Israel look like the evil party for resisting some of our pressure! How sick and upside down! It doesn’t take a genius to know that the Arabs must one day win. They can’t lose every battle. But even when they lose, Israel returns the conquered territory. It is a defeatist policy destined to fail! This is a philosophy of weakness, surrender and defeat, and it would have been abhorrent to Churchill.
Clearly, our leaders in politics, education and the press were wrong in the 1930s about Germany. Our peoples are even weaker and more anti-God today. Still, they continue to follow our leaders in their defeatist policies.
Churchill feared that his people were slipping into a dangerous defeatist attitude. At the same time, he warned them that, when dealing with a tyrant like Hitler, the only argument that counts is force.
Parliament on Vacation
What happened next was a massive lesson of the childish leaders Britain had in Parliament. “In discussing the government’s policy, Churchill told [Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Louis] Spears that Chamberlain’s decision to adjourn Parliament from August 4 to October 3 was a grave error of judgment, which could only encourage the Germans to believe that Britain would not take decisive action when the crisis came, and would also convince the Russians that Britain was not in earnest about an alliance. Churchill had decided to speak against this two-month adjournment, and read Spears a draft of the speech which he intended to deliver on August 2, asking for Parliament to be recalled on August 22 or 25. …
“‘Abroad,’ Churchill said during the debate itself, ‘the House of Commons is counted, and especially in dictator countries, as a most formidable expression of the British national will and an instrument of that will in resistance to aggression.’ His speech continued:
“‘This is an odd moment for the House to declare that it will go on a two months’ holiday. … Is this, then,’ he asked, ‘the moment that we should separate and declare that we separate until October 3? Who can doubt that there is going to be a supreme trial of willpower, if not indeed a supreme trial of arms.’ He added:
“‘At this moment in its long history, it would be disastrous, it would be pathetic, it would be shameful for the House of Commons to write itself off as an effective and potent factor in the situation, or reduce whatever strength it can offer to the firm front which the nation will make against aggression.’”
Churchill then concluded, “It is a very hard thing, and I hope it will not be said, for the government to say to the House, ‘Begone! Run off and play. Take your masks with you. Do not worry about public affairs …’” (ibid).
Churchill kept coming back to the “British national will and an instrument of that will” and “a supreme trial of willpower.” Let me repeat that God prophesied that our will to use our military power would be broken in this end time (Leviticus 26:19). Our will was being broken even then because of sin, and it is much worse today.
When are we going to awaken?
Leopold Amery, Harold Macmillan and Ronald Cartland were among those Conservatives who had argued during the debate in favor of an early recall. Cartland later told his sister, “After Neville’s speech our little group shuffled disconsolately into the lobby. Winston came out. ‘Well,’ I said to him, ‘We can do no more.’
“‘Do no more, my boy?’ he echoed. ‘There is a lot more we can do. This is the time to fight—to speak—to attack!’”
Continuing from Martin Gilbert’s biography on Churchill: “On August 8, in a 15-minute broadcast to the United States, Churchill put into practice his advice to Ronald Cartland of six days before, telling his American listeners:
“‘Holiday time, ladies and gentlemen! Holiday time, my friends across the Atlantic! Holiday time, when the summer calls the toilers of all countries for an all-too-brief spell from the offices and mills and stiff routine of daily life and bread-winning, and sends them to seek if not rest, at least change in new surroundings, to return refreshed and keep the myriad wheels of civilized society on the move.
“‘Let me look back—let me see. How did we spend our summer holidays 25 years ago? Why, those were the very days when the German advance guards were breaking into Belgium and trampling down its people on their march towards Paris! Those were the days when Prussian militarism was—to quote its own phrase—“hacking its way through the small, weak, neighbor country” whose neutrality and independence they had sworn not merely to respect but to defend.’ …
“As to the hush that he had said was ‘hanging over Europe,’ what kind of a hush was it, he asked, and answered his own question:
“‘Alas! it is the hush of suspense, and in many lands it is the hush of fear. Listen! No, listen carefully; I think I hear something—yes, there it was quite clear. Don’t you hear it? It is the tramp of armies crunching the gravel of the parade-grounds, splashing through rain-soaked fields, the tramp of 2 million German soldiers and more than a million Italians—“going on maneuvers”—yes, only on maneuvers!
“‘Of course it’s only maneuvers—just like last year. After all, the dictators must train their soldiers. They could scarcely do less in common prudence, when the Danes, the Dutch, the Swiss, the Albanians—and of course the Jews—may leap out upon them at any moment and rob them of their living space, and make them sign another paper to say who began it.
“‘Besides these German and Italian armies may have another work of liberation to perform. It was only last year they liberated Austria from the horrors of self-government. It was only in March they freed the Czechoslovak Republic from the misery of independent existence. It is only two years ago that Signor Mussolini gave the ancient kingdom of Abyssinia its Magna Charta. It is only two months ago that little Albania got its writ of Habeas Corpus. …
“‘No wonder the armies are tramping on when there is so much liberation to be done, and no wonder there is a hush among all the neighbors of Germany and Italy while they are wondering which one is going to be “liberated” next’” (ibid).
Many of his prominent friends were still calling him a warmonger.
Here is what happened 11 days before world war was declared by Britain. “On August 23, Churchill returned to London. The news that greeted him was of an impending agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. On the following day the Daily Mirror published his article, ‘At the Eleventh Hour!’ In view of the Soviet-German ‘intrigue,’ he wrote, it was becoming ‘increasingly difficult to see how war can be averted. … Events are moving forward from every quarter and along all roads to catastrophe. The German military preparations have already reached a point where action on the greatest scale is possible at any moment.’
“That evening Archibald Sinclair telephoned Churchill to find out his reaction to the Nazi-Soviet agreement. ‘The latter has just returned from Paris,’ Harold Nicolson recorded in his diary, ‘and is in high fettle. The French are not at all perturbed by the Russo-German Pact’” (ibid).
There were signs galore of a coming war, but the British and French leaders kept ignoring them. Again, what a fulfillment of the prophecy about “children ruling over them.” The leaders were hiding from the danger as they vacationed. If ever there was a time not to go on vacation, this was it!
So how much can we trust the leaders of our land? God says we are under a curse if we do so! (Jeremiah 17:5).
On September 1, Germany marched into Poland. The English Parliament was on vacation! But they had been on vacation for most of a decade as far as their duty was concerned.
Although Britain declared war on September 3, Neville Chamberlain still believed he might negotiate peace with Hitler! “Were German troops to withdraw, Chamberlain added, ‘the way would be open to discussions between Germany and Poland, a discussion with which the British government would be ‘willing to be associated.’ Leopold Amery recalled in his memoirs:
“‘The House was aghast. For two whole days the wretched Poles had been bombed and massacred, and we were still considering within what time limit Hitler should be invited to tell us whether he felt like relinquishing his prey!’” (ibid).
War quickly puts people’s views into a proper perspective. Many people now had to see and admit that Winston Churchill was right.
What a powerful watchman Churchill was. What a marvelous example he was for all of us. His friend Brendan Bracken evaluated his watchman work extremely well, as noted by Martin Gilbert: “Winston has won his long fight. Our government is now adopting the policy that he advised three years ago. No public man in our time has shown more foresight, and I believe that his long, lonely struggle to expose the dangers of the dictatorships will prove to be the best chapter in his crowded life.”