By Olalere Fagbola
Just like the Biblical Timothy inherited christian virtues from the strong faith of his Grandparent, Queen Elizabeth II inherited certain enviable traits from her Grandfather, King George of England the Fifth, regarded during his reign as the ruler of the greatest empire the world has ever known ” and by whose examples countless men had led better lives in the accomplishments of their daily work and duties they owed to their countries. ”
Research online has shown that in the United Kingdom, the British Social Attitude BSA relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren was in the nineteenth century, built on cordiality and warmth, as they are usually very close.
It was common to see grandparents acting as confidants to their grandchildren even as grandparents often understand more about interesting topics and things that could excite their grandchildren.
In situations where older children might find it difficult to communicate differently with their parents or share confidential matters with them , they had always found their grandparents ready bridges of confidentiality, with old grandparents being in their elements when sharing old episodic memories like happenings during first and second world war with their grandchildren.
Ostensibly, Queen Elizabeth must have in this regard tapped positively into the royal warmth of her Grandfather , King George the Fifth.
Right from her tender age, the passion with which young Elizabeth shared the grief of children who were victims of the second world war was not just ordinary as there was every pointer to the evidence that she benefited from the literature of the war which her Grandfather must have infused in her.
Two years after King George died, Elizabeth as a 14 year old girl gave a radio broadcast which newspapers described as famous even for her age .
The historic broadcast was to the British children who had been evacuated from their homes as a result of the second world war .
” We know , everyone of us, that in the end all will be well. For God will care for us and give us victory and peace. When peace comes, remember it will be for us, the children of today to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place .” Elizabeth whose emphasis for peace intoned in a delicate soprano to the BBC.”
It was in her commitment to peace in practical terms that saw her joining the war efforts as a mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and in 1942 she was given an honorary Colonel in the Royal Army’s 500 Grenadier Guards.
It should be emphasized here ofcourse that it was during his reign that the world witnessed the era of modern radio broadcasting which was then described as the marvellous stride of science , as this feat had not only enabled King George to reach millions of people who were his subjects but reached so many hearts.
In an extraordinary session of the Legislative Council in which tribute from the then Governor in Nigeria was presented, he remarked:
” The great achievement of King George was not that he reached so many ears, but that he reached so many hearts and for that achievement, we have to thank not the miracles of science but the man himself. ”
” That his life was devoted to the service of his people meant a great deal ; that the service was rendered, not from a cold sense of duty, but from motives of genuine affection meant a great deal more .”
If there was some special achievement for which Britain admired her Grandfather , it was King George’s passion for peace.
In one of the great tributes paid to the memory of the monarch following his death on January 20,1936, King George was reported to have had his own quiet way of making influence for peace felt in the capital of Europe and elsewhere.
Just as his time witnessed the coming into terms of democracy and the monarchy, the culture of peace was believed to have been running in the vein of the line of the royal family.
His father, King Edward himself was known for making peace efforts during his reign even to the extent that he was nicknamed ” The Peacemaker. ”
Barely few hours after the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II amid the traditional promptness in which England accorded King Charles III with :”Long Live The King succession accolade, the whole world bombarded her memory with tributes ranging from the bunch of banquets to the battery of bantering.
Undoubtedly, the life and times of the monarchy were not without songs of successes and failures as well as sacredness and scandals associated with their names , it is natural that some people would be discontented at some attitudes of rulers who act in a wider compass in the governance of people, particularly in the affairs of ruling over kingdoms and who must do so through the ministry and agents of many people.
In Rasselas’ Disquisition Upon Greatness , the great thinker remarked:” Any one who acts in a wider compass must be more exposed to opposition from enmity, or miscarriage from chance; And whoever has many to please or to govern must use the ministry of many agents , some of which will be wicked, and some ignorant; by some he will be misled and by others betrayed. ”
The Disquisition further added:” If he gratifies one he will offend another; those that are not favoured will think themselves injured ; and since favour can be conferred but upon few number , the greater number will always be discontented. ”
It was All Hallows who once said that :” Duty is but a deed of kindness from one stranger to another stranger is quite another matter ” , even as a Yoruba adage equally added that ” even when we are in tears it should not automatically inflict us with blindness or rob us of sensitivity or sensibility. ”
We may talk ill of the dead as the living are themselves not infallible, but it is good if we do not lose our sense of judgement doing so .
Just as King George was mourned with a great many people reaching out to his memory a bunch of banquet as well as battery of bantering, Queen Elizabeth did not escape her own portion in full measure.
As I read through the newspapers of The Nigerian Daily Telegraph of January, 20, 1936 to January, 29, 1936 when the world mourned the death of King George , it was obvious that the King was largely in the good book of his people spread across the world.
It was a poetry of wintry night and of the cold hand of death in which London streets were plunged on Monday, January,20, 1936 when King George breathed his last .
The elegy of a poem by Mait Kay said it all as published in the newspapers:
“A wintry night, foggy and cold,
House tops and London street snow clad,
And death with a determined hold
Wastes life and leaves the nations sad.
The monarch of the realm lies dead.
He whom the world his praise did sing
Loved and revered his crowned head.
The King is dead, Long Live the King.
In London , over half a million people filed past the catafalque on which the body of the king lay. London Transport Board maintained an all-night transport services on many routes to carry mourners to their homes.
Lagos mourned the death of the king by postponing the usual inspection of vehicles by the Police thus allowing mourners move freely with all manner of vehicles to public places of mourning.
The Baale of Ibadan according to provincial news column published in the Daily Telegraph of February 14, 1936 was not left out of the mourning proceedings as he sent out his town crier on January, 27, 1936 with an order that no tom-tom or drum of any kind must beat on the funeral day .
Equally, the Alake of Egba and Council ordered businesses in the markets to cease while all shops in the town were ordered to close as a mark of respect to the memory of the king.
But it was at such holy hours that hundreds of hooligans in certain areas of Abeokuta chose to unleash their terror on innocent people as they turned the sacred period into avenue to loot shops of innocent people who were mourning and expressing griefs .
According to the report on page 5 of the Nigerian Daily Telegraph of January,22 , 1936 , the hooligans besieged the Iberekodo market with the intention to loot locked up shops , but were roundly rebuffed and checked by law enforcement agents who were immediately mobilized there to check their excesses.
Just as innocent people mourned the passage of Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather with flower of grace and thorns of disgrace, it was the same story at the death of King George’s granddaughter.
But the one I find most painful cut came from an anonymous critic of the entire royal family. ”
It reads thus :On Saturday, I watched
the ” accension “of Prince Charles to the throne of his forefathers as *King Charles III* live on television. The program lasted for about 6 hours.
Despite the fact that one of his forefathers *King Henry VIII* founded the Church of England known as Anglican Communion and another one *King James II* translated the bible that is now commonly used and called the King James Version (KJV), the bible was never used to swear in King Charles III, he only affirmed by just raising up his hand. Neither was *Jesus Christ* mentioned throughout the ceremony, not to talk of shouts of *Hallelujah*
Can you see the damage the White man did to our psych using religion as a tool of colonialism and mental slavery?
This is a very instructive observation. As a country, I think religion has led us to missing our road by a long mile!
Until we separate religion from politics and our public affairs, we’re doomed to looking for distant gods in frothing gourds!”
My terse response to this is that the lifeblood of the Bible does not just reside in its letters but in its spirit .
For me either King Charles or the monarchy in Great Britain displayed the Bible or not , what his forefathers had done in defending the scriptures has already been written and cannot be unwritten.
It is like the Biblical alabaster poured on Jesus Christ which has become an everlasting gospel that cannot be preached anywhere without mentioning the heroic contributions of the Great Britain monarchy in translating the bible and making it available to all .
Those who are blindly criticising the monarchy over immaterial things since the death of Queen Elizabeth are like the Biblical Judas who criticised the woman for pouring the precious oil on Jesus instead of selling it and giving the proceeds to the poor .
“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men…written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart…not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life .”( King James version of 2 Corinthians 3:2,3,6)
Those who read the Bible as mere letters began and perpetrated slavery but it took those who knew it was an epistle of the spirit to begin its abolition. Today religion, Queen of the sciences has become an anathema among academics. The Bible for which its translation and the idea of giving it to the people in their own language by John Wycliffe (1382) earned him persecution of the highest order .
Wycliffe was anxious for men to use their minds while studying the scriptures.
Ironically, his main opposition came from the church with Archbishop Arundel walloping him bitterly thus :” This pestilential and most wretched John Wycliffe of damnable memory, a child of the old devil, and himself a child or pupil of Anti-Christ, who , while he lived, walking in the vanity of his mind … crowned his wickedness by translating the scriptures into the mother tongue .
But Wycliffe was not one to take such words lying down as he responded:
” …You call me a heretic because I have translated the Bible into the common tongue of the people. Do you know whom you blaspheme ?..It is you who place the church in jeopardy by hiding the Divine warrant, the missive royal of her King, for the authority she wields and the faith she enjoined.”
Even at death , John Wycliffe was not allowed to rest in peace. Part of an inscription on the memorial to him in Lutterworth Parish Church, dated 1837, reads thus:
” His mortal remains were interred near this spot : But they were not allowed to rest in peace: After the lapse of many years, his bones were dragged from the grave, and consigned to the flames: and his ashes were cast into the waters of the adjoining stream.”
This was because his persecutors did not want the trace of John Wycliffe to be seen again.
But Wycliffe was to be heard of a great deal more .The Church of Rome could not silence him.
For men like Wycliffe who still believe men should use their minds while studying the scriptures ( noting that it’s more of Spirit than of mere letter ) “Their weapon is the Word of God. Their advertisements are their lives .It was so 638 years ago in England.
I always fall in love with the words of Nuruddin Farah , who while drawing parallels between the African politicians ( who often are unable to think straight in defining posterity as a frame within their term of office) and the creative writer ( who sees it as a feature measured in centuries) remarks that the main concern of a writer is whether his book would still be read or be relevant in centuries to come .
Describing the King of Britain as the prime mover and author of the translation of the KJV Bible, the page of the scripture in which the holy book was dedicated to King Charles’ forefathers pointed out a most remarkable response to their critics almost prophetically:
” If on the one side we shall be reduced by Popish persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God’s holy truth to be yet more and more known unto people, whom they desire to keep in ignorance and darkness or maligned by self conceited brethren, we may rest secure , supported within by the truth and innocency of a good conscience. ”
Anytime I reflect on the Disquisition upon Greatness as elucidated by Rasselas, particularly on how the ministry of agents and advisers being used by leaders who govern kingdoms often betray them, I cannot but remember the incident that happened in a Nigerian Railway station during the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Nigeria .
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of England had moved around on the then locomotive train to some part of the country. When they however got to Itori to enable the train in which the royal visitors were travelling gulp water , the Queen who peeped through the window was struck with pleasant surprise by and fascinated at the neatness of the railway station which large space was dotted with beautiful flowers.
Consequently, Queen Elizabeth recommended that the officer in charge of the station, Mr Samuel Abidoye should be promoted as First Class Station Master .
When those who were to effect the recommendation in their characteristic manner of expecting bribe to effect a royal order waited in vain for Abidoye to come around and grease their palms, they sold the promotion to the highest bidder in the railways.
In an interview I had with the then Abidoye who is now the Baba Aladura, Spiritual Head and Chairman of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church ( Ayo Ni o ) world wide , Most Reverend Samuel Adefila Abidoye , he told me that he was denied the promotion and transferred to Ogunsile where he worked briefly and resigned in protest against the corruptible system operating in the railways of the period.
In his tribute to the memory of Queen Elizabeth, Most Reverend Abidoye described her as a Queen with a large heart , adding that he and prominent members of the world council of Churches visited her at her palace in England where her warmth and generosity were disguised.
It was during the reign of her Grandfather, King George that the Cherubim and Seraphim church was established in Nigeria and it was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1965 )hat the church was established in England as the first truly Pentecostal church to have taken off in London.
This was in line with and in fulfillment of a prophecy spoken in 1925 by the founder of the Cherubim and Seraphim church that in forty years time (from 1925) the church would be established in white man’s land.
Indeed if there was one eternal debt which Great Britain Government owed the Lord God that dwells among the Cherubim and Seraphim church in the late 20s, a time Nigeria was under the Colonial Government of Britain, and rulership of His Gracious Majesty, King George, the Fifth, it was the spiritual succour which the church, through its founder, Mose Orimolade, gave this King who was the ruler of the greatest empire ( Great Britain) the world has ever known.
In 1928, this King of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Emperor of India( combined) had experienced the most critical illness, being bronchial ailment which had defied western medicine and nearly took the life of the beloved king and which news had thrown the whole world into grief while all the colonies then under Britain went into intercessory prayers for the restoration of his health.
Regarded as a great ruler by whose example countless men had led better lives in the accomplishments of their daily work and duties, King George’s greatest achievement of the century culminated in the way democracy and monarchy came to terms during his reign , with people at home and abroad loving him for it .
Besides, as the king of England, who succeeded King Edward 7th on May 6, 1910 and faced grave political difficulties, he was admired by the way his courage, sound judgement, sagacity and statesmanship took the nation successfully through all the troubled period .
“In the British constitution, the role of the King and Emperor, being the sovereign was often misconstrued to be that of a figurehead. But even as the will of the people of England is expressed through the Minister of State, every important decision in the interests of England was never taken without King George’s knowledge, his advice and final sanction.
His critical illness however afforded him the chance of assessing and knowing the deep and loyal affection which he inspired among his people in England, and all people under his empire.
With words coming to all colonies under Britain concerning the failing health of King George, the colonial government in Nigeria sent message to Mose Orimolade whose fame in the world of Evangelism in the 20s had filled the four corners of Lagos , asking him to help pray for the king.
Orimolade had arrived Lagos at the period an outbreak of epidemics hit one of the important seat of colonial government , leaving a great number of people dead .
This great man, often described as :”More than a Prophet ” in view of the many miraculous dealings he had performed through the power of God, was sent for to come to Lagos and help pray over the epidemics.
As recalled by General Evangelist, Dr. Olu Famodimu in Orimolade’s biography of his authorship, :” Orimolade entered Lagos on Saturday, July 12,1924 , leading and teaching a great crowd of followers the divine song christened:”BLOW YE THE TRUMPET, BLOW.”
Riding in his wheel chair until he got to the Carter Bridge, amid the crowd singing enthusiastically the song he taught the multitude, Orimolade prayed fervently that God should cure the land and stop the scourge while the epidemic ceased completely in Lagos.
As recalled again on the front page of THE NIGERIAN DAILY TELEGRAPH of Monday , January 20,1936 titled:”THE KING’S ILLNESS ” the newspaper stated that ” …the king has been susceptible to cold since his long and severe illness seven years (1928)ago.”
It was this year under reference that Orimolade, upon receiving message from the colonial government, prayed in Lagos and told the colonial officials around thereafter that the illness had already left the king .
The colonial Governor then proceeded to inquire from England and the news flashed back that King George had ,at that material hour Orimolade prayed, regained his sound health and was healed completely.
” And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came to him a centurion beseeching Him , and saying , Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of palsy, grievously tormented. ”
” And Jesus said unto him I will come and heal him.
“The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed.And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way: and thou has believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour .”(Mathew 8:5,6,7,13)
With the miraculous restoration of King George’s health,the whole world was thrown into an outburst of thanksgiving ,and as confirmed in a flashback news on page 5 of THE NIGERIAN DAILY TELEGRAPH ” of Wednesday, January 20,1936, the report stated :
” …King George made his influence for peace felt in the capital of Europe and elsewhere. At the time of his serious illness when the Empire waited with bated breath for each succeeding bulletin, and when the Empire burst out in thanksgiving for his recovery, the worldwide messages which came from the countries outside the Empire of grief at his illness, and joy in his restoration showed the respect and admiration in which he was held, and the influence which this gave him was always used in the interest of Peace.”
It is interesting to know that when a gift of Four Hundred Pounds Sterling was eventually sent to Orimolade for his divine healing of King George of England, he ( Orimolade) refused to take it , remarking Biblically that :”freely are yee given and give yee freely also .”
It is on this same Biblical principle that the Prophets during the time the founder of Cherubim and Seraphim church was on earth ,were taught to base their healing power on this fulcrum of giving divine healing through the power of God freely.
When one surveys the adherence to Biblical principle of healing in the good days of Mose Orimolade, comparatively to what is obtainable now in christendom, one is often reminded of the word of the Lord by Prophet Haggai , saying :
” Who is left among you that saw this house in her first Glory?
And how do you see it now ?
Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?”
( Haggai 2:3)
OLALERE [email protected]