Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Boreham on the Uses of Adversity

Gog and Magog are the two tall poplar trees that keep ceaseless vigil by my gate. But between them there is all the difference in the world; you cannot glance at the twins without seeing that Gog is incalculably the sturdier.

And in the trunk of Magog there is a huge cavity into which a child could creep, but Gog is as sound as a bell. It is odd that two trees of the same age, growing together under precisely identical conditions, should have turned out so differently. There must be a reason for it. Is there? There is!

The fact is, Gog gets all the wind. All the time, you can see that it is Gog that is doing the fighting. The fearful onslaught breaks first on him; and the force of the attack is broken by the time it reaches Magog. It may be that Gog is very fond of Magog, and, pitying his frailty, seeks to shelter him. But if so, it is a mistaken kindness. It is just because Gog has had to bear the brunt of so many attacks that he has sent down his roots so deeply and has become so magnificently strong. It is because Magog has always been protected and sheltered that he is so feeble, and cuts so sorry a figure beside his stouter brother.

It is not half a bad thing to be living in a world that has some fight in it. It is a good thing for a person to be buffeted and knocked about. I fancy that Gog and Magog could say some specially comforting things to parents.

A great meeting, attended by five thousand people, was recently held in London to deal with the White Slave question. The Rev. J. Ernest Rattenbury of the West London Mission, declared, ‘it is the girls who come from the sheltered homes who stand in the greatest peril’.

F W Boreham, Mushrooms on the Moor, pp 127-35.

Image: ‘Two Poplars on a Road through the Hills’, by Vincent van Gogh.