Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

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

Friday, December 21, 2007

Boreham on Tiffs

An example of the way F W Boreham deals with the ordinary, everyday stuff of life is evident in an essay he writes about ‘tiffs’ which begins this way:

A friend and I found ourselves standing the other day before a fine picture by G. T. Pinwell in the Melbourne Art Gallery. It is entitled 'Out of Tune.' It represents two lovers whose honeyed hours have been temporarily embittered.

I say 'temporarily' advisedly, for, although Mr. Pinwell's picture does not forecast the future, any one with half an eye can see how it will all end.

‘Tiffs,’ as Principal P. T. Forsyth says in his book on Marriage, ‘are not tragedies. It is childish, as soon as the clouds begin to drop, to think that heaven is burst. A happy marriage depends on the way these things are handled, and not on their entire absence. And a mistake is not irreparable.’

There is some comfort in that, but I am afraid that the statement is too sweeping. It requires some modification. ‘Tiffs are not tragedies,’ says the Principal. But they may be, and very often they are. ‘A happy marriage depends on the way these things are handled,’ says Dr. Forsyth. It also depends on the way these things come about. We must not generalize.

F W Boreham, ‘Tiffs’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 258-259.

Image: Falling out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Boreham on the Secret of the Early Church

For that early Church, despite the select character of its assemblies, was nevertheless a passionately evangelistic Church. Its members rejoiced, and its persecutors complained, that its teachings spread like wild-fire.

“We are but of yesterday,” wrote Tertullian, “yet we have filled your cities, islands, towns, and boroughs; we are in the camp, the Senate, and the Forum. Our foes lament that every sex, age, and condition, and persons of every rank, are converts to the name of Christ.” And in three centuries the Roman Empire itself capitulated unconditionally to the triumphant Church! The Church had conquered the world, not through the attendance of the world at her services, not even by her public witness outside of her Church walls, but by the private influence of her members over those with whom, during the week, they came in contact. She brought the nations to her feet, not by public evangelism, but by an exquisitely beautiful representation, in private conduct, commerce, and conversation, of the merciful and majestic teachings of her Divine Lord. The individual captured the individual….We all remember how Loyola won his brilliant pupil, Francis Xavier, by sticking to his man, and never resting till his man was won. We all remember how Bilney set his heart on winning Hugh Latimer, and thus lit a candle in England that has never been put out.

F W Boreham, ‘The Bloodhound of the Hedgerow’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 211-212.

Image: “and thus lit a candle in England that has never been put out.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Boreham on Not Chasing Rabbits and Rumors

In an essay on sticking doggedly to the task at hand and being undistracted by rumors and rabbits, F W Boreham shares this illustration:

There is a famous scene in the Old Parliament House at Connecticut, when the sudden darkness seemed to some of the members to foreshadow the approaching end of the world.

It was suggested that the House should adjourn. And then, as Whittier tells us:

“All eyes were turned to Abraham Davenport.
He rose, slow, cleaving with his steady voice
The intolerable hush. 'This well may be
The Day of Judgement which the world awaits;
But, be it so, or not, I only know
My present duty, and my Lord's command,
To occupy till He come. So at the post
Where He hath set me in His providence,
I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face.
Bring in the candles.”

F W Boreham, ‘The Bloodhound of the Hedgerow’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 209.

Image: ‘Bring in the Candles’.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Boreham on Declining to be Distracted

Emile Zola…in La Debacle, tells us how, on the morning of the battle of Sedan, Captain Beaudoin's company were ordered to lie down in a large field of cabbages. Guns were booming, bullets were flying, shells were bursting, houses were burning. The men were restive and impatient to be in action. ‘How long were they going to lie among the cabbages? Maurice turned his head, and was greatly astonished on perceiving in the depths of a sequestered valley, sheltered by rugged slopes, a peasant who was calmly pursuing his avocation—guiding a plough drawn by a big white horse. Why should the man lose a day? Corn would not cease growing, the human race would not cease living, because a few thousand men happened to be fighting.’

And, thirty pages farther on, Zola tells how, in the evening, when the great battle had been fought, and the morning seemed ages ago, Maurice was washing the wounds of his comrade. ‘Suddenly he was greatly astonished when, on his right hand, in the depths of a secluded valley, sheltered by rugged slopes, he again espied the same peasant whom he had seen in the morning, and who was still leisurely turning up the sod, guiding his plough drawn by a big white horse. Why should a day be lost? Corn would not cease growing, nor would the human race cease living, simply because it pleased some men to fight!’

… the ploughman declines to be distracted, even by the drama of battle on all the surrounding hills. He finely finishes his furrow.

F W Boreham, ‘The Bloodhound of the Hedgerow’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 205-206.

Image: “He finely finishes his furrow.”

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Boreham on His Great Voyage of Exploration

One of these days I shall set out on my own great voyage of exploration. I shall see my last sun sinking, and shall set out for the land that is mantled with the flush of morning. I shall leave behind me all the old familiar things, and shall sail out into the unknown, the unseen, the unexplored.

I shall be surrounded on every hand by the wonders that here were beyond me, by the mysteries that here baffled my comprehension. I shall see strange sights and hear unwonted sounds. But it will be all right. For when I take the wings of the morning, and fly out into the uttermost of the uttermost, even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me!

In a little Cambridgeshire churchyard there stands a tombstone whose epitaph is more than a century old. It records the names of two aged sisters, and the text that follows their names is simply this: “When the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore!” And, really, it would be very difficult to find a passage more cheering or appropriate. But there is no tinge of gold in the scudding clouds now; it is too dark for writing; they are lighting the gas behind me; I must draw the blinds and go.

F W Boreham, ‘The Wings of the Morning’, The Golden Milestone (London: Charles H Kelly, 1915), 200-201.

Image: “… on the shore!”