On the Death of King George VI

“the Lord Saith.… Them That Honour Me I Will Honour”

Though we must leave posterity to assess the impact on history made by the reign of His Majesty King George VI, the shock of his sudden summons into the presence of the King of Kings brought home to us at once a realization of how much we had lost. Although it was always with fresh thankfulness that we listened to his public acknowledgments of God, they came with such regularity that we came to expect them as a matter of course. The profound impression his death made upon the world, and the solemn pomp of the royal funeral, awakened us to the significance of the fact that the man who spoke to us in such a warm and homely way, who established himself so surely in our respect and affection, was the occupier of the throne. Viewed in retrospect and against the background of the peculiar difficulties inseparable from his unique and exalted station, his remarkable testimony is now seen in its proper perspective. We do right to give God thanks for the gift of such a king to the nation.

Now that his voice will be heard no more, we ask ourselves whether in the matter of prayerful support we discharged our solemn duty to God and to him as faithfully as he served God and us. We know we did not. Now it is too late – the opportunity has gone for ever.

But we can make amends by more earnest and constant prayer for the new Queen, upon whose comparatively-young shoulders has fallen the burden her father carried. His life stands as a monument to the immense influence the example of the Sovereign can wield. The fierce light of publicity which beats relentlessly upon royalty, invests every word and deed with peculiar importance for good or ill, and the Queen is assured of the loyal sympathy of all who understand even a little of what that responsibility means. May she be granted divine support so to honour the Lord in her high estate that the Lord may honour her by making her reign conspicuous with His blessing, and by the gratitude of the people to whose service she has been willing to dedicate her life.


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