If the Sleeping King Arthur was to awaken and return to save Albion, as some legends suggest he will; then he cannot save us in the way a King might save his people in the past - by uniting and leading them with irresistible force to escape the yoke of evil rulers; to initiate a Golden Age of peace, plenty, beauty and Godliness.
Such a King could not save modern Britain because many, perhaps most, people do not want to be saved. Taking cue from their leaders; the inhabitants hate themselves and their country, and actively seek (by multiple means) to disparage its people and forward its destruction
For a start, the Men of Albion do not want beauty or Godliness - only pleasure and comfort.
Also, they do not regard their current rulers as evil - indeed, because they have rejected God, modern Men neither understand nor believe-in the reality of genuine evil (regarding 'evil' as merely selfishness).
Any returning King would find more people against, than with him; and those who were with him so fear-full and this-worldly as to lack the courage to take any significant personal risk or suffer even short-term inconvenience. They will not even risk other people saying they aren't nice.
What we have now is very purely a spiritual war, and the problem is that few people recognize the reality of the spiritual realm.
Indeed, the essence of the spiritual war is exactly about this denial. One cannot take sides in the war of Good versus evil, God versus the demons, until these are known as realities.
So the nature and validity of any returning Good King would itself be denied. He would be interpreted as a (reactionary) political leader merely, aiming at material benefit merely; selfishly seeking the Good of Britain merely.
Nonetheless, the Rightful King can return - but not as a mass leader; and not to impose his will on the nation.
He can return, but in the spiritual and not the material realm.
He can return, but not to conquer and overwhelm the unwilling and indifferent - but must be asked and welcomed by choice of one person at a time.
The King can return into the hearts of Men, to fortify and encourage, to provide understanding and guidance. He would unite and direct the spirit - not the bodies - of Albion.
What the King would rescue us from is passivity, un-consciousness and denial of God and the immortal soul.
Hence, the Awakening King must be invited into your human heart and mine, each by a deliberate and personal act of decision.
And the goal will be to save the spirit of Albion - to save it for that eternity into-which all will be welcomed who truly desire it.
Howard Sutherland comments:
While not specifically an Albion anniversary, today is a significant date in the history of Christendom: the 450th anniversary of Lepanto, when the Holy League defeated the Ottomans in the last great battle between rowing fleets. Perhaps as important to Western Civ as that other great galley fight, Salamis...
In commemoration, today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which admiral of the HL fleet Don Juan de Austria had commanded his sailors and marines to pray before the battle.
Chesterton’s poem about Lepanto is good.
I picture a jubilant throng welcoming their sovereign's return with loud hurrahs. They are one with him in heart and mind and they trust him in their bones. They are ready to die for him and for his truth and justice.
Once there were men of valor and virtue worthy to take up such leadership, if imperfectly. Today this rally to the King's standard can only occur in the hearts of individual believers. There is no man alive who has not drunk deeply from the poisoned cup of materialism and lived most or all of his life as if there were no God. Today there is no man worthy to lead anything. Most men have been crushed in soul into fearing and reflexively attacking the true and the good.
So there is only the Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Ghost living in the hearts of individual believers. Each believer must pledge to be the Lord's "liege man of life and limb" unto death. He is our joy, our treasure next to which all else is but dust and ashes. There is nothing else.
This is a very powerful rendition of The Idea of a Patriot King written by Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke in 1738 but not published until 1749. Historians have generally been oblivious to the possibility that this little gem could be cleaned and polished in a way that allows it to shed light on the problems and realities of our own time.
I tried to do so in a book entitled The WASP Question. You have summed up the point I was trying to make in a somewhat long-winded way there. And in a most beautiful fashion!
I think the British system is very well thought-out. It never hurts to have a spare Arthur or two tucked away under Glastonbury in case the one at Sewingshields oversleeps. No different from how Father Christmas is real and makes heavy use of delegation in his work.
@Serhei - The multiplicity of Arthurian locations and artefacts in Britain is mainly evidence of his importance in the national psyche - particularly in the more recently Celtic areas.
This gets me wondering how much Lewis already saw things in a similar way in the 1940s - with, for example, his January 1941 essay, 'Meditation on the Third Commandment', on Christian political parties, but even more with That Hideous Strength, with its succession of publicly unknown Pendragons, the current one of whom does not know what to expect from the 'Return of Merlin', and finds a 'secret operation' the only likely possibility for real but limited, temporary relief from specific dangers - beyond a constant prayerful attention.
David Llewellyn Dodds
I have just finished reading Malory's Morte d'Arthur for the first time. "Its really wonderful," [Dr Dimble said] "How the whole thing hangs together, even in a late version like Malory's." In fact, of course, Malory took a cycle of unordered stories in different genres and made a single narrative out of them, from the sword in the stone to quest of the Grail and the isle of Avalon.
It is a beautiful, nourishing book.
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