Beeston Castle

Beeston Castle in Cheshire was a formidable fortress in its day. Built on the site of a previous hill fort, its thick curtain walls, strong gatehouses and the steep ravines around its inner ward, made it a real stronghold. See how thick the walls are, below, which contain this arrow loop from which defenders could rain down arrows onto some attacking army. Yet visitors today see it as a ruin. A romantic ruin, no doubt, even one worthy of Turner’s attention. Yet the mighty fortress which inspired fear among peasant and attacker alike is now reduced, slighted, thwarted and humbled.

I sometimes see formidable strongholds in the world, be they bastions of false religion, mighty citadels of godlessness, well-defended fortresses of hedonism. Even within individuals, there can be a staunch aggression and hostility to gospel truth. Yet strongholds fall, castles are taken, fortifications yield. The Holy Spirit sometimes reduces the very hardest of hearts to a Christ-seeking, repentant state. Let us not give up praying for those who are far off and antagonistic. Broken Beeston is now all the prettier for once having been so tough.