The King Raising His Standard

Yesterday was the anniversary of the start of the English Civil War. Really, it should be called the British Civil Wars as it involved fighting and armies from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. This year, I visited the very spot upon which Charles Stuart raised his battle standard at Nottingham. It’s now a non-descript modern development, but 377 years ago, it saw a king declare war on his own parliament.


It was a bloody, disruptive interruption to our nation’s history and yet much good came from it. Afterwards, no British monarch ever claimed to be above the law and a precedent for religious freedom was set. The stable government we currently enjoy, in which power is shared between Crown and Parliament, came about because one despot raised a battle flag.

War is horrible, yet benefits flow therefrom. We Christians are at war ‘gainst the world, the flesh and the devil. It’s a painful conflict and we are much bruised in the tumult. Our Commander does not teleport us away from every battle, but watches us from His command post, sending us aid when needed and gathering us up when we fall. Why He should employ such poor, raw recruits to fight by His standard, I do not know. When we stand before Him, however, to receive the spoil and our medals of honour, we shall be battle-scarred veterans, not green recruits. Even the weakest of Christians may look the great Michael in the eye, for they too have fought the good fight.

This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.

-1 Timothy 1:18


Sound the battle cry! See, the foe is nigh;

Raise the standard high for the Lord;

Gird your armour on, stand firm every one;

Rest your cause upon His holy Word.


Rouse, then, soldiers, rally round the banner,

Ready, steady, pass the word along;

Onward, forward, shout aloud, “Hosanna!”

Christ is Captain of the mighty throng.


WF Sherwin