9th October 2020

Time, like an ever-rolling stream
bears all its sons away;
they fly, forgotten as a dream
dies at the opening day.

– according to Isaac Watts – echoing part of Psalm 90 – and, presumably, its daughters too!

In studying my family history I try to restore the memory of some of them. My great-aunt was never spoken about in the family after she gave birth to a baby boy a few months before she married his father. Long after she died I discovered that she had been awarded a medal for her work with Belgian refugees during the First World War and had been a prominent campaigner for votes for women and women’s rights more generally. No longer forgotten, thank God. Also on my family tree is a prominent 19th century anti-slavery campaigner, whom few remember today. He certainly deserves to be remembered among all the current noise about slavery.

When we published the history of Tyndale a couple of years ago, we were ensuring that many of those who had gone before us were not simply washed down the ‘ever-rolling stream’ of history.

Will anyone remember us decades after we have gone? Maybe – or maybe not! The comfort is that even if no-one remembers us, God does not forget us. The biblical phrase for this is ‘the Lamb’s book of life’ – perhaps today we might think of it as the divine database!

David T Roberts