Letter for Wednesday 5th August:
My Dear Friends,
When I was a young student assistant at Glasgow Cathedral I visited a most delightful old lady who told me of her father who had been a distinguished academic, soldier and diplomat and who had every reason to be justly proud of his many achievements. The certificate of which her father was most proud, however, was a report in the National Archives which referred to one of his ancestors, Charles Kendal Bushe. This was a government report written by the Secret Service to the then Prime Minister, William Pitt. In 1801 Pitt managed to enact the Union with Ireland; but this involved a great deal of bribery and corruption. Agents were sent to induce the Irish MPs to vote themselves out of existence. Reports were sent back outlining what each MP would expect in return for his vote. Some wanted a peerage; others an annuity. Some demanded a political office; others requested a commission for their sons into smart and fashionable regiments. These reports were all included in the Home Office’s secret accounts.
One such account simply states “Charles Kendal Bushe – Incorruptible!” Charles Kendal Bushe MP vehemently opposed the Act of Union – and he could not be bribed. The testimony and accolade that he was “Incorruptible” is all the more remarkable in that it was made not by his friends, but by his enemies. Here was an upright and scrupulous man - a man of honesty and integrity. No wonder his descendants were so proud of him.
Charles Kendal Bushe was a great orator and lawyer who later went on to be Solicitor General and then Lord Chief Justice for Ireland. These high positions, however, are not the achievements for which he is most remembered; nor are they the honours of which his family are most proud. Down through the years Charles Kendal Bushe is honoured and remembered for the fact that he was incorruptible.
Time and again in his letters to the Corinthians and the Philippians Paul writes of the need for pure and honest thought; sincerity and truth. The Greek word he uses is “EILIKRINEIA”. Some scholars believe that this is derived from a combination of two words. HEILE meaning the sunlight; and KRINEIN which means to judge. We must strive for a purity of heart and mind which can stand the scrutiny of the clear light of day. For the Christian that’s something to be proud of!
Liz joins me in sending our love to you all.