Page:Roger Casement - The crime against Ireland and how the war may right it.djvu/20

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people. The Bible it appeared was the "greatest possession of the English race". "The British Bible" was the first and greatest of British investments and upon the moral dividends derived from its possession was founded the imperial greatness of this Island Empire. That other peoples possessed the Bible and had even translated it before England was not so much as hinted at. That the Bible was Greek and Hebrew in origin was never whispered. It began and ended with the English Authorized Version. The British Bible was the Bible that counted. It was the Bible upon which the sun never sets, the Bible that had blown Indian mutineers from its muzzle in the 'fifties and was prepared to-day to have a shot at any other mutineers, Teuton or Turk, who dared to dispute its claim that the meek shall inherit the earth. The unctuous rectitude that converts the word of God into wadding for a gun is certainly a formidable opponent, as Cromwell proved. To challenge English supremacy becomes not merely a threat to peace, it is an act of sacrilege. And yet this worldwide Empire broad based upon the British Bible and the English navy, and maintained by a very inflexible interpretation of the one and a very skillful handling of the other, rests upon a sunk foundation that, is older than both and will surely bring both to final shipwreck.

The British Empire is founded not upon the British Bible or the British Dreadnought, but upon Ireland. The Empire that began upon an island, ravaged, sacked and plundered shall end on an island, "which whether it proceed from the very genius of the soil, or the influence of the stars, or that Almighty God hath not yet appointed the time of her reformation, or that He reserveth her in this unquiet state still for some secret scourge which shall by her come unto England, it is hard to be known but yet much to be feared." Thus Edmund Spenser 340 years