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Friday, 16 January 2015

Vera Brittan: Testament of Experience

It is to be hoped that the release of the film version of Testament of Youth this week will also stimulate interest in Vera Brittan's later memoir, Testament of Experience, where she writes about her Christian faith, pacifism and work with Dick Sheppard and the Peace Pledge Union.
On V.E. day walking up Whitehall she testifies to an immense “certainty” that she articulates as follows:
'I could not yet believe in the Easter morning and the meeting again; I did not expect to see Edward or Roland or Winifred in any future conceivable by human consciousness. But of the existence of a benign Rule, a spiritual imperative behind the anarchy and chaos of man’s wilful folly, I was now wholly assured; the superficial faith which the First War destroyed had been replaced by an adult conviction. Like the girl student in Glorious Morning, I knew that God lived, and that the sorrow and suffering in the world around me had come because men refused to obey His laws. The self-interested, provocative policies which had driven mankind to the edge of the abyss seemed to supply incontrovertible testimony that an opposite policy–the way of God, the road of the Cross–would produce an opposite result.'

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