Shirley, Ralph - The Angel Warriors at Mons 02 – There appeared before them on horseback one in white apparel shaking his armour of gold
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
THE ANGEL WARRIORS AT MONS [continued]
Numerous references have been made in the pulpits to these phenomena, some of the clergy going so far as to read letters from soldiers at the front to their congregations.
Mr. Lancaster, for instance, a Weymouth clergyman, read one of these letters from a soldier who said that his regiment was pursued by a large number of German cavalry, from which they took refuge in a quarry, where the Germans found them and were on the point of shooting them,
" At that moment," said the writer, " the whole top edge of the quarry was lined by angels, who were seen by all the soldiers and the Germans as well. The Germans suddenly stopped, turned round, and galloped away at top speed."
The Universe, a Roman Catholic paper, gives a story told by a Roman Catholic officer at the front, of an apparition of men with bows and arrows, and states that when he was talking to a German prisoner afterwards the man asked who was the officer on a great white horse who led them, for although he was such a conspicuous figure they had none of them been able to hit him. This is the single instance above alluded to where the story tallies with Mr. Machen's bowmen.
Such stories as that of the apparitions at Mons have been told in connexion with various great historical battles, but they have always been put down as legendary. The most famous instance of this is that so brilliantly utilized by Lord Macaulay in his ballad entitled " The Battle of Lake Regillus," where two mysterious horsemen appear, who lead the Roman army to victory and are subsequently averred to have been the great Twin Brethren of Roman Mythology, Castor and Pollux.
Among Bible records we have the story of the siege of Dothan by the King of Assyria, when Elisha is narrated as turning to his terrified servant and stating that, " They that be with us are more than they that be with them," Elisha then prays that his servant's eyes may be opened, that he may see, and, continues the Bible narrative, " The Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
A somewhat similar story is told with regard to the victory of Judas Maccabeus in the second century b.c. over Lysias, the General of Antiochus Epiphanes. The army of Judas only consisted of 10,000 men whereas that of Lysias numbered 80,000. " When they were at Jerusalem," says the historian, [II Maccabeus, xi, 8, 9, 10] "there appeared before them on horseback one in white apparel shaking his armour of gold. Thus they marched forward in their armour, having an helper from heaven; for the Lord was merciful unto them."