Lesson 17: H.M.S. "Me"

Sometimes grown-up people talk nonsense; or, as you might say, tripe, boloney.

They say that it doesn’t matter what you believe, so long as you do what is right.

You can’t do what is right, unless you have a right belief; nor can I, or any one. Suppose you were staying at St. Saviour’s Orchard, Buxted, Sussex, our children’s holiday home; you went into a field, and picked toadstools; then cooked and ate them, because you thought they were mushrooms. You would have at least a tummy-ache, perhaps something worse; because you had a wrong belief.

Lots of people, grown-ups as well as children, have pains in their souls (far worse than tummy-aches), because they have wrong beliefs about God and the Christian religion.

Our Lord taught the right faith and belief to the Apostles, so that they might hand it on to others and in time it might reach you and me (like an enormous relay race, lasting for nineteen hundred years and more). They called it “the form of sound words” (2 Timothy 1, 13); “sound” here meaning “good,” like a sound apple which isn’t rotten inside.

This was the first Creed, taught by the Apostles to people who wanted to be Christians in the days before the Bible was put together. {Acts 8, 26 to 39, if you have time to read it, is the story of one of these first Christians; verse 37 tells you what St. Philip made him say, before he would baptise him.) After our Lord had founded the Church and gone back to heaven on Ascension Day, God the Holy Ghost went on teaching this Creed to the Apostles, and is still teaching the Church to-day {St. John 16, 13).

You and I must know and understand The Apostles’ Creed, “the form of sound words.” (Every boy who is leaming to be a printer knows what a “form” is, though it generally has an “e” at the end: it is the type set up and locked into the frame ready for printing.) In it are all the articles of the only right faith there is. It is like a bright light shining in a dark and stormy night, guiding His Majesty’s ship “Me” through what the Baptism Service calls “the waves of this troublesome world” to the safe harbour of heaven.