Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sleeping ladies and prophetic archbishops

A lot of the stuff I'm handed in the street is poorly written, but it very rarely leaves me completely and utterly flummoxed. I'm looking right now at an A5 flier, folded to A6, which features a picture of an attractive, sleeping woman.

'Do Dreams Come True?' asks the headline. 'THIS ONE DID!'

Intrigued, I turn inside. What can the pretty lady have dreamt?

Actually, it turns out that she didn't have the dream at all. It was a bloke called James Sharp. In the North East of Scotland. In 1613.

The leaflet tells the story of how Sharp predicted in a nocturnal vision that he would become minister of Crail, be subsequently consecrated as Archbishop of St Andrew's and eventually murdered at Magus Muir.

Fascinating stuff, but what conclusion am I supposed to draw? Well, it's not entirely clear. Instead of explaining or interpreting the story, the people responsible for the flier launch into verse.

Are you going to Heaven or Hell,
When life here is ended and time's rung its bell?
Will your soul travel upward to regions of bliss,
Or depart to the depths where all joys you will miss?


Five further stanzas follow, along similar lines.

My conclusion at this stage: it's religious.

Surely everything must be clarified on the reverse? I turn over to read 'The Sinner's Prayer' and see a coupon which I must return to Northern Ireland. I have a choice of requesting a Holy Bible, a 'helpful Christian book', 'assorted literature' or - perhaps the hardest one to package up at the Post Office - 'further spiritual help'.

Perhaps I should trade the spiritual assistance for some kind of advice and guidance on how to write a leaflet? The pretty girl on the front was probably where they should have left things.




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