Grave Lessons iv: 17378

William Scrott who departed this life March the 18, 17378

So reads one of the old gravestones at Rufford churchyard. The year 17378 is still 15,355 years off, so Mr Scrott is still a relative youth; that, or the numerals mean something else. The mason was hedging his bets by invoking two calendars, the Gregorian and the Julian. The latter’s New Year was on 25th March, just after Mr Scott’s departure, but it would seem that some folk were more European in their outlook even then, and preferred the Gregorian calendar, which we now use, and which has its New Year on the first of January. So Mr Scrott died on 18 March 1737 according to the Julian (which was the legal calendar in the UK until 1752), or the 18 March 1738 if using the more European Gregorian calendar. Mr Scott’s executors wanted to make the day of his death perfectly clear.  

Different calendars account our relationship to space and time using varying calculations. The Byzantine reckoning would make this the year 7531. The Islamic Hijri calendar places us in 1443, while the Persian produces the year 1401. It depends on your starting point. In the New Jerusalem, our calculation of time will be very different to anything we have known, for the sun will no longer mark the length of a day and the duration of a year. There we may have no time at all, or all time at once. There shall be no possibility of boredom, and no potential for running out of time. That sounds like heaven to me. I wonder if Willian Scrott is there now?

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV