Divine Call to Repentance
The term “posthaste” goes back to the time of Henry VIII. Postmasters were given relays of horses to carry messages for the king to important cities in England. Because some couriers were irresponsible and wasted time in taverns and inns on the way, a drastic law was put into effect demanding that every dispatch carrier should “ride for his life.” The king’s edict meant that anyone caught delaying his messages would be publicly hanged. Often there was drawn upon important letters the figure of a man suspended from a gallows. Beneath was the ominous warning: “Haste, post, haste! Haste for thy life!” A number of men did suffer death because of their inefficiency, but in the 19th century the practice was discontinued. However, the old expression still remains as a reminder that the utmost speed and urgency is required when the king’s business is involved!