My lovely and gracious wife somehow agreed to let us get a new bookshelf for my study. Just when you thought you couldn’t fit any more in…space is found! In prep for the new shelf I had to rearrange a few things around so that it will fit. This gave me the opportunity to put together two picture collages I have wanted to hang up for some time, featuring Scottish divines/churchmen. The first is 4 men of another day who have impacted my life by their life and writings.
The first is Thomas Chalmers. He ended up being the theology teacher of the other three men pictured and had an immense influence in the church in Scotland. For some reason he is not very well known today. Solid Ground Books have republished two volumes of his Sabbath Scripture Readings (originally part of his posthumous works). He is probably best remembered for his role in the Disruption of 1843 when the Free Church of Scotland was born.
The next two are the Bonar brothers, Horatius and Andrew. Both faithful, godly, Spirit-filled ministers who exercised faithful ministries and both wrote a fair number of works. Andrew is probably best remembered for his memoir of M’Cheyne (the last picture).
If you can read M’Chyene’s sermons, then do it. They are Christ-filled, Christ-centred, and extremely warm and inviting. It is hard to imaging that I am now older than M’Cheyne was when he was called to glory. Much, much more could be said on all of these men (and I hope to say more in the days ahead).
The next picture is 2 contemporary Scottish men who, through their writings and some interaction, God has used greatly in my life.
Sinclair Ferguson (on the right) is someone who I fail to read without being helped and pointed to Christ. His sermons are equally as helpful. He has the gift of being an extraordinary scholar, yet bringing things down to my level. His book on the Holy Spirit is probably unequalled and shows the breadth of his studies. His three messages on the marrow controversy are both informative (especially if that controversy is unknown to you) and extremely pastoral in dealing with legalism, antinomianism and the gospel. A number of years back I had the privilege of sitting a Ferguson class on Calvin’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit. There were about 6 of us in the class and we all stayed on sight (it was a 1 week class) and took our meals together. The class merely changed subjects over to church/pastoral ministry during meals and it was an incredible week. A very gracious man.
Another man, who the first word that comes to mind when I think of is graciousness, is Iain Murray. An enormously helpful historian and one of the founders of The Banner of Truth. It has been a great joy to have some interaction with him during these years we’ve been living in Edinburgh.
Stay tuned, later this week I hope to post the audio of Iain’s talk given to a small group of youngish pastors the other week here in Edinburgh. ‘What can we learn from the Puritans?’ is the title, and it is pastorally focused. Rich stuff.