Friday, January 27, 2012

In All the Annals

“In looking back over the history of the Christian Church, and thinking of the great men who have from time to time appeared on her stage, I cannot recall any man who so brilliantly combined so many qualities of greatness as Thomas Chalmers.  We may find some men as distinguished in certain properties, natural or acquired: in learning—of both classical and theological erudition—in precise reasoning, in ready powers of discussion and debate, in eloquence, in holiness of life, in regularity of purpose, in determined leadership, in steadfastness even in adversity, in energy of character, in sagacity and humor, in attainment in science, in depth of artistry, and in influence upon the widest array in society—equally at home with princes and with paupers, with devout and with doubters, with the thoughtful and with the thoughtless.  Where however, shall we find a case in which so much original genius is blended and concentrated in one individual?  Where shall we find a case in which all these rare elements combined with loftiest Christian principle and devotedness, and the exercise of the most humble, gentle, generous, cheerful Christian virtues?  Surely, such graces are precious few in all the annals of the world.” John Gordon Lorimer (1808-68), Pastor of Free St. David's, Glasgow