Friday, 9 October 2009

From Ferintosh Free Church Manse to Keswick Speaker

Recently I began reading the life of George MacGregor (born 1864), a well-known Presbyterian preacher in the last decade of the nineteenth century, particularly known for his regular ministry at the Keswick Convention and similar conferences (he died in 1900, at the age of 36). There are several reasons for looking at his life: for example, (a) despite the common idea that Keswick at that time stressed a form of Christian perfectionism, Macgregor was an ardent admirer of John Owen and, as far as I can see, was committed to Calvinistic beliefs; (b) his ministry was not a long one, yet he was the pastor of two important congregations (in Aberdeen and London); (c) the reason that intrigues me is that he was the son of Malcolm MacGregor, the minister who succeeded John MacDonald (the Apostle of the North) as the Free Church minister of Ferintosh. How did someone born in a Scottish Highland manse, with all the traditional emphases connected to Highland spirituality, become a preacher acceptable to those who attended the Keswick convention in the 1890s? His biography make give some answers, and my assessment, for what it is worth, will be found here.

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