Hero of the Month: John Macdonald (part 1 of 2)

Hero of the Month: John Macdonald (part 1 of 2)

John Macdonald was born in 1779 in Ray, in the far north of Scotland. It was a sign of the future that the minister had to break the ice on a pool in order to baptise him. When he was about 20 he went through a major time of distress, seeing that he was heading for hell, but not knowing how to change his course to heaven. One day he was walking along the beach when a light pierced through the darkness. He took himself to a nearby cave. And there he gave his life to Christ.

In 1805 he became a preacher and in 1807 he was appointed to the Gaelic Church in Edinburgh. When preaching he was always clear and sound in his statements of objective truth, but while in Edinburgh his preaching now became full of life; searching and fervent, as well as sound and lucid. He warned sinners, which excited the wonder and awe of his hearers. His statements of Gospel truth were from one who deeply felt its power. People could tell that he spoke from his hearts to theirs. His manner in the pulpit changed as well, becoming more vehement. His sermons, always full of thought, bright with illustration and teeming with feeling, were delivered with the most unaffected and intense earnestness. Many noticed the incredible change in his preaching.

Soon after there was a witness to his preaching in Caithness. “When the sermon began I forgot all but the doctrine I was hearing. As he warmed up with his subject, the preacher became most vehement in his action; every eye was riveted on the speaker and suppressed sounds testified to the effect which his sermon was producing. His second discourse was so awe-inspiring that the audience became powerfully affected. Such was the awful solemnity of the doctrine and the vehemence of the preacher’s manner that I expected, ere he was done, every heart would be pierced, and that the very roof of the church would be rent. The sermon over, all were asking who the preacher was.’’

I believe that Macdonald experienced ‘a baptism of fire’, taking him to a new level of power. I shall be mentioning this again as I have read about similar changes in other men.