Born: December 10, 1824, Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Died: September 18, 1905, Ashtead, Surrey, England.
Buried: Cimitero Inglese di Bordighera, Bordighera, Italy.
MacDonald received his MA degree (and honorary LLD) from King’s College, University of Aberdeen.
He briefly studied for the Congregational Ministry at Highbury College, London, then became pastor of the Congregational Church at Arundel, Sussex (1850–53). He afterwards preached for a short time to a small company at Manchester and Bolton.
Relinquishing the ministry, he became a lecturer on English literature at King’s College, London, and ultimately gave himself up entirely to literary pursuits.
Most of MacDonald’s hymns were contributed to Hymns and Sacred Songs for Sunday Schools, edited by himself, his brother, and G. B. Bubier (Manchester, England: Fletcher & Tubbs, 1855). Others appeared in The Disciple, and Other Poems.
As Jesus went into Jericho town,
’Twas darkness all from toe to crown,
About blind Bartimeus.
He said, “Our eyes are more than dim,
And so, of course, we don’t see him,
But David’s son can see us.
Cry out, cry out, blind brother—cry;
Let not salvation dear go by.
Have mercy, Son of David.
Though they were blind, they both could hear—
They heard, and cried, and he drew near;
And so the blind were saved.
O Jesus Christ, I am deaf and blind;
Nothing comes through into my mind;
I only am not dumb:
Although I see thee not, nor hear,
I cry because thou may’st be near:
O son of Mary, come.
I feel a finger on mine ear;
A voice comes through the deafness drear:
Be opened, senses dim!
A hand is laid upon mine eyes;
I hear, and hearken, see, and rise—
’Tis He: I follow him.
The Disciple, and Other Poems, 1867