Born: May 23, 1818, Bonhard, Scotland.
Died: April 30, 1895, at his home Ravensbrook, in Chislehurst, Kent, England.
Buried: With his second wife, Louisa Stephen, and daughter, Anne Seton Macduff, in the Chislehurst churchyard.
John was the son of Captain Alexander Macduff of Bonhard and Springfield and Margaret Catherine Ross.
After studying at the University of Edinburgh, he became parish minister of Kettins, Forfarshire (1842); St. Madoes, Perthshire (1849); and Sandyford, Glasgow (1855). In 1857 the General Assembly appointed him to its Hymnal Committee.
Macduff received his DD degree from the University of Glasgow in 1862, and about the same time also from the University of New York. He retired from pastoral work in 1871, and in 1887 was living in Chislehurst, Kent.
He comes! in meek and lowly human form,
Unheralded by dazzling pomp and noise,
Not in the
fire, the earthquake, or the storm,
But with the accents of
the still small voice.
He comes! to preach the gospel to the poor,
Franchise the slave, and break the bondsman’s chain,
To wrench the bars from off the dungeon-door,
And set the pining captive free again.
He comes! the Messenger to broken hearts;
Affliction of its poignant sting disarms;
To him that hath no helper help imparts;
The little child smiles fearless in His arms.
He comes! to give the groping blind their sight,
To wipe the tear from off the mourner’s eye,
To cheer the orphan’s darkened home with light,
And soothe the widow in her agony.
He comes! to rescue from the guilt of sin,
And from its tyrant power to grant release;
To hush the rage of demon storms within,
And leave His own best legacy of
He comes! to stop the roll of conquering drum,
Unyoke the steeds from Battle’s iron car,
To strike the fevered lips of cannon dumb,
And hang in silent halls the trump of war.
He comes! O Earth give welcome to His voice!
He comes! Thy tribes to pay Him homage rise!
He comes! to make thine arid wastes rejoice,
And blossom like a second Paradise.
John Ross Macduff
The Gates of Praise, 1876