1818–1895

Introduction

portrait

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.

Biography

After stu­dy­ing at the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Ed­in­burgh, Mac­duff 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.

Publications

Poem

The First Advent

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 Peace.

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

Sources

Lyrics