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

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.

Works

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