The Bible no more knows a separate class of heroes than it does of saints. Because of Jesus Christ, every Christian is extraordinary and attains to glory. Yet grace so shines in some (as in the portraits of Hebrews 11), that it lightens the path of many. As A.W. Tozer wrote, ‘Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest aid to the life of faith may be Christian biographies.’
Iain Murray has already written on a number of Christians he especially admires. A few of them return to these pages, but with focus on their thought – George Whitefield on Christian unity, for example. Most space, however, is given to little-known figures, including Robert Kalley and William Hewitson who shared in ‘the greatest happening in modern missions’, and to Charles and Mary Colcock Jones who took much-loved slaves with them to heaven.
There is much new research in these pages, and reminders of how much is missed by those who fail to read of the work of God in history. Christians who know what Christ did yesterday are energized to trust and serve him today.
About the Author
Iain Hamish Murray, born in Lancashire, England, in 1931, was educated at Wallasey Grammar School and King William’s College in the Isle of Man (1945-49). He was converted in 1949 through the ministry at Hildenborough Hall, Tom and Jean Rees’ Christian conference centre in Kent. It was at Hildenborough later that same year that he first met Jean Ann Walters, who was to become his wife (they married in Edgeware on April 23, 1955).
After service with the Cameronians in Singapore and Malaya, he read Philosophy and History at the University of Durham with a view to the ministry of the English Presbyterian Church (his parents’ denomination). It was at Durham that he began to read the Puritans, whose writings were to become a lifelong passion. After a year of private study, he assisted Sidney Norton at St John’s Free Church, Oxford, in 1955–56, and it was here that The Banner of Truth magazine was launched, with Murray as its first editor.
From 1956 he was for three years assistant to Dr Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Chapel and there, with the late Jack Cullum, founded the Banner of Truth Trust in 1957. He left Westminster in 1961 for a nine-year pastorate at Grove Chapel, Camberwell. With the world-wide expansion of the Trust, Iain Murray became engaged full-time in its ministry from 1969 until 1981 when he responded to a call from St Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney, Australia. Now based again in the UK, he and Jean live in Edinburgh. He has written many titles published by the Trust, in whose work he remains active. He is still writing.