This is the day that … Andrew Murray was born in South Africa, in 1828.
His father was a Scot who pastored a Dutch Reformed Church – some 500 miles north east of Cape Town – for 44 years.
The two sons were sent to Scotland for their education, and after graduation they both set their sights on the ministry. This meant theological training in Holland … and a culture shock! For now they found themselves surrounded by clergy who “drank alcohol and used tobacco.” Their father wrote to his sons and warned them to abstain from such practices.
During his theological studies (at the age of 17, in 1845) he received news that another son had been born to his parents. His reply: “And equal I am sure will be your delight when I tell you that I can communicate to you far gladder tidings over which angels have rejoiced, that your son has been born again!”
Ordained with his brother, John, on 9 May, 1848 (Andrew’s 20th birthday), they returned to minister in South Africa.
Nearly 50 years of serving the Lord lay ahead, during which time Andrew Murray pastored four churches, wrote 250 books and booklets (many of which became best sellers and are still in print), and preached at great conferences in Europe and America. He spoke at the English Keswick Convention and Moody’s Northfield Conference.
Whilst it is true that his books seem to breathe “a holy serenity,” he was not a quiet speaker. Even in his old age we are told that he was dynamic and demonstrative in the pulpit. “When church custodians heard that Mr Murray would be preaching (in their church) they would remove everything extraneous lest he knock them down and break them!”
Death came on 18 January, 1917 – his dying words being to the nurse who attended him: “Have faith in God, my child. Do not doubt Him” (Biography, page 243).