Sir Robert Anderson

This is the day that … Sir Robert Anderson was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1841.

It was at the age of 19 that he saw a change in one of his sisters … she had been converted at a revival meeting nearby.  “I cherished the thought,” he wrote, “that the next Sunday services in the kirk might bring me blessing.” It was at the evening service that Dr John Hall made the gospel plain.  “His sermon thrilled me,” wrote Robert Anderson later.  “Yet I deemed his doctrine unscriptural, so I waylaid him as he left the vestry and on our homeward walk tackled him about his ‘heresies’…”

There on the pavement that night the minister challenged him “to accept Christ or reject Him.”  To which Robert replied:  “In God’s name I will accept Christ.”   He could say, “I turned homeward with the peace of God filling my heart” (Sir Robert Anderson, by his son, page 19).

He threw in his lot with the Brethren, becoming a well-known author.  Some of his books deal with prophecy, some cross swords with the growing influence of modernistic (liberal) theology, and some, like The Lord from Heaven, are richly devotional.  His volume, The Coming Prince, (published in 1882), is a study of the Antichrist, and helped to popularise the dispensational interpretation of Scripture.

Having studied law and criminology, in 1888 he was appointed Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, and Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard.  It was the same year that ‘Jack the Ripper’ began his orgy of death.

A curious problem presented itself when I read Stephen Knights’ assertion that Sir Robert Anderson “was well advanced on the Masonic ladder” (Jack the Ripper, pages 178-179;  Sun Newspaper, 3 August, 1976).  And the implication was made that Anderson “covered up” Jack the Ripper’s obvious Masonic connections!

But in a recent volume, Inside the Brotherhood, by Martin Short, there is documented evidence (he gives the references) that Sir Robert was not a Freemason!  (page 41).

The biography of Sir Robert Anderson written by his son makes it abundantly clear that he was a Christ-exalting child of God who would have had no time for the Christ-excluding Masonic Lodge.

He died on 15 November, 1918.

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