Andrew Murray “fell asleep in Jesus” on January 18, 1917, at the age of 89 years.
Andrew Murray is a name well known in evangelical circles. His books are still to be found in Christian bookshops, and are regarded as spiritual classics.
Born in Graaff Reinet, Cape Town, South Africa in 1828, as the son of a Scottish Presbyterian Minister serving the Dutch Reformed congregations of Cape Town, Andrew was sent to Scotland for education at age 10, graduating from Aberdeen University. He then proceeded to Utrecht University in Holland for theological preparation. From an early age he accepted the faith of his family and was firm in the disciplines of prayer, faith and commitment to Jesus Christ.
His mother was linked to both French Huguenots and German Lutherans, and so Andrew grew up accustomed to ecumenical openness.
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Andrew was ordained at the age of 20 and returned to South Africa as a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1860 he became the pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church at Worcester. Later he would be part of the Keswick Movement and the minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of Wellington from 1871 to 1906.
His ministry took him around the globe, where he spoke at large meetings on the deeper life. The Keswick platform was often graced by his presence. He also spoke at the American Northfield Convention.
He used his considerable talents to promote education and missionary endeavour. The University College of the Orange Free State and the Stellenbosch Seminary were both founded with his assistance. He served as a Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church and led both the YMCA and the South Africa General Mission.
Of his last moments his daughter, Emmie, records: “He stroked my hair and then relapsed into unconsciousness. After a while he revived and said, ‘God is worthy of trust.’ I knelt there till 5 o’clock and then retired, leaving him to the care of the nurse. During the day … he passed away peacefully into the presence of the Lord.”
For all of his ecclesiastical and academic responsibilities, he is most loved for his 240 writings, several of which are regarded as devotional classics. He personally enjoyed and publicly promoted a rich personal devotional life. Books such as Absolute Surrender and Waiting on God speak to us from their titles.
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This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com