Monday, May 29, 2006

"I Climb the Rainbow Through the Rain" George Matheson, I.

Probably most Christians who appreciate good hymns know the hymn O Love that wilt not let me go. The hymn was written by George Matheson, a Church of Scotland minister in the late 19th Century. This year marks the 100th anniversary of George Matheson's death, in North Berwick on Tuesday 28th August 1906. Since most people know little about Matheson beyond the fact that he was blind and wrote a hymn, we considered it to be appropriate to mark his death by disseminating some more information about him.

George Matheson was born in Glasgow on March 27th 1842. The date immediately reminds us that he was born into a society where the national Church was in crisis. A year after Matheson's birth the Church of Scotland divided.
George Matheson's parents remained in the Church of Scotland, and this fact set the direction for Matheson's eventual career, where he would be known as a man who valued peace and unity - perhaps too highly.
George Matheson's parents were respectable middle class folk; his father was a successful merchant, a godly man who not only laboured to make wealth, but cared for the good of the community in which God had placed him, and for the good of those in his employment. His name was also George Matheson (so, in American terms, our George Matheson was George Matheson Junior) and a highlander, a native of the ancient cathedral town of Dornoch.
He had at first looked to the ministry as hi future, but God had other purposes for him. He prospered in business, and was an elder in the Church of Scotland.
So George Matheson (Jr.) had a firm foundation, brought up in the old paths of theology.

Next time, God willing, we shall see more of his being brought up, and we shall read of how he lost the power of sight.



Post a Comment

<< Home