Wednesday, May 31, 2006

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

George Matheson was of necessity somewhat limited in his choice of a career by his rapidly deteriorating eyesight. He had wanted to become a lawyer, and in later years he said that he would have become one if it had not been for his disability. Matheson had a great gift of public speaking and an ability to think on his feet that would have been of great use to a lawyer. But it was not to be.
Matheson was a bright scholar, and his family's residence in Glasgow meant that he was able to attend the city's university, which was then located in its seventeenth century buildings in the city centre, not in its present home. Matheson was therefore able to remain at the family home, with his family able to help him by reading aloud to him and by taking dictation from him when necessary.
Matheson shone in his university days, and he was accorded no special treatment because of his blindness. Professor Buchanan, known as 'Logic Bob', the greatest of the professors at Glasgow in those days, compared Matheson to George Milton - a not inappropriate comparison of two blind Christian poets.

After completing his Arts Course, George Matheson entered the Divinity Hall of the University to study for the Church of Scotland ministry. The Divinity Professor at Glasgow in this period was Professor John Caird, and his influence on the students was profound. Caird's theology, however, was not that of the old Scottish tradition; rather it was deeply influenced by German philosophy, more specifically the philosophy of Hegel. Matheson was himself deeply impressed by Caird, and the result of this was that Matheson was never completely orthodox in his theology again. Unlike many of his classmates, however, Matheson never studied in Germany - he was prevented by his blindness.
George Matheson was a popular student who made friends easily in university, and his frank, sensitive, yet friendly nature was the sort that makes for the best of pastors. His preaching was impressive, and a bright future in the ministry of the Church of Scotland beckoned.

How he entered the ministry we shall see, God willing, next time



Blogger Gary Brady said...

I just stumbled across this looking for something else. You should have mentioned. If I'd seen it earlier I might have saved myself the bother.

11:21 am  

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