Friday, November 02, 2007

'Through Many Trials' David Brown - XLII.

David Brown's trials were almost over with the death of his wife in 1879. Now it seemed, at the end of his life, that men were eager to bestow honours upon him. We are tempted to think that in some cases it was because, due to his failing eyesight and hearing, he could no longer be much of a threat to them. In 1872 he had been awarded the honourary degree of D.D. by the University of Aberdeen. In 1885, as we saw, he was made Moderator of the Free Church Assembly and gave a clarion call of warning that the denomination was putting far too much faith in man, and not enough in God.
In 1894 the King of Serbia bestowed on David Brown the decoration of Knight Commander of the Order of St. Sava. Why, it may be asked, was a Scottish Free Church Principal awarded such an honour? Well, the decoration was bestowed for David Brown's work in assisting a translation of his commentary on the Gospels into the Serbian language! So we would say to those who value the commentary as issued by the Banner of Truth Trust that the King of Serbia valued it so much that he gave the author the highest civillian order then in existence in Serbia (our illustration shows the order of St. Sava).
In January 1896 David Brown was awarded his last honour, the degree of L.L.D. from the University of Aberdeen. All these honours came unasked. David Brown knew that they were passing, and he himself was fast ripening for eternity.
He was a friendly man, and as we have seen, his position as a decided Free Churchman did not prevent him from seeking friendships with men of other churches who were Christians as he was. There were many with whom he could have Christian fellowship in the Church of England, for example, but he could not have ever joined that denomination himself. He was a man of decided views and was not afraid to state them and, if needs be, to fight for them as well. The lodestone of his ministry was the Gospel, Christ crucified for sinners, and that he not only preached, but urged upon his students. The great end of the Christian ministry was, in his view, to preach Christ and Him crucified. All his learning was subordinated to this end. The Free Church of Scotland had many theological professors in the late 19th century, but of all of them it was David Brown who kept this point most firmly before his students. No wonder, then, that so many of them went out fired with a love for Christ and for perishing sinners.

God willing, next time we shall have something to say about David Brown's final illness and death.



Post a Comment

<< Home