C. H. MACKINTOSH. or CHARLES HENRY MACKINTOSH was born in
Glenmalure Barracks, County Wicklow, Ireland, in October, 1820. His father was
a Captain in the Highlanders Regiment, and had served in Ireland during
the Rebellion. His mother was a daughter of Lady Weldon, and of a family long
settled in Ireland.
At the age of eighteen the young man experienced a spiritual awakening through letters received from his sister after her conversion, and obtained peace through the perusal of J. N. Darbys "Operations of the Spirit," being specially helped by words to the effect that "it is Christs workfor us, not His work in us, that gives peace." Entering a business house in Limerick, the young Christian "gave attention to reading," and diligently applied his mind to various studies.
In 1844 (at 24) he opened a school at Westport, throwing himself with much enthusiasm into educational work. His spiritual attitude at this time may be inferred from the fact that he aimed at keeping Christ enshrined in the citadel of his life, and making Christs work his chief concern.
At length, in 1853, he feared that his school was becoming his primary interest, and accordingly he gave it up. n the meantime his pen had been busy with expository notes on the books of the Pentateuch. At intervals during. the past forty years the volumes of "Notes by C. H. M." have: been issued, one each upon Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, and two upon Deuteronomy. These works, which. are characterised by a deep.toned evangelical spirit, have been published in successive and large editions, and the Preface was signed by his friend Andrew Miller, who correctly says of the teaching: "Mans complete ruin in sin, and Gods perfect remedy in Christ, are fully, clearly, and often strikingly presented." It is said by Miller's biographer that Miller financed these "Notes".
As an expositor, "C. H. M." had a perspicuous style, and presented his views with much strength. Some of his deductions were of a type which the generality of believers would regard as peculiar; but for loyalty to Gods Word, and unswerving trust in Christ, no writings could be more stimulating. His contempt for sceptical unbelief in all its lights and shades. was expressed as follows in his "Notes on Deuteronomy":
"Nothing can be more miserably contemptible than the books which infidels write against the Bible. Every page, every paragraph, every sentence only goes to illustrate the truth of the apostles statement that "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Their gross ignorance of the subject with which they undertake to deal is only equalled by their self-confidence. Of their irreverence we say nothing; for who would think of looking for reverence in the writings of infidels? We might perhaps look for a little modesty, were it not that we are fully aware of the bitter animus which lies at the root of all such writings, and renders them utterly unworthy of a moments consideration.
Other books may have a dispassionate examination; but the precious Book of God is approached with the foregone conclusion that it is not a Divine revelation, because, forsooth, infidels tell us that God could not give us a written revelation of His mind. How strange! Men can give us a revelation of their thoughts, and infidels have done so pretty plainly; but God cannot. What folly! What presumption! Why, we may lawfully inquire, could not God reveal His mind to His creatures? Why should it be thought a thing incredible? For no reason whatever, hut because infidels would have it so. The wish is, in this case assuredly, father to the thought. The question raised by the old serpent, in the garden of Eden, nearly six thousand years ago, has been passed on from age to age by all sorts of sceptics, rationalists, and infidels, namely, Hath God said? We reply, with intense delight, Yes; blessed be His holy name, He has spoken - spoken to us. He has revealed His mind; He has given us the Holy Scriptures. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God: and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
And again, "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (1 Tim. 3, :16, Rom, i:5.4). The Lord be praised for such words! They assure us that all Scripture is given of God, and that all Scripture is given to us. Precious link between the soul and God! What tongue can tell the value of such a link? God has spoken - spoken to us. His Word is a rock against which all the waves of infidel thought dash themselves in conlemptible impotency, leaving it in its own divine strength and eternal stability.
Nothing can touch the Word of God. Not all the powers of earth and hell, men and devils combined, can ever move the Word of God. There it stands, in its own moral glory, spite of all the assaults of the enemy, from age to age. For ever, 0 Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven."
After ceasing scholastic work, "C. H. M." went to Dublin,. where he began speaking in public. For many years he boldly stood forth in defence of the Gospel, and to proclaim the truth,. and God owned his labours in a remarkable degree. When. the Revival swept over Ireland in 1859-60, he was very active, and some account of his labours may be found in the early volumes of " Things New and Old."
He was a man of great faith, and was ever ready to testify that though God had often tried Him he had never allowed him to suffer want in the matter of lifes necessities while engaged in Gospel work and Without material employment. During the last four years of his life he resided at Cheltenham, and when unable, through the weakness of advancing years, to do much on the platform, he still continued to write. His last series of tractates was entitled "Handfuls of Pasture." As long as possible he followed his much-loved work of visiting the sick and solitary of the household of faith; but his wife having died a year or two ago, there came a time when other disciples visited him in sickness and solitude, As the months went by he sent forth his "Handfuls," and circulated his booklets among friends and acquaintances.
The influence of his writings cannot be estimated. He was continually receiving letters from all parts of the world acknowledging the satisfying character of his teaching on the books of Moses. His first tract in 1843 was on "The Peace of God." When he despatched a manuscript to his publisher on "The God of Peace," his hand was stayed, and a few months later 1896 he entered into rest.
His "Miscellaneous Writings have been bound up in six volumes, corresponding with his expositions. He peacefully fell asleep on 2nd November, 1896, and four days later devout men carried him to his burial in Cheltenham Cemetery. His remains were laid by the side of those of his loved wife, and in the presence of a company gathered from many quarters. Dr. Wolston, of Edinburgh, discoursed on the burial of Abraham, from Genesis 25. 8-10 and Hebrews 8. 10. Before dispersing, the company sang J. N. Darbys beautiful hymn: "0 bright and blessed scenes, Where sin can never come; Whose sight our longing spirit weans From earth where yet we roam."
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