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Letters of Thomas Chalmers Hardcover – July 16, 2007
'Although many have written on Chalmers, the best knowledge of the man comes from reading his own words, and there is no better starting point than the volume of his correspondence...It has long been unobtainable, and numbers will surely be thankful to see it in print again. The times and the religious scene are greatly changed since Chalmers' day, yet what lay at the centre of his influence remains the church s constant need, and there is here much sound wisdom from which other generations can profit.' --Iain H. Murray
'Chalmers' Letters give us a fascinating insight into the turbulent decades preceding the 1843 Disruption and a no less fascinating insight into the mind and heart of a giant in Christ's church. This selection of letters 'breathes the warmth of Chalmers' devotion to Christ and reveal his true soul'. He being dead yet speaks.' --Ian Hamilton
About the Author
Thomas Chalmers, the first Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland after the Disruption, and the man who 'was at the centre of a recovery that brought the churches in Scotland from mediocrity, indifference and unbelief, to new conditions of spiritual vitality', was born in Anstruther, Fife in 1780. It was a time when true gospel preaching in Church of Scotland parishes was the exception rather than the rule, and the deadening influence of Moderatism held sway.
Before he was twelve years old, Chalmers entered the University of St Andrews, ten miles from his birthplace in Fife, and at fifteen he commenced the study of theology with a view to making the ministry his profession. At the age of nineteen he was licensed to preach and in 1802 was elected to the country parish of Kilmany, in Fife. In the meantime he had abandoned the beliefs of his godly father and succumbed wholly to the Moderate school.
Chalmers was ambitious and coveted distinction in the academic world. With this goal in view his main studies remained mathematics, chemistry and geology, and for as long as six months in a year he might be absent from his parish in order to teach in St Andrews. When he was at home he acted on the belief that two days in the week were quite enough for religious duties; sometimes his sermon preparation, such as it was, had to be done on the Sunday morning. For his first seven years at Kilmany Chalmers had no personal conversation with people about their souls, and from the pulpit he would warn his congregation of such evangelical authors as John Newton. Anything like evangelism he openly nauseated.
In 1808, family bereavements and illness in which his life hung in the balance began a profound change. After six months' absence from his pulpit, the congregation saw a very different minister, and one whose muffled figure, walking slowly to the church in the summer of 1810, revealed him to be the invalid that he was. Chalmers now spoke of new themes, and chiefly of the shortness and insignificance of time and of the nearness and magnitude of eternity. Gradually the way of salvation by faith in the atonement of Christ was opened up to him, and before the close of the year 1811, when he was thirty-one years of age, his journal records the joy of assurance and of full commitment.
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