Theological writer, revivalist, explorer, geologist
Henry Drummond (17 August 1851 – 11 March 1897) was a Scottish evangelist, writer and lecturer.
Drummond was educated at Edinburgh University, where he displayed a strong inclination for physical and mathematical science. The religious element was an even more powerful factor in his nature, and disposed him to enter the Free Church of Scotland. While preparing for the ministry, he became for a time deeply interested in the evangelizing mission of Moody and Sankey, in which he actively cooperated for two years. In 1877 he became lecturer on natural science in the Free Church College, which enabled him to combine all the pursuits for which he felt a vocation. His studies resulted in his writing Natural Law in the Spiritual World, the argument of which was that the scientific principle of continuity extended from the physical world to the spiritual. Before the book issued from the press (1883), a sudden invitation from the African Lakes Company drew Drummond away to Central Africa.
Upon his return in the following year he found himself famous. Large bodies of serious readers, alike among the religious and the scientific classes, discovered in Natural Law the common standing-ground which they needed; and the universality of the demand proved, if nothing more, the seasonableness of its publication. Drummond continued to be actively interested in missionary and other movements among the Free Church students.
In 1888 he published Tropical Africa, a valuable digest of information. In 1890 he traveled in Australia, and in 1893 delivered the Lowell Lectures at Boston. It had been his intention to reserve them for mature revision, but an attempted piracy compelled him to hasten their publication, and they appeared in 1894 under the title of The Ascent of Man. Their object was to vindicate for altruism, or the disinterested care and compassion of animals for each other, an important part in effecting the survival of the fittest, a thesis previously maintained by Professor John Fiske. Drummond's health failed shortly afterwards, and he died on the 11th of March 1897. His character was full of charm. His writings were too nicely adapted to the needs of his own day to justify the expectation that they would long survive it, but few men exercised more religious influence in their own generation, especially on young men.
Quotes by Henry Drummond
Works by Henry Drummond
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In this little devotional book, the charming Scottish evangelist meditates upon what he considers the greatest thing in the world—love. His meditations focus on and draw from I Corinthians 13. Drummond finds that godly love has nine ingredients: patience, kindness, generosity, humility, courtesy, unselfishness, a good temper, guilelessness, and sincerity. Just as Drummond’s contemporary readers did, clergy and laypersons alike still have a fondness for Drummond’s edifying words. The Greatest Thing in the World embodies its contents, sharing love’s wisdom with warmth and honesty.
Just a few months after his death, Drummond’s family, friends, and followers celebrated his life by publishing a collection of his sermons. In addition to these sermons, the volume contains two memorial sketches of the beloved evangelist by W. Robertson Nicoll and Ian Maclaren. Drummond tackles such topics as the nature of Christ, salvation, guilt, and sin; in light of these things, he points toward how Christians can live lives that please God. Knowing that discerning God’s will for one’s life can seem daunting, Drummond spoke multiple times on prayer and how to listen for God’s voice. Especially admired by young people during his life, Drummond’s warm character shines through his words.
Dwight L. Moody, the famed evangelist, befriended Henry Drummond—naturalist, pastor, writer, and missionary—and was profoundly affected by his works. Just months after his death, Moody honored his friend by publishing three of Drummond’s addresses delivered at the 1893 Student’s Conference in Northfield, Massachusetts. Especially admired by young people during his life, Drummond’s warm character shines through his words.
As well as an evangelist and missionary, Henry Drummond was a naturalist. After Darwin published his monumental On the Origin of Species, controversy exploded across Christendom, and Drummond was one of the first to address it effectively. Fiercely dedicated to both Christian faith and scientific progress, he sought to reconcile Darwin’s theory of evolution with the teachings of the Bible. In 1893, Drummond delivered a series of lectures on perhaps the most controversial suggestion of Darwin’s theory—that humans shared a common ancestor with apes. Today, Drummond’s words remain just as controversial as they were a century ago, and human evolution remains hotly debated throughout the church.
Along with a passion for evangelism, Drummond also had a passion for the natural sciences. As a missionary, not only did he preach to the peoples of central Africa, but he also studied and observed the African wildlife. Drummond’s travels inspired this delightful children’s book, in which a mischievous monkey wreaks havoc upon all who try to catch him. The book contains sixteen drawings by the prominent British artist, Louis Wain.
As well as an evangelist and missionary, Henry Drummond was a naturalist. He studied physical and mathematical science before dedicating himself fully to Christian ministry. In 1877, he became a lecturer on natural science at the Free Church College. He used his position to share his faith as often as he could. While he studied in preparation for his lectures, Drummond wrote Natural Law in the Spiritual World, in which he explores how the world of religion and spirituality relates to the physical world. He argued that the disconnect between the spiritual and the physical was entirely illusory and that faith was by no means in conflict with science. Written just a few decades after Darwin’s landmark On the Origin of Species, Drummond’s reconciliation of the theory of evolution with God’s purposes ranks among the most important and influential books concerning Christian faith and scientific progress.
As well as an evangelist and missionary, Henry Drummond was a naturalist. He studied physical and mathematical science before dedicating himself fully to Christian ministry. From 1883 to 1184, he served as a missionary in central Africa. With such broad experience and such an expansive background, Drummond had the opportunity to address some of the most important topics in Christianity directly: the relationship between faith and science, as well as missionary life and work. His Papers, many of them delivered at universities and theological societies, handle these topics in particular. Titles include “The Survival of the Fittest,” “The Problem of Foreign Missions,” and “The Contribution of Science to Christianity.”
Both a scientist and an evangelist, an academic lecturer and a missionary, Henry Drummond captivated all who heard him with his intelligence and warmth of heart. During his life, young people admired him especially, and Drummond often designed and delivered talks just for them. Stones Rolled Away is a compilation of several of his addresses to young men. Drummond encourages boys to help others, grow in knowledge and understanding, and live a life pleasing to God.
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