Sermons by Kenneth A. Macrae

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Reformed Covenanter

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Thank you Daniel. No doubt this will be a spiritual gem. I have been enjoying his diary so much I am reading it a second time.
I have just ordered a copy of the Diary from Gowan Books in Fermanagh. Your mentioning of it inspired me to do so. Besides it has only cost me £6 (+ £2.50 P&P, though that is cheaper than driving to Fermanagh).
 

Stephen L Smith

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I have just ordered a copy of the Diary from Gowan Books in Fermanagh.
Daniel, I was just going to recommend you get it, when I saw you have already done so :) I think you will be helped in two ways. It provides helpful background to his booklet "The Resurgence of Arminianism". It also includes many spiritually helpful gems in his comments. The diary gives a glimpse into the soul of a very godly and useful servant of Christ.

Iain Murray also provided perceptive background information in a number of places.

Feel free to tell Banner of Truth to reprint it :)
 

Stephen L Smith

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I just visited this website again. I noticed this website had Kenneth MacRae's sermons and a lecture. If I have understood his diary correctly, he preached sermons at his local church and lectured at a local seminary on the Isle of Lewis.
 

CathH

Puritan Board Freshman
I just visited this website again. I noticed this website had Kenneth MacRae's sermons and a lecture. If I have understood his diary correctly, he preached sermons at his local church and lectured at a local seminary on the Isle of Lewis.
There isn't actually a local seminary on Lewis btw, just to avoid confusion. There is a building called "the seminary" in Stornoway where church services were (and are) held, but it's not an educational establishment where you'd expect lectures/students/exams etc. (@scottmaciver would know more than me though) I'd guess that the lecture might have been on behalf of some organisation or maybe for some occasion.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I am currently about 200 pages through the Diary and I am really enjoying it. One thing to keep in mind is that the published version is actually only a selection out of the 12 volumes MS diaries. I wonder where these are housed, as I would really like to read his diaries for the years of the Second World War that are not covered in this volume?
 

scottmaciver

Puritan Board Sophomore
There isn't actually a local seminary on Lewis btw, just to avoid confusion. There is a building called "the seminary" in Stornoway where church services were (and are) held, but it's not an educational establishment where you'd expect lectures/students/exams etc. (@scottmaciver would know more than me though) I'd guess that the lecture might have been on behalf of some organisation or maybe for some occasion.
Yes, as Catherine said, the seminary is a church building, where we had Sabbath school when we were in Primary School. Nowadays, It tends to be used mainly for one Gaelic service on the Lord's Day, although also for prayer meetings throughout the week.

Obviously we don't know where the lecture was held but, as Catherine said, likely on behalf of some organisation, or perhaps even a synod meeting or something.
 
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scottmaciver

Puritan Board Sophomore
Iain Murray lists his diaries at the end of the book and said (as of 1980) his daughter housed his diaries. I did wonder if any of his Grandchildren had them now?
His grandson is Rev Kenneth I Macleod, currently Assistant Minister in Stornoway Free Church, although nearing retirement.
 

Stephen L Smith

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His grandson is Rev Kenneth I Macleod, currently Assistant Minister in Stornoway Free Church
Kenneth MacRae was very concerned with the theological and spiritual decline in the Free Church. He documents this in his diary. It is my guess he would have approved of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) denomination. Obviously his Grandson did not think the same?
 

Stephen L Smith

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There is a building called "the seminary" in Stornoway where church services were (and are) held, but it's not an educational establishment where you'd expect lectures/students/exams etc
Yes, as Catherine said, the seminary is a church building, where we had Sabbath school when we were in Primary School. Nowadays, It tends to be used mainly for one Gaelic service on the Lord's Day, although also for prayer meetings throughout the week.
Iain Murray says in 'The Diary of Kenneth MacRae' pg 233, "An additional church property, known as 'the seminary' (rebuilt in 1899 to hold up to 300 people), had been used since the time of Peter MacLean for a Sabbath afternoon service in English for those who had too little Gaelic to profit from the regular services. By 1931 the need for such a service had increased and accordingly Macrae, from the start of his ministry in the town,normally preached three times every Lord's day. He was also to introduce a 'lecture' in English on Wednesday evenings during the winter months, an innovation which soon became an important part of the church's life."
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
Kenneth MacRae was very concerned with the theological and spiritual decline in the Free Church. He documents this in his diary. It is my guess he would have approved of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) denomination. Obviously his Grandson did not think the same?
That conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise. While obviously he would have agreed with the FCC men on issues such as psalmody, it does not necessarily mean that he would have supported the formation of another denomination. He also stated his desire to have the Free Presbyterian ministers come into the Free Church, whom he was probably closer to in some respects than some other Free Church ministers, and he mourned that Israel and Judah remained divided (see page 173 of the Diary). And yet he never advocated joining the Free Presbyterians just because he thought there was declension in the Free Church.

Regardless of who is at fault, the current divisions among the Reformed churches in Scotland are an absolute disgrace and a huge stumbling block to the gospel in a region that is descending into paganism and communism.
 

Stephen L Smith

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That conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premise. While obviously he would have agreed with the FCC men on issues such as psalmody, it does not necessarily mean that he would have supported the formation of another denomination. He also stated his desire to have the Free Presbyterian ministers come into the Free Church, whom he was probably closer to in some respects than some other Free Church ministers, and he mourned that Israel and Judah remained divided (see page 173 of the Diary). And yet he never advocated joining the Free Presbyterians just because he thought there was declension in the Free Church.
Kenneth MacRae died in 1964 so obviously any comment about him agreeing with FCC men is speculation. On that I do agree. My comments were based on ch 18 of the Diary, especially pg 459. MacRae was very concerned with theological developments at the General Assembly of 1955. The chapter concludes with his comment "It was a sad Assembly, which chilled my heart and filled me with apprehension as to the future". My assumption was that if these trends continued over the following decades I can see how the logic could develop as to the need to form the FCC.

That said I agree it is speculation and I agree that a split in the church of God is a bad testimony not only in Scotland but around the world.

By the way, ch 18 is on MacRae's leadership in the policies of the Free Church is a fascinating chapter and gives real insight into MacRae's theological convictions and spiritual leadership in the denomination.
 

Reformed Covenanter

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My comments were based on ch 18 of the Diary, especially pg 459. MacRae was very concerned with theological developments at the General Assembly of 1955. The chapter concludes with his comment "It was a sad Assembly, which chilled my heart and filled me with apprehension as to the future".
That chapter is the next one that I am due to read. The chapter on the Second World War was outstanding.
 

Stephen L Smith

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That chapter is the next one that I am due to read.
Enjoy :) I think you will particularly enjoy Iain Murray's comments on the pamphlet "The Resurgence of Arminianism" mentioned a few times in the chapter.
The chapter on the Second World War was outstanding.
Yes. I enjoyed it too. I did wonder where he sourced his information. No doubt his own military background helped.
 
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