We all have people in our lives that influence us and if you are a serious reader, you have authors that influence you. These authors become our friends, even the dead ones, maybe as in my case especially the dead ones. It is not creepy to me. It is inspiring. Some lived thousands of years ago and some hundreds or decades ago. My friend Henry Drummond lived in the last half of the 19th century.
In the past month I have picked up a book of his that I have read and re-read. The book is Addresses. In fact, the book is the transcripts of addresses Drummond gave reformatted for readers. Probably my favorite is “The Greatest Thing in the World” and it is his reflection of 1Corinthians 13, the love chapter. People all over the world are familiar with this passage from the New Testament. People who do not know who Paul or the Corinthians are but the words, the life-giving words,
“Love is patient and kind, love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant, or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong-doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1Corinthians 13:4-8
The way Drummond unpacks the entire chapter is worth going back to again and again, because this love thing is not something we can get down perfectly in this life. Growing in love is a pursuit that gives back a hundred fold. At the beginning Drummond asks the question, he calls it “the great question of antiquity” “What is the summum bonum – the supreme good? And as is stated at the end of chapter 13 of 1Corinthians, “three things remain, faith, hope, and love but the greatest of these is love.” So Drummond going to talk to us about love and I am looking forward to sharing with you some of his wisdom, insight, challenge, and encouragement.
What about the man, Henry Drummond? Drummond was born on August 17th, 1851 in Scotland to Henry Drummond and his wife Jane Campbell Drummond. At the age of 15 he headed to the University of Edinburgh and earned a degree in philosophy. He was preparing for the ministry but also was very interested in the sciences. Drummond went on to be both a theologian and scientific writer and lecturer.
It is said in the biographical sketch of Drummond that “Drummond organised and addressed innumerable meetings, especially of young people, and soon established a reputation as a preacher of extraordinary power and sincerity and as a man endowed with the rare gift of commanding the immediate confidence and love of all who came into contact with him.”
Drummond never married nor did he have children. He was fully devoted to his work. He traveled the world, was a life-long learner, worked with D.L. Moody, became famous for his book, Natural Law in the Spiritual World. However, he has been more well-known by his widely read address, The Greatest Thing in the World.
It is Drummond’s love of God, human beings, and the world we live in that drew me to become friends with him. So this is a brief introduction to my friend. There is more to the man than what I have said, if interested you can read more about him. I look forward to sharing more from Drummond in future posts.