Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Douglas MacMillan

Here and here Reformation 21 (in the persons of Paul Levy and Carl Trueman) celebrates the ministry of the late Douglas MacMillan, the best preacher I ever heard.  I'd never heard OF him when I was present at the Aberystwyth Conference back in 1979.  He preached the now-legendary series on Psalm 23; this former Highland Shepherd and giant of a man made the whole psalm live.  As an expositor, Lloyd-Jones was better; but as a preacher, MacMillan left him standing.

Not many years later, I met him.  I'd gone for the very first time to the Bala Ministers' Conference.  I'd only graduated from LTS two days earlier, but I really wanted to hear this man again.  I remember going in to the dining room (sensibly, the conference began with lunch) and seeing that all the tables were already filling up.  On each of them was a minister I was still inclined to call 'Mr' - Graham Harrison on one, Hywel Jones on another, Hugh Morgan, Andrew Davies...  How could I possibly sit with them.  (I'm a very shy man.)  Oh, bless the Lord!  There's one table with no-one sitting at it at all.  Quick, Gary.

So I sat down, and was aware as I sat that someone had followed me and was sitting opposite me.  Looking up, there was Big Douglas, stretching out a massive hand to me and saying 'Hello, I'm Douglas.  Who are you?'  (I'm not sure I could remember at that point!)

I've never forgotten that.  As he walked into the dining room he must have seen those men - his friends.  But he saw one young, lonely, nervous preacher sitting alone.  He ignored his friends, and sat with me.  He was a Big Man.

You've never heard him preach?  In the words of the song, 'betcha by golly, wow!  Some of his sermons are on the web; you could try this one, from a different 'Aber.'  But really you need to get hold of his sermons on Psalm 23.  The book's worth reading - but hear the sermons first, if you can.  How about pestering the Evangelical Movement of Wales to put them on line?  And the Free Church of Scotland to make many, many more available?


Martin Walker said...

Thanks for that Gary. Couldn't listen to all of the link but got enough for a good taste. Such a gift to be able to labour a point without it feeling laboured, and it had such a sense of the power & majesty of God. I presume it was a Christian (professing at least!) audience he was addressing?

PS - On a different subject, not keen on the orange text on orange background.

Dean Olive said...

Your post made me pick up "The God of All Grace" by MacMillan and enjoy bits and pieces of it again. I heard him at a Banner Conference in the late 80's and enjoyed conversation with him at lunch one of those days. What a blessing he was to the church and how such men are greatly missed.

Ganeida said...

His exposition of Psalm 23 is so good I have used it as the basis for teaching on this psalm for years.