IT sometimes happens that a man, in giving to the world the truths that have most influenced his life, unconsciously writes the truest kind of a character sketch. This was so in the case of Henry Drummond, and no words of mine can better describe his life or character than those in which he has presented to us, "The Greatest Thing in the World." Some men take an occasional journey into the thirteenth of 1 Corinthians, but Henry Drummond was a man who lived there constantly, appropriating its blessings and exemplifying its teachings. As you read what he terms the analysis of love, you find that all its ingredients were interwoven into his daily life, making him one of the most lovable men I have ever known. Was it courtesy you looked for, he was a perfect gentleman. Was it kindness, he was always preferring another. Was it humility, he was simple and not courting favor. It could be said of him truthfully, as it was said of the early apostles, "that men took knowledge of him, that he had been with Jesus."
Nor was this love and kindness only shown to those who were close friends. His face was an index to his inner life. It was genial and kind, and made him, like his Master, a favorite with children. He could be the profound philosopher or the learned theologian, but I know that he preferred to be the simple friend of children and youth. Never have I known a man who, in my opinion, lived nearer the Master or sought to do His will more fully.
I well remember our first meeting in Edinburgh twenty-four years ago. He was still a divinity student in the university, but he generously gave himself to aiding me in every possible way. There was nothing that he would not undertake to do to help spread the evangelistic work among his friends in the university, and, later on, he began special meetings for young men in various towns in Great Britain. The friendship then begun has been strengthened ever since, not only by his lovable nature, but by the great blessing God has used him to be in my own life.
Never have I heard Henry Drummond utter one unkind or harsh word of criticism against any one. He was a man who was filled with love to his fellow men, because he knew by experience something of the love of Christ. He was one of the easiest men with whom to work, for he thought more of the common object than of aught else.
The news of his death has brought a sense of the deepest loss to all his friends in every part of the world. He was a man greatly beloved, and my own feelings are akin to those of David on the death of Jonathan. But although the life on earth is ended, God has called His servant higher to a sphere of greater usefulness. And when at last we meet again before our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, whom we both loved and served together in years gone, we shall no longer "see through a glass darkly; but then face to face;" and things which we could not see alike here below we shall fully know in the light of His countenances who brought our lives together and blessed them with a mutual love.