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. Drummond's health failed shortly afterwards, and he died on the 11th of March 1897.
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A Memorial Sketch by John Watson (Ian MacLaren)
HE had been in many places over the world and seen strange sights, and taken his share in various works, and, being the man he was, it came to pass of necessity that he had many friends. Some of them were street arabs, some were negroes, some were medicals, some were evangelists, some were scientists, some were theologians, some ...read
A Memorial Sketch by W. Robertson Nicoll
PROFESSOR DRUMMOND'S influence on his contemporaries is not to be measured by the sale of his books, great as that has been. It may be doubted whether any living novelist has had so many readers, and perhaps no living writer has been so eagerly followed and so keenly discussed on the Continent and in America. For some reason, wh ...read
A Tribute by D. L. Moody
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." So ...read
A Life for a Life
THE report to the Italian government describing a great shipwreck said, "A large ship was seen coming close to shore last night; we endeavored to give every assistance through the speaking trumpet, nevertheless four hundred and one bodies were washed ashore this morning." That shows the futility of attempting to save men by speech. It isn't the who ...read
An Address to the Man who is Down
To-night I want to talk to the man who is down, to the man who has his back to the wall, and who is being embattled by his own temptations. It is, perhaps, not an academic subject, but it is the greatest of all subjects on which one can speak to young men. There are men here who are lost in the abyss; but there are more men who are on the brink of ...read
An Appeal to the Outsider; Or, The Claims of Christianity
I am asked to talk specially to what we call in Scotland "the outsider" --the man who has not seen his way to throw in his lot with Christian men. We have made a specialty of the outsider in our university work in the old country. We have laid all our plans to interest him. He is generally the best man in the university; and for some years we have ...read
Beautiful Thoughts - Table of Contents
The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made.--Rom. i. 20.
To My Dear Friend
Helen M. Archibald
Is Affectionately Inscribed.
My first thought of writing out this little book of brief selections sp ...read
Dealing with Doubt
There is a subject which I think workers amongst young men cannot afford to keep out of sight--I mean the subject of "Doubt." We are forced to face that subject. We have no choice. I would rather let it alone; but every day of my life I meet men who doubt, and I am quite sure that most Christian workers among men have innumerable interviews every y ...read
First! An Address to Boys
I have three heads to give you. The first is "Geography," the second is "Arithmetic," and the third is "Grammar."
First. Geography tells us where to find places.
Where is the Kingdom of God? It is said that when a Prussian officer was killed in the Franco-Prussian war, a map of France was very often found in his pocket. When we wish to occupy ...read
Lessons from the Angelus
God often speaks to men's souls through music; He also speaks to us through art. Millet's famous painting entitled "The Angelus" is an illuminated text, upon which I am going to say a few words to you to-night.
There are three things in this picture--a potato field, a country lad and a country girl standing in the middle of it, and on the far hori ...read
Life on the Top Floor
You have had a great time on the mountains, but remember the mountain is not a place to live on. The Mount of Transfiguration is an episode, coming to a man from time to time; but it is not in the ordinary course of nature that a man should always live on the top of the mountain. The mountain is of use to send streams into the valley of our ordinar ...read
Love: The Greatest Thing In The World
Every one has asked himself the great question of antiquity as of the modern world: What is the summum bonum--the supreme good? You have life before you. Once only you can live it. What is the noblest object of desire, the supreme gift to covet?
We have been accustomed to be told that the greatest thing in the religious world is Faith. That great ...read
Lowell Lectures on the Ascent of Man - Table of Contents
THE LOWELL LECTURES ON THE ASCENT OF MAN
"THE more I think of it," says Mr. Ruskin, "I find this conclusion more impressed upon me--that the greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way." In these pages an attempt is made to tell "in a plain wa ...read
Natural Law in the Spiritual World - Table of Contents
HENRY DRUMMOND. F.R.S.E.: F.G.S.
No class of works is received with more suspicion, I had almost said derision, than those which deal with Science and Religion. Science is tired of reconciliations between two things which never should have been contrasted; Religion is offended by the patron ...read
One Way to Help Boys
I am very much pleased to find the Boys' Brigade receiving University recognition. I am not aware that it has had this honor before in its history.
The idea of the Brigade is this. It is a new movement for turning out boys, instead of savages. The average boy, as you know, is a pure animal. He is not evolved; and, unless he is taken in hand by som ...read
I once heard a sermon by a distinguished preacher upon "Rest." It was full of beautiful thoughts; but when I came to ask myself, "How does he say I can get Rest?" there was no answer. The sermon was sincerely meant to be practical, yet it contained no experience that seemed to me to be tangible, nor any advice that I could grasp--any advice, that i ...read
Stones Rolled Away
Gentlemen, I am very much astonished at this spectacle. I told you last night it was against our principles in Scotland to have religious meetings on a week night. It seems to me that if you come to a meeting of this kind you mean business, and you may just as well own it. If a man comes to a shorthand class, it means that he wants to learn shortha ...read
The Changed Life - Table of Contents
"I PROTEST that if some great power would agree to make me always think what is true and do what is right, on condition of being turned into a sort of clock and wound up every morning, I should instantly close with the offer."
These are the words of Mr. Huxley. The infinite desirability, the infinite difficulty of being good--the theme is as old ...read
The Changed Life: The Greatest Need of the World
God is all for quality; man is for quantity. The immediate need of the world at this moment is not more of us, but, if I may use the expression, a better brand of us. To secure ten men of an improved type would be better than if we had ten thousand more of the average Christians distributed all over the world. There is such a thing in the evangelis ...read
The City Without A Church
Saw the Holy City,
Coming down from God out of Heaven.
And I saw no Temple therein.
And His servants shall serve Him;
And they shall see His Face;
And His Name shall be written on their foreheads.
I SAW THE CITY
TWO very startling things arrest us in John's vision of the future. The f ...read