Alexander Moody Stuart: A Memoir

Alexander Moody Stuart: A Memoir

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Many twenty-first-century Christians ‌still read the works and love the memory of the remarkable Scottish brotherhood that included Robert Murray M‘Cheyne and Andrew and Horatius Bonar. But the name of Alexander Moody Stuart (1809–98), whom they all esteemed so much, has been forgotten. Yet it took only one encounter with his preaching for M‘Cheyne to say, ‘I have found the man.’

Now, this new edition of Alexander Moody Stuart: A Memoir will throw light on a life and ministry which were profoundly influential—a ministry in which Moody Stuart was, variously, a pioneer rural missionary in an island fishing community; a capable church planter in a growing city; a clear and searching preacher; a much-loved pastor; a caring husband and father; and a committed advocate for overseas missionary endeavour.

Alexander Moody Stuart’s long life and ministry encompassed many of the defining events and debates in the Scottish church in the middle and later nineteenth century, including that which led to the formation of the Free Church of Scotland in 1843. But far from being defined by these important debates, his ministry was principally marked by contemporaries for its deep spirituality, earnestness, and originality.

This well-paced and engaging memoir, partly autobiographical and completed by its subject’s eldest son, covers the life, work, friendships, and challenges of one who was fully engaged with the people under his spiritual care, and who was also a willing defender of orthodox belief in an age of rapid change in approaches to Scripture. As Sinclair B. Ferguson notes in the Foreword, ‘like Andrew Bonar’s memoir of M‘Cheyne, there is a touch of heaven about these pages.’

It is hoped that the republication of this long-forgotten book will go some way to lift Alexander Moody Stuart out of relative obscurity—a man who, in his allotted time and circumstances, exercised a deep and penetrating ministry of the word, the character and aroma of which contain much to stimulate and inspire those engaged in that same spiritual work today.

This fresh edition includes numerous illustrations and an extensive appendix containing several of Moody Stuart’s sermons and addresses, and other documents of interest.


‘Long forgotten and hard to obtain, Alexander Moody Stuart is a book for any Christian to enjoy, and every Christian will find it richly instructive, graciously challenging, and wonderfully inspiring. And for ministers of the gospel it is quite simply a ‘must have’. While it ranks among the finest Christian biographies of a past century, the effect of reading it will be a fresh desire to love Christ more and serve him better in the present century.’

—Sinclair B. Ferguson

‌‘There are few ministerial biographies that are better worth reading than Moody Stuart’s Life by his son.’

—Principal John Macleod (1872–1948)
in Scottish Theology

‌‘He has poetry in his soul, and beyond that, a heart like that of Rutherford, fired with love to the altogether Lovely One.’

—C. H. Spurgeon (1834–92)
Pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Baptist Church, London

‘I know not a greater master in spiritual analysis.’

—Dr John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan (1796–1870)

‌‘Few were honoured to wield an influence so profound and far-reaching.’

—Address from the Free Presbytery of Edinburgh upon
Moody Stuart’s ministerial diamond jubilee in 1897

‌‘… a man who was the first and earliest of a well-defined and very remarkable school of preaching; who was also its patriarch and survivor; and who, besides being the originator, was himself the most original man not only in that school but, according to my judgment, in the whole Scottish pulpit during the long span of his ministerial career.’

—Alexander Taylor Innes (1833–1912)
Lawyer, political and ecclesiastical adviser, and author

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