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A quick overview of the story
While Andrew Murray’s spiritual journey is obviously a major theme in this novel, it is also a fast-paced story of Andrew’s whirlwind ministry between 1860 and 1882. It begins on a cold wintry day in Worcester when the mountain range behind the Dutch Reformed Church is covered in snow—something like the photograph below.
Although he consecrates his life anew, the desired experience of the filling with the Holy Spirit fails to eventuate.
He nevertheless hangs on in faith through bitter court battles with liberals as well as notable missionary endeavors and educational projects, ever wondering when God will seal his consecration with the desired experience. But it is only when God finally intervenes by stopping him in his tracks that he is forced to confront the barriers that are blocking the blessing.
What led me to write this book
While reading the various biographies written about Andrew Murray, I was particularly interested in the ‘before’ and ‘after’ aspects of his spiritual journey. For example, Rev. Christiaan Rabie, who had been in Andrew Murray’s confirmation class in Worcester in the early 1860s, gives us the following forthright description of him:
His pastoral visitation carried terror in the hearts of his parishioners. If his preaching was like thunderbolts from the summit of Sinai, what would his personal rebuke be like? People felt, under the earnestness of his individual dealing, that they were being ground to powder.
But then Rabie adds:
I must add that there is a wide cleft between the stern Mr. Murray of those days and the loving and gentle Mr. Murray whom we knew in later years.
This sentiment was echoed by a female friend of the family in a letter to Andrew Murray’s daughter, Mary. She writes:
Do you remember the time when he was not allowed to preach? A great change came into his life after that. He used to be rather stern and very decided in his judgment of things. After that year he was all love. His great humility also struck me forcibly at that time.
The year spoken of above was 1882. Needless to say, these quotations prompted me to find out exactly what had happened to make this radical change come to pass in Andrew Murray’s life.
Searching for clues
While Andrew did not write an autobiography, he certainly left clues related to his spiritual journey in almost every book. This is particularly the case when it comes to chapter ninety-six of The Holiest of All. He speaks there of adopting the motto: ‘Patience, that having done the will of God, ye may inherit the promise.’ He also explains that there often lies years of discipline and training ‘between the faith that accepts a promise and the experience that fully inherits and receives it.’
In relation to receiving the promise spoken of above, I experienced a major break-through when I discovered Andrew Murray’s 1882 testimony that he gave at Keswick just two weeks after the healing of his throat ailment. Fortunately for us, this testimony was also published in the October issue of The Life of Faith. When studying it, together with the testimony he presented at Keswick in 1895, I was able to put the puzzle of his spiritual break-through together. Needless to say, the rest of this story has also been thoroughly researched.
Where to find this book
Christian Book Discounters, Cape Town: https://bit.ly/2SeoDOb