Letter to the Editor: Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services

Prayers for the Dead at Remembrance Services   Sir, Remembrance Sunday is an important and poignant landmark in our nation’s annual calendar, and a day to reflect, give thanks and pray for peace. We see church and civic life combine in silence and remembrance, as...

Evangelical Theological College of Asia

Evangelical Theological College of Asia Have you ever wondered if there was a sound reformed theological training institution in Asia?  The Evangelical Theological College of Asia is just such a school.  It is located in Singapore and its faculty are mostly from...

Prudence Dailey’s Commentary: Should Women Be Afraid of Men?

Prudence Dailey's Commentary Should Women be Afraid of Men? Recently, someone I used to work with shared on her Facebook page a link to an article from The Times magazine by the feminist writer Caitlin Moran. The substance of Ms Moran’s piece—rhetorically addressed to...

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement”

FIEC Updates Its “Values Statement” The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches recently updated its “Values Statement.”  It is well-worth your time to read.  There are FIEC affiliated congregations in England, Scotland, and Wales.   1. God-honouring and...


Lenora Hammond 1960-2021 Mrs Lenora Hammond, wife of Frontline Fellowship founder Dr Peter Hammond, died on 9 November.  She was six days short of her sixty-first birthday.  Frontline Fellowship is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa. Mrs Hammond was born into a...

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire

Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary to Retire “The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have paid tribute to the service of Caroline Boddington, who has announced she will be leaving the National Church Institutions (NCIs) at the end of 2021 after 17 years as the...

Book Review: The Lullingstone Secret

The Lullingstone Secret Jill Masters Wakeman Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913133115, 97pp, £5.95) Lullingstone Villa in Kent is a fascinating site to visit whatever one’s awareness of ancient history and is lavishly curated by English Heritage. Since its excavation in the...

Book Review: The Welsh Methodist Society

The Welsh Methodist Society The Early Societies in South-West Wales 1737-1750 Eryn M. White University of Wales Press, 2021 (ISBN: 9781786835796, 350pp, £24.99) In many respects, the church in Britain continues to live off the puttering afterglow of the eighteenth...

Eastern Rite Catholics: What Are They?

Eastern Rite Catholics What Are They? Former Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali’s recent defection to Rome has highlighted earlier efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to bring other ecclesiastical jurisdictions into its orbit.  There are a total of twenty-three which have...

Mission of Inquiry: To Israel in 1839 & Its Consequences, Reviewed by Edward Keene

Mission of Inquiry

To Israel in 1839 and its Consequences

John Keddie

Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), 2021 (ISBN: 0781667193397, 40pp)

The preservation of the Jewish people as a distinct group through thousands of years of history is a great evidence of the truth of the gospel. This group remains as much in need as any other of that very gospel of grace, yet there has often been a special priority allotted to their particular mission. This short booklet by a minister of the publishing church highlights an episode of such prioritisation. 

Lead by pioneers such as William Carey, John Eyre, and Charles Simeon, the modern missionary  movement took a great leap forward from the 1790s. A generation later, the Church of Scotland reached a point of investigating the feasibility of a mission to the Jews living in the then Ottoman Empire. 

Three points respecting the commission of ministers sent to undertake this survey are profoundly evident from Keddie’s account; their remarkable dexterity in languages, their readiness to undergo multiple and extreme hardships, and their high commitment to the spread of the gospel and the honour of Christ. Respecting the second of these, Keddie recounts oriental disease, rodent infestations, friskings, confiscations, and detentions by customs officials, religious persecution both by Islamic and Papist authorities, fevers, robberies, and even enforced quarantine. The six-month expedition which was beset by such trials stands in stark contrast to the astonishing ease with which it is now possible to travel almost anywhere in the world within 24 hours. 

As well as their unwavering zeal for the Lord, the Scottish ministers were buoyed by varied remarkable kindnesses granted them on the way; providential meetings with Jewish communities in unexpected cities; a sympathetic and supportive aristocratic patroness; and of course the delight of seeing and of standing within the walls of Jerusalem (medieval rather than original though the present walls may be). Though the focus of the booklet is on the deputation of investigation, edifying comments are made on the long-term fruits of the work, not least in identifying mission stations on the continent and in blazing a trail for many fellow Scots seeking to reach the descendants of Israel that they might truly belong to Israel. 

Review of this sort into great pioneering moments in the history of the church are much to be welcomed and commended. 

Edward Keene, Little Shelford