I recently had the privilege of speaking to the students at the Ragged School of Theology in Niddrie, Edinburgh. The Ragged School of Theology seeks to make theological training accessible to students who might not otherwise access a bible college or theological seminary. In this 50 minute talk I give an overview of Guthrie's life, his call to the ministry, his first parish in Arbirlot, his call to Edinburgh, the planting of St John's, Guthrie as a preacher and Guthrie as a family man.
There are many quotes in the talk but perhaps none so devastating as this one which is given in full below:
'Take the case of a boy whose father is a beehive maker. The child was in the old time neglected. His father sent him out to the market to steal straw to make hives with, and if he did not bring a sufficient quantity of straw home, the father would beat him within an inch of death. If he brought a sufficient quantity of straw the father made hives, and got money, and went to the dram shop, and made himself a brute; and beat his boy when he was a brute. Whether the father was sober or drunk the boy’s life was one of wretchedness and misery. Well, what was the old way of dealing with the boy? They allowed the evil to go on. Ladies and gentlemen – ladies in silks and gentlemen in good broad cloth – some with Bibles and some with prayer books in their hands, went to church and prayer meetings; held Bible and Missionary meetings, and left that poor wretch there in the gutter, crying, ‘save me I perish’. There was no such answer to his appeal as our Lord gave to Simon’s when he was sinking in the Sea of Galilee. They passed on, I had almost said ‘passed by on the other side’ saying ‘they are a pest these children an intolerable nuisance’ and so they went to prayer or preaching – calling that religion! Why, I call it religion to stop on my way to church or prayer meeting and pluck the perishing one from ruin. That is what God calls religion.'