39609: Tribute to Rev Murdoch Macrae

A colleague of Rev Murdoch Macrae, the Rev JM Morrison, Cross, Ness who began his studies with Mr Macrae in 1921, paid the following tribute.

Before he was of age to be called up for active service, he answered the country’s call in 1916 by joining the Trawler Section of the Royal Navy, wherein he served till the end of hostilities. His sense of duty to the nation’s need in time of danger he manifested by joining the Home Guard in 1940, where he served as Major until the Home Guard was discharged.

Mr Macrae’s interests extended far behond his ministerial office. For some years he represented his district on the County Council of Ross and Cromarty, rendering notable service for the good of the community. His interest in, and work for the County endured to the end, his last public engagement being in Dingwall at a meeting of the Education Committee only four days before he died.

Mr Macrae’s kind and sympathetic disposition endeared him to all whose privelege it was to know him. His wide experience in practically all spheres of life, coupled with keen mental penetration, made him an altogether outstanding man. A man of sterling character, who preferred unbiased integrity to personal glory or praise, his activities always redounded to the good of any cause he sponsored; and numerous are they who have reason for thankfulness for his labours on their behalf.

Rev Macrae’s pulpit attainments were of no ordinary quality. Natural oratory combined with a profound insight into his subject rendered him a preacher apart. His message was the fruit of much labour in both study and prayer and was delivered with such earnest conviction that the congregation was held enraptured throughout the service while the prevailing solemnity was something to be felt to be understood. His darling theme was Covenant Theology, with which he was extraordinarily conversant through extensive reading of both ancient and modern literature.

As pastor, he never failed in his duty in that onerous capacity. Notwithstanding his very busy life, he always made time to visit the sick and the bereaved. His deep sympathy and understanding were both comforting and strengthening, these qualities being the outflow of a heart that had itself been sorely tried with sorrows of various kinds.

The passing of Mr Macrae leaves a blank in the religious life and general well-being of the Island that cannot be easily filled.

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