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Title: George Matheson (1842-1906) : theologian, preacher and poet
Author: Tyler, John Crew
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1953
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The name of George Matheson probably brings first to mind the hymn, "O Love that wilt not let me go." However, a great many more people remember him as "the blind poet-preacher" of Innellan, and later of St. Bernard's, Edinburgh. That he was regarded by his contemporaries as a respected writer on theological subjects - a Baird lecturer and invited by the University of Aberdeen to be a Gifford lecturer - is too often overlooked. So it is that this thesis represents an attempt to investigate the theological thought, preaching, and poetry of Matheson. It seeks to describe and evaluate his work in each of these three fields, as well as to estimate his influence. Are there any people interested in Matheson today? The Reverend D. Gordon McLean, present minister at Innellan, tells me that over two thousand people each year visit the Church and the Manse at Innellan, to see where Matheson lived and worked. Likewise, the Reverend A. Diack, present minister at St. Bernard's Church, Edinburgh, says that he receives constant requests for information about Matheson; indeed, one woman from Wisconsin, U.S.A., wrote to him requesting facts for a play she was writing about this famous Scot. There is also a controversy which has grown up concerning the date of composition and the circumstances under which Matheson wrote his hymn, "O Love that wilt not let me go," This controversy has resulted in letters to The Scotsman from time to time since Matheson's death in 1906. Matheson has been the subject of one large biography, The Life of George Matheson, by Donald Macmillan. In addition, there have been several biographical sketches in the form of magazine articles. There have also been those who have written of their experiences and conversations with Matheson, and have thereby provided additional facts concerning him. Some of these facts have not been noted by Macmillan, but are included in the Biographical Sketch of this thesis. However, those who have written brief articles on Matheson's life and work have had objectives different from those I have had in view. Writing primarily for the popular religious public, they have not attempted to analyze Matheson's thought and work with any degree of thoroughness, nor have they had the advantage of almost a half century in which to estimate his influence. This thesis, in addition, incorporates material from letters and various documents, and from private conversations with several who knew Matheson intimately - which information is not to be found in Macmillan's work or in any of the periodical sketches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available