Hugh Martin (1822-85) combined a brilliant analytical and mathematical mind with a child-like heart which rested in Christ and his atoning work, as revealed in the Scriptures.
Born and brought up in Aberdeen, he gained the top prizes in mathematics at the University there, before going on to study for the ministry. He cast in his lot with those who left the Established Church at the Disruption and served at Panbridge (Carnoustie) and Free Greyfriars, Edinburgh, till illness forced his retirement from the ministry at the age of 42. Thereafter, he devoted himself, despite recurring ill health, to writing, preaching and continued involvement in church issues.
A prolific writer, he is remembered today for his commentary on Jonah and for The Shadow of Calvary both still available from the Banner of Truth Trust.
Most of the sermons in Christ For Us were transcribed from Martin’s handwritten notes by the late Principal James Mackintosh of the Free Church College, Edinburgh. The title is taken from Martin’s remark: ‘The Scriptures in explaining the scheme of redemption make frequent use of expressions of this general form: ‘Christ for us’…Jesus was by the Father appointed…our Surety, our Representative. The scheme of redemption is founded on a marvellous exchange of places between Christ and his people, he taking theirs, they being translated into his. He became their federal Head. He became Christ for them.’
What was said by a contemporary of Martin’s book The Atonement is equally true of these sermons: ‘The author brings to bear extraordinary powers of reasoning, warmed and animated by a soul that has felt the blessedness of an interest in the blood of atonement.’