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They Were Pilgrims (Loane)

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They Were Pilgrims is the story of four remarkable young men who shared a common spiritual aim and ideal. They were David Brainerd, Henry Martyn, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, and Ion Keith-Falconer. Their average life-span was only thirty years, but they left a spiritual impact on their generation which was altogether out of the ordinary.

Their lives covered the period of history from 1718 to 1887. A clear line of spiritual descent can be traced from David Brainerd to Henry Martyn, from Brainerd and Martyn to Robert Murray M’Cheyne, and from Martyn to Ion Keith-Falconer. They were all linked to the missionary movement which had its birth in the great spiritual awakening of the eighteenth century.

They were pioneers in this movement: Brainerd with the Native North Americans, M’Cheyne with the Jews of Palestine and Central Europe, Martyn and keith-Falconer in the Muslin world of Persia and Arabia. Their contribution to missionary work would be enough in itself to invest their lives with outstanding interest. But the greatest single feature in their lives was their unqualified self-surrender to the claims of God.

This book tries to pull up the blinds so that readers can see through the window and can trace the inner spiritual development of these exemplary Christians. It is the freshness and clarity of this record of personal devotion which makes the story of their pilgrimage so relevant for the whole-hearted disciple of Christ today. 

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Table of Contents:

David Brainerd – A Guide to the Delawares 

Henry Martyn – A Star in the Orient 

Robert Murray M’Cheyne – An Heir of the Covenant 

The Hon. Ion Grant Neville Keith-Falconer – A Friend of the Bedouin  


"The South African missionary, John Smith Moffat, once commented: ‘Many take religion as they take their bridge and tennis, when they have nothing more pressing to do. Religion ought to be a ruling passion.’ The young men in the following pages are eminent examples of what Christian passion means…Here some readers will have a first meeting with Brainerd, Martyn, M’Cheyne and Keith-Falconer. And for other readers, who have long revered these names, there will be the pleasure of meeting them again, as true to life as any book can make them. For us all there is the challenge to live with greater devotion to Christ. What follows in these pages aims to deepen what is a fundamental New Testament conviction, and it will surely help us to understand the prayer of Robert Murray M’Cheyne: ‘I long for love without any coldness, light without dimness, and purity without spot or wrinkle. I long to lie at Jesus’ feet, and tell Him I am all His, and ever will be.’" — Iain H. Murray


Sir Marcus Lawrence Loane KBE (1911–2009) was the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney from 1966 to 1982 and Primate of Australia from 1978 to 1982. Loane travelled widely in Australia and overseas, imparting his theological, ministerial, historical, and devotional insights to many Christians.