Life of Alexander Duff by George Smith

George Smith [1833-1919], The Life of Alexander DuffThis is the third and slightly abridged edition of George Smith’s 1879 biography of Alexander Duff, missionary to India. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of the book for scanning. This title is in the public domain.

George Smith [1833-1919], The Life of Alexander Duff, 3rd edn., Revised and Abridged. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1899. Hbk. pp. 385. [Click to download the complete book in PDF]


  • Preface
  1. The Boy and the Student
  2. The First Missionary of the Church of Scotland
  3. The Two Shipwrecks
  4. Calcutta as it Was
  5. The Mine Prepared
  6. The First Explosion and the Four Converts
  7. The Renascence in India – The English Language and the Church
  8. The Renascence in India – Science and Letters
  9. Work for Europeans, Eurasians, and Native Christians
  10. The Invalid and the Orator
  11. Dr. Duff Organising
  12. Fishers of Men
  13. Egypt – Sinai – Bambay – Madras
  14. The College and its Spiritual Fruit
  15. Missionary of the Free Church of Scotland
  16. Continuity of the Work
  17. Lord Harding’s Administration – THe “Calcutta Review”
  18. Tour Through South India – Home
  19. Dr. Duff Organising Again
  20. Moderator of the General Assembly – Before the Lords’ India Committee
  21. In America – Second Farewell to Christendom
  22. The Mutiny and the Native Church of India
  23. Last Days in India
  24. In South-East Africa – THe Missionary Propaganda
  25. New Missions and the Results of Half a Century’s Work
  26. Dr. Duff at Home
  27. Ecclesiastical
  28. Dying
  • Index

Chapter I. 1806-1829. The Boy and the Student

The spiritual ancestry of Alexander Duff it is not difficult to trace to Charles Simeon. Heredity, even on its physical side, is a mystery which modern science has as yet failed to explain. Much more difficult is it to discover all that is comprehended in the influences through which the character receives its motive power and peculiar colouring. It was the remark of Duff himself, when, in the fulness of his fame, he congratulated a young friend on a firstborn son, that in nothing is the sovereignty of God so clearly seen as in the birth of a child; the fact, the sex, the circumstances, the bent. To be at all is much; to be this rather than that is, to the individual, more: but to be the subject and the channel of a divine force such as has made the men who have reformed the world, in the days from the apostles to the greatest modern missionaries, is so very much more, that we may well look m every case for the signs which lie about their infancy. [Continue reading]


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