Rev. Peter Sinclair Menzies was born in Greenock, 1st November, 1839; came to
Maybole with his father, the late
Dr William Menzies, in 1844; was minister
first of High Church, Paisley, and then of St George’s-in-the-Fields, Glasgow;
and finally died, junior minister of the Scots Church, Melbourne, Australia, 23d
February, 1874, aged 34 years.
receiving a sound primary education at Maybole Parish School, he entered the
University of Glasgow. It was my fortune to study with him in the Junior Greek
Class there, where he took a good position. I was then struck with that
impulsive eagerness which characterised him in all his actions. When I came as
minister to Maybole in 1863, we met frequently on friendly terms.
his death, a volume of his sermons was published by his widow, from which I have
made a few extracts. The late Dr Service of Glasgow characterised these sermons
as "the cleverest in print;" but this probably was owing to the
partiality of friendship. Still, the thinking is vigorous and well expressed,
and Maybole has no reason to be ashamed of her son.
Scots Church, Melbourne, has become noted of late years for its Broad Church
teaching. This tendency was begun by Mr Menzies, and may be noticed even in. the
following extracts, although not to any marked extent. It is solemnising to
think that he who wrote these opinions, about which men have differed so much,
now knows the full truth regarding them.
Cameron Lees of St. Giles’, Edinburgh, recently went out on a mission to
Melbourne to heal divisions which had arisen in connection with the Scots Church
there. And in his opening address before a crowded congregation, he said :—"
There is a connection of a personal character between you and myself. You were
once ministered to by my beloved friend, Peter Menzies, one of the noblest and
purest of men; and if I could further the work he loved, in this beautiful
church he was instrumental in building, it would be a great pleasure for me to
Menzies now lies beside his brother Charles in the Boroondara Cemetery,
Melbourne, and his congregation have inserted a stained glass window in the
church, in memory of him. His name is also mentioned on the family tombstone in
our own Cemetery.
of Rev. Peter S. Menzies’ Sayings.
clear of mere machineries, stride over church worships, and earthly
priesthoods, and all the theologic lore of ages, and go direct to Christ,
and ask thyself whether thou canst love
Him supremely and undividedly?
the beauty of the heavens cannot be reflected in muddy water, neither can
the eternal holiness of God be reflected
but in Christ.
was never a truly original thought produced
any one but God.
great mind observes great laws, broad inward principles, guides its conduct
by fixed and determinate methods; while a weak mind sets order at defiance, and
imagines itself to be free, when it
is simply lawless.
love of God can speak in thunder. And it is so dear and infinitely precious
to us just because it can never be
dissevered from infinite and perfect holiness.
salvation which Christianity declares is primarily and essentially salvation
from sin, and not from suffering.
is as difficult to pray well as to live well.
prayer, rightly uttered, must reflect with perfect faithfulness the life of
the pleading soul; and God can only judge when either the life or the prayer
is such as to find acceptance in His sight.
the electric current enters the wire, no one hears it; so when the
Spirit of God enters the soul, it is ruled as quietly as when the blood
fills the veins.
many mansions are good, but He is
only true refuge from doubt is the light
of ampler truth.
had an extreme respect for all human beings, which kept Him from
despising even their foolish misconceptions.
church should be in league with everything that can. bless, and beautify,
and elevate the life of man. The entire function of the church is to be
the vehicle of Christ’s Spirit.
must never separate faith in Christ’s atoning Death from the
necessity of communion with His
result of history seems to me so certain as that the world has, as time
revolved, and notably since Christ came, revealed an increasingly large
number of good men, and a higher
average standard of goodness.
must seek heavenly things by doing earthly things in a
are some who never seem to feel any spiritual wants, and who, if they
had their food and shelter, property and friends, would probably never ask
the question—Is there a God?
everywhere, hate evil, shun falsehood, deny self, trust in the Love that
died for you, realise the Mercy that waits for you, open your heart to the
Grace that is sufficient for you; and then, though all unheralded by mystic
Voice, or blazing Apparition, the Unseen One reciprocates your filial
yearnings, and manifests Himself to you in another way than He does unto