Brethren Archive

Charles Henry Mackintosh

Born: October 1820
Died: 2nd November 1896

Intro, Biographical Information, Notes etc:

Chief Men Among the Brethren Biography

CHARLES HENRY MACKINTOSH, whose initials, "C.H.M." are known world wide, was born in Glenmalure Barracks, County Wicklow, Ireland, in October, 1820. His father was a Captain in the Highlanders' Regiment, and had served in Ireland during the Rebellion. His mother was a daughter of Lady Weldon, and of a family long settled in Ireland. At the age of eighteen the young man experienced a spiritual awakening through letters received from his sister after her conversion, and obtained peace through the perusal of J. N. Darby's "Operations of the Spirit, " being specially helped by words to the effect that "it is Christ's work for us, not His work in us, that gives peace. "

Entering a business house in Limerick, the young Christian "gave attention to reading, " and diligently applied his mind to various studies. In 1844 he opened a school at Westport, throwing himself with much enthusiasm into educational work. His spiritual attitude at this time may be inferred from the fact that he aimed at keeping Christ enshrined in the citadel of his life, and making Christ's work his chief concern. At length, in 1853, he fearsd that his school was becoming his primary interest, and accordingly he gave it up.

In the meantime his pen had been busy with expository notes on the books of the Pentateuch. At intervals during the past forty years the volumes of "Notes by "C.H.M." have been issued, one each upon Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, and two upon Deuteronomy. These works, which are characterised by a deep-toned evangelical spirit, have been published in successive and large editions, and the Preface was signed by his friend Andrew Miller, who largely financed their issue, and who correctly says of the teaching: "Man's complete ruin in sin, and God's perfect remedy in Christ, are fully, clearly, and often strikingly presented. "

As an expositor, "C.H.M. " had a perspicuous style, and presented his views with much strength. Some of his deductions were of a type which the generality of believers would regard as peculiar; but for loyalty to God's Word, and unswerving trust in Christ, no writings could be more stimulating.

After ceasing scholastic work, "C.H.M. " went to Dublin, where he began speaking in public. For many years he boldly stood forth in defence of the Gospel, and to proclaim the truth, and God owned his labours in a remarkable degree. When the Revival swept over Ireland in 1859-60, he was very active, and some account of his labours may be found in the early volumes of "Things New and Old. " He was a man of great faith, and was ever ready to testify that though God had often tried Him he had never allowed him to suffer want in the matter of life's necessities while engaged in Gospel work and without material employment.

During the last four years of his life he resided at Cheltenham, and when unable, through the weakness of advancing years, to do much on the platform, he still continued to write. His last series of tractates was entitled "Handfuls of Pasture. " The influence of his writings cannot be estimated. He was continually receiving letters from all parts of the world acknowledging the satisfying character of his teaching of the books of Moses.

His first tract in 1843 was on "The Peace of God. " When in 1896 he despatched a manuscript to his publishers on "The God of Peace, " his hand was stayed, and a few months later he entered into rest. His "Miscellaneous Writings" have been bound up in six volumes, corresponding with his expositions.

He peacefully fell asleep on 2nd November, 1896, and four days later devout men carried him to his burial in Cheltenham Cemetery. His remains were laid by the side of those of his loved wife, and in the presence of a company gathered from many quarters. Dr. Wolston, of Edinburgh, discoursed on the burial of Abraham, from Genesis 25. 8-10 and Hebrews 8. 10. Before dispersing, the company sang J. N. Darby's beautiful hymn:

"O bright and blessed scenes.
Where sin can never come;
Whose sight our longing spirit weans
From earth where yet we roam."

Plowboy777 said ...
Thank you for these wonderful heaven blessed treasures. They bring the reality of the great doctrines and truths of the Great God and Saviour The Lord Jesus Christ. What a rich blessing these are. I heard about these writings of this blessed man of God just today, I have found new eternal treasures with which to feed and refresh my soul. God bless you for publishing these most precious works.
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 : 11:16
Jonathan said ...
I came across this photo of CHM in earlier life which I hadn't seen before.

(Given my recent performance on this site, Tom, you may now tell me it is already on here in plain view!)
Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 : 20:46
Tom said ...
Thanks, it def wasn't on the site. Not sure if I've seen it before, or if it was in Edwin's biography, as not handy to check. If not would be good to know where it came from.
Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 : 00:19
Jonathan said ...
I had a flick through Edwin's bio but couldn't see it...
Thursday, Oct 1, 2020 : 05:23
Rod Lomprey said ...
C.H.M. is the most spirituality profound Christ centered writer that I have ever read. I so much appreciate his writings. He has inspired countless millions of believers.
Saturday, Dec 5, 2020 : 06:24
silvia said ...
Thank you so much for publishing those books and articles, I read them a few years ago and now I am downloading them for my son. In the midst of a sea of Christian publications those books and articles are a real treasure. I cannot express how thankful I am to God for sending such a Saviour. Thanks again for making those books available.
Monday, Jun 21, 2021 : 12:56
Michael said ...
C.H .M is the only writer,in my view,that makes clear sense of the scriptures.He fluid writings are priceless and easy to understand and appreciate.We need more men like him today.Where are they?
Tuesday, Sep 28, 2021 : 06:02
Samuel said ...
Do you have the book where Stuart McNair narrates his studies with CHM and how CHM gave him an “apostolic” benediction for his forthcoming missionary labours?
Thursday, Sep 30, 2021 : 04:18
Syd said ...
Michael, you note a great fact - that the Lord raised up CHM to be one "who has spoken unto you the word of God," and so we can remember Him. Darby spoke highly of him, and defended him against false accusations. He is probably of the "brethren," the most widely read, and Mr Moody said CHM influenced him the most. It was in a time when the Spirit moved such men, who devoted themselves wholeheartedly. I have not found similar today; but we have the writings, and recovered truths of that time. For that we thank the Lord.
Friday, Oct 1, 2021 : 22:42
Samuel said ...
PP Bliss read and enjoyed CHM. In PP Bliss' first biography, it states how the hymn "Free from the Law, O happy condition" was evoked from reading an article from CHM's "Things New and Old". Theologically this is a quintessentially "Brethren" hymn. It is annoying to see this great hymn get dropped from modern hymn books used in "assemblies".
Monday, Oct 4, 2021 : 15:33
Syd said ...
You are so right, Samuel. And then we find hymns by Horatius Bonar like, “I lay my sins on Jesus....I bring my guilt to Jesus” in “Brethren” hymnbooks. Philip Bliss’s hymn “White as snow” directly, and rightly contradicts Bonar. Bliss writes:
What! "lay my sins on Jesus?"
God’s well beloved Son!
No! ’tis a truth most precious,
That God even that has done. (Note: "He hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all")

What! "bring our guilt to Jesus?"
To wash away our stains;
The act is passed that freed us,
And naught to do remains.

Bonar had justification all wrong; Bliss had it right, and so did CHM.
Monday, Oct 4, 2021 : 23:17
Argon said ...
So blessed, exorted and encouraged by CHM's notes on the Pentateuch. I would love to know of any NT writings examined by Him.
Sunday, Jun 11, 2023 : 03:28
Nick Fleet said ...
Syd, hence G V Wigram altered Bonar's hymn (#319) in 1856 to "Our sins were borne by Jesus / The substitute from God." etc. Further tweaks were made by JND in 1881 and retained in subsequent editions.
Sunday, Jun 11, 2023 : 16:01
Paul said ...
As an Acts 9 dispensationalist, i may disagree on some points but as i see the walk that man had thru the word of God, it confirms to me that the body of Christ today is so lukewarm to the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.The so- called modern day christian authors should like all christians pull aside and read material from Mcintosh and others in that era- that way Christ may be able to be seen , rather than self- gloryfying man.
Sunday, Mar 3, 2024 : 08:04
Syd said ...
Is someone able to throw some light on this: In his “Further remarks upon righteousness and law: with answers to different objections,” (here:, Mr Darby addresses the blunder of Mr Mackintosh, “in going beyond scripture” concerning the virgin birth of Christ, of which he wrote in a book of his. It seems that some of the “Brethren” lambasted CHM on this. Darby writes that, “The two points charged against Mr. Mackintosh were, that Christ's humanity came from heaven, and that it was not formed in, and born of, the Virgin Mary.” Apparently Mackintosh withdrew the piece, published a declaration that he had made a wrong statement, and left it out in a second edition of his book.
What book or writing of CHM was this? Is there any record of his incorrect exposition on the virgin birth in some written form? Thanks.
Monday, Mar 4, 2024 : 11:24
Tom said ...

I believe it was in Notes on Leviticus, on the Meat Offering. If you put the phase "heavenly humanity" (which is the expression he used) into the search box here, then there are some details in the books critical of Brethren.

Monday, Mar 4, 2024 : 16:59
Mark Best said ...
There is sufficient in the Bible regarding the Incarnation. That spoken by the Angel of the Lord in a dream to Joseph in Matthew and by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary in Luke ought to suffice. Go beyond the Scriptures and error will doubtless intrude.

There is also the need here to distinguish between John and the Synoptic Gospels.
Monday, Mar 4, 2024 : 17:33
Syd said ...

Thanks, brethren. Yes, I assumed it came from CHM’s most excellent “Notes on the Pentateuch,” and my search came up with little, apart from some “awkward” expressions (to my mind), like:

“we learn that the human body into which the eternal Son entered, was formed by "the power of the Highest."

“The Lord Jesus Christ, God's eternal Son …..God manifest in the flesh …… assumed a body which was inherently and divinely pure, holy, and without the possibility of taint …..” (italics, mine)

Mr Darby called the attack on Mackintosh “a calumny.” And the suggestion by some of “Valentianism” to my mind was outrageous. The difference between what Mackintosh wrote (as alluded to by Darby) and Valentianism is as wide as the heavens.

This topic on the virgin birth came up before. When we stick to the words of Scripture, all’s well. When we try to expound some, especially on this topic, things tend to go awry. However, in his notes, and in his inimitable style, Mackintosh is quite masterful.

Wednesday, Mar 6, 2024 : 02:42
Mark Best said ...

To respond to the point Syd has made. Expressions have been used in the past with regard to the Incarnation, which in their immediate context might have been acceptable, but nevertheless, are likely by others to be understood differently, and, when then taken up by them, lead to wrong doctrine. 

More generally, the main problem has been the result of not distinguishing the different aspects in which Christ is viewed in the four gospels, that is, as said earlier, by putting Matthew, Mark and Luke into John. 

Thursday, Mar 7, 2024 : 18:29
Syd said ...
I'm not sure how Christ presented differently in the four gospels, eg, Servant, Son of Man, etc, reveals certain distinctives or expressions of the actual virgin birth. Aren't we going where we should not go? We must also keep in mind when considering Christ's humanity, that "God was in Christ."
Friday, Mar 8, 2024 : 02:49
Mark Best said ...

Syd, to put things briefly. 

In Matthew, we read, 'Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise' (Matt. 1.18 KJV). Joseph learns from the Angel of the Lord in a dream that his wife-to-be is "with child" and His name is to be 'Jesus' and 'they shall call His name Emmanuel ... God wth us' (v. 23). 

In Luke, the Angel Gabriel announces to the Mary that she will conceive in her womb and bring forth a son. When asked how so, 'The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.' (Luke 1.35 KJV.) 

Before going further let me say that I hold fast to the eternal sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, there is nothing said here about the Eternal Son entering or assumimng a body. 

In Matthew 11, when the Lord is rejected as Messiah, then comes to light as to who He is in His Person, that He is the Son of the Father. It is from this point that John starts in his gospel. John traces all back to 'in the beginning' (Jn. 1.1) and that 'the Word became flesh' (v.14), or, in other words, the Eternal Son becoming a Man. It is the same Person, but in Luke He is regarded as the Son of God born in time according to Psalm 2 verse 7, whereas John brings to light that His sonship is eternal as being one with the Father in the Godhead. 

I suggest Mr Darby is worth reading in the Synopsis on Psalm 2 verse 7, the end of Matthew 1, the middle verses of Luke 1, the opening verses of Hebrews 1. Also, in the Collected Writings, Volume 28, page 3, and Volume 30, pages 318-319. Again, F W Grant in the Numerical Bible, The Gospels, page 349. 

Friday, Mar 8, 2024 : 17:20
Syd said ...
Thanks Mark, but may I reply.
For one, the Luke account of the incarnation records what shall happen, whilst Matthew’s, what had happened when Mary conceived of the Holy Ghost. Jesus is presented differently in these two accounts—Jesus; Emmanuel; Son of the Highest; Son of God.

Throughout all the gospels He is publically the “Son of God”—called and known by many. But what about Him as the Eternal Son (Son of the Father)? He is also “Son of the Highest” which I suggest alludes to something of the glory which He had with the Father. But true, there are other considerations.

Nevertheless, in each of the gospels we see the veil that covered His glory as the Son of the Father, lifted for us to see—Matthew 11:27; Mark 13:32; Luke 10:22; John 1:1.

The Father also declared this Himself—“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt 3:17). Also, the Lord Himself declared this to Satan—“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matt 4:10)

So we find the Son, God manifested in the flesh (God was in Christ), come in time as the Son of God, but to know that the One who from all eternity was one with the Father, that He was now on earth, it was the pleasure of the Son, always in obedience to His Father, to show us this.
Friday, Mar 8, 2024 : 21:56
Mark Best said ...


I modified and added to my earlier comment, the reason being an appointment and had to leave for while. On my return I included references to Mr Darby's Synopsis and also his Collected Writings. F W Grant's Numerical Bible. I am not sure if you have read these. 

I did not touch on the voice from heaven as recorded by the synoptists. It is said, and quite rightly, that this is the first intimation of the Holy Trinity. There is a development in revelation throughout Scripture, and, of course, the Synoptic Gospels are transitional in character, a point particularly relevant in this connection starting from Matthew 11, as also in Luke 10 where it is placed after the Lord 'set His face to go to Jerusalem' (Lk. 6.51).

The reference in Mark is to the Son in subjection, as Man in His Servant character. 

The Lord's reply to Satan you mention, as in the previous temptation (in Matthew), is often taken to mean that Jesus was declaring that He is God, and therefore that Satan must not tempt Him. I take it rather to be that He was here as a Man, and taking His place as such, and indeed as man should be, was perfect in His dependence upon and in His obedience to God. Hence, He would not fall down and worship Satan. I shudder at the thought! God alone is to be worshipped and served. 

It is over a quarter of a century now since the "KLGs" went through a division that concerned, among other things, the reception in some localities of those from a "Taylor Exclusive" backgound unable, and in some cases unwilling, to affirm the eternal sonship of Christ. Books were advertised and sent out, but sadly, these were wrong themselves on a number of points in relation to the matter, and therefore would make matters worse. I have cited from one of them elsewhere, so shall not do so again now. 

I might have missed some of the points you were making, Syd, and I do not pretend to have expressed everything perfectly, especially in such a brief account where amplification and further explanation may be necessary. 

Friday, Mar 8, 2024 : 23:08
Syd said ...
Thanks, Mark. No, you have been helpful and I concur. I also trust that others have benefited some from the "Mackintosh question" on the virgin birth; how some critics took the un-Christian path, whilst others, like Mr Darby, found the glint of truth in CHM's writings. May we all esteem others better than ourselves.
Saturday, Mar 9, 2024 : 17:34
Nick Fleet said ...
Thank you, Syd and Mark, for your helpful comments. I concur with you both.
I should just like to make a comment on CHM's use of the word 'assumed'. In everyday English, of course, it is used in the sense of 'supposed to be the case' and implies a sense that there is a possibility that it coukd be otherwise. However, the other sense of 'assumed' is 'to take or begin to have' (for example, power or responsibilty). It is in this latter sense that CHM used the word, a synonym for 'took'. The eternal Son 'took' a body as a true Man, something He had not, nor was, until the incarnation. I don't think anyone could argue with the truth of what CHM said in that context. "The Word became flesh" (John 1:14).
Saturday, Mar 9, 2024 : 19:06
MAHER HANNA said ...
Greetings in the precious name of The Lord Jesus Christ our Redeemer and Savior,
Lately, I noticed that when I'm interested to view/download any book from your website,
when I click on the link it does not download but it takes me to the main page. This is sad!
Can you please fix the link(s) to download any book like before?
Your service to the Lord is distinguished and highly appreciated.
May the Lord continue to richly bless you, for His name's sake.

Maher Hanna
Friday, May 10, 2024 : 19:40

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