Brethren Archive

My Father: Hunter Beattie, 1875-1951.

by Hunter Beattie

Hunter Beattie was born in a weaver's cottage of parents of Ulster extraction in the Parkhead district of Glasgow in 1875.  He was educated at a local school along with a classmate who was to become a Labour Cabinet Minister.  Hunter used to say that if he had not found Christ in early years, he might, because of his temperament, have chosen the same path.
His first Christian association was with the Camlachie Carters' Mission, many of whose members were "rough diamonds for His crown."  He relished telling of a testimony meeting there when one of the carters, waxing eloquent about the great change wrought in his life since his conversion, was interrupted by his wife from the audience saying, "Mind (remember), I’m here, John."
He was later in fellowship with the saints in Tylefield Hall, Glasgow, and his addresses for believers on Sunday afternoons were well attended over a long period.  He later felt that the Lord was calling him to preach the gospel further afield and one day, he set out in faith to the railway station, having only his tram fare there.  He felt whatever cash he had with my mother, to feed the family of which I was then the infant.  A friend sat down beside him on the tram and asked him where he was going.  "To Fife," he replied, and as the man left a stop earlier than my faither, he put a ten shilling note in his hand without the knowledge that he had no money, and this paid his fare to Fife.
He arrived at Bowhill in Fife and immediately began preaching in the open air, collecting a goodly audience.  A Christian miner, coming from the pit, stood listening, and at the end, approached my father and asked where he had come from and where he was spending the night.  On hearing that he had no arrangements, the miner said, "Well, you are coming with me."  And that was the start of a lifelong friendship between them.
He had a great voice for the open air, and for singing, and an officer on a naval ship off Rosyth, three miles out, told him later that he could hear him plainly as he preached on the shore.
On my first visit to Galston, Ayrshire, I was told by a blind brother there, that my father had visited Galston forty years before and they had been surprised to hear a loud voice reading from the Scriptures as he walked along the streets of the town.  He preached in many parts of the country in summer and winter, in villages, towns and cities.  He had outstanding results in Innerleven, Fife and New Stevenston, Lanarkshire, many professing faith in Christ and some continuing to this day in assembly fellowship.
He always carried a pocket book with phials of several homeopathic remedies and when he went to places to preach, he was often introduced to people who were ill and he prescribed for them with no mean success.  One girl in Fife had been bedfast for a long time before being treated, when she got up from her bed and became a missionary in South America where she serves the Lord till this day. After some years, he found that the medical work had grown to such an extent that he had to find a base from which to carry it on, which he did at Monteith Row, Glasgow.
He continued his witness there and many a soul found the Saviour in the consulting room. While talking particulars of a case, he would suddenly ask, "Saved or lost?"  A gospel tract was enclosed with every prescription.  But he had a sense of humour too.  Owing to the number of patients who attended, he could not lose a minute and when one man trudged slowly from the waiting room, he said, "Hurry up."  When he was seated, he was asked what his trouble was and he replied, "Well, Mr. Beattie, I was crossing the road and was knocked down by a bus."  To which my father replied, "There you are, too slow again."
His correspondence stretched across the world and he kept in touch with many missionaries. He also wrote books, including "The Word of the Cross," and many pamphlets of a devotional nature.  He was in fellowship with the saints in Shettleston, Cambuslang and Uddingston where he contributed his share of adoration and worship to the One he served.
One of his favourite hymns was:
"I have a friend whose faithful love
Is more than all the world to me,
Tis higher than the heights above
And deeper than the soundless sea,
So old, so new, so strong, so true,
Before the earth received her frame
He loved me, He sought me, He saved me,
Blessed be His name."
This was sung with full voice.
He always said he would live till he was 90, but the hours he worked sapped his strength and he passed to be with Christ peacefully in his 76th year.
HENRY BEATTlE, 1907~1994.
(It was remarkable that before the voices of the doctors were heard alleging a link between smoking and cancer, Hunter Beattie had been advancing the idea for years and taking his patients to task for continuing with the smoking habit. Ed.)
“The Believer’s Magazine” 1977

Some of the “Last Words” of Hunter Beattie.
I HAVE been both thinking and writing to friends of His coming.  I sit here looking through the windows at the great trees and the Cathkin Braes outlined against the sky, and my heart thrills as I think of that moment, when in the twinkling of an eye—a split second or less—I shall be changed and abducted (that's the meaning of the words "caught up").  You see, this body of mine belongs to this groaning creation under the authority of the god of this age, and our glorious Lord, having already overcome the strong one, will forcibly take possession of His goods.  Too remove a human being violently from the custody of his or her guardian is ''abduction,", so that this great abduction is rightly named.  But He will change us first and that will alter our identity, and then remove us into His own territory and presence, so that our former owner has no claim.  The blood of His Cross has settled that.  By that blood, He purchased us—redeemed us out of the hand of our enemy, and then will come to claim His goods.  I sometimes wonder, "Will I go out through the window or just through the building?"
Well, it doesn't matter.  I shall be with Him.
We shall be abducted in clouds (no article, the) for meeting the Lord into (the) air.  I rather like the idea of "clouds"—-"contingents" of saints from every part of the world, rising up and making a bee-line for the meeting in the air—straight to Him, our blessed Centre and Objective. I also look on that "Blessed Hope" as not so much His coming for us as the glorious prospect of seeing Him glorified in the very scene that to-day rejects Him.
You know how delirious these voters are when the results of a poll reveal that their man is in, and when he comes out to manifest himself, they go wild with their triumph.  Well, our Man is in, and the day of His manifestation will be the most blessed of all days.  For that triumphant day for Him—the Man they hanged—my soul hungers, my eyes weep even as I write in joyful and tearful anticipation—the Man they hanged, the Man, God has crowned with many crowns.
Oh the joy to see Him being worshipped, glorified, adored! 
"The Believer's Magazine" 1953


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