Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sifting Words

The best summary of Sandy Gair's life is in the article by Rev. Douglas Somerset on the Separatists here

The following account is told of him. One day while crossing the moor, he inquired of a stranger who crossed his path if he had any news. The stranger, unaware of his questioner’s identity, replied that Sandy Gair’s two sons had been drowned that morning. This was his intimation of the tragedy. Broken and crushed by the stroke, his answer was, referring to himself, "He has not yet received what he deserves."

Dr Kennedy, Dingwall writes:

'No one, able to appreciate talent, could listen to one of his addresses, without admiring the originality of his views, and the clear terseness of his diction. In apt illustration, and in scathing satire, few could excel him. Twice only did the writer ever hear him, but one of his sayings he can not forget. Speaking of the advantage possessed by the Christian over the worldly in the security of his portion, he said, "It was not much that Jacob took with him, when he left the house of Laban to return to his kindred, but amidst the little which he brought away, Laban lost his gods; but though Satan stripped Job, till he left not even his skin on him, the patriarch still could say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." Speaking, on another occasion, of the very different estimates, of their respective services, formed by the Christian and the hypocrite, he said, "Of the offering accepted on Mount Carmel, the fire from heaven left only the ashes to Elijah; but, had the priests of Baal survived, they might have fed them selves fat on their rejected sacrifice."'

William Sinclair, Wick records in his diary November 26th 1846:
'Sandy Gair said many a sifting word if I could only record them. He said, "When Saul was at war with his enemies he made a vow that he would not eat till he gained the victory; but Jonathan ate of the honey and gained the victory. If we were eating of the honey of the promise we would get greater victories over our spiritual enemies, but we have more of the spirit of Saul than of Jonathan." He made also a good comparison between a bad watch and a bad heart as to how to repair them. "A man had a bad watch which would work now and stop next time, so he sent it to Inverness, but it was as bad as ever when it came back. He then tried it at Aberdeen and Edinburgh, but with no better speed. One day he opened it and discovered the maker's name and address on it. He at once sent it there and got it back in perfect order. Do this with your heart when none else will do, send it to the Maker."'

Gair once wrote to a theological student warning him to beware of the “great pot” out of which the sons of the prophets get their pottage, for there is “death in it” (2 Kings 4:40) which can only be cured by the “handful of meal”. Gair explained, “The pot is the college; the death in it is learning without grace, and the meal is the good food ground on Calvary between the millstones of law and justice, which can be gotten only by the hand of faith”.

In the book "Records of Grace in Sutherland", Rev. Donald Munro records the following incident about Gair:

'Sitting by the fireside at the end of the evening after family worship Angus Bailie of Strath Brora, to the surprise of other family members threw a fresh supply of peat on the fire. When his wife asked him the reason, he replied - "Oh I expect that before the peats are consumed, one of the Lord's people will come who may be in sore need of a good fire". A short time later, footsteps were heard outside and a distressed young man, soaked to the skin, entered. He was immediately recognised as the renowned Sandy Gair who, in extreme spiritual distress, had crossed Loch Brora! His needs, both physical and spiritual were attended to and would later recall, on more than one occasion, that the night spent in this home was one of the happiest he ever spent in his life.'