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Rev James Matheson

Obituary of the Rev James Matheson, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; born March 1, 1912; died October 28, 2007.

James Matheson, who has died at the age of 95, was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1975 when Archbishop (as he then was) Thomas Winning of Glasgow accepted an invitation to address the assembly.

Winning’s theme was that of two brothers who had not spoken for 400 years, and he ended by saying that he realised the claims of the Roman Catholic Church were “a stumbling block to other churches” but “we are fully committed to working with you and the other Christian churches towards unity”.

In his response, Matheson caught the mood of the assembly, which had warmed to Winning. Quoting the words of John Wesley, he said, to loud applause (in which Winning enthusiastically joined): “I don’t say come to my side nor draw me to thine. But if my heart is now thy heart in the love of Christ, then give me thy hand.”

Full story at The Herald.

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