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‘Amy Carmichael’ – A Review by Mignon Goswell

Category Book Reviews
Date June 10, 2015

A review by Mignon Goswell of Iain H. Murray’s Amy Carmichael: ‘Beauty for Ashes’ – A Biography.1

Iain Murray has written yet another compelling biography, this time about Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, whom Murray believes is ‘not known as she used to be’. As Murray read more of Amy Carmichael’s writings he became convinced a greater number of modern Christians should be introduced to them, for in them we learn much of ‘resolute’ Christian character. Murray describes her publications as ‘compulsive reading’. If, like this reviewer, your knowledge of Amy Carmichael has been fairly sketchy, then this comparatively brief biography (only 168 pages) will help to rectify that and perhaps inspire you to read the larger biographies of her life as well as her own writings referred to by Murray.

Amy Carmichael was born in Northern Ireland in 1867 with a Presbyterian heritage. Early on in life she was touched by biblical teaching calling for wholehearted dedication to God and his Word. The annual Keswick Convention and the influence of people she met through that movement was part of this process. Her life is a narrative of love for her Lord, compassion for human suffering, and a willingness to sacrifice herself to whatever work God gave her to do. The abhorrent traditional religious practices that she saw in India caused her to be tireless in saving women and children both physically and spiritually, and to set about developing a remarkable place of refuge in Dohnavur. The work of the Dohnavur Fellowship continues to this day.

God gave to Amy Carmichael a succession of Christian fellow workers without whom she would have been hard pressed to carry out the mammoth task she set herself in Dohnavur. Amongst others were Amy’s mother who was a constant support, promoting Amy’s work in England and also spending time in India helping at Dohnavur. Another was Robert Wilson who supported her financially and emotionally. Rev Thomas Walker and his wife, missionaries in India, gave true Christian fellowship, first in tutoring her in the language and sharing a home, and then working side by side with her in this ministry she took up. Amongst Amy Carmichael’s many popular writings is a biography of Thomas Walker.

Intermixed with the developing narrative of Amy Carmichael’s life, Murray has placed excerpts from her writings, including poems and devotional material, which were widely read in her lifetime. Be ready to be challenged by reading of the life and work of a servant of God who taught the gospel and sought to live out that gospel.

Notes

    • Amy Carmichael

      Beauty for Ashes

      by  Iain H. Murray


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      A review by Mignon Goswell of Iain H. Murray’s Amy Carmichael: ‘Beauty for Ashes’ – A Biography.1 Iain Murray has written yet another compelling biography, this time about Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, whom Murray believes is ‘not known as she used to be’. As Murray read more of Amy Carmichael’s writings he became convinced […]

Taken with permission from New Life (Australia), June 2015.

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