The Story of Dr. W. P. Mackay And the Faithfulness of God
William P. Mackay, was born in the year 1839. At the age of 17, he left for college. His mother was a very godly Christian woman, who didn't want him to go, for fear that he was heading down a path of destruction. But she turned him over to the Lord, and let him go on his way. Before his departure, she gave him a Bible to take with him, and in the fly-leaf of the Bible, she wrote his name, her name and a Bible verse. The young man left for college and then went on to the university medical school but he began to travel with the wrong crowd. And one day, in a drunken spree, he pawned the Bible that his mother had given him for money to buy more liquor.
He wandered far away from what he had been taught at home. Yet, at the same time, the young Scotsman went on to become a very successful doctor, rising to the head of the largest hospital in Edinburgh. Forsaking his upbringing, he became a committed infidel, and was even elected president of a society of atheists in the city.
Yet God had a plan for this man. One day, an accident victim came into his hospital and was under Dr. Mackay's care. The patient, learning that he only had a few hours to live, asked Dr. Mackay, "Will you please send for my landlady, and ask her to send me the Book?" The doctor agreed, and within a few hours the landlady arrived with "the Book." It was the dying patient's Bible.
Within a short time, the patient died. Dr. Mackay was curious as to what kind of book the patient wanted. He asked the nurse, "What about the book that he asked for? Was it is his bank book or date book?" The nurse replied, "No, it was neither of those. It is still under his pillow. Go look." The doctor reached under the pillow and pulled out "the Book." When he opened it, his eyes fell immediately upon the front flyleaf. To his amazement-- it was the very Bible he had received from his mother that he had pawned years before. He saw his name, his mother's name and the Bible verse she inscribed.
And so overwhelmed, he slipped the Bible under his coat and rushed back to his private office. It was there, in that office, that the doctor, who had become a wicked infidel and atheist, fell to his knees praying that God would have mercy on him, and save him. He asked God to forgive him for his sinful life. As he prayed, he remembered a verse his mother taught him long ago: "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Dr. Mackay immediately contacted his mother to tell her of his salvation, and how God used the Bible she gave him to dramatically answer her prayers. In due time, Mackay's life proved that "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17).
By the grace of God, William Patton Mackay, a world renowed doctor went on to become a Presbyterian preacher, well-known author and songwriter. In fact, it was from his pen that we received the beautiful hymn:
"Hallelujah, Thine the glory. Hallelujah, Amen. Hallelujah, Thine the glory. Revive us again!"
In his paper called, "Ye Must Be Born Again," Dr. Mackay wrote:
"Jesus did all the saving work. He brought the cross to our level. Get saved by looking to Him... Lie down as wounded, helpless, ungodly sinner, and look away from yourself to Jesus..."