Charles Henry Mackintosh

Charles H. Mackintosh

His Life and Ministry

Charles Henry Mackintosh was born in October, 1820, near the Glenmalure Barracks in County Wicklow, Ireland.  He was the son of a Highlanders' Regiment captain.  At the age of eighteen years, he was converted through (1) the letters of his sister, who had recently come to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and (2) reading John Nelson Darby's Operations of the Spirit tract.  At the age of 24, he opened a private school at Westport in County Mayo, Ireland; about nine years later, he concluded that he should devote himself entirely to ministering the Word of God, in writing and public speaking.  Shortly thereafter, he established a periodical entitled Things New and Old, which he edited for twenty-one years.

The opening pages of Things New and Old's first issue outline his purpose in commencing the publication:

In presenting to the reader the first number of our periodical, we feel called upon to state our reasons for entering upon such a service, and also the objects which we hope by the grace of God, to effect.

We do not deem any apology necessary for adding another to the numerous publications already extant, having for their object the circulation of pure truth.  We want them all, and thousands more, if we could get them.  We cannot have too many agencies for furthering that which is good, and suppressing that which is evil.

  1. First of all, it is a lamentable fact that the enemy of souls has wrought, far more diligently, at the printing press, than the servants of the living God.  Numerous as are the books, the pamphlets, the tracts, and the periodicals in which the words of eternal truth shine, for the instruction and comfort of souls, yet are they outnumbered, to an appalling amount, by the publications of an infidel, an immoral, and irreligious tendency.
  2. We believe that the art of printing was designed, by a gracious Providence, as a powerful engine for the diffusion of scriptural knowledge; but we cannot shut our eyes to the startling fact that the enemy is making diligent use of that very art, for the purpose of corrupting, in all directions, the springs of thought and feeling.  He is publishing, in the cheapest and most attractive form, gross evil, soul-destroying error, and perverted truth.  And, we may safely say, if positive error has slain its thousands, perverted truth has slain its tens of thousands.
  3. Now, we are fully assured that, notwithstanding all the enemy's efforts, the Lord is gathering out His own — that He is accomplishing His purpose, and hastening His everlasting kingdom.  But should this be a reason for slackness, coldness, and indifference, on the part of the servants of Christ?  The very reverse; yea, the assurance thereof is the basis of "steadfast" and "unmovable" service.  It is because we know, on divine authority, that "our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord", that therefore we work.  Thank God for such a solid foundation!  It would be sad, indeed, if what our God has graciously given as a soul-stirring encouragement to work should be used as a plea for inactivity, if the assurance of reaching God's end were to be a reason for neglecting God's means.  This would be a grievous use to make of the goodness and faithfulness of God.
  4. But, further, we undertake this service because we feel bound to serve and testify, while the time for service and testimony lasts.  The day is rapidly approaching, in which we shall not be called upon to render such fruits.  When we get into the Master's presence, we shall admire and worship; but now, in "the little while", in the night of His absence, it is our holy and happy privilege to be "always abounding in the work of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).  We are responsible to let the light shine forth, in every possible way — to circulate the truth of God, by all means, by word of mouth, by "paper and ink", in public and private, "in the morning and in the evening", "in season and out of season"; we should "sow beside all waters".  In a word, whether we consider the importance of divine truth, the value of immortal souls, or the fearful progress of error and evil, we are imperatively called upon to be up and doing, in the name of the Lord, under the guidance of His word, and by the grace of His Spirit.

Charles Mackintosh's expository notes about the books of the Pentateuch were published at intervals during a forty year period, and individual Notes on the Pentateuch volumes were issued, one each upon Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, and two upon Deuteronomy.  The preface to each volume was written by his friend Andrew Miller, who largely financed their publication and is believed to have encouraged their writing.  These works, which are marked by a warm-hearted, evangelical spirit, have been republished from time to time over the last century and a half.

Charles Mackintosh Grave Marker
C. H. Mackintosh Grave Marker
C. H. Mackintosh took a great interest in, and actively participated in, the great revival of 1859 and 1860.  His last series of papers was entitled Handfuls of Pasture.  During the last few years of his life, he lived at Cheltenham, England, where he continued to write.  He departed to be with Christ on November 2, 1896, and was buried in Cheltenham Cemetery, where, in what is known as the "Plymouth Brethren plot", the graves of so-called Exclusive Brethren and Open Brethren lie side by side awaiting the resurrection day.

CHM's spirit was milder than that of Darby, and he breathed a spirit of deep devotion, and a love for lost souls as well as for Christian believers.  He was a man of great faith, and he was ever ready to testify that, though God had often tried Him, He had never allowed him to suffer want in the matter of life's necessities while engaged in Gospel work and without material employment.  He had a gracious spirit, avoiding conflict as far as possible.  His first tract, written in 1843, concerned "The Peace of God".  His last article — written in 1896, just a few months before departing to be with Christ — was entitled "The God of Peace".


  • Noel, Napoleon, The History of the Brethren, Denver, CO.  W. F. Knapp, 1936.
  • Pickering, Henry, Chief Men Among the Brethren, Neptune, NJ.  Loizeaux Brothers, 1986.
  • Smith, Wilbur, A Word Concerning the Author, an introduction to Genesis to Deuteronomy:  Notes on the Pentateuch, Neptune, NJ.  Loizeaux Brothers, 1972.

Olivet Discourse Papers

Extracts from Charles Mackintosh's writings concerning the Olivet Discourse can be found on this Treatises and Commentaries page.

Other Writings by CHM

Extracts from other papers by Charles Mackintosh can be found on these pages:

C. H. Mackintosh (1820-1896) • About Us