Secret Service Theologian


by his son.

Sir Robert Anderson and Lady Agnes Anderson
by A.P.Moore-Anderson


(See below for Contents)

I ESTEEM it no small privilege to be asked for a brief word of introduction to this Memoir of Sir Robert Anderson, to whom I have long been indebted, not only for illumination and inspiration in common with thousands the world over, but for the more intimate and richer gifts also of a true and loyal friendship.
For he was a man whose genius for comradeship was by no means the least of his many endowments. To many it was inevitable he should be known only as the stalwart defender of the Faith, the clear expositor, the zealous champion of Christian causes, the keen controversialist, the distinguished public servant. Those who saw merely the externals of a singularly busy and many-sided life seldom came to a true appreciation of the man as he was. In his consuming passion for what he regarded as vital to the Christian Faith, he was often compelled to appear dogmatic to the point of unsympathy, and narrow-minded to the point of sheer unaccommodation. When, as sometimes happened, in controversies (not always of his seeking) regarding modern critical methods of handling the Word of God, or the promulgation of doctrines subversive of the Gospel of Christ, he stood out as a champion of the unpopular view of things, he both received and gave hard blows. No one, indeed, could give harder. But this was a role thrust upon him, and was far from being a spontaneous expression of the “hidden man of the heart.” He disliked intensely the necessity of combat inseparable from his downright consecration to Christ, and suffered not a little under its consequences to himself. And never, for a single moment, did he betray the slightest bitterness of spirit toward an opponent. If he must fight, he fought as a knight of God and a very perfect gentleman; so that those who opposed him, and finally gave him up as “hopeless,” rode off with a fine appreciation of the character of their opponent. Sincerely convinced, with a strong belief in his beliefs, and withal an unfailing courtesy and an utter indifference to all personal considerations, he commended himself to every man’s conscience even when he failed to carry their judgment. It is true to say that no man ever lived who had so many opponents and so few enemies.
But those who were privileged to know him at closer quarters will ever think of him, in yet warmer terms, as one of the most devoted, humble, and kindly of men, and one of the staunchest of friends. For he never hid himself from those of whose sympathy and affection he was assured, and they at all times found him true to friendship’s every demand. Loving hands have chronicled and compiled the following short sketch, but in no single line has love outrun sober judgment or been betrayed into exaggeration. That he taught and proclaimed Christ all men know. That he very consistently lived Christ and carried about into all the relationships of life a sweet savour of Him, his family and friends know. And they are glad to share their knowledge of him, and the inspiration to follow the Lord as he followed Him which was its fruit, with the larger circle who honour him for his works’ sake.
For myself, life will always be richer for the generous and condescending friendship (from which all evidence of condescension was strikingly absent) of an old and distinguished servant of Christ toward a younger and altogether undistinguished one. In the happy enjoyment of our frequent intercourse I learned, I trust, at least to desire and strive after something of that loyalty to the Lord Jesus which was the well-spring of his strength and service. And there is no man whose obedience I would more earnestly endeavour to emulate in its purity and constancy. From his writings I came to know something of the unfathomable content of the Gospel. From his life I came to know far more concerning the possibility and glory of its ministry. And until my own course is finished, I shall be grateful to him who has gone from us, and still more to Him Whose best gifts to His people are men such as he was -"an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
PORTMAN SQUARE, W. October 1919.


Chapter One - Dublin - the beginning and the Call.
Chapter Two - Gospel, commando operations in Ireland.
Chapter Three - London - the Home Office and Secret Service.
Chapter Four - Scotland Yard.
Chapter Five - Criminals and Crime, a pioneer.
Chapter Six  - Friendships.
Chapter Seven - Home Life.
Chapter Nine - Preacher and Witness.
Chapter Ten  - Author, Teacher and Defender of the Faith.
Chapter Eleven - Counsellor and Helper of Many.
Chapter Twelve - Mr. Valiant-for-Truth.
Chapter Thirteen - Carrying on to the End.

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