The Pastor of Kilsyth introduces us to the life and ministry of William Hamilton Burns (1779"" 1859), the father of the better known preacher and missionary to China William Chalmers Burns (1815""68). But while eclipsed in fame by his son, the life and ministry of William H. Burns contains much that is of value to us today. This is reflected by Iain Murray who referred to The Pastor of Kilsyth as a 'little known work,' but notwithstanding this said it is 'one of the best Scottish ministerial biographies.' Those who give time to read this book will undoubtedly be led to agree with Murray.
In our celebrity-driven age (from which the evangelical church is far from exempt), this is exactly the kind of life we need to study. We need to be reminded of the beauty, dignity and ultimately the glory of humble, obscure Christian service (Matt. 10:42). Yes, we need the towering leaders of men like John Calvin and John Knox. However, the great work of the church is ultimately carried forward by those.