Subscribe now

The Suburbs of Heaven – Diary of Murdoch Campbell

By David Campbell
April 2015 | Review by Peter Rowell
  • Publisher: Covenanters Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-905022-33-5
  • Pages: 164
  • Price: 12.95
Buy this book »

Book Review

Murdoch Campbell was born in 1900. He gained a degree from Edinburgh University and then, after studying at the Free Church College for three years, was ordained into the Free Church of Scotland ministry.

He ministered first at Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston before moving to Glasgow. His health suffered and in 1951 he moved to the rural parish of Resolis on the Black Isle, later retiring in 1967. In 1974 he was taken home to glory, to be with the Lord he so deeply loved and worshipped. He was widely and affectionately valued as a preacher in many churches, mostly in the highlands and islands of Scotland.

This book consists of extracts from Murdoch’s diaries recently compiled by his son, David. The latter also supplies details of his father’s life, making some comments about his remarkable spiritual gifts along the way.

It would greatly help, if possible, to read this book alongside Murdoch’s autobiography, Memories of a wayfaring man, since it is referred to a number of times by the editor (sadly this is not in print, but second-hand copies can be found).

The overall impression from reading these diary extracts is a sense of wonder at the depth and beauty of Murdoch’s experience of God’s amazing grace. This was given to a man who was intensely sensitive, often suffering ill health, but enjoying an exceptionally close walk with his God.

Evident throughout is his love for the old and revered King James Bible he had known from childhood, together with a wonderful memory of the metrical version of the Psalms.

The way in which he found his mind full of Scripture, even when asleep, is an outstanding evidence of his close communion with his Lord. He knew that his Master was speaking to him, frequently comforting, encouraging and directing him through the infallible Word of God.

It is no surprise that Murdoch’s warm-hearted ministry was widely valued. He loved his people as a true pastor. His Lord made him useful, as a man with deep concern to see sinners converted and saints built up in their faith. He grieved much over the sins and national calamities he had to witness and was much in prayer for the churches he served.

Peter Rowell


Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Why Should I Trust the Bible?

We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Pastor’s Life: Practical Wisdom from the Puritans
Matthew D Haste & Shane W Parker

This book highlights ‘some of the many lessons that today’s pastors can learn from the Puritans’ (p.151). As such it is aimed at pastors, but the lessons are really for anyone who is a Christian leader. The opening chapter provides…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
5 Minutes in Church History: An Introduction to the Stories of God’s Faithfulness in the History of the Church
Stephen J Nichols

What a breath of fresh air this book is! Stephen Nichols has given us 40 vignettes from church history that are brief enough to be digested over a bowl of cereal. The book doesn’t aim to be a beginner’s guide…