Thomas Guthrie D.D. was a Scottish divine and philanthropist, born at Brechin in Angus. He was one of the most popular preachers of his day in Scotland, and was associated with many forms of philanthropy - especially temperance and Ragged Schools, of which he was a founder.
He studied at Edinburgh University for both surgery and anatomy but then concentrated on Theology. He was licenced to preach from 1852, and became the Minister of Arbirlot, in Angus, and then of Free St. John's chapel Edinburgh. Possessed of a commanding presence and voice, and a remarkably effective and picturesque style of oratory, he became perhaps the most popular preacher of his day in Scotland, and was associated with many forms of philanthropy, especially temperance and ragged schools, of which he was a founder. His hard work as a proponent and founder of Ragged Schools led him to be quoted by Samuel Smiles in his famous book Self Help.
He was one of the leaders of the Free Church of Scotland, and raised over £100,000 for manses for its ministers. He was made Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland in 1872. Other roles included manager of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, work for the Blind Asylum and work at the Night Refuge.
As in nature, as in art, so in grace; it is rough treatment that gives souls, as well as stones, their luster. The more the diamond is cut the brighter it sparkles; and in what seems hard dealing, there God has no end in view but to perfect His people.