Charles Henry Mackintosh

Howard A. Barnes, Bromborough, Merseyside

Category: Obituaries

Precious Seed

Charles Henry Mackintosh (better known as ‘CHM’) was born in 1820, at Glenmalure Barracks County Wicklow, Ireland, the son of a captain in a Scots Highland regiment. He was converted at the age of eighteen through reading letters sent to him by a devout Christian lady, and reading J. N. Darby’s ‘Operations of the Spirit’.  

In 1838, he went to work in a business in Limerick, and he said of those earlier days, ‘I had not the honour of being among the first of those who planted their feet on the blessed ground occupied by Brethren. I left the [Established Church] about the year 1839, and took my place at the table in [Aungier Street] Dublin, where dear Bellett was ministering with great acceptance . . . As a young man I, of course, walked in retirement, having no thought of coming forward in public ministry of any kind’. 

In 1843, Mackintosh wrote and published his first gospel tract, entitled Peace with God, showing his early interest both in evangelism and in writing. Interestingly, his last article – written in 1896 – was entitled The God of Peace. 

When he was twenty-four, he opened a private boarding school at Westport, County Mayo, where he developed a special method of teaching classical languages. This was during the Irish potato famine of 1845 to 1850, and during his school holidays he went around County Mayo preaching the gospel to the poor. The time and effort involved in running a boarding school in such a poor and famine-hit district caused Mackintosh to give up the enterprise in 1853; he told John Nelson Darby that nothing could induce him to go on with a boarding school. 

He tried farming for a while, but eventually wrote to Darby on 31 August 1853 that the Lord had called me into larger service than ever, and he soon concluded that he must give himself entirely to preaching, writing, and public speaking. Soon after this he established a periodical called Things New and Old, which he continued to edit from 1858 right up to 1890, and Good News for the Little Ones, which he edited from 1859 to 1876. 

Having moved his family from near Dublin in the middle of Ireland to Coleraine in the far north in 1857, Mackintosh took a great interest in, and actively participated in, the Irish Evangelical revival of 1859-60, which centred on that area. 

Of course, Mackintosh’s lasting influence results from his writings, particularly his Notes on the Pentateuch, beginning with a volume of 334 pages on Genesis, and concluding with a two-volume work on Deuteronomy extending to over 800 pages. Of this series, Andrew Miller wrote in the preface to the first volume of Genesis – ‘Man’s complete ruin in sin, and God’s perfect remedy in Christ, are fully, clearly, and often strikingly presented’.  1

Another series by Mackintosh, which has also been frequently reprinted, is Miscellaneous Writings, consisting of seven volumes, totalling over 2500 pages, and most of it is still definitely worth reading. 

After many years living and serving in Ireland, Mackintosh and his family moved to England in 1863. He then travelled widely throughout the mainland, preaching the gospel and ministering the word. His written ministry continued, with a steady stream of publications on a variety of subjects. Though he never left the British Isles, the influence of his writings spread far and wide, with, for instance, his Notes on the Book of Genesis, having its first American edition in 1863. 

Although during the 1870s teaching about household baptism became increasingly prevalent among the ‘Exclusive’ assemblies he associated with, in his magazine CHM wrote, ‘I can only say that I have for thirty-two years been asking in vain for a single line of Scripture for baptising any other than believers or those who profess to believe. Reasonings I have had, inferences, conclusions, and deductions; but of direct Scripture authority not one tittle’.  2 He felt cause to complain of those, who instead of preaching and teaching Jesus Christ, are disturbing the minds of God’s people by pressing infant baptism upon them.

Mackintosh did not take part in the divisions and doctrinal turbulence among Exclusive assemblies in the last fifteen years of his life. It has been said that Mackintosh was a man of a much gentler spirit than his older friend the volatile John Nelson Darby, and he ‘breathed an atmosphere of deep devotion’. 

Mackintosh died on November 2, 1896, and is buried in Cheltenham Cemetery. 

All CHM’s books, articles, tracts, etc., are freely and fully accessible at the Stempublishing website or at

David Beattie wrote of Mackintosh that ‘As a platform speaker C.H.M. was much sought after’ but ‘it is as a writer rather than a speaker that his name is remembered today, and in this connection it would be difficult to estimate the powerful influence of the pen of C.H.M. during the last fifty years’.  3 Tim Grass later wrote about him that, ‘He proved to be a lucid and popular writer, with a gift for the telling phrase: not an original thinker, he mediated Darbyite theology to the wider church’.  4


 1 Found here:
 2 C. H. Mackintosh, Short papers, section 10 of 10, found here:
 3 David J. Beattie, Brethren The Story of A Great Recovery, John Ritchie, 1939, pg. 143.
 4 Tim Grass, Gathering to His Name, BAHN, pg. 151.

There are 24 articles in
ISSUE (2020, Volume 75 Issue 4)

1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 - Readiness for His coming

An Assembly of the Lord’s people will be a people among whom - The Scriptures are Taught and Obeyed - Part 9

Aspects of Calvary - Part 2

Balaam Numbers 22. 36 to 23.12 - Part 2

Charles Henry Mackintosh

Cover Image

Editorial - ‘Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light’, John 3. 19.

Election and Predestination - Peter A. Kerr 

TheGospel of Mark - Part 12

Have you caught the 3:16?  Have you gone down in the 8:36? Are you following the 2:42? - Robert Plant 

How shattered dreams became reality (Lessons from the life of Joseph) - Jack Hay 


Lockdown Lessons

Old Testament Women who appear in the New Testament - Rebecca


Question Time - Is the COVID-19 crisis the judgement or intervention of God?

The Epistle to the Colossians - Part 11

The High Priestly Ministry of the Lord Jesus

The Twelve Tribes of Israel - Zebulun

The Work of the Lord in Central Brazil

Things That Concern Us Philippians - Part 1 ‘Your fellowship’, ‘your love’ and ‘your prayer’

Traditions to Treasure – Continuing Steadfastly - Bert Cargill and James Brown 

What does the Bible tell us about the future? - Part 9 - The 144,000 of Revelation chapter 7

Word for Today - Qorban

This article is not part of a series

There are 30 articles by this author

Aquila and Priscilla

‘But God . . . ’








Peace in the Old Testament

Peace in the New Testament

Thoughts on the Will of God (1)

Thoughts on the Will of God (2)

Personalities In The Pastoral Epistles (1)

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles

Those who were a delight to Paul: LOIS and EUNICE (continued)

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles (4) - Those who were a delight to Paul (continued)

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles - Part 5

Those who were a delight to Paul (continued) - Aquila and Priscilla (Prisca) - Part 6

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles (7) - Those who were a delight to Paul (continued)

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles (8) - Those who were devoted, dutiful and dear to Paul

Personalities in the Pastoral Epistles (9) - Those who were a disappointment to Paul

The God of all Comfort

Walter Wolston

Sir Robert Anderson (1841–1918)

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer

Handley Moule - His life and legacy

William Henry Bennet (1843-1920)

Charles Henry Mackintosh

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