Duncan Campbell (1898-1972)


"Holiness is not human life brought up to the highest level of development, but Divine life brought down to the lowest level of condescension."

Brief Biography

Duncan Campbell was blessed and used by God in Scotland in the early part of this twentieth Century. His chief desire was to see God work powerfully in the lives of His children. His father was a stonemason. His parents had been converted in 1901 when two young women from the Faith Mission visited their village. The Faith Mission, established by John Govan in 1886 in Glasgow, was to play a significant role in Duncan Campbell's life. The fifth of ten children, He was raised as a Christian from an early age. His early jobs including herding cows and working in a grocery store. He was also an accomplished piper who was often called upon to play for various events. It was while playing at a charity event that a deep sense of guilt and emptiness came over him. Leaving the concert he ran into another friend who was feeling the same conviction. Duncan determined to get right with God that very night. As he ventured home, he came along side a meeting hall where he heard his father praying. He entered a stayed for a while, but felt so convicted of his need that he had to leave. At home he found his mother was also praying. Promising God that He would come to him immediately if God would take him, the joy of salvation flooded his soul. The first result of his conversion was his whole-hearted support of the Faith Mission and the beginning of successful soul-winning work.

During WWI he served as a machine-gunner. Later he worked in the Cavalry, in which he was seriously wounded. Believing he was dying, he prayed M'Cheyne's prayer "Lord, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be," upon which he experienced a great power holding him up. As a result he was let out of the service.

Upon returning home he began his soul-winning endeavors again. His parents had hoped he would enter the ministry, but he was unwilling to devote so much time to study. Alternatively, he applied to the Faith Mission and the nine month Bible program offered there.

His first assignment upon graduation was working in Ireland. Later, however, he was transferred back to Scotland to conduct missions in the highlands and the islands. His mode of working was visiting homes, getting to know the people, gaining their trust by helping them in every day tasks, and then holding meetings in buildings close by. The work was not always appreciated, and he spent many nights in prayer for God's blessings upon his work. He preached with much boldness and won many individuals to Christ, even individuals who were considered challenging to reach.

Later he worked on the Island of Skye where a movement of the Holy Spirit took place that was so powerful that even people in the village were being affected by it. Later many revivals would take place on the Scottish Islands, including Barvas on the Island of Lewis where there was a great expectation of revival.

As a result of all of his work, he sometimes experienced difficulties with his health. Because of this, he was eventually given responsibility for the Bible College of the Faith Mission, and served there from 1956 to 1966.

He retired in 1956 and began going on extensive preaching tours.

He died in 1971 following a trip to Lausanne, Switzerland.

Quotations of Duncan Campbell

"The early Christian Church conquered because the Christians of those days out-thought, outlived, and out-died the pagan."

“'The Christian is just a person who makes it easy for others to believe in God.' (M’Cheyne) The great need of the Christian Church today is not, as some suggest, a restatement of our creed, nor a new approach in the field of evangelism; but a practical exhibition of godly living."

"I remember some years ago sailing past a lighthouse and coming away with the conviction that it is the light that matters. The lighthouse itself was imposing, the structure the work of a master; but that edifice could be as treacherous as the rock on which it was built but for the light. It was the light and not the structure that gave warning and direction. It is not merely what I say, nor what I do, but what I am that matters: that is the witness that is convincing. I have always believed that the greatest thing about us all is our unconscious influence, and that unconscious influence impregnated by the life of Jesus, should bring to mind the great saying of the Apostle: 'That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh'” (2 Cor. 4.11).

"We have conceived of the Christian life as an imitation of Christ: it is not an imitation but a participation."

"Holiness is not human life brought up to the highest level of development, but Divine life brought down to the lowest level of condescension."

"The Cross is not only the fundamental basis in the sinner’s conversion, but also the fundamental instrument in the believer’s sanctification. The one aspect brings deliverance from sin’s condemnation, but the other from sin’s power; so we proclaim victory through the blood."

"How easy it is to give up every wrong habit but one, but it is that one that tells whether you are crucified with Christ or not."

"The Cross that called Jesus to a sacrificial death called His disciples to a sacrificial life."

"The bedrock of a God honouring Christian experience is passionate, personal devotion to Jesus Christ, and that devotion expressed in the sacrificial giving up of myself."

Written Books and Sermons of Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell: The Instruments of Revival

"The word we must preach with passionate, personal conviction. It is the word of the Cross, the word of separation, the word of cleansing and the word of judgment. Is there not a need today to proclaim the word of judgment?"

Duncan Campbell: Price and Power of Revival

Chapter 1 - An Unlimited Supernatural Resource

Chapter 2 - An Unlimited Capacity

Chapter 3 - Spiritual Quickening

Chapter 4 - The Unavoidable Gateway

Downloadable PDF

"Consecration is not sanctification, but there can be no sanctification apart from the yielding of self. Someone has said that the essential nature of sin is my claim to my right to myself. Consecration is my relinquishing of that claim. That yielding of myself in the presence of God leads me into the radical experience of what I like to term entire sanctification. So you have the Apostle writing: "Present your bodies a living sacrifice . . . and be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind."

Duncan Campbell: A Divine Resolution

In this wonderful meditation on Caleb's call, "Let us go us," Campbell shows the power of godly resolutions!

Duncan Campbell: The Nature of a God-Sent Revival

"There was at least one man on that island who fulfilled the conditions of that one passage of Scripture, and because he fulfilled the conditions, God, being a covenant-keeping God, must be true to His covenant engagements. And God, to vindicate His own honor, had to listen to the prayers of the parish postman who knelt in a barn for a day. The principles that govern spiritual quickening…Oh, that God may find a people ready to fulfill and to comply with the governing principles relative to spiritual quickening." (Read the rest of Duncan Campbell"s The Nature of a God-Sent Revival)

Duncan Campbell: The Marred Vessel

"I would, however, point out that this life can only be entered through a full and uncalculated yielding of ourselves, without our yielding being hedged round by conditions. Is this the life you desire? If so, are you prepared to place every key in the hands of Christ? I know how possible it is to hand over every key but one, but it is that one held back which determines whether you accept the Lordship of Christ or not. Andrew Murray when addressing a meeting here in Scotland is reported to have said: "It is comparatively easy to win people to a cross, but to a cross that leaves them uncrucified." So I close by asking, are you conscious of failure? If so, will you come to the Saviour now and discover that He can make you again and organize glorious victory on the field of your defeat." (Read all of Duncan Campbell's The Marred Vessel)

God's Answer to the Human Problem

"One thing that surprises me in the life of Christ is the selective power that He manifested. He had no time to waste over things that were not vital. See about the thing that matters! Real strength of moral and spiritual character is both derived and conserved by the refusal of the unimportant. What was the important thing? Was it not to face the Cross? Here I would suggest that this man's difficulty was not in parting with his possessions, but the way in which the world would interpret his act. What would his associates say about the sanity' of a man who would follow an unpopular Leader, of whom it was true that He had nowhere to lay His head?" (Read more from God's Answer to the Human Problem.)

Audio Sermons

God's Answer to the Cry of Unbelief MP3 Audio Sermon

Repairing the Wall MP3 Audio Sermon