Friday, December 18, 2009

Heroes: Alexander Cruden

Born in Scotland in 1699, Alexander Cruden loved words.

Well-educated, Cruden was more than a little eccentric.

He took on the self-proclaimed title of Corrector, and made it his mission to safeguard his nation's spelling and grammar. He habitually carried a sponge, and effaced signs and inscriptions that he thought incorrect or immoral. (Oh, how I would love to do this!)

Alexander Cruden was laughed at by his society. He was not at all popular with the nobility that he criticized for using their power for immoral acts. Throughout his lifetime, he was in and out of mental institutions, although some think it was just a way for him to be silenced.

He wouldn't be silenced.

Working alone, without SpellCheck, Cruden produced the most consistent and complete concordance of the Bible available before the introduction of computerised indexing.
Cruden's Bible Concordance can be found today just about anywhere people study the Bible. There is a well-used copy next to the dictionary on my desk.

In March 1872, Charles H. Spurgeon wrote, "This half crazy Cruden did better service to the church than half the D.D.s and L.L.D.s of all time."

Alexander Cruden is still serving the church today, 240 years after his death.

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. John 9:4