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by Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813 – 1843)
Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a nineteenth-century Church of Scotland minister revered for the depth of his piety. Upon hearing him preach, a listener once wrote, “I saw in you a beauty in holiness that I never saw before.”1 He served two churches, including St. Peter’s Church in Dundee, before dying at age 29.
Upon M’Cheyne’s death, ministerial colleague Andrew Bonar published a biography that included many of his manuscripts and letters. Taken from that work, this selection illustrates his determination to fight sin through spiritual disciplines. It shows the intensity with which this servant of God craved communion with his Heavenly Father.
I ought to pray before seeing any one. Often when I sleep long, or meet with others early, and then have family prayer, and breakfast, and forenoon callers, often it is eleven or twelve o’clock before I begin secret prayer. This is a wretched system. It is unscriptural. Christ rose before day, and went into a solitary place. David says, ‘Early will I seek Thee; Thou shalt early hear my voice.’ Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre while it was yet dark. Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness; and I can do no good to those who come to seek from me. The conscience feels guilty, the soul unfed, the lamp not trimmed. Then, when secret prayer comes, the soul is often out of tune. I feel it is far better to begin with God—to see his face first—to get my soul near him before it is near another. ‘When I awake I am still with Thee.’
If I have slept too long, or am going [on] an early journey, or my time is any way shortened, it is best to dress hurriedly, and have a few minutes alone with God, than to give it up for lost.
“A calm hour with God is worth a whole lifetime with man”
~ Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Nineteenth century Scottish minister)
Busy activity for Jesus can be cheap substitute for genuine intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Robert Murray M’Cheyene put it this way…
“No amount of activity in the King’s service will make up for neglect of the King Himself.”
What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more!
A great part of my time is spent in getting my heart in tune for prayer. It is the divine link that connects earth with heaven
A great part of my time is getting my heart in tune for prayer. It is the divine link that connects earth with heaven
by RAY ORTLUND
When the Spirit is poured down
“The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus. When the Spirit is poured down, his people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus. They eat his flesh and drink his blood. They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord. They taste that the Lord is gracious. His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect, full and free to their soul. They sit under his shadow with great delight. . . . They lean on the Beloved. They find infinite strength in him for the use of their soul — grace for grace — all they can need in any hour of trial and suffering to the very end.”
A natural heart is offended every day at the preaching of the Cross… The preaching of another’s righteousness–that you must have it or perish–many, I have no doubt, are often enraged at this in their hearts. Many, I doubt not, have left this church on account of it, and many more, I doubt not, will follow. All the offence of the Cross is not ceased. But a broken heart cannot be offended. Ministers cannot speak too plainly for a broken heart. A broken heart would sit for ever to hear of the righteousness without works.
Study your prayers, a great part of my time is spent getting in tune for prayer.