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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Quotes by Robert Murray McCheyne

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 Quotes by Robert Murray McCheyne



"Pray for me, that I may be made holier and wiser--less like myself, and more like my heavenly Master; that I may not regard my life, if so be I may finish my course with joy. This day eleven years ago, I lost my loved and loving brother, and began to seek a Brother who cannot die."

"Read part of the life of Jonathan Edwards. How feeble does my spark of Christianity appear beside such a sun! But even his was a borrowed light, and the same source is still open to enlighten me."

"If nothing else will do to sever me from my sins, Lord, send me such sore and trying calamities as shall awake me from earthly slumbers. It must always be best to be alive to thee, whatever be the quickening instrument."

"Life itself is vanishing fast. Make haste for eternity."

"Do everything in earnest--if it is worth doing, then do it with all your might. Above all, keep much in the presence of God. Never see the face of man till you have seen his face who is our Life, our All."


Written about M'Cheyne:

"He might have risen to high eminence in the circles of taste and literature, but denied himself all such hopes, that he might win souls. With such peculiar talents as he possessed, his ministry might have, in any circumstance, attracted many; but these attractions were all made subsidiary to the single desire of awakening the dead in trespasses and sins. Nor would he have expected to be blessed to the salvation of souls, unless he had himself been a monument of sovereign grace. In his esteem "to be in Christ before being in the ministry," was a thing indispensable. He often pointed to those solemn words of Jeremiah 23:21 'I have not sent these prophets yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.' "


"...he would be a sorry student of the Bible, who would not know all that God had inspired; who would not examine into the most barren chapters to collect the good for which they were intended; who would not strive to understand all the bloody battles which are chronicled, that he might find 'bread out the eater, and honey out of the lion.' "

"I hope and pray that it may be his will to restore me again to you and your parish, with a heart tutored by sickness to speak more and more as dying to dying."


"That text of Jude has peculiar beauties for me at this season. If it be good to come under the love of God once, surely it is good to keep ourselves there. Any yet how reluctant we are!"

"One thing always fills the cup of my consolation, that God may work by the meanest and poorest words, as well as by the most polished and ornate--yea, perhaps, more readily, that the glory may be all his own."


"O Lord, make me hang on thee to open their hearts, thou opener of Lydia's heart. I fear thou wilt not bless my preaching, until I am brought thus to hang on thee."

"A dark hour makes Jesus bright."


Ever watchful for opportunities, on the blank leaf of a book which he sent to a little boy of his congregation, he wrote these simple lines:


Peace be to thee, gentle boy!
Many years of health and joy!
Love your Bible more than play--
row in wisdom every day.
Like the lark on hovering wing,
Early rise, and mount and sing;
Like the dove that found no rest
Till it flew to Noah's breast:--
Rest not in this world of sin,
Till the Saviour take thee in.


"He has set me down among the noisy mechanics and political weavers of this godless town. He will make the money sufficient. He that paid his taxes from a fish's mouth, will supply all my need."

"Speak to your people as on the brink of eternity."

"If the veil of the world's machinery were lifted off, how much we would find is done in answer to the prayers of God's children."

"Use your health while you have it, my dear friend and brother. Do not cast away peculiar opportunities that may never come again. You know not when your last Sabbath with your people may come. Speak for eternity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear, and your heart full of God's Spirit, is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin."

"I have no desire but the salvation of my people, by whatever instrument."

"Now, remember, Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone. Looking at our own shining face is the bane of the spiritual life and of the ministry. O for closest communion with God, till soul and body---head, face, and heart---shine with divine brilliancy; but O for a holy ignorance of our shining."

"Christ gives last knocks. When your heart becomes hard and careless, then fear lest Christ may have given a last knock."


"I earnestly long for more grace and personal holiness, and more usefulness."

"I ought to see that in Christ's bloodshedding there is an infinite overpayment for all my sins."

"I often pray, Lord, make me as holy as a pardoned sinner can be made."

"Live so as to be missed."

"How many purposes God has in view of which we know nothing!"

"Take heed to thyself. Your own soul is your first and greatest care."

"Keep up close communion with God. Study likeness to him in all things..."

"I know well that when Christ is nearest, Satan also is busiest."

"I feel there are two things it is impossible to desire with sufficient ardour--personal holiness, and the honour of Christ in the salvation of souls."

"It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God."

"Live near to God, and so all things will appear to you little in comparison with eternal realities."

"Even those that are most deeply concerned about their souls do not see the millionth part of the blackness of their hearts and lives."

"Every wave of trouble has been wafting you to the sunny shores of a sinless eternity."

"...do not think any sin trivial; remember it will have everlasting consequences."

"Go on, dear brother; but an inch of time remains, and then eternal ages roll on for ever--but an inch on which we can stand and preach the way of salvation to a perishing world."

"The possession of grace fills us with very different feelings from the possession of anything else. A man who has much money is not very anxious that all the world should be rich---one who has much learning does not long that all the world were learned; but if you have tasted the grace of the gospel, the irresistible longing of your hearts will be, O that all the world might taste its regenerating waters!"

"Learn much of the Lord Jesus. For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ. He is altogether lovely."

"Spared fig trees should bear much fruit; pray that it may be so with me."

"Luther used to say, that temptations, afflictions, and prayer made a minister."

"Pray to be taught to pray. Do not be content with old forms that flow from the lips only. Most Christians have need to cast their formal prayers away, to be taught to cry, Abba."

"Remember also, the present is your only time to be saved. There is no believing, no repenting, no conversion in the grave---no minister will speak to you there. This is the time of conversion."

"Our God can work through means or above them. He that puts the treasure into earthen vessels, often allows the vessels to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."

"If you had an angel's righteousness, you might well lay it down and put on Jesus. The robe of a blood-washed sinner is far whiter than that of an angel."

"I long for love without any coldness, light without dimness, and purity without spot or wrinkle. I long to be at Jesus' feet, and tell him I am all his, and ever will be."

"Do you not feel your heart lighter now as you walk on the narrow way? Is not a Christian's darkest hour calmer than the world's brightest?"

"One smile from Jesus sustains my soul amid all the storms and frowns of this passing world. Pray to know Jesus better."

"Do not fear the face of man. Remember how small their anger will appear in eternity."

~Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843),
minister of St Peter's Church Dundee (1836 - 1843),
(a godly evangelical pastor and evangelist with a great love for souls)


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