Quotes from Andrew Bonar’s ‘Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne.’ Part 2

“I was often reproved by his unabated attention to personal holiness; for this care was never absent from his mind, whether he was at home in his quiet chamber, or on the sea, or in the desert. Holiness in him was manifested, not by efforts to perform duty, but in a way so natural that you recognised therein the easy outflowing of the indwelling Spirit. The fountain springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:14) in his soul, welled forth its living waters alike in the familiar scenes of his native Scotland, and under the olive-trees of Palestine. Prayer and meditation on the word were never forgotten; and a peace that the world could not give kept his heart and mind.”

“A knowledge of our guilt, and a sense of danger, will not of themselves keep us from falling; nay, these, if alone, may thrust us down the slippery places. We are truly secure only when our eye is on Jesus, and our hand locked in his hand.”

“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. Oh for closest communion with God, till soul and body—head, face, and heart—shine with divine brilliancy! but oh for a holy ignorance of our shining! Pray for this; for you need it as well as I.”

“His preaching became more and more to him a work of faith. Often I find him writing at the close or beginning of a sermon: “Master, help!” “Help, Lord, help!” “Send showers;” “Pardon, give the Spirit, and take the glory;” “May the opening of my lips be right things!””

“I have a fellow-feeling with you in your present infirmity, and you know for your consolation that another has, who is a brother indeed. In all our afflictions, He is afflicted. He is, we may say, the common heart of his people, for they are one body; and an infirmity in the very remotest and meanest member is felt there and borne there. Let us console, solace, yea, satiate ourselves in Him, as, amid afflictions especially, brother does in brother. It is blessed to be like Him in everything, even in suffering. There is a great want about all Christians who have not suffered. Some flowers must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance. All the wounds of Christ send out sweetness; all the sorrows of Christians do the same. Commend me to a bruised brother,—a broken reed,—one like the Son of man. The Man of Sorrows is never far from him. To me there is something sacred and sweet in all suffering; it is so much akin to the Man of Sorrows.”

  • Rev. John Purves of Jedburgh (1800-1877) in a letter to a discouraged Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“I feel, when I have sinned, an immediate reluctance to go to Christ. I am ashamed to go. I feel as if it would do no good to go,—as if it were making Christ a minister of sin, to go straight from the swine-trough to the best robe,—and a thousand other excuses; but I am persuaded they are all lies, direct from hell. John argues the opposite way: ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father;’ Jer. 3:1 and a thousand other scriptures are against it. I am sure there is neither peace nor safety from deeper sin, but in going directly to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is God’s way of peace and holiness. It is folly to the world and the beclouded heart, but it is the way.”

“I ought to study Christ as a living Saviour more,—as a Shepherd, carrying the sheep He finds,—as a King, reigning in and over the souls He has redeemed,—as a Captain, fighting with those who fight with me, Ps. 35,—as one who has engaged to bring me through all temptations and trials, however impossible to flesh and blood.”

 “Christ had a body such as I have, yet He never tasted one of the pleasures of sin. The redeemed, through all eternity, will never taste one of the pleasures of sin; yet their happiness is complete. It would be my greatest happiness to be from this moment entirely like them. Every sin is something away from my greatest enjoyment.… The devil strives night and day to make me forget this or disbelieve it. He says, Why should you not enjoy this pleasure as much as Solomon or David? You may go to heaven also. I am persuaded that this is a lie,—that my true happiness is to go and sin no more.”

“I ought not to delay parting with sins. Now is God’s time. ‘I made haste and delayed not.’ … I ought not to spare sins because I have long allowed them as infirmities, and others would think it odd if I were to change all at once. What a wretched delusion of Satan that is!”

“Ministers are but the pole; it is to the brazen serpent you are to look.”

“Our Lord is at the door. In the twinkling of an eye our work will be done. “Awake, awake, O arm of the Lord, awake as in the ancient days,” till every one of thy pastors be willing to impart to the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made him overseer, not the gospel of God only, but also his own soul. And oh that each one were able, as he stands in the pastures feeding thy sheep and lambs, to look up and appeal to Thee: “Lord, Thou knowest all things! Thou knowest that I love Thee!”” – Andrew Bonar 1

1 – Andrew Bonar, Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

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