Ron’s #25: Robert Murray M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar

I don’t read enough biographies, but when I do, I walk away thinking that I should read more of them. Christian biographies are especially important, as they show what a life lived for Christ looks like. Robert Murray M’ Cheyne by Andrew Bonar is no exception.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Scottish preacher born in 1813. After pursuing classical and religious studies in the university, he came to Christ following the death of his older brother David. David provided a godly example to his little brother, and God used that loss to lead Robert to Himself. He then became a passionate preacher, evangelist, hymnist, writer, and missionary during his short life. M’Cheyne died in 1843 at the age of twenty-nine. Twenty-nine! I am ashamed to see the dearth of godly pursuits evidenced in the first twenty-nine years of my life.

Robert Murray M’ Cheyne was written by his close friend Andrew Bonar a mere six months after Robert died. The book includes many of his journal entries reflecting on his ministry.

The strongest part of this biograpghy is the longer fragment from M’Cheyne’s writing titled, “Personal Reformation.” Much like Jonathan Edwards’s “Resolutions,” “Personal Reformation” sheds light on the heart of this man, one who aches to be close to his God. There was much in this book—but especially in these last ten pages—that were of great comfort to me.

“I am tempted to think that I am now an established Christian—that I have overcome this or that lust so long—that I have got into the habit of the opposite grace—so that there is no fear; I may venture very near the temptation—nearer than other men. This is a lie of Satan. I might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit a power of resisting fire, so as not to catch the spark.”

“I ought to study Christ as an Intercessor…If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million of enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference; he is praying for me.”

“Live so as to be missed.”

This biography is a picture of a man who strived to live this way. What legacy do you want to leave in your 29, or 39, or 49, of 89 years on this earth?

About Ron 173 Articles
I teach English and government in Okinawa, Japan. I love reading theology and fiction, and helps keep me accountable. Reading with three kids under 5 is a bit of a challenge, but I keep trying to find ways to read more. My favorites writers are C. S. Lewis, Flannery O’ Connor, and Raymond Carver.

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