No Christian can read the biography or Sermons of Robert Murray M’Cheyne without realizing that the true measure of life is not its length but its usefulness. He ministered but a short seven-and-a-half years, and died at the age of 29, yet the fruitfulness of that brief life remains to this day.
Nor does the amount of our activity or our words reflect the true value of our life. Robert Murray M’Cheyne left notes of only some 200 sermons when he died in 1843, but his own counsel to a fellow minister explains why these sermons brought such abundant blessing not only to ‘the noisy mechanics and political weavers’ of Dundee but, later, to all parts of the English-speaking world:
‘Get your texts from God – your thoughts, your words, from God…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. 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’.
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Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843), has had a tremendous impact through his preaching and writing not only on the people of his generation but through his writings ever since. Robert Murray M'Cheyne was one of Scotland’s greatest preachers from 1835 to 1843. He died in his thirtieth year and in the seventh year of ministry while he was the pastor of St Peter's Free Church. His epitaph describes him as a man who 'was honoured by his Lord to draw many wanderers out of darkness into the path of life'.