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Robert Murray McCheyne

Presbyterian minister and missionary
Born May 21, 1813 (1813-05-21)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died March 25, 1843 (1843-03-26)
Dundee, Scotland

Robert Murray M'Cheyne (pronounced, and occasionally spelled as "McCheyne"; 21 May 1813 – 25 March 1843) was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835 to 1843. He was born at Edinburgh, was educated at the University of Edinburgh and at the Divinity Hall of his native city, where he was taught by Thomas Chalmers. He first served as an assistant to John Bonar in the parish of Larbert and Dunipace, near Falkirk, from 1835 to 1838. Thereafter he became forever associated with St. Peter's Church ( in Dundee, where he served as minister until his early death at the age of 29 during an epidemic of typhus.

Not long after his death, his friend Andrew Alexander Bonar edited his biography which was published with some of his manuscripts as The Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M'Cheyne. The book went into many editions. It has had a lasting influence on Evangelical Christianity worldwide.

In 1839, M'Cheyne and Bonar, together with two older ministers, Dr. Alexander Black and Dr. Alexander Keith, were sent to Palestine on a mission of inquiry to the condition of the Jews. Upon their return, their official report for the Board of Mission of the Church of Scotland was published as Narrative of a Visit to the Holy Land and Mission of Inquiry to the Jews. This led subsequently to the establishment of missions to the Jews by the Church of Scotland and by the Free Church of Scotland. During M'Cheyne's absence, his place was filled by the appointment of William Chalmers Burns to preach at St. Peter's as his assistant.

M'Cheyne was a preacher, a pastor, a poet, and wrote many letters. He was also a man of deep piety and a man of prayer. He never married.

M'Cheyne died exactly two months before the Disruption of 1843. This being so, his name was subsequently held in high honour by all the various branches of Scottish Presbyterianism, though he himself held a strong opinion against the Erastianism which led to the Disruption. Bonar records, "And when, on the 7th March of the following year (i.e. 1843), the cause of the Church was finally to be pleaded at the bar of the House of Commons, I find him writing: 'Eventful night this in the British Parliament! Once more King Jesus stands at an earthly tribunal, and they know Him not!'" (Memoir {1892 ed.}, p. 147).


  • Bethany - Discovering Christ's Love in Times of Suffering When Heaven Seems Silent, Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846857027
  • Follow the Lord Fully Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846856983
  • The Cry for Revival Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846856990
  • The Glory of the Christian Dispensation (Hebrews 8 & 9) Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846857034
  • The Ten Virgins and Other Sermons on the End Times Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846856884

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Robert Murray M'Cheyne (21 May 1813 – 25 March 1843) was a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835 to 1843.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • One gem from that ocean is worth all the pebbles from earthly streams.
    • P. 31.
  • When you are reading a book in a dark room, and come to a difficult part, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bibles to Christ.
    • P. 39.
  • When I stand before the throne,
    Dressed in beauty not my own,
    When I see Thee as Thou art,
    Love Thee with unsinning heart,
    Then, Lord, shall I fully know —
    Not till then — how much I owe.
    • P. 94.
  • The sea ebbs and flows, but the rock remains unmoved.
    • P. 101.
  • When a man goes thirsty to the well, his thirst is not allayed by merely going there. On the contrary, it is increased by every step he goes. It is by what he draws out of the well that his thirst is satisfied. And just so it is not by the mere bodily exercise of waiting upon ordinances that you will ever come to peace, but by tasting of Jesus in the ordinances, whose flesh is meat indeed, and His blood drink indeed.
    • P. 153.
  • There cannot be a secret Christian. Grace is like ointment hid in the hand; it betrayeth itself. If you truly feel the sweetness of the cross of Christ, you will be constrained to confess Christ before men.
    • P. 155.
  • When this passing world is done,
    When has sunk yon, glowing sun,
    When we stand with Christ in glory,
    Looking o'er life's f1nished story,
    Then, Lord, shall I fully know —
    Not till then — how much I owe.
    • P. 299.
  • Break my hard heart,
    Jesus my Lord;
    In the inmost part
    Hide Thy sweet word.
    • P. 449.
  • We must not close with Christ because we feel Him, but because God lias said it, and we must take God's word even in the dark.
    • P. 590.
  • Remember, you are not a tree, that can live or stand alone. You are only a branch. And it is only while you abide in Christ, as the branch in the vine, that you will flourish or even live.
    • P. 609.

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