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ignorant, and ungodly people, without which keenness to them, no sermon nor book does much good; which hath so habituated me to it, that I am falling into the same with others. .... And I have a strong natural inclination to speak of every subject just as it is, and to call a spade a spade, and verba rebus aptare, so that the thing spoken of may be fullest known by the words, which, methinks, is part of our speaking truly.”
This was emphatically the case with Nettleton, and ought to be the aim of every ambassador of Christ. Because of this, Nettleton's converts generally received clear views of divine truth, and were led to understand what he had been preaching. Not only were large numbers brought to concern, but they were established in the truth, and it was rare that apostasy occurred among them. Impression without intelligence is very apt to die away. It is the effervescence of religious feeling. It is only intelligent conviction and apprehension of the truth that can confirm the soul, and such the Holy Spirit is wont to bless. This, then, should urge the ambassadors of Christ to present the doctrines of Scripture in a clear and intelligible form before the consciences of their hearers, and with all earnestness to press the acceptance of the word of wisdom, for the salvation of their hearers. Much may be learned from the preaching of revivalists, whether clerical or lay-for both have been remarkably blessed by God to guide the ordinary ministry to a more effective mode of address while presenting the gospel to perishing sinners.
Quo vos magistri gloria, quo salus
Apostles of the risen Christ, go forth !
Let love compel.
His glory tell!
Tell how He lived, and toiled, and wept below;
Tell all His love;
Then rose above.
Tell how in weakness He was crucified,
But rose in power;
From hour to hour.
Tell how He sits at the right hand of God
In glory bright,
His foes to smite.
Tell how His kingdom shall through ages stand,
And never cease ;
HORATIUS BONAR, D.D.
THE REV. ROBERT M‘CHEYNE,
MINISTER OF ST. PETER'S CHURCH, DUNDEE.
HE Memoir of Robert M'Cheyne is known
wherever the English language is spoken. The
record of his life of faith and labours of love has been the means of stirring up many a minister to greater prayerfulness and zeal in saving souls. It has edified and refreshed the children of God scattered abroad, and not a few have ascribed to its perusal the means of their conversion. Great as was the usefulness of Mr. M'Cheyne during the short time of his life, his influence for good has been vastly extended since his death. In his lifetime he was localized to a town and circumscribed within the Church of a small nation. Since his death, his light has shone throughout Protestant Christendom, and all denominations have been benefited by the glowing piety and bright example of Robert M'Cheyne. His biography is remarkably brief, but it is instinct with life and impression. Mr. Bonar knew him so well, and was linked so closely with him in life and work, that he has supposed the things that were common to him would lack interest to people at large. But he has in his brief record given a portrait to the life of a Christ-like man and faithful minister.
Mr. M'Cheyne was, during the year 1839, in the midst of revival work in Dundee, and from his exemplary labours and published experience we may learn much. To this we propose particularly to advert, simply giving the outline of his life, which is already well known, we doubt not, to most of our readers.
ROBERT MURRAY M‘CHEYNE was born in Edinburgh on the 21st May, 1813. Favoured with the educational advantages of his native city, his mind was directed towards learning, and he passed honourably through the High School and the University. The death of his brother was the stroke of the Spirit on his soul, that led to his conversion. Writing of this afterwards, he says: “This day eleven years ago, I lost my loved and loving brother, and began to seek a Brother who cannot die.” There was nothing sudden in his case, but conviction of sin deepened, and the light of the gospel gradually shone
He unbosomed his case to the companions of his studies, who had been brought under serious impression about the same time; and he and they received a similar baptism of the Spirit, and became like-minded in spirituality and in the work of the gospel. Oh, how valuable is such companionship ! Robert M'Cheyne in glory has, doubtless, many memories of its holy influences, and his fellow-students who yet remain, and have been much blessed of God in the gospel of his Son, must look back with interest to those halcyon days, and bless the memory and the example of their departed brother, who is “not lost but gone before.”
Mr. M'Cheyne received a bias towards the ministry from his brother David; and after his bereavement he made a dedication of himself to that work. “ With
upon his soul.
altered views—with an eye that could gaze on heaven and hell, and a heart that felt the love of a reconciled God, he sought to become a herald of salvation." He entered the Divinity Hall in the winter of 1831, under Dr. Welsh, Professor of Church History, and Dr. Chalmers, Professor of Theology in the University of Edinburgh. Under these holy and devoted teachers, and in company with spiritually-minded companions, Robert M‘Cheyne profited above many in the study of sacred science. But the theology of the heart was pursued as ardently as that of the schools, and he was prepared by experience as well as by study for his holy calling. Nor did he omit contact with the ignorant and those out of the way. Besides teaching in a Sabbath-school, he joined with others in visiting the most degraded people in his native city, and in keeping up a missionary association among the students. Affliction, too, by the grace of God, was blessed to his sanctification. After passing through the furnace, he wrote some of his finest hymns. That one, well known, “Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness," was the offspring of his spiritual review during a season of illness:
“I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
knew not my danger, and felt not my load;