Robert Murray M’Cheyne

A sight of corruption drives to Christ

DEAR FRIEND,-I send you a hurried line, and may the Spirit accompany it with His divine power to your heart! It is a good thing to be shown much of the deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of your heart, provided it leads you to the Lord Jesus, that He may pardon and subdue it. Slightness and carnal ease are much more to be dreaded than discoveries of our leprosy.

The groans and triumphal song of a believer are not far separted, as you may see in Paul (Rom. vii. 24, 25): “O wretched man,” and “I thank God,” all in one breath! David felt the same (see Ps. Lxxiii.).  At one verse he feels himself a fool and a beast in the sight of a holy God, and in the very next verses he is cleaving to Christ with a smog of unspeakable joy (vs. 22-24). Ah! there is a sweet mystery here-bitter herbs along with our Passover Lamb. It is sweet to see ourselves infinitely vile, that we may look to Jehovah our Righteousness, as all our way to the Father. The sweet Psalmist of Israel felt this on his dying bed: “Although my house be not so with God, yet hath He made with me,” etc. (2 Sam. xxiii. 5). His house had been the scene of many a black sin; and now, when dying, he could not but confess that it was not right with God. Not a day he had lived appeared clean-not a moment. So may you say, in the house where you live, and looking at the pollutions of your own heart: “Although my house be not so with God”-although my heart and life be not so, “yet hath He made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.”

God makes that covenant with you, when He brings you to lay hold on Jesus as your Surety-your curse-bearing, law-fulfilling Surety. Then you are brought into the bond of the everlasting covenant, and all its blessings are yours-pardon, righteousness, consolation, grace upon grace, life, love, the spirit of supplications-all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ’s is God’s.

Pray to be made like Caleb, who had another spirit, and followed the Lord fully. Follow Christ all the day. He is the continual burnt-offering in whom you may have peace. He is the rock that follows you, from whom you may have constant and infinite supplies. Give yourself wholly away to Him. You are safe in no other keeping but in the everlasting arms of Jehovah Jesus.

Keep yourself from other men’s sins. Do not go to the end of the string, that is, going as far as you can in dallying with temptation without committing open sin. Remember that it is our happiness to be under grace, and every sin will be bitterness in the end, and will take something out of your eternal portion of glory.

Grace be with your dear and much honoured minister, and with all that love Christ in sincerity. Never cease to pray for the parish, and for all parishes, that God would pour down His life-giving Spirit, to the conversion of the perishing sinners and the glory of His own great name. I will remember you on the 12th of June. May the Lord remember us. Ever truly, etc.    

To E. R., Asking counsel

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“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” Titus 2:11
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