Robert Murray McCheyne was born in Edinburgh in May 1813. He grew up with his older brother David and had great respect for him who in return took a keen interest in Robert’s spiritual condition, but a sudden illness in the summer of 1831 resulted in David’s death. Robert turned for comfort to seeking God through diligent study of the Bible until, in his own words, he was “led to Christ through deep and ever abiding convictions” that his sins were forgiven and that he had peace with God. In the winter of 1831, following his desire to enter the ministry, he entered the Divinity Hall of the University. M’Cheyne was licensed by the presbytery of Annan on July 1st, 1835 and became a minister in the Church of Scotland from 1835 to 1843.
M’Cheyne had a particular missionary interest in the Jews. Consequently, after the 1838 General Assembly decided to appoint a committee to examine the state of the Jews and what could be done, M’Cheyne was appointed as one of its members. In the spring of 1839, it was proposed in Edinburgh that he should accompany a party of ministers who were to visit Palestine to make personal inquiries into the state of Israel. The voyage and climate it was thought would also prove beneficial to him, as he had struggled with his health.
Robert’s life ended in 1843 when he was 29 years old, yet his life example, his sermons, and books are a source of encouragement and inspiration to many believers until this very day.
In his book, Robert’s Life Song, his life story is told based on historical facts. All people mentioned in this book actually lived, except those who are only mentioned by their first name. Because Robert’s life is told from his fourth year, the first part of the book is simpler in style than the second part, in which his life as a minister is described.
The quoted poems or parts of them are taken from Andrew Bonar’s book Memoirs & Remains of Robert Murray McCheyne.
Author: M. H. Karles-Meeuse