Robert Murray M'Cheyne           The Hall of Church History: Featured

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Robert Murray M'Cheyne

These pages created & maintained by David Haslam.
My thanks to Phil Johnson for permission to use the M'Cheyne graphic from The Hall of Church History.

This page last updated 2004-08-30.

Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813 - 1843) was the minister of St Peter's Church Dundee (1836 - 1843).  He was a godly evangelical pastor and evangelist with a great love for souls.

These pages are devoted to providing information and links to archive material by or about M'Cheyne, one of my heros of the faith from the last century.  I would be pleased to receive email notification of any further material by or about M'Cheyne that comes to light.
If you have any questions about M'Cheyne or his works, please check the M'Cheyne FAQ before emailing me.
That's where you can find his famous Bible Reading Calendar (the most frequently asked question to date).

His life and times

"The Memoir & Remains of Rev R. M. M'Cheyne" by Andrew A. Bonar is published by Banner of Truth, Edinburgh. I have an early edition of the same title published by Oliphant in MDCCCLVIII. This I obtained for the price of one old English shilling, from a second-hand bookshop in Cambridge way back in 1967. It has been a delight to return to read from it from time to time over the years.

Opposite the title page there is a portrait of M'Cheyne, signed with the caption "Ever yours till glory - R. M. M'Cheyne".

Portrait - click here to view graphics (size = 75kB)

The book includes an account of M'Cheyne's journey to Palestine, as part of a Mission of Inquiry into the state of the Jews undertaken on behalf of the Church of Scotland. If you can get hold of the book, you will find that M'Cheyne had warm sympathy towards and desire for the salvation of both Arabs and Jews, and it was a great heart-ache to him that he was not learned in Arabic, so that he could preach to the Arabs as well as to the sympathetic Jewish hearers that he encountered during his travels. Would that all God's people feel the same!

While he was on his journey back through Asia Minor, he became desperately sick and close to death, but God preserved him and brought hom home safely to his beloved parish. It was at this time, while he was laid low with a fever, and out of touch with home, that God was pleased to visit Dundee and other parts of Scotland with real signs of awakening and true revival with many genuine conversions. This part of the book makes particularly heart-warming reading.

M'Cheyne also wrote poetry—he was considerably gifted in this respect. Here is the first verse out of a nine verse poem entitled "I am a debtor"....

        When this passing world is done,
        When has sunk yon glaring sun,
        When I stand with Christ in glory,
        Looking o'er life's finished story,
        Then, Lord, shall I fully know——
        Not till then——how much I owe.

The whole of this poem can be viewed on my web-site; it is one of his fourteen Songs of Zion.  

M'Cheyne died just before reaching the age of 30. He was one of Scotland's shining lights as regards the preaching of the Gospel of Christ.

Like Abel, he being dead yet speaketh (Hebrews 11:4).   Like Samuel, God did let none of his words fall to the ground (1 Sam. 3:19).
M'Cheyne himself expressed this desire in prayer, in the words of the poem he wrote in 1834, after reading Richard Baxter's Call to the Unconverted.

new!.png (299 bytes)A sketch portrait of Robert M'Cheyne used to be displayed in the vestry at the McCheyne Memorial Church in Dundee, now closed.

Primary sources

All the original manuscripts of M'Cheyne's sermons and other articles are kept at the library of New College in Edinburgh.

Founded in 1843 as the Library of the Free Church College, New College Library serves as the Faculty of Divinity Library. It is one of the largest theology libraries in the UK, and its 242,500 printed and microform items and 70,300 manuscripts support the teaching and research of the Faculty and other members of the University.

Academic research theses

There have been two research theses written on M'Cheyne.

Virginia Robinson Cheney wrote this in 1954, as her Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.) thesis for the Biblical Seminary in New York

Historical note

In November 1842, R. M. M'Cheyne was preaching at a communion in the Scot's Church, Regent Square, London and met up with a group of men from English non-conformist churches. They set up the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews. The first minute records the presence of M'Cheyne, that he opened the meeting in prayer and that one of the aims of the society was to work in fellowship with the Jewish mission of the Church of Scotland. As far as we know there is no reference to this meeting in any extant published correspondence of M'Cheyne, certainly not in the Memoir and Remains, which mention only his assisting Mr Hamilton at the Regent Square communion. The above Ph.D thesis on M'Cheyne contains no reference to the meeting or the society. I have not yet researched the M'Cheyne papers in New College, Edinburgh. As he died the following March, we shall never know if he intended to maintain his link with the BJS.

Source: E-mail received 1998-06-29 from John Ross of Christian Witness to Israelpersonal correspondence copied with minor alterations.
Footnote:  For an up-to-date report of how the Gospel is reaching Jews in modern Israel, please visit The Grace and Truth Bulletin.

A quote by M'Cheyne is included in a compilation entitled "What The Great Christian Thinkers Thought About The Jewish People".
There are quotes from C. H. Spurgeon, John Owen, Cotton Matter, John Pinkney, John Calvin, Walter Tait, R. M. M'Cheyne, John Murray, John "Rabbi" Duncan, Increase Mather, Richard Cameron, Thomas Goodwin, Jonathan Edwards, John Braidwood, Charles Hodge, Matthew Henry, Charles Simeon, Elnathan Parr, Samuel Rutherford, Thomas Boston and James Robe. It appears on the web-site of the Messianic Hebrew-Christian Fellowship in Central Pennsylvania. 

Sermons etc. on-line

Visit this page to see the index of M'Cheyne sermons, poems, lectures & essay which I have posted on this web-site.

Visit this page to see my comprehensive annotated cross reference to where M'Cheyne material can be found elsewhere on the World Wide Web.

Click here to view annotated index of articles by or about Robert Murray M'Cheyne. This covers sermons and biographical articles which appeared in The Banner of Truth magazine, as well as online biographical articles found on other web-sites.

Click here to view annotated index of books by or about Robert Murray M'Cheyne, including a comprehensive section on 'Out of Print' titles.

This page lists a few details about M'Cheyne's family background.

This page lists several of M'Cheyne's friends in the ministry of the Church of Scotland.

Visit this page to discover where M'Cheyne materials have been translated into various modern languages, either in print or online.

In this page I have begun to collect some of the more famous quotes from the writings of M'Cheyne.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Robert Murray M'Cheyne - now on a separate web-page since 1999-10-14.
Discover details about M'Cheyne's Bible Reading Calendar, which can now be downloaded [free of charge] from this site.

Recorded talks about M'Cheyne

"The significance of Robert Murray M'Cheyne" by Richard Chester. Reference: 78CFC12. This was an address given at the 1978 Carey Family Conference. The content is very good, though the recording quality was poor in this instance.

"Robert Murray M'Cheyne" by Rev Geoffrey Thomas (Aberystwyth). Reference: 97CMC01. I heard this address when it was given at the Carey Ministers' Conference in January 1997. Highly recommended.

These two recordings are available from Carey Conference Cassettes, Caring For Life Limited, Crag House Farm, Smithy Lane, Cookridge, Leeds, LS16 7NH. Tel. +44 (0)113) 261 2131. Fax. +44 (0)113 230 0415.

"The Life of Robert Murray M'Cheyne" by the late Rev Innes MacRae.  This address was given at a meeting of  The Scottish Reformation Society (Inverness Branch) held on Monday 26th October, 1998. Highly recommendedThe speaker was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland in Tain - his funeral took place in Dingwall during March 2000.   This cassette (reference SRS 111) is available from The Scottish Reformation Society, The Magdalen Chapel, 41 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JR

"The Life of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843)" by Pastor David Martin (Kirriemuir Free Baptist Church).  This address was given at a meeting of The Scottish Reformation Society (Aberdeen Branch) held on Friday 27th April, 2001. This cassette (reference 00/01-05) may be ordered from the branch chairman: Mr A. Horne, Bromstone, Auquorthies Road, Stonehaven, AB39 3QB.   Cost is �1.50 (incl. p&p). Details of branch meetings may be found on the website of the Aberdeen Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

"Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843)" by David F. Haslam.  This lecture was given at the meeting of the Summer School at St Mary's Church, Cheadle, Cheshire, UK held on Wednesday 13th August, 2003.  An audio recording was made, copies of which may be obtained by writing to St Mary's Tape Library. For contact details, please visit the web-site for Cheadle Parish Church.  The full paper in PDF format can be downloaded here from my own web-site.

new!.png (299 bytes)Sermons about McCheyne at 
At the time of looking, there were four sermons based on Robert Murray McCheyne at the web-site.
Two of the preachers are Reformed Baptist and two are Free Presbyterian.

If the above search link doesn't work for you, enter McCheyne in the search field on the SermonAudio home page.

St Peter's Church today

Today over a century and a half after M'Cheyne's earthly life, the church where he so often preached is once again a centre for Gospel witness to the city of Dundee. It is now St Peter's Free Church of Scotland with its own website since June 2001, which includes a brief biographical article about Robert Murray McCheyne.   The minister is David A Robertson.  His article "A book that changed me", which appeared in Evangelical Times in June1995, describes how his life was changed by reading The Annals of the Disruption.

The Free Church of Scotland has its own web-site which includes many fine articles, including M'Cheyne's expositions on the Seven Churches in Asia.

Anyone wishing to visit Dundee as a tourist may like to go first to the web-site for Angus and Dundee tourist information.

Before you leave, please sign my guestbook.

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