Robert Murray M'Cheyne's Bible Readings - Introduction - Optus Version.
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M'Cheyne's Bible Readings
Read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year.
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DAILY BREAD
BEING A CALENDAR FOR READING THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD IN A YEAR.

"Thy word is very pure; therefore Thy servant loveth it."


Sugestions and advice from Robert Murray M'Cheyne:-

My Dear Flock, - The approach of another year stirs up within me new desires for your salvation, and for the growth of those of you who are saved. “ God is my record how greatly I long after you all in the love of Jesus Christ.” What the coming year is to bring forth who can tell ? There is plainly a weight lying on the spirits of all good men, and a looking for some strange work of judgment coming upon this land. There is need now to ask that solemn question: “ If in the land of peace wherein thou trust, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan ?”

Those believers will stand firmest who have no dependence upon self or upon creatures, but upon Jehovah our Righteousness. We must be driven more to our Bibles, and to the mercy-seat, if we are to stand in the evil day. Then we shall be able to say, like David—“ The proud have had me greatly in derision, yet have I not declined from Thy law.” “ Princes have persecuted me without a cause, but my heart standeth in awe of Thy word.”

It has long been in my mind to prepare a scheme of Scripture reading, in which as many as were made willing by God might agree, so that the whole Bible might be read once by you in the year, and all might be feeding in the same portion of the green pasture at the same time.

I am quite aware that such a plan is accompanied with many

DANGERS.

(1.) Formality. - We are such weak creatures that any regularly returning duty is apt to degenerate into a lifeless form. The tendency of reading the Word by a fixed rule may, in some minds, be to create this skeleton religion. This is to be the peculiar sin of the last days—“ Having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” Guard against this. Let the calendar perish rather than this rust eat up your souls.

(2.) Self-righteousness. - Some, when they have devoted their set time to reading the Word, and accomplished their prescribed portion, may be tempted to look at themselves with self-complacency. Many, I am persuaded, are living without any Divine work on their soul—unpardoned and unsanctified, and ready to perish—who spend their appointed times in secret and family devotion. This is going to hell with a lie in the right hand.

(3.) Careless reading. - Few tremble at the Word of God. Few, in reading it, hear the voice of Jehovah, which is lull of majesty. Some, by having so large a p'ortion, may be tempted to weary of it, as Israel did of the daily manna, saying “Our soul loatheth this light bread;” and to read it in a slight and careless maimer. This would be fearfully provoking to God. Take heed lest that word be true of you—“Ye said, also, Behold what a weariness is it ! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of Hosts.”

(4.) A yoke too heavy to hear. Some may engage in reading with alacrity for a time, and afterwards feel it a burden, grievous to be borne. They may find conscience dragging them through the appointed task without any relish of the heavenly food. If this be the case with any, throw aside the fetter, and feed at liberty in the sweet garden of God. My desire is not to cast a snare upon you, but to be a helper of your joy.

If there be so many dangers, why propose such a scheme at all? To this I answer, that the best things are accompanied with danger, as the fairest flowers are often gathered in the clefts of some dangerous precipice. Let us weigh

THE ADVANTAGES.

(1.) The whole Bible will he read through in an orderly manner in the course of a year. - The Old Testament once, the New Testament and Psalms twice. I fear many of you never read the whole Bible ; and yet it is all equally Divine, “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect.” If we pass over some parts of Scripture, we shall be incomplete Christians.

(2.) Time will not he wasted in choosing what portions to read. - Often believers are at a loss to determine towards which part of the mountains of spices they should bend their steps. Here the question will be solved at once in a very simple manner.

(3.) Parents will have a regular subject upon which to examine their children and servants. - It is much to be desired that family worship were made more instructive than it generally is. The mere reading of the chapter is often too like water spilt on the ground. Let it be read by every member of the family before-hand, and then the meaning and application drawn out by simple question and answer. The calendar will be helpful in this. Friends, also, when they meet, will have a Bubject for profitable conversation in the portions read that day. The meaning of difficult passages may be inquired from the more judicious and ripe Christians, and the fragrance of simpler Scriptures spread abroad.

(4.) The pastor will know in what part of the pasture the flock are feeding. - He will thus be enabled to speak more suitably to them on the Sabbath ; and both pastor and elders will be able to drop a word of light and comfort in visiting from house to house, which will be more readily responded to.

(5.) The sweet bond of Christian love and unity will be strengthened, We shall be often led to think of those dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, here and elsewhere, who agree to join with us in reading these portions. We shall oftener be led to agree on earth, touching something we shall ask of God. We shall pray over the sanjc promises, mourn over the same confessions, praise God in the same songs, and be nourished by the same words of eternal life.

CALENDAR DIRECTIONS.

1. The head of the family should previously read over the chapter for family worship, and mark two or three of the most prominent verses, upon which he may dwell, asking a few simple questions.

2. Frequently the chapter named in the calendar for family reading might be read more suitably in secret ; in which case the head of the family should intimate that it be read in private, and the chapter for secret reading may be used in the family.

3. The metrical version of the Psalms should be read or sung through at least once in the year. It is truly an admirable translation from the Hebrew, and is frequently more correct than the prose version. If three verses be sung at each diet of family worship, the whole Psalms will be sung through in the year.

4. Let the conversation at family meals often turn upon the chapter read and the psalm sung. Thus every meal will be a Sacrament, being sanctified by the Word and prayer.

5. Let our secret reading prevent the dawning of the day. Let God’s voice be the first we hear in the morning. Mark two or three of the richest verses, and pray over every line and word of them. Let the marks be neatly done, never as to abuse a copy of the Bible.

6. In meeting believers on the street or elsewhere, when an easy opportunity offers, recur to the chapters read that morning. This will be a blessed exchange for those idle words which waste the soul and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. In writing letters to those at a distance, make use of the provision that day gathered .

7. Above all, use the word as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path—your guide in perplexity—your armour in temptation—your food in times ol faintness. Hear the constant cry of the great Intercessor,

"SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THY TRUTH : THY WORD IS TRUTH."

Reference: "Memoirs and Remains of R.M. M'Cheyne" by Andrew Bonar, pages 618 to 622.



Brief Biography of Robert Murray M'Cheyne (from Wikipedia):

He was born at 14 Dublin Street in Edinburgh on 21 May 1813, the son of Adam McCheyne (d.1854).

He 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 1836. After this he served as minister of St. Peter's Church (in Dundee) 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[4] 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.
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 7 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), p. 147).

M'Cheyne designed a widely used system for reading through the Bible in one year. The plan entails reading the New Testament and the Psalms through twice a year, and the Old Testament through once. This program was included (in a slightly modified form) in For the Love of God by D. A. Carson (ISBN 0-85111589-6) and is recommended by several Bible publishers, such as the English Standard Version and the New English Translation.

He died of typhus in Dundee following a short illness on 25 March 1843. His parents agreed to the wish of his congregation that McCheyne be buried in the graveyard beside St Peter's Church in Dundee, rather than in the family's own burial-ground in Edinburgh. He was buried on Thursday 30 March, with an estimated 7000 people attending the funeral. *****************************************************************************************************************

Some Hymns by Robert Murray M'Cheyne.

"JEHOVAH TSIDKENU"

1. I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

2. I oft read with pleasure, to sooth or engage,
Isaiah´s wild measure and John´s simple page;
But e´en when they pictured the blood sprinkled tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

3.Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu"”´twas nothing to me.

4.When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I see"
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Saviour must be.

5.My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life giving and free"
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

6. Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne´er can be lost;
In thee I shall conquer by flood and by field,
My cable, my anchor, my breast-plate and shield!

7.Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This "watchword" shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life´s fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu, my death song shall be.
"I Am a Debtor"

1. When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we 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.

2. When I hear the wicked call
On the rocks and hills to fall,
When I see them start and shrink
On the fiery deluge brink, –
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

3. 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.

4. When the praise of heav’n I hear,
Loud as thunder to the ear,
Loud as many water’s noise,
Sweet as harp’s melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know –
Not till then – how much I owe.

5. Even on earth, as through a glass
Darkly, let Thy glory pass,
Make forgiveness feel so sweet,
Make Thy Spirit’s help so meet,
Even on earth, Lord, make me know
Something of how much I owe.

6. Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Saviour’s side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

7. Oft I walk beneath the cloud,
Dark, as midnight’s gloomy shroud;
But, when fear is at the height,
Jesus comes, and all is light;
Blessed Jesus! bid me show
Doubting saints how much I owe.

8. When in flowery paths I tread,
Oft by sin I’m captive led;
Oft I fall – but still arise –
The Spirit comes – the tempter flies;
Blessed Spirit! bid me show
Weary sinners all I owe.

9. Oft the nights of sorrow reign –
Weeping, sickness, sighing, pain;
But a night Thine anger burns –
Morning comes and joy returns;
God of comforts! bid me show
To Thy poor, how much I owe.




"As the deer pants after the water brook."
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