Book Review: Robert Murray M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar

coverAndrew Bonar, Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Carlisle: PA, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1844/2012), 192 pp.

Reviewed by Nathan Pratt (Windsor, ON)

Robert Murray M’Cheyne went into the sweet embrace of his Saviour at age 29. His was a short life, but a life of service “worthy of the Lord,” and “fully pleasing to him” (Col 1:10). This little book is the account of a man sold out and poured out for God.

Bonar writes with a freshness and familiarity that you don’t find in many biographies. It never feels archaic or dusty. That’s probably due to Bonar’s close association with M’Cheyne and the fact that this work was published only a year after M’Cheyne’s death.

We’re graciously allowed a glimpse into the letters and correspondence between M’Cheyne and his friends and family. The letters, as well as journal entries, make up the majority of the book. These journal entries are brutally honest. They reveal M’Cheyne’s deep sensitivity to sin and his desire to have a consecrated life. A common theme throughout his journal can be summed up in these oft penned words: “Am I redeeming the time?”From M’Cheyne’s humble home visits to the sick and dying in his locality of Dundee to a conviction-filled trek to Israel, I heartily encourage you to heed the call of Andrew Bonar who beckons you to join a young man who sought to “work all day for God, and then to lie down at night under his smiles.”