This series is for those who are seeking Jesus and for those desiring to lead people to Him. It is created from a group of six letters written by Robert Murray M’Cheyne to a lady within his congregation that was troubled about her soul as he carefully points her to Christ. These letters are contained in The Memoirs and Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar, and they are useful to believers today in teaching us how to care for souls and guide them to Christ.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813 - 1843) was the minister at St Peter's Church in Dundee, Scotland, from 1836 to 1843. As a pastor and evangelist, he had a great love for souls, which is very evident in the letters that he wrote to individuals in his care. He faithfully served as a godly pastor until his death, dying from typhus at the age of 29. His love for Christ is the legacy that he left behind, and that still continues to encourage believers today.
In this last letter to a woman who sought after Christ, M'Cheyne presses deeper into the gospel and offers one last plea to a soul in need of Christ. Reader, I pray that you feel the heart of a caring shepherd desiring to lead a soul to Christ and see yourself as that one in need of Him. Today is the day of salvation and Christ is presented as your Savior. Look to Him and trust that it is finished. Lean on Him as your only Hope. Cast your guilt and shame upon the shoulders who are able to carry it for you and cleanse you as white as snow.
Safety in Christ
I have heard of you from ________, and have been praying for you, that your eye may rest on Jesus, and that your soul may lie in perfect peace under His blood shed for the sins of many. I have been thanking my Father, too, for dealing so bountifully with you.
"He is the Father of mercies, and the God of all comforts." I will give you a sweet verse to meditate upon: "Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon the Beloved?" (Song of Sol. 8:5). Do you think this is your position? Truly this world is a wilderness if you have seen it rightly. It is a place of guilt and shame. Every natural heart is a wilderness—a dead place without a drop of living water; and then all natural hearts put together make up a wilderness world. The whole world lies in wickedness. There are few that know and love Jesus, and these few are panting to get more of the living water. But if you have truly fled to Jesus, you are coming up from the wilderness. Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. "The night is far spent, the day is at hand." Have you found Jesus truly? Do you feel willing to be all vile, all hell-deserving in yourself, and to let God's dear Son be all your shield and righteousness? Oh, make sure of this.
Never mind what man thinks of you. I would not give a straw for the opinions of men, as to whether I was safe or no. It is not what man thinks of us that will cover us on the judgment day. Oh no! You must be in Jesus, sitting at His feet, allowing Him to wash your stains away, allowing Him to enwrap your guilty soul in divine righteousness.
If you were lying at the bottom of the sea, no eye could see your deformities; so when the infinite ocean of Immanuel's righteousness flows over the soul, you are swallowed up as it were in Christ. Your blackness is never seen, only His fairness; and thus a God of truth can say, "Behold thou art fair; behold thou art fair, My love. Thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee" (Song of Sol. 4:1-7). Keep this always in memory; and when guilt comes on the conscience, as it will, lie down again beneath the righteousness of Jesus. Never lose sigh of this. Jesus must be seen by the Father instead of our guilty soul. It is no change in our black soul that is to be our covering. You must leave self, and stand in your Elder Brother. Hide behind Him. Let the Father's eye fall on Him, not on you. This is what Jesus wants. He died to be a shelter for such as you. This is what the Father wants; for He is not willing that any should perish. If you are seen by the Father a naked, guilty sinner, you must die; there is no help for it. But if Jesus appear for you—if you hide in His wounds like the dove in the clefts of the rock, and under His snowy raiment—then the Father Himself loves you, and now you are coming up from the wilderness. Every hour that strikes, that is an hour less between you and glory. Oh, do not grieve to part with the world if you are in Christ! An hour with Christ will make up for all your grief and pain. Half an hour in the presence of our God will make us forget a lifetime of agony. "Leaning on her beloved!" Is this the position of your soul? Do you feel empty, weak, and helpless? and do you see Him mighty to save, able to save to the uttermost?
"His legs are like pillars of marble." This is Christ's glory, that He justifies sinners who have no righteousness, and sanctifies souls that have no inborn holiness. Let Jesus bear your whole weight.
Remember, He loves to be the only support of the soul. He is a jealous Saviour. He wants to be entirely trusted. There is nothing that you can possibly need but you will find it in Him. "All my springs are in Thee." Do you want righteousness? He has the spirit of a weaned child to give you (Psalm 131). Do you want love? He is the fountain of love: all the promises of God in Him are yea and in Him amen. I am sure, if you get a glimpse of Him you would lay your head in His breast and die there. May the Spirit anoint your eyes to see Him more and more, and soften your heart to lean on Him. Those that have leaned on Him through the wilderness shall sit with Him on the throne (Rev. 3:21). Farewell, dear soul! the Lord feed you sweetly, as He feeds the flowers, by silent drops of dew.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne