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Robert Murray McCheyne: Scottish Preacher

Robert McCheyneRobert Murray McCheyne (mak-shên): Church of Scotland; born at Edinburgh May 21, 1813; death at Dundee March 25, 1843. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, where he distinguished himself by his poetical talent, being awarded a prize by Professor John Wilson ("Christopher North") for a poem on The Covenanters. In 1831 he took up the study of theology at the Divinity Hall of the university under Thomas Chalmers and David Welsh, and on November 7, 1835, he began his ministerial labors at Larbert, near Falkirk, as assistant to John Bonar. On November 24, 1836, he was ordained to the pastorate of St. Peter's Church, Dundee, which he held till his death.

In 1839 he was a member of the committee sent to Palestine by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to collect information respecting the Jews. On his return he entered upon a successful evangelistic campaign, first at Dundee, then at other places in Scotland and northern England. In the controversy that finally led to the disruption of the Scottish Church he took very decided ground on the non-intrusion side. McCheyne was a fine example of the true Gospel preacher. Long after his death he was constantly referred to as " the saintly McCheyne." His principal works are, Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews...in 1889 (in collaboration with A. A. Bonar; Edinburgh, 1842); Expositions of the Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia (Dundee, 1843); The Eternal Inheritance ... two Discourses (1843); Memoirs and Remains (ed . A. A. Bonar, Edinburgh, 1843, and often; new ed., 1897); and Additional Remains, Sermons, and Lectures (1844). The Remains, which have done much to perpetuate McCheyne's memory, consist of sermons, fugitive pieces, and hymns, including the popular "When this passing world is done."

Bibliography: The principal work is the Memoir and Remains by A. A. Bonar, ut sup., abridged ed., Edinburgh, 1865. Consult further the short Life by J. L. Watson, London, 1881; DNB, xxxv. 3.

From The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge... New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1910.

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