Over at the Founder’s Blog, Tom Ascol has a piece on R.M. McCheyne on church discipline.

If you haven’t read about R.M. McCheyne, check out the post above, and some of his works here. I really enjoy his poetry and appreciate his views (as much as I am aquainted with them), as I have quoted them before.

My introduction to him came through an Uncle who heard some of his poetry quoted in church. This Uncle was so impressed with the beauty and spiritual forcefulness of the piece, that he returned home that day and memorized it. (I imagine that is an answer to any pastor’s prayers!) As I’m sure you see where this is going, my Uncle shared the poem with me. Just one stanza remained in my mind as a seed to later flower.

In college I recalled the poetry and the poet. A quick google search and I discovered a treasure trove in the McCheyne site. In reading each poem, I found the meter to be just right and began singing them instead. As you’ll notice most of them are McCheyne’s restating of scripture in rhyme. They have been to me, over the past few years, songs of praise to God, for which I am grateful.

Besides his works being a catalyst of my praising God, this recent post at Founders sparked a new insight. Namely what a tremendous encouragement his life is to young men in the church.

This may not seem obvious at first, but allow some details to pave the way for the point:

McCheyne was:

  • born in 1813 and died in 1843. That means he was taken home at 29.
  • given charge of St. Peter’s Church Dundee in 1836, at age 23.
  • used by God in his writing and preaching that we are talking about him today.

McCheyne’s life being mentioned at Founders encourages and reminds me that God will use young and old alike in His time and in His way.

May we see in this brief life of McCheyne’s an example of one who followed the call of his God. We are not left alone with this example but are encouraged, as perhaps he was, with the words of Paul to Timothy:

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”