2 Corinthians 5:20

We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: We implore you on Christ's behalf,
Be Reconciled To God

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Inch to Preach

"But an inch of time remains, and then eternal ages roll on for ever -- but an inch on which we can stand and preach the way of salvation to a perishing world."

- Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813-1843), a minister in the Church of Scotland, who died two months before the Disruption at the age of 29 due to typhus fever. Upon the occasion of the right of the church to govern itself coming before the House of Commons, M'Cheyne wrote in his diary, "Eventful night this in the British Parliament! Once more King Jesus stands at an earthly tribunal, and they know Him not!"


  1. When/where did he say this? That is an 'inch' that must be held onto dearly, too...

  2. Pastor McCurley got this quote for me. He said that he found it in "Hints for Ministers" in The Free Church Magazine, vol. 2, 1845, p. 82. Though it doesn't quote the original source he believes it is from M'Cheyne's 'Memoirs and Remains' published by Andrew Bonar in 1844. He hopes this is helpful to you and sends his warm greetings.

  3. I am not sure I understand you. What do you mean by, "That is an 'inch' that must be held onto dearly, too..."?

  4. Oh, I wondered if that might be confusing... :-/ I guess I was thinking about how the world doesn't even want to give ministers an inch to preach on, let alone more-- they would really like to take that inch away, but the preacher has to keep his foot firmly on that inch so he can keep preaching the way of salvation! For instance, when people question you and try to push you around verbally about whether you should be preaching in the streets or not, you don't let them sway you from your purpose, which is to preach. You don't give up your inch. Do you understand now? :o)

  5. Yes, now I understand what you mean :o) It is refreshing to hear your thoughts; they are very perceptive. I was thinking too, how we must see our lives in light of eternity, and determine our priorities based upon that, though many people around us will not understand us. Perhaps the greatest temptation to slowly giving ground on our inch, I think, from what I have seen, is the cares of this life. The preacher is constantly being pressured from people on all sides to wait on tables, and yet "It is not reasonable that we should leave the Word of God, and serve tables... But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:2,4) It is only then that the Word of God will increase (Acts 6:7). It is encouraging that you see and understand these things, Annie. You have an inch too, you know :o) How do you keep your inch?

  6. Hmmm... how do I keep my inch? I think it's like you said; that the cares of this life desensitize us... Prayer, meditation in God's word, and being zealous to honor Him are the things that keep us ready and able to speak or act when needed. I agree with you that every Christian has an 'inch' with which to testify of all the truth in God's word-- whether a mother to her children, speaking with the neighbors, our silence, at times, or just daily godly conduct.

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