The Poetry of Robert Murray M’Cheyne

While the incomparable Scottish Pastor is known for many things one thing many do not know is how gifted he was as a poet.

Here is an example of his work:


Dark was the night, the wind was high,
The way by mortals never trod;
For God had made the channel dry,
When faithful Moses stretched the rod.

The raging waves on either hand
Stood like a massy tott’ring wall,
And on the heaven-defended band
Refused to let the waters fall.

With anxious footsteps, Israel trod
The depths of that mysterious way;
Cheered by the pillar of their God,
That shone for them with fav’ring ray.

But when they reached the opposing shore,
As morning streaked the eastern sky,
They saw the billows hurry o’er
The flower of Pharaoh’s chivalry.

Then awful gladness filled the mind
Of Israel’s mighty ransomed throng;
And while they gazed on all behind,
Their wonder burst into a song.

Thus, Thy redeemed ones, Lord, on earth,
While passing through this vale of weeping,
Mix holy trembling with their mirth,
And anxious watching with their sleeping.

The night is dark, the storm is loud,
The path no human strength can tread;
Jesus, be Thou the pillar-cloud,
Heaven’s light upon our path to shed.

And oh! when, life’s dark journey o’er,
And death’s enshrouding valley past,
We plant our foot on yonder shore,
And tread yon golden strand at last.

Shall we not see with deep amaze,
How grace hath led us safe along;
And whilst behind – before, we gaze,
Triumphant burst into a song!

And even on earth, though sore bested,
Fightings without, and fears within;
Sprinkled to-day from slavish dread,
To-morrow captive led by sin.

Yet would I lift my downcast eyes,
On Thee, Thou brilliant tower of fire –
Thou dark cloud to mine enemies –
That Hope may all my breast inspire.

And thus the Lord, my strength, I’ll praise,
Though Satan and his legions rage;
And the sweet song of faith I’ll raise,
To cheer me on my pilgrimage.

Wilhemus A’ Brakel on Justice & Mercy

“There is no contradiction between God’s mercy and His justice, for both have different objects. The sinner, due to his sin, is the object of God’s justice; believers, for whom Christ has satisfied God’s justice, are the objects of God’s mercy.” — A Christian’s Reasonable Service Wilhelmus A’ Brakel Vol. 1, pg. 416

Commentary Recommendation

I have been a big fan of the Tyndale New Testament commentaries for a while now. For this reason when I saw the Matthew volume for 50% off at PTS’s Cokesbury store I leaped at the opportunity to purchase it. I have not been disappointed. R.T. France does an excellent job in my estimation in developing a quality commentary on the tax collector’s gospel. It is very readable and engaging as well as evangelical and reformed. France deals decisively with progressive commentators who attempt to denigrate Matthew particularly and deftly deflects their attempts to cut his work into exegetical pieces all the while being respectful and careful. France also gives an excellent account of the Beatitudes and how they are properly to be understood and shows how they have been misused and misunderstood as ethical imperatives in our age. Now I am only on page 201 of 416 so I have not come upon the controversial passages in Matthew 24 & 25. Once I have I hope to give you a sense of how France deals with it. Also for those who are curious about the author’s take on Matthew 5:17 France gives the “normal” reformed response to the liberal, dispensational, and/or Marcionite attacks on Jesus and the Old Testament Law. One last thing before I give you the author’s biography. I think the author belies a “general equitist” understanding of the Old Testament Case Law.

About the Author – R.T. France

He was born 2 April 1938, educated at Bradford Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford (MA). He earned his BD at the University of London and his PhD at the University of Bristol. He served as a curate in Cambridge and then[1]: