Tweeting Before There Was Twitter

There is nothing new under the sun, including the latest craze over Twitter.  You may be surprised to know that people were tweeting before there was Twitter.  Of course they didn’t call it tweeting, it was called journaling.  I have been reminded of this lately in my reading of Andrew Bonar’s The Life of Robert Murray M’Cheyne.

Be challenged and blessed by the following journal entries of M’Cheyne:

June 27, 1832-“Life of David Brainerd.  Most wonderful man!  What conflicts, what depressions, desertions, strength, advancement, victories, within they torn bosom!  I cannot express what I think when I think of thee.  To-night, more set upon missionary enterprise than ever.”

July 19, 1836-“Died, this day, W. M’Cheyne, my cousin-german, Relief minister, Kelso.  O how I repent of our vain controversies on Establishments when we last met, and that we spoke so little of Jesus!  O that we had spoken more one to another!  Lord, teach me to be always speaking as dying to dying.”

April 9, 1837-“Evening.-A very pleasant quietness.  Study of the Epistle to the Hebrews.  Came to a more intelligent view of the first six chapters than ever before.  Much refreshed by John Newton; instructed by Edwards.  Help and freedom in prayer.  Lord, what a happy season is a Sabbath evening!  What will Heaven be!”

April 16, 1837-“Sabbath Evening.-Much prayer and peace.  Reading the Bible only.”

June 2, 1837-“Much peace and rest to-night.  Much broken under a sense of my exceeding wickedness, which no eye can see but thine.  Much persuasion of the sufficiency of Christ, and of the constancy of his love.  O how sweet to work all day for God, and then to lie down at night under his smiles.”

Sept. 28, 1837-“Devoted chief part of Friday to fasting.  Humbled and refreshed.”

What a rich blessing it is to have these journal entries from a man who sought so hard after God.  May the Lord help us to commit to the discipline of journaling and thereby encourage another generation of Christian pilgrims.

McCheyne on Planning Prayer

Robert Murray McCheyne on planning prayer:

I ought to spend the best hours of the day in communion with God. It is my noblest and most fruitful employment, and is not to be thrust into any corner. The morning hours, from six to eight, are the most uninterrupted, and should be thus employed, if I can prevent drowsiness… I ought not to give up the good old habit of prayer before going to bed; but guard must be kept against sleep; planning what things I am to ask is the best remedy. When I awake in the night, I ought to rise and pray [Andrew Bonar, Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1997), 183].

Robert Murray McCheyne on Intercession

Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) on intercession:

I ought daily to intercede briefly for the whole town, the Church of Scotland, all faithful ministers; for vacant congregations, students of divinity, and etc.; for dear brethren by name; missionaries to Jews and Gentiles; and for this end I must read missionary intelligence regularly, and get acquainted with all that is doing through out the world. It would stir me up to pray with the map before me. I must have a scheme of prayer, also the names of missionaries marked on the map. I ought to intercede at large for the above on Saturday morning and evening from seven to eight. Perhaps also I might take different parts for different days; only I ought daily to plead for my family and flock. I ought to pray in everything. “Be careful for nothing, but in everything…by prayer and supplication, make your requests known unto God”… In reading the history of the Church of Scotland, I see how much her troubles and trials have been connected with the salvation of souls and the glory of Christ. I ought to pray far more for our Church, for our leading ministers by name, and for my own clear guidance in the right way, that I may not be led aside, or driven aside, from following Christ [Andrew Bonar, Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1997), 182-83].