In the previous post I asserted that being loved as a pastor can be as dangerous as being hated. I was, frankly, just shooting my mouth off without much thoughtful consideration of that statement. However, I was pleased to run across the following quote from Andrew Bonar’s biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (Banner, 1997). Bonar recorded the following June 22, 1836 entry from M’Cheyne’s diary. M’Cheyne had preached his last sermon at Carron-shore, one of his itinerate stops, and reflected afterwards (p54):
“Carron-shore. My last. Some tears; yet I fear some like the messenger, not the message; and I fear I am so vain as to love that love. Lord, let it not be so. Perish my honour, and let Thine be exalted forever.”
I am so vain to love that love. Could it be said any better? M’Cheyne July 8th entry was no less restrained:
“I see a man cannot be a faithful minister, until he preaches Christ for Christ’s sake–until he gives up striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only to attract them to Christ.” (p55)
God help me. I wonder if I’ve ever preached a real sermon before.