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This letter was written to his distant congregation on February 6, 1839. He first notes that in all difficulties, God at the same time and place provides some consolation, some good:

Even in the wildest storms the sky is not all dark; and so in the darkest dealings of God with his children, there are always some bright tokens for good. His way with us of late has been “in the sea, and his path in the deep waters.”

Robert Murray McCheyne and Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 184–185. He then recounts three blessings which remain in the midst of his absence.

First, they are not left without any care. There are other men, prepared and able who are present to care for the congregation.

Second, he is still able to pray for them. He then makes an interesting observation: that his being left to “only” pray for them may have been given for his good (perhaps more than the congregation):

Still He allows me to give myself unto prayer. Perhaps this may be the chief reason of my exile from you, to teach me what Zechariah was taught in the vision of the golden candlestick and the two olive-trees, Zech. 4:6, that it is not by might, nor by power, but by his Spirit, obtained in believing, wrestling prayer, that the temple of God is to be built in our parishes. I have hanged my harp upon the willow, and am no more allowed “to open to you dark sayings upon the harp,” nor “to speak of the things which I have made touching the King,” who is “fairer than the children of men.” Still my soul does not dwell in silence. I am permitted to go in secret to God my exceeding joy; and, while meditating his praise, I can make mention of you all in my prayers, and give thanks for the little flock, who, “by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality.” 

 Robert Murray McCheyne and Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 185–186.

Finally, he is able to write to them.

He ends with four exhortations:

  1. Abide in Him, little children, whom I have always preached to you, that when He shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming….
  2. Enjoy the forgiveness of sins — keep yourselves in the love of God…..
  3. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. …Oh take heed, do not give the enemy cause to blaspheme; naming the name of Christ, dear form all iniquity.
  4. Continue in prayer….. [223]

He ends with a desire to see them again and a benediction:

Now, may the God of peace himself give you peace always, by all means, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits. Amen.

 Robert Murray McCheyne and Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (Edinburgh; London: Oliphant Anderson & Ferrier, 1894), 187.