Saturday, August 27

Unction

As I approach the "sacred desk" to teach the people of God each Lord's Day, I often read and reread this exhortation from Robert Murray McCheyne: "Speak for eternity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit. A word spoken by you when your conscience is clear and your heart full of God's Spirit is worth ten thousand words spoken in unbelief and sin. Remember that God, and not man, must have the glory. If the veil of the world's machinery were lifted off, how much we would find is done in answer to the prayers of God's children."

McCheyne is describing, I think, that rare gift called "unction." It is what his mentor, Thomas Chalmers, called "that indefinable, indescribable grace that is sometimes somewhat in preaching; that outpouring which cannot be ascribed either to matter or expression, and cannot be described as to what it is, or from whence it cometh, but with a sweet violence it pierceth into the heart and affections and comes immediately from the Word; but if there be any way to obtain such a thing, it is by the heavenly disposition of the speaker unto grace by the power of the Spirit."

Oh, may the Lord pour out that which I cannot conjur by will or study or perseverence or discipline or cunning or eloquence! May He pour out His gracious unction!

3 comments:

JAT said...

Why do you suppose it is that we don't see much, if any, of this in today's "Reformed" circles?

Ben said...

This was most encouraging to me. I read it on Saturday and recalled it as I prepared to approach the 'sacred desk.' Thanks for the exhortation from McCheyne, the sermon from Samuel Doak, and the article on repentance & education.
Ben

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Dear Bro. George - as always, your comments are so profound. I am finding McCheyne's word's: "Speak for eternity. Above all things, cultivate your own spirit," to be so true and full of beauty, especially as I sprint towards the 50 year mark of my life. Thank you for your "unctionized" blog!