In his Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Andrew Bonar details how M’Cheyne seasoned every conversation with the salt of eternity. Bonar then gives an aside about gospel ministry. His subject is one I’ve thought about often in recent days—as I so often fall short in this area. Bonar says it more eloquently and convictingly than I ever could:
Whatever be said in the pulpit, men will not much regard, though they may feel it at the time, if the minister does not say the same in private, with equal earnestness, in speaking with his people face to face; and it must be in our moment of most familiar intercourse with them, that we are thus to put the seal to all we say in public. Familiar moments are the times when the things that are most closely twined round the heart are brought out to view; and shall we forbear, by tacit consent, to introduce the Lord that bought us into such happy hours? We must not only speak faithfully to our people in our sermons, but live faithfully for them too. Perhaps it may be found, that the reason why many, who preach the gospel fully and in all earnestness, are not owned of God in the conversion of souls, is to be found in their defective exhibition of grace in these easy moments of life.