A portion of a letter written by Robert Murray M’Cheyne to Mr. George Shaw of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mr. Shaw had written M’Cheyne about a number of subjects, the understanding of prophecy being one of them. M’Cheyne’s letter was written on September 16, 1840:
As to the mode of studying prophecy, dear friend, I am far from being a capable adviser. My advice, however, is that you begin with the simple and more unquestioned parts, and then advance to the more difficult ground. Begin with fulfilled prophecy; you will thus gain an intimate acquaintance with the language and manner of the prophetic writings. Then advance to the marks of unfulfilled prophecy, and cautiously and prayerfully to those parts that are obviously unfulfilled. This would be a most interesting course, and if humbly followed out, cannot but give you great light and interest in the cause of Israel, and the world’s conversion.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne: Memoir and Remains, Andrew A. Bonar, first published in 1884, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 1966, p. 292.