Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Taste of Newton

Right now I'm getting back into the Letters of John Newton... and boy it's been good. Here's a letter that Newton wrote to William Wilberforce's wife.

"My dear Madam - I did not hear of your late illness till I was informed you were much better. I praise the Lord for your recovery, and hope you will have reason to praise him for all his chastisements, for surely they are sent in love, for the sake of the supports with which they are accompanied, and the fruits which (by his blessing) they produce; they deserve a place in the list of our own peculiar and covenant mercies. Of Mr. Thornton's recovery I had the pleasure to be informed by himself. May the Lord long preserve him and you for many years, for the comfort of your friends and the glory of His name. Your letter was truly welcome. All yours are so, and therefore I do not choose to remain longer in your debt than I can avoid, that I may have hope of hearing from you again. I observe your experience is a mixture of joy and complaint, and thus is must be till the Lord shall be pleased to put an end to our conflict with indwelling sin. Both are right. We have reason to mourn that there is such an opposition within us to all that is good; and we have reason to rejoice, for Jesus is all-sufficient, and we are complete in him. We cannot but mourn to find that our passage lies through fire and water; we ought to rejoice that this difficult way will lead us to a wealthy place, where joy will be unspeakable, glorious and endless. We may well mourn that our love to the Lord is so faint and wavering; but oh! what a cause of joy to know that his love to us is infinite and unchangeable. Our attainment in sanctification is weak and our progress slow; but our justification is perfect, and our hope sure. May we so look to the bright side of our case as not to be cast down and discouraged, and may we maintain such a sense of the dark side as may keep us from being exalted above measure. You say you are not as you once were. It is generally true that the time of espousals, the beginning of our profession, is attended with sensible sweetnesses and liveliness when we are led into a different dispensation. The young believer is like a tree in blossom. But I have a good hope that you seem to have lost in point of sensible affections you have proportionally gained in knowledge, judgment, and an establishment in the faith. You see more of your own heart than you did or could in those early days; and you have a clearer view of the wisdom, glory, and faithfulness of God, as manifested in the person of Christ. Tough the blossoms have gone off the fruit is found, and, I trust, ripening for glory. The Lord deals with us as children. Children, when they are young, have many changes and trials, and calls you to live more directly upon his power and promises in the face of all discouragements, to hope even against hope, and at times seems to deprive us of every subsidiary support, that we may lean only and entirely upon our beloved."

Hope this was helpful :)