1.25.2018

An excellent and most encouraging letter!

This, one of many letters written by John Newton which were compiled into a book, was waiting for me in my inbox a few days ago. And I LOVED it!
Oh, to be able to write like this!
It is no wonder that he remains an honored, cherished, and beloved brother in the Lord almost two centuries after his birth. Truth. He speaks wonderful, encouraging, biblical TRUTH. And for this, I am thankful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Dear Madam,
I perceive that your heavenly Father has again put you into the furnace, and I trust that He will divinely impress upon your heart, that there is a needs be for it - and that the outcome of your present trial shall surely end in good to your soul.

His Word tells us that trials are absolutely necessary, and why they are so - as He would not afflict those whom He loves, but for their real profit. So He chooses those afflictions for us, and appoints them for us at such seasons, and attended with such circumstances - as He sees will be (all things considered) most for our spiritual advantage. The afflictions and trials of His people are always sent, either to cure - or to prevent something still worse.

Satan is compared to a fowler, and we sometimes are as little upon our guard as a thoughtless bird -the danger is close to us, but we are not aware of it. But, as a sudden noise affrights the bird, and makes it take wing and escape the snare - so the Lord often disappoints the devices of the enemy, by sending a seasonable trial to His dear children, which arouses them, and makes them flee to Him for safety.

He is a good master to serve - I have found Him to be so for thirty years.

Cheer up, dear Madam, the Lord does all things well! Do not be afraid of storms - for you have an infallible Pilot who will guide you with His eye, uphold you with His arm, and is every minute bringing you nearer to the harbor of eternal rest and peace!

What changes of weather have we passed through, since the seeds of grace were first sown in our hearts! How often have we been ready to murmur at the appointments of the Heavenly Gardener! How hardly could we be persuaded that the afflictions, temptations, and trials which we have been exercised with - have, in their places, been no less subservient to our growth, than the more pleasing sunshine we have been sometimes favored with?

Yet, I trust, we are still growing and getting forward. Neither frost or floods have been able to destroy us; and Oh, Madam, (may our hearts rejoice at the thought!) the harvest is approaching! When He sees that we are fully ripe - when all that He has designed to do for us, in us, and by us, is completed - then He will separate us from these clods of earth, and remove us into His dwelling place, where we shall be done with fears and trials forever!

We shall not then live this poor dying life - neither shall we have to complain of an evil heart of unbelief. We shall not complain of a cold and careless heart - because we shall be at the fountain-head of all our best wishes and desires! We shall be enjoying, through eternal ages, that ineffable bliss which is prepared for all who love God, and who have been called by divine grace, out of the service of sin, Satan, and the world - to love and serve Him who is the Rock of eternal ages. Yes, my dear Madam, we shall, with unspeakable delight - see Jesus as He is, and be completely like Him! Let us, then, not be weary in well doing; for, in due season, we shall reap, if we fail not.

I am, my dear Madam,
Your obliged and affectionate Servant,
John Newton

(Letters of John Newton)

No comments: