Tag: Letters of John Newton

The sum of my complaints

John Newtonby John Newton

Letters of John Newton

“Oh, what a wretched man I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” Romans 7:24

I see much daily cause for humiliation–whether I look backward or inward. The sum of my complaints amounts to this–that I am a sick sinner, diseased in every part. I am burdened with a body of sin and death.

But I have a little book, which I am enabled to believe is the sure Word of God. The doctrines and promises I meet with in it, which we call the gospel, exactly suit my needs–and the temper and conduct it is designed to form, agrees with my leading desires.

I was once far otherwise minded, and would doubtless have remained so–had not almighty power and sovereign mercy softened my heart. I would therefore praise Him for what he has done, and wait upon Him to do more, for I can do nothing for myself. In the mean time, instead of complaining–I would try to be thankful.

If He has begun a good work, I dare not indulge a doubt of His carrying it on to completion. If He who is the infallible Physician has undertaken my case–I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord!

by John Newton


The best Christian

John Newtonby John Newton

Letters of John Newton

“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My Word.” Isaiah 66:2

Indeed, I believe that the most lively graces, and the most solid comfort–are known among the Lord’s poor and unlearned people. Every outward advantage has a tendency to nourish the pride of the human heart–and requires a proportionate knowledge of the deceitful self and the evil of sin to counter-balance them.

It is no less difficult to have great abilities, than great riches–without trusting in them. 1 Timothy 6:17

If I was qualified to search out the best Christian in the kingdom–I would not expect to find him either in a seminary or in a pulpit. I would give the palm to that person who had the lowest thoughts of himself, and the most admiring and loving thoughts of the Savior. And perhaps this person would be some bed-ridden old man or woman–or a pauper in a parish workhouse.

The Lord’s regard to us, is not to be measured by our theological knowledge–but rather by the simplicity of our dependence, and the uniform tenor of our obedience to His will.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord–and He will lift you up.” James 4:10

by John Newton