Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What a Poor, Uncertain Dying World is This!

 A Letter from John Newton

Dear Madam,—
     What a poor, uncertain dying world is this! What a
wilderness in itself!  How dark, how desolate, without
the light of the gospel and the knowledge of Jesus! 
It does not appear so to us in a state of nature, because
we are then in a state of enchantment, the magical lantern
binding us with a splendid delusion.
     It is a great mercy to be undeceived in time; and
though our gay dreams are at an end, and we awake
to every thing that is disgustful and dismaying, yet
we see a highway through the wilderness, a powerful
guard, an infallible guide at hand to conduct us
through; and we can discern beyond the limits of the
wilderness a better land, where we shall be at rest and
at home.  What will the difficulties we meet by the
way then signify?  The remembrance of them will
only remain to heighten our sense of the love, care,
and power of our Saviour and leader.  O, how shall
we then admire, adore, and praise him, when he shall
condescend to unfold to us the beauty, propriety, and
harmony of the whole train of his dispensations towards
us, and give us a clear retrospect of all the way, and all the
turns of our pilgrimage!
     In the meanwhile, the best method of adorning our
profession, and of enjoying peace in our souls, is
simply to trust him, and absolutely to commit ourselves
and our all to his management.  By casting our burdens upon
him, our spirits become light and cheerful; we are freed from
a thousand anxieties and inquietudes, which are wearisome to
our minds, and which, with respect to events, are needless for
us, yea, useless.  But though it may be easy to speak of this
trust, and it appears to our judgment perfectly right
and reasonable, the actual attainment is a great thing;
and especially, so to trust the Lord, not by fits and starts,
surrendering one day and retracting the next, but to
abide by our surrender, and go habitually trusting
through all the changes we meet, knowing that his
love, purpose, and promise, are unchangeable.  Some
little fainting, perhaps, none are freed from; but I believe
a power of trusting the Lord in good measure at
all times, and living quietly under the shadow of his
wing, is what the promise warrants us to expect, if
we seek it by diligent prayer; if not all at once, yet
by a gradual increase.  May it be your experience and mine.
                                               John Newton

No comments:

Post a Comment