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Wisdom From John Newton

Here are some great words of wisdom from three sections from the letters of John Newton.


No trial comes sooner, or falls heavier, or lasts longer! (Letters of John Newton)

"Affliction does not come from the dust--nor does trouble spring from the ground." Job 5:6 

"I was silent; I would not open my mouth--for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9 

I trust that your sickness will work for good--because the Lord has sent it. We are sure that He does not afflict His children without a need be. He does all things well. 

He weighs the mountains in the scales, and the hills in a balance. He likewise weighs, measures, and proportions our trials to our strength and our malady--with greater accuracy than the most skillful earthly physician can prescribe his medicines. 

No trial comes sooner, or falls heavier, or lasts longer--than the necessity of the case requires. He knows our frame, and remembers that we are but dust. He will lay no more upon us than He will enable us to bear. 

Like as a father pities his children--so the Lord pities His redeemed children. His love is perfect, and He will not withhold whatever He sees is necessary to promote our best welfare--however painful and displeasing it may be to the flesh. Earthly parents often, through a weak and mistaken tenderness--spare their children, to their hurt. But as God supplies His children with food--so they must take His medicines, however distasteful, when He sees they would not be so well without them.

My good friend, be willing that the Lord should carry on His work in His own way--and do not prescribe to Him how He shall deal with you. 

All shall work together for good.  Everything is needful--that He sends.  Nothing can be needful--that He withholds.

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word." Psalm 119:67

"It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn Your decrees." Psalm 119:71

"I know, O LORD, that in faithfulness You have afflicted me." Psalm 119:75

We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! (Letters of John Newton)

"Now I know in part--then I shall know fully." Soon we shall see cause to number our sharpest trials, among ourchoicest mercies! Then we shall say, "He has done all things well."

Our trials are but for a season. We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! Yet a little while, and all our sorrows will be left below--and this poor earth will be exchanged for a glorious Heaven!

Our present troubles will soon be to us--as the remembrance of a dream when we awake!

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen--but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary--but what is unseen is eternal!" 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I have been grieved by several letters directed to Doctor Newton

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst." 1 Timothy 1:15 

Dear Sir, I have been grieved by several letters directed to Doctor Newton. I beg you to inform my friends in Scotland, that if any letters come to me addressed to Doctor Newton--I shall be obliged to send them back unopened. I know no such person--I never shall, and I never will, by the grace of God.

Do not think I am displeased with you, or any of any kind friends, who mean kindness and honor by such an address. I only beg for my peace sake, that it may not be repeated.

I have been informed that a college in America, I think in New Jersey, has given me the honorary degree of Doctor. As to the title itself, I renounce it heartily--nor would I willingly be known by it, if all the universities in Europe conferred it upon me! 

My youthful years were spent in slavery in Africa, and I ought to take my degrees (if I take any) from thence. Shall such a compound of misery and mischief as I then was--be called Doctor? Surely not!

(Charles Spurgeon) I very much object to the designation, "To the Reverend C.H. Spurgeon"--for no 'reverence' is due to me! 

Assuredly, 'Reverend' and 'sinner' make a curious combination.  And as I know I am the second--I repudiate the first. 

To me, it is surprising that such a flattering title should have been invented--and more amazing still, that men should be found who are angry if this title is not duly given to them. 

(Arthur Pink) In ourselves we are poor, sinful erring creatures--and daily do we have occasion to blush and hang our heads in shame. Therefore we respectfully request that none will address us as 'Reverend'. No worm of the dust is due such a title.

"It is the Lord your God you must follow--and Him you must REVERE." Deuteronomy 13:4

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