Monday, January 21, 2008
The Letters of John Newton
I reread some of these incredible letters of John Newton that I keep close to hand on my book shelf. Anyone attempting to follow Christ would do well to avail themselves of a copy and certainly all those attempting to be Pastors. The first three letters in this collection are gems and explain three stages of the Christian journey which Newton calls 'Grace in the blade, 'Grace in the ear' and The full Corn in the ear.' He says the journey starts with feelings and not much trouble, then feelings lessen and Satan's schemes multiply and strengthen thus seeing many give up through this assault and for the very few who persevere glorious riches of grace are available. Of this third stage he writes:
'His heart has deceived him so often, that he is now in a good measure weaned from trusting to it; and therefore he does not meet with so many disappointments. And having found again and again the vanity of all other helps, he is now taught to go to the Lord at once for "grace to help in a time of need". Thus he is strong, not in himself but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus' (Page 24)
An hour spent in reading these gems of wisdom can save you much angst along the way when trouble or trial comes. I hope they may be a blessing to you and they have done much to help me understand my own questions and difficulties that I have by grace survived and endured. Thanks be to God for John Newton who is you will discover very much more than just his amazing hymn.