Archive for the ‘Nuggets of Newton’ category

“Giving Jesus the honour due to his name”

October 24, 2007

Topic: Jesus

“Let us . . . be thankful and cheerful, and, while we take shame to ourselves, let us glorify God, by giving Jesus the honour due to his name.  Though we are poor, He is rich; though we are weak, He is strong; though we have nothing, He possesses all things.  He suffered for us; He calls us to be conformed to him in suffering.  He conquered in his own person, and He will make each of his members more than conquerors in due season.  It is good to have one eye upon ourselves, but the other should ever be fixed on him who stands in the relation of Saviour, Husband, Head, and Shepherd: in him we have righteousness, peace, and power.  He can control all that we fear; so that, if our path should be through the fire or through the water, neither the flood shall drown us,  nor the flame kindle upon us, and ere long He will cut short our conflicts, and say, Come up hither.”

John Newton, to Mrs. Wilberforce (July, 1764)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.
Also, check out The John Newton Project.

That I may employ more of my breath in his praise

October 11, 2007

Topic: Evangelism, worship

“I trust the chief reason why I would wish my life to be prolonged is, that I may employ more of my breath in his praise.  But, alas!  while I endeavor to persuade others, that He is the chief among ten thousand and altogether lovely, I seem to be but half persuaded of it myself; I feel my heart so cold and unbelieving.”

John Newton, to Daniel West (August 13, 1773)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.
Also, check out The John Newton Project.

For He does all things well

October 8, 2007

Topic: Providence

“We please ourselves with agreeable prospects and proposals; but the determination is with the Lord.  We may rejoice that it is, He sees all things in their dependences and connextions, which we see not, and therefore he often thwarts our wishes for our good; but if we are not mistaken, if any measure we have in view would, upon the whole, promote our comfort or his glory, He will surely bring it to pass in answer to prayer, how improbable soever it may appear; for He delights in the satisfaction and prosperity of his people, and without a need-be, there shall never be in heaviness.  Let us strive and pray for a habitual resignation to his will; for He does all things well.  It is never ill with us but when our evil hearts doubt or forget this plainest of truths.”

John Newton, to William Cowper (July 30, 1767)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.
Also, check out The John Newton Project.

Because he has promised it

October 7, 2007

Topic: Ordained means, evangelism, providence

“The power is all of God; the means are likewise of his appointment; and He always is pleased to work by such means as they show that the power is his. . . . All these means were exceedingly disproportionate to the effect; but He who ordered them to be used accompanied them with the power.  Yet if Moses had gone without his rod, if Joshua had slighted the rams’ horns, if the prophet had thought it foolishness to speak to dry bones, or the blind man refused to wash his eyes, nothing could have been done.  The same holds good in the present subject: I do not reason, expostulate, and persuade sinners, because I think I can prevail with them, but because the Lord has commanded it.  He directs me to address them as reasonable creatures; to take them by every handle; to speak to their consciences; to tell them of the terrors of the Lord, and of his tender mercies; to argue with them what good they find in sin; whether they do not need a Saviour; to put them in mind of death, judgment, and eternity, etc.  When I have done all, I know it is to little purpose, except the Lord speaks to their hearts; and this to his own, and at his own time, I am sure He will, because he has promised it.”

John Newton, to Rev. Thomas Jones (October 20, 1767)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.
Also, check out The John Newton Project.

The life of faith is a happy life

October 6, 2007

Topic: Joy, Jesus

“I doubt not but you likewise have your share of trials; but when the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, it sweetens what bitter things the Lord puts into our cup, and enables us to say, None of these things move us.  Yea, the life of faith is a happy life, and if attended sometimes get a wound, there is healing balm near at hand; if we seem to fall, we are raised again; and if tribulations abound, consolations shall abound likewise.  Is it not happiness to have an infallible Guide, an invincible Guard, an Almighty Friend?”

John Newton, to Daniel West (June 2, 1772)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.
Also, check out The John Newton Project.

As bone to its bone

October 5, 2007

Topic: Friendship

Caveat: Of William Cowper, John Newton wrote, “The Lord who had brought us together had so knit our hearts and affections that for nearly twelve years, we were seldom separated for twelve hours at a time when we were awake and at home.  The first six I passed in daily admiring and trying to imitate him; during the second six I walked pensively with him in the valley of the shadow of death.”

“But indeed, a removal from two such dear friends is a dislocation, and gives me at times a mental feeling, something analogous to what my body felt when my arm was forced from its socket.  I live in hopes that this mental dislocation will one day be happily reduced likewise, and that we shall come together again as bone to its bone.  The connexion which the Lord himself formed between us, was undoubtedly formed for eternity; but I trust we shall have more of the pleasure and comfort of it in time, and that I shall yet hear you say, ‘Come, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; for He hath turned my mourning into joy, and He hath taken off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.”

John Newton, to William Cowper (April 29, 1780)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.

If I were not a Calvinist, I think I should have no more hope of success in preaching to men, than to horses or cows

October 4, 2007

Topic: Calvinism, effectual calling

“If I had a proper call, I would undertake to prove, that to exhort and deal plainly with sinners, to stir them up to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold of eternal life, is an attempt not reconcilable to sober reason upon any other grounds than those doctrines which we are called Calvinists for holding; and that all the absurdities which are charged upon us, as consequences of what we teach, are indeed truly chargeable upon those who differ from us in these points. . . . As to myself, if I were not a Calvinist, I think I should have no more hope of success in preaching to men, than to horses or cows.”

John Newton, to Rev. Thomas Jones (October 20, 1767)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.

May we still press forward

October 3, 2007

Topic: Encouragement, Jesus

“Surely, his service is perfect freedom; his ways are ways of perfect pleasantness, and all his paths are peace. He is a sun and a shield, a hiding place, and a resting place, to them that fear him. May we still press forward: we have not yet attained. There are larger measures of grace, establishment, and consolation, set forth in the Gospel, that all we have hitherto received. The Lord has set before us an open door which no man can shut; He has given us exceeding great and precious promises; has bid us open our mouths wide, and has said that He will fill them. He would have us ask great things, and when we have enlarged our desires to the utmost, He is still able to do exceeding more than we can ask or think.”

John Newton, to Rev. Daniel West (April 12, 1771)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.

Let us not forget that we have an infallible Pilot

October 2, 2007

Topics: Jesus, church, providence

“The ship was safe when Christ was in her, though He was really asleep.  At present I can tell you good news, though you know it: He is wide awake, and his eyes are in every place. . . . [T]he ark is fixed upon an immovable foundation; and if we think we see it totter, it is owing to a swimming in our heads.  Seriously, the times look dark and stormy, and call for much circumspection and prayer; but let us not forget that we have an infallible Pilot, and that the power, and wisdom, and honour of God, are embarked with us.”

John Newton, to Rev. John Ryland, Jr. (July 31, 1773)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.

His glory in the gospel glass

October 1, 2007

Topic: Gospel

“May we, dear Sir, live and feed upon the precious promises, John 14:16-17, 26; 16:13-15.  There is no teacher like Jesus, who by his Holy Spirit reveals himself in his word to the understanding and affections of his children.  When we thus behold his glory in the gospel-glass, we are changed into the same image.  Then our hears melt, our eyes flow, our stammering tongue are unloosed.”

John Newton, to Rev. Thomas Bowman (November 2, 1765)

To view more Nuggets of Newton, go here.

May we bid adieu to the perishing pleasures of sin

September 30, 2007

Theme: consecration, holiness

“The time is short; eternity is at the door; was there no other evil in these vain amusements than the loss of precious time, we have not leisure in our circumstances to regard them.  And, blessed be God, we need them not.  The gospel opens a source of purer, sweeter, and more substantial pleasures: we are invited to communion with God: we are called to share in the theme of angels, the songs of heaven; and the wonders of redeeming love are laid open to our view.  The Lord himself is waiting to be gracious, waiting with promises and pardons in his hands.  Well then may we bid adieu to the perishing pleasures of sin; well may we pity those who can find pleasures in those places and parties where he is shut out; where his name is only mentioned to be profaned; where his commandments are not only broken, but insulted; where sinners proclaim their shame, as in Sodom, and attempt not to hide it; where at best wickedness is wrapt up in a disguise of delicacy, to make it more insinuating; and nothing is more offensive that is not grossly and unpolitely indecent.”

John Newton, to Miss Thorpe

Why then is dust and ashes proud?

September 29, 2007

Topic: Humility, depravity

Oh! to be little in our eyes! This is the ground-work of every grace; this leads to a continual dependence upon the Lord Jesus; this is the spirit which He has promised to bless; this conciliates us good-will and acceptance amongst men; for he that abaseth himself is sure to be honoured. And that this temper is so hard to attain and preserve, is a striking proof of our depravity–for are we not sinners? Were we not rebels and enemies before we knew the gospel; and have we not been unfaithful, backsliding, and unprofitable ever since? Are we not redeemed by the blood of Jesus? and can we stand a single moment except He upholds us? Have we any thing which we have not received? or have we received any thing which we have not abused? Why then is dust and ashes proud?”

John Newton, to Rev. Thomas Jones (January 7, 1767)

Is not the light of his countenance better than life?

September 28, 2007

For the past week, I have been devotionally reading some letters by John Newton. Time and time again I came across rich quotes and began to mark them as I continued reading. I recently talked with a friend about the writings of yesteryear as seen in the writings of the Puritans and Newton, how their wells ran so deep, which was often expressed in the gushing springs from their pens. On the contrary, it seems that today our words seem so weightless, trivial, and flippant (at least mine). Reflecting on this reality, I am starting a series called Nuggets of Newton in which I hope to share some quotes by Newton on the Christian life. Over a period of time, I hope to have a topical compilation of excerpts (digital quote book) of Newton as a devotional resource for myself and others. For ease of perusal, I will provide the topic before each quote.

Topic: Jesus, affliction/loss

“Is He not rich enough to give us something better than ever He will take away? Is not the light of his countenance better than life and all its most valued enjoyments? Is not this our time of trial; and are we not traveling towards a land of light? . . . one [drop] of the river of pleasure at God’s right hand will make us forget our sorrows for ever; or the remembrance, if any, will only serve to heighten our joys. Further, what life did He lead whom we call our Master and our Lord? Was not He a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief? Has He marked out one way to heaven with his painful footsteps, and shall we expect, or even wish, to walk in another? With such considerations as these, we should endeavour to arm our minds, and pray to the Lord to fix a sense of them in our hearts, and to renew it from time to time; that when changes are either feared or felt, we may not be like the people of the world, who have no hope, no refuge, no throne of grace, but may be enabled to glorify our God in the fire, and give proof that his grace is sufficient for us in every state.”

John Newton, to Daniel West (January 25, 1766)