“O! Madam, we want nothing but faith in stronger exercise to make us cheerful and comfortable under all the actual and possible changes of this poor life. Have we not a Saviour, a Shepherd full of compassion and tenderness?
If we wish for love in a friend, He has shewn love unspeakable; —He left His glory, assumed our nature, and submitted to shame, poverty, and death, even the death of the cross, that He might save us from sin and misery, and open the kingdom of heaven to us, who were once His enemies.
For He saw and pitied us, when we knew not how to pity ourselves.
If we need a powerful friend, Jesus is almighty: our help is in Him who made heaven and earth, who raises the dead, and hushes the tempest and raging waves into a calm with a word.
If we need a present friend, a help at hand in the hour of trouble, Jesus is always near, about our path by day, and our bed by night; nearer than the light by which we see, or the air we breathe; nearer than we are to ourselves; so that not a thought, a sigh, or a tear, escapes His notice.
Since then His love and His wisdom are infinite, and He has already done so much for us, shall we not trust Him to the end?
His mercies are countless as the sands, and hereafter we shall see cause to count our trials among our chief mercies.
He sees there is a need-be for them, or we should not have them, and He has promised to make all work together for our final good.
For want of time I am writing by candle-light, which my eyes do not much like; but they submit to it, because I am writing to you; yet they hint that I must now desist.
May the Lord bless you all, with all desirable blessings, temporal and spiritual.
So prays now and often,
Your most affectionate and obliged,
6th December, 1800”
–John Newton, “Letter LXXIII” in The Aged Pilgrim’s Thoughts Over Sin and the Grave, Illustrated in a Series of Letters to Walter Taylor, Never Before Published, by the Rev. John Newton (London: Baker and Fletcher, 2nd Ed., 1825), 169-170.