Tag Archives: He will hold me fast

“He will keep me to the end” by John Newton

“I am still supported, and in some measure owned, in the pleasing service of preaching the glorious Gospel to my fellow-sinners. And I am still happy in an affectionate, united people.

Many have been removed to a better world, but others have been added to us so that I believe our numbers have been increased, rather than diminished from year to year. But most of our old experienced believers have finished their course, and entered into their rest.

Some such we had, who were highly exemplary and useful ornaments to their profession, and very helpful to the young of the flock. We miss them. But the Lord, who has the fulness of the Spirit, is, I hope, bringing others forward to supply their places.

We have to sing of abounding grace, and at the same time to mourn over the aboundings of sin, for too many in this neighbourhood have resisted convictions so long, that I am afraid the Lord has given them up to hardness of heart.

They are either obstinately determined to hear no more, or sit quietly under the preaching, and seem to be sermon-proof. Yet I hope and pray for a day of power in favour of some who have hitherto heard in vain.

Blessed be God, we are not without some seasons of refreshment, when a sense of His gracious presence makes the ordinances sweet and precious. Many miracles He has wrought among us in the twelve years I have been here.

The blind see, the deaf hear, the lepers are cleansed, and the dead are raised to spiritual life. Pray for us, that His arm may be revealed in the midst of us.

As to myself, I have had much experience of the deceitfulness of my heart, much warfare on account of the remaining principle of in-dwelling sin. Without this experience I should not have known so much of the wisdom, power, grace, and compassion of Jesus.

I have good reason to commend Him to others, as a faithful Shepherd, an infallible Physician, an unchangeable Friend. I have found Him such.

Had He not been with me, and were He not mighty to forgive and deliver, I had long ago been trodden down like mire in the streets. He has wonderfully preserved me in my outward walk, so that they who have watched for my halting have been disappointed.

But He alone knows the innumerable backslidings, and the great perverseness of my heart. It is of His grace and mercy that I am what I am: having obtained help of Him, I continue to this day.

And He enables me to believe that He will keep me to the end, and that then I shall be with Him forever.”

–John Newton, The Works of John Newton (Vol. 6; London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 6: 54-55.

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“Will He receive me?” by John Newton

“I am a sinner, therefore I need a Saviour, one who is able and willing to save to the uttermost. Such a one is Jesus. He is all that I want: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

But will He receive me? Can I answer a previous question? Am I willing to receive Him? If so, and if His word may be taken, if He meant what He said, and promised no more than He can perform, I may be sure of a welcome.

He knew, long before, the doubts, fears, and suspicions which would arise in my mind when I should come to know what I am, what I have done, and what I have deserved. And therefore He declared, before He left the earth, ‘Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.’

I have no money or price in my hand, no worthiness to recommend me. And I need none, for He saveth freely for His own name’s sake. I have only to be thankful for what He has already shewn me, and to wait upon Him for more.

It is my part to commit myself to Him as the Physician of sin-sick souls, not to prescribe to Him how He shall treat me. To begin, to carry on, and to perfect the cure, is His part.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 284-285.

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“Unspeakable joy” by John Newton

“You have sown in tears, but the harvest will be unspeakable joy.

I wish the knowledge I have received of your illness may be sanctified to quicken me in my work and warfare, that I may abound in the Lord’s service while it is the day, for the night cometh.

Perhaps I may not see you in this world, but I hope to meet you at last, and join with you in the song before the throne, ‘To Him who loved us and washed us from our sin in His blood.’

I commend you to His care and keeping.

I remain,

Your affectionate friend and brother,

John Newton”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 196.

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“We were once blind to His beauty” by John Newton

“The Lord reigns. He who once bore our sins, and carried our sorrows, is seated upon a throne of glory, and exercises all power in heaven and on earth. Thrones, principalities, and powers, bow before Him.

Every event in the kingdoms of providence and of grace are under His rule. His providence pervades and manages the whole, and is as minutely attentive to every part as if there were only that single object in His view.

From the tallest archangel to the meanest ant or fly, all depend on Him for their being, their preservation, and their powers. He directs the sparrows where to build their nests, and to find their food.

He overrules the rise and fall of nations, and bends, with an invincible energy and unerring wisdom, all events, so that while many intend nothing less, in the issue their designs all concur and coincide in the accomplishment of His holy will.

He restrains with a mighty hand the still more formidable efforts of the powers of darkness, and Satan with all his hosts cannot exert their malice a hair’s-breadth beyond the limits of His permission.

This is He who is the head and husband of His believing people. How happy are they whom it is His good pleasure to bless!

How safe are they whom He has engaged to protect! How honoured and privileged are they to whom He is pleased to manifest Himself, and whom He enables and warrants to claim Him as their friend and their portion!

Having redeemed them by His own blood, He sets a high value upon them. He esteems them His treasure, His jewels, and keeps them as the apple of his eye.

They shall not want. They need not fear. His eye is upon them in every situation, His ear is open to their prayers, and His everlasting arms are under them for their sure support.

On earth He guides their steps, controls their enemies, and directs all His dispensations for their good.

While in heaven He is pleading their cause, preparing them a place, and communicating down to them reviving foretastes of the glory that shall be shortly revealed.

O how is this mystery hidden from an unbelieving world! Who can believe it, till it is made known by experience, what an intercourse is maintained in this land of shadows between the Lord of glory and sinful worms!

How should we praise Him that He has visited us! For we were once blind to His beauty, and insensible to His love, and should have remained so to the last, had He not prevented us with His goodness, and been found of us when we sought Him not.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 237-239.

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“God holds us with an omnipotent grasp” by William Plumer

“By faith we have hold on God, but our grip is often feeble. Our great safety lies in this: that God holds us with an omnipotent grasp, and never entirely lets us go.”

–William Plumer, Studies in the Book of Psalms: A Critical and Expository Commentary With Doctrinal and Practical Remarks (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1867/2016), 714. Plumer is commenting on Psalm 74:23.

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“Lean upon an almighty arm” by John Newton

“It is a comfort to think that in our several changes and movements, the same Lord is present with us all. If we are in the path of duty and follow as He leads, we may depend on Him to do us good.

Every good is connected with His favour. He will withhold nothing from us but what He sees we had better be without. And we shall meet with nothing but what He will overrule for our benefit.

Oh, how pleasant to lean upon an almighty arm, and to commit ourselves without anxiety to the guidance of infinite wisdom and love! Hitherto to the Lord has helped us.

The enemy has often thrust sore at us that we might fall. But the Lord has been our stay. And as mercy and goodness have followed us all our days, each Ebenezer we have already set up is an encouraging monument to engage us to trust Him to the end.

For this God is our God for ever and ever! He will be our guide even unto death, and beyond death, to the land of life and joy, where we shall hear the voice of war no more.

I commend you and your family and friends to His gracious care.

I am, my dear madam,

Your obliged and affectionate servant,

John Newton”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 85-86.

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“Look to the bright side” by John Newton

“I observe your experience is a mixture of joy and complaint, and thus it must be till the Lord shall be pleased to put an end to our conflict with indwelling sin. Both are right.

We have reason to mourn that there is such an opposition within us to all that is good; and we have reason to rejoice, for Jesus is all-sufficient, and we are complete in Him.

We cannot but mourn to find that our passage lies through fire and water; we ought to rejoice that this difficult way will lead us to a wealthy place, where joy will be unspeakable, glorious, and endless.

We may well mourn that our love to the Lord is so faint and wavering; but oh! What a cause of joy to know that His love to us is infinite and unchangeable.

Our attainment in sanctification is weak and our progress slow; but our justification is perfect, and our hope sure.

May we so look to the bright side of our case as not to be cast down and discouraged, and may we maintain such a sense of the dark side as may keep us from being exalted above measure.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 80.

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