Tag Archives: Preaching

“I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour” by John Newton

“Near the end, William Jay visited his friend Newton, who was then barely able to speak.

But Newton said: ‘My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.'”

–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 401.

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“His grace can soften the hardest heart” by John Newton

“O praise the Lord with me, for He has done great things for us, and I trust He will do yet more in His own set time, and in His own way, which must be the best.

What shall I say of Old Seventy-Eight? I thank the Lord, my health is remarkably good. I eat, drink, and sleep well. But my sight, hearing, and recollection greatly fail me. I can seldom remember what I saw, heard, or said, but two hours before.

Yet when in the pulpit, I am not often much at a loss. I still preach as long, as loud, as often, as formerly, and my auditory are still willing to hear me. The church was never more thronged, nor the hearers more attentive.

Indeed I am a wonder to many and to myself. I am a stranger to sickness and pain; but there is a cloud over my spirit, a nervous affliction so that though I am mercifully supported, and have some daylight in the path of duty I take but little comfort in anything.

I walk in comparative darkness but I am encouraged, and in some measure enabled, to stay myself in the Lord, and to trust in Him, as my God (Isaiah 50:10).

Perhaps this depression may be owing in part to old age. I often compare myself to Barzillai (2 Samuel 19:31-38), who, when he was but a little older than I, had lost all relish for what is called pleasure.

But, precious Bible, what a treasure!

Blessed be the Lord, I can see that my acceptance, and perseverance, do not depend upon my frames or feelings, but upon the power, compassion, care and faithfulness of Him, who in the midst of all the changes to which we are exposed in this wilderness state, is unchangeably the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

O what a horrid wretch was I when on board the Harwich, on the coast of Africa, and too long afterwards. Surely no one who did not finally perish was ever more apparently given up to a reprobate mind!

I am a singular and striking proof, that the atoning blood of Jesus can cleanse from the most enormous sins, that His grace can soften the hardest heart, subdue the most obstinate habits of evil, and that He is indeed able to save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).

Lord I believe, O help me against my unbelief (Mark 9:24). I have been, yea to this day, I am a chief sinner, and yet I am permitted to preach the truth I once laboured to destroy.”

–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 396-397.

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“The older I grow” by John Newton

“The older I grow, the more I am drawn to preach much concerning

the person of the Saviour,

the atonement of the Saviour,

the glory of the Saviour,

and the influences of the Holy Spirit.”

–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 232.

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“All our tears wiped away” by John Newton

“Accept this hasty line as a token my sympathy.

May the Lord bless you both.

And may we all so weep as becomes those who expect, ere long, to have all our tears wiped away.”

–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 187.

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“Oh it is a mercy that people need not be learned in order to receive the Gospel” by John Newton

“Oh it is a mercy that people need not to be learned men, fine reasoners, metaphysicians, in order to receive the Gospel and be happy!”

–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 155.

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“The divine storehouse of all light and truth is Christ Himself” by Horatius Bonar

“The one true goal or resting-place where doubt and weariness, the stings of a pricking conscience, and the longings of an unsatisfied soul would all be quieted, is Christ Himself.

Not the church, but Christ.

Not doctrine, but Christ.

Not forms, but Christ.

Not ceremonies, but Christ:

Christ the God-man, giving His life for ours, sealing the everlasting covenant, and making peace for us through the blood of His cross;

Christ the divine storehouse of all light and truth, ‘In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge‘ (Col. 2:3);

Christ the infinite vessel, filled with the Holy Spirit, the Enlightener, the Teacher, the Quickener, the Comforter, so that ‘of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace‘ (John 1:16).

This, this alone, is the vexed soul’s refuge, its rock to build on, its home to abide until the great tempter be bound and every conflict ended in victory.”

–Horatius Bonar, Words to Winners of Souls (Philipsburg, NJ: P&R, 1860/1995), 6.

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“God loves a cheerful preacher” by Lewis Allen

“God loves a cheerful preacher. Our ever-blessed, ever-joyful God wants to be proclaimed by those who are brimful of the joy of His grace in Christ brings.

He calls us to delight in Him and, out of that joy, to call others to the feast. Preacher and sermon must be filled with gospel joy.

‘With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation’ (Isaiah 12:3). Preachers who taste, teach, and share the joy of the gospel are truly fulfilling their calling as they serve those who listen.”

–Lewis Allen, The Preacher’s Catechism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 31.

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