Tag Archives: Sovereignty

“His beams bring healing, strength, peace, and joy to the soul” by John Newton

“The Lord Jesus, like the sun, is in all places at once. Go where we will, we are not far from Him, if we have but eyes to see Him, and hearts to perceive Him.

My dear child, when you look at the sun, I wish it may lead your thoughts to Him who made it, and who placed it in the firmament, not only to give us light, but to be the brightest, noblest emblem of Himself.

There is but one sun, and there needs not another: so there is but one Saviour; but He is complete and all-sufficient, the Sun of Righteousness, the Fountain of life and comfort; His beams, wherever they reach, bring healing, strength, peace, and joy to the soul.

Pray to Him, my dear, to shine forth, and reveal Himself to you. Oh, how different is He from all that you have ever seen with your bodily eyes! He is the Sun of the soul, and He can make you as sensible of His presence as you are of the sunshine at noonday.

And, when once you obtain a clear sight of Him, a thousand little things, which have hitherto engaged your attention, will in a manner disappear.

I entreat, I charge you, to ask Him every day to show Himself to you. Think of Him as being always with you; about your path by day, about your bed by night, nearer to you than any object you can see, though you see Him not; whether you are sitting or walking, in company or alone.

People often consider God as if He saw them from a great distance: but this is wrong; for, though He be in heaven, the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him; He is as much with us as with the angels.

In Him we live, and move, and have our being; as we live in the air which surrounds us, and is within us, so that it cannot be separated from us a moment.

And whatever thoughts you can obtain of God from the Scripture, as great, holy, wise, and good, endeavour to apply them all to Jesus Christ, who once died upon the cross, for He is the true God, and eternal life, with whom you have to do.

And, though He be the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and rules over all, He is so condescending and compassionate, that He will hear and answer the prayer of a child.

Seek Him, and you shall find Him. Whatever else you seek, you may be disappointed, but He is never sought in vain.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1988), 6: 289-290.

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“You shall not seek Him in vain” by John Newton

March 3, 1772

And now, what shall I say? May the Lord direct me to send you a profitable word. It rejoices my heart to think, that at a time of life when you might have been plunging into the vanities of the world, you are seeking Jesus.

The Lord, who appointed the hour of your birth, and the bounds of your habitation, was pleased in His good providence to withdraw you early from the giddy circle of dissipation in which you might have lived, and to favour you with the advantages of example, instruction, and ordinances.

You live at a distance from those ensnaring temptations by which the minds of young persons are blinded and stupefied. Yet this alone would not have secured you. His providence has been subservient to His grace.

Otherwise, by this time, you would have been weary and impatient of restraint; you would have accounted the means of grace burdensome, and your home a prison.

The evil of the heart is too deeply rooted to be overcome by any thing less than the power of God. Whatever your Papa and Mamma, or the ministers of the Gospel, could have told you concerning your state as a sinner, and your need of a Saviour, you would not have believed them, if the Lord Himself had not borne witness in your heart to His own truths.

You are now seeking Him that you may find Him, yet, if He had not found you at first, you would never have sought Him at all. This I mention for your encouragement, as a good reason why you may be assured that you shall not seek Him in vain.

Go on, my dear Miss; and may the Lord be with you. Give yourself to Him every day, and many times a day; remember how many claims He has to you; especially remember this one, that He bought you with His own blood. He died that you might live.

May the name of Jesus be written upon the tablet of your heart, and be as a seal upon your arm; that all your desires and all your actions may be regulated by His word, directed to His glory, and animated by a living principle of grace, derived from Him who is the fountain of grace.

Two things alone are worth a serious thought,—His presence and His image: the one to make you comfortable in yourself, the other that you may shine to His praise as a light in the world.

These blessings, and the increase of them, are gifts which He bestows without money and without price. Yet it is our part to wait upon Him for them, by prayer, by reading His good word, and frequenting His ordinances.

Thus you shall know if you follow on to know the Lord.

I am your affectionate friend.

John Newton”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1988), 6: 250–251, 253.

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“My πολιτευμα, my charter, my rights, my treasures, are, I hope, in heaven, and there my heart ought to be” by John Newton

“I think, that, as Christians, we have nothing to expect from this world but tribulation, no peace but in Christ. If our lot be so cast that we can exercise our ministry free from stripes, fines, imprisonment, and death, it is more than the gospel has promised us.

If I had wisdom or influence to soothe the angry passions of mankind, whether Whigs or Tories, I would gladly employ them; but, as to myself, I am neither Whig nor Tory, but a friend to both. I am a stranger, and a pilgrim.

My πολιτευμα, my charter, my rights, my treasures, are, I hope, in heaven, and there my heart ought to be. In less than a few weeks I may be removed (and perhaps suddenly) into the unseen world, where all that causes so much bustle upon earth at present, will be no more to me than the events which took place among the antediluvians.

How much then does it import me, to be found watching, with my loins girded up, and my lamp burning, diligently engaged in my proper calling! For the Lord has not called me to set nations to right, but to preach the gospel, to proclaim the glory of His name, and to endeavour to win souls.

Happy is that servant, whom His Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing!

In the hour, when death shall open the door into eternity, many things which now assume an air of importance, will be found light and unsubstantial as the baseless fabric of a vision.”

–John Newton, “A Letter on Political Debate,” The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 594-595.

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“He opened my eyes and pardoned my sins” by John Newton

“September 6, 1768

Reverend Sir,

Unless our dependence upon divine teaching bears some proportion to our diligence, we may take much pains to little purpose. On the other hand, we are directed to expect the teaching and assistance of the Holy Spirit only within the limits, and by the medium of the written Word.

For He has not promised to reveal new truths, but to enable us to understand what we read in the Bible: and if we venture beyond the pale of Scripture, we are upon enchanted ground, and exposed to all the illusions of imagination and enthusiasm.

But an attention to the word of God, joined to humble supplications for His Spirit, will lead us to new advances in true knowledge. The exercises of our minds, and the observations we shall make upon the conduct of others, and the dispensations of God’s providence, will all concur to throw light upon the Scripture, and to confirm to us what we there read concerning ourselves, the world, and the true happiness revealed to sinners in and through Jesus Christ.

The more sensible we are of the disease, the more we shall admire the great Physician; the more we are convinced that the creature is vanity, the more we shall be stirred up to seek our rest in God.

And this will endear the gospel to us; as in Christ, and in Him only, we can hope to find that righteousness and strength, of which we are utterly destitute ourselves.

I observe in many newspapers, the attestations of persons who have been relieved in diseases by the medicines which they have tried, and therefore recommend to others from their experience.

Innumerable cases might be published to the honour of the great Physician; none more memorable perhaps than my own.

I was labouring under a complication of disorders; fired with raging madness, possessed with many devils, (I doubt it not,) bent upon my own destruction; but He interposed, unsought, undesired.

He opened my eyes, and pardoned my sins. He broke my fetters, and taught my once blasphemous lips to praise His name.

Oh, I can, I do, I must commend it as a faithful saying, That Christ Jesus is come into the world to save sinners.

There is forgiveness with Him. He does all things well. He makes both the dumb to speak, and the deaf to hear.

I remain, with due respect,
Dear Sir, your most obedient servant.

John Newton”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 203-204.

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“I am sure a minister had need be a jack of all trades” by John Newton

“Give my love to Mr. ****. He has desired a good work; may the Lord give him the desires of his heart.

May he give him the wisdom of Daniel, the meekness of Moses, the courage of Joshua, the zeal of Paul, and that self-abasement and humility which Job and Isaiah felt when they not only had heard of him by the hearing of the ear, but saw His glory, and abhorred themselves in dust and ashes.

May he be taught of God, (none teacheth like Him,) and come forth an able minister of the New Testament, well instructed rightly to divide and faithfully to distribute the word of truth.

In the school of Christ, (especially if the Lord designs him to be a teacher of others,) he will be put to learn some lessons not very pleasant to flesh and blood: he must learn to run, to fight, to wrestle, and many other exercises, some of which will try his strength, and others his patience.

You know the common expression of a jack of all trades. I am sure a minister had need be such a one: a soldier, a watchman, a shepherd, a husbandman, a builder, a planter, a physician, and a nurse.

But let him not be discouraged; he has a wonderful and a gracious Master, who can not only give instructions, but power, and engages that His grace shall be sufficient, at all times and in all circumstances, for those who simply give themselves up to His teaching and His service.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 102-103.

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“Grace abounds still more in Jesus” by John Newton

“He will never leave me nor forsake me.

Well, when we have said all we can of the aboundings of sin in us, grace abounds still more in Jesus.

We cannot be so evil as He is good.

His power is a good match for our weakness; His riches for our poverty; His mercy for our misery.

We are vile in ourselves, but we are complete in Him. In ourselves we have cause to be abased, but in Him we may rejoice.

Blessed be God for Jesus Christ.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 195.

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“Is it not happiness to have an infallible Guide, an invincible Guard, an Almighty Friend?” by John Newton

“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.’

Yes, the life of faith is a happy life, and, if attended with conflicts, there is an assurance of victory.

If we 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?

Is it not happiness to be able to say of the Maker of heaven and earth, ‘He is my Beloved, my Shepherd, my Saviour, and my Husband,’ and to say to Him,—

‘Let waves and thunders mix and roar,
Be thou my God, I ask no more:
While thou art Sovereign, I’m secure,
I shall be rich till thou art poor.’

Oh, the peace which flows from believing that all events in which we are concerned are under His immediate disposal, that the hairs of our head are all numbered, that He delights in our prosperity, that there is a need be, if we are in heaviness, and that all things shall surely work for our good!

How happy to have such views of His sovereignty, wisdom, love, and faithfulness, as will enable us to meet every dispensation with submission, and to look through the changes of the present life, to that unchangeable inheritance to which the Lord is leading us, when all evil shall cease, and where joy shall be perfect and eternal!

I trust He who loves you strengthens you in this life of faith, and fills you with a peace that passes all understanding.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 98-99.

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