The Lessons of Providence by John Newton

Excerpt, The Letters of John Newton (John Newton)


But a Christian is to pursue his lawful calling with an eye to the providence of God, and with submission to his wisdom. Thus, so far as he acts in the exercise of faith, he cannot be disappointed. He casts his care upon his Heavenly Father, who has promised to take care of him. What God gives, he receives with thankfulness, and is careful as a faithful steward to improve it for the furtherance of the cause of God, and the good of mankind. And if he meets with losses and crosses, he is not disconcerted, knowing that all his concerns are under a Divine direction; that the Lord whom he serves, chooses for him better than he could choose for himself; and that his best treasure is safe, out of the reach of the various changes to which all things in the present state are liable.

Whoever has been truly humbled…

Whoever has been truly humbled will not be easily angry, nor harsh or critical of others.  He will be compassionate and tender to the infirmities of his fellow-sinners, knowing that if there is a difference – it is grace alone which has made it!  He knows that he has the seeds of every evil in his own heart.  And under all trials and afflictions he will look to the hand of the Lord, and lay his mouth in the dust, acknowledging that he suffers much less than his iniquities have deserved.
– John Newton

I am not what I ought to be

John Newton:I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be — soon, soon shall I put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”

A believer would be ashamed to be…

A believer would be ashamed to be so utterly unlike his Lord. What! the master always a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief, and the servant always happy and full of comfort! Jesus despised, reproached, neglected, opposed, and betrayed, and His people admired and caressed; He living in the want of all things, and they filled with abundance; He sweating blood for anguish, and they strangers to distress! How unsuitable would these things be! How much better to be called to the honour of experiencing a measure of His sufferings! A Cup was put into His hand on our account, and his love engaged Him to drink it for us. The wrath which it contained he drank wholly Himself;but He left us a little affliction to taste, that we might pledge Him, and remember how He loved us, and how much more He endured for us than He will ever call us to endure for Him.” – John Newton
HT:Matt Haney

The Devil is But a Whetstone

“We have no clear ideas of the agency of [demonic] spirits, nor is it necessary. The Scripture says little to satisfy our curiosity; but tells us plainly that he is always watching us, and desiring to sift us as wheat. I believe we give him no more than his due, when we charge him with having a hand in all our sins. I believe he cuts us all out abundance of work.”

John NewtonThe Letters of John Newton, pg. 320


“Christ’s enemies are but breaking their own heads in pieces, upon the Rock laid in Zion; and the stone is not removed out of its place. Faith hath cause to take courage from our very afflictions; the devil is but a whetstone to sharpen the faith and patience of the saints. I know that he but heweth and polisheth stones, all this time, for the new Jerusalem.”

Samuel RutherfordThe Letters of Samuel Rutherford, pg. 231

Hope when Praying for a Lost Family Member

“I am willing to hope that you will be made a messenger of light and peace to his soul. The Lord’s hand is not shortened that he cannot save. He can do great things in a small time, as you know from your own experience. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, he can command light to shine out of darkness. If he speaks, it is done… One glimpse of the worth of the soul, the evil of sin, and the importance of eternity, will effect that which hath been in vain attempted by repeated arguments.”
John Newton