Sunday, June 28, 2009

Letters of John Newton

Today's Puritan Audio Devotional:
"Some creature steals away your heart!"
by Charles Spurgeon, very challenging

~ ~ ~ ~

You would pity me indeed!

(Letters of John Newton)

Dear friend,
Wickedness prevails and increases in our city to a dreadful degree!
Our streets are filled with the sons of Belial, who neither fear God, nor regard man. I wish my heart was more affected with what my eyes see and my ears hear every day! I am often ready to fear lest the Lord should show His displeasure in some dreadful way!

And surely, if He were strict to mark all that is amiss--I myself would tremble! Oh, were He to plead against me--I could not answer Him one word! Alas! my dear friend, you know not what a poor, unprofitable, unfaithful creature I am! If you knew the evils which I feel within, and the snares and difficulties which beset me from without--you would pity me indeed!

So much forgiven--yet so little love to Jesus.

So many mercies--yet so few returns.

Such great privileges--yet a life so sadly below them.

Indwelling sin presses me downwards; when I would do good, evil is present with me! I can attempt nothing--but it is debased, polluted and spoiled by my depraved nature! My sins of omission are innumerable. In a word, there is . . .
much darkness in my understanding,
much perverseness in my will,
much disorder in my affections,
much folly and madness in my imagination!

In short, I am a riddle to myself--a heap of inconsistency!

Alas! when shall it be otherwise? I have a desire of walking with God--but I cannot attain unto it. Surely it is far better to depart, and to be with Jesus Christ--than to live here up to the ears in sin and temptation!

But, "We have an Advocate with the Father." Here my hope revives! Though wretched in myself--I am complete in Him! He is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. On this "Rock" I build--for time and eternity!

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