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Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

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Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

(Letters of John Newton)

“Do not cast me away when I am¬†old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” Psalm 71:9

I am drawing nearer and nearer to the season which the Psalmist either expected or felt. Many reasons teach¬†the aged believer¬†the need of this prayer. As his¬†graces¬†are still imperfect–so his¬†powers¬†are feelingly upon the decline. It was but little he could do at his best–and now less and less!

He feels other¬†props¬†and¬†comforts¬†dropping off apace. When he was young, he had warm spirits and pleasing prospects; but now, what a change of the¬†friends¬†in which he once delighted! In some he has found¬†inconstancy–they have forsaken and forgotten him; and others have been successively taken away by¬†death. They have fallen like the leaves in autumn–and now he stands almost a naked trunk. If any yet remain, he is expecting to lose them likewise–unless he is first taken from them.

Old age abates, and gradually destroys the relish of such earthly comforts as might be otherwise enjoyed.¬†Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing, and all the senses–are harbingers, like Job’s messengers arriving in close succession, to tell him that¬†death¬†is upon his progress, and is not far away!

If youth has no¬†security¬†against death–then old age has no possibility of¬†escaping¬†the¬†grim monster. But though¬†friends¬†fail,¬†cisterns¬†burst,¬†gourds¬†wither,¬†strength¬†declines, and¬†death¬†advances–if God does not forsake me–then all is well.¬†

“Even to your old age and gray hairs–I am He who will¬†sustain¬†you. I have¬†made¬†you and I will¬†carry¬†you; I will¬†sustain¬†you and I will¬†rescue¬†you!” Isaiah 46:4


The State Of The Nation

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The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, “The Lord reigns! Let the nations tremble!” Psalm 99:1

The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker ‚ÄĒ the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But He loves His redeemed children; some are sighing and mourning before Him, and I am sure He hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel ‚ÄĒ before we are humbled, and are taught to give Him the glory.

The state of the nation, the state of the churches ‚ÄĒ both are deplorable! Those who should be praying ‚ÄĒ are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government ‚ÄĒ than for their own sins!

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Revelation 19:6

(Letters of John Newton, 1778)

The Seeds Of Every Evil In His Own Heart

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‚ÄúWhoever is truly humbled ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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.‚ÄĚ

John Newton, The Letters of John Newton


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