To Ponder:

From the Letters of John Newton (edited)

My Dear Madam,

I perceive that your heavenly Father has again put you into the furnace, and I trust that He will divinely impress upon your heart, that there is a needs be for it–and that the outcome of your present trial shall surely end in good to your soul. His Word tells us that trials are absolutely necessary, and why they are so–as He would not afflict those whom He loves, but for their real profit. So He chooses those afflictions for us, and appoints them for us at such seasons, and attended with such circumstances–as He sees will be (all things considered) most for our spiritual advantage. The afflictions and trials of His people are always sent, either to cure–or to prevent something still worse.

He is a good master to serve–I have found Him to be so for thirty years. Cheer up, dear Madam, the Lord does all things well! Do not be afraid of storms–for you have an infallible Pilot who will guide you with His eye, uphold you with His arm, and is every minute bringing you nearer to the harbor of eternal rest and peace! Yet, I trust, we are still growing and getting forward. Neither frost or floods have been able to destroy us; and Oh, Madam, (may our hearts rejoice at the thought!) the harvest is approaching! When He sees that we are fully ripe–when all that He has designed to do for us, in us, and by us, is completed–then He will separate us from these clods of earth, and remove us into His dwelling place, where we shall be done with fears and trials forever!

We shall not then live this poor dying life–neither shall we have to complain of an evil heart of unbelief. We shall not complain of a cold and careless heart–because we shall be at the fountain-head of all our best wishes and desires! We shall be enjoying, through eternal ages, that ineffable bliss which is prepared for all who love God, and who have been called by divine grace, out of the service of sin, Satan, and the world–to love and serve Him who is the Rock of eternal ages. Yes, my dear Madam, we shall, with unspeakable delight–see Jesus as He is, and be completely like Him! Let us, then, not be weary in well doing; for, in due season, we shall reap, if we fail not.

I am, my dear Madam, Your obliged and affectionate Servant,

John Newton

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