RPM, Volume 15, Number 18, April 28 to May 4, 2013

Letters of John Newton


Honouring God-Trusting His Methods

By John Newton

I promised you another letter; and now for the performance. If I had said it may be, or perhaps I will, you would be in suspense; but if I promise, then you expect that I will not disappoint you unless something should render it impossible for me to make my word good. I thank you for your good opinion of me, and for thinking I mean what I say; and I pray that you may be enabled more and more to honour the Lord by believing His promise: for He is not like a man that should fail or change, or be prevented by anything unforeseen from doing what He has said. And yet we find it easier to trust to worms than to the God of truth. Is it not so with you? And I can assure you it is often so with me. But here is the mercy, that His ways are above ours, as the heavens are higher than the earth. Though we are foolish and unbelieving, He remains faithful; He will not deny Himself. I recommend to you especially that promise of God, which is so comprehensive that it takes in all our concernments, I mean, that all things shall work together for good. How hard is it to believe, that not only those things which are grievous to the flesh, but even those things which draw forth our corruptions, and discover to us what is in our hearts, and fill us with guilt and shame, should in the issue work for our good! Yet the Lord has said it. All your pains and trials, all that befalls you in your own person, or that affects you upon the account of others, shall in the end prove to your advantage. And your peace does not depend upon any change of circumstance which may appear desirable, but in having your will bowed to the Lord's will, and made willing to submit all to His disposal and management. Pray for this, and wait patiently for Him, and He will do it. Be not surprised to find yourself poor, helpless, and vile; all whom He favours and teaches will find themselves so. The more grace increases, the more we shall see to abase us in our own eyes; and this will make the Saviour and His salvation more precious to us. He takes His own wise methods to humble you, and to prove you, and I am sure He will do you good in the end.

I am, &c.

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