Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dear Madam,
You would have me tell you what are the best means to be used by a young person to prevent the world, with all its opening and ensnaring scenes, from drawing the heart aside from God……
I could offer you rules, cautions, and advices in abundance; for I find it comparatively easy to preach to others. But if you should further ask me how you shall effectually reduce them to practice, I feel that I am so deficient and so much at a loss in this matter myself that I know not well what to say to you.

Yet something must be said.

In the fist place, then I would observe that though it be our bounden duty and the highest privilege we can propose to ourselves to have our hearts kept close to the Lord; yet we must not expect it absolutely or perfectly, much less all at once; we shall keep close to Him in proportion as we are solidly convinced of the infinite disparity between Him and the things which would presume to stand in competition with Him and the folly, as well as ingratitude, of departing from Him. But these points are only to be learned by experience and by smarting under a series of painful disappointments in our expectations from creatures.
Our judgments may be quickly satisfied that His favor is better than life, while yet it is in the power of a mere trifle to turn us aside. The Lord permits us to feel our weakness that we may be sensible of it; for though we are ready in words to confess that we are weak, we do not properly know it till that secret though unallowed dependence we have upon some strength in ourselves is brought to the trial and fails us. To be humble and like a little child, afraid of taking a step alone, and so conscious of snares and dangers around us as to cry to Him continually to hold us up that we may be safe, is the sure, the infallible, the only secret of walking closely with Him.”
I picked this up today and was immediately taken by his humility and his reality; He points out that we must not get false expectations as to the speed of spiritual growth, and when we think we stand, a mere trifle will sidetrack us. I like his prescription for walking closely with God as he concludes.
John Newton - Photo by John Potter


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

A fascinating photo with a highly educative post.

Many thanks for sharing.

Have a good day :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Thanks for your comments and glad you liked the photo.
God bless,