Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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How Great is His Goodness!--The Journey to Heaven

by John Newton

May 28, 1775

Dear Sir,

You must not expect a long letter this morning; we are just going to Court, in hopes of seeing the King, for He has promised to meet us. We can say He is mindful of his promise; and yet it is not strange that though we are all in the same place, and the King in the midst of us, it is but here and there one (even of those who love Him) can see Him at once! However, in our turns, we are all favoured with a glimpse of Him, and have had cause to say, How great is His goodness! How great is His beauty! We have the advantage of the Queen of Sheba, a more glorious object to behold, and not so far to go for the sight of it. If a transient glance exceed all that the world can afford for a long continuance, what must it be to dwell with Him! If a day in His courts be better than a thousand, what will eternity be in His presence!

I hope the more you see, the more you love; the more you drink, the more you thirst; the more you do for Him, the more you are ashamed you can do so little; and that the nearer you approach to your journey's end, the more your pace is quickened. Surely, the power of spiritual attraction should increase as the distance lessens. O that heavenly load-stone ! May it so draw us, that we may not creep, but run.

In common travelling, the strongest become weary if the journey be very long; but in the spiritual journey we are encouraged with the hope of going on from strength to strength; instaurabit iter vires (the journey will renew one's strength), as Johnson expresses it. No road but the road to Heaven can thus communicate refreshment to those who walk in it, and make them more fresh and lively when they are just finishing their courses than when they first set out.

I am, &c.

Index to the Letters of John Newton


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