|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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by John Newton
October 26, 1779.
My dear Friend,
Being to go out of town to-day, I started up before light to write to you, and hoped to have sent you a long letter; when, behold! I could not get at any paper. I am now waiting for a peep at Mr. B **** at his lodgings, who came to town last night; and I shall write as fast as I can till I see him.
I feel for you a little in the same way as you feel for yourself. I bear a friendly sympathy in your late sharp and sudden trial. I mourn with that part of you which mourns: but at the same time I rejoice in the proof you have, and which you give, that the Lord is with you of a truth. I rejoice on your account, to see you supported and comforted, and enabled to say, "He has done all things well." I rejoice on my own account. Such instances of his faithfulness and all-sufficiency are very encouraging. We must all expect hours of trouble in our turn. We must all feel in our concernments the vanity and uncertainty of creature comforts. What a mercy is it to know from our own past experience, and to have it confirmed to us by the experience of others, that the Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and that he knoweth them that trust in him.
Creatures are like candles; they waste while they afford us a little light, and we see them extinguished in their sockets one after another. But the light of the sun makes amends for them all. The Lord is so rich that he easily can, so good that he certainly will, give his children more than he ever will take away. When his gracious voice reaches the heart, "It is I, be not afraid; be still, and know that I am God;" when he gives us an impression of his wisdom, power, love, and care, then the storm which attempts to rise in our natural passions is hushed into a calm; the flesh continues to feel, but the spirit is made willing, and something more than submission takes place,a sweet resignation and acquiescence, and even a joy that we have any thing which we value, to surrender to his call.
Index to the Letters of John Newton
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