Short pithy gems from John Newton!

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I aim to speak plain truths to a plain people! May it please the God of all grace, to accompany my feeble endeavors to promote the knowledge of His truth! If my letters are owned to comfort the afflicted, to quicken the careless, to confirm the wavering I will rejoice.

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When I was young, I was sure of many things. Now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Savior. He is well-taught, who learns these two lessons.

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Heart-anatomy is my favorite science. I mean, the study of the human heart, with its workings and counter-workings, as it is differently affected in the different seasons of prosperity, adversity, conviction, temptation, sickness, and the approach of death. I aim to speak plain truths to plain people!

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May we sit at the foot of the cross and there learn . . .
  what sin has done,
  what justice has done,
  and what love has done.

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I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master!

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My grand point in preaching, is to break the hard heart and to heal the broken one!

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John Newton's last words: "I am still in the land of the dying. I shall be in the land of the living soon!"

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If the Lord is with us, we have no cause of fear.
His eye is upon us,
His arm over us,
His ear open to our prayer,
His grace sufficient, and
His promise unchangeable.

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Our work is great.
Our time is short.
The consequences of our labors are infinite.

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We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.

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We serve a gracious Master who knows how to overrule even our mistakes to His glory and our own advantage.

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As to myself, if I were not a Calvinist, I think I would have no more hope of success in preaching to horses or cows than to men!

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The Christian must know that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him according to his need.

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I make it a rule of Christian duty never to go to a place where there is not room for my Master as well as myself.

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Christ has taken our nature into Heaven to represent us.
He has left us on earth, with His nature to represent Him.

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I can conceive a living man without an arm or a leg but not without a head or a heart.
In the same way, there are some truths essential to vital religion, and which all awakened souls are taught.

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If two angels were to receive a commission from God one to go down and rule earth's grandest empire, and the other to go and sweep the streets of its poorest village it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot. For the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God's will, and with equal joy they would lift a Lazarus in his rags to Abraham's bosom or be a chariot of fire to carry an Elijah home.

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I compare the troubles which we have to undergo in the course of the year to a great bundle of sticks, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry today; and then another, which we are to carry tomorrow; and so on. This we might easily manage, if we would only take the burden appointed for us each day. But we choose to increase our troubles by carrying yesterday's stick over again today and adding tomorrow's burden to our load, before we are required to bear it.

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Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil. I am content to observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape from it and with this I begin and end.

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What a mercy that we are only truly known to Him Who alone is able to bear us!

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Faith upholds a Christian under all trials, by assuring him that every painful dispensation is under the direction of his Lord.

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Of all people who engage in controversy, we, who are called Calvinists, are most expressly bound by our own principles to the exercise of gentleness and moderation.

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I am not what I ought to be. Ah! How imperfect and deficient!
I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good.
I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon, I shall put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection.
Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be I can truly say that I am not what I once was a slave to sin and Satan. And I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, "By the grace of God, I am what I am!"

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If you truly love Him you will study to please Him.

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When people are right with God, they are apt to be hard on themselves and easy on other people. But when they are not right with God, they are easy on themselves and hard on others.

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Although my memory is fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.

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Assurance grows by repeated conflict by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord's power and goodness to save. When we have been brought very low and helped; sorely wounded and healed; cast down and raised again; have given up all hope and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances. This trust, when habitual and strong, bears the name of assurance; for even assurance has degrees.

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There is many a thing which the world calls disappointment but there is no such thing in the dictionary of faith. What to others are disappointments are to believers intimations of the will of God.

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What will it profit a man if he gains his cause and silences his adversary if at the same time he loses that humble, tender frame of spirit in which the Lord delights, and to which the promise of His presence is made? If our zeal is embittered by expressions of anger, invective, or scorn we may think we are doing service of the cause of truth, when in reality we shall only bring it into discredit!

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This is faith: a renouncing of everything we are apt to call our own and relying wholly upon the blood, righteousness and intercession of Jesus.

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All shall work together for good. Everything is needful that He sends. Nothing can be needful that He withholds.

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Whoever is truly humbled will not be easily angry, nor harsh or critical of others. He will be compassionate and tender to the infirmities of his fellow-sinners, knowing that if there is a difference it is grace alone which has made it! He knows that he has the seeds of every evil in his own heart. And under all trials and afflictions he will look to the hand of the Lord, and lay his mouth in the dust, acknowledging that he suffers much less than his iniquities have deserved.

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God often takes a course for accomplishing His purposes directly contrary to what our narrow views would prescribe. He brings a death upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects when He is about to give us the desire of our hearts.

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God works powerfully but for the most part gently and gradually.

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The best advice I can give you is: Look unto Jesus, beholding his beauty in the written Word.

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I endeavored to renounce society, that I might avoid temptation. But it was a poor religion and so far as it prevailed, only tended to make me gloomy, stupid, unsociable, and useless.

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We have no clear ideas of the agency of demonic spirits, nor is it necessary. The Scripture says little to satisfy our curiosity; but tells us plainly that he is always watching us, and desiring to sift us as wheat. I believe we give him no more than his due, when we charge him with having a hand in all our sins.

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A soul disengaged from the world is a heavenly one. We are ready for Heaven when our heart is there before us.

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By one hour's intimate access to the throne of grace, where the Lord causes His glory to pass before the soul that seeks Him you may acquire more true spiritual knowledge and comfort, than a week's converse with the best of men.

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By affliction prayer is quickened for our prayers are very apt to grow languid and formal in a time of ease.

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I look upon prayer-meetings as the most profitable exercises (excepting the public preaching) in which Christians can engage. They have a direct tendency to kill a worldly, trifling spirit, and to draw down a Divine blessing upon all our concerns, compose differences, and enkindle (at least maintain) the flames of Divine love among brethren.

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A real friendship should not fade as time passes, and should not weaken because of space separation.

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How many times has He delivered me! Yet, alas! How distrustful and ungrateful is my heart even until the present!

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If we venture beyond the pale of Scripture we are exposed to all the illusions of imagination and enthusiasm.

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Whether men are pleased or not, we will, we must, worship the Lamb who was slain.

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Many are convinced, who are not truly converted. They are afraid of the consequences of sin though they never saw the evil of sin. They have a seeming desire of salvation which is not founded upon a truly spiritual discovery of their own wretchedness, and the excellency of Jesus.

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There are many who stumble in the noon-day, not for lack of light but for lack of eyes.

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I know not a better rule of reading the Scripture, than to read it through from beginning to end and when we have finished it once, to begin it again. We shall meet with many passages which we can make little improvement of but not so many in the second reading as in the first, and fewer in the third than in the second provided we pray to him who has the keys to open our understandings, and to anoint our eyes with His spiritual ointment!

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Experience is the Lord's school, and those who are taught by Him, usually learn by the mistakes they make, that in themselves they have no wisdom; and by their slips and falls, that they have no strength.

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Not only the guilt of sin but the love of sin, and its dominion, are taken away, subdued by grace, and cordially renounced by the believing pardoned sinner.

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If it were possible for me to alter any part of God's plan I would only spoil it.

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Every drop of rain hits its appointed target!

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So dress and conduct yourself so that people who have been in your company will not recall what you had on.

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Though the island of Great Britain exhibits but a small spot upon the map of the globe, it makes a splendid appearance in the history of mankind, and for a long space has been signally under the protection of God and a seat of peace, liberty and truth.

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If we seem to get no good by attempting to draw near to Him we may be sure we will get none by keeping away from Him.