If I were not so poor, so sick, so foolish

(Letters of John Newton)

May 31, 1775
My dear friend,
You ask how I am—but I know not what answer to give. My experience is made up of enigmas—but the sum and solution of all is, "That I am a vile creature—but I have a good and gracious Savior!"

He has chosen me—and through His rich grace—I have chosen Him! There is a union between Him and my soul, which shall never be broken, because He has undertaken for both parts—that He will never forsake me, and that I shall never forsake Him. Oh, I like those royal, sovereign words, "I will," and "they shall."

"I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts—that they shall not depart from Me!" Jeremiah 32:40

How sweetly are they suited to the long experience He has given me of my own weakness, and the power and subtlety of Satan! If my spiritual conflicts terminate in victory—it must be owing to His own arm, and for His own name's sake. For I in myself have neither strength nor plea. If I were not so poor, so sick, so foolish—the power, skill, riches, wisdom and mercy of my Physician, Shepherd, and Savior—would not be so signally illustrated in my own case! Upon this account, instead of complaining, we may glory in our infirmities. Oh, it is pleasant to be deeply indebted to Him, to find Him, and own Him, all in all
Our Husband, Shepherd, Brother, Friend,
Our Guide, and Guard, our Way, and End!

"Christ is all!" Colossians 3:11