“What Thou will, when Thou will, and how Thou will” by John Newton

“It is not necessary for me to be rich, or what the world accounts wise. It is not necessary for me to be healthy, or admired by my fellow-worms. It is not necessary for me to pass through life in a state of prosperity and outward comfort—these things may be, or they may be otherwise, as the Lord in His wisdom shall appoint.

But it is necessary for me to be humble and spiritual, to seek communion with God, to adorn my profession of the Gospel, and to yield submissively to His disposal, in whatever way, whether of service or suffering, He shall be pleased to call me to glorify Him in the world.

It is not necessary for me to live long, but highly expedient that while I do live I should live to Him. Here then I would bound my desires, and here, having His word both for my rule and my warrant, I am secured from asking amiss. Let me have His presence and His Spirit, wisdom to know my calling, and opportunities and faithfulness to improve them. And as to the rest, Lord, help me to say, what Thou will, when Thou will, and how Thou will.”

–John Newton, “Letter to Miss P****” in The Works of John Newton, Ed. Richard Cecil, (London: Hamilton, Adams, and Co., 1824) 2:228-229.

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Filed under Christian Theology, John Newton, Providence, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes

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