“The Redeemer of sinners must be mighty. He must be all-sufficient to bless, and almighty to protect, those who come unto Him for safety and life. Such a one is our Shepherd.
This is He of whom we, through grace, are enabled to say, we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. We are His by every tie and right: He made us, He redeemed us, He reclaimed us from the hand of our enemies.
And we are His by our own voluntary surrender of ourselves; for though we once slighted, despised, and opposed Him, He made us willing in the day of His power.
He knocked at the door of our hearts; but we (at least I) barred and fastened it against Him as much and as long as possible: but when He revealed His love, we could stand out no longer.
Like sheep, we are weak, destitute, defenceless, prone to wander, unable to return, and always surrounded with wolves; but all is made up in the fullness, ability, wisdom, compassion, care, and faithfulness of our great Shepherd.
He guides, protects, feeds, heals, and restores, and will be our guide and our God even until death. Then He will meet us, receive us, and present us unto Himself, and we shall be near Him, and like Him, and with Him forever.”
–John Newton, “Letter XVI – November 5, 1774” in The Works of the John Newton Volume 1 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 494-495.