“Your prayers and kind wishes for me and mine, I heartily thank you for, and hope we shall repay you (as we are enabled) in kind.
Many here have, indeed, reason to speak well of the Lord. He has been very gracious to us. But, alas! most of us may complain of ourselves.
But, unworthy as we are, He bears with us; He multiplies pardons, and He keeps us upon the whole in a persuasion that His loving kindness is better than life.
The workings of a corrupt nature, and the subtlety of our spiritual enemies, cause us much exercise; but we find One with us who is greater than our hearts, and greater than he that is in the world.
When I look at some of my people, I am filled both with joy and shame; joy to see that the Lord has not suffered my labour among them to be in vain; shame to think that I have preached so much more effectually to them than to my own heart.
It is my mercy that I am not under the law, but under grace. Were it not for this thought, I should sink.
But it is given me to know that Jesus is all to them who are nothing.
The promise whereon I trust, and the power of trusting in it, are both from Him, and therefore I am encouraged to plead, ‘Remember Thy word unto Thy servant, wherein Thou hast caused me to hope.’ (Psalm 119:49)
A sure promise, a complete atonement, a perfect righteousness, an Almighty Saviour, who is able to save to the uttermost, and has said, ‘I will in no wise cast out.’ (John 6:37)
These are the weapons with which I (alas, how feebly!) oppose the discouragements which arise from self and unbelief.”
–John Newton, The Works of John Newton, Volume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 6: 265-266.