“What shall it be, ‘ere long, when the Lord shall call us up to join with those who are now singing before the throne?
What shall it be, when all the children of God, who in different ages and countries have been scattered abroad, shall be all gathered together, and enter into that glorious and eternal rest provided for them– when there shall not be one trace of sin or sorrow remaining, not one discordant note be heard, nothing to disturb, or defile, or lighten the never-ceasing joy!
Such is the hope to which God has called us: that day will surely come, as the present day is already arrived– every moment brings on its approach.
While I am writing and you are reading, we may say, ‘Now is our full salvation nearer.’ (Romans 13:11)
Many a weary step we have taken since the Lord first gave us to believe in His name; but we shall not have to tread the past way over again– some difficulties yet remain, but we know not how few.
Perhaps before we are aware, the Lord may cut short our conflict and say, ‘Come up hither.’
Or at the most it cannot be very long, and He who has been with us thus far, will be with us to the end.
He knows how to manifest Himself even here, to give more than He takes away, and to cause our consolations to exceed our greatest afflictions.
And when we get safely home, we shall not complain that we have suffered too much in the way.
We shall not say, ‘Is this all I must expect after so much trouble?’
No, when we awake into that glorious world, we shall in an instant be satisfied with His likeness. One sight of Jesus as He is will fill our hearts and dry up all our tears.
Let us then resign ourselves into His hands.
Let us gird up the loins of our minds, be sober, and hope to the end.
Let us, like faithful servants, watch for our Lord’s appearance, and pray earnestly that we may be found ready at His coming.
Jesus is able to keep us from falling.
Let us be steady in the use of His instituted means, and sincerely desirous to abstain from all appearance of evil.
The rest we may confidently leave to Him, in whom, whosoever trusts, shall never be ashamed.”
–John Newton, The Christian Correspondent: Or a Series of Religious Letters Written by the Rev. John Newton to Alexander Clunie (Hull: George Prince, 1790), 19-22. This letter was written from Liverpool on May 21, 1763.