“Saturday evening has returned again. How quickly the time flies!
O that we may have grace to number our days, and to begin to view the things of this world in that light which they will, doubtless, appear in when we are are upon the point of leaving them.
How many things which are too apt to appear important now and to engross too much of our time, and thoughts, and strength, will then be acknowledged as vain and trivial as the imperfect recollection of a morning dream?
The Lord help us to judge now as we shall judge then, that all things on this side of the grave are of no real value further than they are improved in subservience to the will and glory of God, and that an hour’s enjoyment of the light of His countenance is worth more than the wealth of the Indies and the power of Kings.
How often are we, like Martha, cumbered about many things, though we say, and I hope at the bottom believe, that one thing alone is needful.
The Lord give us a believing, humble, spiritual frame of mind, and make it our earnest desire and prayer, that we may be more like the angels of God, who are always employed, and always happy, in doing His will and beholding His glory.
The rest we may be content to leave to those who are strangers to the love of Jesus and the foretastes of Heaven.
I have been attempting to pray that you and our friends in London may, together with us, behold the KING in His beauty tomorrow– that we may, like David, be satisfied in our souls as with marrow and fatness, and feel something of what Thomas felt, when he put his finger upon the print of His nails, and cried out with transport, ‘My Lord and my God!’
With dear love to you and all friends, I remain,
–John Newton, The Christian Correspondent: Or a Series of Religious Letters Written by the Rev. John Newton to Alexander Clunie (Hull: George Prince, 1790), 171-175. This letter was written from Olney on April 1, 1769.