“I often think of you, and I think of you as burdened, but I know there is a might arm near to support you, and to sanctify all your trials.
The Lord will do you good by them, both as a Christian, and as a minister. When the shepherd is much exercised it is usually well for the flock (2 Cor. 1:3-6).
And some of our afflictions perhaps befall us for the sake of our people, that we may be reminded and enabled to speak their feelings, by what we feel ourselves.
In this way the tongue of the learned is acquired and skill to speak a word in season to the weary (Isa. 50:4).
Settle it in your heart, my friend, that the Lord does all things well, all for the best.
Believe it now, and in due time you shall plainly see it, and praise Him equally for giving and taking away (Job 1:21).
Time is short and the nature of our employment while it lasts, is well suited to raise our thoughts above the little concerns of such a life as this, to fill us with great ideas, to inspire with great aims, to animate us with great prospects:
The love of Christ; the worth of souls, the honour of being instrumental in their recovery; a glorious endless state of happiness and holiness.
How light must our present sufferings appear, when weighed in the scales of the Sanctuary against these things.
‘Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.’ (Galatians 6:9)”
–John Newton, Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letters to John Ryland Jr., Ed. Grant Gordon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 192.