“Give Jesus the honor due to His name” by John Newton

“Let us then, dear madam, be thankful and cheerful; and while we take shame to ourselves, let us glorify God, by giving Jesus the honor due to His name.

Though we are poor, He is rich.

Though we are weak, He is strong.

Though we have nothing, He possesses all things.

He suffered for us: He calls us to be conformed to Him in sufferings.

He conquered in His own person, and He will make each of His members more than conquerors in due season.

It is good to have one eye upon ourselves; but the other should ever be fixed on Him who stands in the relation of Saviour, Husband, Head, and Shepherd.

In Him we have righteousness, peace, and power.

He can control all that we fear; so that if our path should be through the fire or through the water, neither the flood shall drown us, nor the flame kindle upon us, and ere long He will cut short our conflicts, and say, Come up hither.

Then shall our grateful songs abound, and every fear be wiped away.

Having such promises and assurances, let us lift up our banner in His name, and press on through every discouragement.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 171-172.

“I am sure He will do you good in the end” by John Newton

“Here is the mercy, that His ways are above ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. Though we are foolish and unbelieving, He remains faithful: He will not deny Himself.

I recommend to you especially that promise of God, which is so comprehensive that it takes in all our concernments,—I mean, that all things shall work together for good. (Romans 8:28)

How hard is it to believe, that not only those things which are grievous to the flesh, but even those things which draw forth our corruptions, and discover to us what is in our hearts, and fill us with guilt and shame, should in the issue work for our good!

Yet the Lord has said it.

All your pains and trials, all that befalls you in your own person, or that affects you upon the account of others, shall in the end prove to your advantage.

And your peace does not depend upon any change of circumstances which may appear desirable, but in having your will bowed to the Lord’s will, and made willing to submit all to His disposal and management.

Pray for this, and wait patiently for Him, and He will do it.

Be not surprised to find yourself poor, helpless, and vile; all whom He favours and teaches will find themselves so. The more grace increases, the more we shall see to abase us in our own eyes.

And this will make the Saviour and His salvation more precious to us. He takes His own wise methods to humble you, and to prove you.

And I am sure He will do you good in the end.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 148-149.

“All shall work together for good” by John Newton

“All shall work together for good: everything is needful that He sends; nothing can be needful that He withholds.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 147.

“We can do nothing without Him” by John Newton

“We are never more safe, never have more reason to expect the Lord’s help, than when we are most sensible that we can do nothing without Him.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 146.

“Jesus is a complete Saviour” by John Newton

“One thing is needful; an humble, dependent spirit, to renounce our own wills, and give up ourselves to His disposal without reserve. This is the path of peace.

And it is the path of safety, for He has said, ‘The meek he will teach his way, and those who yield up themselves to him he will guide with his eye.’ (Psalm 25:9)

I hope you will fight and pray against every rising of a murmuring spirit, and be thankful for the great things which he has already done for you.

It is good to be humbled for sin, but not to be discouraged.

For though we are poor creatures, Jesus is a complete Saviour, and we bring more honour to God by believing in His name, and trusting His word of promise, than we could do by a thousand outward works.

I pray the Lord to shine upon your soul, and to fill you with all joy and peace in believing.

Remember to pray for us, that we may be brought home to you in peace.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 144-145.

“His name is Love” by John Newton

“I hope, in the midst of all your engagements, you find a little time to read His good Word, and to wait at His mercy-seat. It is good for us to draw nigh to Him.

It is an honour that He permits us to pray; and we shall surely find He is a God hearing prayer. Endeavour to be diligent in the means; yet watch and strive against a legal spirit, which is always aiming to represent him as a hard master, watching, as it were, to take advantage of us.

But it is far otherwise. His name is Love: He looks upon us with compassion; He knows our frame, and remembers that we are but dust.

And when our infirmities prevail, He does not bid us despond, but reminds us that we have an Advocate with the Father, who is able to pity, to pardon, and to save to the uttermost.

Think of the names and relations he bears. Does He not call Himself a Saviour, a Shepherd, a Friend, and a Husband?

Has he not made known unto us His love, His blood, His righteousness, His promises, His power, and His grace, and all for our encouragement?

Away then with all doubting, unbelieving thoughts; they will not only distress your heart, but weaken your hands.

Take it for granted upon the warrant of His word, that you are His, and He is yours; that He has loved you with an everlasting love, and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn you to Himself; that He will surely accomplish that which He has begun, and that nothing which can be named or thought of shall ever be able to separate you from Him.

This persuasion will give you strength for the battle; this is the shield which will quench the fiery darts of Satan; this is the helmet which the enemy cannot pierce.

Whereas if we go forth doubting and fearing, and are afraid to trust any farther than we can feel, we are weak as water, and easily overcome.

Be strong, therefore, not in yourself, but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Pray for me.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 143-144.

“Look unto the Lord Jesus Christ” by John Newton

“Look unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look unto Him as He hung naked, wounded, bleeding, dead, and forsaken upon the cross.

Look unto Him again as He now reigns in glory, possessed of all power in heaven and in earth, with thousands of thousands of saints and angels worshipping before Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand ministering unto Him.

And then compare your sins with His blood.

Compare your wants with His fulness.

Compare your unbelief with His faithfulness.

Compare your weakness with His strength.

Compare your inconstancy with His everlasting love.”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 2: 574-575.

“Serious thankfulness” by John Newton

“If we are really Christians, and do indeed believe the tenour of the Scriptures, with what serious thankfulness, and joyful composure, ought we to commemorate the coming of a Saviour into the world?

If the little good offices we perform to each other demand a grateful return, what do we owe to Him, who, of His own free motion and goodness, humbled Himself so far, and suffered so much, to redeem us from extreme and endless misery?”

–John Newton, The Works of John NewtonVolume 5 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1988), 5: 403.

“My hope is built, not upon what I feel in myself, but upon what He felt for me” by John Newton

“The gospel gives me relief.

When I think of the obedience unto death of Jesus Christ in my nature, as a public person, and in behalf of sinners, then I see the law, which I could not obey, completely fulfilled by Him, and the penalty which I had incurred sustained by Him.

I see Him in proportion to the degree of faith in Him, bearing my sins in His own body upon the tree.

I see God well pleased in Him, and for His sake freely justifying the ungodly. This sight saves me from guilt and fear, removes the obstacles which stood in my way, emboldens my access to the throne of grace, for the influences of His Holy Spirit to subdue my sins, and to make me conformable to my Saviour.

But my hope is built, not upon what I feel in myself, but upon what He felt for me; not upon what I can ever do for Him, but upon what has been done by Him upon my account.

It appears to me becoming the wisdom of God to take such a method of showing His mercy to sinners, as should convince the world, the universe, angels, and men, that His inflexible displeasure against sin, and His regard to the demands of His truth and holiness, must at the same time be equally displayed.

This was effected by bruising His own Son, filling Him with agonies, and delivering Him up to death and the curse of the law, when He appeared as a surety for sinners.

It appears to me, therefore, that, though the blessings of justification and sanctification are coincident, and cannot be separated in the same subject, a believing sinner, yet they are in themselves as distinct and different as any two things can well be.

The one, like life itself, is instantaneous and perfect at once, and takes place the moment the soul is born of God; the other, like the effects of life, growth, and strength, is imperfect and gradual.

The child born today, though weak, and very different from what it will be when its faculties open, and its stature increases, is as truly, and as much, alive as it will ever be. And, if an heir to an estate or a kingdom, has the same right now as it will have when it becomes of age, because this right is derived not from its abilities or stature, but from its birth and parents.

The weakest believer is born of God, and an heir of glory.”

–John Newton, “Letter XIV,” The Works of John NewtonVolume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 6: 247-249.

“If you want to understand theology, you had better begin here” by Charles Spurgeon

“All of us put together, and millions upon millions of our human race, could never equal in value the precious Lord Jesus. If you were to put in all the angels as well, and all the creatures that God has over made, they could not equal Him who is the brightness of His Father’s glory, and the express image of His person.

‘Yet He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.’ And this is the gospel which we have to preach to you every time we stand before you, namely, that Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, was offered to God as a substitute for ungodly, unclean, unacceptable man.

That we might not die, Christ died.

That we might not be cursed, Jesus was cursed and fastened to the tree.

That we might be received, He was rejected.

That we might be approved, He was despised.

That we might live forever He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

If any man wants to understand theology, he had better begin here. This is the first and main point.

I do not think I should dispute with any of my brethren in the ministry upon what else they hold if they all hold purely and straightforwardly the doctrine of substitution by Jesus Christ on the behalf of His own elect people.

Martin Luther stood out for justification by faith, and rightly so, for in his day that seemed to be the center, where all the battle raged. I think that just now substitution by Christ seems to be the place where the garments are rolled in blood, and where the fight is thickest.

That Jesus Christ was punished in the sinner’s stead, that the wrath which was due to His people was endured by Him, that He drank the cup of bitterness which they ought to have drained, is the grandest of all truths, and so sublime a truth that if all the Christians in the world were to be burned in one dreadful holocaust, the price would be but little to maintain this precious doctrine in its integrity upon the face of the earth.

Now most men know that they are to be saved by Christ, but I am afraid, but I am afraid that it is not always preached plainly, so that men know how it is that Christ saves them.

My dear hearer, I would not have you go away without knowing this. Christ Jesus came into the world to take the sins of His people upon Himself, and to be punished for them.

Well, if Christ was punished for them, they could not be punished afterwards. Christ’s being punished in their stead was the full discharge of their debt which they owed to divine justice, and they are sure to be saved.

Those for whom Christ died as a Substitute can no more be damned than Christ Himself can be. It is not possible that hell can enclose them, or elsewhere are the justice and the integrity of God?

Does He demand the man, and then take a Substitute, and then take the man again? Does He demand the payment of our debt, and receive that payment at the hand of Christ, and then arrest us a second time for the same debt?

Then, in the great court of King’s Bench in heaven, where is justice? The honour of God, the faithfulness of God, the integrity of God are certain warrants to every soul for whom Christ died, that if Christ died for him he shall not die, but shall be exempt from the curse of the law.

‘How then,’ says one, ‘may I know that Christ died for my soul?’

Sir, dost thou trust Him? Wilt thou trust Him now? If so, that is the mark of His redeemed.

This is the King’s mark upon His treasure. This is the mark of the great Sheep-Master upon every one of those whom He has bought with blood.

If thou wilt take Him to be the unbuttressed pillar of thy salvation, if thou wilt build upon Him as the sole foundation of thine everlasting hope, then art thou His, and as for thy sins, they are laid on Him.

As for thy righteousness, thou hast none of thine own, but Christ’s righteousness is thine. As in the case before us, the lamb was offered, the donkey was spared; the unclean animal lived; the clean creature died. There was a change of places.

So does Christ change places with the sinner. Christ puts Himself in the sinner’s place, and what do we read? ‘He was numbered with the transgressors,’ and, being numbered with the transgressors, what then?

Why, He was put to death as a transgressor. They crucified Him between two malefactors. He had to suffer the death of a felon, and though in him was no sin, yet ‘the Lord hath made to meet upon Him the iniquities of us all.’

He was before God the representative of all His people, and all the sins of his people covered Him until He had drunk the cup of wrath, and then He threw off the horrible incubus of His people’s sins, and cast the stupendous load of the guilt of all His elect down into the sepulchre, and there left it buried forever, while in His rising He gave to them the pledge and earnest of their acquittal, and of their everlasting life.

Ah! My hearers, I wish I had a thousand tongues with which to proclaim this one truth! As I have not, I ask the tongues of all those who know its preciousness to tell it forth.

Tell the sick, tell the dying, tell the young, tell the old, tell sinners of every degree and every class, that salvation is not by what they do, nor by what they feel, but that it all lies in that Man who was once crucified, but who now lives in the power of an endless life before the eternal throne.

And if they say, ‘What mean you by this?’ tell them that this man is none other than God over all, blessed forever, and that He condescended to become man, and take upon Himself the sin of His people, and to be punished for their guilt, so that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.

The just for the unjust, He died to bring us to God. This is the gospel– the core, the kernel, the marrow of the entire Bible.

You may say of all the book besides that it is but folds and wrappings; but this is what it wraps up—substitution by Christ.

Believe this truth. Believe it as a doctrine, but, better still, cast your souls on it, and say, ‘If it be so, then will I trust in the power of him who loved, and lived, and died for sinners that I might go free.'”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Redeeming the Unclean,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 61 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1915), 61: 221–223.