(Letters of John Newton)
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? " Jeremiah 17:9 Alas! the most marvelous proofs of the Lord's patience and goodness to me are utterly unfit for publication; nay, I could not whisper some things into the ear of a friend.
It has been since my conversion, and not by what happened before it, that I have known the most striking instances of the vileness and depravity of my nature. My heart has been continually producing new monsters! I have good reason to believe, that it is still comparatively an unknown territory to me; and that it contains bottomless mines, depths, and sources of iniquity in it, of which I have hardly a more adequate conception, than I could form of the fishes that are hidden in the sea, by taking a survey of the fish-market at Billingsgate!
But oh! wonderful, transporting thought! He, before whom its most retired recesses lie naked and open, can and does bear with me! How wonderful is it, likewise, that notwithstanding all these floods of abomination, He has been pleased to keep me outwardly, so that I have not been allowed to make any considerable blot in my profession before men, since He was pleased first to number me among His children. But truly I have nothing to boast of. I may well say, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is exceedingly abundant!" 1 Timothy 1:14
"Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!"
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan