Is not the light of his countenance better than life?

Tim Brister —  September 28, 2007 — 1 Comment

For the past week, I have been devotionally reading some letters by John Newton. Time and time again I came across rich quotes and began to mark them as I continued reading. I recently talked with a friend about the writings of yesteryear as seen in the writings of the Puritans and Newton, how their wells ran so deep, which was often expressed in the gushing springs from their pens. On the contrary, it seems that today our words seem so weightless, trivial, and flippant (at least mine). Reflecting on this reality, I am starting a series called Nuggets of Newton in which I hope to share some quotes by Newton on the Christian life. Over a period of time, I hope to have a topical compilation of excerpts (digital quote book) of Newton as a devotional resource for myself and others. For ease of perusal, I will provide the topic before each quote.

Topic: Jesus, affliction/loss

“Is He not rich enough to give us something better than ever He will take away? Is not the light of his countenance better than life and all its most valued enjoyments? Is not this our time of trial; and are we not traveling towards a land of light? . . . one [drop] of the river of pleasure at God’s right hand will make us forget our sorrows for ever; or the remembrance, if any, will only serve to heighten our joys. Further, what life did He lead whom we call our Master and our Lord? Was not He a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief? Has He marked out one way to heaven with his painful footsteps, and shall we expect, or even wish, to walk in another? With such considerations as these, we should endeavour to arm our minds, and pray to the Lord to fix a sense of them in our hearts, and to renew it from time to time; that when changes are either feared or felt, we may not be like the people of the world, who have no hope, no refuge, no throne of grace, but may be enabled to glorify our God in the fire, and give proof that his grace is sufficient for us in every state.”

John Newton, to Daniel West (January 25, 1766)

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