But when the mower comes!

(Letters of John Newton)

Dear friend,
In preferring a warm heart to a full head — you certainly judge by the rule of Scripture. The Lord looks to the heart — not to the stature, the popularity, the intellect, the rank or wealth of a person. These are to the man — no more than ornamental trappings to a horse!

"All men are like grass, and all their goodness is like the flower of the field!" Isaiah 40:6. The mass of mankind may be compared to grass. And those who are distinguished by intellectual or external accomplishments of any kind — may be compared to the flowers which look more gaudy and are perhaps a little taller than the grass. But when the mower comes — the scythe finds no difference! Both fall by the same stroke, and wither with equal speed!

Indeed I believe that the most lively grace and the most solid comfort — are known among the Lord's poor and insignificant people. Every outward advantage, has a tendency to nourish the pride of the human heart; and requires a proportionable knowledge of the deceitful SELF and the evil of sin — to counterbalance them.

If I were qualified to search out the best Christian in the country, I would not expect to find him either in a professor's chair, or in a pulpit. I would give the trophy to that person who had the lowest thoughts of himself — and the most admiring and loving thoughts of the Savior. And perhaps this person may be some bedridden old man or woman, or a pauper in a workhouse.

Love to Jesus is not to be measured by the amount of knowledge we have, or how well we talk — but rather by the simplicity of our dependence upon Him, and the uniform tenor of our obedience to His will.

Your affectionate friend and servant,
John Newton