John Newton's Letters
All our concerns are in His
November 6, 1777.
My dear Sir,
You say you are more disposed to cry misery than hallelujah.
Why not both together? When the treble is praise, and heart humiliation for
the base, the melody is pleasant, and the harmony good. However, if
not both together, we must have them alternately: not all singing, not all
sighing—but an interchange and balance, that we may be neither lifted too
high—nor cast down too low—which would be the case if we were very
comfortable or very sorrowful for a long continuance.
But though we change—the Savior changes
not! All our concerns are in his hands, and therefore safe. His path is in
the deep waters; his thoughts and methods of conduct are as high above
ours—as the heavens are high above the earth; and he often takes a course
for accomplishing his purposes, which is directly contrary to what our
narrow views would prescribe. He wounds—in order to heal. He kills—that he
may make alive. He casts down—when he designs to raise. He brings a death
upon our feelings, wishes, and prospects—when he is about to give us the
desire of our hearts. These things he does to test us; but he himself knows,
and has determined before-hand, what he will do. The test indeed, usually
turns out to our shame. Impatience and unbelief show their ugly heads, and
prompt us to suppose this, that, and the other thing, yes perhaps all
things, are against us; to question whether He is with us and for us, or
not. But it issues likewise in the praise of his goodness, when we find,
that, over all our unkind complaints and suspicions—he is still working
wonderfully for us, causing light to shine out of darkness, and doing us
good in defiance of ourselves!