This wretched state of sin and temptation

(Letters of John Newton)

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death!" Romans 7:24

Though we can fall of ourselves—we cannot rise without God's help! Indeed, every sin, in its own nature, has a tendency towards a final apostasy! By our repeated slips and falls into sin, we gain a more emphatic conviction of our own vileness and depravity; and we experimentally learn and feel our own weakness.

In His own time, Jesus returns to convince, humble, pardon, comfort and renew the soul. We begin at length to learn that we are nothing, have nothing, can do nothing—but sin! And thus we are gradually prepared to live more outside of ourselves—and to derive all our sufficiency of every kind from Jesus, the fountain of all grace. We learn to tread more warily; to trust less to our own strength; to have lower thoughts of ourselves, and higher thoughts of Jesus!

This wretched state of sin and temptation, makes the thoughts of death and eternity desirable. Then this conflict shall cease! Then I shall sin and wander no more, shall see Him as he is, and be like Him forever!