What a poor, uncertain, dying world is
(by John Newton)
What a wilderness in itself! How dark, how
desolate, without the light of the Gospel and
knowledge of Jesus! It does not appear so to
us in a state of nature, because we are then
in a state of enchantment, the magical lantern
blinding us with a grand delusion.
It is a great mercy to be undeceived in time;
and though our gay dreams are at an end, and
we awake to everything that is disgustful and
dismaying, yet we see a highway through the
wilderness, an infallible guide at hand to conduct
us through; and we can discern, beyond the limits
of the wilderness, a better land, where we shall
be at rest and at home.
What will the difficulties we met by the way then
signify? The remembrance of them will only remain
to heighten our sense of the love, care, and power
of our Saviour and Leader. O how shall we then
admire, adore, and praise Him, when He shall
condescend to unfold to us the beauty, propriety,
and harmony of the whole train of his dispensations
towards us, and give us a clear retrospect of all
the way and all the turns of our pilgrimage!
In the meanwhile, the best method of adorning
our profession, and of enjoying peace in our souls,
is simply to trust Him, and absolutely to commit
ourselves and our all to His management.
By casting our burdens upon Him, our spirits
become light and cheerful; we are freed from a
thousand anxieties and inquietudes, which are
wearisome to our minds, and which with respect
to events, are needless for us, yes, useless.
But though it may be easy to speak of this trust,
and it appears to our judgement perfectly right
and reasonable, the actual attainment is a great
thing; and especially so to trust the Lord, not by
fits and starts, surrendering one day and retracting
the next, but to abide by our surrender, and go
habitually trusting through all the changes we meet,
knowing that His love, purpose, and promise are
Some little faintings perhaps none are freed from;
but I believe a power of trusting the Lord in good
measure at all times, and living quietly under the
shadow of His wing, is what the promise warrants
us to expect, if we seek it by diligent prayer; if not
all at once, yet by a gradual increase.
May it be your experience and mine!