John Newton's Letters
O for a warmer heart
May 19, 1775
My dear Sir,
I hope you will experience the Lord present with you—at all times and in all
places. When it is so, we are at home everywhere; when it is otherwise, home
is a prison, and abroad a wilderness. I know what I ought to desire, and
what I do desire. I point him out to others as the all in all; I esteem him
as such in my own judgment; but, alas! my experience abounds with
complaints. He is my sun; but clouds, and sometimes walls, intercept him
from my view. He is my strength; yet I am prone to lean upon broken reeds.
He is my friend; but on my part there is such coldness and ingratitude as no
other friend could bear with! But still he is gracious, and shames me with
his repeated multiplied goodness to me. O for a warmer heart, a more
simple dependence, a more active zeal, a more sensible deliverance from the
effects of this body of sin and death!
He helps me in my endeavors to keep the vineyards of
others; but, alas! my own vineyard does not seem to flourish as some do
around me! However, though I cannot say I labor more abundantly than they
all, I have reason to say, with thankfulness, "By the grace of God, I am
what I am!" My poor story would soon be much worse, did not he support,
restrain, and watch over me every minute! Let me entreat your praises and
prayers, on the behalf of me and mine; and may the Lord bless you and yours
with an increase in every good.