Newton speaks again

I’ll never get tired of John Newton. I’ve been listening to the Desiring God Conference mp3’s from two weekends ago, and I was greatly blessed by the address by Tim Keller. One thing that he continually did during his lecture was quote John Newton — a sure way to gain MY favor. Here’s one that he quoted in full:

Prayer answered by crosses.

I asked the LORD that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, his face.

‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once he’d answer my request;
And by his love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

LORD, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“‘Tis in this way, the LORD replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in me.”




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4 Responses to “Newton speaks again”

  1. Joe Minich Says:

    Hey Mr. Ritchie!

    I forgot about that one. Thanks for the reminder. In the past, I have quoted it to myself time without number. I think, perhaps, I first saw it in Packer’s Knowing God?

  2. Mark Ritchie Says:

    Indeed! I just looked it up. In fact, the chapter title is “These Inward Trials.” That’s a book I need to read again.

  3. Jamie White Says:

    Hey Mark,
    I love the picture John Newton gives on Amazing Grace…..
    “A comnpany of travelers fall into a pit: one of them gets a passenger to draw him out. Now he should not be angry with the rest for falling in; nor because they are not yet out, as he is. He did not pull himself out: instead, therefore, of reproaching them, he should show them pity…A man, truly illuminated, will no more despise others, than Bartimaeus, after his own eyes were opened, would take a stick, and beat every blind man he met.”

  4. Mark Ritchie Says:

    That’s wonderful! Thanks for that quote, which I’ve never heard before.

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