John Newton’s Testimony
I am like your flowers, getting apace into an autumn state. The Lord grant I may find the declension of vigour, which I must soon expect to feel, balanced by a ripeness in judgment and experience as you speak.
If it be so with me, it is in a great measure hidden from me. To be sure, I have had more proofs of an evil nature and deceitful heart than I could possibly expect or conceive of twenty years ago, though I then thought I found as much of it as I could bear. I believe likewise my understanding is more enlightened into the three great mysteries of the Person, love and life of Jesus.
Yet I seem to groan under darkness, coldness and confusion as much as ever. And I believe I must go out of the world with the same language upon my lips which I used when I first ventured to a throne of grace:
“Have mercy upon me, O Lord, a poor, worthless sinner.”
My feelings are faint; my services feeble and defiled; my defects, mistakes and omissions innumerable; my imaginations are wild as the clouds in a storm, yea, too often foul as a common sewer.
What can I set against this mournful confession?
Only this: that Christ hath died and is risen again; I believe He is able to save to the uttermost, and He hath said, “Whosoever cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out.”
Upon His Person, worth and promise rests all my hope; but this is a foundation able to bear the greatest weight.
By John Newton