A Word to Profs, Preachers, and Writers

From the Letters of John Newton (Banner of Truth, 1869/2007), page 364:

I believe the liveliest grace and the most solid comfort are known among the Lord’s poor and undistinguished people. Every outward advantage has a tendency to nourish the pride of the human heart, and requires a proportional knowledge of the deceitful self and the evil of sin to counterbalance them. It is no less difficult to have great abilities than great riches without trusting in them. …

If I were qualified to search out the best Christian in the kingdom, I should not expect to find him either in a professor’s chair or in a pulpit. I should give the palm [prize] to that person who had the lowest thoughts of himself, and the most admiring and cordial thoughts of the Savior. And perhaps this person may be some bedridden old man or woman, or a pauper in a parish workhouse. But our regard to the Lord is not to be measured by our sensible feelings, by what we can say or write, but rather by the simplicity of our dependence, and the uniform tenor of our obedience to his will.

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