145 John Newton Tweets

In the course of writing a book on John Newton (1725–1807), I read all of his 1,000 published letters at least twice. He was a brilliant pastor, and in his pastoral letters I often discovered lines too good, too funny, too challenging, too humbling, or too Christ-centered not to be shared on Twitter instantly.

While I should probably explain my process more in the future, I can say Twitter mostly serves as a platform where I drop research fragments to be later collected for future projects. Today I trolled my Twitter archive and collected my Newton tweets from the past two years of research and organized them into an alphabetical list of quotes to give you a taste of what you’ll find in my book and what you’ll read in Newton’s letters (like those in this wonderful collection).



Newton: “A knock at the door, a turning a corner, may be events which lead to important consequences. There’s no such thing as accidents.” #JNXL

Newton: “A man learns to preach by learning to acquire confidence, not in himself, but in his cause, and in him in whose name he speaks.” #JNXL

Newton: “A minister full of comforts and free from failings as an angel, though he would be happy, wouldn’t be a good or useful preacher.” #JNXL

Newton: “A minister’s hands are strengthened when he can point to his people as living proofs of the doctrine he preaches.” #JNXL

Newton: “Abominations, like nests of vipers, lie quietly in us, til the rod of affliction rouses them; then they hiss and show their venom.” #JNXL

Newton: “Alas! how difficult is it to draw the line exactly between undervaluing and overvaluing the gifts of God.” #JNXL

Newton: “All my hopes and comforts may be summed up by saying, I have a rich and gracious Savior.” #JNXL

Newton: “All wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and happiness, which does not spring from and center in Christ, my soul desires to renounce.” #JNXL

Newton: “As desirable and precious as sanctification is, it is not, I trust it never will be, the ground of my hope.” #JNXL

Newton: “As Jesus appears in your view, / As he is beloved or not; / So God is disposed to you, / And mercy or wrath are your lot.” #JNXL

Newton: “Be cautious you do not degenerate into a mere hearer, so as to place your chief stress on running after preachers.” #JNXL

Newton: “Blessed be my Lord and Savior, who saved me from destruction in defiance of myself.” #JNXL

Newton: “Christ is not only the object, but the author, and finisher of faith (Hebrews 12:2).” #JNXL

Newton: “Cold as I feel this heart of mine, / Yet since I feel it so, / It yields some hope of life divine.” #JNXL

Newton: “Colleges can never make up for a lack of the knowledge of Christ.” #JNXL

Newton: “Dangerous and inveterate diseases are seldom cured by cakes and candies.” #rials #JNXL

Newton: “Dear Lord, the idol self dethrone / And from our hearts remove / And let no zeal by us be shown / But that which springs from love” #JNXL

Newton: “Deuteronomy 32:9–12 is a passage which exhibits the history of a believer in miniature, an Iliad in a nutshell.” #JNXL

Newton: “Disappointment is the grumblings of self-will against the will of God.” #JNXL

Newton: “Dread whatever grieves the Spirit of God.” #JNXL

Newton: “Even now, while I write, and while you read, they are praising the Lamb that was slain.” #JNXL

Newton: “Every drop of rain hits its appointed target.” #JNXL

Newton: “Every new day is filled up with new things, new mercies on the Lord’s part, new ingratitude on mine.” #JNXL

Newton: “Every semblance of religion that is not derived from Christ, by faith in his name, is, at the best, like a lamp without oil.” #JNXL

Newton: “Everything is necessary that God sends our way; nothing can be necessary that he withholds.” #JNXL

Newton: “Experience and observation proves that no doctrine but Jesus Christ and him crucified will withstand the stream of the world.” #JNXL

Newton: “For about six weeks I have had occasion to spend several hours of almost every day with the sick and the dying.” #JNXL

Newton: “Gifts are like riches: if well improved, they give a man fairer opportunities of service.” #JNXL

Newton: “Gladly would I receive more of comforts, but it is more necessary for me now, both as a Christian and minister, that I be humbled.” #JNXL

Newton: “God formed us for himself, and has given the human such a vastness of thirst for happiness as He alone can answer.” #JNXL

Newton: “Grace cherishes the smoking flax into a flame.” #JNXL

Newton: “He does all things well. It is never ill with us but when our evil hearts doubt or forget this plainest of truths.” #JNXL

Newton: “He found us when we sought him not. Then we began to seek him, and he was pleased to be found by us.” #JNXL

Newton: “He has given us a capacity and thirst for happiness which, both experience and observation demonstrate, the world cannot satisfy.” #JNXL

Newton: “He who is duly sensible of the importance and difficulty of winning souls, will find but little leisure for sorting shells.” #JNXL

Newton: “He will put his silver into the fire to purify it; but he sits by the furnace as a refiner, to direct the process.” #JNXL

Newton: “Hearers are disposed to be pleased with the preacher if he says nothing to make them displeased with themselves.” #JNXL

Newton: “How different were Christ’s sufferings from ours? There is no sting in our rod, nor wrath in our cup.” #JNXL

Newton: “How happy is it to know the Lord, the Fountain of living waters! Every other acquisition without him will prove a broken cistern.” #JNXL

Newton: “How seldom do we think how much we are indebted to Christ living in us!” #JNXL

Newton: “I advise you by all means to keep close to the atonement. The doctrine of the cross is the sun in the system of truth.” #JNXL

Newton: “I am a riddle to myself.” #JNXL

Newton: “I am afraid we have been, and still are, too guilty of idolatry; and the Lord might justly blast our boasted paradise.” #JNXL

Newton: “I am neither whig nor tory, but a friend to both. I am a stranger, and a pilgrim.” #JNXL

Newton: “I am prone to puzzle myself over twenty things which are out of my power, and equally unnecessary, if the Lord be my Shepherd.” #JNXL

Newton: “I am so totally depraved; but not discouraged.” (hint: 1 Cor 1:30–31) #JNXL

Newton: “I could not live comfortably a day, or an hour, without the doctrines of grace.” #JNXL

Newton: “I feel like a man who has no money, but is allowed to draw from one infinitely rich. I am at once both a beggar and rich man.” #JNXL

Newton: “I have felt impatience in my spirit, utterly unsuitable to my state as a sinner and a beggar.” #JNXL

Newton: “I have often wished we had more female pens employed in the service of the sanctuary.” #JNXL

Newton: “I have reason to praise him for my trials, for, most probably, I should have been ruined without them.” #JNXL

Newton: “I have seldom, if ever, been five minutes late for anything, unless unavoidably prevented, for the past 50 years.” #JNXL

Newton: “I hope to die like the thief upon the cross. I have no hope, no comfort in myself.” #JNXL

Newton: “I live by miracle.” #JNXL

Newton: “I want nothing of that ‘knowledge’ that has not a tendency to make sin more hateful and Jesus more precious to my soul.” #JNXL

Newton: “I want to deliver up that rebel Self in chains, but the rogue, like Proteus, puts on so many forms he slips through my fingers.” #JNXL

Newton: “I’m a slow scholar, and make bungling work at my lessons to apply the gospel to the common concerns of every hour.” #JNXL

Newton: “If believing and repenting are proper condition of my salvation, I can no more fulfill them than I can touch the stars.” #JNXL

Newton: “If communion with God affords the greatest happiness we are capable, whatever indisposes us for this must be our great loss.” #JNXL

Newton: “If I was not a Calvinist, I think I should have no more hope of success in preaching to men, than to horses or cows.” #JNXL

Newton: “If I’m redeemed from misery by the blood of Jesus; and if he is preparing a mansion that I may drink rivers of pleasure forever!” #JNXL

Newton: “If millions of millions of distressed sinners seek to Christ for relief, he has a sufficiency for them all.” #JNXL

Newton: “If we could hear all that is said of us, it would not flatter us much.” #JNXL

Newton: “If you walk closely with God forty years, you will have a much lower opinion of yourself than you have now.” #JNXL

Newton: “In London I’m in a crowd of temptations, but in the country there is a crowd of temptations in me. My mind is a Vanity Fair.” #JNXL

Newton: “It behooves us to keep a clear distinction in our minds between gifts and grace.” #JNXL

Newton: “It is never ill with us but when our evil hearts doubt or forget the plainest of truths.” #JNXL

Newton: “It is the triumph of grace to make the rich humble and the poor thankful.” #JNXL

Newton: “It will be vain for ministers to declare the doctrines of grace unless our testimony is supported by the conduct of our people.” #JNXL

Newton: “It will not be laid to my charge that I thought too highly of Jesus or expected too much from him. On the contrary.” #JNXL

Newton: “It’s unnecessary to raise a hurricane to destroy us. Were he to withdraw his arm for a moment some unthought evil would overwhelm.” #JNXL

Newton: “Let me always rejoice in him, or mourn after him. I will leave the alternative to him, who knows best how to suit my state.” #JNXL

Newton: “Let me endeavor to lead you out of yourself: let me invite you to look unto Jesus.” #JNXL

Newton: “Like the sun, Christ has sufficiency to fill innumerable millions of eyes with light in the same instant.” #JNXL

Newton: “Look unto Jesus. The duty, privilege, safety, the unspeakable happiness, of a believer, are all comprised in that one sentence.” #JNXL

Newton: “Lord, save us from our golden calves.” #JNXL

Newton: “May Christ be our theme in the pulpit and in the parlor.” #JNXL

Newton: “May we sit at the foot of the cross; and there learn what sin has done, what justice has done, what love has done.” #JNXL

Newton: “My heart is like a country but half subdued. Mutinies and insurrections are daily happening.” #JNXL

Newton: “My heart is vile, and even my prayers are sin. My soul is very sick, but my Physician is infallible.” #JNXL

Newton: “My hope is built, not upon frames and feelings, but upon the atonement and mediation of Jesus.” #JNXL

Newton: “My soul is very sick, but my Physician is infallible.” #JNXL

Newton: “My soul, ask what thou wilt, / Thou canst not be too bold; / Since his own blood for thee he spilt, / What else can he withhold?” #JNXL

Newton: “My usefulness was the last idol I was willing to part with, but the Lord has enabled me to give even this up.” #JNXL

Newton: “‘None but Jesus’ is my motto.” #JNXL

Newton: “O precious, irrecoverable time!” #JNXL

Newton: “O the excellency of the knowledge of Christ! It will be growing upon us through time, yea, I believe through eternity.” #JNXL

Newton: “O what a mercy to see all power in heaven and earth exercised by Him who was nailed to the cross for sinners.” #JNXL

Newton: “One ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ ought to have more weight and authority with us, than a thousand arguments.” #JNXL

Newton: “One view of the brazen serpent (Christ) will do you more good than poring over your own wounds for a month.” #JNXL

Newton: “Opposition has hurt its thousands. Careless popularity has slain its ten thousands.” #JNXL

Newton to pastors: “Our work is great; our time is short; the consequences of our labors are infinite.” #JNXL

Newton: “Overlong sermons … call off the thoughts from the sermon to the pudding at home that is in danger of being overboiled.” #JNXL

Newton: “People do their country more service by pleading for it in prayer than by finding fault with things they have no power to alter.” #JNXL

Newton: “Prosperity may cause us to rise in the world, but affliction is needful to raise us above the world.” #JNXL

Newton: “Rejoice in Christ and resist every temptation to doubt his love as you would resist a temptation to adultery or murder.” #JNXL

Newton: “Reproof should be in season, in secret, and in love.” #JNXL

Newton: “Satan will preach free grace when he finds people willing to believe the notion as an excuse and a cloak for idleness.” #JNXL

Newton: “Self likes to do great things; but grace teaches us to do little things with a great spirit — that is, for the Lord’s sake.” #JNXL

Newton: “Sin cannot be hated for itself, till we have seen the malignity of it in Christ’s sufferings.” #JNXL

Newton: “Some persons are so weak, that, if their favorite minister is absent, they hardly think it worth their while to hear another.” #JNXL

Newton: “Sooner shall a tender mother sit inattentive to her crying infant than Jesus be an unconcerned spectator of his suffering children.” #JNXL

Newton: “Sovereignty is but another name for the unlimited exercise of wisdom and goodness.” #JNXL

Newton: “Talk to children about God abstractly, and it is all in vain.” #JNXL

Newton: “That monster Self has as many heads as Hydra, and as many lives as a cat.” #JNXL

Newton: “The atonement, power, and grace of Christ, is a sufficient answer for all. You only lack more faith.” #JNXL

Newton: “The Babe of Bethlehem, the Man who once hung dead and forsaken upon the cross, is now the Lord of glory.” #JNXL

Newton: “The best advice I can give you: Look unto Jesus, beholding his beauty in the written word.” #JNXL

Newton: “The cross of Christ is the tree of life and the tree of knowledge combined.” #JNXL

Newton: “The cross of Jesus Christ, my Lord, / Is food and medicine, shield and sword. / Take that for your motto.” #JNXL

Newton: “The doctrine of Jesus Christ, and him crucified, is the Sun of the intellectual world. It can only be seen by its own light.” #JNXL

Newton: “The fear of man, under the name of prudence, like a chilling frost nips everything in the bud.” #JNXL

Newton: “The firmament of Scripture is spangled with promises as the sky is with stars, perceptible to us only in the night of affliction.” #JNXL

Newton: “The life of a Christian is a life of faith in the Son of God.” #JNXL

Newton: “The Lord Christ, and the world that crucified him, are competitors for our hearts.” #JNXL

Newton: “The Lord does not give us our arms and regimentals only to strut about in. We must expect blows.” #JNXL

Newton: “The Lord is my strength; yet I am prone to lean on reeds.” #JNXL

Newton: “The love I bear him is but a faint and feeble spark, but it is an emanation from himself; he kindled it, and he keeps it alive.” #JNXL

Newton: “The more simply we commit the how, when, and where, to God’s wisdom and will, the more we shall be free from heart-eating anxiety.” #JNXL

Newton: “The storms are guided by the hands which were nailed to the cross.” #JNXL

Newton: “There are abominations which, like nests of vipers, lie quietly within, till the rod of affliction rouses them.” #JNXL

Newton: “There is a peace passing understanding, of which the politicians cannot deprive us.” #JNXL

Newton: “There is but one Physician / Can cure a sin-sick soul!” #JNXL

Newton: “There is one political maxim which comforts me: ‘The Lord reigns.’” #JNXL

Newton: “This is God’s way: you are not called to buy, but to beg; not to be strong in yourself, but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” #JNXL

Newton: “This is the worst enemy we have to deal with—self-will—self-wisdom—self-righteousness—self-seeking—self-dependence—self-boasting.” #JNXL

Newton: “Though my disease is grievous, it is not desperate. I have a gracious and infallible Physician.” #JNXL

Newton: “To behold the glory and the love of Jesus is the only effectual way to participate of his image.” #JNXL

Newton: “To see him as he is, and to be like him! This is worth dying for, and worth living for.” #JNXL

Newton: “To take a glimpse within the veil, / To know that God is mine, / Are springs of joy that never fail, / Unspeakable! divine!” #JNXL

Newton: “Too much of my time passes in busy idleness.” #JNXL

Newton: “Trouble excites prayer, prayer brings deliverance, deliverance produces praise (Psalm 116:1–2).” #JNXL

Newton: “Until we are reconciled to God by the blood of Jesus everything to which we look for satisfaction will fully disappoint us.” #JNXL

Newton: “We are never more safe than when we are most sensible that we can do nothing without Christ.” #JNXL

Newton: “We are too much attached to our own petty concerns, and too little concerned for the glory of God.” #JNXL

Newton: “We have a mighty Savior, a compassionate Friend, a prevailing Advocate.” #JNXL

Newton to pastors: “We have work to do in the world, more to do in the Church and in our homes, but most of all, in our own hearts.” #JNXL

Newton: “We need to bring our hard hearts into sympathy with those who suffer, lest we be too busy or too happy to attend their moans.” #JNXL

Newton: “We serve a gracious Master who knows how to overrule even our mistakes to His glory and our own advantage.” #JNXL

Newton: “We should never grow weary of writing and reading about Jesus.” #JNXL

Newton: “What a privilege to possess God in all things while we have them, and all things in God when they are taken from us.” #JNXL

Newton: “What will it profit a man if he silences his adversary and loses that humble spirit in which the Lord delights?” #JNXL

Newton: “While you are unfit to die, you can have no true enjoyment of life.” #JNXL

Newton: “With pleasing grief and mournful joy / My spirit now is fill’d, / That I should such a life destroy, / Yet live by him I kill’d.” #JNXL

Newton: “Wonderful are the effects when a crucified, glorious Savior is presented to the eye of Faith. This sight destroys the love of sin.” #JNXL


3 thoughts on “145 John Newton Tweets

  1. Excellent!! I can’t wait to dig into your book. Tony, you are a blessing to me and to the church universal. THANKS for using your gifts to bless and serve others!!

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