Tuesday, May 1, 2012

John Newton on the Disease of Sin

"The illness under which I have laboured longer than the man mentioned in John 5:5, is far from being removed.  Yet I am bound to speak well of my Physician: He treats me with great tenderness; assures me that it shall not be to death, but to the glory of God; and bids me in due time expect a perfect cure.  I know too much of him (though I know but little) to doubt either his skill or his promise.  It is true I suffer sad relapses, and have been more than once brought in appearance to death's door since I have been under his care; but this fault has not been his, but my own.  I am a strange refractory patient; have too often neglected his prescriptions, and broken the regimen He appoints me to observe.  This perverseness, joined to the exceeding obstinacy of my disorders, would have caused me to be turned out as an incurable long ago, had I been under any hand but his.  But, indeed, there is none like him.  When I have brought myself low, He has still helped me.  Blessed be his name, I am yet alive; yea, I shall ere long be well; but not here.  The air which I breathe is unfavorable to my constitution, and nourishes my disease.  He knows this, and intends, at a proper season, to remove me into a better climate, where there are no fogs nor damps, where the inhabitants shall no more say, I am sick.  He has brought my judgment to acquiesce with his; and sometimes I long to hear him say, Arise and depart.  But to tell you the truth, I am much more frequently pleased with the thought of staying a little and a little longer here, though in my present situation I am kept alive merely be dint of medicine; and though his medicines are all salutary, they are not all pleasant.  Now and then He gives me a pleasant cordial; but many things which there is a need-be for my taking frequently, are bitter and unpalatable.  It is strange that knowing this is, and must be, the case, I am not more desirous of my dismission.  I hope, however, one thing that makes me willing to stay is, that I may point him out as a Physician of value to others.  We sometimes see in the newspapers acknowledgements of cures received.  What sheets and quires of advertisements would be necessary if all the Lord's people were to publish their cases."

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