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The Throne of Grace – Prayer by Henery Law

Today’s Puritan Audio Devotional:
The Throne of Grace

This will draw your heart near to God.

Lynn

Let us think of these things, and entreat the Lord to cast the salt of His grace into the fountain of our hearts–that the streams of our conversation may be wholesome. (John Newton)

Bio – John Newton

john-newton-1

John Newton – slave trader, poet, and preacher. (1725 – 1807)

 

John Henry Newton Jr. born in Wapping, London, son of John Henry Newton Sr. and Elizabeth Newton (nee Seatclife). His father a shipmaster in the Mediterranean service was educated at Jesuit College in Spain .His mother a godly women, brought John up as a Nonconformist Christian and dedicated him to the Lord and His ministry. When John was six, his mother died of tuberculosis. His father remarried the following year. The stepmother didn’t pay much attention to John and his needs so when he was 9 he was sent to a boarding school for two years and at the age of 11 he went to sea with his father for a total of six voyages. John became a teenager raised in a godless surrounding. After the six voyages his father retired, and his father planned for John to take up a position as a slave master at a sugar plantation in Jamaica however, in 1743 he became a captain of a slave-ship himself. 

John’s life sounds like a movie with being forced to join the naval service, trying to escape, being caught and flogged 96 times, contemplating suicide, put on another ship called the Pegasus where he again is in trouble for making a deal with a slave traitor named Amos Clowe, who was married to an African duchess named Princess Peye. Both Clowe and his wife abused him terrible. Newton later remembered this as the time he was “once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa.” Now, John’s father is looking for him, and had asked a captain friend of his to keep and eye out for him, he was found and rescued from his bondage. Next upon a ship heading home, a terrible storm cames up awakens him as the ship was filling with water, he cries out to God – upon that moment the Lord touched his heart, although it was not with salvation at  this point in time – oh the goodness of God as He worked in John’s life and heart! Surviving this ordeal he began to read the Bible.  He turned away from gambling, drinking and profanity; though he continued to work in the slave industry he had a compassion now for the slaves he was dealing with. John said “I cannot consider myself to have been a believer in the full sense of the word, until a considerable time afterwards.” 

Next in his this very unusual life John returns to England and a friend of his father’s hires him as his first mate, once again on a slave trading vessel. This ship was now bound for the West Indies off the coast of Guinea. In 1748-49 John became sick with a fever and finally professed total belief in the Lord and asked God to take control of his life. John marks this as his conversion and at this point he said he now had total peace, the amazing grace of God and how mysteriously are His ways.  

On February 12, 1750 John married his live long friend and distant cousin Mary Catlett, who he had been in love with since he was seventeen. Now he goes back to sea and after three more trips to trade slaves and after having a stroke, he stopped this type of employment but continued to invest his monies in the trade business. With time on his hands he began to study Hebrew, Greek and Syriac and became known as a lay minister, seven years later was ordained into the Church of England.  Through a series of things he is finally ordained makes friends with George Whitefield and picks up the nickname of “Young Whitefield.” He also became friends with John Wesley. He was called a moderate Calvinist or a hidden one because of the debates of the day. Newton held strong objection to secular amusement and did not tolerate the Roman Catholic Chruch and its false teachings. 

In December 1790 his dear wife passed away from cancer. In “Letters to a Wife” (2 columns) you can read of his love for his wife. Though his faculties failed him with age, being elderly and blind he continued to preach,. He said he could not stop. On December of 1807 Mr. Newton died and was buried next to his wife at St. Mary Woolnoth. Later in 1893 both bodies were move to Olney, as the church at St. Mary’s removed all those buried there.  

John Newton was a great hymnist and writer – writing one of our best known hymns – Amazing Grace.

Be Thankful, My Dear, That He Treats You As His Enemy! – John Newton

john-newton-1(Letters of John Newton)

November 13, 1772
My dear Miss,
I am glad that you complain of evil thoughts and temptations; for, though these things are grievous, they always accompany a saving work of grace. Though every Christian does not suffer greatly by persecution, poverty, and worldly troubles–yet they all suffer much from indwelling sin, temptation and Satan.

As to evil thoughts, they as unavoidably arise from an evil nature–as steam arises from a boiling tea-kettle! Every cause will have its effect–and a sinful nature will have sinful effects. You can no more keep such thoughts out of your mind–than you can stop the course of the clouds!

But if the Lord had not taught you–you would not have been sensible of them, nor concerned about them. This is a token for good. By nature your thoughts would have been only evil, and that continually. But you find ‘something’ within you that makes you dislike these thoughts; makes you ashamed of them; makes you strive and pray against them.

Now, this ‘something’ that resists your evil thoughts–what can it be? It cannot be human nature; for we naturally love our vain imaginations. It is the grace of God! The Lord has made you sensible of your disease–that you might love and prize the great Physician! The knowledge of His love for you–shall make you hate these thoughts! Yet you will be pestered with them more or less, while you live in this world. For sin is wrought into our bodies, and our souls must be freed from our bodies–before we shall be fully freed from the evils under which we mourn!

Your other complaint of temptations is likewise a good one. If you were to visit some young ladies who know no other end of living–but to dress and dance and socialize; and if you were to ask them if they are troubled with Satan’s temptations–they would think that you were out of your wits! Poor things! They know no better! They are blinded by the god of this world; they go on quietly in the way of sin and vanity, careless of their souls, and mindless of eternity! While they continue in this course, you may be sure that Satan will not disturb them! They are asleep, and it would not be for his interest to do anything that might awaken them out of their pleasant dream!

And if you yourself were thus asleep, Satan would be content that you should sleep on–and take your rest. But, when he sees anyone awakened out of this deadly sleep, he probably tries first to lull them asleep again. And, if the Lord prevents that by His mercy, then Satan alters his measures, and roars like a lion which has lost his prey! Be thankful, my dear, that he treats you as his enemy! For the state of those to whom he behaves as a friend, is miserable indeed! And always remember that he is a chained enemy! He may terrify–but he cannot devour those who have fled for refuge to Jesus!

You cannot be too jealous of your own heart, or too cautious of the snares which you are exposed to.
But the Lord is able and faithful to keep those from falling, who, sensible of their own weakness, cry daily to Him, “Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” Continue in prayer, that you may be preserved humble and abased in your own eyes–and then I am sure that you will not fall.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil!” Ephesians 6:10-11

I am sincerely, your affectionate friend and servant,
John Newton

With permission from Grace Gems

But My Eye And My Heart Are To Jesus! – John Newton

john-newton-1(the following is from the diary of John Newton)

January 1, 1773
This is the ninth New Years day I have seen in this church. I have reason to say, ‘The Lord crowns every year with His goodness!’ The entrance of this year finds me and my dear Mary in health and peace. I am still favored with strength, and with some liberty for my pastoral work, and hope the Lord is still pleased to work by me–for the edification of His people, and the awakening of lost sinners.

As to myself . . .
  my exercise of grace is faint,
  my consolations small,
  my heart is full of evil,
  my chief burdens are, a wild ungoverned imagination, and a strange sinful backwardness to reading the Scriptures, and to secret prayer.

These have been my complaints for many years, and I have no less cause of complaint than formerly. But my eye and my heart are to Jesus! His I am; Him I desire to serve; to Him this day, I would devote and surrender myself anew.

O Lord, accept, support, protect, teach, comfort and bless me. Be . . .
  my Arm,
  my Eye,
  my Joy and
  my Salvation.
Mortify the power of sin–and increase the image of Your holiness in my heart. Anoint me with fresh oil, make me humble, faithful, diligent and obedient. Let me in all things attend . . .
  to Your Word as my rule,
  to Your glory as my end, and
  depend upon Your power and promise for my safety and success.

I am now in the 49th year of my life, and may expect in the course of a few years at most–to go whence I shall no more return; nor have I a certainty of continuing here a single year–or even a month or a day! May Your grace keep me always until my appointed change shall come, and when the summons shall come–may I be enabled to rejoice in You, as the strength of my heart and my portion forever!

“You guide me with Your counsel, and afterwards You will take me up in glory. Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever!” Psalm 73:24-26

With permission from Grace Gems

Lord when things do not go my way

Lord when things do not go my way – help me to understand you are directing my path and that You have ordained – yes all things that do come to pass. Increase my faith so that I may understand how You are guiding me and that I may have the strength to endure all the things You set before me. Help me to see that when I don’t get my way, that Your way is better for me. help me to see you might have a purpose for things I get upset over.