Monday, May 25, 2009

Principles I Deem Fundamental

A selection from a letter by John Newton to the Rev. Joshua Symonds. Newton expressed his sympathy with all true Christians, no matter what they were called. He was a big-hearted man, loving all who loved the Lord Jesus, as he said, “whatever hard name he may be called by, and whatever incidental mistakes I may think he holds.” The letter was written March 29, 1781.

Whoever encourages me to read the Scriptures, and to pray for the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and then will let me follow the life the Lord gives me, without being angry with me because I cannot or will not see with his eyes, nor wear his shoes, is a consistent Protestant. The depravity of human nature; the deity of the Saviour; the influences of the Holy Spirit; a separation from the world, and a devotedness to God – these are principles which I deem fundamental; and though I would love and serve all mankind, I can have no religious union or communion with those who deny them.

Letters of John Newton: with Biographical Sketches and Notes, by Josiah Bull, first published in 1869, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 2007, p. 178.

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