Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Religion and Politics

A selection from a letter by John Newton to John Ryland, Jr. Mr. Newton had exchanged letters with David Williamson on the subject of religion and politics. The letters had been published in a book, Political Debate upon Christian Principles. He wished Ryland to peruse the book. Newton was of the opinion that engaging in political speculation was a waste of time for pastors. The letter was written November 6, 1793.

The times are awfully dark, but the Lord reigns. I understand not the prophecies yet unfulfilled, but I know that they must be fulfilled, and I expect light will spring out of darkness. I shall hardly live to see it. However, it shall be well with the righteous. I am or would be of no sect or party, civil or religious; but a lover of mankind. It is my part to mourn over sin, and the misery which sin causes, to be humbled for my own sins especially, to pray for peace, and to preach the gospel. Other things I leave to those who have more leisure and ability, and I leave the whole to Him who does all things well!

Wise Counsel: John Newton’s Letter to John Ryland, Jr., edited by Grant Gordon, The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009, letter #59, p. 296.

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