Friday, November 09, 2012

Neither whig nor tory, but a friend to both

If I had wisdom or influence to soothe the angry passions of mankind, whether whigs or tories, I would gladly employ them; but as to myself, I am neither whig nor tory, but a friend to both. I am a stranger and a pilgrim. My πολιτευμα (citizenship – ed.), my charter, my rights, my treasures are, I hope, in heaven, and there my heart ought to be. In less than a few weeks I may be removed (and perhaps suddenly) into the unseen world, where all that causes so much bustle upon earth at present, will be no more to me than the events which took place among the antediluvians.

How much then does it import me, to be found watching, with my loins girded up, and my lamp burning, diligently engaged in my poor calling. For the Lord has not called me to set nations to right, but to preach the Gospel, to proclaim the glory of his name, and to endeavour to win souls. Happy is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find you so doing!

--- from a letter written by John Newton, 1793.  He was the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace,

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