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John Newton’s Works: A Recommendation.

John Newton’s Works: A Recommendation.

This is a great set of books including most of the Works of the Rev. John Newton.*
The 3rd Edition is now very collectable and not often seen complete.
The Banner of Truth Trust printed their edition from this 3rd edition printed in 1824.

* The life of the Rev. Mr. Grimshaw is omitted as the copy-right was in the hands of others.

You cannot read many of these letters and sermons without feeling that spiritually you have been fed and watered. They do good to your soul. The life of John Newton, first as a slave and then a Minister of the Gospel, is well-known, superficially, because not many have taken the time to read the whole of his life and circumstances.

Some of John Newton’s hymns are likewise well-known, take for instance “Amazing Grace” and “How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds” or “Glorious things of Thee are spoken” and “Sometimes a light surprises” but in the Olney hymns, written with William Cowper, there are 348 hymns of which William Cowper wrote 67 and the other 281 came from the hand of Newton himself. Many are unknown today but repay the time it takes to read them, abundantly.

There are within these volumes such tender gems, as when Newton writes “Letters to a wife”,   his wife !! , and says ” Oh! that it was possible for you to go with me where I go, to cheer and enliven me amidst fatigues and difficulties, without sharing  them ! How light would they seem to me! But I submit. At least, happen what may, it will give me pleasure to think that my better, dearer part, is in safety at home.

Many instructive hours can be spent reading Newton’s Cardiphonia (the utterance of the heart) and other letters, if you are like me, you will be able to identify and find a resonance with what he writes, often he bares his own heart, the inner working of his mind, the longings of his soul, and the spiritual battles that war within his breast, which at least, in my case, gives me an assurance that I am not travelling the narrow way alone, others have passed this way before, having similar experiences, and finding such sweet succour in Christ alone to answer their deepest spiritual needs.

May I heartily recommend you to own and read of the Works of the Rev. John Newton. J.M.

Vol 1 CONTENTS
Memoir of the author.
41 Letters on religious subjects by OMNICRON and VIGIL
Cardiphonia or the Utterances of the Heart in the course of real correspondence.

Vol 2  CONTENTS
Cardiphonia Continued.
Six Sermons (Or Discourses) as intended for the Pulpit
20 Sermons preached in the Parish Church at Olney.

Vol 3 CONTENTS
A review of Ecclesiastical History
Book 1 The first period of Christianity
Book 2 The second period of Christianity
Olney Hymns  Books 1: 2 : 3

Vol 4  CONTENTS
Fifty Sermons on Various subjects.

Vol 5  CONTENTS
Tracts
Apologia in four letters.
A Plan of Academical Preparation for the Ministry
A Monument of Praise of the Lord’s Goodness in the Memory of Dear Eliza Cunningham
Sermons 7 on various subjects.
Letters to a wife written during three voyages to Africa from 1750 to 1754.
Letters to a Wife written in England from 1755 to 1785.
7 Appendix’s

Vol 6  CONTENTS
Letters intended to be a sequel to Cardiphonia (143 in all)
Miscellaneous Papers Extracted from periodical publications.

Ps. The Banner of Truth have now produced a 4 volume set which has been entirely reset, some archaic words updated, and notes added. It also includes Newton’s Authentic Narrative in which he tells the story of many remarkable events in his life, in fourteen letters to his friend Rev. T. Haweis of Northamptonshire.

© Jeff Maxwell 2017

 

AN EVENING PRAYER

AN EVENING PRAYER

O God, your greatness is unsearchable. Your name is most excellent in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens. Thousands minister unto you and ten thousand times ten thousand stand before you.

We feel ourselves in your awesome presence to be nothing, less than nothing, and vanity: we do not presume to approach you because we are deserving of your notice, for we have sinned, we have incurred your righteous displeasure,  we acknowledge that you are justified when you speak, and clear when you judge. 

But our necessities compel us to come; and your promises encourage us. You are near to those with a broken heart, and save those with a contrite heart. You have provided and revealed a Mediator, who has not only obeyed, but magnified the law, and made it honourable; and you have made us accepted in the beloved. We behold an innumerable multitude returning from your throne of grace, successful, rejoicing, and encouraging us to go forward. They were not, though guilty and destitute, refused, nor upbraided; but freely obtained pardon, holiness, righteousness, strength, and were blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

O look upon us Lord, and be merciful unto us, as you have done to those that love your name ! Convince us of sin both in its penalty, and in its pollution; and may we mourn over it with a godly sorrow. Give us that faith by which we shall be enabled to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and believing may we have life through His Name. May we not only have life, but have it more abundantly.

We often question the reality of our grace; because  the imperfections of our Christian life are too obvious not to be acknowledged, and to great not to be deplored. Our souls cleave unto the dust; quicken us according to your Word. Strengthen us in the things that are ready to die. May we not only live in the Spirit, but also walk in the Spirit. May we put on the Lord Jesus Christ. May the same mind be in us which was also in Him; and may we feel our dignity and delight to go about doing good. As He suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in His footsteps, may we learn to suffer with the same spirit as He did. When reviled, may we not revile again, but commit ourselves to Him that judges righteously. Who ever is the instrument of our grief, may we never lose sight of your over-ruling agency, in preparing and presenting it, but be able to say, “The cup which my Father gives me shall I not drink it ?” In patience may we possess our souls. May we calmly enquire what you are doing with us. Let us not by weeping, hinder sowing, nor by sorrowing, hinder duty.

We live in a world of changes, and have no continuing city, so we seek one to come; having our minds kept in perfect peace, being stayed upon God. Be with us Lord to the end of our journey, and after honouring you by the life we have lived, may we glorify you by the death we shall die. When heart and flesh shall fail, be the strength of our heart and our portion for ever, for at death we shall fall asleep in Jesus, and in the resurrection morning, He will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like His own glorious body, so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Who can understand his errors ? Forgive O God, the sins of the past day, in thought, word, and deed, against your divine majesty. We bless you for our preservation, in our going out and coming in, and in all our ways. We bless you for all the supplies and indulgences which your good providence has afforded us.

Now, O Lord, keeper of Israel, we commit our souls and our bodies to your all sufficient care. Suffer no evil to befall our persons, and no plagues to come near our dwelling. May our sleep be sweet, or if you hold our eyes waking, may we remember you upon our bed, and meditate on you in the night watches. So now with the innumerable company who never slumber nor sleep, who rest not day or night, we would join in ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power unto him that sits on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever Amen.

William Jay (1769  – 1853)

English nonconformist Pastor for sixty years at Argyle Chapel in Bath.

From  1st week Thursday Evening.

The Domestic Minister’s Assistants; or, Prayers for the use of Families. (Twelfth Edition 1830)

© Reproduced and Modernised  Jeff Maxwell March 2016

 

YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME … John 15:16

John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

This verse, especially the first part of it, is often quoted in support of God’s Decree of Election proper, while the context  is of being chosen disciples (v 8), appointed Apostles, preachers of the Gospel (v 27).

This work is God’s free gift to them out of undeserved grace and favour; to live out and preach the Gospel.
The main thrust of the verse and indeed most the chapter, is that they “go and bring forth fruit and that their fruit should remain” this is what they have been chosen to and appointed to bring forth.

They should earnestly engage in the work God has given them, they must labour and toil to make Christ known and bring forth fruit that will remain. What fruit ? Fruit in their own lives as they abide in the vine, then the fruit of the Gospel, lives transformed by the message that is preached. Hearts of stone changed to hearts of flesh having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.

Another fruit of the Gospel is obedience to the Lord’s commands specifically in this context it is to love one another as He has loved us (v 12 & 17). The quality of that love is to be the same as His love for us. The example is this  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (v 13) and you are my friends if you do what I command you (v 14) Christ’s life, that He laid down, is the supreme example of this love.

Now there are three immediate applications for this love,

firstly love among those who preach the Gospel, sometimes not evident today,

secondly love to those who respond to and believe the Gospel, a love for the brethren.

Lastly love to all whom the Gospel is preached, in reality love for mankind, even those who are naturally hard to love. Are we bringing forth this fruit ?

Now we must remember that although they are appointed to bring forth fruit that remains, it is not in their power to produce fruit in their own lives or to produce fruit for the Gospel or fruit in the lives of men or women.

They must abide in the vine, they must be diligent, faithful labourers, working together with God, waiting and expecting God the Father to give the increase and the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in their lives and in the lives of men and women. This is why the last clause is included  “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Producing fruit of the Gospel in themselves and in the lives of men or women is impossible for them or us; But the Lord graciously adds the promise to ask of Him and He will give it them and indeed us.

So they must be diligent in asking God, but be careful why and how they do it,  “you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:2-3)

How many disciples today and preachers of the Gospel  seem to want the fruit of the Spirit in their lives to boost their own standing and egos. ?

How many long for much increase for the Gospel so that they may “Profit” out of  and “Lord” it over what is God’s heritage ?

How many are there who humbly long for fruit in their own lives, fruit from Gospel proclamation, and fruit in the lives of believers ? how many are there who plead with God constantly for this ? and with no other motive than the Glory of God.

© Jeff Maxwell March 16th 2016

Lord continue to work in me and bring forth fruit to thy Glory. Amen.

PATRICK HAMILTON ……… THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH

THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH

1

Faith is to believe God;

” Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15.)

“He that believes God, believes his Word.” (John 5.)

To believe God, is to believe his Word, and account what He speaks as true. 

He that believes not God’s Word, believes not God Himself.

He that believes not God’s Word, counts God false, a liar,

and believes not that God can and will fulfil his word;

and so he denies both the power of God and God himself.

2

Faith is the gift of God.

“Every good thing is the gift of God.” (James 1.)

Faith is good.

Therefore, faith is the gift of God.

The gift of God is not within our power 

“Faith is the gift of God.”

Therefore, faith is not within our power.

3
Faith pleases God.

He that lacks faith cannot please God.

“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11)

All that comes not of faith, is sin; for without faith no man can please God.

Besides, he that lacks faith, trusts not God.

He that trusts not God, trusts not in His Word.

He that trusts not in His Word, holds God false and a liar.

He that holds God false and a liar, does not believe that God can do what He promises, so he denies  that God is God.

And how can a man, being of this mind, please God? 

No way; even if he could do all the work of man and angel.

All that is done in faith, pleases God

“The Word of the Lord is righteous, and all His works are faithful” (Psalm 33)

“Lord, Your eye looks for faith.”

That is to say, Lord, You delight in faith.

God loves him that believes in Himself.

How can they then displease Him?

He that has true faith, is just and good.

 A good tree brings forth good fruit.

Therefore, all that is done in faith pleases God.

4

He that has faith, and believes God, cannot displease him.

Moreover, he that has faith believes God.

He that believes God and believes His Word.

He that believes His Word, knows well that He is true and faithful, and may not lie.

He knows well that God can and will fulfil his Word.

How can he then displease Him?

For you can not do any greater honour unto God, than to count Him true.

Will you say then, that theft, murder, adultery, and all vices please God?

No, assuredly ; for they can not be done in faith:

“for a good tree bears good fruit.”

He that has the faith knows well that he pleases God; for all that is done in faith pleases God. (Heb. 11.)

5

Faith is certainty, an assuredness.

“Faith is a sure confidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11.)

“The Spirit bears itself with our spirit that we are the children of God.” (Rom. 8.)

Moreover, he that has the faith, knows well that God will fulfil his word

Therefore, faith is a certainty, an assuredness.

 

Patrick Hamilton 1503/4 – 29 February 1528 (Burnt for his faith in St Andrews)

Patrick’s Places.

© Extracted, Edited, Arranged  and Modernised by Jeff Maxwell Feb 2016

LACK OF POWER

Lack of Power

Why have Christians so little of the Power of God in their lives and the world ?

We have left our first love !
We have driven our beloved away from us !
We have embraced the standards of the World !
We have undervalued the Word of God !
We have sinned and hidden the face of God from us !
We have been ashamed of professing Christ boldly !
We have spurned real fellowship with Him !
We have grown cold in prayer, praise, and petition !
We have allowed faith to become little, weak, and misplaced !
We have been inconsistent in love and faithful living !
We have set our affections on the things of earth !
We have turned our eyes away from Jesus !
We have served mammon rather than God !
We have thought so highly of ourselves that we have fallen !
We have hardened our hearts in the deceitfulness of sin !
We have been too proud to be humble and lowly in heart !
We have disobeyed the leading of the Holy Spirit !

ARE SOME OF THE REASONS..

and if you search your own heart, you will, with the Spirits help, understand what you have done, failed to do, and so return, grow, and flourish in the presence and power of the Lord.

But the Lord God is gracious, full of mercy, loving kindness, and tender mercies. He will not break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax…

Lord forgive us. Lord restore us, Lord move us to seek thy face without delay. Lord restore unto us the years that the locust have eaten. Lord revive thy people again, that they might rejoice in Thee. LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Lord make known Your power. Arise Lord go forth with Your people. Quicken Your people to do Your will. Give success unto the Gospel. Pour honour upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Glorify Him in the Salvation of sinners in this our day and generation.

And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.     Jeremiah 24:7

…. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, says the LORD of hosts….  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.       Malachi 3:7-10

© Jeff Maxwell 16/5/2015

A SIGHT OF SIN AND A SIGHT OF JESUS

A Sight of Sin and a Sight of Jesus

“They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn.”—

Zech. 12:10

 We can only properly deal with sin as, at the same moment, we personally and closely deal with Jesus. 

A spiritual sight of one’s SIN, apart from a believing sight of  the Lord Jesus Christ, will plunge the soul into the deepest despair. A sight of atoning blood must accompany the sight of our guilt.

Seen and dealt with alone, dissociated from the Saviour, sin is the darkest and most appalling object that can engage human study. But God has graciously and marvellously met the case. The instrument that exhibits sin in its greatest blackness at the same moment exhibits it in its fullest pardon.

A sight of sin and a sight of Jesus, as presented in the cross, is found in no other spot in the universe. Nowhere, not upon earth, where sin’s ravages are vividly and fearfully traced— not in hell, where sin’s punishment is fully and eternally endured—is sin seen as in the light of Christ’s cross.

God’s hatred of its nature and infliction of its penalty, as exhibited in the soul-sorrow, and bodily suffering of His beloved Son, is a demonstration unsurpassed, yes, unparalleled. Oh, how great the love of God to provide such a mirror in which to see at the same moment both the enormity of sin and the completeness of its forgiveness—the utter blackness of its guilt—and the snow-white purity of its cleansing.

There was but one Being in the universe who concentrated upon Himself so much sin— yet, “He knew no sin”—and in whom met so much punishment of sin, as Jesus, the Sin Bearer of His Church.

What defective views and realizations have we of this truth! How shallow our sounding of its infinite depths, how faint our experience of its preciousness and power ! And yet it is all and everything to us in the momentous matter of our comfort, holiness, and hope. If Jesus did not bear my transgression and curse; He did nothing for me, and I am yet in my sins. If He did, then the load is gone, the burden is annihilated, all transferred to Him, and by Him borne into eternal oblivion.

I am no longer my own sin bearer; my sins were all laid on Jesus, not by my hand, but by the hand of God. Since, then, Jesus has dealt with my sins, my only care should be first to realize their full pardon, and then to live a holy life as not to recommit those sins which Christ bore, and for which He sorrowed in Gethsemane, bled and expired on the tree, and so crucify the Son of God afresh.

Deeply interesting to the believing, spiritual mind is the theme of our present chapter. To have a sight of sin and a sight of Jesus at the same moment constitutes one of the holiest and richest pages in the history of a child of God. There are many of the Lord’s people who see sin, but who do not see Jesus at the same moment—who do not look at their sins through the medium of the cross.

To look at sin through the divine holiness, as reflected in the divine law, is to look and despair, to look and die!

BUT to look at sin through Christ—to see it in the blood that cleanses it, in the righteousness that covers it, in the love that pardons it fully, freely, and forever; oh, this is to look and hope, to look and live!

One eye upon sin, and one eye upon sin’s atonement, will enable the soul to walk humbly and filially with God. One eye looking at self and one eye looking at Christ will so regulate the experience of the soul, so accurately adjust its moral compass, as to keep the balance between presumption and despair; leading to a humble, holy, watchful walk as it regards sin on the one hand, and to an assured, happy, hopeful sense of pardon, acceptance, and glory on the other.

No fact in Christian experience is more certain than this, that sin is never properly seen until Christ is known; and that Christ is never fully known, until sin is seen in its existence, guilt, and power.

It is a sense of our vileness, guiltiness, and condemnation that takes us to Christ; and when we see Christ, and accept Christ, and enter into believing rest in Christ, we then have the deepest conviction of the greatness, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and at the same moment the most assured conviction of our full and eternal deliverance from its guilt, tyranny, and condemnation. 

This harmony of tint— the blending of light and shade—sin and Christ—forms one of the loveliest and most impressive pictures of the many which illustrate the history of the Christian’s life. 

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell

 

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The Cross and Gospel of Christ

The Cross and Gospel of Christ

What is your attachment to the gospel of Christ?

Is it increasingly precious to your soul, sanctifying your heart, and influencing your life?

Would you bid high for the truth of Jesus, at any cost to your personal ease or worldly advantage, and sell not that truth, for earth’s richest gem or greatest rewards?

Do you increasingly love the truth of Jesus, because it searches, rebukes, and humbles you, yet, also strengthens, comforts, and sanctifies you?

Do you feel a growing love for those doctrines that are especially identified with, springing from, and leading the soul to, the Cross of Jesus?

That is how you may test the closeness of your soul to the Crucified Christ.

Christ being precious to you, then oh how precious will be the truth He taught!

Purer than the purest silver, richer than the richest gold, sweeter than the sweetest honey, lovelier than the fairest gem, will be to you those doctrines, precepts, and promises which your Lord and Saviour demonstrated in His life and by His teachings.

They demand your simple faith, your fervent love, your holy walk, your zealous evangelism, and, if need be, your testimony at the martyr’s stake.

The doctrines of the substitutionary offering, the expiatory suffering, the atoning blood, the imputed righteousness of Christ, derive their virtue, their power, and their efficacy from, the divine dignity and spotless holiness of His person, and need to be combined with your increasing love and unswerving faith.

The precepts which encourage your bearing Christ’s cross, your confession of His name, your self-denying service in His cause, your death to the world, and your simple, unreserved obedience to His commands, will be to you His easy yoke and His light burden.

Test, then, your spiritual nearness to the Cross by your ardent attachment to the doctrines of the Cross.

“If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine.”

“O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”

“How sweet are your words unto my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

“Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.”

Originally by Octavius Winslow in “The Foot of The Cross” 1864

© Extracted, edited, updated by Jeff Maxwell 7/12/2014

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