Our Inability

This is how Spurgeon quoted it in his sermon “Creation – An Argument for Faith”. I just love it..  Its again by John Newton 🙂

“I would, but cannot sing.
I would, but cannot pray.
For Satan meets me when I try,
And frights my soul away.
I would, but can’t repent,
Though I endeavor often.
This stony heart can never relent
Till Jesus makes it soft.
I would, but cannot love,
Though wooed by love Divine.
No arguments have power to move
A soul so base as mine.
I would, but cannot rest
In God’s most holy will.
I know what He appoints is best,
Yet murmur at it still.
O could I but believe!
Then all would easy be.
I would, but cannot—Lord, relieve—
My help must come from You!”

I cannot do what I would. I would leave sin, but still I fall into it. I would lay hold on Christ, but I cannot. Then comes
the question — Can God do it? And we answer, He who made the heavens and the earth without a helper, can certainly
save you when you can not help yourself.


Shall I complain?

His way was much rougher, and darker than mine;
Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I repine?

– John Newton –

Jesus’ way was so much dark, filled with agony, yet he endured, for what? For the joy that was set before him. Hebrews 12:2. “Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame

Did Jesus, the King of Heaven, The Creator of all the Earth, The Mighty God, and above all the Savior of my soul and my Shepherd, leave heaven and its glories and come down and suffer and never complain? And shall I, a sinner of the worst kind, an infidel in the eyes of God, a nobody, complain to God about my sufferings?

Why should I complain of want or distress,
Temptation or pain? He told me no less:
The heirs of salvation, I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

– John Newton –

Shall the disciple be above his Master, and the servant above his Lord? Matthew 10:24, Luke 6:40.

Come! art thou ashamed to suffer what thy Master suffered? Shall the disciple be above his Master, and the servant above his Lord? Shall he die upon a cross, and wilt not thou bear the cross? Must he be crowned with thorns, and shalt thou be crowned with laurel? Is he to be pierced in hands and feet, and are thy members to feel no pain? O cast away the fond delusion I pray thee, and look to him who “endured the cross, despising the shame,” and be ready to endure and to suffer even as he did.

– Spurgeon –


John Newton Quote

“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”
— John Newton


How sweet the name of Jesus sounds!

“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.”

A loving wife and mother lay dying. Her husband leaned over her, and said: “Do you know me, my darling?” “No,” said the dying woman, “I do not know who you are.” Her daughter came. “Mother, dear, surely you know me?” “No, I do not.” Then her husband tried again: “Do you know Jesus, my dear one?” “Jesus,” she said, and at the precious name the light came back into the pale face. “Jesus,” she repeated. “Yes, I know Him. He is my Shepherd, Husband, Friend,” and, even as she spoke, she passed away to be with Him for ever.

Let us never forget John Newton’s dying words. He said to Mr. Jay: “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things — that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.”


Begone Unbelief

A Hymn by John Newton, which I really like and the words in bold really touch me the most!

Begone unbelief, my Savior is near,
And for my relief will surely appear:
By prayer let me wrestle, and He wilt perform,
With Christ in the vessel, I smile at the storm.

Though dark be my way, since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey, ’tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken, and creatures all fail,
The Word He has spoken shall surely prevail.

His love in time past forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink;

Each sweet Ebenezer I have in review,
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through.

Determined to save, He watched o’er my path,
When Satan’s blind slave, I sported with death;
And can He have taught me to trust in His Name,
And thus far have brought me, to put me to shame?

Why should I complain of want or distress,
Temptation or pain? He told me no less:
The heirs of salvation, I know from His Word,
Through much tribulation must follow their Lord.

How bitter that cup, no heart can conceive,
Which He drank quite up, that sinners might live!
His way was much rougher, and darker than mine;
Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I repine?

Since all that I meet shall work for my good,
The bitter is sweet, the medicine is food;
Though painful at present, wilt cease before long,
And then, O! how pleasant, the conqueror’s song!

From Cyberhymnal :

A lady wrote from the Ci­ta­del of Cai­ro to Mr. Stead, ‘It is the hymn that I love best of the hun­dreds that I know; it has helped me scores of times in the dark days of my life, and has ne­ver failed to in­spire me with fresh hope and con­fi­dence when life looked “dark and drea­ry”; and it is dear to me from as­so­ci­a­tions with the mem­o­ry of the best of fa­thers. To him, in his ma­ny and sore troubles, it was a source of com­fort and help, and, I be­lieve, was to him a sort of link by which he held on to God. To me the words are not dog­ger­el at all, they are just love­ly. I oft­en go about sing­ing them when alone to help me on the way.’


Christ shall choose our Inheritance

A great sermon again from Spurgeon. It is called “A Wise Desire”. And it is based on Psalm 47:4. “He shall choose our inheritance for us.” For a Christian God shall choose our inheritance, what we live on this earth, in heaven and everything will be chosen by God for us. The circumstance which we are in now, the circumstance which is past, the tough situations all were chosen by God for us to bring us to this point and to guide us into the future where God wants us to be. Nothing happens in our life by chance. When Joseph’s brothers plotted evil against him, when the potiphar’s wife slandered him, when he was forgotten by the cook, nothing ever looked good, but that was God preparing the way for him to be ruler over Egypt. So even the bad circumstances of our life come by God’s providence and we should be thankful that “He shall choose our inheritance for us.”.

Now Spurgeon’s own words 🙂 This actually shows how foolish we are when we think our life should have been different from the way it is now and that we wish that we were like someone else, all when God has ordained things to happen in our life for a particular reason.

God in his wisdom may have made one man rich. “Ah!” says he, at night, “would God I had not all this wealth to tease my mind and worry me. I believe any peasant who toils for me has far more rest than I have.” Another who is a poor man wipes the hot sweat from his brow, and says, “O my Father, I have asked thee to give me neither poverty nor riches; but here am I so poor that I am obliged to toil incessantly for my bread, would God I could have my mercies there among the rich.” One has been born with abilities. He has improved them by education, and this improvement of his natural powers has entailed upon him fearful responsibilities, so that he has to exercise his thoughts and his brain from morning till night. Sometimes he sits down and says, “Now if I am not the most hard worked of all mortals. Those who keep a shop can shut it up; but I am open it all times, and I am always under this responsibility. What shall I do and how shall I rest myself?” Another who has to toil with his hands is thinking, “Oh! if I could lead such a gentlemanly life as that minister. He never has to work hard. He only has to think and read, of course that is not hard work. He has perhaps to sit up till twelve o’clock at night to prepare his sermon, that is not work of course. I wish I had his situation.” So we all cry out about our mercies, and want to choose our allotments. “Oh!” says one, “I have health, but I think I could do without that if I had wealth.” Another says, “I have wealth, but I could give all my gold to have good constitution.” One says, “Here am I stowed away in this dirty London; I would give anything if I could go and live in the country.” Another, who resides in the country, says, “There is no convenience here, you have to go so many miles for the doctor, and one thing and the other, I wish I dwelt in London.” So that we are none of us satisfied with our mercies. But the true Christian says, or ought to say, “Thou shalt choose my inheritance for me;” high or low, rich or poor, town or country, wealth or poverty, ability or ignorance, “Thou shalt choose my inheritance for me.”

Again, we must leave to God the choice of our employment. “Oh!” says the preacher—and I have been wicked enough to say so myself—”how would I like to have all my employment in the week that I might sit in the pew on the Sabbath and hear a sermon, and be refreshed?” I am sure I should be glad to hear a sermon; it is a long time since I heard one. But when I do attend one, it always tires me—I want to be improving on it. How would I like to sit down and have a little of the feast in God’s house myself, instead of always being the serving man in God’s household. Thank God! I can steal a crumb for myself sometimes. But then we fancy, O that I were not in that employment! O that like Jonah we might flee to Tarshish, to avoid going to that great Nineveh. Another is a Sabbath-school teacher. He says, “I would rather visit the sick than sit with those troublesome boys and girls. And then the teachers do not seem to be so friendly with me as they should be.” The Sunday-school teacher thinks he can do anything better than teach; but there is his friend who visits the sick coming down the stairs, and he says, “I could teach little children, or preach a little; but really I cannot visit the sick. There is nothing so hard, and that requires so much self-denial.” Another says, “I am a tract distributor. It is not easy work to have your tracts refused at this door, and then at another; and persons looking at you as if you came to rob them; could stand up before the congregation and speak, but I cannot do this.” And so we get selecting our employments. Ah! but we ought to say, “Thou shalt choose my inheritance for me;” and leave our employment to God. “If there were two angels in heaven,” said a good man, “supposing there were two works to be done, and one work was to rule a city, and the other to sweep a street crossing—the angels would not stop a moment to say which they would do. They would do which ever God told them to do. Gabriel would shoulder his broom and sweep the crossing cheerfully, and Michael would not be a bit prouder in taking the scepter to govern the city.” So with a Christian.

But there is nothing that we oftener want to choose than our crosses. None of us like crosses at all; but all of us think everybody else’s trials lighter than our own. Crosses we must have; but we often want to be choosing them. “Oh!” says one, “my trouble is in my family. It is the worst cross in the world—my business is successful; but if I might have a cross in my business, and get rid of this cross in my family, I should not mind.” Then, my beloved hearers, in reference to your mercies, your employments, and your afflictions, say—”Lord, thou shalt choose my inheritance for me! I have been a silly child; I have often tried to meddle with my lot. Now I leave it. I cast myself on the stream of Providence, hoping to float along. I give myself up to the influence of thy will.” He that kicks and struggles in the water, they say, will be sure to sink; but he who lies still will float—so with Providence. He that struggles against it goes down; but he who resigns everything to it, will float along quietly calmly, and happily.


Growing in grace

You sit down to-morrow and you read the life of some eminent servant of God: perhaps the life of David Brainerd, and how he gave up his life for his Master in the wilderness, or the heroic life of Henry Martin, and how he sacrificed all for Christ: and as you read you say within yourself, “I will endeavor to be like this man; I will seek to have his faith, his self denial, his love to never-dying souls” Try and get them, beloved, and you will soon find your own weakness. I have sometimes thought I would try to have more faith but I have found it very hard to keep as much as I had. I have thought, “I will love my Saviour more,” and it was right that I should strive to do so; but when I sought to love him more I found that perhaps I was going backward instead of forward. How often do we find out our weakness when God answers our prayers!

“I ask’d the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know
And seek more earnestly his face.

I hop’d that in some favor’d hour
At once he’d answer my request,
And by his love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry power of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

‘Lord why is this?’ I trembling cried
‘Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?’
‘Tis in this way,’ the Lord replied;
‘I answer prayer for grace and faith.'”

That is, the Lord helps us to grow downward when we are only thinking about growing upward. Let any of you try to grow in grace, and seek to run the heavenly race, and make a little progress, and you will soon find, in such a slippery road as that which we have to travel, that it is very hard to go one step forward, though remarkably easy to go a great many steps backward.

That was a part from Spurgeon’s sermon. “As thy days so shall strength be”.  The poem was written by John Newton and I really love what it says. How true it is that when we try to grow in grace the Lord shows the inner evil of our hearts so that we will run back to him. How weak we are and how much we have to lean on God.  We are as weak as water if God shall leave us alone. The older Christians get in their faith, the less they become in their own esteem, the more they feel their own weakness, and the more entirely they rely upon the strength of God.