On June 5, 1776, John Newton wrote the following in a letter to his friend, a certain Mrs. C.
As to myself, I have had much experience of the deceitfulness of my heart, much warfare on account of the remaining principle of indwelling sin. Without this experience I would not have known so much of the wisdom, power, grace, and compassion of Jesus. I have good reason to commend him to others, as a faithful Shepherd, an infallible Physician, an unchangeable Friend. I have found him such. Had he not been with me, and were he not mighty to forgive and deliver, long ago I would have been trodden down like mire in the streets. He has wonderfully preserved me in my outward walk, so that they who have watched for my halting have been disappointed. But he alone knows the innumerable backslidings, and the great perverseness of my heart. It is of his grace and mercy that I am what I am: having obtained help from him, I continue to this day. And he enables me to believe that he will keep me to the end, and that then I shall be with him forever.
For the entire letter Volume 6, page 53, of Newton’s Works.
rev shane lems