Hypocrisy, Grace, and Forgiveness (Newton)

While studying various writings on hypocrisy today I came across this excellent letter John Newton wrote to his wife in 1757. In the letter Newton discussed hypocrisy in a very tender way. This was comforting to me; perhaps it will be a blessing to you as well.

If you are really afraid of being an hypocrite, it is a good sign that you are not one. For the hypocrite is secure and confident, and has no suspicion of a mistake. But the best persons upon earth must own, that though, through grace, they are not hypocrites, there is too much hypocrisy remaining in them. Their real and fundamental aim is the glory of God; but wretched, sinful, self-will creeps in, and taints their best performances. However, our comfort is, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. What a great word is that little word All! Not only from sins of one kind, or of one degree, but of all kinds, and of all degrees, when we apply to it in a truly humble and repenting spirit.

Newton, John, and Richard Cecil. The Works of John Newton. Vol. 5. London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824. Print.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015