365 days with Newton

17 MAY

Guidance: divine & DIY

‘And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.’ Genesis 8:11

We have the resting of the ark upon a mountain, guided thither by God and not steered by Noah’s prudence. The Lord has times of rest for his people. A convinced sinner is like the ark tossed upon the waves, but in due time guided to the Rock that is higher than he [Psalm 61:2]. When the ark had rested some time, Noah was desirous of intelligence. He saw the tops of the hills from the window of the ark, but was solicitous to know when the earth should be dry and fit to receive him. God had told him the day when the flood should come, but not when it should subside. The knowledge of the one was necessary, the other not so. The one he could not have known but by revelation, but he might in due time discover the other in the use of ordinary means. The knowledge the Lord affords his people is not to indulge their curiosity or to make them indolent, but so graciously managed, that, while nothing truly profitable is held from them, their own diligence and application is still needful.

FOR MEDITATION: I wish I could advise you about your sons, but here likewise I am at a loss. Dispose of your children in any way, you cannot keep them out of the infectious air of the world’s evil atmosphere. When you have made the most prudent use in your power of the means that the providence of the Lord affords, you can do nothing further than to commend them to him by frequent, fervent prayer, and then in faith, patience and hope, wait for the issue: and if you give them up to him (when you have done your part), you must leave him (if you can) to answer his prayers in his own time and way; for he often brings the blind by a way they know not.
John Newton to James Coffin, 19 February 1799



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