Filled with folly, vanity, and vexation!

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Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
...from today's Grace Gems.

(Letters of John Newton)

August 28, 1779
My dear friend,
The days speed away apace! Each one bears away its own burden with it--to return no more. Both pleasures and pains which are past--are gone forever! What is yet future will likewise, soon be past.

Our final end will shortly arrive! O to realize the thought, and to judge of things now in some measure suitable to the opinion which we shall form of them, when we are about to leave them all! Many things which now either elate or depress us--will then appear to be trifles as light as air!

Only one thing is needful--
to have our hearts united to Jesus in humble faith;
to set Him always before us;
to rejoice in Him as our Shepherd and our portion;
to submit to all His appointments, not of necessity, because He is stronger than us--but with a cheerful acquiescence, because He is wise and good, and loves us better than we do ourselves;
to feed upon His truth;
to have our understandings, wills, affections, imaginations, memory--all filled and impressed with the great mysteries of His redeeming love;
to do all for Jesus;
to receive all from Jesus;
to find all in Jesus!

I have mentioned many things, but they are all comprised in one--a life of faith in Jesus!

We are empty vessels in ourselves--but we cannot remain empty. Unless Jesus dwells in our hearts, and fills them with His power and presence--they will be filled with folly, vanity, and vexation!
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