The Imminent Danger (Pt 6)


Winslow Homer's "The Life Line," 1884
And though we are still favored with peace at home, the dreadful storm is at no great distance; it seems to move our way, and we have reason to fear it may burst upon us. But I would be thankful for the appointment of this day, for I should think the prospect dark indeed, if I did not rely on the Lord’s gracious attention to the united prayers of those who fear and trust Him, and who know it is equally easy for Him to save or to destroy, by many or by few (1Sa 14:6). Our fleets and armies may be well appointed, and well commanded; but without His blessing upon our councils and enterprises, they will be unable to defend us. He can take wisdom from the wise, and courage from the bold, in the moment when they are most needed. He can disable our forces by sickness or dissension. And by His mighty wind, He can dash our ships to pieces against the rocks, against each other, or sink them as lead in the mighty waters. “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not” (Lam 3:37)?

Our Lord and Savior, when speaking of the eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and slew them, said to the Jews, “Think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luk 13:4-5). May the application of these words sink deeply into our hearts! We, on the contrary, were born and educated in a land, distinguished from all the nations of the earth, by the eminent degree in which we enjoy civil and religious liberty, and the light of Gospel-truth. These privileges exceedingly aggravate our sins; and no just comparison, in this respect, can be formed between us and other nations until we can find a people who have been equally favored, and for an equal space of time, by the providence of God, and have like wise equaled us in disobedience and ingratitude.


John Newton:
The Imminent Danger and Only Sure Resource of Our Nation



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