12/23/2007

John Newton on Election

On the election discussion, I leave you all with John Newton, author of Amazing Grace:

“...You have objections to the doctrine of election. You will however, agree with me, that the Scripture does speak of it, and that in very strong and express terms; particularly St. Paul … Admitting, as I am sure you will admit, the total depravity of human nature, how can we account for the conversion of a soul to God, unless we likewise admit to an election of grace? The work must begin somewhere. Either the sinner first seeks the Lord, or the Lord first seeks the sinner ... In your own case you acknowledge he began with you; and it must be the case universally to all that are called, if the whole race of mankind are by nature enemies to God … What has made us differ from our former selves? Grace. What has made us differ from those who are as we once were? Grace … They who believe there is any power in man by nature, whereby he can turn to God, may contend for a conditional election, upon the foresight of faith and obedience: but while others dispute, let you and me admire, for we know that the Lord foresaw us (as we were) in a state utterly incapable of either believing or obeying, unless he was pleased to work in us to will and to do according to his good pleasure.”

“As the doctrines of election and perseverance are comfortable, so they cut off all pretense of boasting and self-dependence, when they are truly received in the heart, and therefore tend to exalt the Savior. Of course they tend to stain the pride of all human glory, and leave us nothing to glory in but the Lord. The more we are utterly convinced of our depravity first to last, the more excellent will Jesus appear.”


from John Newton, Author of Amazing Grace, as quoted here.

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