Pristine Grace

Both My Zeal and Weapons are Carnal
by John Newton
Both My Zeal and Weapons are Carnal

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."  - Heb 12:14

    The two great points we are called to pursue in this sinful divided world, are peace and holiness:  I hope you are much in the study of them.  These are the peculiar characteristics of a disciple of Jesus; they are the richest part of the enjoyments of heaven; and so far as they are recieved into the heart, they bring down heaven upon earth;  and they are more inseparably connected between themselves than some of us are aware of.  The longer I live, the more I see of the vanity and sinfulness of our unchristian disputes:  they eat up the very vitals of religion.  I grieve to think how often I have lost my time and my temper that way, in presuming to regulate the vineyards of others, when I have neglected my own;  when the beam in my own eye has so contracted my sight, that I could discern nothing but the mote in my neighbour's.  I am now desirous to choose a better part.  Could I speak the publican's words with a proper feeling, I wish not for the tongue of men or angels to fight about notions or sentiments.  I allow that every branch of gospel truth is precious, that errors are abounding, and that it is our duty to bear an honest testimony to what the Lord has enabled us to find comfort in, and to instruct with meekness such as are willing to be instructed; but I cannot see it my duty, nay, I believe it would be my sin, to attempt to beat my notions into other people's heads.  Too often I have attempted it in time past; but I now judge, that both my zeal and my weapons are carnal.  When our dear Lord questioned Peter, after his fall and recovery, he said not, Art thou wise, learned, and eloquent?  Nay, he said not, Art thou clear, and sound, and orthodox?  But this only; 'Lovest thou me?'