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JOHN NEWTON'S SELF-ASSESSMENT


Two or three years before the death of John Newton (former slave ship captain and eventual author of the song, "Amazing Grace"), when his sight was so dim that he was no longer able to read, a friend and brother in the ministry called to have breakfast with him.


Newton said, "I am not what I ought to be! How imperfect and deficient I am! I am not what I wish to be, although I abhor that which is evil and would cleave to what is good! I am not what I hope to be, but soon I shall be out of mortality, and with it all sin and imperfection.


"Though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor yet what I hope to be, I can truly say I am not what I once was: a slave to sin and Satan. I can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge that by the grace of God I am what I am!"


(From a sermon by Steve Shepherd, The Grace of God, 11/1/2011)

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