If you don't receive Grace Gems in your email, let me encourage you to sign up to receive them for free. It's usually the best email I receive in a day. What are Grace Gems? They are mini-devotionals from puritans, preachers, and theologians of old (I think the litmus test for who is included in the devotionals is that you have to have been dead before 1900). There are fantastic theological ruminations recorded in these little gold mines that every Christian should ingest on a regular basis.
Today's Grace Gem rocked my socks off. It was penned by John Newton, of "Amazing Grace" notoriety. Topic: "my politics." According to the email, the following is taken from one of dozens of letters that Newton penned to various people. Have a look:
The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, "The Lord reigns! Let the nations tremble!" (Psalm 99.1)
The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker - the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But he loves his children; some are sighing and mourning before him, and I am sure he hears their sighs, and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel - before we are humbled, and are taught to give him the glory.
The state of the nation, the state of the churches - both are deplorable! Those who should be praying - are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! Ho many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government - than for their own sins!
O God, purify your church for the sake of your glory and our good, both as a church and as a nation.