Monday, February 29, 2016

From a Letter by John Newton dated November 23, 1774 to a Mr. B

My Dear Sir,
.....My body, as I said, is, through mercy, free from considerable ailments, but I have a soul that requires surgeon's work continually;—there is some tumour to be discussed or laid open, some dislocation to be reduced, some fracture to be healed, almost daily.  It is my great mercy, that one who is infallible in skill, who exercises incessant care and boundless compassion towards all his patients, has undertaken my case; and, complicated as it is, I dare not doubt his making a perfect cure.  Yet, alas! I too often discover such impatience, distrust, and complaining when under his hand—am so apt to find fault with the instruments he is pleased to make use of—so ready to think the salutary wounds he makes unnecessary, or too large; in a word, I show such a promptness to control, were I able, or to direct his operations, that, were not his patience beyond expression, he would, before now, have given me up.  I am persuaded, no money would induce Mr.--to attend upon a patient who should act towards him as I have towards my best Physician.  Sometimes I indulge a hope that I am growing wiser, and think surely, after such innumerable proofs as I have had that he does all things well, I shall now be satisfied to leave myself quietly and without reserve to his disposal.  A thousand such surrenders I have made, and a thousand times I have interpretatively retracted them.  Yet still he is gracious.  O, how shall I praise him at last!.....   
                                                                                                                                              John Newton

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