(Letters of John Newton)
In preferring a warm heart to a full head--you certainly judge by the rule of Scripture. The Lord looks to the heart--not to the stature, the popularity, the intellect, the rank or wealth of a person. These are to the man--no more than ornamental trappings to a horse!
"All men are like grass, and all their goodness is like the flower of the field!" Isaiah 40:6. The mass of mankind may be compared to grass. And those who are distinguished by intellectual or external accomplishments of any kind--may be compared to the flowers which look more gaudy and are perhaps a little taller than the grass. But when the mower comes--the scythe finds no difference! Both fall by the same stroke, and wither with equal speed!
Indeed I believe that the most lively grace and the most solid comfort--are known among the Lord's poor and insignificant people. Every outward advantage, has a tendency to nourish the pride of the human heart; and requires a proportionable knowledge of the deceitful SELF and the evil of sin--to counterbalance them.
If I were qualified to search out the best Christian in the country, I would not expect to find him either in a professor's chair, or in a pulpit. I would give the trophy to that person who had the lowest thoughts of himself--and the most admiring and loving thoughts of the Savior. And perhaps this person may be some bedridden old man or woman, or a pauper in a workhouse.
Love to Jesus is not to be measured by the amount of knowledge we have, or how well we talk--but rather by the simplicitYour affectionate friend and servant,
John Newtony of our dependence upon Him, and the uniform tenor of our obedience to His will.