I stumbled across this quote today in my morning readings with John Newton.  It greatly encouraged me, reminding me that much of our misery comes from comparing our insides to other people's outsides.  Many look with envy at a minister.  After all, we have so much time to read our Bible's, to pray, to read, and, did I mention, we only work one day each week!  What people don't see is our great struggle to live up to our own sermons, to feel what we preach, to press on past mere head knowledge of God and to grow in heartfelt acquaintance with him.

The Lord leads me, in the course of my preaching, to insist much on a life of communion with himself, and of the great design of the Gospel to render us conformable to him in love; and as, by his mercy, nothing appears in my outward conduct remarkably to contradict what I say, many, who only can judge by what they see, suppose I live a very happy life. But, alas! if they knew what passes in my heart, how dull my spirit is in secret, and how little I am myself affected by the glorious truths I propose to others, they would form a different judgment. Could I be myself what I recommend to them, I should be happy indeed. Pray for me, my dear friend, that, now the Lord is bringing forward the pleasing spring, he may favour me with a spring season in my soul; for indeed I mourn under a long winter.
— Newton, J., & Cecil, R. (1824). The Works of John Newton (Vol. 2, pp. 108–109). London: Hamilton, Adams & Co.

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