Every true and healthy Christians desires the discovery of the will of God?  Which way should I go?  Whom should I marry?  What job should I take?  A myriad of similar decisions confront the Christian through life.  Some big, others small, but none inconsequential.  In our quote from Newton this evening, the old saint warns a young minister of the danger of hearing Scripture say what we want it to say.  Thus our will is baptized as God's will and we are led astray from the path of duty...

Texts of Scripture brought powerfully to the heart are very desirable and pleasant, if their tendency is to humble us, to give us a more feeling sense of the preciousness of Christ, or of the doctrines of grace; if they make sin more hateful, enliven our regard to the means, or increase our confidence in the power and faithfulness of God. But if they are understood as intimating our path of duty in particular circumstances, or confirming us in purposes we may have already formed, not otherwise clearly warranted by the general strain of the word, or by the leadings of Providence, they are for the most part insnaring, and always to be suspected. Nor does their coming into the mind at the time of prayer give them more authority in this respect. When the mind is intent upon any subject, the imagination is often watchful to catch at any thing which may seem to countenance the favourite pursuit. It is too common to ask counsel of the Lord when we have already secretly determined for ourselves: and in this disposition we may easily be deceived by the sound of a text of Scripture, which, detached from the passage in which it stands, may seem remarkably to tally with our wishes.
— Newton, J., & Cecil, R. (1824). The Works of John Newton (Vol. 2, pp. 116–117). London: Hamilton, Adams & Co.

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