“I am not indeed an advocate for that indifference and lukewarmness to the truths of God, which seem to constitute the candor many plead for in the present day. But while I desire to hold fast the sound doctrines of the Gospel towards the persons of my fellow-creatures, I wish to exercise all moderation and benevolence. Protestants or Papists, Socinians or Deists, Jews, Samaritans, or Mohammedans, all are my neighbors; they have all a claim upon me for the common offices of humanity.
As to religion, they cannot all be right; nor may I compliment them by allowing that the differences between us are but trivial, when I believe and know they are important. But am not to expect others to see with my eyes! I am deeply convinced of the truth of John the Baptist’s aphorism in John 3:27, “A man can receive nothing—except it be given him from Heaven.” I well know, that the little measure of knowledge I have obtained in the things of God—has not been owing to my own wisdom and teachableness, but to God’s goodness.
I am weary of theological controversies and disputes, and desire to choose for myself, and to point out to others, Mary’s part—to sit at Jesus’ feet, and to hear his words. And, blessed be his name! So far as I have learned from him, I am favored with a comfortable certainty; I know whom I have believed, and am no longer tossed about by the various winds and tides of opinions, by which I see many are dashed one against the other. But I cannot, I must not, I dare not, be contentious. Only, as a witness for God, I am ready to bear my simple testimony to what I have known of his truth, whenever I am properly called to it.”
— John Newton. Works. Banner of Truth, 2015. vol. 1, pp. 519–520.