Prudence or Cowardice?

There is certainly such a thing as Christian prudence, and a remarkable deficiency of it is highly inconvenient. But caution too often degenerates into cowardice; and if the fear of man, under the name of prudence, gets within our guard, like a chilling frost, it nips every thing in the bud. Those who trust the Lord and act openly with an honest freedom and consistency, I observe He generally bears them out, smoothes their way, and makes their enemies their friends, or at least restrains their rage; while such as halve things, temporize, and aim to please God and man together, meet with double disappointment, and are neither useful nor respected. If we trust to him, He will stand by us; if we regard men, He will leave us to make the best we can of them.

– John Newton to Rev. Thomas Bowman, Letters of Newton, p. 122.

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