The Dispensability of Ministers
Some books are for tasting regularly, not reading through once. One such book is Wise Counsel: John Newton's Letters to John Ryland Jr. edited by Grant Gordon (Banner of Truth, 2009). Newton was the former slave-trader turned pastor, and the author of “Amazing Grace”. The flavor of his ministry is such that frequent tastes are better than rare gulps.
I hope that he and you and I shall all so live, as to be missed a little when we are gone. But the Lord standeth not in need of sinful man. And he sometimes takes away his most faithful and honoured ministers in the midst of their usefulness, perhaps [for this reason] among others, that he may show us he can do without them. . . . Blessed is the servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing, with his loins girded up, and his lamp burning. (p. 280)