If I may speak of my own experience, I find that to keep my eye simply on Christ, as my peace and my life, is by far the hardest part of my calling. Through mercy he enables me to avoid what is wrong in the sight of men; but it seems easier to deny self in a thousand instances of outward conduct, than in its ceaseless endeavors to act as a principle of righteousness and power.
-- John Newton
Important note: The last part of this quote contains grammar that I find difficult to untangle. I offer my own interpretation here:
It seems easier:
To deny self in a thousand instances of outward conduct,
To deny self in the midst of its ceaseless endeavors to act as a principle of righteousness and power.
An interpretation shared by this blogger:
"I have a very real sickness that attempts daily and even hourly to supplant Jesus from His rightful place in my life. It attempts to act, like Newton put it, "as a principle of righteousness and power." Yet what power have I? What righteousness have I?"