Paddington, 1796.


THE epistle you sent me was kindly received amidst this disagreeable storm; however, I am determined to stand and withstand, seeing God has fixed me where I now am; and from my station none shall pull me down but He that set me up. God has got some wheat in our heap, and Satan is aware of it; hence the damnable heresies that he throws into the floor, and the hypocrites and wolves that he sends among us. Christ had many people at Corinth, and many false apostles were there; yea, Satan besieged that church more than any other, because he knew he had suffered the greatest loss in that city.

I know that my stay is not long in this world; as soon as I am out of debt I will set my house and affairs in order, for I have strong impressions that I shall never ascend another May hill. Few and evil have the days of my life been; many months distracted with the pains of hell; seven years in hunger, cold, and nakedness; almost three years in legal bondage in the pulpit, that I might speak to those in that state: when out of this, heretics were let loose upon me at Farnham; free-will Baptists at Woking; Burnham tore us limb from limb at Ditton; Arminians at Richmond; and at London both Turks and devils, Deists and Arians. When I got out of this, by leaving Margaret Street Chapel, then a fourteen years burden of debt fell upon my back; and, as soon as God sent me ten pounds, the devil sent one or other to rob me of twenty. God encouraged John Bull; hypocrites disheartened him; one shewed his liberality which spurred him on, others held him back; at times he kicked up, and at other times drew back, till he became a wild bull in a net; and, being naturally sulky, he dropped down in the furrows. None but God and myself know how I have been used, robbed and plundered; but my eye and my heart are now fixed on Petersham church-yard, and on my tomb there; and at my departure they will have impostors, wolves, and devils enough. They have been too full fed: but they shall fast in those days that are coming on: the cloudy and dark day is before us: but God is my light, and my light shall go with me, and the household shall both miss and lament the loss of its candle. Those that keep the word of his patience shall escape the hour of temptation: while hypocrites in Zion, who boast of their faith, power, and wisdom, and who hate the true light and the just, shall be left to stand the storm and sustain the shock: and then it shall be made manifest what they are; for the day shall try them and their base metal; their hay, straw and stubble shall consume, and, like Samson shorn of his locks, they shall appear such as other men. But God shall revive me; he shall bring me up from the dust of the earth; he shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. I have fought a good fight, and I have kept the faith. I have opposed none but impostors, hypocrites, heretics, devils, and sin; nor have I preached any thing but truth. I thank you for your many favours, and hope ever to remain, dear friend,

Yours in Christ Jesus,

W. H. S. S.

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