Feb. 9, 1795.
WELL, my dear brother, how do you do? Is it well with thee? Is it well with thy spouse? Is it well with thy. father, and thy father and mother-in-law? And is it well with the little ones? And how dost thou conic on in the best things? How stands thine heart affected to the sinner's only friend? He stands at the door of sinners' hearts, and knocks; he stands behind the wall of partition, and shows himself through the lattice, and waits to be gracious. And has he got any foothold in thee, and what apartment has he taken up? He is not in all the thoughts of the wicked; but David thought upon God, and was troubled. And does he come often into thy thoughts? Does he pay his early morning visits there? Are thy thoughts brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and often confined by the sweetest ties to meditate upon what he is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will do for us? "In the multitude of my thoughts within me," said the psalmist, "thy comforts delight my soul."
If Christ hath there made an entrance, he will go on from conquering to conquer; he will have the understanding next; he will open it, and shine into it, and then thou wilt "see the goodness of God in the land of the living." Thou wilt not only see the promise at a distance, but thou wilt see him that is invisible to the natural man. The true light that shines, and opens the believer's understanding, is his everlasting light, his God, and his glory: and , this is seeing that just one; and viewing him as the chiefs among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely. The next thing that Christ attacks and conquers is the sinner's will; the understanding looks at him whom we have pierced; and then the will chooses him. Hence it is said, "They shall mourn and be in bitterness for him." Thus what the understanding discovers of his beauty and worth, the will makes choice of; and thus Joshua, having seen his beauty with the elders of Israel, makes his choice at once, "Chuse you whom you will serve; but, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." "Mary hath chosen that good part that shall not be taken from her." In this way the rebellious son was conquered: "Son, go work to day in my vineyard. But he answered, I will not." The Lord then looked upon him, and opened his understanding to see him whom he had pierced, and then stirred up his bowels, to mourn and be in bitterness for him; this bent his stubborn will, and he repented and went. Christ having thus brought our thoughts to meditate upon him, and presented himself to our understanding as the only supreme good, and powerfully inclined the will to choose him as the pearl of great price, for awhile stands at a distance. While the heart is opened to receive him, earnest desires and fervent longings, are sent forth to invite him; and every winning petition and enticing expression are made use of to bring this beloved into his garden, to eat his pleasant fruits. The good Spirit, our unchangeable and everlasting friend, touches the mind with confidence, helps our infirmities to hope against hope, puts many promises into our minds and mouths, bids us speak, and makes intercession for us; and by keeping him still in view, with the eye fixed on him, and the soul longing after him, at last he is obliged to yield, saying, "Turn away thine eyes from me, for thou hast overcome me." The soul immediately seizes him, holds him fast, and will not let him go, till he is brought into his mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived him; and in he comes, saying, "Believe that I am in you, and you in me" - "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse." While the poor soul, melting in flood and flames, in love and grief, joy and tears, cries out, "My beloved is mine, and I am his." This is God's best gift to man, and man's best prize from God. This is the riches, the glory, the majesty, and the power of God's unfathomable mystery among the Gentiles; which is "Christ in you the hope of glory." This is life and immortality brought to light; and it is the secret, the unsearchable, the invaluable, the inestimable -treasure, hidden, wrapped up, and concealed in the manifold wisdom of God. The Lord of all. lords bless thee and thine I My love to father, spouse, to father and mother-in-law, to all friends, and to my dear son Jenkins. This is. the Lord's day; I am confined at home, and therefore send thee, this morning's performance on paper, instead of preaching.
Ever thine in Christ Jesus,
W. HUNTINGTON, S. S.