Church Street, Paddington, July, 1797.
Dear Brother in Christ Jesus,
I WISH grace and peace to be multiplied unto thee through Jesus Christ. Glad is my soul to hear of the work going on at Lewes, and in the places adjacent. God makes the Welsh Ambassador a Boanerges, a son of thunder; and he has not discharged his dreadful artillery in vain. Am sorry to hear that he is so poorly in body; but I wonder not at it, as this hot weather hath wonderful effects upon me. There are no less than six or seven souls in labour at Uxbridge; and I believe that two or three were brought from their old foundation about a fortnight ago, under two discourses preached by me. O! what encouragement have such poor worms to go on, seeing not one soul hath been called in that place by the preaching there for three-and-twenty years back! For God will not honour them who know nothing of him. His servants must go through fire and water, that they may know how to pull brands out of the fire, and how to cast the net into the sea of trouble, which is sure to find out those who are in tribulation, and to entangle their ears, thoughts, hearts, and affections; insomuch that they can: not break the net, nor get out; nor do such desire it.
I think that, since I waded through my last troubles, I have been more successful than ever with my net, nor does my sword return empty. Wonderful is the goodness of God to me, and wonderful is my base ingratitude to him. O, my brother! let the one thing needful be uppermost with thee; for when Christ is King of the heart, in Judah things go well: but he will suffer no rival unresented. Wondrous things has he done to gain the affections of his enemies; and, when he makes them friends, they must shew themselves friendly, and then we are welcome to his rich repasts. "Eat, O friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!" Wisdom spreads the table, bids the guests, and attends the company. Under his shadow is sweet delight; over our head is the banner of his love, and the bread of life is the wholesome food.
But we must drink of the wine that wisdom has mingled; a little love, and a little of the waters of Marah. We shall find his blood to be drink indeed; but temptations, desertions, afflictions, crosses, and disappointments, inward corruptions, and bodily afflictions, will be the ingredients which are mingled with, or else succeed, these soul-cheering entertainments. Bitter things create an appetite; they are wholesome, useful, and profitable; but not pleasing nor palatable: yet the good Physician knows what is best: the leaves of the tree of life are for medicine, the fruit for food, and both good in turn. Farewell! God bless thee. My love to all friends, and above all to the Ambassador.
Yours to serve in Christ Jesus,
W. HUNTINGTON, S.S.