The Last Will and Testament
of William Huntington(1745-1813)
IN THE NAME OF GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON, AND GOD THE HOLY GHOST. AMEN.
I WILLIAM HUNTINGTON, Labourer in the Lord's vineyard at Effingham, Wooking, and Richmond, in Surrey, and at St. Mary-le-bone and Sunbury, in the county of Middlesex, being at this time at my residence in Winchester-row, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, and, through rich grace, in my right mind and memory, meditating on my certain approach to death, and the house appointed for all living, I do make and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament, holograph, this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, in manner and in form following: That is to say, Imprimis; I commit my soul into the hands of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the exercise of that faith which peculiar to God's elect; and, glory be to his name, without any doubt of my interest in his Everlasting Covenant. And I desire to bless the Father of all mercies, and God of all comfort, for his everlasting love to me a sinner - for putting my worthless name in the book of life - for putting me into the hands of his dear Son for ordaining my everlasting salvation, life, and glory by him - for drawing me to him, accepting me in him, and for begetting me to a lively hope through his glorious resurrection from the dead.
And I desire also to render equal glory to Christ Jesus, my Lord, whom I believe to be co-equal, Phil. ii. 6, co-essential, Heb. i. 8, and co-eternal, Rev. i. 17, with God the Father, and distinct only in personality, office, and name; whom, though in divinity he be without descent, Heb. vii. 3, yet is he the Eternal Son of God the Father in covenant-character, Heb. i. 5; his begotten Son by his spiritual conception, Acts, xiii. 33, Luke, i. 35, his obedient Son both in life and death, Phil. ii. 8, and declaratively so with power, by his resurrection from the dead, Rom. i. 4. My soul adores this Friend of the friendless for accepting my worthless name and person - for assuming my nature, and taking my sin upon him - for substituting himself my surety, and paying lily infinite debt; for an everlasting righteousness by faith in his spotless life - for pardon and peace by faith in his blood - for persevering grace and strength by faith in his arm - for revealing himself to me, deigning to dwell within me - and for a blessed hope of my eternal existence with him in glory.
Nor can I forbear rendering equal glory to Jehovah the Holy Ghost for his illuminating and quickening influence - for leading me into the truth, and shedding the precious love of God abroad in my heart - for deigning to operate on my soul as the Spirit of prayer, the Spirit of faith, and the Spirit of divine consolation; for sealing my soul, for bearing his testimony, operating and appearing an earnest of the eternal inheritance. To the ever-blessed and glorious Trinity in Unity, be the glory of all my free full, finished, and everlasting salvation, for ever and ever Amen.
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I shall lose nothing - but should raise it up again at the last day.
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day, John, vi. 4, 39, 40.
Secondly, I commit my body to my most merciful Saviour, who is the resurrection and the life; who has deigned to dwell in it, and promised to raise it, change it, fashion it like his own, and fill it with all his fullness at the end of time; to be dissolved at his own appointed time, by what means he pleases; and to be deposited where his infinite wisdom shall think proper; firmly believing, that through rich grace my flesh will rest in hope of a glorious resurrection.
Houses and riches are the inheritance of lathes, and a prudent wife is from the Lord, Prov. xix. 14.
Leave thy fatherless children, if will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me. Jer. xlix. 11.
Thirdly, MARY my wife, the most valuable head of all my living stock, I give and bequeath to Christ Jesus, my Saviour and rich provider, who, from all eternity, appointed her for me, and in a marvellous manner brought her to me; whom I took to have and to hold, and have no great cause to repent of the bargain. I do leave and bequeath her, with all that she has, if she should survive me, to my aforesaid Saviour, to continue in widowhood after my decease, or to be given to another, just as my Executor shall appoint.
And now, O Lord, I beseech thee to hear me in her behalf. Thou knowest how warmly attached she has ever been to MOSES, and what narrow and vain searches she has made, in order to find out his grave; which thou, in infinite wisdom and mercy, hast thought meet to conceal. Let it please thee to carry on the begun divorce - and effectually crucify her to all hope in a dead husband, and to all hope in a killing covenant; and let her no longer be a joint-wife in partnership with Hagar. And as for the few wretched remains of self-righteousness which she has ever been doatingly fond of - I beseech thee to spoil, together with all the rest of her own manufactory, that she may embrace the Rock for the want of shelter, Job, xxiv. 8. Amen.
Lo children are an herbage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward, Psalm, cxxvi. 3.
Fourthly, My eldest son, GAD (whose name signifies a troop), whom I so named by reason of a wonderful deliverance from a heavy persecution, after a long and wearisome engagement: - I do leave and bequeath my said son, to the all-conquering Captain of salvation; alias, the Lord of hosts, mighty in battle. And now, O Lord, I entreat thee to hear the prayer of the poor frail testator make my son a standard-bearer in the camp of thy saints, and let the banner of everlasting love be displayed over his head: Do thou clothe him, feed him, arm and protect him. And blessed for ever shall he be that enlargeth Gad. O let him dwell as a lion in thy strength, and be thou his high tower of safety, his shield of defence, and his offensive buckler. Make him a valiant advocate for Eternal Election; that he may tear the broken arm of Free-will, and the high arm of oppression, and help to demolish the whole crown of Pride, Deut. xxxiii. 20.
Then were brought unto him little children, that he should lout his hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of God, Matt. xix. 13, 14.
Fifthly, EBESEZEE, my second son (whose name signifies a helpful stone), whom I so named to perpetuate the memory of God's kind providence appearing in a time of deep poverty, at his birth. And I do give and bequeath my son Ebenezer to Christ Jesus, the only rock of stability, against which the gates of hell shall never prevail And, now, O Lord, the Stone of Israel, my executor, and ever-blessed legatee, who hath led me to believe that thou art the only foundation of Gospel Zion, to bear the whole weight of Mercy's fabric - Thou ever-blessed and chief Corner-stone, whose omnipresent power unites the whole living temple together, though some of the materials are, in heaven, some on earth, and some in non-existence; whom my soul believes that the heavens will one day reveal, in all the glorious majesty of Deity; as the omega, Faith's finisher; the ornamental top-stone, to crown the building, and bear the ever-lasting glory, while all the redeemed millions, when filled with the dazzling beams of thy tremendous glory, shall burst forth in celestial exclamations, Grace, grace unto it, Zech. iv. 7. Oh that my son may live before thee, and be made a lively stone in thy mysterious building, if consistent with thy sovereign will and pleasure! and do thou watch over him with all the parental care of an everlasting, ever-living, and ever-loving father! Amen.
That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth: that our daughters may be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace, Psal. cxliv. 12.
Sixthly, RUTH, my eldest daughter now living (whose name signifies filled), whom I so named, because nay wife was taken in labour, as she was gleaning wheat after the reapers in the field; and was obliged to travel home, and that with great difficulty, even before she had filled her lap with corn. And when the time came for naming the child, we made a little feast; and the second course was made of the corn gleaned by my wife, which would have been more abundant, if little Ruth had not been quite so hasty. I do give and bequeath my daughter Ruth, whether for life or death, to the ANTI-TYPICAL BOAZ, late of Bethlehem-Judah, in the land of Canaan, but now King of kings in Jerusalem, whom I believe to be the only husband of the chosen daughter of God. And now, O Lord, my Saviour, my soul's near kinsman! Thou who didst not disdain us in our low estate, but willingly assumed our nature, and did the kinsman's part, when the angels (who were nearer related by creation) stood silent half an hour, Rev. viii. 1, not daring to speak in our behalf! No; it was Thou, thou ever-blessed Bridegroom, who opened the decretive will, and undertook to perform the conditions belonging to a covenant of eternal wedlock! Rev. v. 5. Yea, it was Thou, who betrothed our souls in mercy, when our FIEST HUSBAND was dead, Rom. vii. 2. Thou disdained to be called the man who hath his shoe loosed, Deut. xxv. 9, 1o; though thy enemies spit in thy face; thou hast married the wife of the deceased, Deut. xxi. 5; redeemed the mortgaged inheritance, and raised up an everlasting name that shall never be cut off, Isa. lv. 13; surely, thou hast done worthily in Ephratah, and been famous in Bethlehem! O Lord, make my daughter like Ruth, the Moabitess; and though thou hast cast out thy shoe over Edom, Psa. Ix. 8, yet condescendest to stand in the shoes of Moab; and let poor Ruth glean among those who gather fruit to eternal life. O Lord, let her keep close to thy maidens. Prov. ix. 3; and let Satan never catch her in any other field, Deut xxii. 25; and when thou shalt take thy fan in thy hand to purge thy floor, O let her lie safe, as Mary did, at thy feet, covered with the skirt of thy righteousness; let the spiritual reapers, who receive the wages which grace allows, drop many handsful for her to glean, until she appears in the bundle of life, 1 Sam. xxv. 29; as a part of that shock fully ripe, coming in season, Job, v. 26, as thy first-fruits, James, i. 18; that thou who hast so bountifully sowed, and those who have diligently reaped, with all the weak in faith, who have gleaned, may, to all eternity, rejoice together! o let a full reward be given her of thee, thou sovereign Lord of Israel, under whose wings my faith would fain bring her to truth! Amen.
A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children and the wealth of the shiner is laid up for the just, Prov. xiii. 22.
Seventhly, My daughter Naomi, the youngest daughter now living (whose name signifies agreeableness), and whom I so named to perpetuate the memory of God's providential care at the time of her birth. I had left my employ, and a ready-furnished lodging also, and had removed to Ditton, where I could get no accommodation but an empty room, though in expectation every day of my wife being taken in labour; but God raised up a few friends to furnish the place, and make it agreeable for my wife by the time it was wanted. Thus God caused the morrow to take thought for itself: Therefore Agreeableness is the name of the child. And I do give and bequeath my daughter Naomi to the God of our father Abraham, before whom I have walked; the angel who hath redeemed me from all evil; the God of grace and providence, who hath fed me all my life long unto this day, and fixed the bounds off my habitation.
And now, O Lord God, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great compassion, who hast in answer to prayer brought my daughter back from, the gates of death, I most humbly beseech thee to accept her at my hands; and enable my faith to engage thy kind protecting care over her! Be thou her guide and guardian, her father and her friend; and let not thy blessed hand go out against her, nor suffer her name to be called Marah. O make her one of thy honourable women, and a gracious mother in Israel; guide her through all the dangers which attend the giddy in their youth, and keep her free from being taken by any of the snares which are set to entangle souls for Satan! Are not children an inheritance that cometh of thee? and is not the fruit of the womb thy own reward? Art not thou the author of her being, and the preserver of her life? To whose care, then, can I commit her but to thine; who art so well known by the endearing names of a father to the fatherless, a husband to the widow, a friend to the friendless, and the aid of those who have no helper! All which characters thou art the truth of in the superlative degree, and in every sense of the words!
I will not ask temporal wealth, honour, beauty, pleasure, or long life, but beg thyself only as her portion. Thy love shed abroad in the heart is the best inheritance; thy immensity satisfies every boundless desire that the most enlarged spirit is capable of, and thy eternity sends every thought back to the believing breast sweetly laden with infinite satisfaction. O that my daughter may live before thee, and be brought to know the God of her father; and let thy blessings on my offspring exceed the blessings of their progenitor; even to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills! Amen and Amen.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified, Acts, xx. 32.
Eighthly, All the poor sheep which thou hast called by me, and those over which the Holy Ghost has made me an overseeer, together with all those whom the love of Christ has constrained me to love, care for, or to feed, I do leave them, and the sole care of them all, to the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, Christ Jesus, my Lord, to whom they belong by donation, by purchase, and by conquest: - as the gift of his Father, the purchase of his blood, and the trophies of his victory.
And now, O Lord God, the Ancient of Days, and the End of Time, Time's Alpha and omega, our everlasting Father, who, from all eternity, was set up to be a future head, and a gathering shepherd; who received our names, persons, and the number of them, even before chaos was conceived, or order born; Thou great I AM; Thou one eternal Now, and Eternity's only CENTRE; whom no space can measure, and in whom the past and future are ever lost! O Thou, who art incomprehensible, and yet well known in Judah; though invisible, yet faith discerns thee; and though the only possessor of immortality, yet thou dwellest with mortals; I humbly entreat thee ever to appear the watchful, careful, and tender Shepherd of Israel; gather them from among the goats, bring back, that which is gone astray, heal that which is sick, bind up that which is broken, and feed that which is faint; let not even an ear be lost, Amos, iii. 12, or a hoof be left behind: and as thou hast appeared unblemished in every co-venant-character, from age to age, and hast established thy words to a thousand generations; be pleased to strengthen, establish, and settle thine elect in the strongest faith of it!
And now, O Lord, deliver them all from that God-dishonouring and dear-bought insensibility of the Deist, Ezekiel, viii. 12; And from the damnable delusion of the Arian, 2 Pet. ii. 1; from the fleshly confidence too, and rash presumption of the Antinomian, 2 Cor. xiii. 2; and from the galling and severe yoke of the self-sufficient Arminian, Acts, xv. 1o; from the voluntary service of worldlings; and from the woful and unexpected end of the whole tribe of Pharisees. Amen and Amen.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate, Psal. cxxvii. 4, 5.
Ninthly, The child that is coming, and all that may come, whether many or few, males or females; I do give and bequeath, all, and every one of them, to the Father of the spirits of all flesh, alias the second Adam, the quickening Spirit, the Lord from heaven, the ever-blessed Immanuel, our God, and God with us; to be kept by his power, governed by his sceptre, and to be at his absolute disposal only.
And now, O Lord, who didst not despise the simple sacrifice of the infant tribes, when in the temple they offered their unknown HOSANNAS to thee; but didst sharply rebuke, and wonderfully still thy enemies, by the lips of babes and sucklings, out of whom thou hast pre-ordained strength and perfected praise; O let the rising generation join in the innocent and holy acclamations of Hosanna to the Son of David; that is, save Lord, we beseech thee! yea, let them rise up and call thee blessed. Thou hast richly dispensed thy invaluable benedictions on various of thy chosen ones, in every age of their life; some have been filled with the Holy Ghost from their mother's womb, others from their childhood have known the Holy Scriptures; others were ordained prophets before they were conceived, or born; and two thousand infants at one time fell martyrs to thy truth, sealed it with their blood, and died in Gospel hope; others at the eleventh hour have found the Messiah; and the poor thief on the cross felt the convictions of sin, and the pains of death, go hand in hand, and apparently keep pace; so that a spiritual travel and a lingering death met both together in one chosen vessel, and at one time: but, blessed be thy name, the spiritual birth out-stripped the dart of death. Surely, this was a double deliverance, or an unproclaimed jubilee, to see the carcase of a thief hang on the gibbet, while the soul was singing celestial anthems in Paradise! But these are some of the discriminating acts of sovereign grace. O Lord, grant that our offspring may see, and know for themselves, many of these wonderful displays of thy unmerited and everlasting love; and let the Spirit thou has put upon us, and the word thou hast put into our mouth, never depart out of our mouth, nor out of the mouth of our seed, nor out of the mouth of our seed's seed, from henceforth and for ever! Amen and Amen.
Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase.
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine, Prov. iii. 9, 10.
Tenthly, All the worldly substance I now have, or may have, whether little or much, at home or abroad; or all that in future 1 may become entitled to, whether in money, books, houses, or land; together with all my chattels and personal effects, whether and with all my dead stock, to what value or amount soever, I do leave, bequeath, and give the whole, of every of them to JEHOVAH-JIREH, The Lord who PROVIDES; and that for the benefit of the wife and children which he has given me, humbly beseeching him to multiply, sanctify, and bless these effects to their necessary uses.
And now, O Lord, who has promised us all things pertaining to life and godliness, and by the gift of faith hath made us heirs of the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come; I most humbly beseech thee to hear the imperfect petition of thy servant, which cometh not out of feigned lips! Art not thou the universal guardian of spiritual widows, Rom. vii. 3, 4, orphans, 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18, and lunatics? 1 Cor. iv. 10. Didst not thou give the land of Canaan freely to Israel, and didst thou not defray their expenses thither with honour? yea, their clothes waxed not old, their shoes wore not out by the way, their feet never swelled with the journey, the rock afforded water for their thirst, and the dreary desert a channel for it to flow after them. The heavens afforded them angels' food, and Leviathan was smitten in the waters to be meat for thy chosen inhabiting the wilderness. the heavens poured down feathered fowls as the sand of the sea, and flesh till it stopped up the doors of their tents. O astonishing providence! but they sinned yet the more! O cruel ingratitude! Lord, what is man! Give us heaven freely, and bear our charges to it. Amen and Amen. <P.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it, Psal. cxxvii. 1.
For every house is builded by some man, but he that built all thirsts is God, Heb. iii. 4.
Eleventhly, The Chapel which the kind, the undeserved, and unexpected Providence of God has given us, and on which account it bears its present name, I do commit the whole management of to the Lord Jesus Christ; likewise the management of the managers - the management of the pulpit - the management of the preachers - the management of their doctrines - the management of the flock - the management of their hearts - the management of their ears, and - the management of their manners. I do commit it solely to the all-wise Super-intendant of all beings, and all things - the supreme Monarch of all that is visible or invisible; whether in the celestial or terrestrial worlds: who is the omnipotent Creator of heaven and earth, and the absolute Disposer of all events. And now, O Lord, whom the heavens, nor the heaven of heavens, cannot contain, much less the little house which we have built, let it please thee to hear thy servant's prayer, and bless the house; and let thine eyes and thy heart be there perpetually, and make it a Bethel to thousands. Direct the steps of sabbath-breakers, blasphemers, and the basest of mortals to tread its floors; let sovereign grace and dying love be displayed in their greatest power, and in their fullest latitude; and grant that when thou writeth up the people, it may be said of millions, that this and that man was born of God there. O Lord, make the pulpit like Aaron's golden bell; and let every tried and faithful preacher's tongue be like a golden clapper; so that joy and gladness may be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Let no dry formality ever be established in it. Let no ecclesiastical crafts-man ever be heard there. Let no priestcraft ever prosper therein. Let no carnal inventions, however pleasing to flesh and blood, no human traditions, however ancient or highly esteemed; nor any doctrines of devils, however deep, or of whatsoever date, be ever heard in it. But let thy truth be credited by that faith which is thy own gift. Be thou ever addressed and supplicated in the language of thy own most holy word, ever adored by thy servants in the happy enjoyment of thy own eternal love, ever admired in thy own illustrious and most glorious light: and be thou ever worshipped in thy own spirit. O Lord of all lords, be thou our ALL IN ALL; and grant that all preachers of every denomination, that preach thee as the sinner's only, present, and everlasting portion, may be blessed with thy internal testimony, thy supporting hand, the unutterable comforts of thy Eternal Spirit, and crown their honest labours with ten thousand-fold success. Amen and Amen.
And ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit; which are God's, 1 Cor. vi. 19, 20.
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's, Rom. xiv. 8.