Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)
I HERE present thee with a few letters; the first consists of controversy, the others upon heart-felt union and living faith, &c. But my reader may desire to know the reason of the controversy in the first letter. The reason is as follows: I once got a man, of whose praise I had heard several people very lavish, to go and preach for me at Sunbury, in Middlesex; at which place he was well received by a few who had not long heard the gospel; but certain persons at times informed me that he was an Arminian in principle. However, as the man had long been a preacher, and formerly the leader of a society at a very large chapel in London, I could not believe it, but reproved them for their report. Some time after, I got the above person to go and preach for me at another place, and they said the same, that he savoured of Arminianism. Hearing of this, I wrote a letter to Sunbury, to inform the people of it. They sent my letter to the preacher; and he sent a letter to the little flock at Sunbury, which was read to the congregation, and by some much approved of. The next week the same person was appointed to preach in London: I took with me a few pious men, whom I supposed able of judging between truth and error, and went and heard him for my own satisfaction; and as far as God hath given me to am into his word, he appeared to be an Arminian, as was reported. I therefore sent to Sunbury for his letter, and took a copy of it: I answered his letter, and made some remarks on his sermon; as my letter was not allowed to be read at Sunbury, there I had formerly carried the gospel. The reason was asked, why his letter was read, and not my answer to it? And the reason assigned for it was, because some good men and some gospel ministers had condemned my answer. Therefore, not being fond of things done in a corner, I have in this little pamphlet published his letter first, verbatim as it was taken from his own copy; and the next is my answer to it, with my descant on his sermon; and I chuse to submit to the judgment of the sound and experienced Christian, whether I have dealt scripturally and faithfully with him or not. I must beg my reader to put one consideration in God's balance, which is, I have been cast down into arminianism, and have suffered much in it. But perhaps God has kept my reader from these errors: if so, he cannot be so sensibly enraged against the fire as the burnt child is Thine to serveW. H.