Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)MR. J. RHINE TO THE CHURCH OF GOD AT SUNBURY
"IF any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified;" and as I am called upon to give an answer of the reason of the hope that is in me, I therefore tell you, that it was not from either Luther or Calvin, for I cannot find either of their names in the bible, and I am so taught to look no where else; as the lively oracles of God are sufficient, when I am enabled by the Holy Ghost to believe them, that there is sure standing when upheld by God the Father in his love, the Son in his work, and the Spirit in his grace, as three faithful in covenant, unchangeable in nature, unalterable in purpose, uncontrollable in his providences; and all these attributes to be engaged in the behalf of his chosen people, of which number not one can be lost, or by any means perish at last. I am convinced that many of them have been brought low by, and for their sins; but not to satisfy justice, or make an atonement, but to bring them to their right mind and in their right place, to make a proper use of the advocacy of Christ, who by his life and merits, by his sufferings and death, hath for ever perfected his elect, who was his gift from the Father. I also am taught by the scriptures, that it is in time they are separated by his grace to be a people to himself, and not to be numbered with the nations among whom they sojourn; and when called, a new language is given, that the world cannot understand; that they are strangers, and pilgrims, and this is not their rest, and therefore journeying to a country of promise, which is even now realized by faith, and of the fruits which grow on that tree the root, and they as branches in him, grafted in, and deriving sap from that blessed root Christ Jesus; the fruit holiness, and the end everlasting life. Not as their works to justify, but the work of the Holy Ghost that worketh in, by, an d upon them to glorify their father which is in heaven, and is their unspeakable mercy as well as their indispensable duty to shew forth the praises of him that hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light, and not to render evil for evil to any man, but contrariwise, blessing for cursing for although the wrath of man shall praise him, yet no thanks to man for his wrath, for the remainder thereof will God restrain therefore they who falsely accuse me with rejoicing at my brother Butler's fall, do me wrong, as I am bold to say, that I love them in the Lord Jesus, and did also give them the right hand of fellowship, only whilst they were under that delusion, and unconvinced; and as to speaking of any man's pride behind his back, it is, and hath been the way with me, to speak face to face; for which cause, I have lost the professed friendship of many; but I respect no man's person, nor seek reward at any man's hand, for the Lord is my reward, and rewarder. But to this charge I do plead guilty, if it be criminal, my unprofitableness, which is my plea before God for my removal from Sunbury, that I may not hinder others, by whom the work of God may be carried on: I am only sorry I staid so long to so little purpose.
I therefore gladly give place to whom God may please to send, wishing all peace and prosperity in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to you all. And as I am thought to act the Jonah which hath caused this storm, I fear not to be cast into the sea, that the raging thereof may cease from you; that the church may have rest, walking in the fear of the Lord, and be multiplied and edified; and as pastors after his own heart, is the promise of God, that God may help you to plead for such, is the wish and prayer of your unprofitable servant in the Lord,JAMES RHINE.
No. 22, Henrietta-street.
Portman-Square, May 21st, 1784