Epistles of Faith

Letter X

William Huntington (1745-1813)

Winchester Row, Sept. 30, 1784

Dear Madam,

You have asked me a pleasing question, and set me a delightful task; but I must own that communion with the Father and the Son, is better felt and enjoyed, than described: before we can have communion with Christ, we must be brought nigh to him. When God created Eve, he brought her to her husband, to shew that a wife was the gift of God: in like manner, no sinner can come to Christ, except the Father draw him. Redeemed sinners are the Lord's espoused; chosen by the Father and given to the Son; "All that the Father hath given me shall come to me." Thus God draws the second Eve to the second Adam; the Saviour receives her, and the twain become one flesh; "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his Church;" for as much as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, himself also took part of the same; and what is still more, "He that is joined to the Lord, is one Spirit with him." Before we can have sweet communion with the Almighty Saviour, we must be brought to submit to his sovereignty; no man can hold communion with the Lord, who resisteth his sovereign will: this is striving against him, not holding communion with him: "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" A person who rejects any essential truth that the Lord hath revealed, walks contrary to God, and God has promised to walk contrary to him. A man is to cleanse his way, by taking heed thereto according to God's word; but if he rejects any part of that word, which is to be a light to his feet, and a lamp to his path, he perverteth his way and shall be known as such. Such behave themselves froward; and with a froward man God will shew himself froward. Before we can hold close communion with Christ, we must be enlightened to behold his super-excellent worth, "and the all-sufficiency of his deity and grace, to make us completely and eternally happy. "What fellowship hath light with darkness?" Yea, we must be brought to hate evil, and every thing else that stands in competition with Christ; and to love Christ above every object beside. "Verily I say unto you, that whosoever loveth father, and mother, wife, children, or his own life better than me, is not worthy of me." Christ must be loved above all, and every earthly enjoyment despised in comparison with him: "What concord hath Christ with Belial?" If we hold communion with Christ, we must be humbled the proud cannot agree with the meek and lowly Jesus; "Learn of me, I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls." A man of a proud, impenitent, self-righteous, and unhumbled spirit, can have no fellowship with a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; such fellowship would be as bad a discord as singing songs to a heavy heart.

If we hold communion with Jesus, 'we must view him as our best and most indulgent friend in heaven or earth; this must be apprehended, and soundly credited, before we can love him with all our hearts: if we view him as an angry judge, our thoughts of him will be hard our conceptions of him terrible, our fear slavish; our service will he eye-service, and our best fear will be tinctured with that of a criminal; fear hath torment; but if the Saviour's love casts this slavish fear out, we shall view him as our chief good, and then all the world cannot hinder our love to him; for "Love is strong as death;" it is better and dearer to us than our own life, which we would sooner part with than Christ. If we have fellowship with the Father, he will lead us into the mystery of his eternal council: "The secret of the Lord is with the righteous, and he will shew them his covenant," and they will approve of it; and when he asks them, they will subscribe with their hands, and call themselves by the name of Jacob, and set to their seat that God is true. If we have fellowship with the Son, he will shew us the plan of the covenant, and give us a sympathetic feeling of his sufferings in the execution of that mysterious plan; and then a purged conscience, and a pure Saviour, will sweetly close in together; "That I may know him," says Paul, "and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable until his death." Fare thee well; grace, mercy, and peace be with thee, while I remain, thy most obedient in the kingdom and patience of Christ.

W. H. S. S.

William Huntington