Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)TO THE REV. MR. HUNTINGTON
Honoured and dear Pastor.
BEING desired, not long since, to near a man preach who is deemed by many to be a gospel minister, an opportunity soot offered, and I attended him: but his discourse was not at all to my edification or comfort; it was untempered mortar, unfit for building up a spiritual house, and which never can cement one living stone to the chief corner. His doctrines were only the commandments of men. In short, his goings were to and fro in the earth, while I found no rest for the sole of my foot. What his name is, matters not. I suppose you will say, It is Legion, for many such there are, transforming themselves as ministers of righteousness, whom the apostle calls ministers of Satan, whose end is destruction. However, after service, I was asked, in the usual way, "Well, how did you like him?" I answered, "Not at all," speaking my mind freely concerning him and his fruitless toil, for he knew riot how to go to the city. Which gave great offence; for they replied, that I had neither heard the discourse, nor answered them, with that candour which becomes a Christian. "Judge not," said they, "that ye be not judged." This rebuke, in words which the Lord himself spake, has caused Satan to buffet me not a little; and I have been tossed up and down ever since. But herein I am not alone: others also are exercised in the same way; because, like me, they do not understand the Saviour's meaning.
Forasmuch, then, as God hath furnished thee with an excellent spirit for chewing hard sentences and dissolving doubts, let me intreat thee to consider diligently these words, and shew us plainly what Jesus means in this his admonition; and in what sense they may, or may not, be applicable to such a case as I have mentioned; for I am persuaded that there are numbers who bring this scripture, and use it for no other purpose but to silence any one who contends for the faith of God's elect, and so leave room for hypocrites and deceitful workers to go on unmolested.
If our heavenly Father, of his own good pleasure, should give thee a word to speak in season to guide the meek in judgment, and teach them his way to the kingdom, it will be a comfort to one in the path of much tribulation, and may serve to put to shame and confusion the enemies of truth who hate and persecute my soul.
Thine in the faith and love of Jesus Christ,
A POOR DISCIPLE
July 10, 1790.