Epistles of Faith

Letter VIII

William Huntington (1745-1813)


Reverend and dear Sir,

BEING well persuaded of your skill in casuistical divinity, I resume to send you the following question for your investigation; it has very much puzzled my mind; and it is this?

When we are tempted to doubt of our interest in Christ, and "our state into question, from whence doth this arise? Is it temptation of Satan that causes us to doubt? Or does it spring from the corruption of our hearts, and infirmity of the flesh, which causes these misgivings within, when we are in a dark frame, and deserted by God?

Now it appears to me that it is our infirmity, from what I can gather from the experience of Asaph, in the Psalms. But, when read the account of Satan's tempting our Lord in the wilderness, to doubt of his sonship, I am led to think it is a temptation of the devil.

I find my mind much puzzled between these two things, and greatly at a loss which to attribute it to: whether it is the work f Satan, or the fault and infirmity of the flesh; and whether it is not dishonourable to God; and sinful, as well as distressing to our souls, and destructive to our peace and comfort.

An answer to these questions, dear sir, will greatly oblige one who does not ask out of any vain curiosity, but really from a Point of conscience. I should be sorry to trespass on your time, purposely to satisfy an idle speculation. Your time is precious; and, doubtless, can be better employed.

I write in this Letter with reference to a sound believer, who has known what the bondage of the law is, and also the liberty of the gospel: one who enjoys familiarity with God, and freedom at a throne of grace, though, at tildes, he may be subject to some misgivings, in a fit of unbelief, when under the hidings of God's countenance, while exercised with a sore temptation, and buffeted by Satan.

That the brightest saint is sometimes subject to some little misgivings and scruples of heart, I have no doubt you will readily grant: but I want to know from whence these things arise, and the causes thereof, in a real child of God.

I can easily account for the doubts of a soul under convictions, struggling in the chains and bondage of the law; for his life is one continued scene of doubting, because he has no assurance of his life, nor ever had; but it is not so with one who has felt the pardoning love of God.

If you, my dear sir, think my petition worth a thought, and not beneath your notice, and can spare room to insert an answer in your valuable publication intituled "The Epistles of Faith," you will greatly oblige

Your old disciple,


William Huntington