Epistles of Faith

Letter XVIII

William Huntington (1745-1813)



I HAVE frequently had a great desire for a little conversation with you, and which may yet be; out shortness of time with you, and distance of place with me, have been an hindrance: besides it is not fitting your time should be occupied with hearing the loquaciousness of a fool, or the ravings of a madman. I know to me ward is vain all human help; yet something may be a stay to my patience, if I had any left. From what I have read in Luther, and heard from you, both have tasted of my bitter cup; which opens a door of hope, if there is any left. What Job was outwardly, that I am inwardly. My case is similar to that of Francis Spira, the cause excepted. I am distracted, almost dead, and on the verge of desperation! My heart is broken, not only broken, but pulverized ! My memory is almost gone, the executive power almost annihilated; and my conscience a wild beast, a roaring lion! Oftentimes at death's door, yet alive! Full of murder, theft, and all evil concupiscence, I cannot think a good thought, nor (I now find) never did! Heretofore I have grappled with atheism, deism, and sadduceism: now a more bitter exercise awaits me. Divines divide God's punishments into judicial and corrective. Query, Which is mine?

My purpose is some time to wait on you; and this is done to save time. That your courage and usefulness may be doubled, (these times require it) is the wish of

Your unknown,

Humble Servant,

P: J.

June 7, 1788

William Huntington