Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)My dear Friend,
As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him; and pay no regard to every Lo here! and Lo there! Such leaders were never strengthened, established, and settled upon the rock of ages; and therefore their ways are moveable. The burdened soul that is led to the Saviour, the dejected spirit that is settled on the rock, feels his heart fixed, trusting in the Lord: and he is not to fly like a bird to the mountain, but to stand fast in the Lord. His strength is to stand still, and see the salvation of God.
The secret leaven of legal pride, rooted and spread in the heart, and a set of gospel notions floating in the head, make a complete and profound Antinomian, let the moral conduct be what it may. His heart is at Horeb, and his head at Zion. His soul is bound, only the tongue is free; and what the tongue advances, the feelings contradict. The understanding takes part with the tongue; while an unpurged conscience opposes both, knowing there never was any divine application made to the heart: so that, in time, the accusations of conscience become too strong for the understanding, and, in order to obtain quietude within; such an one is obliged to bring the legal leaven out. Then light withdraws, and darkness succeeds; the holy commandment is turned from; and such a beginning in the dispensation of the Spirit withers away. The man that preaches to pacify a legal conscience, contrary to the light in his head, i said to rebel against the light; and only to speak a vision out of his own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
The Saviour always deals with such in a conditional way: "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" but, if not, they never were his disciples, only in show. And the Saviour's conditions shew that he knows their hearts; and their forsaking his word makes them manifest to us. It is the Spirit of the Lord's mouth that quickens, influences, and instructs the soul; and it was the same mouth and Spirit that commanded and dictated the word of God; he, therefore, that speaks under a divine influence, speaks a vision out of the mouth of the Lord; while he declares to others what God has done for his soul, and revealed in him.
We have many in our day, who are called God's children; and who call themselves servants of Christ, and of his church; and who procure the titles of such, and are had in honour; who are no friends to the Redeemer, to his cause, nor to his family. But surely I know that it shall go well with them that fear the Lord, with them that fear before him. God may, in time, raise up from among yourselves one that may be enabled to admonish, instruct, and comfort the little company. Two or three have the promise of his presence to the world's end; and every private worshipper shall find him a little sanctuary in every place where he shall come, if he seeks him in sincerity, and in faith. I know, to my soul's comfort, in whom I have believed; and be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. The legalist rejects the Mediator of the new covenant, and finds the old Mediator nothing but an accuser; he accuses him before God And Moses's testimony accuses him in his own conscience, and his countenance accuses him before the saints: and thus, by perverting his way, he shall surely be known; and, in time, his conduct shall accuse and reproach him for an hypocrite, even before the world.
They that are partial in the law of faith, that are partial in the law of truth, and who corrupt the covenant of life and peace (which is the priestly covenant, or the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, in the hand of our great Melchisedec,) God declares, the Lord of Hosts declares, that he will make them contemptible and base before all the people. Read Malachi, chap. ii. You have seen something of this fulfilled already; and he that will observe these things, shall see more.
Tender my kind love to your mother; and tell her, I am glad that God has given her a son who aims at a future inheritance. Give my kind love to Walter: and to all that rest in the Saviour, who are knit together in love; while I remain,
Your willing Servant,
In Christ Jesus,Paddington, Jan. 7th, 1791.