Epistles of Faith

Letter XXIII

William Huntington (1745-1813)


My Dearly Beloved Pastor,

I HAVE already given you so much trouble on several occasions, that nothing but the hope of receiving a word of advice would now prevail with me to write again. But what will not a distressed soul do, and where wilt it not fly when the least prospect of gaining relief prevents itself? And, truly, I am now distressed out of measure. What to do, I know not; for, do what I will, sin gets the mastery of me: in consequence of which, I have lost all hope of salvation from it; being such a wretched, self-condemned sinner, that I cannot believe there is any mercy for me. My besetting sin none but God and myself, without you guess what it is, know any thing of. But, though my falls into it do not bring a public scandal on the profession I make, yet that text, "Happy is the man who condemneth not himself in the thing which he alloweth," is sufficient, for my conscience does condemn me. "The arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit." Oh! my pastor, "The spirit of man may sustain the infirmities of the body, but a wounded spirit, who can bear?" I think, dear sir, you are well, enough acquainted with the lusts and corruptions of nature, to gather, from the hints I have dropped, what my besetting sin is; and, if you do not think me too tar gone, the favour of an answer shall be ranked amongst the foremost of the many favours undeservedly received by,

Your sinful, miserable Servant,

Sackville Street, Oct. 1, 1790.

O. W.

William Huntington