Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)TO MR. J. R.
Yours was brought to my hand: and, as you have requested a reason of my assertion, I comply with your request. The text that you have quoted, "Judge not, that ye be not judged," is not applicable. "The spiritual man judgeth all things, but he himself is judged of no man." We are not to judge according to appearance, but to judge righteous judgment. We are to judge of a false prophet by his false doctrine By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shaft be condemned." "He that condemneth the just, and he that justifieth the wicked, are both an abomination." The latter is wrong judgment, the former is right. "The natural man discerneth not the things of the Spirit of God; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." And, for my own part, I never heard nor read that ever Dr. P. pretended to have been born again of the Spirit of God, for he denies the self-existence of the Holy Ghost; consequently, could never expect conversion, regeneration, or any tuition, from him. I never heard nor read that be ever made any pretensions to these things: therefore he must be destitute of faith, for faith is produced under the operation of the Holy Ghost; it is a fruit of his. In this case, he must be in unbelief, as all men by nature are, and such are condemned already; therefore to justify such a one is an abomination. To the law and to the testimony we are to go; and if a man speaks not according to this word, it is because there is no light in him; for, as was before observed, By a man's words he is to be justified, and by his words he is to be condemned.
I believe in my conscience, and to the best of my knowledge, that there is not one doctrine of the bible, which is essential to salvation, but what Dr. P. has awfully perverted. He has brought in damnable heresies; and, by divine permission, and as a just judgment upon the wicked, he has been, and will be, the destruction of thousands. "Seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." If this charge be false, find out one doctrine that he has fairly stated, agreeably to the oracles of God; and, if God permit, you shall have an answer to it. Had Dr. P. been tossed on the billows of wrath, even to distraction and madness, and that at times for years together, as many of the elect have been; and had he been delivered, by the revelation of Christ to his soul, as Paul, and others; he would acknowledge, with compunction of heart, the distinct personality, essential and eternal divinity, of that great deliverer.
I found, by deep experience, that no mere creature could make infinite satisfaction to vindictive Justice for my sins; and that neither man nor angel could perform an obedience, Rom. v. 19, nor bring in an everlasting righteousness, Dan. ix. 24, by the imputation of which all the spiritual seed of Abraham should be justified, Gal. iii. 6-8. Which seed is some out of every nation, kindred, people, and tongue. But the mighty God, the Prince of Peace, hath done it; and upon this foundation my soul has been fixed, blessed with peace and a good hope through grace, for these seventeen years past; nor shall Dr. P., or the gates of hell, ever prevail against this rock. This is the Doctor's stumbling-stone and rock of offence: and they that stumble and fall here shall be snared, broken, and taken; or, as the Saviour says, "Upon whom this stone falls, it will grind him to powder."
Three distinct persons in the Godhead, the divinity of the Saviour, justification by faith in an imputed righteousness, regeneration by the Spirit, redemption by the Saviour's blood, and peace by his all-sufficient sacrifice; are some of the truths which God revealed to my soul; and these are truths that shall never be overthrown, but shine with divine rays through every false gloss, and will shine for ever. These truths I have been enabled to enforce ever since I knew them, and to which God has set his seal to the conversion and regeneration of hundreds, if not of thousands; which is what Dr. P. could never say, nor any one of the Arian or Socinian gang; nor was one soul ever converted to the faith of Christ by such men. God never sets his seal to a lie, nor confirms an usurper in an office assumed. God never sent any man to preach the everlasting gospel till he was endued with the Spirit of power from on high. The gospel is a dispensation of the Spirit, not of the Letter; "The Letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Uninspired men run, but God has not sent them, and therefore Says they shall not profit his people at all.
I have no human learning, sir; what I have is what God revealed, made known, and applied to my own soul; whose kingdom stands not in human wisdom, nor in word, but in power, in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; without which power, men are sure to stumble upon the dark mountains. And the Doctor errs, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. And no wonder, when God has hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes. And it was for judgment that the Saviour came into this world, that those that see not might see, and that those who see might be made blind.
As to any expression of mine savouring of uncharitableness, I wonder not at its appearing so to you. However, I believe it savours of truth. He that denies the Lord that bought him, brings upon himself swift destruction; and he that sends a sinner to the grave with a lie in his right-hand, is the most uncharitable being of all the human race, for he shuts up the kingdom of heaven against men. "Into the heavenly Jerusalem shall nothing enter that loveth and maketh a lie:" and he that adds to the words of Christ, entails upon himself all the plagues that are written in his book; and he that takes from his word, forfeits all claim to eternal life, and the blessings of heaven, Rev. xxii. 18, 19. And I do insist upon it, that Dr. P. has perverted almost, if not altogether, every essential truth of the Bible. If you have long viewed the Doctor as a star that gilds with such lustre our dissenting hemisphere, your hemisphere is very far gone from the true light. We greatly differ in judgment: for, was I on my death-bed, with the tribunal of heaven in full view; and an appeal was to be made to me, to mention, with the testimony of truth and conscience, the most presumptuous sinner that 1 knew existing; in this nation, I should and would pronounce with my dying breath, that the greatest enemy to truth, and the most perilous state of soul that I ever read or heard of, is that of Dr. P.; nor should I expect any reproof or rebuke for such a dying confession, either from God, scripture, or conscience. If you would like to see the truth in its proper colours, you must pray the Sun of Righteousness to arise and shine upon you; it is in his light that we see light. He is my everlasting light, my God, and my glory. And, if lie shines, you will know the truth at once, for Christ is the truth and the life. He is the truth of all the ceremonial types, the end of the moral law for righteousness, the substance of the everlasting gospel; the true God, and eternal life. Plead his promise, sir; all his children shall be taught of him; all his sheep shall hear his voice, and receive eternal life from him, who is the resurrection and the life. And, if he should shine upon you, you would own at once that the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth; and no more call light darkness, nor darkness light; but you would see the Doctor to be a wandering star, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever, Jude 13; and say, as Paul did, that if Dr. P., or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel than that which Paul preached, let him be accursed.
It was with some reluctance that I sat down to answer yours, because the scriptures aver, that if a man receive not the truth in the love of it, God sends him a strong delusion, that he may believe a lie, and be dammed: and, where this appears, I find a backwardness to interfere. If God gives a man up to his destruction, the Spirit will not suffer a man to reclaim him: " He that despises the word, shall be destroyed;" and, "He that errs from the way of understanding. shall remain in the congregation of the dead."
If you would like to see the method in which God taught and led me, it is published in my book intituled, "The Kingdom of Heaven taken by Prayer." And, if you choose to read the Letters which I have published, you will see his teachings in the testimonies of many more, who have prayed to Christ as God, and have been heard, answered, and delivered, as well as myself. If you reply to this, do not produce your strong reasons against the King of Jacob, but bring plain scripture proof, and then I shall understand you: I solicit no favour but this, that you will overlook the imperfections, as I have not time to write it over again; therefore must send it in the rough. And further, that you would spread this before my God and Saviour, and ask him who are his servants? Who are in the right? Anti whose testimony is to be credited, Dr. P.'s, or mine? If you do this, you will act as you ought to, and as a sincere inquirer after truth should do. That you may so proceed and succeed, is the prayer and desire of, Sir,
Your willing Servant, in Christ Jesus,Winchester Roe, Paddington,
W. HDec. 2, 1790.
P. S. We have no Arians, Socinians, nor Sabellians, that ever were regenerated, renewed, born again, or called by grace to the fellowship of Christ. None of these gentlemen ever could produce any such testimony. Therefore your confidence can only stand in the cunning craftiness of a natural, carnal man. And, as God is true, and every man a liar, adhere to the former, but pay no regard to the latter: for it is written, "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm; and whose heart departeth from the living Lord."