Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)TO THE REV. MR. HUNTINGTON.
I THANK my very dear friend for his kind Letter which received on Friday last, and was glad to hear that you were going to publish the account of my sister's death-bed experience will your answer to it, which I sincerely hope may be of use to many into whose hands it may fall. How encouraging, animating, and comforting it is to see one in dying circumstances so blessed is she was with the presence and favour of the Lord, and so enabled to testify of God's goodness, faithfulness, and truth.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies." "The memory of the just is blessed," and so I find it daily, for I cannot think, speak, or write about her but I feel a sweetness upon my spirit; and my soul often blesses the Lord with tears of gratitude and joy when many things which she spake come fresh upon my mind; and I remember what sweetness and comfort I enjoyed, and many of our friends with her, both in conversation, prayer, and praise; I believe that many of us will never forget it. I often look back upon those days of rejoicing, and while I am meditating upon that life, power, unction, and savour that rested upon her and upon us all, I often feel something of the same communicated to this day; and this scripture many times comes upon my mind, "Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee" "O how great is the goodness of the Lord which he has laid up for those that fear him, and which he hath wrought for them that trust in him before the sons of men; such are hid in the secret of his presence from the pride of man, and are kept secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues, Psalm xxxi. 19, 20. This brings fresh to my mind what strife I caused amongst us when he came with his airy visions, and took many away who were of the same stamp with himself; but this was for our good; he collected the worst part, and his heresy took from among us only those which were not of us; this made them manifest, and God on the other side made manifest those which were approved of him. None but the devil could ever employ a man to speak against that which God has owned and blessed to thousands and thousands, namely, the preaching of his word. In such a wandering star as he, this scripture is fulfilled; "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived;" and they that followed him are those which heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and both him and his followers have been ever learning, and I am fully persuaded have never been able to come to the knowledge of the truth; they are wise in their own conceit, but God shews to wisdom's children what fools they are in religion. They are divided now into two or three parties. 1 never meet with any of them but I think of these words, "He that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead." I know that God will scatter them sooner or later into all winds, his hand shall be made known towards his servants, and his indignation towards his enemies. T?? came crying out against preaching, and reading any man's works except his own; but my sister has left an honourable testimony in behalf of both; and her blessed end proves to a demonstration that our way of meeting together is approved of God; and the scriptures which he has said so much about, I believe remain a sealed book to him to this day. I remember asking him once about these words, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you; and he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." I was amazed at the poor, empty answer he gave me. This sect and many others have spoken against us and our religion, but one would think, were they not hardened indeed, that the account of my sister's end would put to silence all our adversaries. But our Lord says, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to them that are without all these things are done in parables;" and in this he rejoiced; that they were hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes. My father and all our family are convinced of her safety, and satisfied with her blessed end; they came to see my dear sister several times, they saw her happiness, and are fully persuaded that she is blessed for evermore; and it so reconciled them to her death, that they do not seem much to feel it. I thank my dear friend for his kind inquiries after my welfare and his kind invitation; as soon as my business will allow me, I intend coming up to town for a few weeks, when I hope to spend, some time at Cricklewood. The Lord Almighty God bless you more and more, and reward you for your kindness to unworthy me.
Yours very affectionately,