Epistles of Faith

Letter XLIV

William Huntington (1745-1813)

TO MR. A. B.

THIS is Saturday morning; yesterday noon I received yours, and when I received it a confidence sprung up that God would condescend to hear my poor petitions in your behalf, and that for his dear Son's sake; and I was encouraged and drawn to venture, which I did twice, and found liberty, and much enlargement of heart, and so strong a confidence that he did hear and would grant the petitions I put up; and I told my dame to watch and observe if it came not to pass. Under various temptations of Satan, and much darkness of mind with which I have been exercised of late, my faith has been but little in exercise; it has lain dormant, and worked but little; it has stayed at home to prop up the heart, but has seldom ventured abroad; it has just maintained its hold of what it has got, and that is all, but it hath brought in nothing new. Sudden springs of matter, and bright but contracted views have often been displayed just before preaching time, and this has been all poured forth abroad, while my own state has remained just as it was; and this has been the case ever since this fiery trial began, only at some hard pinches when prayer has carried all before it, and faith has been almost omnipotent; but in the general faith has seldom moved, no divine approaches have drawn her forth, no divine rays have given her fresh views, no heavenly smiles have invited her abroad, no new. moon feasts have given her any entertainment. But she has assisted me in violent struggles, especially in prayer, which has gone up with a compounded energy of resolute determinations, and some anger and resentment; some love to the blessed object, and some high and hot displeasure; a powerful bent to persevere, and yet little or no alteration made; faith, I found, would take no denial, and yet all amounted to no more than this, "The vision is for an appointed time, at the end it shall speak." Yesterday was the first day that the blue sky appeared; the clouds blew over, much meekness came down, and my bowels were moved when his finger was felt; and then came this your epistle to carry off all the profits of this long, dark, and Dangerous voyage: and shall I praise you for this? I praise you not; "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for God now accepteth thy works." God has heard me, and you shall own it

Ever yours,

W. H. S. S.

William Huntington