Epistles of Faith

Letter LIII

William Huntington (1745-1813)


I HEARD you preach the Tuesday evening before you went last to the Isle of Ely, when my afflicted soul and body were revived under the word, and with your last prayer went up the sincere desires of my heart and soul. I was grieved because you were going, hoping however to hear you again on your return. But I am confined. "The Lord do as seemeth him good," for, "He remembereth we are but dust." Bless, O bless his precious name for ever, for his supporting power; "When heart and flesh both fail, he is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." I am very low and weak in body, and sometimes faint-hearted; but have been holpen with a little help, and the Lord God Almighty and my own conscience, witness that the hearing of you is meat and drink to my weary soul. And I do esteem it one of the highest privileges, next to my soul's salvation, because, through mercy, the Lord the Spirit leads you, as he has done for these eight years past, to speak to my case more or less. Bless his adorable and great name, he often sends his word with power to my heart, so that I come away like a giant refreshed with wine. Yea, I have drank so as to forget my poverty, and remember my misery no snore for a while. But, O! how have I returned to my sad place again! I have had a nervous fever for a long time, and was seized last Wednesday morning with a fainting and trembling of the limbs, as though I could not long survive, and was afraid I should lose my senses. I am still very faint and low, though a little recovered, blessed be God; and am ordered down to Brighton, for the benefit of the salt water, where I hope to see and hear dear Mr. Brook, and Mr. Jenkins at Lewes. I have begged of the Lord that, unless his presence go with me, I might not go hence. And the answer in my mind is, "Go, and I am with you, and I will raise you up again." I can say to the honour and glory of God, that, when I did not expect to live many hours, I had the sum and substance of the 1034 and 116th Psalms in my soul, and that the Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus, for his sake, might, by his good Spirit, influence you to plead the merits of his most precious blood in my behalf, and in behalf of my family; and my desire is to commit body, soul, family, and all my affairs, into the mighty hand of God; for' my weak head and faint heart will not bear the weight. But he has been better to me than all my fears many times, and I hope he will be so again.

As to my love to you, that God knoweth, who discerneth the thoughts afar off, and how many times I have had a desire to speak and write to you; that he who sows, and they that reap, might rejoice together.

That a double portion of God's Spirit may rest upon your own soul is the sincere prayer of the least of all saints, and most unworthy of all sinners, in the path of tribulation, and in the furnace of affliction.