Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)TO THE REV. MR. HUNTINGTON.
My Dear Friend,
Leicester, Oct. 1, 1809.
WE have been fully expecting you to visit us at Leicester this autumn, and that we should have heard from you ere now; but probably it may be that the continuance of the bad weather has prevented your undertaking so long a journey. However, the weather now appears favourable, and we are desirous to see you as soon as the way is open, and before the days get too short. We are aware of your unwillingness to leave your own congregation, and that they are as unwilling you should be absent: yet, as the blessing of God has attended your labours here in the north, as well as in the south, I cannot see how you can refuse us any longer, according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to you, 2 Cor. x. 13. And it clay be that your absence will prove useful in the end, as your people will thereby get an appetite, and it is well known that a keen appetite is pleasant when there is good food to eat.
Our friend Miss. Chamberlain has fur some time been very desirous to see you at Leicester once more, as she knows her end is fast approaching. She is very much altered in her appearance during these last five days; I mean in the decay of nature, which perhaps Mr. B. or Mr. M. may have mentioned to you She is hastening to the grave very fast; but, though the outward man perisheth, the inward man is renewed daily. Myself and some other friends have scarcely ever left the house spice Thursday last; and, though we cannot but grieve at the expectation of losing a near friend, yet there is abundant cause for thankfulness that she will soon go to everlasting rest, and be delivered from that body of sin which we are yet encompassed with. I never before witnessed such a scene of affliction; there is not a friend that has visited her, I believe, who has the shadow of a doubt of her eternal happiness. It is truly a pleasure to be with her; to see that in the face of death, she should possess such composure of mind. She speaks of her end with such satisfaction, and her countenance proclaims such tranquillity and peace of mind, that I cannot describe. She is very cheerful and lively in her conversation, more so than ever she was known to be when in perfect health, except at intervals, when pain comes on very acute. Her departure was expected every hour on Thursday; but she again revived, and on Friday morning was rather better, when she spoke of what she wished to be done after her death, and also of the kindness and goodness of God during her pilgrimage, likewise of the prospect that lay before her in the world to come; the particulars of which I cannot relate now, it being post time; belt you shall hear from me again soon. She bears a most faithful testimony to the truth she embraced, to the power of God in maintaining and supporting her thus far, and of the efficacy of the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ to cleanse and to justify; which I am persuaded will leave a lasting impression upon the beholders. I am
N. B. I wish you could see her. She is very weak indeed, but very comfortable and happy; desires her love to you, and would be glad to hear from you in return.