Epistles of Faith

Letter LVI

William Huntington (1745-1813)


Dear Ben,

YOURS came safe to hand. You press me to the North, not Considering that I have lately been in the East, and am this day bound for the South, namely, Cranbrook and Rutherfield. I am glad at my heart that Miss Chamberlain is so happy in her last stages. Tell her from me that I have a charge against her for unbecoming secrecy. What was spoken and done in secret should have been made known and come abroad, yea, proclaimed upon the house-tops. Was she ashamed of her smutty father, that she concealed her kindred? Fair dealing, and not smuggling, best becomes those who buy the truth and sell it not She closed in with the offer, and made a match with the heavenly bridegroom, while I was publishing the bans: but she lost sight of the bridegroom's friends, though she knew that I was proxy. Tell her that, if I had been the son of nobles, this had not been the case. My coalsack robs me, but whatever good any man doth, of the Lord he shall receive his reward. She must and shall be my joy, and the crown of my rejoicing, in that day when every branch of the coal-trade will be forgotten. And, as death will then be swallowed up in victory, so all slavery will be swallowed up in royalty. She came in last, and yet is paid first. She has wrought but one hour, and yet is made equal with us who have borne the burden and heat of the day. The Master is good, but my eye is evil. We agreed at first for a penny; for the language of every convicted soul is, I care not what I suffer if I had but faith to believe that Christ died for me. The Lord takes us at our word, and agrees for the penny a day. Here it appears that faith is that penny, for we have no true riches but in faith, nor food nor clothing. without it; for we live by faith. And if a best robe is only to them that believe. And, if faith be right and genuine, it works by love; and love is the image, if not the superscription, of that penny. I doubt not but there will be a deal of murmuring against the good man of the house. Tom Barston, I hear, has begun already. But is it not right that the Master should do as he pleases with his own? We cannot doubt of that. The reward is to all who love his appearing; nor shall she be perfect without us. Give my kind love to her; tell her I wish her a good journey, and that she will shortly enjoy what we believe and hope for, namely, that "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."

Yours in the best of all bonds,

W.H. S. S

4th Oct. 1809.