Epistles of Faith

Letter LVII

William Huntington (1745-1813)


Leicester, Oct. 5, 1809.

Rev. and dear Sir,

YESTERDAY, at one o'clock, my dear sister breathed her last, and went to rest in the bosom of her heavenly Father. I have lost an affectionate sister, and an invaluable housekeeper: but my loss is her eternal gain. At times I feel great distress at losing her; but I sorrow not as those that have no hope; being fully persuaded that she fell asleep in Jesus; and, "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord." Her end was glorious; and truly "The memory of the just is blessed." I seldom left the room during the last six days of her life, when she often spoke to me, and to other friends about her, of what she enjoyed. The good Lord was pleased to strengthen her upon the bed of languishing, to make all her bed in her sickness, and abundantly to bless her with his presence. Her outward man perished, but the inward man was daily renewed; for every day she seemed to gain greater strength in the Lord, though her bodily strength was all gone, for she could not help herself in the least thing; but God was the strength of her heart, and she knew that he would be her portion for ever, and her soul greatly rejoiced in him. I never saw her when in health with such a countenance as she had during her illness; I may say, without exaggeration, her face shone like the face of an angel, for truly the Lord was the health of her countenance. How "happy are the people that are in such a case! yea, blessed are the people whose God is the Lord." She many times spake very affectionately of you, expressed a great desire to see you once more, and requested her kind love. She said many sweet things, at different times, to me and my valuable friend Mr. B. Cort, who was with me; and also to Miss Sheasbury, a particular friend of my sister's, who was with her the last ten days. I have made a memorandum of some of the things she spake, and I think that we three together can recall to mind most of what she said, which I intend to write down as soon as I have time, and to send you. I hope we shall have the pleasure of seeing you at Leicester before the days get short; many will be glad to see you. The Lord has blessed your labours amongst us many times, and I hope we shall soon see you again, that we may receive another benefit. How glad should I be if you was here to speak to us, and to declare to the public what great things the Lord hath done for my sister. On Friday last she was speaking to her friends who stood about her for more than three hours. There were several in the room, and amongst the many things she mentioned, which are far beyond the limits of a Letter, she told us again of her deliverance under a discourse your preached at Newark from these words, "It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." It was then that the Lord brought her out of her distress into a state of friendship and reconciliation with himself, and gave her the enjoyment of pardon and peace; and she testified to all around her that she had that peace which passeth all understanding. I shall be very glad to receive a line from you. That the Lord may be with my ever dear invaluable friend, and crown the labour of his latter days with abundant success, is the earnest prayer of my heart,