To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.
REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,
I WROTE a letter with an intention to send you ever since the 15th of April, 1789; and the Rev. Mr. V. of P. was to come to London, and give it into your hands, but he did not come: but now having an opportunity by a friend to send you a few lines, I have taken the liberty to write, hoping this will find you and your family in good health.
Sir, I have longed to see you again at B. ever since I heard you there, for it pleased the Lord to make you a blessing to me, in removing a doubt which for many years weighed down my very soul, and caused me to hang down my head at times like a bulrush; which doubt seemed to vanish when you preached from these words in the prophet Isaiah, chap. i. "Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness;" which words you was enabled to handle, by divine assistance, as a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. When you made the inquiry who they were that he did redeem; did he redeem all? You said your Bible told you that there were vipers and goats, that he did not redeem; which words opened such a scene in the word of God to my view, that the Bible became like a new book to me. I saw such beauty in the distinguishing love of a dear Redeemer, that I can in some measure say, against all the temptations of Satan, against all the allurements of the world, and against all the strugglings of fallen nature, by a small spark of living faith, that Jesus is mine and I am his. O, my dear sir, who can tell, or what tongue can express, the beauty, the desirableness, and the gathering home of the mind and affections there is between Christ and the soul, when the divine union takes place!
But now, my dear sir, I wilt just give you a short account of the manner in which the Lord was pleased to shine upon me. From my infancy I had many convictions; but as I grew up to manhood those convictions seemed to wear off, though not altogether; for sometimes I have been driven to fear death, judgment, and hell, to that degree, that I have, been afraid lest the devil should carry me away body and soul: but, when I was about seven and twenty years old, it pleased the Lord to open such a scene, by conviction in my soul, of the depth of my fallen nature; that I was brought to cry, from a heart-felt sense of my danger, God be merciful to me a sinner! Sleep, at this time, in a great measure departed from my eyes, and slumber from my eyelids, for weeks and months together; so that my whole employment seemed to be to know how I could escape the wrath to come. But it pleased the Lord, in my deep extremity, to point me to Jesus by faith, through his eternal Spirit making manifest to my poor soul that the law which I had broken was fulfilled by the obedience of Christ, and that by his death all the demands of justice were satisfied; so that I saw that God could be just, and the justifier of them that believe in Jesus.
Then I began to inquire after the people that feared the Lord, and thought upon his name; and, living at that time at Kingswood, I joined Mr. Wesley's connection, and after some time it pleased the Lord to open my mouth among them, so as an occasional preacher I was permitted on Sabbath days to go round the country to preach Christ to the people. But there was, after some time, a whispering among the preachers that I did not preach methodist doctrine; from which there arose first a shyness, and then some contests; and I believe for about twelve years before I was separated from them we could not agree, for I could never believe that a child, of God that is justified could ever perish, but that he finally should be saved: but the doubt that stuck with me was this, whether or no there was not some time in a man's life that he might be called, and, rejecting that call, might perish eternally. But the vipers and the goats settled this with me; so that, like a giant refreshed with new wine, I went forth in the strength of the Lord, pulling down man, and setting up the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Saviour and foundation of a sinner's hope: so there was soon after a separation.
And now, sir, I have a little meeting of my own in B. and a few scattered ones that attend me. And, if ever it should please the Lord to send you again to B. my heart, my door, and my people, I believe, will be thankful and glad to receive you, and shall esteem it as a favour, and render, I hope, all honour and praise to him to whom it is due. Sir, I should take it as a favour, if by the bearer you would send me a few lines. Please to direct them to me at R. M. Wine-street, B. May the Lord bless you in your body, in your soul, in your family, in your church, giving you many souls for your hire, that against all oppositions from professors, for I hear you have many, you may see of the travail of the dear Redeemer's soul and be satisfied, is the prayer of your unworthy son in the gospel of Jesus Christ,