To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.
MY VERY DEAR AND MUCH VALUED FRIEND,
NOT receiving an answer to my letter has caused me not a little trouble, fearing your mind might be prejudiced against us; but, blessed be God, this morning I have been relieved on receiving yours. My partner in life stood trembling to hear the contents; and, when I came to your kind invitation, her heart burst with gratitude, declaring your good-will towards us the greatest of any earthly comfort she enjoys. May the Almighty preserve your bodily health, and his presence be continually enjoyed by you, that you may, in the Lord's hands, be made a blessing to thousands yet. I have reason to bless the very hour I first knew you; and may a sense of gratitude remain on my soul for the goodness of God to make me acquainted with you, for the many precious opportunities I have been favoured with in hearing you preach, and in conversation with you. At B—s, the first sermon I heard you preach there, the Lord set in with the word, which will never be forgotten to the end of my days, though the enemy tried to baffle me out of my comfort; but it was engraven too deep for him ever to erase. Mr. J. has been with me these two days past, and we have been much blessed in conversation; he is a godly, upright man, and much esteemed by those who have felt the plague of their own hearts, and have been bowed down through a sense of their own unworthiness, and under the hidings of God's face; who have been tempted, tried, afflicted, distressed, and fast bound in affliction, and unable to get out, while the dreadful sentence of God's curse is raging in the conscience. When he preaches these things, and insists upon it that these must be felt more or less in every sinner's heart, this many cannot bear, as they are strangers to all these troubles; and some of them pretend to be always happy, and always comfortable, and can apply the promises when they please: they have faith, and what is to hinder their being happy! This is the language of too many; and many preachers are telling us that it is the duty of all men to believe. These are what are called gospel ministers and Christian professors; but, if these are right, I am wrong to this day. Our country abounds with such as these: instead of having true, genuine faith, which is the gift of God, and works by love in the hearts of his saints, such presume on the mercies of God, seeing nothing but the letter, but are strangers to the power of the word; and these are the greatest enemies Mr. J. meets with among us. I have no doubt but God will keep him at L. for great and wise ends, for the comfort of the godly, and the confusion of his enemies, which I think is evidenced in two particular professors high in the esteem of the professing world; one of them standing and warning people not to hear J. as he was out of his mind; the other went from house to house forbidding people to go to hear so dangerous a man, as he certainly was-mad. God has struck both these men with actual madness, and they are in a mad-house at this time. Another person withdrew from his ministry, and declared the same; he lately died raving Mad, after a profession of religion for many years. Thus God's hand is known towards his servants, whilst his indignation is poured forth on his enemies. Excuse my long epistle, but I could not forbear. I know your goodness will put up with my weakness, and I beg an interest in your prayers in my behalf; and, in my poor imperfect petitions, I hope ever to bear you on my mind at a throne of grace, that the Almighty may long continue your usefulness. I am greatly obliged to you for your invitation, and hope I shall see you after Christmas. I have many things to communicate to you, which I cannot write at present sent. Perhaps the country air would be found very useful to you, more so than any medicine: if you think thus, my house, my all that I have, is at your service; and, believe me, there is none in the world I should be so happy to see as yourself. Do me the favour of a line or two when you find time and opportunity. May mercy and peace rest with you and yours, and the Israel of God, prays your unworthy servant in the precious Lord Jesus Christ,
T. S. M.