To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.
MY DEAR SIR,
YOUR valuable and much welcomed favour came to hand in due time; and it gives me no small comfort that the Lord lays my case so near the heart of his servant: and I trust he will, in his own blessed time, perform the counsel of his messenger. To me the prospect is often gloomy enough; yet you can see better: and the witness of God is better yet; and it is this I want, He has borne testimony to the word of his grace from your mouth I know, and has fulfilled it in a measure to me; and why may not the whole be accomplished? Nothing shall be impossible to him that believeth; but I cannot see that I have faith. Faith obtains promises, and overcomes the world: but I cannot rest on the promise, and am a captive to corruption.
I have found strange goings on in my soul of late. I think there never was a lust in a heart, nor a corruption in human nature, but what is stirred up in mine; and such wicked, obscene, and abominable thoughts as are too shocking to mention, which can never come but from Satan himself. These make me fear the work is not real, and into darkness and bondage I fall. I am afraid in my heart of falling into their hands. I earnestly pray the Lord against them; and sometimes they cease a little, but return again; and, though I hate them, yet I think something in me receives them.
Dark and bound God knows I am, and my feet are in the stocks the whole week round. But I am afraid this is not the same as you mean. You mean the exercise and trial of a broken-hearted sinner; but I am as bitter and as stubborn as a devil, and could lay violent hands on those that oppose me, and beat them with the fist of wickedness. The Lord only knows what will become of me; and yet, through all these gloomy scenes, am still encouraged to hope that the Lord will not give me up, but bring me through all these, and much more. I know I am to endure before I am made truly humble. The opposition I meet with from preachers and others fills me with wrath and malice; and sometimes I am so discouraged that I am ready to give all up, fearing that I am attempting something in my own strength, and that the Lord will not countenance me.
Last Sunday Gilbert declared, before all the people at Hailsham, that neither myself nor any of my followers were to be again admitted to that place; and the next time I went there the chapel was shut against me, and the key denied. I preached, however, in a person's house who opened his door for me, and was invited by a woman the next morning to breakfast with her. I did not promise her, as I was rather discouraged, thinking the Lord had done nothing by me in that place, and therefore concluded that I would never come there again; but the next morning I altered my mind, and called on the person who had invited me, and found the Lord had wrought upon herby my ministry, and confirmed her by yours. She told me she picked up a little under every discourse you preached at Lewes; for she heard them all. The good man her husband, who is a man of some property, told me, if I could find a little place for myself in the town, he would give me 50 pound towards it whenever I should call for it; which rather lifted up my drooping head.
The morning before this I had found another farmer, whom, I trust, the Lord has called by his grace, and brought out from the clutches of Viddler, who is one of Mr. Winchester's pupils. This man Viddler is desperately enraged against your late book, and has threatened to answer it, and call it 'Huntington's Everlasting Nonsense.' It is awful to hear him. But now he says it is not worth his notice; and, for my part, I believe him. He never was a partaker of any one truth it contains. The account of the above mentioned farmer made some amends to me for Gilbert's unkind treatment, and the Lord reward his kindness.
I have sent notice to Cranbrook that I will be there, if the Lord permit, next week. I am sorry for poor Tom Smith; he never grieved me but in part. But to whomsoever you forgive any thing, I forgive also. I have received a letter from him, and have told him that I can, from my heart, forgive all, and pray for him too; and I hope the Lord will humble him. All the friends at Lewes, and the country, still remember you; and we all are glad that you intend to visit us again before the summer is over; for this I pray the Lord, as I know your ministry was blessed among us. The first week I can get my head out of the collar I will trip to London. I long to hear and see you. God bless you, and abundantly prosper you, prays yours in the truth, and wishes he could say in the bond of love,