A Portion to Seven, and Also to Eight
William Huntington (1745-1813)
TO MR. AND MRS. DAVIDSON, Postern-Row, Tower-Hill
Beloved in God, grace and peace be multiplied to you through our Lord Jesus Christ. Time has been when I could have sung a Christmas carol at your door; but the bellows which used to fill the pipes are much decayed by being much used, on which account I have been obliged for many years to lay by the melody of my songs, as Israel of old did of their viols; and, being incapable of producing these fruits of the lip, I here send you a Christmas offering, which is the fruit both of the head and of the heart. They came promiscuously into my mind, and sweetly employed my thoughts as they came; and, though apparent contradictions in themselves, yet I brought them all into harmony through the anointing of the Holy One; nor was I a little delighted while my mind was engaged in them. I call it a riddle upon all in all, and you are allowed all the Christmas holidays to find it out; but, should any of the fruit in this garden of nuts be found too hard for your teeth, send them back to the huckster, and he promises to lend you the use of his crackers. Accept of this as my Christmas-box, and take in good part the additions; I mean the compliments of the season, which are, "A merry Christmas," springing from Christ formed in the heart the hope of glory; for a merry heart doth good like a medicine, and he that hath a merry heart hath a continual feast.
"I wish you a happy new year," and full possession of the blessings of the new covenant; namely, a new heart, and a new spirit, and the use of new tongues; much service in the newness of the Spirit, and a happy walk in newness of life; many comfortable sips of the new wine of the kingdom, and many pledges earnests, and foretastes of those new enjoyments which are promised by the new Thing to the new-born heirs of promise, in the new heaven and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. This is the wish and earnest desire of,
Yours in the everlasting covenant,
William Huntington, S.S.
A RIDDLE. "His name shall be called Wonderful," Isaiah, ix. 6. This world had been standing upwards of three thousand years before Mary brought forth her first-born son, Luke, ii. 7. And yet that son was brought forth ages of endless date before this world was made: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth: when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled; before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world," Proverbs, vii. 22-26. Thus he that was brought forth and set up from everlasting, was not brought forth till this world had been standing upwards of three thousand years.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He was the son of Adam, the son of Noah, the son of Shem, the son of Abraham, the son of Isaac, the son of Jacob, the son of Judah, the son of David, the son of Solomon, the son of Rehoboam, &c. &c. and the son of Joseph the husband of Mary, and has been known and called the Son of Man from age to age; and yet he is no man's son, nor would he suffer himself to be so called. "What think ye of Christ, whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool. If David then call him Lord, how is he is son? Matt. xxii. 42-44.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," There were thousands of millions born before him; that is wonderful; and yet he was the first that ever was born: "Also I will make him, my first-born, higher than the kings of the earth: my mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him," Psalm lxxxix. 27, 28.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," As he had many fathers, so it is as plain that he had many mothers: he was the son of Eve, the son of Sarah, the son of Rebekah, the son of Leah, the son of Rahab, the son of Ruth, the son of Zion, the son of Mary, and the son of all believers: "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother," Matt. xii. 50. Thus he hath many fathers, and thousands of mothers - and yet "he is without father, and without mother," Heb. vii. 3.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," According to the genealogies written by Matthew and Luke, his descent is traced from Adam; he descended likewise from God, and he descended from heaven; and yet he descended neither from God nor man, for "he is without descent, and with-out pedigree," Heb. vii. 3.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," Elijah raised a child from the dead, and Elisha raised another; and even a young man just buried, when he touched the bones of Elisha, came to life; Christ raised the widow of Nain's son and Lazarus; all which were raised before the death of Christ, and yet he was the first that was ever raised: "He is the first-begotten from the dead," Rev. i. 5. "He is the first-fruits of them that sleep," 1 Cor. xv. 20. And the first that ever trod the path of life from the tomb: "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption; thou wilt she, me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy and at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore," Psalm xvi. 10, 11.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," "When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men," Prov. viii. 27-31. And, though he thus rejoiced in the habitable parts of his earth, yet there was no part of his earth then inhabited; and, though his delights were then with the sons of men, yet there were no sons of men to delight in.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," Jesus, our Immanuel, never lived nor existed before he was born of Mary; and it is plain that he was but thirty-three years of age when he died, and yet "he had neither beginning of days, nor end of life," Heb. vii. 3.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," Our Immanuel maintained and supported all the human race in life when he was expiring himself; and lived King of Glory in heaven when he lay dead in the tomb.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," When he ascended on high he entered heaven, and there he must abide till the end: "Whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things," Acts, iii. 21. And yet, "behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him, nor yet the house that Solomon built," I Kings, viii. 27.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," As our high priest, "He, by his own blood, entered into the holy place," Heb. ix. 12; "into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us," Heb. ix. 24. Thus he entered the holy of holies, and appears in the presence of God for his people, yet "he is with us always to the world's end," Luke, xxviii. 20.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He is "flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone;" and there-fore real man, perfect man, and the son of man; and yet he is "a worm and no man," Psalm xxii. 6. Not a man, but a thing: "Therefore also that holy thing, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God," Luke, i. 35. "His name shall be called Wonderful," When he was a child just born, and a son given, the government of the church and of the whole world stood upon his shoulders, Isaiah, ix. 6; and yet he could not walk alone himself, but had an ass to carry him and his mother into Egypt.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made," John, i. 3. "For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or princiPalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist," Col. i. 16, 17. Yea, even "the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them," I Samuel, ii. 8. And yet the earth hath neither bases nor pillars; this the scriptures witness: "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth-the earth upon nothing," Job, xxvi. 7.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," His generation hath been most faithfully traced and published both by Matthew and Luke; one of which is expressly styled, "The Book of the Generation of Jesus Christ," Matthew, i. 1; Luke, iii. 23. And yet his generation never was, nor can be, declared either by men or angels. "He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare his generation?" Isaiah, liii. 8.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets; she crieth in the chief places of the concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?" Prov. i. 20-22. Wisdom is here described as crying, as crying without, and as uttering her voice even in the streets; yet" He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street," Isaiah, xlii. 2. And, though many in the great day will "begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets; he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence you are: depart from me all ye workers of iniquity," Luke, xiii. 26, 27. And no wonder; for, although he might have taught in their streets, yet they never heard his voice there; this is witnessed hy the scriptures of truth.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," "The thing that hath been, is that which shall be; and that which is done, is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?" Eccl. i. 9, 10. Yet sure I am that there is something new to be found. "How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? For the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man," Jer. xxxi. 22. This was a new thing promised to the antediluvian world -"The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." It is called "a new thing" in the prophetic age; and was a new thing in the latter days, for a virgin conceived, and a virgin brought forth a son; and this new thing was done under the sun; and must for ever remain a thing new, for it never shall be antiquated.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He was seen as the Son of man by Daniel, and his tremendous appearance was that of the Judge of quick and dead. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool," Daniel, vii. 9-13. His white hair denotes his gravity and great age, which the hoary head always proclaims; but he was not born till four hundred years after that vision.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He was seen by Adam and Eve, by Abraham and Sarah; by Lot, by Moses, by Joshua, and Balsam; by Gideon, Manoah and his wife; by thousands in his lifetime, and by five hundred brethren at once after his death; and yet no man hath seen him, nor can see him - and this the scriptures aver; "Keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." 1 Timothy, iv. 14-16.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He was the richest that ever appeared in this world; there was not one thing that was not put under him, for he was the "heir of all things," Heb. i. 9; and yet "the poor and needy man," Psa. cix. 16. So poor that he lived all his lifetime upon charity, and has been supported by alms almost eighteen hundred years; and is such an admirer of the liberality of his benefactors, that he declares, that even a cup of cold water shall never pass unnoticed nor unrewarded by him.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He performed the greatest exploits that ever were performed in his weakest state, and by his weakest part; for "he was crucified through weakness," 2 Cor. xiii. 4. He took "the hand-writing that was against us out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and, having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it," or in himself.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He fought the greatest battle, single-handed, that ever was fought in this world, or that ever will be fought. And, though he was the first and the only one that fell by the sword in the field of action, yet, by his own fall, he conquered all the enemies that he ever had, or ever will have, whether on earth or in hell.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," He is wonderful also in his family, which consists of new-born babes, little children, young men, and fathers: and yet there is neither a babe nor a little child in it. "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old, but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed," Isa. lxv. 20.
"His name shall be called Wonderful," I shall send, my dear friends, no more of these seeming discords at this time, but leave you to bring them into harmony, and subscribe myself,
Yours to serve in Christ Jesus,