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Satan's best friends, and sinners' worst enemies; the hypocrite's shining light, and the saint's wandering star. But thine eyes see thy teachers: they that sat in darkness shew themselves; and may she ever walk in the light, as he is in the light. Amen.
W. H. S. S.
As you have known my soul in adversity, I think it is my duty to give you some of the Lord's dealings which have lately passed upon my soul. You know, Sir, that I have been for a long time much distressed about my dubious state. Your preaching has tried me, and stripped me of all my supposed goodness, God knows; but it made me as rebellious as a devil. I got so wearied with my distress that my very life was a burden to me, and yet I was afraid of death. I have at times had such awful views of the tremendous judgments of God, which has sunk me so low, that I concluded I must give up all hope in him, and claim on him. But to say, let him hasten his work, will never do; for he is of one mind, and who can turn him? O! blessed be God for a faithful preacher, who would not suffer my soul to remain plastered up in a false peace. When you preached from the troubles of Hezekiah, much comfort flowed in; you touched my case, and I found the discourse to be the life of my spirit. I had such joy and peace in believing that I cannot describe; I felt myself so humbled under a sense of my own unworthiness, that I was ashamed even to look up; until I felt a power greater than ever I had felt before, which made me cry out, “My Lord, and my God.” I believe, Sir, that this is some of the wine and oil which you so often treat of; for it rejoiced my heart, and I quite lost all my burden for some time. But, alas! before ever I was aware, I lost all my joy; and never, sure, did my soul mourn after any thing in this world, as after that secret something which I had lost. And this continued until I heard you preach from that mysterious text in Ecclesiastes. As soon as you gave out the words, my mind fled to the dear Redeemer, and you described my feelings in that discourse so clearly, that I had no doubt but the Lord was leading me by his Spirit into all truth. Bless the Lord, O my soul, for his goodness and mercy to me who am so unworthy of it. God is confirming the word of his servant, and I can clearly see, my dear Sir, that you have not laboured in vain. When the Rev. W. H. preached out of Isaiah xiii. I believe no poor sinner ever had so much
of his experience turned up as I had. The crosses, roughs, and crooks, were made plain as fast as that man of God delivered his discourse. I received it, and I found it all written on the tables of my heart: and things which I had entirely forgotten were brought afresh to my mind; and my heart said, "Come and see a man that hath told me all that ever I did." I am sure the Lord sent him to confirm his good work upon my soul; for I am sure if he had not the Spirit of God upon him, he could never have searched my heart as he did; and had I not had the Spirit, I should never have had such a light cast upon my state, and upon the way that I have come. I heard as though there were no other person to hear; and I thought within myself, so we go on, from heart to heart. O, my dear Sir, this is sweet work! for, indeed, I found such enlargement of soul as I cannot express. I thought I was fixed firm on the Rock; surely, said I, there will be no more doubting on my mind about my state. I seemed to have nothing to do but to bless and praise God for his wonderful love to such a poor sinner, who had formerly. boasted of great things, and yet knew nothing of the way of salvation in the experience and power of it, only by the letter of scripture. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless his holy name! Being rather infirm, I am much troubled to write; but having a desire to acquaint you of the Lord's goodness to me, I presume, being fully persuaded
that your goodness will excuse all my imperfections. And may the best of blessings rest upon your own soul, and on your labours, is the earnest prayer and desire of,
To the Rev. Mr. HUNTINGTON.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I have taken the liberty of writing a few simple things to you concerning my soul, having had a desire to do it for between four and five years. I wrote one letter to send to you, Sir, about four years ago, but being all that time in great distress, I was afraid to send it; for Satan told me that I was a hypocrite, and I thought so too; and if you, Sir, should have, in your answer to me, one single doubt of my state, I should have utterly sunk in despair. About four or five years ago, I had my profession torn up by the roots by Mr. J: and I now thank the Lord for it. For the two first years I was in great horror of soul, for I had made a profession of religion
for some time, such a one as it was, and the Lord, by Mr. J's. preaching, shewed me where I stood, and dreadful work it made; for, instead of love to God, which I once thought I had, I found such dreadful hatred to him and his word, and to Mr. J's. preaching, that I thought I should go to hell in my rebellion, with my eyes open; and Satan filled me with bitter blasphemies against God himself, and such an hatred to Mr. J. that I wished some judgment to fall on him, and take him out of the world; for I thought he had a spite against me, and preached on purpose to distress me: and I used to think he preached more distressing to me than he did to any of the rest. One night I heard him at E. and I thought I would not be distrest let him preach how he would; but, O Sir! I felt as if I was sure of going to endless misery; and I expressed these words to a friend when I came out, that I was as sure of being damned as I was alive, if Mr. J.'s preaching was true. But now, Sir, these are not my thoughts, for I think the Lord did all for the good of my soul; for even in that tempest I have found, at seasons, a strong confidence that the Lord would bring me through, after he had sufficiently humbled me. But, after two years, as near as I can remember, this great distress of soul abated, insomuch that I did not feel the keenness of it to that degree I had done: but I found myself in a worse state, for I sunk into a dark, lifeless, and dead frame of soul. And, O Sir! though I knew