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William Huntington

As I understand you are frequently troubled, and put to unnecessary expense, with impertinent and unedifying letters, I humbly beg excuse for troubling you again at this time, hoping you will not have reason at least to complain of the impertinence of this letter, how much soever of its ignorance; and not at all of its expense. I had the happiness last night, as in the good providence of God I have often had before, to hear you at Monkwell Street Chapel, on the text “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” &c., with much satisfaction, and, I hope by the blessing of God, with some edification. I think, if, after such a sermon, and the doctrines contained in and enforced by it, your adversaries continue to…

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When the apostle came first into the regions of Galatia, he and his message were most cordially received. His personal deformity, which he calls the temptation in his flesh, they despised not, but received him as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. The weight and power of the message counter balanced all the unsightliness of the messenger. The joyful tidings that he brought so excited their gratitude, that they would have pulled out their own eyes, and given them to Paul. But love soonest hot is soonest cold.

Paul withdraws from these regions, to lengthen the cords of Zion, and to spread the curtains of her habitation a little farther; with an intent, in due time, to return and strengthen her stakes, which he had left in Galatia. But, as the enemy often sows tares while men sleep, so he often…

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There is a darkness upon all mankind that may be felt, which man by sin has brought upon himself. “Darkness has covered the earth, and gross darkness the people.” Under this dismal gloom Satan carries on his cursed works, and supports his infernal kingdom in the hearts of the children of men. “He rules in the hearts of the disobedient.” And mankind, being habituated to this darkness, and loving the works of it, hate the light, and will not come to it, because it discovers and brings to light their evil deeds; flashes convictions of sin, and gives cutting reproofs and rebukes for it. “All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light which doth appear, for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” Hence it is that “men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.” And Satan, the enemy both of God and man labours hard to…

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By which I do not mean filial fear; for that is a grace of the Holy Spirit, planted in the heart by him, and has the goodness of God in Christ for its object. This fear is a reverential awe of a good and gracious God, that presents us under his watchful eye, and him always before our eyes. This fear is a little sentinel, one of the post army of grace, Song vi. 13. For the church is a company of two armies, grace and corruption, which war against each other. This fear is to keep us from departing from God, in which we are counselled to walk. “My son, be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long.”

When any danger appears; when any error is advanced and presented to us by Satan or his hawkers; or when any trap is set by enemies, intended to be a future handle of reproach; or any temptations to sin; this little-watchman, called fear, is upon his tower. He sounds the alarm, awakens the little camp, and will not let us proceed without…

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This legal spirit closes the heart, and bars it up against every warm, cheerful, savoury, and unctuous Christian; yea, such an one will even shun their company and their sight; finding a heart to embrace none, to receive none, to commune with none, no, nor even to seek fellowship with any but those that are in shackles, bondage and slavery, as well as himself. “Like love its like.” Hence the Galatians received the Judaizing teachers and their companions, who crept into houses, cordially; they were zealously affected by them, and zealously attached to them; even to the danger of excluding Christ himself. But, as for Paul, he had no place in their hearts: no, not as a friend, nor as an apostle, nor even as a true witness for Christ; for they counted him…

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“The law worketh wrath,” Rom. iv. 15. All that the broken law ministers, reveals, or works, in a man, is the anger, displeasure, indignation, and wrath of God at the sins of men; which wrath is revealed in the law against all ungodliness, and is treasured up there. Fury is not in me, saith the Lord. It is not in him as considered and viewed by the eye of faith in Christ. Here God cannot, God will not, be wroth with us; but get back to the law, and there we are sure to feel it, as nothing but wrath and death can be found in that broken covenant, which is a killing letter, for God ministers not the Spirit by it. Furthermore, God’s wrath can never work where there is no sin; but where sin is there it will work, if we go to it. It got a sad hold on Christ; it melted his heart in the midst of his body, while he bore our sins upon the tree. When he got rid of our sin he got rid of his…

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The Lord our God, “whose name is jealous, is a jealous God,” Exod. xxiv. 14. “How long, Lord, wilt thou be angry for ever; shall thy jealousy burn like fire?” Psalm lxxix. 5. The spirit of bondage brings a little of this ingredient with it. The spouse in the Song felt this pretty sharply; she refused to open to her beloved, and so he withdrew; she sought him, but found him not; she called him, but he gave her no answer. He then went down into the garden; that is, down among the more meek, humble, and lowly souls. This she knew, and begged these young daughters to stay her with flagons, and to comfort her with…

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Jonah is ordered to Nineveh. He rebels and goes to Joppa, in order to flee to Tarsus from the presence of God. He is thrown overboard, and sinks in the belly of hell. Then he is humbled, and prays heartily. God brings him up again, and repeats his command to Nineveh. Jonah goes, and delivers his message, which was all that God required of him. He might then have gone home again, if he would; but Jonah seeks another quarrel, like Lot’s wife, who looked back to see what became of Sodom: Jonah “makes a booth, and sits there to see what becomes of the city.” He had no orders…

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The operations of this spirit of bondage, and the sensible displeasure of God felt in it, bow the soul down. “I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.” The Holy Spirit of God is grieved, and does not operate as a comforter; hence the complaint – “The comforter, that should relieve my soul, is far from me,” Lam. i. 16. “Thou hast removed my soul far off from peace; I forgat prosperity; and I said, My strength and my hope are perished from the Lord,” Lam. iii. 17, 18.

The sensible presence of God appears to be wholly withdrawn, and nothing left but a bitter sense of our loss, and the remembrance of former halcyon days, which the soul is ready to conclude are gone for ever. “O that I were…

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By the law God doth not communicate his Spirit, and without his influences there can be no fruit. Refreshings come from God’s presence; but in the law his presence can never be enjoyed; no good fruit, unless we abide in the vine; for under the legal yoke Christ profits us nothing, with respect to sensible union and communion; our joys withers, and love waxes cold. No blossoming like a rose, with divine enlargement; no heavenly-mindedness, no life and peace enjoyed; nothing felt within but God’s anger, man’s rebellion, and Satan’s assaults; nothing without but gloominess, fresh scenes of troubles, and dissatisfaction with…

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