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MR. HUNTINGTON, S.S.
No, 29, WINCHESTER ROW, ST. MARY-LE-BONE.
REV. AND DEAR PASTOR,
Having been an eye and an ear witness to the success of your labours in the ministry; under the blessing of God having reaped much benefit from it myself, and being well acquainted with your doctrines and manner of life, I cannot but feel myself sensibly injured when I hear your ministry reproached and slighted. Contention, except for the truth's sake, is what I would ever wish to shun; but, when the truths of God and its advocates are hung up as the butts of envy and party rage, I think myself in duty bound to step forward and defend both it and them. It was with much regret that I heard the opposition there is making against you by a set of men who call themselves ministers; a great number of whom have entered into a connexion with the Rev. Mr. M. of Holywell Mount, or rather a combination, under the title of " The Evangelic Association.” I hope by this they do not mean to insinuate there are no evangelists
beside themselves; if they do, I am sorry to say the conduct of some among them is such as must lead many to suspect they have sadly mistaken the import of their title.
If laying aside the simplicity of the gospel and the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ; introducing questions from the forge of human brains, mixed with incoherent fragments of philosophy and vain deceit, and raising in the minds of people envying and strife, be doing the work of an evangelical society, they have not mistaken the term.
If assembling in vestries, to propose hard questions over soft bowls; traducing and reviling the characters of laborious, faithful, and successful ministers, by false insinuations to prejudice the minds of the godly; aiming at dominion over churches and ministers; conforming to the world; enrobing their persons; taking the uppermost seats in the synagogues; preferring titles, vestments, altars, organs, painted tables, pictures of angels, trumpets, crucifixes, and the insignias, or mark of the Romish host IHS, be the delight of evangelists, these certainly appear in character.
But, if levelling God's wholesome truths at the consciences of sinners; if plainness of apparel and appearance, and plainness of speech: if enforcing the power of religion, describing the Spirit's work, and insisting on the necessity of it; if informing people's judgments, and aiming to lead their souls into the liberty of the gospel, be doing the work of an evangelist; it is clear, both by their ministry and conduct, that they have entirely mistaken the term.
Being informed that the first discourse that was to be levelled against you was to be at Mr. T****end's meeting at Rotherhithe, out of love to you, to your hearers, and to the religious world, I thought it my duty to be present on the occasion. A party spirit was the subject of discussion; and I soon perceived you was the object shot at; on which occasion the gospel of Jesus Christ, and his efficacious Spirit, was left entirely out, to make room for the malignant spirit of the slanderer to shew itself. Much rhetoric, logic, and some harpsichord music, was introduced, to shew what a party spirit was, where it originated, the consequences of it, and, lastly, how it might be cured. As the cure of this was what every sincere soul desired to be informed of, and waited anxiously for; behold, after much labour and many arguments, firm oppositions were advised, restraint on the passions recommended, &c. &c.
How astonishing, Sir, that men, who take to themselves the name and office of ministers, should spend their time in reviling the servants of God, rejecting the scriptures, and call a spouting-club by the venerable name of an Evangelical Association; and all under a pretence of solving hard questions, and censuring party spirits, when every schoolboy may learn from the Bible that there
are but two party spirits in the world, Christ at the head of one, and the devil at the head of the. other; for, as Christ is the head of every one blessed with the Spirit of truth, so Satan is the head of every hypocrite who is influenced by a railing, slandering, reviling, and ridiculing spirit.
Nothing but the Spirit of Christ can ever unite sinners to God, or mankind to one another; when that Spirit operates, then, but not till then, shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the kid, and a little child shall lead them.
In this discourse, Sir, you was represented in a shocking point of view, as one of a blood-thirsty spirit, and accused of taking texts that wise men would shudder, and modest men blush at. Thus the scriptures did not escape the ridicule of that empty, graceless, unexperienced, and inconsistent philosopher.
At the conclusion of this convocation we were informed that another meeting was appointed to be held at a Mr. M's chapel in Artillery-lane, and the subject (or, if you please the text, if you can find such a one in the Bible) for their further debate was to be, “Is the law now made void, and what sentiments may be termed Antinomian?' This was to be performed by one who was formerly by trade a plasterer, but is now a dauber with untempered mortar. It is a Mr. C. of the new chapel in Church Street, Mile End New Town. With some others, I attended the performance, and secured,