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THE JOY OF FAITH
SHADOW OF DEATH:
ADDRESSED TO THE
Refpectable FAMILY of the BLAKERS
OF BOLNEY, IN SUSSEX,
AN INDULGENT HUSBAND, A TENDER FATHER,
HIS UNWORTHY FATHER IN THE FAITH; AND THEIR
WILLIAM HUNTING TON, S. S.
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL
AT PROVIDENCE CHAPEL, LITTLE TITCHFIELD-STREET,
The people that rvalked in darkness have seen a great light: they that drwell in the
Printed for, and Sold by, E. HUNTINGTON, Bookfeller, No. 21, High Street,
Sold alfo at Providence Chapel, and at Monkwell-Street Meeting; at the Chapel
THE JOY OF FAITH.
TO W. H. S. S.
Bolney, Dec. 9, 1804.
I HAVE juft now received my kind friend's affectionate and fupporting epiftle, for which I beg you to accept a thousand thanks from me. For these three days paft (befides my other troubles) fomething has been fuggefted to my mind, that, if my poor father is taken away, you will then favour us no more with your fummer vifits, and that we shall no more hear from you, or be favoured with the comfort of your acquaintance. But I defire to be thankful to God that this is only a fuggeftion from the enemy. I much fear, my dear friend, that you will no more fee my dear father's face in the flesh; for it is not expected that he will be alive when you receive this.
On Wednesday evening laft he feemed to grow much worse. In the fame night I went from Worth to Bolney; and on the next day, from one o'clock till three, we all thought he was going off. But even in thofe moments, when he was upon the verge of death, he looked round upon us all, three or four different times, and gave us fuch an heavenly smile as appeared wonderful; and really the tranquillity, peace, and confolations, that he feems to enjoy, are beyond expreffion. I was up with him alone the greatest part of the enfuing night, after he had been fo exceedingly ill, and was then a little recovered; at which time he spoke very freely, and a good deal, to me. I faid to him, "You was very ill yesterday?" "Yes," faid he, "I was; but what I felt nobody knows, the rays "of light upon me were as the glory of Lebanon. Ifai. xxxv. 2. "I cannot defcribe," faid he, “ the glory that fhone upon me." And he added, "In my worst moments I have always found it "fo. But fome little time back, when I feemed "to get a little better in body, then I felt bondage " and darkness come upon me." The words in one of your former letters were brought fresh to my mind, by a speech of my poor father's to my fifter Mary. She was ftanding by him, apparently very low, and filled with grief. He looked up at her, and faid, "My dear, we should not forrow as
others which have no hope." I Theff. iv. 13. Poor dear man! I am much caft down at the
before him, and
caft all my cares
thoughts and fears of lofing him. But I hope God will enable me to fubmit to his fovereign will. Never, no never, fince I have been upon earth, have I found myself fo completely crucified to this world, and to all things beneath the fun, as I do at this time. There is not one thing upon earth that I feel alive to, or have any defire after. But, from heart-felt experience, I can fay that my foul thirfteth after God, and my foul is ftirred up to feek him with my whole heart. And at times I am enabled to pour out my foul to fhew him my trouble, and to and burdens upon him, and that with a fecret perfuafion that he careth for me. What you fay in your's is true; that nothing but the Son of God, and faith in him, can ftay the mind, or fix the heart, in times of trial. Many of the poor fouls round about us seem forely cut at the thoughts of lofing my poor father; and I believe they have put up many petitions for his recovery; but I much fear that their request will not be granted. My poor fifter is almoft overwhelmed. I was in hopes that you would have come to fee my father, and am forry you did not; but, having heard that your health was poorly, I thought you might not be able to come. If he should revive again, and get a little better, I hope you will endeavour
to see him once more.
In his present ftate he is
fcarcely able to speak.