These things are the vessels of mercy in the furnace of affliction, half starved for want of the bread and water of life, and nothing to attend but wells without water, clouds without rain, and shepherds that cannot understand; they want their state described, and the kind invitations and encouragements of the gospel spoken experimentally to them; and they go from city to city to find it, but all in vain. And there is scarce a large town in the nation, but what you will find here and there a little company sensible of their lost state, labouring in bondage and misery, but none to feed them; hypocrites are fed and nourished up in their presumption, and such as these are quite starved. These are called, “The things which remain;” which implies that great numbers are fallen off; and this is most certainly true with respect to our day of profession. Mr. Winchester, who laid a foundation for hope in hell, overthrew the faith of many, both of them that stood in the pulpit, as well as those in the pew. Mr. Brothers, the lunatic, who promised a basis for hope in the Saviour’s sepulchre, and that we should once more seek the living among the dead, hath slain his thousands; but Tom Paine has slain his ten thousands; and there is not one in a hundred of them that remain that Christ takes any notice of; it is only “the few things which are ready to die” (not them that have a name to live while they are dead) that he cares for; “for he is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” – Discoveries and Cautions from the Streets of Zion
William Huntington S.S. (2 February 1745 – 1 July 1813) was an English preacher and coalheaver. It is said (although his writings, sermons and letters do not bear that out – see examples from Huntington’s works below) that he was known for preaching that the ‘moral law’ was unnecessary, a theological view known as Antinomianism. Huntington was a strict Calvinist who believed that some were predestined to be saved and some were not. He believed that on Judgment Day he would be identified as a true prophet. His unusual, polemical preaching style and writings made him popular but brought him into conflict with other preachers throughout his life. He founded or opened chapels throughout England, many of which still survive. SOURCE: Wiki
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“…the Mosaic Law revealed the eternal character of God and on the day of judgement, the Book would be taken out and mankind judged according to how he has kept the law. Law-breakers will be condemned but those for who Christ has kept the law and have been imputed with Christ’s righteousness shall be saved.” – George Ella explaining William Huntington’s view of the Law as revealed at Sinai.
A very interesting portion from the works of William Huntington worth reading. He makes note of two covenants and explains the Mosaic covenant was indeed a covenant of works.
“God has two covenants, one of works and the other of grace; these are called the law of works and the law of faith. The one is a ministration of condemnation, the other of salvation. One is a ministry of the letter, the other of the Spirit. One is a voice of words, the other the word of life.
The law is not of faith, but of works; nor is faith of the law, but of grace. The one was graven on tables of stone and written on parchment, the other is put in the mind and written on the heart. The former was a law of the hand, and might be put in the pocket; the latter is put in the mind and kept in the heart. The former is the strength of sin, (1 Cor. xv. 56,) the ministration of death, (2 Cor. iii. 7,) and of condemnation; (2 Cor. iii. 9;) the latter is the ministration of pardon, reconciliation, righteousness, life, and salvation.
To him that expects life, sanctification, or perfection by the works of the law, the reward is reckoned of debt. The law is the labourer’s rule: “This do, and thou shalt live;” his reward is of works, and if by works, then it is no more of grace. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness, his reward is reckoned of grace, (or free bounty,) and if by grace, then it is no more of works.” In the law, God’s will of commandments is made known to the servant what he will have done, and what he will have left undone, and what may be expected by the servant if tile Master’s will be obeyed. God’s will of purpose and of promise is made known by the Spirit in the law of faith to the pre-adopted sons: ” Having made known to us the mystery of his will.”
This good will of purpose reveals what is to be believed, received, and expected by the heirs of promise, and all of grace. To the sons it is given to know these mysteries of the kingdom, but not to the servants: ” The servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth;” to him it is spoken in parables, and the preaching of it is to him foolishness. These two covenants, these two rules, these two laws, together with the bond women and the free women, the child of the flesh and the child of the Spirit, the servant and the son, must be kept asunder, by an “earnest contention for the faith once delivered to the saints;” for there are certain men crept in unawares, who are ever blending these two covenants together, by vain jangling, knowing neither what they say nor whereof they affirm.
One gospelizes the ministration of the killing letter, while another legalizes the dispensation of the Spirit. One ridicules the sovereignty, impeaches the justice, and contemns the counsel of his Maker, and debases him to a level with the sinner, while another exalts the free-agency and perfection of the rebel above him. One strips the bond-child of his rule, and makes it the only rule of the son’s life; another applies God’s good-will to the briers and thorns, which are nigh unto cursing, and debases the heir of promise. Thus, one dresses up the law and robs the gospel, the other strips the heir to adorn the slave.
One sets up Moses (whose office it is to accuse the legalist) on the throne of Zion’s King, and renders the Lord’s government so imperfect, that his subjects have no rule but what is fetched from the servant, who was no more than a witness of the grace and truth which were to come by his Master; another enforces a perfect obedience to the servant’s rule, before we can obtain favour of the King, degrading the merit of the Sovereign, to exalt the servant and the letter. But as it. was in the beginning, so it is now, and ever shall be; for Moses had in old time, hath now, and will have, in every city, them that preach him.” – William Huntington
“Election secures every minister in his station, and all the success that shall attend his labours. It has been observed that those, who have been the most forward at lampooning me for an Antinomian, have been the greatest novices in divinity; and, while they have been contending for the law as the only rule of life, they have preached the greatest confusion, discovered the greatest ignorance of the nature of the law, and have evidently appeared in the strongest bondage: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity;” he that binds grievous burdens on other men’s shoulders goes a sure way to load his own back.
No wonder that legions are flocking back to Sinai; it is a proof that the law is not dead to them, nor they to it; they begun in the Spirit before they had been killed by the letter. Their first husband, it is to be feared, is not dead, therefore they are not loosed from that law: and being adulteresses, the first husband has taken them up and brought them back, not being loosed from their old bond of wedlock, nor favoured with a writing of divorcement; therefore, as a wife of the first covenant, the eloped Lo-ruhamah is brought back, Hos. 1:6; Hos. 2-1,2; but Hephzibah, the Lord’s delight, whom He has espoused to Himself, if she goes back, will return again to her first husband, saying, It was better with me then than it is now.
Consider, Sir, and see if there be anything that you want to make you holy or happy that does not come from the law of the Spirit of life; and whether any of these things come from the law of works; whether mercy, grace, hope, or help comes from that quarter: and take heed that you do not jumble these two covenants together. One is a covenant of works, the other of grace; one is the law of death, the other the law of life; bond children are under the law; free children are under grace; they that are under grace are under the blessing, those under the law are under the curse; one are the heirs of promise, the other heirs of wrath; one are children of God, the other are children of the devil. The free-born children receive the inheritance freely, the bond children work to earn it. “The gift of God is eternal life,” “the wages of sin is death.” And in order to clear the doctrine from the charge of Antinomianism, I will inquire what this law of the Spirit of life produces, for we are told that the gospel brings forth fruit, Col. 1:6. Paul says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.”
Now let us see what the law of the wise, which Solomon calls a fountain of life, produces. I think we shall find the same things springing from this fountain as comes from Paul’s law of the Spirit: Solomon says wisdom loves them that love her; and that love is better than a house full of sacrifices; and that, “if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be condemned.”
Here is what Paul calls the first fruit of the Spirit, the next is joy; “the heart knoweth his own bitterness, and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.” Peace; “wisdom’s ways are pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Longsuffering; “the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Gentleness; “be not hasty to go out of his sight; stand not in the evil thing.” Goodness; “the upright shall have good things in possession.” Faith; “in the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and His children shall have a place of refuge.” Meekness; “Surely he scorneth the scorners, but he giveth grace to the lowly.” Temperance; “the righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul.” Thus the fruits of Paul’s law of the Spirit are the same as those that spring from Solomon’s law of the wise, which he calls a fountain of life: and remember the gospel is called the ministration of the Spirit, and the law is the ministration of the letter; “the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” Solomon’s fountain of life is supplied from God in covenant, who tells us that all his springs are in Zion; therefore it is vain to expect help from Sinai. The law of the Spirit will remain what it is, notwithstanding men’s legality; and the ministration of the letter will remain what it is, notwithstanding man’s faith and love, one will ever give life, and the other will ever give death: the one will ever produce freedom, and the other will ever gender to bondage.” – William Huntington
“Let them feed on applause, and sing, of merit, who are perfect in the flesh; but, for my part, I hope to live and die a believing sinner, and must remain a debtor to free grace and mercy to all eternity; and as such, can never join the chorus with any who sing that ancient God-dethroning, self-exalting, and soul-damning, ditty of free-agency. This will be harped upon by many at the day of doom, Matt. xxv. 44; but will be condemned by the Judge of quick and dead. Sovereign mercy will erase it from the mind and memory of every songster in heaven; and retributive Justice will make conscience cry it down in hell: therefore, let us sing the song in time that grace will allow in eternity, we will sing of mercy and of judgment: my mind, my understanding, and my memory received this song under the twofold impression of the Holy Ghost; and I believe it will never be erased from my soul in this world, nor be prohibited to be sung in the next.” – William Huntington
Why is it that you have been kept to the present moment? You have seen many a tall cedar bowed to the earth; many who did appear to “run well,” but who, in the hour of temptation, when worldly power, and wealth, and distinction increased, made shipwreck of their fancied faith, and fell into diverse lusts and snares which drowned their souls. Why have you been kept? your vessel weathering the storm, your feet yet upon the rock? Because “you stands by faith,” – the “faith of God’s elect” has kept you; and though you are deeply conscious of many and great departures, – sins, it may be, which if known to an ungodly, ignorant world, would bring upon you the laugh of scorn, – yet you have never been left quite to unhinge your soul from Jesus; you have discovered your sins, and mourned over and confessed them, and sought their forgiveness through a fresh application of the atoning blood, – and still, “you stands by faith.” Ah! if faith had not kept you, where would you now have been? where would that temptation have driven you? into what consequences would that sin have involved you? But O, that brokenness, that contrition, that mourning, that going afresh to the open fountain, does prove that there was that in you which would not let you quite depart! The cedar may have been bowed to the earth, but it has risen again; the vessel may have been tossed in the tempest, and even may have been worsted by the storm, yet it has found its port: the “faith of God’s elect” has kept you. “Be not high-minded, but fear.” Your own vigilance, and power, and wisdom, had been but poor safeguards, but for the indwelling of that faith that can never die. – Octavius Winslow