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To W. O. JOHNS,
And those in Connexion with him at Chatham,
A few days ago a letter was put into my hands, which had been sent to Mr. Main, Toyman, in Bond street, who stands in connexion with us, relative to the death of Mr. Vessey; and in which William Huntington stands highly reprehended. This letter, having been sent among many who attend on my ministry, has laid me under an obligation of taking public notice of it, and assigning what I think to be sufficient reasons for my conduct with respect to the deceased. The charges brought against me are the following:
We now think it our indispensable duty to prove that Mr. Huntington's conduct, so far as it respects Mr. Vessey, is truly reprehensible. Dear sir, I shall refer you to the written word: Judge not, except it be righteous judgment. He never has yet judged righteously concerning him; he has been guided by, or has believed, the evidence of man, without examining of what spirit he was; instead of adhering to the written word : “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world," 1 John iv. 1. And in giving judgment, “ he that trusts in his own heart is a fool.” Mr. Huntington hath erred in judgment, he hath never taken counsel of the Wonderful Counsellor, who teacheth to profit. The word saith, He that offendeth one of these little ones offendeth me. If we know any thing of divine matters, he hath never had access at a throne of grace concerning the subject; yet, on the other hand, blessed be God, it has been a means of sending our dear brother Vessey many times to a throne of grace, where he has left his burdens ; so if he was cast down, it was for our sakes.'
• In the first place, the word saith, “ Trust ye not a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide." Mr. Reed, when he joined Mr. Huntington's connection, cast off all correspondence with our departed friend, agreeable to his pastoral advice, and contrary to his experience. Time would fail to quote the various texts that would condemn their conduct. Dear sir, our aim in this epistle is to condemn their conduct, not to reprobate them as unbelievers, so far as it respects our departed friend. Our reason for this freedom with your address, was from the apprehension we had of Mr. Reed's misconstruing what is here wrote, through the darkness of his mind. If Mr. Huntington and Mr. Reed both see this epistle, we can testify
that these are the true sayings of God. We conclude with our affection and love to you, and to all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; and are,
The Church in Best street, Chatham. 5W. Johns,
These are the charges which are brought against Mr. Huntington ; to all which I shall reply. and appeal to Mr. Johns for his approbation.
But I shall first give a narrative of my knowledge of Mr. Vessey, and then assign the reasons for my conduct with him, which is so reprehensible.
And to begin : It is now about eleven or twelve years since I first went to preach at Sunbury, in Middlesex, where Mr. Vessey first came to hear me; who then worked as a carpenter at Lord Milsington's. After seeing his face a few times under my ministry, he came and caught me by the hand, and appeared filled with gleę and raptures ; and indeed I never once saw him in any other frame all the years that I knew him; which has not been the path in which the Almighty has thought proper to lead me; nor do I desire it, for
they that are not in the path of tribulation are out of the way, and they that have no changes fear not God.
During his attendance on my ministry in that place, he frequently came after service and spoke to me in the same light, trifling way, but not with the least appearance of seriousness; besides, in those days he had always a young woman by his side, a person without any appearance of religion, with whom, as I was informed, he always went home in the night; which is not one of the things that accompany salvation, or that always attend a penitent sinner at his first setting out in the ways of God.
After he had attended me for some considerable time at Sunbury, he came to hear me at Ditton and Richmond, and several times he took an opportunity of walking with me; at which times he asked me many questions about the sense of scriptures, but never appeared to me to have the least sight or sense of sin, nor the least appearance of grace; nor did I then speak to him as to a child of God, but simply answered his questions, view, ing him no more than a seeker. During this time he got acquainted with a Mr. Butler and a Mr. Stephens, and another young man, all of whom attended me at times both at Ditton and Richmond.
This Mr. Butler had been in a profession, such an one as it was, before ever I knew any thing of the Lord, and before I knew him. This man was