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13/01/2013 / Test All Things

A Letter To John Grace – August 19th, 1847

My dear friend, John Grace

I am much obliged to you for your kind and affectionate letter, and for the unpublished letter by Huntington which it contained. It is a very acceptable gift for the Standard, and I will (D.V.) take an early opportunity of getting it inserted.

I feel with you that no man’s writings (always excepting our favourite Hart’s hymns) seem to possess the savour, unction, and power of Huntington’s. I think I may say I scarcely ever take up his writings without some sensible feeling being communicated. I do not mean to say always, or often, deep and lasting; but something that is brought to my conscience, as of God speaking in the man.

I might say “Where is the man in England that can write a letter from a real divine experience, such as you have sent me of his?” If there be such a man, I have never yet heard him preach, nor seen his letters. He was, indeed, “beloved of God,” and, therefore, “abhorred of men.” In divine things I feel myself a fool by his side, and to know nothing as I ought to know. But it is our mercy that the fountain is still the same, and that Jesus says, “If any man thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink.” The same blessed Teacher of the Church of God who instructed Huntington is able to instruct us, and make us useful in our day and generation.

This is a poor wretched world, and it will be our mercy to get safely and honourably through it. Trials, temptations, exercises and afflictions we must expect ever to have; and, indeed, without them there is very little going on of a divine and spiritual nature in our own souls, or little profit attending our ministry.

The family of God are, for the most part, a tried and tempted people, and an unexercised minister is to them rather a plague than a profit.

We have both suffered much from the hands of friends. God grant it may prove a blessing to our souls.

I am here for the benefit of my health, which has suffered from too much preaching. My medical advisers recommend perfect rest for a time, and promise restoration with due care. I think I feel, through mercy, somewhat better.

Yours affectionately,
J. C. P.

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