William Huntington was born under the worst possible social conditions, but at his death two noblemen were made his legatees and the streets of London were almost deserted on the day of his funeral as crowds thronged to Lewes to attend the service. He came into this world the product of sin and shame but lived to be a might instrument used by God in pointing thousands to the way of salvation.
The eighteenth-century revival under the ministry of George Whitefield and others left in its wake a great need for pastors, raised up by God, to winnow the chaff from the wheat and gather together God’s scattered sheep into a permanent spiritual home. William Huntington was such a man. One contributor to the Gospel Magazine wrote, ‘No one since the apostolic age, I think has so plainly instructed, and so clearly set forth to the church, the manner in which the Lord carries out his work in the souls of his people.’
Huntington, a controversial figure in his own lifetime, has continued to be controversial right up to the present day. He has been accused of being conceited, dogmatic, vindictive, tyrannical, inaccessible, and of having faulty doctrinal views. George Ella shows that Huntington was in fact a very humble man, conscious of his failings, generous and hospitable almost to a fault, and constantly surrounded by friends and family. Where he was accused of conceit and dogmatism this was because he was prepared to stand firm for the great truths of the Bible and the Reformation in face of opposition from those who were themselves departing from the true faith.
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