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write to my dear wife, and let her know all is well; write also to my children to improve the hints I have frequently given them for their conduct, while I was with them, and since.” Observing me to do all in my power, he said, “The Lord refresh thy spirit, for thou hast often refreshed this body. Thou hast watched this house completely, and whether I live or die thou wilt get thy reward." He asked me about going to rest; I told him I should not leave him that night; we would both stay with him.“And,” said he, “will you watch with me one night more?” which indicated to me he did not expect many. On asking him how he felt himself, he said, “ I am here pent up and confined in a narrow compass. This is a trying time, but my mind is above it all.” I often perceived praise and sweet melody in his mind, when few words escaped him. On third-day he often asked what o'clock it was, and said, “When shall I be released ?” At night the fever increased upon him, and being restless, he said, “ I want to be settled. Dear Betty, when shall I be settled ?" We were anxiously concerned that his affliction might be shortened, and it did not continue long; but-Oh! the strength of his mind, and how divinely supported in the midst of this conflict, that he triumphantly said, “Truth reigns over all.” And soon after quietly departed in great peace, about three o'clock on fourth-day morning, the 9th of the 9th month, 1772.
As further evidence of the religious concern and exercises of William Hunt, the following letters written by him are introduced.
Letter from William Hunt, to James and Ann
Salem, near Boston, 13th of 12th mo. 1767. Dearly beloved friends,
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the fellowship of his children, and sweet their remembrance one of another; because the odour of his ointment sends forth a fragrant smell. This my joy is full in every remembrance of you, in that love which first gave birth to the covenant of life in our spirits, making them truly one, in the pure hope and feeling of gospel power. In this we have had a near union and sympathy, with full assurance that the Lord Almighty hath called us out of darkness, into the true light of his dear Son; through whom we have seen wonderful things, and unutterable. We have likewise sorrowfully to behold the deluge of apostacy that covers our Sion, as with a thick cloud. But, dear friends, in Goshen there is light; which makes the dwellings of Jacob beautiful, and the tents of Israel goodly.
We have had a very pleasant journey ;-came to Mystictown, near Boston, on seventh-day night, and next morning came to Salem. I dont know but we shall go to Cases, without having another meeting. This day, as I sat in meeting, a language passed thro' my mind, Hasten,-hasten to visit my seed through the land, that thou may go where I send thee. Whether this be to the grave, or to a distant land, I leave;-only petition the great Name to preserve me worthy to do all that he hath allotted me, so that I may be fit to be gathered home, in due season.
Dear youth, the affectionate feeling of my spirit towards
you, I shall never forget, but often fervently desire that you may come into the house of the Lord, to behold the beauty of true holiness forever. I conclude, with mine and companion's dear love, your (often very poor but) true friend,
To John Hunt, of New Jersey.
1st month, 1771. John Hunt,-Dearly beloved cousin, whom I often remember in the pure seed, with secret strong desires, that thou with thy dear wife may be kept under the humbling hand and refining power of Truth, till the glory of his great work is finished, and you know an enlargement of heart, and opening of understanding in the heavenly mystery of his kingdom.
With affectionate regard, I salute you, little children, in the greatest haste-farewell.
To Peter Harvey.
London, the 2d of 6th mo. 1771. Peter and Mary Harvey,-my right dear and inwardly beloved relations, not only by consanguinity, but by the internal seed, and heavenly birth of immortal life, shed abroad in our hearts; thro' which we are joined in the holy union of soul, far transcending all outward connexions;-to you is the salutation of my very dear and true love in the heavenly mystery. By these you will understand, that thro' favour, we are safely arrived in London, having had a short and comfortable passage; though my dear companion was very sick for two weeks, so that his
life was in suspense for some time, but afterwards got better. We got to our lodging in London in twenty-eight days after we parted with you. It is with sweetness and affection, I often think of and remember your united love, regard, and willingness to join me in the holy cause of Truth. The Shepherd of Israel, the Preserver of men, will be your keeper, shield and buckler, to support and enable you to persevere the residue of time in holy fear. Though many, very many are the clouds of thick darkness that overspread our hemisphere; yet when we consider, he hath his ways in the clouds, and that thick darkness is his covering,—having chosen him for our portion, we may say, “Though we walk in the valley of death, we fear not evil, for he is on our right hand.” May it become the deep and humble concern of
minds, beloveds in the seed of life, to press with unwearied diligence after this assured confidence in Him who hath so richly manifested himself unto us.
With love unfeigned to your family, cousin John, Job, with their wives, and all relations who may ask after us, with Sarah Bunting and Meribah Fowler, I subscribe myself your affectionate cousin, being only absent in this little frame.
My companion joins in the offers of love to you all.
To John Hunt.
Liverpool, 1st mo. 10th, 1772. John and Esther Hunt,-My right dear and wellbeloved little cousins, it is with feeling nearness and uniting regard, I now salute you;-desiring above
all things, your steady obedience to the Truth as manifested by the witness thereof—not in any exalted notions, or high imaginations, but in the low vallies of deep humility, where the seven mysteries are unsealed, and the counsel and purpose of true wisdom respecting us is opened in a very intelligible manner. By which, when attended to with integrity and firmness, strength is received adequate to every trust reposed, so as to come up in a faithful discharge of the same—the reward whereof is peace, and the running of rivers of joy by the fertile banks of Shiloh's fountain; where the soul drinks deep draughts, is refreshed, and grows strong. Being brought to the Shepherd's tent, it feeds on heavenly bread, and becomes well disciplined in its warfare as a good soldier, able to endure hardness and trials for Truth's
I desire that this may be your happy experience, dear children, amidst all the crowding cares and cumbering concerns of a perishing world, which fades as a flower, and is seen no more. It is with sweetness and satisfaction I often remember you and the pleasant moments we had together; while length of time and a distant land have not in the least diminished, but rather increased the cordial notes of celestial converse, in a language not easy to write with pen and ink. But you, I trust, will be instructed in a school where you can read the character of true friendship in other lines.
I am, with my dear companion, well; he joins in love, which concludes me your very affectionate friend and cousin,
WILLIAM HUNT. P. S. Give our very dear love to cousin Robert