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Benjamin B. Wisner. Memoirs of the Late Mrs. Susan Huntington. 2nd ed. (Boston, 1826), frontispiece.

SUSAN HUNTINGTON (1791 - 1823)

Susan Huntington was born in Killingworth, Connecticut, the town where her father, the Rev. Achilles Mansfield was a pastor. In 1809, following her marriage to the Rev. Joshua Huntington, she moved to Boston where her husband was pastor of the Old South Church. She was well read in the Bible and biblical commentaries, which she used to form her own theological views. She participated in biblical and female societies in addition to devoting a great deal of time and energy to the spiritual training of her children.

Upon her death, four years after the Rev. Huntington’s, the congregation of the Old South Church requested that her husband’s successor, the Rev. Benjamin Wisner, write her memoir. It includes many letters from Mrs. Huntington to various acquaintances, frequently giving spiritual advice on a variety of topics. To a prospective minister she writes how baptism alone is not sufficient for salvation:

“That baptism is not regeneration, appears to me so plain, from the scriptures and the best observation of the world around us, as to need no other demonstration. If it be, I do not see that any can be saved, but those who have been baptized; for our Saviour explicitly affirms that ‘except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ And can you adopt a sentiment which leads to such a conclusion?

You seem, however, rather to suppose that regeneration may be regarded, as always accompanying baptism, when the subject is presented in the proper spirit. But … do we not sometimes see the best parents, who, we cannot doubt, have, in faith, dedicated their offspring to God, and by both precept and example, taught them the way of righteousness, afflicted with children who are utter strangers to the power of divine grace.” (p. 19)

Another portrait appears in:

David F. Bacon, ed. Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women of Britain and America (Hartford, 1833), plate containing five separate portraits opposite p. [300].



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