Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > To One who Sent a Paper of Richard Baxter's




Whom I often remember with love and meltings of heart; desiring of God, that thou mayst enjoy, in this world, what of his presence and pure life he judgeth fit for thee, and that thy soul may, after this life, sit down in rest and peace with him for ever.

I received from thee a paper of Richard Baxter's, sent, I believe, in love; and, in love, am I pressed to return unto thee my sense thereof. It seems to me very useful and weighty as far as it goes; but, indeed, there is a great defect in it, in not directing sinners to that principle of life and power, wherein and whereby they may do that which he exhorteth them to do. For how can they come to a true sensibility or repentance, or join in covenant with God through Christ, until they know and receive somewhat from God, wherein it may be done? O my dear friend! that he, and thou, and all who in any measure turn from this world, and do indeed desire life eternal, might know the instruction of life, and feel that from God wherein he is known, loved, and joined with in covenant; that so, there might be a pure beginning, a pure growth and going on unto perfection, and not notions concerning things set up in the earthly understanding, which easily putrify and defile; but pure life, felt and enjoyed in the heart, which is undefiled, and never saw nor shall see corruption. I have not freedom to write many words; but my love breathes for thee, and my life desires fellowship with thee, (if it may seem good unto my God,) in that which is pure of him, and will remain so for ever.

And whatever men may say or think of me, I have no other religion now, than I had from the beginning; only a clearer leading into and guidance by that principle of life, in and through which, it pleased the Lord then to quicken me. And this is it, <466> which I have daily experience of in my heart; that it is no less than the light of the everlasting day, in which the renewed man is to walk, and no less than the life of the Son, (whom God gave a ransom for sinners,) which can quicken man so to do; and none but Christ, none but Christ, by his life revealed in the soul, and blood shed there to wash it, can save the poor sinner from sin, wrath, and misery; and my hope is not in what I have done, do, or can do; but in what he hath done without me, and also doth in me.

This is the account of my love unto thee, drawn forth at this time by the outward expression of thine in sending that paper, who remain, and, from my first acquaintance, have ever been, a Friend and lover of thee.

I. P.

Peter's Chalfonte, 19th of Sixth Month, 1665