Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Isaac Penington > Isaac Penington to Richard Roberts



R. R.

THOU didst acquaint me that Timothy Fly, the Anabaptist teacher, did charge me with denying Christ's humanity, and also the blood of Christ, which was shed at Golgotha, without the gates of Jerusalem; and that I own no other Christ but what is within men.

Sure I am, that neither T. Fly, nor any other man, did ever <20> hear me deny, that Christ, according to the flesh, was born of the Virgin Mary, or that that was his blood, which was shed without the gates of Jerusalem. And the Lord, who knoweth my heart, knoweth, that such a thing never was in my heart; nay, I do greatly value that flesh and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and witness forgiveness of sins and redemption through it. Yet, if I should say, I do not know nor partake of his flesh and blood in the mystery also, I should not be a faithful witness to the Lord. For there is the mystery of God and of Christ; and that is the soul's food which gives life to the soul, even the living bread and the living water. For there is living bread and living water; and the flesh and blood in the mystery, on which the soul feeds, is not inferior in nature and virtue to the bread and water. There is a knowing Christ after the flesh, and there is a knowing him after the Spirit, and a feeding on his Spirit and life; and this doth not destroy his appearing in flesh, or the blessed ends thereof, but confirm and fulfil them.

The owning of Christ being inwardly in his saints, doth not deny his appearing outwardly in the body prepared; unless T. F. can maintain this, that the same Christ that appeared outwardly cannot appear inwardly. "Know ye not your own selves. how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" 2 Cor. 13:5. "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin," &c. Rom. 8:10. "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Col. 1:27. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him." Rev. 3:20. "I will come again," saith Christ: Ye are now in pain, as a woman in travail, full of sorrow for the loss of my outward, bodily presence; but I will come to you again in spirit; see John 16 and John 14:17. "He," that "dwelleth with you, shall be in you:" and then, when the Bridegroom is inwardly and spiritually in you and with you, "your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." John 16:22. And so, the apostles and primitive Christians did "rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory," 1 Peter 1:8, because of the spiritual appearance and presence of the Bridegroom. And yet, there is no other bridegroom, who now appears in spirit, or spiritually in the hearts of his, than He that once appeared in the prepared body, and did the Father's will therein.

I. P.