Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Isaac Penington > Isaac Penington to Abraham Grimsden
Thou hast made some profession of truth, and at times come amongst us; but whether thou hast been changed thereby, and been faithful to the Lord in what has been made manifest to thee, belongs unto thee diligently to inquire. There is no safe dallying with truth. He that puts his hand to the plow, must not look back at any thing of this world; but take up the cross and follow Christ, in the single-hearted obedience, hating father, mother, goods, lands, wife, yea, all for His sake; or he is not worthy of Him. The good hand of the Lord is with his people, and he blesseth them both inwardly and outwardly; and they that seek the kingdom of heaven, and the righteousness thereof, in the first place, have other things also added: but they that neglect the kingdom, and are unfaithful to truth, seeking the world before it, the hand of the Lord goes forth against them, and they many times, miss of that also of the world, which they seek and labor for.
Truth is honorable. Oh! take heed of bringing a reproach upon it, by pretending to it, and yet not being of it, in the pure <28> sense and obedience, which it begets and brings forth in the hearts and lives of the faithful. But if any be careless and unfaithful to what they are convinced of, and so, for the present, bring a reproach upon God's truth, which is altogether innocent thereof; the Lord, in his due time, will wipe off that reproach from his truth and people; but the sorrow and burden will light upon themselves, which will be very bitter and heavy to them, in the day that the Lord shall visit them with his righteous judgments.
Oh, consider rightly and truly! It had been better for thee, thou hadst never known truth, nor been directed to the principle and path of righteousness; than, after direction thereto, to turn from the holy commandments, and deny obedience to the righteous One. The Lord give thee true sense and repentance, if it be his holy pleasure, and raise thee out of this world's spirit, to live to him in his own pure Spirit. It is easy to profess and make a show of truth, but hard to come into it. It is very hard to the earthly mind, to part with that which must be parted with for it, before the soul can come to possess and enjoy it. Profession of truth, without the life and power, is but a slippery place, which men may easily slide from; nay, indeed, if men be not in the life and power, they can hardly be kept from that which will stain their profession. The Lord, who searcheth the heart, knows how it is with thee: oh, consider thy ways, and fear before him, and take heed of taking his name in vain, for he will not hold such guiltless!
I am, in this, faithful and friendly to thy soul, desiring its eternal welfare, and that it may not for ever perish from the presence and power of the Lord.