Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Friends in Chalfonts (1666)




I am separated, as to bodily presence, from you; but I cannot forget you, because ye are written on my heart, and I cannot but desire your peace and welfare, as of my own soul.

And this is my present cry for you. Oh that ye might feel the breath of life, that life which at first quickened you, and which still quickeneth, being felt; and that breath of life has power over death; and being felt by you, will bow down death in you, and ye will feel the seed lifting up its head over that which oppresseth it. Why should the royal birth be a captive in any of you? Why should any of you travail, and not bring forth? Why should sin have dominion in any of you, and not rather grace reign in its life and power in you all? Oh that ye may receive quickenings! Oh that ye may receive help! Oh that ye may be led into the true subjection, which brings forth the true dominion! Indeed, I cry for my own soul, and I cry for yours also, that in one virtue and power of life, we may be knit together, and serve the Lord our God in perfect unity of spirit.

O Father, blow upon flesh in us all, dry it up at the roots, let all the births thereof die in us, and its womb become barren; that no more fruit may be brought unto death and unrighteousness; but let thy pure principle live in us, and the womb, that hath been too long barren, abound with seed unto thee; that we may be, to thy praise, a vineyard of thy own planting, watering, and dressing, bringing forth pure holy fruits, pleasant to thy taste; that thou mayest never repent of the especial love, favour, and mercy thou hast shown to us, in gathering us out of the world, and from amidst the many professions; but mayest follow <472> us with the same love and delight, to do us good for ever; and we may be found walking worthy of thy tender visits, and the great mercy thou has shown us, and of the great things we yet hope for from thee.

My Friends, what shall I say unto you? Oh! the Lord keep you living and sensible, and let your walking and converse be with him, both in private and in your assemblings; be serious in your spirits, that ye may feel the weight of his seed springing up in you, and resting upon you, to poise your hearts towards him. And let the earthly thoughts, desires, and concerns, which eat like a canker, be kept out by the power of that life, which is yours, as ye abide in covenant with him that hath gathered you, by his pure light shining in you. Oh that ye may all dwell there! and not draw back into the earthly nature, where the enemy lies lurking to entangle and catch your minds, and bring you to a loss.

Feel my bowels of love and tender care of you in the quickening life of God; and the Lord God watch over you for good, to perfect his work in you, and draw your hearts nearer and nearer to himself, until they be quite swallowed up of him; that ye may at last find your hearts fitted for, and welcomed into, the bosom of your Beloved, and there may sit down in the rest and joy of his fulness for evermore; which is the blessed end of the Lord's love to you, and all the faithful travails which have been for you.

Your Friend and brother in the Truth.

I. P.

From my place of confinement in Aylesbury

20th of Fourth Month, 1666

Even when ye were sitting together, waiting on the Lord (some of you, I doubt not), did these things spring up in my heart towards you; and if ye taste any sweetness or refreshment in them, bow to the Fountain, and be sensible of his praise springing in the midst of you.