Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to _____ _____ (1666)


TO _______ _______


Thy advantage in thy travels is great over what it hath been; the Lord having given thee a better sight both of thy enemies, and of that wherein his strength against them is revealed.

Now what remains but that thou hope in him, and breathe unto him, and hang upon him; that his virtue may flow into thee, and the mountains and difficulties may pass away, before the presence of the Seed, who is revealed in thee? Look down no more, look out no more; but dwell with thy beloved, in the tent that he hath pitched for thee. Let him do what he will, let him appear how he will, wait on him in the daily exercise; stand still in the faith, and see him working out thy salvation, and scattering the bones of them that have besieged thee. Think not hardly of him by no means; question not his carrying on of his work. He knows what yet he hath to do, and what stratagem the enemy yet hath to surprise and entangle thee. Oh feel his arm stretched out for thee! and be not so much discouraged, in the sight of what is yet to be done, as comforted in his good-will towards thee. 'Tis true, he hath chastened thee with rods and sore afflictions; but did he ever take away his loving kindness from thee? or did his faithfulness ever fail in the sorest, blackest, thickest, darkest, night that ever befell thee? And breathe to him, for the carrying on of his work; that thou mayst feel his presence and life, getting dominion over death daily in thee, more and more. And wait to feel strength of life, that thy growth may be pure, and the holy seed may have dominion and be all in thee.

I. P.

8th of the Eighth Month, 1666

The enemy will be laying snares, and forging subtle devices to darken and bow thee down, which (thou, not being hasty to believe, join with, and let in as true, but waiting on the Lord in singleness, fear, and humility), his light will spring up in thee, and help thee to discern. And oh! how sweet will it be for thee, who hast so often been ensnared, to escape the gins and nets of the fowler, and to dwell in the rest and peace, which thy soul hath tasted of, and which is the proper place of thy habitation.

Indeed, the Lord's thoughts have not been towards thee, as thou hast apprehended all along. His anger was towards the enemy, towards the oppressor, not towards thee. Nor doth he judge and smite the mind, after that manner that the enemy doth accuse; but according to his own nature, sweetness, and tender love. And his judgments and smitings have other effects, than the serpent's accusings and piercings; for they do not drive from him, but they melt, and tender and prepare the heart for union with him. Oh! keep close to the measure of life, wherein thou mayst discern and distinguish these things; and take heed of letting in one bowing-down thought (how manifest or demonstrative soever), but look up to him who hath freely loved, and hath abounded in mercy towards thee; that in the faith, patience, stillness, and meekness of his seed, thou mayst be found always waiting upon him, in the several exercises, wherewith he shall daily see good to exercise thee; till he bring forth his seed in dominion in thee, and thereby give thee thy desired and expected end.

I. P.

9th of the Eighth Month, 1666