Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to _____ _____ (1667)


TO _______ _______


Thou hast had the path of salvation faithfully testified of to thee, and hast come to a sense of the thing; even to the feeling of that, whereby the Father begets life, and manifesteth his love and peace in and to the soul. Now, what remains? but that thou look up to the Lord, to guide thy feet in this path, and to preserve from that which darkens and leads out of the way; that thou mayst pass on thy journey safely, and come to the inheritance and enjoyment of that which thy soul longeth after.

There is life, there is peace, there is joy, there is righteousness, there is health, there is salvation, there is a power of redemption, in the seed: yea, there is so. But thy soul wants, and doth not enjoy these things. Well, but how mayst thou come to enjoy them? There is no way, but union with the seed; knowing the seed, hearing the voice of the seed, learning of, and becoming subject to, the seed. "Learn of me, take my yoke upon you," saith Christ, "and ye shall find rest to your souls." Wouldst thou feel thy soul's rest in Christ? Thou must know the seed's voice, hear it, learn daily of him, become his disciple; take up, from his nature, what is contrary to thy nature. And <500> then, as thy nature is worn out, and his nature comes up in thee, thou wilt find all easy; all that is of life easy, and transgression hard, unbelief hard: yea, thou wilt find it very hard and unnatural, when the nature of the seed is grown up in thee, either to distrust the Lord or hearken to his enemy. And then thou wilt change that dwelling-place (into which Satan brings dark thoughts, suggestions, and reasonings) for the dwelling place which is from above, which is the habitation of the righteous; wherein there is light, life, peace, satisfaction, health, salvation, and rejoicing of soul from and before the Lord.

Now, do not say, Who shall do thus for me? but know, the arm of the Lord is mighty, and brings mighty things to pass; and that arm hath been revealed in thee, and is at work for thee. Oh that thou couldst trust it! (why canst thou not! hath it not sown a seed of faith in thee?) and come into and abide in the path, wherein its mighty, powerful operations are felt and made manifest! And, oh that thou mayst find ability, to watch against that which bows down, and not so let in, as thou hast done exceedingly, to the grievous wounding and distressing of thy soul! For the enemy's dark suggestions work according to their nature; and if thou let them lie upon thee, how can they but darken, afflict, and perplex thee?

Therefore, in the evil hour, fly from all things that thus arise in thee; and lie still, feel thy stay, till his light, which "makes manifest," arise in thee, and clear up things to thee. And think not the time of darkness long, but watch, that thy heart be kept empty, and thy mind clear of thoughts and belief of things, till He bring in somewhat, which thou mayst safely receive. Therefore, say to thy thoughts, and to thy belief of things (according to the representation of the dark power, in the time of thy darkness), "Get thee hence!" And if that will not do, look up to the Lord to speak to them; and to keep them out, if they be not already entered, or to thrust them out if they be already got in. And if he do not so presently, or for a long time, yet do not murmur or think much, but wait till he do. Yea, though they violently thrust themselves upon thee, and seem to have entered thy mind, yet let them be as strangers to thee; <501> receive them not, believe them not, know them not, own them not; and thy bosom will, notwithstanding, be chaste in the eye of the Lord, though they may seem to thee to have defiled thee.

Look up to the Father, that thou mayest learn this of him: and, becoming faithful to him therein, thou wilt find thy darkness abate, and its strength more and more broken in thee; and thou wilt not only feel and taste a little, now and then, but also come to possess and inherit, and rejoice before the Lord in thy portion.

Thy Friend in the truth, which changeth not, but is pure, and preserveth pure for ever.

I. P.

From Aylesbury Jail, 28th of Seventh Month, 1667