Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to a Couple About to Marry (1668)




It is a great and weighty thing that ye are about; and ye have need of the Lord's leading and counsel therein, that it may be done in the unity of his life; that so Friends in Truth may feel it to be of God, and find satisfaction therein.

Friends, the affectionate part will be forward in things of this nature, unless it be yoked down; and it will persuade the mind to judge such things to be right and of the Lord, when indeed they are not so. Now, if it be not of the Lord, but the affectionate part, Friends cannot have unity with it, nor will it prove a blessing to you; but you will find it an hurt to your conditions, and a <423> load upon your spirits afterwards, and the fruits and effects of it will not be good, but evil; and then, perhaps, ye will wish that ye had waited more singly and earnestly upon the Lord, in relation to the thing; and that ye had taken more time, and consulted more with Friends, before there had been any engagement of affections. The Lord, by his providence, hath given you a little time of respite. Oh, retire unto him, and abase yourselves before him, and pray him to counsel you, by his good Spirit, for your good! that, if it be not of the Lord, the power, being waited upon by you, may loosen your affections in this respect. But if it be of the Lord, and be orderly brought before Friends, and their counsel and advice sought in the fear of the Lord, they will have unity with it, and with gladness express their unity; which may be a strength unto you, against the tempter afterwards.

This is in true love to you, and in singleness of heart, the Lord knoweth. From your friend in the truth.

I. P.

4th of Third Month, 1668.