Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Miles Stanclif (1668)




Thou art often in my heart; and indeed, I do many times bow unto the Father of spirits, for the preservation of whatever is good in thee, for the clear discovery to thee of what is not of his pure life, and for the separation of thy mind from it; that the life of Christ may conquer in thee, and thou thereby be fully redeemed to the Lord. I often inquire after thee; and when I hear of any tenderness or diligence in thee towards the truth, my heart rejoiceth therein.

Dear friend, deceit is very deep, and hath much prevailed; but the Lord is gathering out of it, and preparing such, by the power of his life, against future snares. O dear friend! take heed of thy own wisdom, thy own sense, thy own judgment, which thou mayest easily, through mistake, call the Lord's; but to have all that is of self searched out and brought under, and the mind made truly sensible of, and fully subject to, the life in every thing, -- this is a sore travel; and it is very hard to come hither, through all deceits and entanglements. The Lord entirely join thy mind to that and preserve thee in that, which gives thee at any <424> time a sense of truth, and of those who are in the truth: these are to be known and honored in the Lord, according to their growth. And take heed of that which prejudices and disjoins; but feel and cleave to that which uniteth in love, life, and pure power. Know that unity and fellowship which is in the spirit; and keep it, keep it in the bond of pure peace: and take heed, oh for ever take heed of whatever would break the bond! but that which makes of one mind and one judgment, one heart and one soul, that is the living principle, that is the living power, which all the members of the body are to inhabit and be one in. And watch against the reasonings of the mind, and the thoughts of thy heart; watch to the sense which riseth up in the fear, in the love, in the humility, that thou mayest feel the leadings of God's Spirit, and come through all that stands in thy way; having the help of all whom the Lord hath ordained, and made able to be helpers to thee. For life is not to be limited, but we are to be limited by that which is of the life; and in cases of doubt, it is the ordinance of the Lord, for the weak to receive counsel and help from the strong, and for the lesser to be watched over and blessed by the greater, -- by such as are more grown up in the life, and in the power.

So the Lord God Almighty lead thee fully into, and preserve thee perfectly in, the way everlasting.

Thy friend in the true love,

I. P.

16th of Third month, 1668.