Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to John Mannock (1668)
It is a wonderful thing, to witness the power of God reaching to the heart, and demonstrating to the soul the pure way to life, as in his sight and presence. Surely he that partakes of this is therein favored by the Lord, and ought diligently to wait, for the giving up to the leadings of his Holy Spirit in every thing; that so, he may travel through all that is contrary to the Lord, into that nature and spirit which is of him. It is a wonderful thing also to witness God's preservation from backsliding, and from being entangled by the subtlety of the enemy; who hath many ways and taking devices to ensnare the simple mind, and draw it from the sense of truth, into some notions and belief of things; wherein the soul may be lulled asleep with hopes and persuasions, but hath not the feeling or enjoyment of the true life and power.
O friend! hast thou a sense of the way to the Father? then, be careful that thy spirit daily bow before him, and wait for breathings to him from his pure Spirit, that he would continue his mercy to thee; keeping thee in the true sense, and making thy way more and more clear before thee every day; yea, and bearing thee up in all the exercises and trials which may befall thee, in every kind; that, by his secret working in thy spirit, and helping thee with a little help from time to time, thou mayest still be advancing nearer and nearer towards the kingdom; until thou find the Lord God administer an entrance unto thee thereinto, and give thee an inheritance of life, joy, righteousness, and peace therein; which is strength unto the soul against sin and death, and against the sorrow and trouble which ariseth in the mind, for <429> want of God's presence and holy power revealed there.
And be not careful after the flesh, but trust the Lord. What though thou art weak, and little; though thou meet with those that are wise and knowing; and almost every way able to reason thee down; what though thou hast not wherewith to answer; yet thou knowest and hast the feeling of God's pure Truth in spirit, with a desire to have the life of it brought forth in thee, and so to witness the change and renewings which are by his power. O dear heart! herein thou art accepted of the Lord, and here his tender love and care will be over thee, and his mercy will daily reach to thee; and thou shalt have true satisfaction in thy heart, and hold the Truth there, where all the reasonings of men, and all the devices of the enemy of thy soul, shall not be able to reach; yea, thou shalt so feel the Lord to help his babe against the strength of the mighty, in the seasons of his good pleasure, as shall exceedingly turn to his praise; and so thou shalt experience that whom God preserves, all the gates of hell shall not be able to prevail against. Therefore look not out at men, or at the words and wisdom of men; but keep where thou hast felt the Lord visit thee, that he may visit thee yet again and again every day, and be teaching thee further and further the way to his dwelling-place, and be drawing thee thither, where is righteousness, life, rest, and peace for ever.
This arose in my heart this morning in tender love towards thee. Look up to the Lord, who can make it useful to thee, to warm, quicken, and strengthen thy heart and mind towards the Lord, and his pure truth, wherewith he has visited thee. And if thou feel any thing therein suitable to the state and condition of thy soul, oh, bow before the Lord! that in the true humility thou mayest confess, and give the glory to him of what belongs to him.
From thy friend in the truth, which cleanseth the heart from iniquity, as it is embraced and dwelt in.
23rd of Tenth Month, 1668.