Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Widow Hemmings (1670)




Whom I truly love, and whose prosperity in the truth I earnestly desire. Because I find thy mind much engaged about <437> one thing; to wit, receiving bread and wine in remembrance of Christ's death, which I am tender to thee in; yet withal, it is on my heart at this time to say somewhat to thee; perhaps the Lord may open thy mind, and let thee into some sense of the thing.

There is a supper, or supping with Christ, beyond outward bread and wine, which he promised to those that heard his voice, opened the door, and let him in. Rev. 3:20. Now it is that supper, it is the desire of my heart thou mayst be acquainted with, and partake of. And as thou comest to be acquainted with it, and partake of it, thou wilt call it the feast of fat things, and of wines on the lees well refined. Christ said, "Henceforth I will drink no more of this fruit of the vine, till I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." What wine, what fruit of the vine is it which Christ drinks new with his disciples in his Father's kingdom? Is it not that wine, which he and they drink now together when he sups with them? Oh, the Lord give thee an understanding, that thou mayst come to the substance, feel substance, and inherit substance for ever!

"Flee from idolatry, my dearly beloved," said the apostle. 1 Cor. 10:14. What idolatry did he mean? "I speak as to wise men," said he "judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" About the outward cup and bread, might they not easily run into idolatry? but they that knew, discerned, and minded the body and blood indeed, they did not run into idolatry. "For we being many, are one bread and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread." Oh, deep, deep, indeed! The bread which comes down from heaven, that is the bread which gives life to the soul: and unless we eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, we have no life in us. And if we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we become one flesh with him, and bone of his bone; yea, we become of the same bread with him, and so of the one body of the living bread.

My dear friend, the Lord give thee an understanding, and open thy heart, and cause thee to grow into union and into sense of his truth; that by growing up in the truth, thou mayst come more and more to understand it, and be acquainted with it.

<438> Thy unfeigned friend in the truth which is pure,

I. P.

Reading Jail, 3rd of Sixth Month, 1670