Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Elizabeth Stonar (1670)




I am sensible that the Lord hath visited thee with his power, reaching to thy heart in the demonstration of his own Spirit, and that thy heart hath answered, and said in the inward of thy soul, <455> It is God's truth indeed. Now so far as God hath reached to thee, so far it behooves thee to confess him, his truth, and people before men, and to give up in obedience and subjection of spirit to the Lord. And if thou say in the simplicity of thy heart, to any that have any tenderness, Thus it is with me; I believe from my heart this or this is of God; what shall I do? shall I give up in obedience thereto, or shall I disobey the Lord, grieve his Spirit, and wound my own soul? This will reach that which is of God in any; and this will wound and trouble that which is not of God.

The Lord guide thee, and pity thee, and help thee in thy straits, and doubts, and fears, and troubles, both in reference to thyself and mother. God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit, in the gospel of his Son, that I have not sought myself, but your good; and that not of myself either, but in the leadings and drawings of his Holy Spirit. And I gave thy husband a warning, in true and tender love; though I knew well enough how hard it would be to his spirit in its present state, and what a bitter enemy he might become to me for telling him the truth. I did it not unadvisedly, but in the weight of my spirit before the Lord; and I heartily wish that he were not deceived in heart concerning his own state, but truly knew it as it is.

Thy soul's true and sincere-hearted friend,

I. P.


There is light, which enlightens the soul, or it remains in darkness: "Ye were darkness," said the apostle, "but now are ye light in the Lord." Now no man can become light in the Lord, unless his nature and spirit be renewed, and changed out of darkness into light. Now the question is, what this light is, and where it is to be met with. Are the Scriptures, then, this light? or do they testify of this light? If they testify of this light, then, the light is to be come to, and the soul to be enlightened by it. And he that comes to this light, and is enlightened by it, and walks in the pure shinings thereof, he becomes a child of light; but he that is not enlightened and changed by it, is yet a child of darkness, notwithstanding whatsoever he learns, professeth, or practiseth, by imitation from the Scriptures. This is a weighty matter.

Oh come! be not wedded to your own ways, nor prejudiced <456> against what God hath taught others; but let things be fairly scanned, that all things may be proved, and that which is good held fast; for truth will not lose ground by being tried; but darkness is afraid of the light, because it has a secret sense that it cannot stand before it.

I. P.

16th of Twelfth Month, 1670