Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Widow Hemmings (1673)




I think it long since I heard from thee. I remember the sweet and precious savor that was upon thy spirit, the last time I was with thee, with my dear friend, J.C. It hath been my hope and desire, that the Lord might preserve thee therein.

The truth in the inward parts is of God; that is the thing which all are to mind; and in which, acceptance with God is witnessed. Out of the truth in the inward parts, there is no acceptance with God, let men profess what they will or can. In the truth, there is always acceptance; for God never disowned it, nor any that are in it. Here, the flesh and blood which give life are fed on; here, the bread which comes down from heaven and the water of life are known: but out of this, they are not, nor can they be, known.

Oh, my friend, that thou mightest feel more and more the truth in the inward parts, and be more and more established <502> therein! What is the feeding outward, or supper outward? It is but a shadow. The feeding inward, or the supper inward, is the substance. And as the day dawns, and the day-star arises in thy heart, the shadows will flee away, and the substance be discovered, owned, and delighted in by thee. The shadows reach but to the outward part, but the ministration of life, the ministration of the substance, reaches to the seed: and thou must be more and more transplanted into the seed, that Christ may be formed in thee, and thou formed in him; and so grow up into his heavenly nature and image, -- out of the earthly, out of the natural. Oh! the Lord God prosper his own seed and holy plantation in thy heart; and keep thee in the meek, lowly, humble, poor, and tender spirit, unto which is his mercy and blessing.

I expected to have heard from thee, or at least from thy daughter S., before this time, supposing I had a promise thereof from her. The Lord uphold, preserve, and bless her. Let her not look out, but only look within, what the will of the Lord is; and mind nothing else; and it will be well with her.

My dear love is both to thee and her, who am thy sincere friend,

I. P.

4th of Ninth Month, 1673