Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Suffering Friends in Scotland
DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN,
Who have partaken of the tender mercy and blessed visitation of the Lord.
Oh, blessed be the Lord, who pitied and helped us in our low estate, and whose tender love and mercy hath followed us, from his first visiting us, to this present day! And indeed, the Lord is <513> with us, (what can we desire more?) preparing us for himself, preserving us in the life of his blessed truth, building us up more and more, and causing his Spirit of glory and living power to rest upon us, and the virtue thereof to spring up in us day by day.
Oh, the beauty and glory of the day of our God increaseth upon his heritage, blessed be the name of the Lord! And to what tend all the workings of the contrary spirit and power, but to eat out its own interest and kingdom, through the Lord's blessed ordering of things; so that all things work together for good, and for the advancing of truth, and the growth of it in the hearts of God's heritage.
So, my dear friends, none look out, either at outward or inward sufferings; but to the Lord only, whose life, Spirit, and power is above them, and bears up all over them, who are in spirit joined to him, faithfully waiting upon him; which God daily teaches and enables his to do. Thus, my dear friends, feel the Lord's presence and power among you, who is always near his, but especially in the time of their straits, trials, and sufferings: and wait to feel the life springing, and doing its proper work in each of you day by day; working out what is to be wrought out in any, and working more and more into the glory of the heavenly image; that through the sufferings, ye may come into the glory, and be crowned with the glory, virtue, holiness, righteousness, and dominion of life over all; and thus the Son may sit upon his throne in you, and wield his holy and righteous sceptre, and give you dominion in and with him, over all that would veil life, or keep it under, in any of you. So, my dear friends, be strong in the Lord, with the strength of the Lord, with which he is clothing those whom he hath emptied and made weak; for the trials, temptations, and afflictions prepare for, and (as I may say) lead into the possession of, the desired inheritance; where all that the soul hath breathed and waited for is bestowed upon it, by the bountiful hand of the Father of mercies, who keeps covenant and mercy for ever, and renews covenant and mercy day by day.
So the tender God of my life, and Father of the blessings and mercies of my once greatly distressed and miserable soul, instruct you, preserve you, watch over you; exercise your spirits most advantageously, daily open you to himself; keep you empty <514> and naked before him of all your own clothing and righteousness, and fill you with that which flows from the pure, living fountain; to the unspeakable joy of your hearts, and the glory of his own name over all for ever.
Be of good faith, my dear friends, look not out at any thing; fear none of those things ye may be exposed to suffer, either outwardly or inwardly; but trust the Lord over all, and your life will spring, and grow, and refresh you, and the love and power will purge out, and keep out, what would hinder its growth; and ye will learn obedience and faithfulness more and more, even by your exercises and sufferings; yea, the Lord will teach you the very mystery of faith and obedience; (oh blessed lesson!) and ye shall not be disappointed of your hope or crown, by any thing the enemy can plot or bring about against you, but have the weight of glory increased and enlarged by his temptations and your many sufferings; the wisdom, power, love, and goodness of the Lord, ordering every thing for you, and ordering your hearts in every thing, -- you having given up to him, and keeping them continually given up to him, in the holy seed of truth, in which he hath in some measure already joined, and is daily more and more joining, you to himself.
This is the salutation and tender visit of the love of your brother in the truth; whose breathings are to God for you, and his praises unto him, through the sense of his being with you, and daily showing mercy to you, upholding and preserving you in the midst of your sore trials and afflictions.
London, 5th of Fifth Month, 1676