Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to Thomas Walmsley (1677)




God is love: and he giveth love, and teacheth to love; and with the love which my God hath given me, and wherewith he hath taught me to love, have I loved thee, and sought the everlasting good of thy soul, even as of my own.

This morning, the consideration of thee was strong upon my spirit, how that thou wast stricken in years, and must shortly pass out of this world, and give an account to God; and this earnest desire was in my heart, that thou mightest be fitted and rightly prepared, to give such an account, as the Lord, the great, righteous and impartial Judge, might own and approve of, to thy eternal joy: for which end, two things were upon my heart to propose to thee, to be rightly considered by thee.

One is, whether thou canst truly say, as in God's sight, that thou hast known and experienced Christ within, redeeming thee from sin within. Hath Christ indeed brought salvation home to thy heart? Hast thou known his inward, living power, breaking the strength and power of Satan within thee? Hast thou known Him stronger than the strong man inwardly? Hast thou first known Christ knock at the door of thy heart, and opened to and let him in; and afterwards experienced what he doth in the heart where he is let in? Or hast thou had only a notional knowledge and belief concerning Christ without, and never known what it was to have the Son revealed in thee? Oh that thou mightst know, and experimentally understand this Scripture, <525> before thou go hence and be no more seen, -- "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin" -- and this other also, -- "He that is Christ's hath crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." The Lord God make thee truly weighty and serious, and rightly considerate, and give thee true, unerring judgment; that thou mayst not be deceived about this thing, which is of such deep and everlasting concernment to thy soul!

The other is, whether thou dost experience the sprinkling of the blood of the Lord Jesus upon thy conscience. The Jews were saved by the sprinkling of the blood of the lamb outwardly. The Lamb of God taketh away the sins of the world, by the sprinkling of his blood inwardly. Now, I beseech thee, consider: hast thou only a notion of Christ's blood as it was shed without, or dost thou also know the sprinkling within in thy own heart? Hath God made that new covenant, the everlasting covenant with thee, wherein the blood of sprinkling is felt, and the precious effects of it experienced? for then, indeed, iniquities are forgiven, and sin remembered no more; but the soul comes to witness real justification from sin, and that peace which passeth understanding, which no man can give or take away; neither doth any man know what it is, but he that hath it. Oh that thou mayst know the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and be clothed with it, that thou mayst stand justified in God's sight for ever, at that great day!

I. P.

12th of Eleventh Month, 1677