Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Isaac Penington > Isaac Penington to S. W.


TO S. W.


I ever had a love to thee, and a deep sense of the serious work of God upon thy heart, and the upright desires of thy soul after Him. And, that the Lord should yet preserve thee alive, in the midst of so great and languishing weakness, is wonderful in my eye, and I hope, hath a tendency of some honor to his name, and good to thee. I have often inquired of late concerning thee, and was glad to understand what I inquired after, by a letter from thy own hand; upon reading whereof, in the retired sense of my heart, I felt love arise to thee, and breathings to the Lord for thee; and, oh that thou mayst fully feel, and be joined to the seed of life, the seed of the kingdom, which our Lord Jesus Christ, in the days of his flesh, did not disdain to be a prophet of.

O my dear friend! let not any part of thy life lie in notions above the seed, but let it all lie in the seed itself, in thy waiting upon the Lord for its arisings in thee, and in thy feeling its arisings. Oh! what becomes of flesh, and self, and self-righteousness, when this lives in the heart? My religion, which I now daily bless my God for, began in this seed; which, when I first felt, and discerningly knew from the Lord, my cry to him was, oh, this is it I have longed after and waited for! Oh, unite my soul to thee in this for ever! this is thy Son's gift from thee, thy Son's grace, thy Son's truth, thy Son's life, thy Son's Spirit! I desire no more, than to be made nothing in myself, that this may be all in me: and what I meet with and witness here, what I feel the Lord Jesus Christ to be made to me here, none knows, or possibly can know, but they that have felt the pure power of the Spirit of life, and have been led by it into the same holy and blessed experience.

Ah! sin hath no share here, in this blessed seed; but is excluded by the life and power which is stronger than it. Here Christ is formed in the soul, of a truth, here the black garments of unrighteousness, yea, of man's righteousness too, are put off, and <2> the white raiment put on; here the holy image is brought forth in the heart, even the image of the dear Son, which partakes of the divine nature of the Father; here the soul is new created in Christ Jesus, here is no deceit in any kind met with, but only truth from God, even the true life, light, virtue, power, of the Lord Jesus Christ, as livingly felt in the heart, and as effectually operating there, as ever the power of sin did. Oh that thou mightst daily discern this, and feel this to grow up in thee more and more, and die to all notions, even of the heavenly things themselves, out of this; that thy soul may fully live in the life, Spirit, and power of the Lord Jesus Christ; and nothing but his life, Spirit, and power may live in thee; to the glory of God the Father, and to the great joy and gladdening of thy heart in his presence! Amen.

Thy friend, in the true, sincere love of the heavenly, everlasting seed.

I. P.

13th of Twelfth Month, 1678