Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Isaac Penington > Isaac Penington to M. Hiorns
I received two letters from thee lately, whereby the sense is revived in me of thy great love to me, and the Lord's great goodness to thee, in administering that which rejoiceth and refresheth thee.
Now, this advice ariseth in my heart. Oh! keep cool and low before the Lord, that the seed, the pure, living seed, may spring more and more in thee, and thy heart be united more and more to the Lord therein. Coolness of spirit is a precious frame; and the glory of the Lord most shines therein, in its own lustre and brightness; and when the soul is low before the Lord, it is still near the seed, and preciously (in its life) one with the seed. And when the seed riseth, thou shalt have liberty in the Lord to rise with it; only take heed of that part which will be outrunning it, and getting above it, and so, not ready to descend again, and keep low in the deeps with it.
O my friend! I have a sense, that this hath been the error of that people that thou hast formerly walked with: and I observe in thy spirit yet a liability thereto; which the Lord give thee to watch against, that thou mayst come to a pure observation and discerning of the everlasting, unchangeable seed in thy own heart, and mayst daily feel thy mind bowed down and worship in it, become wholly leavened into it, and perfectly changed and preserved by it.
We are here but awhile in this world, for the Lord to make use of us, and serve himself by us; and so, by his ordering of us, to fit us for the crown of glory, which he will give us fully to wear in the other world. Now, feel the child's nature, which chooseth nothing, but desires the fulfilling of the Father's will in it. I cannot desire to enjoy any thing (saith the nature of the true birth), but as the Father, of himself, pleaseth to give me to enjoy. There is a time to want, as well as to abound, while we are in this world. And the times of wanting, as well as abounding, are greatly advantageous to us. How should faith, love, patience, meekness, and the excellency and sufficiency of God's grace shine, but by, in, and through the many exercises and varieties of conditions, wherewith the Lord visiteth his? Yea, the <8> greatest in the life, power, and glory of the Lord, have the greatest trials and exercises, which is to their advantage, as also for the good and benefit of others, and to the great honor and glory of the Lord. Oh! at all times, and in all conditions, take heed of a will, take heed of a wisdom, above the seed's will, and above the seed's wisdom.
Let the Lord alone be all in thee, and make thee every day what he pleaseth; and, in due time, thou shalt know a life, -- even the seed's life, the Son's life, -- whom all of the angels are to worship, -- and the mystery of whose life the angels desire to look into, as it is revealed and brought forth! So, be still and quiet, and silent before the Lord; not putting up any request to the Father, nor cherishing any desire in thee, but in the seed's lowly nature and purely springing life; and the Lord give thee the clear discerning, in the lowly seed, of all that springs and arises in thy heart.
Thou didst read precious things of the seed when thou wast here, written outwardly; oh that thou mightst read the same things, written inwardly in thy own heart; which that thou mayst do, become as a weaned child, not exercising thyself in things too high or too wonderful for thee. Every secret thing, every spiritual mystery, but what God opens to thee, is too high and wonderful for thee. And if the Lord at any time open to thee deep mysteries, fear before the Lord; and go no further into them than the Lord leads thee. The error is still in the comprehending, knowing mind, but never in the lowly, weighty seed of life; -- whither the Lord God of my life more and more lead thee, and counsel thee to take up thy dwelling place there, daily instructing thee so to do. For the greatest, as well as the least, must be daily taught of the Lord, both in ascending and descending, or they will miss their way; yea, they must be daily taught of him to be silent before him, and know [what it is] to be still in him, or they will be apt to miss in either.
This from thy friend,
Amersham, Woodside, 4th of Fifth Month, 1679.