Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Works of Isaac Penington > Isaac Penington to the Poor among Friends


TO THE POOR AMONG FRIENDS, who are relieved by the charity and bowels of love, which God opens in other Friends towards them


Ye ought deeply and often to consider of God's visiting you with his precious truth, whereto being faithful, ye are sure to be happy for ever; how hard soever it should go with you, and how strait soever your condition should be, in reference to the things of this world.

But ye have not only this assurance and benefit by the truth, but ye are also come to partake of a better provision, as to your necessities outwardly, than other poor meet with. For God himself takes care of you, in drawing the hearts of his children to consider of your wants, and make supply unto you; so that many of you are so provided for, as ye had never like to have been while in this world, had it not been for the interest God gives you in the hearts of others, through and because of his truth. Surely this should not be forgotten by you, but daily acknowledged to the Lord, in the use and enjoyment of those things, which ye ought to receive as from his hand, through those who minister to you in his name, and for his sake.

And take heed of murmuring, if the supply answer not any of your expectations; for if we wait upon the Lord, to be ordered and guided by him in this matter, and answerably witness his presence with us, and holy wisdom ordering us in these affairs; your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord. And if ye watch narrowly over yourselves, ye will find it is the <11> unsubdued part, which is apt to be repining and murmuring; but that which is of the Lord, and eyes him, is that which is sensible of his goodness, and thankful to him for it. But if there be judged to be any neglect towards any, or any just cause of complaint; let it, in tenderness, meekness, and the fear of the Lord, be laid before us; and we will wait upon him to give it a due and full consideration, and do therein as the Lord shall open and guide our hearts. For great exercises of spirit do we meet with in these affairs, and great are our cries of spirit to the Lord, to guide and order us according to his will and holy counsel therein.

And dear Friends, wait to feel that which stays your minds on the Lord, and keeps your eye towards him; and take heed of judging us in things, wherein we truly desire to act singly towards the Lord, and of which we must give an account to him; and if ye in any thing judge us, wherein our God justifies us, certainly the Lord will therein condemn you. Therefore be wary and watchful in this matter.

I. P.