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Yes indeed, I am fatisfied at my very heart. Truly my heart is united to him whom I longed after, in an everlasting covenant of pure life and peace.
Well then, how came this about ? will fome say.
Why thus. The Lord opened my spirit, the Lord gave me the certain and sensible feeling of the pure seed, which had been with me from the beginning; the Lord caused his holy power to fall upon me, and gave me fuch an inward demonstration and feeling of the seed of life, that I cried out in my spirit, This is be, this is be; there is not another, there never was another. He was always near me, though I knew bim not (not so sensibly, not jo distinctly, as now he was revealed in me and to me by the Father); Ob! that I might now be joined to bim, and be alone might live in me. And so in the willingness, which God had wrought in me (in this day, of his power to my foul), I gave up to be instructed, exercised, and led by him, in the wait ing for and feeling of his holy. seed, that all might be wrought out of me which could not live with the seed, but would be hindering the dwelling and reigning of the feed in me, while it remained and had power. And so I have gone through a fore travail, and fight of afflictions and temptations, of many kinds; wherein the Lord hath been merciful to me in helping me, and preserving the spark of life in me, in the midst of many things which had befallen me, whose nature tended to quench and exţinguish it:
Now, thus having met with the true way, and walked with the Lord therein, wherein daily certainty, yea and full assurance of faith and of understanding is at length obtained; I cannot be silent (true love and pure life tirring in me and moving me), but am necessitated to testify of it to others; and this is it, To retire inwardly, and wait to feel fomewhat of the Lord, somewhat of his Holy Spirit and power, discovering and drawing from that which is contrary to him, and into his holy nature and heavenly image. And then, as the mind is joined to this, somewhat is received, fome true life, some true light, some true discerning; which the creature not exceeding (but abiding in the measure of) is safe, but it is easy erring from this, but hard abiding with it, and not going before its leadings. But he that feels life, and begins in life, doth he not begin safely? And he that waits, and fears, and goes on no further than his captain goes before him, doth he not proceed safely? Yea very safely, even till he cometh to be so settled and established in the virtue, demonstration and power of truth, as nothing can prevail to shake him. Now, blessed be the Lord, there are many at this day, who can truly and faithfully witness, that they have been brought by the Lord to this state. And thus have we learned of the Lord; to wit, not by the high, striving, aspiring mind; but by lying low, and being contented with a little. If
but a crumb of bread (yer if bread) if but a drop of water (yet if water) we have been contented with it, and also thankful to the Lord for it; nor by thoughtfulness, and wise. searching and deep considering with our own wisdom and reason have we obtained it; but in the still, meek, and humble waiting, have we found that brought into the death, which is not to know the mysteries of God's kingdom, and that which is to live, made alive and increase in life.
Therefore he that would truly know the Lord, let him take heed of his own reason and understanding. I tried this way very far; for I considered most seriously and uprightly; I prayed, I read the scriptures, I earnestly desired to understand and find out whether that, which this people, called QUAKERS, testified of, was the only way and truth of God (as they seemed to me but to pretend); but for all this prejudices multiplied upon me, and strong reasonings against them, which appeared to me as unanswerable. But when the Lord revealed his seed in me, and touched my heart therewith, which administered true life and virtue to me, I presently felt them there the children of the Most High, and so grown up in his life, power, and holy dominion (as the inward eye, being opened by the Lord, fees) as drew forth from me great reverence of heart, and praises to the Lord, who had fo appeared among men in these latter days. And as God draweth, in any respect, oh! give up in faithfulness to him! Despise the shame, take up the cross; for indeed it is a way which is very cross to man, and which his wisdom will exceedingly be alhamed of; but that must be denied and turned from, and the secret sensible drawings of God's Spirit waited for and given up to. Mind, people : He that will come into the new covenant, must come into the obedience of it. The light of life, which God hath hid in the heart, is the covenant; and from this covenant God doth not give knowledge to satisfy the vast, aspiring, comprehending wisdom of man; but living knowledge, to feed that which is quickened by him; which knowledge is given in the obedience, and is very sweet and precious to the state of him that knows how to feed upon it. Yea truly, this is of a very excellent, pure, precious nature, and a little of it weighs down that great vast knowledge in the comprehending part, which the man's spirit and nature so much prizeth and presseth after. And truly, friends, I witness at this day a great difference between the sweetness of comprehending the knowledge of things, as expressed in the scriptures (this I fed much on formerly), and tasting the hidden life, the hidden Manna in the heart (which is my food now, blefsed for ever be the Lord my God and Saviour). Oh! that others had a true, certain, and sensible taste of the life, virtue, and goodness of the Lord, as it is revealed there ! Surely, it could not but kindle the true hunger, and inflame the true thirst; which can never be satisfied but by the true bread, and by water from the living fountain. This the Lord (in the tenderness of his love, and in the riches of his grace and mercy) hath brought us to'; and this we earnestly and uprightly defire and endeavour, that others may be brought to also; that they may rightly in the true silence of the feth, and in the pure ftillness of spirit) wait for, and in the Lord's due time receive, that which answers the defire of the awakened mind and foul, and satisfies it with the true precious fubftance for evermore, Amen.
T H I N G S
R E L I GION,
Proposed to the Consideration of the
SO TERM E D;
Concerning the Right Ground of Concerning Washing away Sin from
the Conscience; and the Garment Concerning Tenderness of Spirit, of Salvation, and what it is that and Perfecution.
is covered therewith.
LIKE W IS E,
Church of the New Covenant, the Rock or Foundation whereon
W I TH
Some QUERIES concerning the scattered and hidden Etate of the
Church ; and concerning that Church which got up in the View of the
Whereunto are added,
and tender Mercy) to lead out of the Darkness, into his marvellous
among Men by the Name of
ISAAC PENING TO N.
R O Y AL SOCIETY,
SO T E R M E D.
learning. I am not for discouraging any man, in endeavouring after that which is good, useful, and excellent in its kind and place; but it is the advantage of every thing, to know and abide in its place; and to honour and serve him, from whom all good gifts and endowments come. Man hath but a moment in this world, and he is here no more ; and then the spirit returneth to God that gave it, to give an account of the talent which he gave it, and its improvement thereof, to the glory of him that gave it, and to the salvation of its own soul. Now, this talent is of an higher kind than nature, and will lead higher than nature; giving a man to partake of that wisdom from which nature came; and teaching him to order all that is natural to its right end. For God is not an enemy to nature, but to the corruption and disorder of nature. I desire ye might know and partake of the true wisdom, and feel union with God in the principle of his own life; and the incorruptible and heavenly feed of God receive dominion over the earthly and corruptible. For this end singly, in the love springing up in my heart towards you (as it often doth, both towards particular persons and societies; for I am a friend to all, and a lover of all; fincerely defiring the good of all, and the right guidance of their fouls to happiness), have I proposed these things following more particularly to your view, though they concern others also, that ye thereby night be awakened to search after that which is most excellent in you, and be acquainted with the virtue and precious effects thereof, to the full satisfaction and compleat joy of your souls, in that which alone is able fully to fatisfy, and give them ground of durable joy and rejoicing, in that which is not of a perishing nature; but which was, and is, and will be the same for
From a friend to the everlasting peace of your souls, and a desirer of your welfare and prosperity in this world,
ISAAC PENINGTON .