Isaac Penington to Elizabeth Walmsley 1670

I’ve often shared quotes from one of my favorite early Quakers, Isaac Penington, here’s a thought from him for the day:

Truly the Lord hath done great things for us! He hath given us the sight and knowledge of himself in his Son, which is life eternal: he hath given us of the nature and spirit of his Son; he hath given us of the true faith whereby the just lives, and obtains victory over sin, death, and the grave; he hath given us of the hope which purifies the heart, and stays the mind in all storms; he hath given us of the Lambs patience and meekness &c. And now if he will brighten these by afflictions, and try them, and cause them to shine to his glory; yea, and take advantage to increase them, and add further virtue to them, what cause have any of us to complain? Israel of old, after the flesh, murmured upon every trial; but Israel, after the new creation, doeth not so, but blesseth the Lord, and repineth not at the instruments which he permitteth to afflict them; but they love the Lord and love his truth, and are faithful in their testimony thereto, whatever befalls them. Yea, they rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer in any kind for his names sake, and are like lambs before the shearers, not opening their mouths in a way of murmuring or reviling; but instead thereof, pitying them, praying for them, and blessing; because God hath made them children of love, children of peace, children of blessing; which nature they retain, in the midst of all their trials and afflictions, and show forth the virtues of Him that hath called them.

So that men shall not put out our life, nor put out our light, nor sever us from the love and power of God; but the more need we find of our God, and of his help and strength, the nearer shall we be driven to him, and dwell more closely in union with him, and in holy and humble dependence upon him. And in this temper shall we draw and receive more from him: and the more we draw from him, the better will it be with us, and the more like him shall we be.

via Isaac Penington to Elizabeth Walmsley 1670.

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Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.