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vol. 1, 1995 (vi + 154 pp.), $21.00
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Isaac Penington (1616-1679) was the son of a wealthy Puritan magistrate. It is believed that he had a university education, but the particulars are not known. He married the widow Mary Springett and with her had five children; his stepdaughter, Gulielma Springett, became the wife of William Penn.
Penington was a spiritual seeker from early years, but found his desire for a lasting sense of fellowship with God frustrated until in 1658 he became convinced that the Quaker movement was a work of God, and joined Friends. A prolific writer who had already published several books, he became one of the chief advocates, through the printed word, of the Quaker faith. He was imprisoned six times, for refusing to swear, or for attending Friends' meetings, and sometimes on no charge at all; he spent about five years thus confined, which he was said to endure very patiently, though sometimes in danger of his life from illness. He lost his home and much of his estate when relatives brought lawsuits against his family which they could not defend because of their testimony against oath-taking.
He was an active member of Upperside Monthly Meeting (Buckinghamshire) from its founding in 1668 until his death in 1679.
A collection of Isaac Penington's writings was first published in 1681 two years after the author's death, in two volumes of the large folio size common in that era, under the title The works of the long-mournful and sorely distressed Isaac Penington, whom the Lord in His tender mercy, at length visited and relieved by the ministry of that despised people, called Quakers; and in the springings of that light, life and holy power in him, which they had truly and faithfully testified of, and directed his mind to, were these things written, and are now published as a thankful testimony of the goodness of the Lord unto him, and for the benefit of others.
A second edition, printed in four volumes, appeared in 1761, a third edition in 1784, and a fourth in 1861-63.
The first three editions did not contain Penington's letters to individuals. However, a collection of his letters was donated to the Friends' library in London by John Kendall, who also, in 1796, published some of them as a separate book. The collection was added to by John Barclay, who in 1828 published a larger volume of Penington's letters, which overlapped, but did not include all of Kendall's collection. The fourth edition of Penington's works includes the letters published by John Barclay.
This new edition is also to be in 4 volumes. Volume II was published in 1994; volumes III and IV are anticipated to appear in 1995-96. We intend to include all the material contained in earlier collections and some additional items by the same author. Toward this end we have been helped by Joseph Bevan's review of Isaac Penington's writings,1 which in turn makes use of John Whiting's catalogue of Friends' writings.2 These sources record a small number of tracts that were not in previous editions of the Works: those which can be found in the Quaker Collection at Haverford College's Magill Library or the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College are being added to the present edition. Some additional letters are also being included, such as those which appear in Kendall's collection but not in Barclay's, and a few that are incorporated into the text of Bevan's Memoirs of the Life of Isaac Penington.
Although previous editions of Penington's Works arranged his tracts in roughly chronological order, they did not supply dates for most of them. The dates we have added in brackets under the titles of most of the tracts are from Bevan's review.
Bevan's Review is printed as Appendix B in the present volume.
As was often done in Friends books, earlier editions of Isaac Penington's Works began with a series of "testimonies" to the deceased Friend's character and life. The testimonies for Penington by George Fox and Thomas Ellwood are printed in the introductory position in the present volume; Ellwood's testimony incorporates a short autobiographical paper by Penington himself. Testimonies by William Penn, George Whitehead, Samuel Jennings, Thomas Zachary, Ambrose Rigge, Robert Jones, Thomas Everden, Christopher Taylor, Mary Penington, Alexander Parker, and John Penington are printed in Appendix A.
Before Isaac Penington joined Friends in about 1658 he was already a voluminous writer. His published writings from 1648 to 1656 filled more than a thousand pages, but they were not included in previous collections of Penington's works. One of them is included in this volume as Appendix C.
In accord with our effort to clarify chronology, the "Letters" section of each volume contains letters written during the approximate time period of the other writings in the volume. For this reason most of the letters in the first volume of the 1863 edition can be found in Volume II of the new edition; most of the letters in the second volume of the 1863 edition will be printed in Volume III of the new.
Most of the present volume was transcribed from the 1863 (Philadelphia) edition. We have not modernized the language of that edition, except for some very minimal changes in punctuation and in the form of Scripture citations. In items which have not been reprinted since the seventeenth century (in this volume the 1659 paper "To the Parliament, the Army, and all the Well-affected in the Nation," and the pre-Quaker  paper, "A Touchstone or Trial of Faith") spelling has been updated to resemble that of the rest of the volume. Older spellings are retained where they appear in quotations in Joseph Bevan's Review.
Testimony of George Fox Concerning Isaac Penington
Testimony of Thomas Ellwood Concerning Isaac Penington
The Way of Life and Death made manifest, and set before men
The scattered Sheep sought after
Babylon the Great described
The Jew outward: being a Glass for the Professors of this Age
The Axe laid to the Root of the old corrupt Tree
To the Parliament, the Army, and all the Well-affected in the Nation, who have been faithful to the Good Old Cause
A brief account of Some Reasons why the Quakers cannot do some things, and forbear doing some things; for which they suffer, &c.
Some Considerations proposed to the City of London, &c.
Some Considerations proposed to the distracted Nation of England
To the Army
A Question proposed to the Rulers, Teachers, and People of England
An examination of the Grounds or Causes which are said to induce the Court of Boston, to make that Law of Banishment &c.
Some Considerations concerning the state of Things, &c.
A Warning of Love from the Bowels of Life to Professors
Where is the Wise, where is the Scribe? &c.
Letters of Isaac Penington 
Appendix A. Additional Testimonies for Isaac Penington
Appendix B. Joseph Bevan's Review of the Writings of Isaac Penington
Appendix C. A Touchstone or Trial of Faith
Most of this volume is transcribed from The Works of Isaac Penington (4th ed. Phila., 1863). The language of that edition has not been modernized except, in a few cases, to omit unnecessary punctuation (e.g. at the end of titles) and to type Scripture citations in Arabic numerals instead of Roman numerals.
The dates in brackets under the titles of tracts are from Joseph Gurney Bevan's Memoirs of the Life of Isaac Penington...[with] a Review of his Writings (London, 1830). In a few cases Bevan has also been followed with regard to which tracts are separate and which are part of one piece.
A few items are included which were not in the 4th Edition. Penington's "Queries and Considerations Proposed to the Cavaliers," was found in Haverford College Library's Quaker Collection. Several letters have been added, either from Bevan's Memoirs or from J. Kendall's published collection, Letters of Isaac Penington (London, 1796). Where Bevan's or Kendall's version differs from that in the Works the former sources have usually been followed, as they seem (in those letters which they include) to be more complete.
The Root of Popery struck at
An Epistle to such as observe the Seventh Day for a Sabbath
The New Covenant . . . distinguished from the Old
Some Queries and Considerations proposed to the Cavaliers
Some Queries concerning the Work of God in the World
Consideration of a Position conc. the Book of Common Prayer
An Answer to that Common Objection against the Quakers &c.
The Great Question concerning the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness of Swearing under the Gospel
Somewhat spoken to a Weighty Question concerning the Magistrate's Protection of the Innocent
Some Directions to the Panting Soul
Concerning the worship of the Living God, which He teacheth &c.
Some Questions and Answers for . . . the Jews Natural
Some Questions and Answers Showing Man his Duty
To all Such as Complain they Want Power
Some Queries to the Professors of this Age
Some Observations on that Portion of Scripture, Rom. 14:20.
Three Queries Propounded to the King and Parliament
A Salutation of Love to the Commissioners of Peace, &c.
A Weighty Question Propounded to the King and Parliament
Some of the Mysteries of God's Kingdom Glanced at
Some Queries concerning the Order and Government of the Church
Some Deep Considerations Concerning the State of Israel
Concerning God's Seeking out His Israel
To Friends in England, Ireland, Scotland, Holland, &c.
One more tender Visitation to the Men of this Generation
Concerning the Church, or Church State under the Gospel
Concerning the Substance of our Religion who are called Quakers
Letters of Isaac Penington 
Most of this volume is transcribed from The Works of Isaac Penington (4th edition, Philadelphia, 1863). The dates in brackets under the titles of tracts are from Joseph Gurney Bevan's Memoirs of the Life of Isaac Penington...[with] a Review of his Writings (London, 1830), and Bevan's review has been followed with regard to which tracts are separate items and which are part of a larger piece. Several letters have been added from Bevan's Memoirs and from J. Kendall's Letters of Isaac Penington (London, 1796). Where Bevan's or Kendall's version differs from that in the Works the more complete form has usually been followed.
We have also included Penington's critique of Lodowick Muggleton's writings, which was not contained in previous editions of the Works.
Some things of great Weight and Concernment to All
A Question to the Professors of Christianity
To Such as are not satisfied with a Profession, without the true Life
Observations on some passages of Lodowick Muggleton
Some Things relating to Religion, proposed to the Royal Society
Of the Church in its pure, declining, and declined state, and recovery
An inquiry after Truth and Righteousness, and after the People, &c.
The Holy Truth and People Defended, in answer to a letter, &c.
The Ancient principle of Truth, or the Light within, asserted
Naked Truth, or truth nakedly Manifesting itself
The Flesh and Blood of Christ in the Mystery, and in the Outward
To the Jews Natural, and to the Jews Spiritual
The Everlasting Gospel and its blessed Effects Testified to
Letters of Isaac Penington 
This volume is transcribed from The Works of Isaac Penington (4th edition, Published by David Heston, Sherwoods, N.Y., 1863). The dates in brackets under the titles of tracts are from Joseph Gurney Bevan's Memoirs of the Life of Isaac Penington...[with] a Review of his Writings (London, 1830), and Bevan's review has been followed with regard to which tracts are separate items and which are part of a larger piece.
A new Index has been added.
A Further Testimony to Truth, revived out of the ruins of the apostasy
Life and Immortality brought to Light through the Gospel
A Reply to thy Animadversions
Experiences concerning things relating to God's everlasting Kingdom
A Treatise concerning God's Teaching, and Christ's Law
A Question answered concerning Reading the Scriptures Aright
Somewhat relating to Church Government
Some Misrepresentations of me concerning Church Government
The Seed of God, and of his Kingdom treated and testified of
An Epistle to all serious Professors of the Christian Religion
A Reply to an answer to Queries by I.P. concerning gospel Baptism
Epistles to Friends 
Some Queries concerning Compulsion in Religion
Concerning the Dispensation of the Gospel, or the Dispensation of the Son in Spirit, which is the last dispensation
Experiences concerning God's Way, Truth, Church, and People
Concerning the Times and Seasons, both which have been, and are yet to be
Letters of Isaac Penington , 40 pages: available to owners of volume 4 from <email@example.com>
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