Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > Isaac Penington's Works > Isaac Penington to _____ _____
Thy condition cannot but be weak and dark, until the light of life arise in thee, and the power of the Lord overcome and <466> subdue the power of the darkness, which strives to keep the seed of life in the grave and bonds of death.
It is the Lord's mercy, to give thee breathings after life, and cries unto him against that which oppresseth thee; and happy wilt thou be, when he shall fill thy soul with that which he hath given thee to breathe after. Only let thy heart wait for strength to trust him with the season; for his long tarrying is thy salvation, and the destruction of those enemies, which, while any strength remains in them, will never suffer thee and thy God to dwell uninterruptedly together. Therefore they must needs die, and He who hath the power to kill them, knows the way; which, to the appearing of thy sense, will be as if he meant to kill the life of thy soul, and not of them. But lie still under his hand, and be content to be unable to judge concerning his ways and workings in thy heart; and thou shalt at times feel an inward leaven of life from his Holy Spirit, whereby he will change and transform thy spirit into his likeness, in some measure, for the present. And though it be quickly gone again, and the whole land so overspread with enemies, that there is no sight of redemption or the Redeemer left, but the soul in a worse condition than before; yet be not troubled: for if troubles abound, and there be tossing, and storms, and tempests, and no peace, nor any thing visible left to support; yet lie still, and sink beneath, till a secret hope stir, which will stay the heart in the midst of all these, until the Lord administer comfort, who knows how and what relief to give to the weary traveller, that knows not where it is, nor which way to look, nor where to expect a path.
How shall I speak to thee, how shall I mourn over thee? Oh that thou mayest be upheld to the day of God's mercy to thy soul! and be gathered, out of all such knowledge, as thou canst comprehend or contain in what is natural, into the feeling of life; that thou mayest know the difference, between living upon somewhat received from God, and having God live with thee, and administer life to thee at his pleasure; thou being kept in the nothingness, emptiness, poverty, and perfect resignation of spirit.
This counsel is to thee, through a poor, weak vessel,