A Letter from Isaac Penington while in Reading Jail   1 comment

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The Power of Christ to Overcome all Sin Within You.  (Letter XII)

FRIEND,

I have had of late some deep and serious thoughts concerning you, and a sense of you, as between the Lord and my own soul, yet I have not had anything to signify or express to you, until this morning. But something this morning sprang up in my heart, sweetly and freshly, which I had pure drawings to impart to you.

There was a quick sense of you upon my heart, and in that sense this cry was in me: – Oh! that you were acquainted with the pure, eternal power of the Lord, and might feel his outstretched arm revealed in you, and witness the faith which stands in that power; and in that faith, believe and wait for what God is doing, and willing to do, in and for his children.

“If you had faith,” said Christ, “but as a grain of mustard seed, you should say to this mountain, be you cast into the midst of the sea, and it should be so.” Indeed, the true faith, the pure faith, the living faith, which stands in the power, does remove all the mountains that are in the way, and makes the crooked ways straight, and the rough ways plain. If you had lived in the days of Christ’s flesh, and wanted outward healing, and had been willing to come to him for healing, but had not come with faith that he was able and willing to heal perfectly; might  not you have missed of that cleansing and outward health and salvation, which others met with? For, did not he say, “Be it unto you according to your faith?” And is not he the Physician of the soul and is not his skill to be trusted and believed in? He that hopes, and believes, and waits, and prays, and fights the good fight of faith, which gives victory over sin, Satan, and the world – he may possibly overcome; yes, he that wars lawfully, (that is, with the spiritual weapon, which is mighty through God,) he that wars with this only, and with this constantly, shall be sure to overcome. For, greater is He that is in the true believer, than he that is in the world. O that you might have experience of these things, and witness the manner of  Christ’s love and powerdisplayed in you, and the victories and conquests that come by these, and the safety and peace which is under it! For, of a truth, we do not boast, but are witnesses of the majesty of God’s love and power, which we testify of. The Lord to enlighten and guide you, that you may obtain the desires of your heart; for, I really believe your desire is after holiness and after communion with the Father and the Son, and with the saints in light, Oh that you may be led into the true pure light of life, that there you may enjoy what in this kind you desire! This is from one, who singly, as in the Lord’s sight, wishes well unto you.

–Isaac Penington

Reading Jail,

27th of Eighth  Month, 1679

The Letters of Isaac Penington
From the Treatise On Spiritual Perfection by Diadochus

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One response to “A Letter from Isaac Penington while in Reading Jail

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  1. Many thanks for the link to this Tim. Evacuation drills at the gov’t office where I worked required staff to congregate by the Kennet canal and outside that same prison’s walls. Immediately adjacent are the ruins of Reading Abbey. (Maybe you saw my brief paper on its history?)

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