Whittier Friends School
A Quaker School
6726 S. Washington Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Isaac Penington: "According as the Spirit Teaches"
[Selection taken from The Quaker Reader, edited by Jessamyn West,Viking Press, New York1962]
The seed of God is the word of God; the seed of the kingdom is the wordof the kingdom. It is a measure of the light and life, of the grace and truth,which is by Jesus Christ, whereof in his is the fullness. It is a heavenlytalent, or manifestation of his spirit in the heart, which is given to man forhim, in the virtue and strength of Christ, to improve for God. This which Godhath placed in man, to witness for himself, and to guide man from evil unto good(in the pure breathing, quickenings, and shinings of it) this is the seed, whichis freely bestowed on man, to spring up and remain in him, and to gather him outof himself into itself.
The pure, living, heavenly knowledge of the Father and his Son Christ Jesus,is wrapped up in this seed.
He that is united to the seed, to the measure of grace and truth from Christ...is united to God, and engrafted into Christ; and as the seed is formed in him,Christ in formed in him; and as he is formed and new-created in the seed, he isthe workmanship of God, formed and new created in Christ.
What is the nature of the seed of God, or the seed of the Kingdom?
Prayer is the breath of the living child to the Father of Life, in thatspirit which quickened it, which giveth it the right sense of its wants, andsuitable cries proportionate to its state, in the proper season thereof...Prayer is wholly out of the will of the creature; wholly out of the time of thecreature; wholly out of the power of the creature; in the spirit of the Father,who is the fountain of life, and giveth forth beathings of life to his child athis pleasure.
Lord, take care of all thy children. Oh thou tender Father, consider whatthey suffer for the testimony of thy truth and for for the testimony ofthy truth and for thy's name thyself. Oh carry on thy glorious work which thyown mighty arm hath begun and cut it short in righteousness for thine Elect'ssake, that it may be finished by thee, to thine own everlasting praise...
Give over thine own willing, give over thine own running, give over thine owndesiring to know or be anything, and sink down the seed which God sows in thyheart and let that be in thee, and grown in thee, and breathe in thee, and actin thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that andloves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is hisportion...
And this is the manner of their worship. They are to wait upon the Lord, tomeet in the silence of the flesh, and to watch for the stirrings of his life,and the breaking forth of his power amongst them. And in the breakings forth ofthat power they may pray, speak, exhort, rebuke, sing or mourn, and so on,according as the spirit teaches, required and gives utterance. But if the spiritdo not require to speak, and give to utter, then everyone is to sit still in hisplace (in his heavenly place I mean) feeling his own measure, feeding thereupon,receiving therefrom (into his spirit) what the Lord giveth. Now in this isedifying, pure edifying, precious edifying; his soul who thus waits is herebyparticularly edified by the spirit of the Lord at every meeting. And then alsothere is the life of the whole felt in every vessel that is turned to itsmeasure; insomuch as the warmth of life in each vessel doth not only warm theparticular, but they are like an heap of fresh and living coals, warming onanother, insomuch as a great strength, freshness, and vigor of life flows intoall. And if any be burdened, tempted, buffeted by Satan, bowed down, overborne,languishing, afflicted, distressed and so on, the estate of such is felt inspirit, and secret cries, or open (as the Lord pleaseth), ascend up to the Lordfor them, and they many times find ease and relief, in a few words spoken, orwithout words, if it be the season of their help and relief with the Lord... Wewait on the Lord, either to feel him in words, or in silence of spirit withoutwords, as he pleaseth...