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11.17.2006

The Last DQ Post

Marge let Isaac do her summing up. Marge is smart.
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A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF WHAT WE ARE,
AND WHAT OUR WORK IS IN THE WORLD
ISAAC PENINGTON
(abridged)

WE are a people whom God hath converted to himself; a people in whom God hath raised up the seed of his own life, and caused it to reign over the earthly part in ourselves; a people whom God hath divorced from the spirit of whoredom, and joined to his own Spirit. …
and by being turned to him, we have tasted of the truth, of the true wisdom, of the true power, of the true life, of the true righteousness, of the true redemption; and by receiving of this from God, and tasting and handling of it, we come to know that that which the world hath set up in the stead of it, is not the thing it-self. …

And here we have met with the call of God, the conversion to God, the regeneration in God, the justification, the sanctification, the wisdom, the redemption, the true life and power of God, which the world cannot so much as bear the name of. And what we are made of God in Christ, we know to be truth, and no lie; and when we testify of this to the world, in the measure of the life of God in us, we speak truth, and no lie; though the world, which knoweth not the truth, cannot hear our voice. ...

Now our work in the world is to hold forth the virtues of him that hath called us; to live like God;not to own any thing in the world which God doth not own; to forget our country, our kindred, our father's house, and to live like persons of another country, of another kindred, of another family; not to do any thing of ourselves, and which is pleasing to the old nature; but all our words, all our conversation, yea, every thought in us, is to become new. …

We are also to be witnesses for God, and to propagate his life in the world; to be instruments in his hand, to bring others out of death and captivity into true life and liberty. We are to fight against the powers of darkness everywhere, as the Lord calleth us forth. And this we are to do in his wisdom, according to his will, in his power, and in his love, sweetness, and meekness. ...

The Lord God is rough with the transgressor, and all along the scripture heweth and judgeth him; and if we come forth in the same Spirit, we shall find the same leadings where we meet with the same thing: for the Lord God will never be tender there; nor can that which comes from him, lives in him, is led by him, be tender there, where he is not.
Now the very root of this severity is good, and of God, and hath love and sweetness at the bottom of it; yea, in pity, love, and bowels do we use the sword. It is in pity to the poor captived creature, that that might be cut down which keeps it in bonds and captivity. And though we seem enemies to all sorts of men for the Lord's sake; yet we are not enemies, nor could do the least hurt to them any way; but are true friends to their souls, and bodies also: and our only controversy is with that which captives and makes them miserable; for we fight not at all with flesh and blood, but with the principality and power which led from God, and rule in it against God, to the poor creature's ruin and destruction.

Yea, if we had all the power of the earth in our hands, we could not set up our own way (if, after the manner of men, I may so call it) or so much as disturb others in their way thereby; but should wait in patience till God gave us an entrance by his power.

Now let not men run on in heats against us; but let them seriously consider whether we be of God or no: and let them consider not with the reason and understanding which are alienated from God; but with the witness which lies hid in the heart. There is one great palpable argument that we are of God, which is this: all the world is against us; the worldly part everywhere fights with us; the worldly part, in every sort and sect of men, opposeth us; the rage of men everywhere riseth up against us: but those that are so hot against us, if at any time they become but meek and calm, patiently considering our cause, and consulting thereupon with the testimony that they find in their own hearts concerning us, they soon become pacified, and see that we are no man's enemies, against no righteous law, not against relations, not against governments, not against any thing in the world that is good; but only against that which is evil and corrupt. …

Comments:
I don't think I can witness to this. I guess I'm just not dangerous enough. But I also think the Quakerism I stumbled upon doesn't knopw this as a living possibility. We expend so much psychic energy just trying to be a modern liberal sect -- we don't have anything left to belive witness such as this is possible.
 
I don't think I'm really there either. Yet this speaks to me in a really deep place.

I believe this is possible for the Religious Society of Friends.
I believe I am capable of being part of it.
I believe this articulates (in words I would not have used) what draws me to the company and practice of Friends.
I believe this is what God would have us do and be.
 
Reading this gets me thinking both yes and no. I do think there is more spiritual life in the Society of Friends than there is in other churches I have known, but on the other hand there is not as much life as there was in the early days of Quakerism.

Why not? Early Friends read the New Testament and said to themselves: suppose this is really literally true? What would happen if we tried it? Many Friends still respond in the same way and when they do they become changed people and agents of change. But too many Friends just want to intellectualize about it and talking doesn't really do much.
 
Pennington's language is pretty amazing. Words, I wouldn't use - can't iomagnie tellings omeone they need to be divorced from the spirit of Whoredom.

But then again
one of our local public highs schools had a hip-hop inspired theme day entitled
"Pimps amd Ho's" Where they did indeed dress up as pimps and whores.
 
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