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"..central to Quaker thought, followers were urged to turn to the light of Christ within themselves: they were `spiritual millenarians'. They relegated the importance of the Scriptures in favour of the pre-eminence of this inner spirit, and so rejected the necessity for an educated clergy to lead and interpret. What mattered was not so much biblical stories about Christ and the past, but one's own feelings of the present. Heaven was within the Quaker believer. Nathaniel Smith turned to Quakerism for this very reason, that `the Kingdom of Heaven was in Man'."

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EARLY CHURCH

Ambrose
Ambrose, Pseudo
Andreas
Arethas
Aphrahat
Athanasius
Augustine
Barnabus
BarSerapion
Baruch, Pseudo
Bede
Chrysostom
Chrysostom, Pseudo
Clement, Alexandria
Clement, Rome
Clement, Pseudo
Cyprian
Ephraem
Epiphanes
Eusebius
Gregory
Hegesippus
Hippolytus
Ignatius
Irenaeus
Isidore
James
Jerome
King Jesus
Apostle John
Lactantius
Luke
Mark
Justin Martyr
Mathetes
Matthew
Melito
Oecumenius
Origen
Apostle Paul
Apostle Peter
Maurus Rabanus
Remigius
"Solomon"
Severus
St. Symeon
Tertullian
Theophylact
Victorinus

HISTORICAL PRETERISM
(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Joseph Addison
Oswald T. Allis
Thomas Aquinas
Karl Auberlen
Augustine
Albert Barnes
Karl Barth
G.K. Beale
Beasley-Murray
John Bengel
Wilhelm Bousset
John A. Broadus

David Brown
"Haddington Brown"
F.F. Bruce

Augustin Calmut
John Calvin
B.H. Carroll
Johannes Cocceius
Vern Crisler
Thomas Dekker
Wilhelm De Wette
Philip Doddridge
Isaak Dorner
Dutch Annotators
Alfred Edersheim
Jonathan Edwards

E.B. Elliott
Heinrich Ewald
Patrick Fairbairn
Js. Farquharson
A.R. Fausset
Robert Fleming
Hermann Gebhardt
Geneva Bible
Charles Homer Giblin
John Gill
William Gilpin
W.B. Godbey
Ezra Gould
Hank Hanegraaff
Hengstenberg
Matthew Henry
G.A. Henty
George Holford
Johann von Hug
William Hurte
J, F, and Brown
B.W. Johnson
John Jortin
Benjamin Keach
K.F. Keil
Henry Kett
Richard Knatchbull
Johann Lange

Cornelius Lapide
Nathaniel Lardner
Jean Le Clerc
Peter Leithart
Jack P. Lewis
Abiel Livermore
John Locke
Martin Luther

James MacDonald
James MacKnight
Dave MacPherson
Keith Mathison
Philip Mauro
Thomas Manton
Heinrich Meyer
J.D. Michaelis
Johann Neander
Sir Isaac Newton
Thomas Newton
Stafford North
Dr. John Owen
 Blaise Pascal
William W. Patton
Arthur Pink

Thomas Pyle
Maurus Rabanus
St. Remigius

Anne Rice
Kim Riddlebarger
J.C. Robertson
Edward Robinson
Andrew Sandlin
Johann Schabalie
Philip Schaff
Thomas Scott
C.J. Seraiah
Daniel Smith
Dr. John Smith
C.H. Spurgeon

Rudolph E. Stier
A.H. Strong
St. Symeon
Theophylact
Friedrich Tholuck
George Townsend
James Ussher
Wm. Warburton
Benjamin Warfield

Noah Webster
John Wesley
B.F. Westcott
William Whiston
Herman Witsius
N.T. Wright

John Wycliffe
Richard Wynne
C.F.J. Zullig

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

FUTURISTS
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any Particular Eschatology)

Henry Alford
G.C. Berkower
Alan Patrick Boyd
John Bradford
Wm. Burkitt
George Caird
Conybeare/ Howson
John Crossan
John N. Darby
C.H. Dodd
E.B. Elliott
G.S. Faber
Jerry Falwell
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
Murray Harris
Thomas Ice

Benjamin Jowett
John N.D. Kelly

Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
William Miller
Robert Mounce

Eduard Reuss

J.A.T. Robinson
George Rosenmuller
D.S. Russell
George Sandison
C.I. Scofield
Dr. John Smith

Norman Snaith
"Televangelists"
Thomas Torrance
Jack/Rex VanImpe
John Walvoord

Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM | MODERN PRETERISM | PRETERIST IDEALISM

Isaac Penington
(1616-1679)

Quakers Study Archive
"By which second coming thou and you understand his outward coming; ..Now we say, he did come according to his promise, in a spiritual and inward way of appearance in their hearts"

George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington | A Visitation to the Jews | A Call Out of Egypt's Darkness | Axe Laid to the Root of the Old Corrupt Tree | Some Questions And Answers For The Opening Of The Eyes Of The Jews Natural | The Jew Outward as a Glass

"..central to Quaker thought, followers were urged to turn to the light of Christ within themselves: they were `spiritual millenarians'. They relegated the importance of the Scriptures in favour of the pre-eminence of this inner spirit, and so rejected the necessity for an educated clergy to lead and interpret. What mattered was not so much biblical stories about Christ and the past, but one's own present. Heaven was within the believer. Nathaniel Smith turned to Quakerism for this very reason, that `the Kingdom of Heaven was in Man'."

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.

SOME QUESTIONS and ANSWERS, Of deep Concernment to the JEWS, From one who hath been a Wrestler and Traveller with the Lord of Life, for the Day of their Mercy and Redemption.

Quest. 1. WHETHER the people of the Jews do err in their hearts from the God of their fathers, (in this their sore dispersion and final captivity) and are not acquainted with his ways, wherein he would have them walk with him, and wait for his mercy and redemption? 

Ans. That there is mercy towards, and redemption for, that poor scattered, forsaken people, my heart hath from my childhood, and doth still stedfastly believe. 

That there is a way wherein they are to worship the God of their fathers, and wait for this mercy and redemption, is also the belief of my heart. 

But whether they do indeed know the Lord their God, and the present path wherein he requireth them to walk, and so are brought into the capacity and fitness for the mercy and redemption which is in the heart of the Lord towards them, that I very much doubt of, and in the tender love and good-will of my


heart am drawn to propose the consideration thereof to them. 

The grounds of this my doubt are chiefly these two: 

1. Because their fathers, who had Moses and the prophets to instruct them in the law of the Lord, and in his ways of worship and obedience, yet did err in their hearts from the Lord their God, both under the teachings of Moses and of the prophets. It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways, said the Lord concerning them,
upon forty years trial of them in the wilderness, Psal. xcv. 10. And Moses also complained unto all Israel, that notwithstanding all that they had seen done by the Lord in the land of Egypt; and the great temptations, signs, and miracles in the wilderness, yet the Lord had not given them an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear unto this day, Deut. xxix. 2, 3, 4. Neither did they more understand the mind of the Lord by the ministry of the prophets, than by Moses; but misunderstood his way of worship, misunderstood his intent about their sacrifices, and offered up the abomination of his soul; even when they offered up the very sacrifices which he required, as the Spirit of the Lord in the prophets often testified unto them. See Isa. i.Isa. lxvi.Mic. vi.Ezek. xx.
with many more testimonies of the prophets, pleading with them from the mouth of the Lord. 

Now if their fathers, in the days of Moses, and in the days of the prophets, when they had certain information from the mouth of the Lord concerning his ways, yet then did err in heart, and did not understand the mind of his Spirit; how much more probable is it that these, in the cloudy and dark day, when the light (that shone upon their fathers) is hid from their eyes, that these may miss of the mind of the Lord, and not understand the way of peace and acceptance with their God? 

2. Because the prophets foretel of their idols cleaving to them, and their uncleanness not being removed,


but their stubbornness and hardness remaining, until the great and terrible day of the Lord God Almighty, wherein his Spirit shall be poured down from on high, and they visited and redeemed in the light and power thereof. Then shall Ephraim say to his idols, Get ye hence; what have I to do any more with idols? Yea in that day shall they cast their idols to the moles and to the bats, Isa. ii. 20. For the Lord
will cleanse them from all their uncleanness, Ezek. xxxvi. 29. and take away the stone out of their heart, and make their spirits tender towards the God of their fathers; insomuch as Ephraim shall smite upon his thigh, and bemoan his unaccustomedness to the yoke, and eternal law of the Spirit of his God, which he hath not understood in spirit, but been blinded about the ordinances of Moses, and testimonies of the prophets. 

Quest. 2. Whether the Jews can possibly meet with the blessings of the Messiah, while their heart errs from the God of their fathers, and they do not know his way? 

Ans. It is utterly impossible, while they miss of the path wherein blessedness is to be found, to meet with that blessedness which the path thereof alone leads to. How can the heart, in erring from God, meet with that which is alone to be found in union and walking with him? Have they met with it to this day? Or can they ever meet with it, till they be taught and led of the Lord to walk towards it? Oh! that Israel knew the way of life! Oh! that their heart were turned towards their God, that they might no more die, nor be estranged from him like the heathen, but live the life of the blessed, and enjoy an inheritance in the land of the living. 

Quest. 3. Is there any way for Israel to be cured of the error of their heart, that their misknowledge of God and his ways may be removed from them, and they may come to a right understanding, and a clearness of light? 

Ans. There is balm in the land of the living, which is able to cure all the diseases and distempers of the dead, and there is a physician who is able to apply it.


The God of Israel knoweth the very core of evil in the heart, and all the issues of death from thence, and how to take out the core, and stop all the issues of sin, death, and misery. The Shepherd of Israel understandeth the lost state, the wandering state, the sick state of every lost soul in Israel, and hath skill and remedies to recover and heal them all, Ezek. xxxiv.
 

Quest. 4. What way hath this skilful physician for the cure of the erring heart of his Israel, and to bring them to an acquaintance with him and his ways? 

Ans. He hath divers, which are able thoroughly to effect it. As; 

1. By circumcising their hearts, or by sprinkling clean water upon them to wash away the filth of their hearts. With him is “the fountain of living waters,” and with them can he wash away the filth of the daughter of Sion; yea, his fire is in Sion, and his furnace in Jerusalem: with him is the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, wherewith
he can search out and judge all the evil in the hearts of his people Israel, and burn it up. 

2. By creating a new heart and a new spirit within them. He can, not only take away the heart of stone, but he can give an heart of flesh, which shall be sensible and tender to every motion and impression of his Spirit, as the other was dull and hard. 

3. He can write his law in their heart, that they may no more read in the oldness of the letter, where life can never be learned, (which is to pass away, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof) but in the newness of the Spirit, where the new eye easily reads and understands what God writes in the new heart and mind. 

4. He can put his Spirit within them, and cause them to walk in his ways, and to keep the statutes and judgments which God writes in this new book, even the renewed heart; for this is the book of the new covenant, these are the tables thereof, wherein God writes the law of life eternal for his Israel, wherein they are 


to read and live for ever. And happy is that Israelite who waits for, and receives, the Spirit. To him none of the commandments of life are grievous, being all quickened to him in and by the Spirit. So that the more the Lord writes in his heart, the happier is he; he thereby receiving more of the life and power of God's Spirit, and learning thereby more of his God, and travelling there-through further with him into his purity and divine sweetness. 

Quest. 5. What way is there for Israel to come by this cure? 

Ans. None but God's covenant, the covenant which God made with their fathers. Not the covenant of the law by Moses, but the covenant before the law, which was also renewed by Moses, but was not that covenant which God made with them in Horeb, but a covenant besides, as they may read, Deut. xxix.
Alas! alas! man can never come to life by his obedience; he still falls short there; but by receiving the promised seed, he comes to be heir of the promise with the seed, and finds the obedience of the seed brought forth in him, through the grace and mercy of God, which breaketh forth upon his Israel. Oh! that the hearts of Israel after the flesh were circumcised to hear this sound, that they might be turned in spirit towards the God of life and salvation, that from him they might receive the seed of life into their vessels, that their hearts might be purified and made living by the seed, and they might there meet with that, which their fathers could never meet with by the law of Moses; nor indeed is never so to be obtained, but by the promise to their fathers, which was before the law. And this must be the way of their restoration into favour with God; to wit, not the covenant which God made with their fathers, when he took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, but the covenant by which God writes the law and knowledge of himself in the heart, Jer. xxxi. 32, 33.


 

Quest. 6. How may Israel come into this covenant with God? Or is there any thing for them to do, that they may enter into it, and reap the blessings of it? 

Ans. They must mind the small beginnings of it, and subject to God therein, that they may know its further growth and progress in them. He that withstands the beginning of a thing, can never come to the end thereof. Now the blessedness is chiefly in the end; but it is not found and enjoyed but by him that meets with the beginning, and so by degrees travels along till he comes to the end. And here is a great mystery, which the wisdom of man cannot learn or understand; in that, though the greatest blessings are contained in this covenant, yet the beginnings of it are the smallest and most contemptible. The seed of the promise, the seed of the kingdom, is the least of all seeds. Man easily overlooks it; or if he have a little glimmering of it, readily despises it, as unlikely ever to have that in it, or to bring that to pass for the soul, which it desires and expects. Yet there is no other way to the kingdom, but by this seed of the kingdom opening and growing in the heart, and gathering the heart into itself, leavening it (by its spreading) with the leaven of life eternal, and purging out the sour leaven of sin and death. This then is the path of life; thou must wait to feel the seed of the kingdom sown in thy heart by the good seedsman, and then wait for thy gathering into it, and growth in it; and by thy subjection unto it, and its overspreading thee with the power of life eternal (which is in it, though hidden from thee) thou wilt find sin and death, and the power of hell, vanquished in thy heart, and thy heart fitted for the God of thy life to dwell and appear in, whose dwelling and appearance there will make thee completely happy. Only if thou wouldst come out of thy captivity by the enemy of thy soul (whereof thy present outward captivity is but a shadow) into the life and rest of thy God; take heed of despising the day of small things, or the low voice of thy God in thy heart; for therein are the beginnings 


of life. And thou must begin at the lowest step that the God of thy life chooseth for thee (and find that wisdom shut out, which would begin or go on otherwise, than the Lord seeth fit to lead and teach) if ever thou enter into the path of life, or walk on therein with thy God. 

Quest. 7. How may I know this seed of life, or feel when God begins to sow it in my heart, that I may not turn from the small beginnings thereof, but may find an entrance into this blessed covenant of God with my fathers before the law? 

Ans. The word or voice of this seed is nigh thee, and it hath a living testimony with it for good, and against evil. It hath a living sparkling in the heart, whereby it is felt and known by those that wait for its appearance. It naturally turneth from the evil and towards the good; and in its moving and appearing in thee, it will be turning thee towards that which it naturally loves, and from that which it naturally hates. In any such stirring in thy heart, there is the beginning of light eternal to shine upon thy tabernacle; and by giving up and being gathered into its warnings and motions, thou wilt feel a touch of life, even a quickening and warmth towards good, and a beginning of deadness and disunion with that which is evil. And as this is waited for more and more, it will appear more and more in the seasons it sees fit; and as it finds entrance into thee, so will it lead thee into its covenant with its God. Remember, therefore, what Moses said to thy fathers concerning the word of this covenant It is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it,
Deut. xxx. 14. Thy fathers never knew the virtue of this covenant, but were drowned in misery for want of minding it. And if thou wert gathered into it, thou wouldst meet with circumcision of heart, and the new creation of thy mind and spirit, and the writing of the eternal law of life there, and the putting of the Holy Spirit of God into thee; all which are contained in this covenant, yea, wrapped up in the


very seed thereof, which is (in the Lord's times and seasons) smiting the seed of the evil-doer in the hearts of the sons of men, and striving to gather them out of the disobedient state and nature, into the obedience of the glimmerings of his light in their hearts; which becomes a law of life and power in them, as it finds entrance into, and place in, them. Therefore, O ye sons of Abraham after the flesh; wait for, know, and believe in the light of this covenant, and give up to be gathered into the holy seed thereof, that ye may become his children after the Spirit, in this new covenant, in this living covenant, wherein all that enter live in Spirit and power to the God of Abraham; and not by the works of the law of Moses, but by faith in the living seed, become heirs and inheritors of the promise of eternal life, which is to Abraham and his seed for ever. 

O poor wandering Jew! wait to hear the cry of wisdom's voice in thy streets, discovering unto thee, and counselling thee against, the evil of thy heart and ways, by the word which is very nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart. And be won upon by the voice of wisdom; give it thy heart, let its power enter into thee. Take up its cross, be willing to be bound by it from what thy heart would run after, and learn of it to draw in its yoke, that all may be yoked down and subdued in thee, which makes thee miserable, that thou mayest find a place and honour in wisdom's courts, and be adorned with her ornaments, and partake of her durable riches. 

Watch unto that which reproves thee in thy heart, and watch unto its reproofs, that thou mayest be reformed by it, and transformed into its nature, and then thou wilt become a Jew indeed; even a Jew inward, born of the immortal seed of the divine wisdom. 

And be not discouraged, either for want of light to distinguish between the good and the evil, or for want of power, to turn from the one, or to the other, O tender-hearted ones, who find a warmth and a willingness 



within to give up to the Lord: but wait his season, and hope in his tender bowels, in the midst of all the roarings and cruel usages of the enemy, who will be striving to the utmost to keep his hold of his captive, and to keep it back from travelling out of his dominions of death and darkness, towards the land of life, light, and peace eternal! I have had a very hard travel, and have felt his power and cruelty beyond measure, yet the Lord my God hath helped me, and my breathings abound toward the God of my life for his helping hand unto all that are in heart turned towards him, how difficult, intricate, and impossible soever the enemy strives to make the path of life unto them. Oh! remember the mercy of the Lord towards your fathers, who never felt the strength of the love of this covenant, which the Lord is now gathering his spiritual Israel into; how he pitied them, how he forgave them, how he visited them with loving-kindness and mercy time after time! What a stiffnecked people they were when he first chose them; how ready to run a whoring from him, and rebel afterwards. And surely much more is to be forgiven in this covenant, and much more is the help and healing thereof; only let the heart be true to him according to the virtue and power of this covenant; yea, and wait to receive that also of him; for it is the fruit and blessing of the covenant in which God healeth the backslidings of his Israel, and loveth them freely. Amen, Amen; O Lord God of everlasting and most tender bowels of compassion, saith my soul! 

ISAAC PENINGTON.

 


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

"THEY ALSO THAT ERRED IN SPIRIT SHALL KNOW UNDERSTANDING, AND THEY THAT MURMURED SHALL LEARN DOCTRINE."
ISAIAH 29:24

WWW EDITION, FROM FOUR PRINTED VOLUMES

 

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 [1648] 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.

 

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