Saturday, August 27, 2016

Penington on the liturgical year

"it is not the different practices from one another that breaks the peace and unity, but the judging of one another because of different practices.  He that keeps not a day, may unite in the same Spirit, in the same life, in the same love with him that keeps a day; and he who keeps a day, may unite in heart and soul with the same Spirit and life in him who keeps not a day; but he that judgeth the other because of either of these, errs from the Spirit, from the love, from the life, and so breaks the bond of unity.  And he that draws another to any practice, before the life in his own particular lead him; doth, as much as in him lies, destroy the soul of that person. . . .  And oh! how sweet and pleasant is it to the truly spiritual eye, to see several sorts of believers, several forms of Christians in the school of Christ, every one learning their own lesson, performing their own peculiar service, and knowing, owning, and loving one another in their several places, and different performances to their Master, to whom they are to give an account, and not to quarrel with one another about their different practices!"

     Isaac Penington the Younger, "About the authority and government Christ excluded out of his church; which occasioneth somewhat concerning the true church government," in An examination of the grounds or causes which are said to induce the court of Boston, in New-England, to make that order or law of banishment, upon pain of death, against the Quakers (1660), in The works of the long-mournful and sorely-distressed Isaac Penington, vol. 1, 3rd edition (London:  James Phillips, 1784 [1681]), 443-444.

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