A WARNING OF LOVE FROM THE Bowels of Life, TO THE Several Generations of Professors of this AGE, that they may Awaken and Turn towards the Life, to be truly cleansed & saved by its powerful Living Virtue, before the storm of Wrath break forth and theover-flowing Scourge overtake them, which will sweep away the strongest and most wel-built refuge of Lies, and sink those souls (even into the pit of misery) which are there found, when the storm comes.

Held forth in four Propositions, Assertions, or Considerations concern­ing Man in his Lost Estate, and his Recovery out of it.

Propos. 1. That Man is fallen from God.

THere is an Everlasting, Infinite, pure Fountain and Well-spring of Life, from whence all Creatures came; from whence their Life, Being, Motion, Vertue and Rest flows, in which they all have a place and standing according to their nature, estate, tempe­rature and course of operation in his eternal coun­sel, who made all, disposeth of all, ruleth in and over all eternal­ly: Whose everlasting kingdom and dominion (which was before all, and will be after all) cannot be excluded by any power or do­minion which ariseth after it; but onely so far as it self hath plea­sed it hath given way to that power of darkness, which is contrary to it: which how it sprang up, what it hath to do, and how it is to vanish, is not for man's comprehension to fathom.

[Page 2] In this Spring of life, man had an especial place and standing. The Lord had created and placed him Supreme, under himself, o­ver the works of his hands, gave him his Kingdom here on earth under him, gave him his Image to rule in, even a sufficient mea­sure of that eternal wisdom in which he formed him, to which he was to be subject himself, and by which he was to reign over and order all with delight, joy, and comfort in himself, to the praise and glory of him who formed all, and had given him the domi­nion over all. Here was the sweet estate, the sweet peace, the sweet liberty, the sweet unity of all, all being kept and preserved in that Life, Vertue, Wisdom, Goodness, Power and Love wherein they were made, the creatures naturally becoming subject to, serving and o­beying man (man using them and ruling over them not in the Tyranny, not in the Lust, not in the Vanity, not in the Excess; but in the Righteousness, in the Love, in the Meekness, in the Mo­deration, in the Divine Wisdom, in the pure power and virtue of the Life) man likewise naturally vailing to his Maker, walking in his Light, living in his Life, shining in his Beauty, conquering and triumphing (over all that might assault) in his strength, and con­tinuing perfect and streight before him in purity and cleanness of heart, in that sweet, pretious, preserving fear, which naturally springs up in the heart of the creature (not degenerated) towards his Creator and Preserver. Now, what could man want, having the Spring of Life so near him? What could he desire in the Puri­ty, in the Life, which the Father of Life could have with-held from him? Had he asked the Spirit, could the Father have denied him? and had he stood still a while in the Life, out of the Lust, could he have forborn asking the Spirit? Had he not so sudden­ly been tempted to the Tree of Knowledg, surely he had eaten of the Tree of Life, and had lived for ever.

But man being in honour, lodged not one night, (HE FEL THE FIRST NIGHT, read me who can) but became like the beasts that perish. He lost the Divine Image, and then had at best but the Natural: but that, depending upon the Divine, the beauty there­of was lost too. He lost the Eternal Wisdom, he lost the Spring, he lost the Godhead, he lost that which was to reign over the Creatures, and then he became but as the Creatures, nay worse then the crea­tures. What he henceforth knows of God (as he stands in the De­generation) he knows naturally, like bruit beasts (even by the natural exercise of his mind, with the faculties thereof, even as the [Page 3] beasts learn and know by their nature, after their kind) and in what he thus knows, he corrupts himself worse than the beasts. Let the Lord try him never so mu [...]h, never so often, drop down of the dew of heaven upon him, send him line upon line, precept upon pre­cept, now a little and then a little, yet he still remains bruitish, both in his understanding, receiving, and in his making use of it all. Still he forgets the truth, and loses himself in the image, gets a notion, an imagination, a comprehension of somewhat into his natural part (which changes him not inwardly, but still he is the same in his root, ground and nature) but the Life, the Eternal ver­tue he is still estranged from, and so is bruitish in all his knowledg and apprehensions of God and his Truths, bruitish in his worship­ping of him, bruitish in his belief and hopes, and his immortal soul perishes under all. Outward Israel was a true and full resem­blance of him, who had many Teachings, a pure Law of Worship, and sacrificing, many Prophets to reduce and restore them to the right path of holiness and obedience, but stil they were erring in their hearts from the Lord and his pure Law of Life, not knowing their Owner or their Masters Crib, so wel as the Ox or Ass did theirs, Isa. 1. 3.

Propos. 2. That Man, by all the imaginations that can enter into his heart, and by all the means he can use or courses he can run, cannot return back to God again, or so much as desire it.

The Fall of Man from God is such, that it hath benummed all his sences, yea so bereft him of them, that he cannot feel his own estate. He is dead, spiritually dead, and can no more feel his death, his spiritual death, then a man naturally dead can his natural death. He is bewitched into a fools Paradice, where he hath a new Life, a new Vertue, a new Wisdom, a new Kingdom, a new Domini­on (which is indeed but Death) with which he is so transported, that he forgetteth the old; and in this new spirit and estate, can­not so much as desire after it. Men speak of the Reliques of the Image, which the first man had: Ah poor deceived hearts. What Reliques of Life are there in a Dead Man? What Reliques of pu­rity in a man wholly degenerated and corrupted? Nay, nay; The Spiritual Image, the Divine Image, the Eternal Life, the pure Power and Vertue is wholly lost, and there is nothing left, but what is captivated and destroied through the degenerating power. There is nothing at all of the Eternal Kingdom, of the Spiritual Image, of the Divine Life to be found in fallen Man, but a little seed; and [Page 4] that Seed not so much as sown in his earth, as he stands in the de­generation; for the sowing of it is the beginning of the work anew. And now, who can read this Riddle? The Kingdom is within every man, & yet not so much as sown in any man, till the springing up of the eternal ver­tue according to the Eternal pleasure; nay the earth is not so much as prepared to receive the Seed, until the Lord send his Plough into the heart. So that it is impossible for fallen Man to attain to so much as one true breath­ing, or desire after God again; this must arise from the Grace, from the Mercy, from a New begetting (by the free gift) towards Life, towards the Divine Image again, which was slain in Man (and the impression of it on him wholly lost) ever since the Foun­dation of the world in his heart, which God hath set there, ever since he chose it. And indeed fallen Man degenerated Man (would the Spirit of the Lord let him alone, and not disquiet him) likes his own estate well enough. The world being written in his heart, his thoughts and desires are centred there, & of themselvs reach no further. Might he but have the enjoyment of the creatures without, and the enjoiment of such a kind of earthly knowledg & Wisdom within, as he now aspires after, he would sit down in Egypt & Babylon, resting fully satisfied with Egyptian knowledg & wisdom, & with the Babylonish treasures (might he have enough of them) and never think of Sion, and the pure holy Land of Life any more.

But when the Eternal stirs in him, when the pure Light opens at any time, then he has some little Glimmerings of his estate, then he has some sense of his fallen condition, and some desire to remedy it; What doth he then? Then he bestirs himself to get some­what to cover him, then he gathers stones and makes mortar to build up a Wall and raise a Tower, that he may not lye open to the deluge of Wrath; for, by this stirring of the life, he hath some little taste and sight, that he is not one with the life, but de­parted from it. The soul being awakened by the opening of its own spring in it, begins to feel the want of its spring: It wants the true Vertue, the true Peace, the true Joy, the true Comfort and Refreshment, the true Rest, the true Liberty, the true Life, the true Light; and for want of this, its estate is miserable: And in the stirring of the Spring, it feels this misery; and in this feeling it groans, it mourns, it pants, it cryes out, and the creatural earthly spirit can have no rest because of it. What therefore doth the creature do to still this cry? Why, it joyneth, as it were, with the soul, it useth all the means it can to attain that, which the [Page 5] soul sees the want of: It inquireth after God, hearkneth out after those that know him, studieth the Law, observeth the Statutes and Ordinances, performeth the Duties, Believeth, Prayeth, Ho­peth, Waiteth: nay, what is it, which the creature will nor set upon in this distress (especially if the Convictions of the Eternal Light pursue and follow him close) to still the cry of the soul, and to at­tain the price of the Eternal Inheritance, which is set before the Soul, which the Soul can never be at rest or satisfied, without some assurance of, and progress towards? But all this will not do. Man in all his own obedience, as well as in his disobedience is shut out. There is a flaming sword which turns every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life; insomuch as man can by no means come at the way to the true life, nor enter into the strait and narrow Path that leads thereto, but as he is cut to the heart, his life let out, and as he dyes, and comes into unity with that which slayes him, and keeps the way from him. So that man, in his running to God is thrust by, as well as in his running from him: in his willing and desiring after him he is rejected, as well as in his willing against him. It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Mark, There is a Birth of Bloods, a Birth of the will of the Flesh, a Birth of the will of Man, Joh. 1. 13. all these will, all these run (some of them very hard) but they are all thrust by, and dis-regarded by the Lord both in their willing, and in ther running. There are many found running the race, but one obtains the prize, which one is he that is born of God, to whom when God gives the prize, he will say to all the other Births (not­withstanding all their Willing and Running, their Beleeving, Hoping, Praying, &c.) Depart from me I know you not, ye are the fruit of a strange Womb, not of my Spouse, and so must not inherit my Kingdome. And as all these will be cut short of the Inheritance at last; so all that they do at present, is loathsome to the Lords soul. The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination; how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked minde, Prov. 21. 27. His Sacrifice, his Worshipping of God, his Praying, his reading of Scriptures, his meditating there­on, and of God, and his Works, his Beleeving, Hoping, Waiting, fearing of Threatnings and applying of Promises, &c. all is abo­mination. The wicked man, he whose heart is not circumcised by the Lords Eternal Spirit, whatsoever he can, or doth Sacrifice to God, the Lord loaths, and it cannot profit his soul.

Object. Yea, when he does them in hypocrisie, so they are.

[Page 6] Answ. Nay, more then so. When he doth them with an evill heart, they are much more abominable, how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked minde? but let him bring it with a good minde with that which he calls the good heart (for the circumci­sed heart, the heart of the true New Birth is only the good heart, not that heart which every false Birth is apt to call good) let him bring it with that heart, which he takes to be the upright heart, with an honest intention, so far as he knows, take his Sacrifices at the very best, at the very purest he can attain to, yet then they are Abomination.

And the reason hereof is plain and manifest. The Fountain is unclean, the Root in him is corrupt; And who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Make the Tree good, and his fruit will be good: But while the Tree is bad, the Fruit cannot be good. Now can the holy God be pleased with that Sacrifice which comes from the unclean Spring? Can God own or approve that knowledge of himself, that Faith, that Love, that Obedience, that Integrity, or Uprightness, that Industry or Diligence, those Prayers or Breath­ings, which man pumps up out of the old Cistern? Nay all these must into the Pit, with the common Filthiness and Pollutions of the earth: And when the Lord rakes this aside from the several sorts of Professors, what will be left in them? Oh how many have builded up a wall, dawbing it with untempered Mortar, which will not stand in the day of Trial, nor shelter them from the Eternal Flames? Oh what yelling and roaring will there shortly be in such, as by no means would be warned, but would be justi­fying of themselves in their false knowledg and practises, and re­serving their Fabricks of Religion to the trial of the day! and the day will try them indeed, even to the bitter perplexity and an­guish of their hearts, when they come to see that there is now no way of escape, but they must lye down in the bed of Eternal Sor­row, Misery, and Torment, and in utter Separation from that, wherein they thought they had a large and unquestionable share.

Propos. 3. That all Professions of God and of Christ upon the earth, all knowledg and beliefs whatsoever, with all practises of Duties and Ordinances of Worship, save only such as proceed from, and are held in the pure life, are but as so many Fig-leaves, or deceitful Plaisters, which may skin over the wound, but canot truly heal it.

The wound of man is deep by the Fall: He hath really lost [Page 7] God, is shut out of his Commonwealth, yea (in that estate) is alto­gether without hope (for the hope springs from Gods Visitation of him with his Light, and from the living Promise.)

That which recovers man is the Eternal Vertue, the Endless Power, the Life Immortal, the Christ of God.

Now what ever knowledge man gathers (whether from the Book of the Creatures, or from the Scriptures, or any other wayes) or what ever man professes, or what ever man practises out of this, it is but a cover of his own, but a formed thing, but his own Image of Truth, of Knowledge, of Faith, of Love, of Obedience, of Worship; it is not the Living Truth the Living Know­ledge, the Living Faith, the Living Love, the Living Obedience, the Living Worship: And so it is but mortal, but fleshly; & when it coms before the Eternal flames, it wil not abide them, but vanish. All flesh is grass: all the Knowledg, the Faith, the Love, the Worship, the Obedience, the Righteousness, &c. which man (who is ignorant of the leadings and power of the Life) can come at, is but Grass: yea the flower of it, the seeming beauty and goodliness of it, the very choicest of it in any sort of Professors, is but as the flower of the field; it may make a fair shew there, but when the Lord cutteth it down with his fickle, and when his Sun riseth upon it with its burning heat, it wil soon wither, and his fire wil soon devour it, so that its very place shal be found no more? What wil become of all the fruit that flesh hath born, when God maketh bare, and cutteth down the root? what wil become of all Mortal Knowledg of the Scriptures, Mortal Wor­ship, the Faith and Obedience which hath its root, growth and spreading in the mortal part when the Lord heweth at it with his immortal Axe? Do not deceive your selves; There is nothing wil stand but what is immortal, and that which is gathered into it, and so one with it: no Knowledg, no Faith, no Love, no Obedience, no Worship, no Hopes, but what spring from the Seed, are gathered into the Seed, and live in the Seed. This will abide, when all that springs from man and hath its place and residence in the mortal part (and not in the true Treasury) wil come to an end, and dis­appoint all who have fixed their hopes of the inheritance there:

Propos. 4. That the living Seed of Eternal Life, which God hath hid in Man underneath his earth, hath in it the Living Vertue, which alone can heal Man and restore him to God.

That which heals of the Death is the Tree of Life, whose Rind or Bark, whose Leavs, whose Blossoms, whose Fruit, whose Boughs and [Page] branches, whose Bulk or Body, with the whole Sap thereof, is all healing, & there is nothing else can heal. Let man catch all the knowledge that ever sprang from the Life; If he could beleeve (I mean in the mans part) all that ever the Life spake, if it were so that he could perform all that ever the Life called for, yet this would not heal him at all: Whereas the least vertue from the life, springing up into, and livingly retained in the Lifes vessel, truly refreshes and heals. The Seed in all its springings up, and shootings forth in the heart, lets out of its healing vertue. Let [...] proof, a Conviction, a Judgement, a Condemnation, which wounds that part which hath erred from the life, yet even in that there is a secret, hidden healing of somewhat else. The smitings of the righteous principle are as Balm, and its reproofs as an excellent Oyl. Thy Rod and thy Staffe comfort me. Light is sown for the righteous, and Joy for the upright in heart; in all the tearings, smitings and rendings of the earthly part (with which the Seed also suffers) and the faith, in which these are received is the present substance of the healing, from the eternal vertue hoped for.

Now, who will be wise? let him become a fool in the flesh: Who will be strong? Let him become weak in the mans part. Who will be saved by the Eternal Power? Let him cease from the man in himself. Who ever would be able, in the Life, to do all things, let him sink into that himself which is not, that it may bring to nought all things in him that are, that so it alone may be; and he, by it being brought to nothing, will easily become all in it. This is the true way of Restora­tion of Redemption; first to be lost, to be overcome, to be drowned, to be made nothing by that which is not, that that may come to BE in him, and he be quickned raised up and perfected in that, and so become possessour of the Fulness. The race is not to the swift, nor the battel to the strong; but he that daily loseth his strength, and his ability to know, or so much as to will or desire (even till at length he become nothing at all) in him is the Corrupt at last destroyed, and the mortal swallowed up of the Life. He that feels the pure Seed springing up; and by the growth of that is daily Begotten, Quickned, Raised, Justified, Sanctified, Circumcised, Bapti­sed, fed in one part, and starved in another: When the work of Begetting, Quickning, Raising, Regenerating, Justifying, Sanctifying, Circumcising, Baptising is finished in him, and he is throughly begotten into the Life, quickned by the Life, raised in the Life, Regenerated, Justified, Sanctified, Circumcised and Baptised through the Life; he shall have the Kingdome, wear the Crown, enter into the joy of his Lord, weild­ing the Scepter of Righteousness with his Lord, in his Kingdome for ever. Now this work is to be done in the heart on this side the grave; for after death comes Judgement for the things done in the body; and the Tree is to be disposed of, ac­cording as it is found at its fall, either to the fire, or to grow and flourish in the Land of Life. Therefore be not sloathful, but watch unto the movings of the Li­ving Seed, that its work may be perfected, that it may arrive at its Stature, and come to its full growth and may finish its Service and Testimony, that so it may enter into its Habitation, and receive you with it into its Everlasting Mansion, where every Servant, and constant Sufferer with the Seed, shall be welcomed of its Father, and remain partaker of their Joy and Fulness for Ever.

ISAAC PENNINGTON The younger.
THE END.

LONDON, Printed for Robert Wilson, at the sign of the Black-spread-Eagle and Wind mill, in Martins le Grand, 1660.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.