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Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 5th mo. 28, 2014 at 9:11am

Going to the source of thought, where there is a full sense of life and light, is the calling of our humanity. It is uplifting, vital, restful to enjoy.  In an essay titled "Declaring the New Creation," I wrote: "The New Creation, the new Being is not always apparent to us, in fact, is seldom so. Yet we remember its presence and therefore infer that at every moment, the New Creation is available to each and every human being. And so we seek; we cultivate; we strive to nurture ourselves and to communicate to others. Enfolded in God's glory, we do become new beings--perfect, whole, joyful, and free."

You are saying, Keith, that it is possible to live always in this awareness of the Spirit of Christ. Though that has been my desire for more than half my life (that is, since becoming aware that this transcendence is possible), I do not continuously live in the Presence. It would be heaven on Earth to do so. Your testimony is an encouragement to me. That is what the true Church is for: the edification of its members.

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 5th mo. 28, 2014 at 9:17am

I think that there's a typo in line 5: I'm thinking it should read "shined clearly in men's spirits" instead of "sinned clearly...."

Would you tell me which volume this Penington essay is from? I found one by the same title in volume 4, page 4, but it wasn't the right one.

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 5th mo. 28, 2014 at 7:21pm

Oh Rick, one's spelling can be wrong; one's grammar can be wrong; one's punctuation can be wrong, and still one can know the spirit of Christ. Can you see the difference between mechanics and Spirit? If not, why not?

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 5th mo. 28, 2014 at 8:10pm

I think Rick can see the difference!  He was just giving a Friendly josh!  I know he's a mellow guy!

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 5th mo. 28, 2014 at 9:06pm

There is Laughter in Christ.

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 5th mo. 29, 2014 at 9:08am

Reading your explanation, Rick, I now see that your comment wasn't ill intentioned. Thanks for that! Perfection, meaning unity with the spirit of Christ, has nothing to do with error-free syntax. Paul says that "we have this treasure in clay jars"--jars that can and will be chipped and broken, but the treasure is perfect. That treasure is the living principle to which Friend Saylor refers in this blog piece. Too often its bearers are assailed, from Abel to Zechariah, and joshing as a covert form of attack is not unusual. I'm glad that you weren't doing that.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 5th mo. 29, 2014 at 2:22pm

Comment by Keith Saylor on 5th mo. 29, 2014 at 4:50pm


You are correct. It should have read "shined." I copy and paste quotations into posts. Sometimes the program I use auto corrects a piece of text and I don't catch it.

I usually read from the 1761 four volume set of Penington. The spelling is middle english. I study middle and old english and I just feel comfortable with it. Here is a link to one of the volumes on Google:

The quotes are posted are from an 1863 reprint of the set with updated spelling. Volume Four. Again in Google:

The First quote is from page 32.

The second quote is from page 34.

The Third quote is from page 34.

The Fourth quote is from page 20.


Comment by Keith Saylor on 5th mo. 30, 2014 at 4:01pm


I thought I had appended this quote from Penington to my letter above. Two queries I thought you might appreciate from Volume Four of The Works of Penington page 73:

Query 7. Did the apostles ever preach such a doctrine, that no man could be perfected in this life ; but man must always (every day) be committing sin ? Nay, did they not speak wisdom among them that were perfect, and say, Let as many of us as be perfect, be thus minded? Did they not distinguish between the weak, and between the strong and perfect? Do they not speak of some that had overcome the wicked one, and were born of God, and did not sin ? It is a precious thing to feel the power of God regenerating the mind; but it is much more precious to witness it regenerated. But that state none know but they that are in it ; but this is most certain, that sin is shut out of it, and that all things are new there.

Query 8. Will the mystery of life, where it is received and turned to, ever cease working against the mystery of death, until it hath wrought it out of the mind ? Shall judgment never be brought forth unto victory over sin in the heart ? Shall there never be pure and full communion with the Lord here in this world, without the interruption of sin? "These things," saith John, "I write to you, that your joy may be full." Shall the joy never be full in any? How can the joy be full, where sin hath power, and breaks in upon the soul, and prevaileth upon the mind, even to the committing of it daily? The soul that is weary of sin, and grieved at its grieving God's Spirit thereby, can never come to full union and fellowship with the Lord, nor to have its joy full, while it doth that which grieves God's Spirit; for it is impossible but it should grieve the soul also, and weaken its joy and rejoicing in the Lord.

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Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 5th mo. 31, 2014 at 9:22am

Thank you, Keith, for writing of your growth in the Presence. All of it rings true, and some of it has likewise been my experience. Key to this growth, I believe, is intention, which you affirmed (and is also the advice given by Jesus to his disciples in Mk. 13: "Watch"). I've read in The Philokalia of rigorous regimens of formal prayer and vigils throughout the night to accomplish focusing one's intention. I've not taken this up myself, because it seems excessive. But even though I'm able to focus and receive the Spirit during solitary prayer and meeting for worship, that's not the case during my daily routine; it's there that I feel lost in distractions. So, I'm considering how to handle this. I also appreciated your observation "Christ is as willing to fade in consciousness as to flame in brilliant clarity." You've chosen your verbs well, I think, as I too have felt this same movement. It's heartening and wondrous that life is such that we are supported in finding and securing a regenerated, beatific consciousness. 

Thanks also for the two queries. I especially like the first sentence of the 8th, as it names the mystery of life as a force that is actively working for our benefit (It's good to have allies!). I'm grateful for the unrelenting vigor of these early witnesses: first the apostles, then the Quakers. The Penington writings that I have are those published by Quaker Heritage Press in 1997. The four volumes are a transcription of the 1863 edition and has a list of approximate page correspondences to that edition.  


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