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young as she was, the gravity of her look and behaviour struck such an awe upon me, that I found myself not so much master of myself, as to pursue any further converse with her; wherefore, asking pardon for my boldness in having intruded myself into her private walks, I withdrew, not without some disorder (as I thought at least) of mind.
We stayed dinner, which was very hand. some; and lacked nothing to recommend it to me, but the want of mirth and pleasant discourse; which we could neither have with them, nor, by reason of them, with one another amongst ourselves; the weightiness that was upon their spirits and countenances, keep'ing down the lightness that would have been up in us. We stayed notwithstanding till the rest of the company took leave of them : and then we also, doing the same, returned, not greatly satisfied with our journey, nor knowing what in particular to find fault with.
Yet this good effeet that visit had upon my father, who was then in the commission for the peace, that it disposed him to a more fa. vourable opinion of, and carriage towards those people when they came in his way; as not long after one of them did. For a young man, who lived in Buckinghamshire, came on a firstday to the church, so called, at a town called Chinner, a mile from Crowell, having it seems, a pressure
on his mind to say something to the minister of that parish. He being an acquaintance of mine, drew me sometimes to hear
bim, as it did then. The young man stood in the aisle before the pulpit, all the time of the sermon; not speaking a word till the sermont and prayer after it was ended : and then spake a few words to the priest.. Of which all that I could bear was, that the prayer of the wicked is abomination to the Lord; and that God heareth not sinners.
Somewhat more, I think, he did say, which I could not distinctly hear, for the noise the people made, and more probably he would have said!, had he not been interrupted by the officers, who took him into custody, and led him out, in order to carry him before my father..
When I understood that, I hastened home, that I might give my father a fair account of the matter, before, they came.. I told him the young man behaved himself quietly and peace. ably ; spake not a word till the minister had quite done his service: and that what he then spake was but short; and was delivered without passion, or ill language. This I knew would furnish my father with a fair ground, whereon to discharge the man, if he would.
And accordingly, when they came and made an high complaint against the man, who said little for himself;, niy father, having examina ed the officers who brought him, what the words that he spake were, (which they did not well agree in) and at what time he spake them, which they all agreed to be after the minister had done, and then whether he gave the min.
ister any reviling language, or endeavoured to raise a tumult among the people, which they could not charge him with : not finding that he had broken the law, he counselled the young man to be careful that he did not make, or occasion any public disturbances, and so dismissed him; which I was glad of.
Some time after this, my father, having gotten some further account of the people called Quakers, and being desirous to be informed concerning their principles, made another vi. sit to Isaac Penington and his wife, at their house called the Grange, in Peter's-Chalfont; and took both my sisters and me with him.
It was in the tenth month, in the year 1659, that we went thither; where we found a very kind reception, and tarried some days': one day, at least, the longer, for that, while we were there, a meeting was appointed, at a place about a mile from thence; to which we were invited to go, and willingly went.
It was held in a farm-house, called the Grove; which, having formerly been a gentleman's seat, had a very large hall, and that well filled.
To this meeting came Edward Burrough, besides other preachers, as Thomas Curtis and James Nailor: but none spake there at that time, but Edward Burrough. Next to whom, as it were under him, it was my lot to sit, on a stool by the side of a long table, on which he sat; and I drank in his words with desire : for they not only answered my
understanding, but warmed my heart with a certain heat, which I had not till then felt from the ministry of any man. » When the meeting was ended, our friends took us home with them again ; and after supper, the evenings being long, the servants of the family, who were Quakers, were called in, and we all sat down in silence. we had not so sat, before Edward Burrough began to speak among us. And although he spake not long, yet what he said did touch, as I suppose, my father's religious copy-hold, as the phrase-is. And he, having been from his youth a professor, though not joined in that which is called close communion with any one sort; and valuing himself upon the knowledge he esteemed himself to have, in the vari. ous notions of each profession, thought he had, now a fair opportunity to display his knowledge; and thereupon began to make objections against what had been deliver
The subject of the discourse was, the universal free grace of God to all mankind. To which he opposed the calvinistical tenet of particular and personal PREDESTINATION. In defence of which indefensible notion, he found himself more at a loss than he expected. Edward Burrough said not much to him upon it, though what he said was close and cogent. But James Nailor interposing, handled the the subject with so much perspicuity and clear demonstration, that his reasoning seem.
ed to be irresistible; and so I suppose my father found it, which made him willing to drop the discourse.
As for Edward Burrough, he was a brisk young man, of a ready toligue, and might have been, for ought I then knew, a scholar, which made me the less to admire his way of reasoning. But what dropped from James Nailor, had the greater force upon me, because he looked but like a plain, sin pie country-man, having the appearance of an husband-man, or a shepherd.
As my father was not able to maintain the argument on his side, so neither did they seem willing to drive it on to an extremity on their side. "But treating him in a soft and gentle manner, did, after a while, let fall the dis. course : and then we withdrew to our respective chambers.
The next morning we prepared to return home, that is, my father, my younger sister, and myself : for my elder sister was gone before, by the stage coach, to London. And when, having taken our leaves of our friends, we went forth; they, with Edward Burrough, accompanying us to the gate : he there direct.
ed his speech, in a few words to each of us • severally ; according to the sense he had of
our several conditions. And when we were gone off, and they gone in again ; they asking him what he thought of us : he answered them, (as they afterwards told me) to this effect, as for the old man, he is settled on his lees;