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stood my father was from home. Wherefore I sat down by the fire in the kitchen; keeping my mind retired to the Lord, with breathings of spirit to him, that I might be preserved from falling
After some time I heard the coach drive in, which put me into a little fear, and a sort of shivering came over me. But by that time he was alighted and come in, I had pretty well recovered myself; and as soon as I saw him, I arose up and advanced a step or two towards him, with my head covered, said, Isaac Pennington and his wife remember their loves to thee.
He made a stop to hear what I said, and observing that I did not stand bare, and that I used the word thee to him, he, with a stern countenance, and tone that spake ligh displeasure, only said, I shall talk with you, sir, another time; and so hastening from me, went into the parlour; and I saw him no more that night.
Though I foresaw there was a storm ari. sing, the apprehension of which was uneasy to me, yet the peace which I felt in my own breast, raised in me a return of thanksgivings to the Lord, for his gracious supporting hand, which had thus far carried me through this exercise, with humble cries in spirit to him, that he would vouchsafe to stand by me in it to the end; and uphold me, that I might not fall.
My spirit longed to be among friends, and to be at some meeting with them on the firstday, which now drew on; this being the sixth-day night. Wherefore, I purposed to go to Oxford on the morrow, which was the seventh-day of the week, having heard there was a meeting there. Accordingly, having ordered my horse to be made ready betimes, I got up in the morning and made myself ready also.
Yet before I would go, that I might be as observant to my father as possibly I could, I desired my sister to go up to him in his chamber, and acquaint him that I had a mind to go to Oxford ; and desired to know if he pleased to command me any service there. He bid her tell me, he would not have me go till he had spoken with me. And getting up immediately, he hastened down to me before he was quite dressed.
As soon as he saw me standing with my hat on, his passion transporting him, he fell upon me with both his fists ; and having by that means somewhat vented his anger, he plucked off my hat and threw it away. Then stepping hastily out to the stable, and seeing my borrowed nag stand ready saddled and bridled, he asked his man whence that horse came? who telling him he fetched it from Mr.--- such an one's, then ride him presently back, said my father, and tell Mr.I desire he will never lend my son an horse again, unless he brings a note from me.
The poor fellow, who loved me well, would fain have made excuses and delays; but my father was positive in his command, and so urgent, that he would not let him stay so much as to take his breakfast, though he had five miles to ride; nor would he himself stir from the stable till he had seen the man mounted and gone.
Then coming in, he went up into his cham. ber to make himself more fully ready; think. ing he had me safe enough now my horse was gone ; for I took so much delight in riding, that I seldom went on foot.
But while he was dressing himself in his chamber, I, who understood what had been done, changing my boots for shoes, took another hat, and acquainting my sister, who loved me very well, and whom I could confide in, whither I meant to go, went out privately, and walked away to Wiccomb, having seven long miles thither; which yet seemed little and easy to me, from the desire I had to be
As thus I travelled all alone, under a load of grief, from the sense I had of the opposition and hardship I was to expect from my father, the enemy took advantage to assault me again, Casting a doubt into my mind, whether I had done well in thus coming away from my father, without his leave or knowledge ?
I was quiet and peaceable in my spirit be. fore this question was darted into me; but after that, disturbance and trouble seized upon
me, so that I was at a stand what to do; whether to go forward or backward. Fear of offending inclined me to go back, but desire of the meeting and to be with Friends, pressed me to go forward.
I stood still awhile, to consider and weigh, as well as I could, the matter. I was sensibly satisfied, that I had not left my father with any intention of undutifulness, or disrespect to him ; but merely in obedience to that drawing of spirit, which I was persuaded was of the Lord, to join with his people in worshipping him; and this made me easy.
But then the enemy, to make me uneasy again, objected, but how could that drawing be of the Lord which drew me to disobey my father?
I considered thereupon the extent of paternal power, which I found was not wholly arbi. trary and unlimited; but had bounds set unto it. So that as in civil matters it was restrained to things lawful, so in spiritual and religious cases, it had not a compulsory power over con.. science ; which ought to be subject to the heav.. enly father. And therefore, though obedience to parents be enjoined to children, yet it is with this limitation, in the Lord: children obey
, your parents in the Lord: for this is right : 1 Pet. ii. 1.
This turned the scale for going forward; and so on I went. And yet I was not wholly free from some fluctuations of mind, from the besettings of the enemy. Wherefore, although
I knew that outward signs did not properly belong to the gospel dispensation, yet for my better assurance, I did, in fear and great humility, beseech the Lord, that he would be pleased so far to condescend to the weakness of his servant, as to give me a sign, by which I might certainly know whether my way was right before him, or not.
The sign which I asked was, that if I had done wrong in coming as I did, I might be rejected, or but coldly received, at the place I was going to; but if this mine undertaking was right in his sight, he would give me favour with them I went to ; so that they should receive me with hearty kindness and demonstrations of love. Accordingly, when I came to John Raunce's house (which, being so much a stranger to all, I chose to go to, because I understood the meeting was commonly held there ;') they received me with more than ordinary kindness; especially. Frances Raunce, John Raunce's then wife, who was both a grave and motherly woman, and had a hear. ty love to truth, and tenderness towards all that in sincerity sought after it. And this so kind reception, confirming me in the belief, that my undertaking was approved of by the Lord, gave great satisfaction and ease to my mind; and I was thankful to the Lord thered for.
Thus it fared with me there ; but at home it fared otherwise with my father. He supposing I had betaken myself to my chamber, when