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Dignitaries of the papal confederacy are just now very prominent in benevolent movements, and we may be sure that they have ends to serve other than those which strike the public eye. A priest lives only for his church ; he may profess to have other objects, but this is a mere blind. Our ancient enemies have small belief in our common sense if they imagine that we shall ever be able to trust them, after having so often beheld the depths of Jesuitical cunning and duplicity. The sooner we let certain Archbishops and Cardinals know that we are aware of their designs, and will in nothing co-operate with them, the better for us and our country. Of course, we shall be howled at as bigots, but we can afford to smile at that cry, when it comes from the church which invented the Inquisition. “No peace with Rome” is the motto of reason as well as of religion.
C. H. S.
The founder of Pennsylvania.
BY G. HOLDEN PIKE.
[PART 1.] W HATEVER differences of opinion may exist in regard to the
value of the life-work of William Penn, all intelligent observers of the times in which he lived concede to the great Quaker those distinctions which belong to men of superior powers, and to notable historical characters. From our stand-point, Penn also stands out as an eminent Christian Patriot, as will appear as we proceed. The family to which he belongs are of a good stock, dating their pedigree far back in the dim centuries of English history. The grandfather of William was a sort of sea-adventurer, who succeeded in winning the countenance of Charles the First, and partly by means of presents of hawks and high-bred horses which were brought from distant climes for the King's use. Then William had an uncle, who inherited in full measure the daring and enterprise of his race. He settled on Spanish soil and grew rich; but paid for his temerity by falling into the hands of enemies, and by having to surrender his wealth to the fierce agents of the Inquisition. He was tortured well-nigh to death, and languished in prison during three years.
Admiral Penn, William's father, may be classed among the trimmers of the Commonwealth; for while not disdaining to receive honour and emolument from Cromwell, he maintained friendly communications with the exiled King on the Continent. When his real character was detected by the Protector, this able colleague of Blake, and some others, were committed to the Tower. But these family troubles were of brief duration. With the dawn of the Restoration, the old seaman's star was again in ascendancy. As a favourite with the new King, the Admiral was not slow in conforming to the new order of things. He became a commissioner in the Navy, and his house in Navy Gardens, near Whitehall, was soon a rendezvous for fast livers and deep drinkers. "The Admirai, who had been a Puritan among the Puritans," to borrow a sentence of slang from Penn's latest biographer, “became a roystering blade with the returning cavaliers.”
Yet, though the Admiral lapsed into the loose living common to the times, he exercised jndicious forethought on behalf of his son, for whom he harboured ambitious designs. Being in possession of ample means, he determined that William should go forth into the world with every advantage springing from a superior education; and, having benefited by a liberal preparatory training, William was already at Oxford while the Restoration was becoming history, and while Dr. Owen was Dean of the University. William was a tender-hearted boy, one who in very early life discovered that religion carried an attractive face; and at Oxford, among grave Puritan professors and hard-working students, the good impressions of childish days returned in force. Moreover, though go young, this youth could think for himself. He looked into the question relating to the union of Church and State, and imbibed Nonconformist principles. He also listened to the doctrinal teachings of the new sect of Quakers which was just rising, and in the foibles of the weakest among whom, “roystering blades" found targets for their arrows of wit and banter. The poor Quakers, with their odd whimsies of refusing to remove a hat even in presence of the King, and of declining an oath in the highest court, were everywhere reviled, ridiculed and spoken against ; but provided he thought them in the right, Penn was strong enough to disregard the popular verdict. It was quite otherwise with the Admiral. The world was his idol; and he felt that he could not afford to risk losing its good opinion. He wanted bravery to face the world's sneers. On William's return home, therefore, the Admiral was highly chagrined on discovering the extent of the change which had taken place in his son's character and outward bearing. He would have laughed and scoffed these notions away, but his breath would have been as effectively spent in trying to blow down one of the oaks in Navy Gardens. Then came threats and storms of passion. Young Penn was even turned out of doors; but when a reconciliation took place, in consequence of the mother's tears and entreaties, the Admiral thought of other and more potent means of winning William back to the world. He would send the young scholar to Paris, where his zeal would vanish into air, and his love of former ways return. Nor were the hopes of the elder Penn entirely disappointed. Amid the tinselled glitter and elegant pleasures of the Paris of Louis the Fourteenth, William partially relapsed into a worldly mind, and according to Pepys, returned home, transformed into “a fine gentleman.” The French manners were ingrained into him, until little of the Puritanism of Oxford appeared to be left in his nature.
In time, however, the good impressions of other days returned. Penn realised the vanity of earthly advancement and reputation, in an unusual degree for a youth of his years. The father observed the change with pain. As on a former occasion Paris had acted as an antidote, so now, for a similar purpose, the Admiral placed William at the lively court of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Again it was seen with satisfaction that the worldly spirit returned. Cordially received by the Duke of Ormonde, the brilliant young courtier lived and moved as one of the stars of the Dublin aristocracy. Once more the delighted
Admiral saw his object partially gained. Amid the music and feasting, the smiles of high-born ladies, and the sprightly converse of fashionable men, William's religious enthusiasm again cooled, though his morality and high principle remained unimpaired. It even happened that he, who was destined to live henceforth a pattern and apostle of peace, listened to the siren voice of the tempter Military Glory. A petty insurrection or mutiny broke out among the soldiers of a neighbouring garrison ; and none more signally distinguished themselves in restoring order than William Penn. He tasted the cup of flattery, and so fascinating did the attractions of a soldier's life appear, that the Admiral was petitioned to yield to his son a captaincy in the army; but for this office William fortunately petitioned in vain. It was providentially ordered, when he found himself thus disappointed; though even had he secured the captaincy, it is not probable that he would long have retained bis military honours. Again he saw the vanity of the glitter and rivalry which reigned around him in Dublin ; and, when the world ceased to yield satisfaction, religion reappeared with her unfading attractions. The Quakers had previously impressed him by their preaching; now he finally embraced their doctrines. The Admiral was more than displeased. His indignation was aroused ; and, on resisting all entreaties to return to former ways, William was turned out of doors!
Turned away from home a second time, on account of adherence to principle, William saw his father relent after the first outbreak of passion. În the meantime, the convert set his hand to the gospel plough, and commenced preaching with power and acceptance, accounting no fatigue too heavy in this high service. His pen also was not idle. “Truth Exalted,” his first publication, attracted considerable notice. This was soon followed by “ The Sandy Foundation Shaken," a pamphlet written in defence of his principles against the attacks of other Nonconformists. Of the controversial passages contained in these works, it would be wearying to speak. Probably the insertion of some things in Penn's first literary efforts did not reflect a very mature wisdom; and, certainly they were the occasion of many false reports concerning their author. Some persons understood Penn to deny his belief in the doctrine of the Trinity. Penn, however, believed in the Trinity, and indignantly repelled the charge of having explained away the Deity of Christ. “I pretend to know," he said, “no other name by which remission, atonement, and salvation, can be obtained, but Jesus Christ the Saviour, who is the power and wisdom of God.” Nevertheless, he was misunderstood. The quarto pamphlet created an unusual stir. The author was committed to the Tower. This imprisonment, not being effected quite in legal form, soon became a matter of some difficulty, both to the King and his advisers; while the outside world of friends and enemies, were filled with admiration when beholding the unyielding and dignified bearing of the prisoner. Yet, neither the King nor his advisers, appears to have been animated by any remarkable bitterness. Perhaps they even wished for some way of creditably dismissing their captive ; for Stillingfleet, as one of the most eloquent and popular of living divines, was actually appointed to visit the young, sturdy, and uncompromising Quaker, and if possible, to argue him out of his monstrous principles. But Stillingfleet was not likely to succeed where a father had failed. The churchman spoke, though he spoke in vain, to a mind as powerful and logical as his own. " Tell the King," cried Penn, “ that the Tower is the worst argument in the world. Whoever is in the wrong, those who use force in religion can never be in the right."
A Puritan Quaker, if only tolerably well supplied with quills and paper, did not set down a seven-months' confinement in the Tower as any very extraordinary cross. “No Cross, no Crown,” came forth from Penn's cell to encourage many to be faithful unto death, who now enjoy eternal rest. Released in 1669, William was reconciled to his father, and crossed over into Ireland to look after the family estates, and in a few months he again returned to England.
Of course, this young enthusiast, grave beyond his years, and earnest almost beyond his strength, was a surprising enigma to the crowd of gay courtiers and greedy place-hunters who thronged the gallery of Whitehall. Though he had not long come of age, he was deliberately turning his back on the most brilliant prospects which the world can spread before the young. Not only did he renounce the world; he courted what the world contemned. First a Puritan, he soon degenerated into something even more odious in the eyes of fashionable men and women-he actually joined the most despised section of Puritanism, the Quakers, or Shakers, as some called them ; people whose absurd every-day procedure and unaccountable opinions grieved the pious, and formed convenient butts for the wit of court fops and profligate playwrights. Yes, William Penn was a phenomenon ; though, as his writings testified, he was no dullard.
He was at large once more; though in such times, when scarcely any were found who dreamed of toleration, and when hundreds of the Christian populace were languishing in noisome prisons, it was not to be expected that a man of Penn's bearing and opinions would long continue free from trouble. When the soldiers were called out to suppress Nonconformist meetings, Penn and a companion were arrested in Gracechurch Street. Because the military held possession of the chapel, the congregation proceeded with their worship in the street, and thus composed what was an unlawful and riotous assembly in the eye of the law of those days. The trial which ensued was among the most remarkable judicial proceedings of the times, besides being one of those disgraceful scenes which expose the intolerance and coarseness of the Revolution era. The prisoners were browbeaten and reviled by Starling the Lord Mayor, and by Howell, the Recorder of London; and in a style which might have served as a model for Jeffreys in subsequent days. But although trimming sycophants sat on the bench, who were glad of an opportunity of insulting English gentlemen, freedom had not quite released her hold on England. The jury were true to their oath. For days and nights they held out with neither food nor fire. They returned an evasive verdict, and at last, to the chagrin of the judges, gave in an acquittal. They were fined for contempt of court, and committed to Newgate with the prisoners; though this was soon proved to be an illegal exercise of power in the Court of Common Pleas. Penn himself absolutely refused to pay money in obedience to the arbitrary order of unjust judges. The admiral lay in his last sickness at Wanstead, longing to see the son he now thought had been treated too
harshly. The son, also, would have paid down any price for liberty at such a time, short of a surrender of principle. Principle must be preserved at any cost; and thus the prisoner begged that the fines might not be paid. Some unknown friend, however, paid the fines, and the patriotic, self-denying Penn was released.
Soon after being released from prison a second time, Penn lost his father by death. Having drunk copiously of the cup of temporal prosperity, the admiral perceived the vanity of earth's best things, and, it is hoped, set his heart ere it was too late, on eternal riches. “Son William,” he cried, “I am weary of the world. I would not live over my days again. ... The shares of life are greater than the fears of death. ... Oh, have a care of sin ! It is that which is the sting both of life and death. ... Let nothing in this world tempt you to wrong your conscience. . . Whatever you design to do, lay it justly and time it seasonably. . ,. Be not troubled at disappointments, for if they may be recovered, do it; if they cannot, trouble is vain." He repented, too, of past unkindness to William, even though William may have been misguided in his enthusiasm for “ The Quaker Way.” Then things which the admiral had lightly esteemed now appeared of first importance in his eyes. The dying man also entertained fears that on account of his religious zeal William would turn out a thriftless manager; and, consequently, a message was sent both to the King and the Duke of York, asking them to keep a friendly eye on the young man. Hence the duke became William's guardian, or a trustee of the family property; and hence, also, the relationship between Penn and James II., which has been wrongfully interpreted.
The times being what they were, it was almost impossible for conscientious dissenters to preserve their liberty ; but though Penn again suffered a six months imprisonment for speaking to an unlawful assembly in Wheeler Street, life did not want pleasant variety. He travelled in Holland; and when it is said he travelled, it is commonly meant that he laboured by the way as an itinerant preacher of the gospel. In Holland he heard much to interest him concerning that New World whither people were fast removing in search of “Freedom to worship God.” After returning from this excursion, Penn met the pious, sprightly, and handsome Guliema Springett, whose father, at the age of twenty-three, lost his life in the civil wars. At Chalfont, in Backs, did the fortunate suitor first set eyes on the amiable Guli, who during her maidenhood had been highly privileged the brilliant circle of her neighbours and acquaintances having included John Milton and other celebrities. Penn asked Guli to become his wife, and soon they were happily married.
The zealous Quaker still laboured hard, both as a preacher and writer. He also added to the interest he had long felt in America by consenting to act as a trustee of the territory of West New Jersey. A code of laws being drawn up for the colony, with proposals and directions for intending emigrants, hundreds of persons took advantage of the opportunity to escape from English persecution.
* It was a fortunate thing for the natives and settlers of an American state, with an area nearly equal to that of England, when as a rich uncultivated wild it passed into the possession of so earnest and devoted a