페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

sometimes appointing more public meetings for the infor mation of persons of other societies, whom also they visit, at their duty or inclination leads them. This seems to have been the case with Penn and his companions, whose prin. cipal business at Herwerden was in visiting the princess and her family. She received them with great readiness, and they remained four days at her town, in which time they had many religious opportunities, both for worship and conference, with her and in her house, one of which was open to the inhabitants of the town. On leaving Herwerden, he took a circuit in Germany, by Cassel, Francfort, Chrisheim, Manheim, Mentz, Cologne (called by himself Cullen), Mulheim, Wesel, Cleve, and Nimeguen; and returned to Amsterdam in less than a month after he had left it. After staying about three days, he again left it, and went by Horn, Worcum., Harlingen, Leenwarden, Lippenhus, Groningen, Embden, and Bremen, to his hospitable friend the princess Elizabeth at Herwerden; whence, after another stay of about four days, a second circuit brought him to Amsterdam ; and from Holland he returned home, by Harwich and London, to his wife and family at Werminghurst, in Sussex. He concludes the narrative of his journey in these words: “I had that evening (viz. of his return) a sweet meeting among them, in which God's blessed power made us truly glad together: and I can say, truly blessed are they who can cheerfully give up to serve the Lord. Great shall be the increase and growth of their treasure, which shall never end. To Him that was, and is, and is to come; the eternal, holy, blessed, righteous, powerful, and faithful One; be glory, honour, and praise, dominion, and a kingdom, for ever and ever, Amen.". Many remarkable circumstances occur in his account of the journey, particularly the religious sensibility and contrition of mind evinced by the princess, and by her friend and companion, Anna Maria, countess of Hornes. But we must refer to Penn's own account, which is in his works, and also separately extant. At the time of his return, and before his entering on this journey, his residence was at Werminghurst, in Sussex, an estate, probably, of his wife's.

About the time of his return from the continent, his friends the Quakers, among other methods used at that time to harass them, were vexed by laws which had been made against Papists, and penalties of twenty pounds a month, or two-thirds of their estates (Stat. 23 and 29 Eliz.)

Mr. Penn, on this occasion, presented (as it is said) a petition of the Quakers to each House of Parliament, and was twice allowed to speak on their behalf, in a committee, probably of the Commons, for a bill for the relief of the Quakers soon after passed that house; but, before it had passed the other house, it was set aside by a prorogation of parliament.

In 1681, king Charles, in consideration of the services of his father, the admiral, and of a debt due to him from the crown at his death, which that extravagant monarch had no other means of paying, granted to Penn a province in North America, lying on the West side of the Delaware, called the New Netherlands; but, on this occasion, denominated by the king, in respect to the grantee, Pennsylvania. Penn soon after published an account of the pro, vince, with the king's patent, describing the country and its produce, and proposing easy terms of settlement to such as might be inclined to go thither. He also sent a letter to the native Indians, informing them of his desire to hold his possession, not only by the king's grant, but with their consent and love, acknowledging the injustice which had been done them by Europeans, and assuring them of -his peaceable intentions. He then drew up, in twenty-four articles, “ The Fundamental Constitution of Pennsylvania ;" and the following year he published the “ Frame of Government of Pennsylvania.' This having all the attractions of a popular form, and promising unlimited freedom to all religious sects, and, what was most of all agreeable to them, an emancipation from the expences of an established religión, many single persons, and some families, went to the new province. They soon began to clear and improve their lands, and to build a city, which Penn, keeping in view the principle of brotherly love, which is the strength of civil society, named Philadelphia. Commissioners were also appointed to treat with the Indians; and, in 1682, he visited his newly-acquired territory. At this time he passed about two years in the province, adjusting its interior concerns, and establishing a friendly correspondence with his neighbours ; but found it, at the same time, necessary to vindicate himself, in a spirited letter, from the accusation of ambition and the desire of wealth. The following year, 1683, he gave a more full description of Pennsylvania, in “ A Letter addressed to the Committee of the Free Society of Traders to that province, residing in London." He mentions, that two general

assemblies had been held, and with such concord and dispatch, that they sat but three weeks, and at least seventy laws were passed, without one dissent in any material point. He also informs the traders, that the assembly had presented him with an impost on certain goods imported and exported; which impost, after his acknowledgments of their affection, he had freely remitted. He also says, after mentioning the establishment of courts of justice, that to prevent law-suits, three peace-makers had been chosen by every county-court, in the nature of common arbitrators. Before he left the province, he addressed an epistle of caution to his friends of the same religious persuasion settled in it; reminding them of the conspicuous station in which they were then placed ; being transplanted from oppression, not only to liberty, but to power; and beseeching them to improve the opportunity which God had now put into their hands. Having thus settled his infant colony, he returned to his wife and family in England in 1684.

Not many months after the return of Penn from his colony, Charles II. died, and the respect which James II. bore to the late admiral, who had recommended his son to his care, together with that monarch's personal acquaintance with Penn himself, procured for him a free access at

He therefore made use of the opportunity, thus afforded him, of soliciting relief for his persecuted friends, the Quakers, fifteen hundred of whom remained prisoners at the decease of Charles II. All this was meritorious ; but the rest of Penn's conduct seems not quite consistent. The nation, at this time, was justly alarmed, as well knowing the king's inclination to popery; but Penn's biographers tell us, that he had no such fears. He had long been intimate with the king, and had given credit to the protestations which James had repeatedly made, of his intention to establish liberty of conscience. On his accession, therefore, Penu took lodgings at Kensington; and his ready and frequent reception at court, drew on him the suspicion of being himself a Papist. Burnet, as was hinted before, so far leaned to this opinion, as to mention it in his history, and to declare that Penn was intimate with Petre the Jesuit, and employed by James II. in Holland, in 1686. Burnet also adds the following description of Penn's character: “ He was a talking vain man, who had long been in the king's favour. He had such an opinion of bis own faculty of persuading, that he thought none could

court.

stand before it, though he was singular in that opinion ; for he had a tedious luscious way, that was not apt to'overcome a man's reason, though it might tire his patience." Burnet, therefore, was evidently no friend to Penn. But much of this tediousness and egotism may be proved from Penn's works. Tillotson had the same suspicions as Burnet; and having mentioned them publicly, Penn, by letter, inquired of him, if he had really spread the report of his being a Papist? In this letter Penn has these words, among others : "I abhor two principles in religion, and pity them that own them : obedience upon authority, without conviction; and, destroying them that differ from me for God's sake.” Tillotson, in reply, mentions the ground of his suspicion ; namely, that he had heard of Penn's corresponding with some persons at Rome, and particularly with Jesuits; but professes his particular esteem of Penn's parts and temper, and says not a word of his intimacy with Petre, who was in England; which, had it subsisted, 'as both were public men at court, Tillotson must have known. In reply, Penn declared that he held no correspondence with any Jesuit, priest, or regular, in the world, of the Romish communion, and even that he knew not one any where; declaring himself to be a Christian whose creed was the Scripture. In conclusion, Tillotson declared himself fully satisfied, and, as in that case he had promised, he heartily begs pardon of Penn. The correspondence may be seen at length in Penn's Works *. In this year, 1686, he published “A Persuasive to Moderation to Dissenting Christians, &c. humbly submitted to the king and his great council ;" soon

* The question of Penn's inclination The king, by admitting him at court, to popery is scarcely worth contepd and flattering and caressing him, bad ing; but his friends who have laboured turned the plain meek quaker into a this point so minutely, seem much less dowaright man of the world. Perhaps successful in vindicating' his consiste in all the annals of courtly trick and ency in other matters. That Penn was artifice, there cannot be found an inpot a papist is admitted ; but he re stance more striking than Penu's injoiced in that toleration of king James terview with the president and fellows II, the object of which was the exten of Magdalen college, as related in sion of popery and papists into all our Wilmot's Life of bishop Hough. The public establishments, schools, and se fellows seem indeed to have felt the minaries, that it might ultimately be mortification of applying to Penn, as the predominant religion. If Penn did a mediator with the king ; but it not see this consequence of king James's their bonuur that none of his artful measures, he must have been the dupe hints prevailed, and that they left bim of a man of far less capacity than him with the same inclination to suffer in self; and the truth appears to have the cause of conscience, which had been that he was the dupe, either of the been the boast of him and his sect. king, or of his own vanity and interest.

to

after which came out the king's proclamation for a general pardon ; which was followed, the next year, by his suspension of the penal laws. Penn presented an address of the Quakers on this occasion. He also wrote a book on occasion of the objections raised against the repeal of penal laws and test; and, the clamour against him continuing, he was urged to vindicate himself from it, by one of his friends, Mr. Popple, secretary to the Plantation-office, which he did in a long reply, dated 1688. But he had now to cope with more powerful opponents than rumour, The revolution took place, and an intimate of James was of course a suspected person. As he was walking in Whiteball, he was summoned before the council then sitting; and, though nothing was proved against him, he was bound to appear the first day of the following term; but, being continued to the next on the same bail, he was then discharged in open court : nothing being laid to his charge. In the beginning of 1690, he was again brought before the council, and accused of corresponding with James, They required bail of him as before; but he appealed to the king himself, who, after a long conference, inclined to acquit him; nevertheless, at the instance of some of the council, he was a second time held a while to bail, but at length discharged. Soon after this, in the same year, he was charged with adhering to the enemies of the kingdom, but proof failing, he was again cleared by the court of King's-bench. Being now, as he thought, at liberty, he prepared to go again to Pennsylvania, and published proposals for another settlement there ; but his voyage was prevented by another accusation, supported by the oath of one William Fuller (a man whom the parliament after, wards declared to be a cheat and impostor); upon which a warrant 'was granted for arresting him, and he narrowly escaped it, at his return from the burial of George Fox. Hitherto he had successfully defended himself; but now, not choosing to expose his character to the oaths of a profligate man, he withdrew from public notice, till the latter part of 1693; when, through the mediation of his friends at court, he was once more admitted to plead his own cause before the king and council ; and he so evinced his innocence, that he was a fourth time acquitted. He employed himself in his retirements in writing. The most generally known production of his seclusion, bears the title of “ Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims relating

« 이전계속 »