[ocr errors]

not only bear to be often considered, but the more it was so the more weighty and instructive it appeared." “He was,” says Ellwood, “ valiant for the truth, bold in asserting it, patient in suffering for it, and not apt to resent personal wrongs, easy to forgive injuries, but zealously earnest, where the honour of God, the interests of the truth, and the peace of the Church were concerned, very tender, compassionate, and pitiful he was to all that were under any sort of affliction, full of brotherly love, full of fatherly care.”

In the Friends' burying-ground, near Bunhill-Fields, amid a great concourse of Quakers, William Penn pronouncing the funeral discourse, Fox was interred; a man, undoubtedly, remarkable for rare gifts, and constancy of purpose; so firm as at length to overbear prejudice; and, by an inflexible patience, to set up, in England first, and then in the New World, the unknown practice of religious toleration.

In this respect he is a man to be much noted, and also because he drew from the sinewy fibres of the English character a force which, guided by principle, achieved its ends, potwithstanding the errors by which it was attended, and many eccentricities.

ärrund sketch.




[ocr errors]

In this sketch I have consulted Dixon's “Life of Penn;” Clarkson's “ Life of PENN ; “ MEMOIRS OF EMINENT QUAKERS ;

“ “ ELLwood's REMAINS ;" 6 Life of Milton; " Grabam's “ HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES ;

" 66 Life of OWEN ; “ Life of HENRY; “ LIFE OF BAXTER ;" Macaulay's “ HISTORY OF ENGLAND."

[ocr errors]

Section Serond.




The founder of the Quakers was GEORGE Fox. Their second great leader, to whom, next to their founder, they look up with reverential regard, and who in general history occupies a more prominent position, was WILLIAM PENN.

He was born in 1644; his mother, the daughter of a merchant in Rotterdam ; his father, a gallant sailor, of an old family which had settled a century before in Wiltshire, where, in the village of Myntie, in the parish church, one of their family monuments is still to be seen. The father, William Penn, inherited nothing

from his ancestors but his sword, a dauntless spirit, and a pliant but adventurous mind. He selected the sea as his profession ; and appears to have taken no interest in the events of his day, except as they bore upon his own fortunes. He first entered the merchant-service; then the navy, where, before he was twenty, he was made a captain. Perceiving the fortune of the Parliament to be in the ascendant, he joined that side, and was appointed by Lord Warwick, the Admiral of the fleet, to the command of a gun-ship. In the war with France, and in cruises against Prince Rupert, Penn distinguished himself by daring and success. RearAdmiral at the age of twenty-three, he was at twentynine Vice-Admiral of the Straits.

Indifferent to the changes of politics, he sent in his adhesion to the Protector : and when the war broke out with Holland, he was employed by him, under Blake, in that brilliant struggle which established the naval renown and the maritime supremacy of England. From Cromwell, who sought to attach him to his cause, he received lucrative rewards, rapid promotion, and an estate ceded to him in Ireland. But with sagacious foresight, sharpened by interest, he perceived that the popular feeling was not with Cromwell, but was reverting to the monarchy—that Cromwell's power depended on his life, which was not likely to be lasting. Penn therefore opened secret negociations with Charles II. ; offered to carry over to him the fleet from Spithead ; and, when

« VorigeDoorgaan »