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tacked them, he was at his post, and the Baptist pulpit was filled by the hardy disputant. Did a rebellious disciple break the laws of Quakerism ? Penn stepped forth to chastise him. Did the Vice Chancellor of Qxford punish the Quakers ? Penn rated the Vice Chancellor in language of caustic power. Did the Church condemn the Quaker tenets ? he vindicated them in the teeth of the Church. And as bishops, in those days, did not confine their reply to logic, the disputant was condemned as a heretic, and, at the instance of the Bishop of London, was lodged in the Tower. But the lad of four-and-twenty was not to be silenced. He was placed alone in a dungeon. No one but his father had access to him. He was kept in durance eight months; he was told that he should die in prison unless he recanted. He knew that others were then rotting in gaol,—that some had died there. But he never faltered. In vain Stillingfleet, sent by the King, conjured him to yield ; in vain he pointed out to him the prospects which he marred, and the quiet which he might enjoy. Penn had made up his mind; and from that purpose he never wavered. Out of the walls, where so many innocent victims had sunk, he shot forth a pamphlet which, under the title “No Cross no Crown,” shewed the grounds of his constancy, and astonished the Court with an extent of memory and research which riper years and ready libraries award to few. The Court was ashamed, the Church was wearied,
the invincible stripling was released. His father, though he disliked his principles, admired his courage ; and he saw with respect that the confinement, which had subdued his own constancy, was lost on his son. From this moment, the dispute between them was at an end. True, the father often sighed over the defeat of his cherished hopes; but he availed himself of his son's dutiful attachment and his rare capacity for business, to extricate once more his Irish estates, which were again embarrassed. When he found his health breaking, he breathed a wish for his return, which was instantly acceded to, and he turned to his son's presence as his best consolation. He welcomed him when released a second time from prison, in which a prosecution for conducting Quaker worship had involved him, with affection, and a few days after breathed his last in his arms; setting, by his dying testimony, the seal to his son's conscientious choice-and bidding him, though himself unable to share his opinions, adhere to his course of rectitude; a better course, as the dying father said, than that which he himself had followed, and which he declared had brought with it only weariness of soul; admitting, that better than the pursuit of wealth and rank in an earthly court, is it to serve that mighty Sovereign who accepts the willing homage of the reclaimed life. The favoured courtier made one last request to his earthly masters. He saw the life of trouble which, in those days of persecution, awaited
his son; and he begged the King and the Duke of York to protect him. The latter kept his word. The Admiral left to his son* an ample fortune ; on which, had he been so minded, he might have settled in affluent ease.
* Said to be £1500 a-year, then a large fortune. The family seat was at Penn, in Buckinghañshire.
PENN A SUFFERER AND AT HOME.
FROM the moment when his first recal from Ireland presented him to the world as a Quaker, Penn accepting the full weight of his mission, set himself fearlessly to announce the doctrines of Quakerism, to defend them when attacked, and to protect his fellow-religionists. Between 1670, the year of his father's death, and the end of 1673, when Charles was compelled to recal his Declaration of Indulgence, and when Parliament, inflamed and alarmed, passed the Test Act, Penn wrote twenty-seven books of controversy; and held public discussions with the Baptists,* with the celebrated Baxter, and with the Roman Catholics; he preached with such zeal that in twenty-one days he addressed twentyone different congregations; wrote innumerable letters to sheriffs, lord-lieutenants, and magistrates, in vindication
* The discussion with him must have been curious scene : held in Penn's house, at Rickmansworth, before two roomsfull of company, and lasting from ten till five.
of his suffering friends; stood two trials, in which he conducted his own defence; endured two long imprisonments in Newgate and the Tower; and yet, neither wearied nor daunted, carried his appeals for toleration of religious opinion, to the public, to Parliament, and to the Throne. Prison only varied his labours; it never suspended them. When free, he itinerated, preached, and controverted. When in Newgate and in the Tower, he assailed the public mind by pamphlets and protests.
Whether it was controversy or correction, the chastisement of a contumacious Quaker, or the answer to an angry disputant, Penn was always ready, and the sword of controversy was always in his hand. Hicks or Kiffin, Perrot or Faldo, Bowles the Wiltshire justice, or Justice Fleming, or Cheney the Warrington logician, or Abrahams the Dutch Socinian, or Rogers the Separatist, found their match in Penn; and his pleading for English liberty in his work 'England's present . interest,' shews that he thoroughly understood the rise and character of our freedom.
There was this difference between Penn and his Quaker friends. They, simple men, overcame by enduring; he, in a different sphere, with wider views and larger connexions, stood upon his rights as an Englishman, and maintained them by argument and influence. He appealed, in behalf of them, to the Government, to Parliament, and the country. With this view, he maintained before the Recorder of London