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and heavenly Farewell to the city of Bristol, thou wert often upon my Spirit; and the wishes of my soul are, that the Lord would abundantly fill thee with the consolations of His Holy Spirit, and that the days, thou hast to pass on this side of the grave, thou mayest be fitting for His coming, that at what watch of the night soever it be, thou mayest awake with His likeness, and enter the rest that is eternal. The Lord is near thee, with thee, and in thee, to enlighten, melt, and refresh thee. 'Tis His presence, not seen or felt of the wicked, that gathers and revives the soul that seeks Him. So the Lord be with thee, and remember into thy bosom the sincere love thou hast shewn to thy son and his friend."
To one of his Quaker ministers he writes, "Dear Stephen Crisp, my dear and lasting love in the Lord's everlasting truth reaches to thee, with whom is my fellowship in the Gospel of Peace; that is more dear and precious to my soul than all the treasures and pleasures of this world. For, when a few years are past, we shall all go the way whence we shall not return, and that we may unweariedly serve the Lord in our day and place, and in the end enjoy the portion of the blessed that are at rest, is the breathing of my soul. With God I leave all, and myself, and thee, and this dear people, and blessed name on earth. I am, in the antient dear fellowship, thy faithful friend and Brother."
PENN A STATESMAN.
WITH such principles of action for his guidance, Penn set sail from Deal, in the "Welcome;" and, in a nine weeks' voyage, found his principles brought to the severest test by the visitation of the deadly small-pox, which swept away thirty out of one hundred passengers, and prostrated the whole; Penn, all the while, fearless and unwearied, acting as nurse, physician and pastor, and consigning the dead, with the last burial rites, to the deep.
From this scene of terror and suffering, he stepped on the shores of the Delaware, where the high roofs and sharp-pointed gables of Newcastle recalled the quaint streets of Leyden and Rotterdam; where the Dutch, Swedes, and Germans, who had been for some time there, with the English of later settlement, gathering in joyful holiday to the shore, crowded round their new master to bid him welcome: while he, graceful in manner and comely of person, as when he charmed the
courtly dames of St. James's, looked round with benevolent joy on the first signs of that happy commonwealth, which had been his day-dream for years. Nor were there wanting in the group the wild children of the West, leaning, with their bright-coloured feathers and many-streaked lines of paint, on their spears, fixing their eyes with keen curiosity on their new and gentle master. From Newcastle, the chief place of the Lower Province, Penn sailed up the Delaware to Chester, where the first General Assembly, elected by the colonists, met in the Friends' meeting-house, chose a Speaker, accepted the Constitution, and passed their first code of laws. Both provinces were united under their governor; and when, after a session of three days, the simple legislators were prorogued and dismissed to their several labours, the division of the territory into counties was settled, toleration of all creeds, a doctrine then unknown, was declared: the reform of the penal code, which cost Romilly, Horner, and Mackintosh so many years of toil to secure in our own day, was effected; and plans for the reformation of prisons, and for the establishment of industrial schools, were placed among the institutions of the colony.
So far before his own age, so much in advance, even up to a recent period, of our own, were the mind and policy of Penn.
It is amusing to notice the remedies now proposed by our extreme Reformers, carried out in Penn's govern
ment,-universal suffrage, equal division of the Province into Electoral districts, and payment of the members of Assembly, who received three pence per mile for travelling, six shillings a day while in the Assembly, and the Speaker ten shillings a day.
Penn now proceeded from formal laws to social arrangements; from a paper constitution, which a clever theorist may draw up, to the settlement of men and cities, which demands the rare union of tact, moderation, and firmness. These qualities do not seem to have been wanting in Penn. The first great question was the site of the new capital. This, after a careful survey, was fixed on the Delaware, at its junction with the Skuylkill; and Penn, anticipating the experience which royal commissioners and parliamentary committees have at length slowly secured to us, at once sketched in his mind the site for a great city; provided for its streets and squares, covering, as he proposed, twelve square miles; its walks along the river, its avenues of trees, its public parks for each quarter of the town, its gardens mingling with the houses, for health as well as enjoyment. Before a stone of the future city was laid, crowds* of settlers poured in from Europe, and wintered in the caves which honeycomb the Skuylkill, and pitched their tents under the pines which fringed the Delaware. Delicate women and children engaged in this work; sawed wood, mixed mortar, and tended the
* 3000 in the first year- (Clarkson's Penn, p. 370.)
herds and sheep. The men pushed on their harder labours. In a few months eighty-six houses, which recalled the black and white houses of Cheshire, sprang up, quays were formed; vessels were moored; ropewalks were laid out; shops opened; and farm-houses erected. The "Blue Anchor," which first occupied the strand, as a ferry-house, inn, and market exchange combined, saw round it in a single twelve-month one hundred houses; and far in the depths of the forest, three hundred smoking homesteads, and green fields, cut out of the woods, shewed, by their clearings, the vigorous footsteps of man. In two years six hundred houses were built; the land was surveyed under Penn's directions: properties were put up to auction and allotted; and manors for Penn's children, for the Quaker Fox, and for the Duke of York, formed a prudent and grateful provision.
Penn explored the Province, satisfied himself of its natural fertility, and that its climate was fitted for various produce. He dwells on its fruits and grain, its carpet of brilliant flowers, its rivers and bays ready for navigation and trade.*
Nor was the mind of the infant commonwealth neglected. School-houses of wood were set up, before the forest had been cleared; a college was designed and endowed; a printing-press established; a post in
* See Penn's Letter to the Traders of Pennsylvania-(Clarkson's Life, p. 375, &c.)