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popular doctrine. Those who reasoned so knew little of William Penn, and still less of the lady who had now become his wife. Some months given up to love, Guli would have scorned the man who could sink down into the sloth of the affections; who by outward showing to the world would have represented her alliance as bringing weakness to his character instead of strength.
The next three years of Penn's life were spent in working writing, preaching. Guli rode with him from town to town, and as she had no little ones as yet in the nursery, she could give up all her time to missionary work. As she was past her thirtieth year, it seemed as though the name of Penn might only live in what her husband wrote and said. He never laid his pen aside. Beyond his labours as a preacher, he composed in these three years no less than twenty-six books of controversy, some of which were rather long, and two political pamphlets-his treatise on Oaths, and England's Present Interests considered.
A controversy with Thomas Hicks, a Baptist minister, on the Inner Light, first drew him out of his retreat; and led him to indite his 'Christian Quaker,' his “Reason against Railing,' and his ‘Counterfeit Christian detected.' Men's minds were much unsettled. Two converts, fancying they felt a call, set off for Rome in order to convert the Pope. They had not been long in the Eternal City ere they were arrested as dangerous heretics and placed in confinement :-one of them. John Love, was sent to the Inquisition, where he died in a short time with such aids as the Holy Office used for the suppression of heresy; the other, John Perrot, was sent to a hospital for the insane. England could not quite abandon them, and after a good deal of interest had been made in his be
half, John Perrot was set at liberty; on which he returned to his own country, where he soon gave his former friends so much trouble that they wished him back again in the Roman bedlam. It was in the conduct of men like Perrot that the weak side of the new Christian Democracy came out. Soon after his return to England he began to preach the doctrine that even in prayer the hat should not be removed except at the Divine instance. This was felt by Penn to be a dangerous development of his own idea. Not uncover to God! It was not only absurd, but destroyed the argument on which his own refusal to unbonnet to the King was justified. Firm measures were taken with the innovator; but, as usual with such men, Perrot refused to conform, and was expelled the society. Thereupon he published a pamphlet called the 'Spirit of the Hat,' which Penn answered in “The Spirit of Alexander the Coppersmith.' More pamphlets followed-Penn, as usual, having the last and strongest word.
In April, 1673, Penn's brother Richard died at Wanstead, where his mother still resided. Dick was buried at Walthamstow, and as he died a single man, his fortune passed to his eldest brother.
The session of 1673 was occupied by a dispute in the House of Commons as to the King's right to issue declarations of Liberty of Conscience without consent of Parliament. A majority of the Commons declared that his Majesty had exceeded his powers. Charles took time to consider his answer; and at last replied that his ancestors had exercised this disputed right. The Commons said it was not so; on which his Majesty, who said he was insulted, threatened to dissolve the House. But his more cautious and politic friend, Louis
Quatorze, advised him to submit, in order to gain time till peace was finally concluded with Holland, when the regiments engaged on the Continent could be used against his enemies in England; Louis offering to supply him with money and forces from France sufficient to crush every attempt to resist his royal will. Charles adopted this counsel. The very evening on which it was offered by Colbert on behalf of his august master, the King sent for a copy of his declaration and tore it up in the presence of his ministers. Next day this act of grace was made public; the two Houses of Parliament received the intelligence with shouts of satisfaction; in the evening bonfires burst upon the capital, and every one seemed glad that Liberty of Conscience was withdrawn.
Hardly were these fires extinguished ere the Test Act, hurried through the Commons with indecent haste, was sent up to the Peers, and in less than ten days one of the most disgraceful laws ever passed in England was added to the book of statutes. Its authors professed to strike only at the Papists; and to prove their sincerity they introduced another bill for the relief of Nonconforming Protestants; but delay followed delay; the debates were adjourned from time to time; one clause after another was amended or struck out; and prorogation overtook them before their work was finished, and the whole body of Dissenters was left at the mercy of any one who might be moved to rake the old penal statutes up against them.
Foremost of these sufferers were the Quakers. At this juncture Penn produced his work on “England's present Interest.' Every line of this production seems written with indignant hand— There is no law under heaven, which has its rise from nature or grace, that forbids men to deal honestly and plainly with the greatest—thus he begins; and addressing himself to those in authority, he proceeds to show how the old charters of liberty have been violated, adducing specific instances of each. He goes at great length into the origin of English liberties; with a view to show that they are older in date than our religious feuds. “We were a free people,' he says, 'by the creation of God and by the careful provision of our never-tobe-forgotten ancestors; so that our claim to these English privileges, rising higher than Protestantism, can never justly be invalidated on account of nonconformity to any tenet or fashion it may prescribe. This would be to lose by the Reformation.'-His concluding advice to the ruling power is-1. To conserve all the ancient rights and liberties of the people; 2. To grant entire freedom to opinion in matters of faith ; and, 3. To endeavour to promote the growth of true and practical piety.
Though the composition of this work kept Penn at home a good part of the year, his attention was continually diverted to special cases of oppression; and the letters written by him to magistrates, sheriffs, lieutenants of counties and others, in behalf of individual sufferers, would fill a vol. ume.
Justice Fleming had been an old friend of the Springetts, and years before this date had been very kind to Guli when she paid a visit at his house in Westmoreland. Penn's letter of remonstrance to Fleming, written on receipt of some complaints of his harshness towards the Quakers in his magisterial capacity, is concluded in language of much courtliness and beauty. One can fancy Guli looking over Penn's shoulder as he wrote these words— However differing I am from other men circa sacra, and that world which, respecting
men, may be said to begin when this ends, I know no religion that destroys courtesy, civility, and kindness.'
Penn had been five years absent from court; but the arrest of George Fox, his spiritual chief, by the Worcester justices, and his imprisonment in Worcester Castle on a charge of refusing to take the oaths-George 'would not swear at all’-induced him to appear once more in that familiar scene. Penn went with Captain Mead to Sackville, who advised that they should see the Duke of York, as being the only man with power enough to help them. If the Duke would back their cause, then he, Charles Sackville, would assist them also; but he could not move in such a work alone. They went to the Duke's palace, and by means of the Duchess's secretary, tried to gain admission; but they found the house so full of people and the Duke so busy, that the secretary could not obtain admission for himself. They were going away very sadly, when Colonel Aston, of the Duke's bed-chamber, seeing his old friend Penn, whom he had lost for a long time, asked him into the drawing-room. Aston went into the Duke's closet; and James, on hearing who was there, at once came out, saying how glad he was to see his ward again. James listened to the request about Fox with much courtesy, and said he was against all persecution for religion's sake. In his youth, he confessed, he had been warm against sectaries, because he thought they used their conscience only as a pretext to disturb the government; but he now thought better of them, and was willing to do to others as he hoped to be done by. He wished all men were of that opinion; for he was sure no man was willing to be persecuted for his own belief. He would use his in