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Having got his Holy Experiment under shape Penn turned his thoughts to those Dutch and Rhenish towns in which he had planted Quaker congregations. Not a few of these societies bad fallen into bad ways; some were suffering persecution; some were rent by quarrels; all were anxious for his presence. Those who suffered from their feudal lords were eager to be told about that Free State which he was helping to found in the great deserts beyond the sea. For each he had a message full of hope. The Princess Elizabeth, who held her court at Herwerden, begged her 'affectionate friend' to pay her a second visit now that his affairs allowed him time.
Leaving Guli and her child at Worminghurst, he rode to Harwich, where he found George Fox, Robert Barclay, and other Quakers waiting for him. Armed with books and tracts, explanatory of Quaker doctrines, printed in various languages, English, French, Dutch, and German, they took their passage in a ship commanded by one of Admiral Penn's old officers, who out of affection for his former patron let them convert his quarter-deck into a conventicle. When they came in sight of Brill, Penn and Barclay, anxious to land ere nightfall, stept into a boat. Before they got ashore, the sun went down; the gates were closed; and as no houses stood outside the walls, they had to make their beds in a fisherman's boat. At dawn the passengers landed and started immediately for Rotterdam, where they held meetings of their friends. Penn spoke in Dutch, while the eloquence of George Fox had to be interpreted word for word. Meetings had been prepared for them in all the towns along their route, and three Dutch converts, Claus, Arents, and Bocliffs, came to them from Amsterdam to conduct them on their way. At Leyden and at Haarlem, where they held meetings and spread abroad a knowledge of their tenets, other deputies from Alchmaer and Embden met them. Their journey through the country was a triumph. At Amsterdam they organised the scattered Quakers and settled some of the nicer points of doctrine—such as the nonnecessity for priest or magistrate as a witness to the ceremony of marriage. Another matter which came before them was the suffering of their disciples in various countries, especially the case of certain inhabitants of Dantzic, which city then formed a part of the Polish republic. Sobieski, King of Poland, was at the time on a visit to Dantzic; and Penn advised that a petition should be presented to him in the name of the suffering citizens, briefly detailing their wrongs and asking at his hands the right to worship God according to their faith. This petition Penn was desired to draw up, which he did in suitable and noble terms, quoting most happily a saying of Stephen one of Sobieski's most illustrious predecessors—'I am a king of men, but not of consciences; king of bodies, not of souls.'
Leaving Fox at Amsterdam, Penn and Barclay went to Herwerden, where the Electress gave them a friendly welcome. This pious woman, daughter of Frederick, Prince Palatine of the Rhine and King of Bohemia, was a granddaughter of James the First, a cousin to the reigning King of England and a sister of Prince Rupert—the old rival andenemy of Admiral Penn. The Princess treated Penn with courtesy and affection; his gratitude survived her; and in one of the subsequent editions of ‘No Cross, no Crown'he added her name to his list of benefactors and examples to mankind.
Penn and Barclay stayed at an inn of the town, but visited the court daily, holding meetings and discoursing before her Highness on the principles of their creed. They dined at the common table of their hotel, where they met with many strangers, to whom they distributed books and tracts. One of these, a student at the college of Duysburg, told them of a 'sober and seeking man of great note in the city of Duysburg,' which determined Penn to pay a visit to that town. As the last service drew to a close, Elizabeth walked up to Penn, took him by the hand, and leading him aside, began to speak of the sense she had of God's power and presence; but emotion choked her utterance, and she sobbed out, I cannot speak to you; my heart is full l' Penn whispered some few words of comfort. When she gained her voice, she pressed the missionaries to visit her again on their return from the Upper Rhine. Penn promised to do so if they could. She asked them to sup with her that evening, which they at first refused; but the lady would not be denied, and they yielded so far as to take some bread and wine. *We left them,' says Penn, ‘in the love and peace of God, praying that they might be kept from the evil of this world.'
Next morning Barclay set out to join Fox at Amsterdam, while Penn and Keith took places in an open cart for Frankfort. Pushing on through Paderborn, 'a dark Popish city,' and Cassel, where they were 'tenderly received,' obstructed by the heavy rains, bad roads, and primitive vehicle, they arrived in Frankfort just a week after leaving Herwerden. About three miles from Frankfort they were met by two merchants who came forth to welcome them and report that many of their fellow-citizens were prepared to receive the faith. Doctors, lawyers, ministers of the Gospel, noble ladies, peasants and handworkers, came to bear them preach. One girl cried out, “It will never be well with us till persecution comes, and some of us be lodged in the stadthouse.' Penn did not neglect the temporal liberties and worldly interests of his Church. America was a theme of conversation; and among those who took an interest in the colony were Franz Pastorious, Von Dewalle, Dr. Schütz, and Daniel Behagel, all of whom emigrated in a few years. From Frankfort Penn addressed a letter to 'the Churches of Jesus throughout the world,' in which he exhorted the faithful to take up the cross, to curb the pride of life, and to redeem the time.
Going up the Rhine, the travellers passed through Worms on the fifth day, and in the evening arrived at Kirchheim, six miles from Worms. In this small place the missionary made a deep impression, and the fruits of that day's preaching are still visible in Pennsylvania. The home of which he told them beyond the seas was hardly less welcome to the Protestants of Kirchheim than that better home which he promised them beyond the skies.
Penn was anxious to do something for this handful of true believers, and he went to Mannheim to consult with the Prince Palatine, and ascertain what encouragement that Prince would offer to a colony of virtuous and industrious families, in the event of a considerable number being willing to remove into his territory; also to learn
how they would stand in respect to their refusal to take oaths, bear arms, and pay ecclesiastical taxes. On his arrival at Mannheim, finding the Prince had gone to Heidelberg, he contented himself with writing a letter to his Highness, and returned to Worms that evening by the boat.
From Worms they dropped down the stream to Cologne, and met their disciples at the house of a merchant, who at their departure furnished them with a letter of introduction to Dr. Mästricht of Duysburg, which city they were now anxious to visit, not only on account of what the student had told them of 'the sober and seeking man of note,' but because they had been informed by the Princess Elizabeth that the young and beautiful Countess von Falkenstein, whose father lived in that neighbourhood, was seriously inclined.
Duysburg, a Calvinistic city, lay in the territory of the Elector of Brandenburg. On their arrival they sought out Dr. Mästricht and delivered their letter. He told them they were very fortunate in the time of their visit, as, it being Sunday, the young Countess would have left her father's castle and crossed the river to Mulheim, where she would, as usual, spend the day at a clergy man's house. He cautioned them, however, not to make themselves public, as much for the young lady's sake as for their own,-her father, a coarse and rigorous person, being already much displeased with her. Thus warned, they set out for Mulheim. On their way they met with Heinrich Schmidt, a school-master, who told them the Countess had returned. To him they gave the letter from Dr. Mästricht. In an hour he came to say the Countess would be glad to see them, but knew not where, as her father kept so strict a hand over her. She thought it would be best for