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a lively genius, as this little specimen intimates, and though he indulged himself at times in manly sports and exercises, as has been before mentioned, yet he never forgot the religious impressions which he had received at Chigwell school. These, on the other hand, had been considerably strengthened by the preaching of . Thomas Loe. This person, a layman, had belonged to the university of Oxford, but had then become a Quaker. The doctrines which he promulgated seem to have given a new turn to the mind of William Penn, who was incapable of concealing what he thought it a duty to profess. Accordingly, on discovering that some of his fellow-students entertained religious sentiments which were in unison with his own, he began, in conjunction with them, to withdraw himself from the established worship, and to hold meetings where they followed their devotional exercises in their own way. This conduct, which soon became known, gave offence to the heads of the college, who in consequence of it fined all of them for nonconformity, This happened in the year 1660. But the imposition of this fine had not the desired
desired effect. It neither deterred him nor his associates from their old practices, nor from proceeding even further where they thought themselves justified in so doing. An opportunity for this presented itself soon afterwards; for an order came down to Oxford from Charles the Second, that the surplice should be worn according to the custom of ancient times. It was an unusual sight then at that university. This sight operated differently upon different persons; but so disagreeably upon William Penn, who conceived that the simplicity and spirituality of the Christian religion would be destroyed by the introduction of outward ceremonies and forms, that he could not bear it. Engaging therefore his friend Robert Spencer, before mentioned, and some other young gentlemen to join him, he fell upon those students who appeared in surplices, and he and they together tore them every where over their heads. This outrage was of so flagrant and public a nature, that the College immediately took it up; and the result was, that William
and several of his associates were expelled. William Penn, after his expulsion from College, College, returned home. His father is said to have received him coldly. Indeed he could not be otherwise than displeased with his son on account of the public disgrace which he had thus incurred: but that which vexed him most was the change now observable in his habits; for he began to abandon what was called the fashionable world, and to mix only with serious and religious people. It was this dereliction of it which proved the greatest disappointment; for the Admiral · was fearful that all the prospects in life
which he had formed for his son, and which he could have promoted by his great connexions, would be done away. Anxious therefore to recover him, he had recourse to argument. This failing, like one accustomed to arbitrary power, he proceeded to blows; and the latter failing also, he turned him out of doors.
The Admiral, after a procedure so violent, began at length to relent. He was himself, though perhaps hasty in his temper, a man of an excellent disposition, so that his own
good feelings frequently opposed themselves : to his anger on this occasion. His wife too, an amiable woman, lost no opportunity of intercession. Overcome therefore by his own affectionate nature on the one hand, and by her entreaties on the other, he forgave his son. But he was desirous of meeting the evil for the future, and he saw no other means of doing it than by sending his son to France. He indulged a hope that the change of scene might wean him from his old connexions, and that the gaiety of French manners might correct the growing gravity of his mind. Accordingly in 1662 he sent him to that country, in company with certain persons of rank who were then going upon their travels.
The place where William first resided was Paris. While here, but one anecdote concerning him is recorded. It happened that he was attacked one evening in the street by a person who drew his sword upon him in consequence of a supposed affront. A conflict immediately ensued. William in the course of it disarmed his antagonist, but proceeded no further, sparing his life when by the confession of all those who relate the fact he could have taken it; thus exhibiting, says Gerard Croese, a
testimony testimony not only of his courage, but of his forbearance.
It is nowhere said how long he remained at Paris; but it is probable that his stay there was very short, and moreover that the gaiety and dissipation of that city was far from pleasing him; for we find him afterwards with his companions a resident for some months, in the years 1662 and 1663, at Saumur; whither he had gone to avail himself of the conversation and instruction of the learned Moses Amyrault, who was a Protestant minister of the Calvinistic persuasion, professor of divinity at Saumur, and at this time in the highest estimation of any divine in France. His works, such as his Paraphrase on the New Testament and Psalms, his Apology for his Religion, his Treatise on Free-will, his Exaltation of Faith and Abasement of Reason, with many others, had been then widely circulated and read. The greatest men in that kingdom, both Calvinists and Catholics, honoured him with their friendship; and he was (so highly esteemed by the Cardinal Richlieu, that the latter imparted to him his design of uniting the two churches.