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[397] a scarecrow fit only to frighten children.1 Such was
Chap. XVI.}
the strong antipathy of England to the Roman see, he foretold the sure success of the English church, if it should plough with that heifer, but equally predicted the still later result, that the Catholics, in their turn becoming champions of civil freedom, would unite with its other advocates, and impair and subvert the English hierarchy.2 Penn never gave counsel at variance with popular rights. He resisted the commitment of the bishops to the tower, and, on the day of the birth of the prince of Wales, pressed the king exceedingly to set them at liberty.3 His private correspondence proves that he esteemed parliament4 the only power through which his end could be gained; and, in the true spirit of popular liberty, he sought to infuse his principles into the popular mind, that so they might find their place in the statute-book through the free convictions of his countrymen. England to-day confesses his sagacity, and is doing honor to his genius. He came too soon for success, and he was aware of it. After more than a century, the laws which he reproved began gradually to be repealed; and the principle which he developed, sure of immortality, is slowly but firmly asserting its power over the legislation of Great Britain.

1 Penn, II. 580. Penn knew the secret motive.—‘Time, that informs children, will tell the world the meaning of the fright.’

2 Ibid. 575—578.

3 ‘This excellent man lent himself to the measures of the king.’ Mackintosh, 290. Thus the modern. Now the contemporary authority in Mr. Lawton's Memoir of William Penn, in Mem. P. H. S. III. P. II. p. 230, 231. ‘Penn was against the commitment of the bishops.’—‘He pressed the king exceedingly to set them at liberty.’

4 ‘I should rejoice to see the penal laws repealed.’ Penn to Harprison, in Proud, i. 308. Burnet says Penn promised, on behalf of King James, an assent to a solemn and unalterable law. The whole mission to the prince of Orange is based upon an intended action of parliament. Burnet, II. 395, 396. Compare Penn, in Proud, i. 325. The ‘Good Advice to the Church of England,’ Penn, II., is an argument for the repeal of the penal laws and tests. What better mode than to reach the legislature through an address to the public? Compare Penn's own Apology, in Mem. P. H. S. III. P. II., and letter to Shrews bury, in The Friend, VI. 194.

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