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had made her granite rocks, her foaming water-courses, her trackless forests to serve their own constructive ends. The Pilgrim harvest is vibrant with spiritual freedom and authority in her interpretation of Genesis 1:28:
“Man is not made to till the soil. His birthright is dominion, not subjection. He is lord of the belief in earth and heaven, -himself subordinate alone to his Maker. This is the Science of being.” (Science and Health, p. 517.)
ET no one hastily imagine that all Puritans and
There were many families who held great stakes in England in the shape of land and property, and these were earnestly trying to consolidate the freedom so dearly won in the Commonwealth. Indeed, Britain has ever been fighting the one foe within and without, the foreign invader of spiritual and temporal liberty. Her natural character has always been democratic, and free, marked by a love of virtue and order. It is only when other influences have dimmed her religious light, and forced their way into high officialdom, that confusion has ensued which has resulted in either a terrible loss of morals, or heartrending civic strife. Further, in reviewing the political divisions of England at the close of the Commonwealth, it must not be overlooked that intolerance is not, alas! confined to epis
The Quaker saying, “All the world is queer except thee and me, and even thee art a little queer sometimes!" is a point of view characteristic of the race of Adam. Indeed, it is evident enough that the Stuarts would never have been restored to the throne had not the various Puritan sects devoured one another with bitter criticism and condemnation, instead of each working out its own salvation with mutual goodwill. Their newly discovered rights of conscience seemed so entrancing a possession that they must fain assert it spitefully against one another. This ignoble instinct brought about their ruin, even the tempo
rary loss of the spiritual vision which had secured the mighty victory of self-government.
Nevertheless as one generation succeeded another in the great race for freedom in England from 1640 onwards, by the mercy of God there were always among her sons those who were called to worldwide service, whose arms were strengthened to hold up the torch of a pure Christianity, and who left a trail of light in their train to mark out the path for their children's children.
The visitor to the great dining hall of Christchurch College, Oxford, if he turns sharply to the right as he passes through the entrance door, will find himself staring with wide-open eyes at a small but most attractive portrait that confronts him on the back wall. It is that of a young man with features so closely resembling those of the Sistine Madonna that he might be her twin brother, and interest rises to the level of excitement when it is learned that the face is that of William Penn. In 1660, at the age of sixteen, he was a Commoner at Christchurch, and was already greatly distressing his choleric old father, Admiral Sir William Penn, by his Quaker tendencies.
The Society of Friends, which came to be known as the sect of Quakers, was founded by George Fox, a man in quite a humble walk of life, and we may strongly suspect that a sense of class antagonism crept between the meshes of their theology at times, and was responsible for a certain doggedness in the guise of Gospel independence, of which the most argumentative among them were guilty. Their persistent habit of wearing their hats in the presence of equals and superiors, and the adoption of the singular form of pronoun scarcely established the millennium on earth which they may have hoped for, and for which they suffered more persecution than the custom was worth.
For more than anything else these peculiarities enraged the temper of their fellow citizens. One can imagine the old Admiral's disgust and wrath when his handsome son became ever more and more deeply associated with these people.
“You may 'thee and thou' other folk as much as you like," he cried with menacing countenance, “but don't you dare to 'thee or thou' the king, or the Duke of York, or me, or remain covered in their presence or mine!" But young William esteemed otherwise, so that meeting Charles II in the Park one day he made not the slightest movement to take off his hat, whereupon the merry monarch promptly removed his. “Why dost thou remove thy hat, friend Charles?” said the young man, gravely. “Because,” answered the king, "wherever I am, it is customary for only one person to remain covered.”
The Admiral was always on excellent terms both with Charles and with his brother, the Duke, and so His Majesty was ready to be indulgent towards the idiosyncrasies of this impetuous young son. Perhaps also he felt instinctively that in Penn he had met his superior, and whatever the faith was which had claimed his higher allegiance, it was a faith which would one day command respect even from governors and kings, so therefore Charles swept his plumed hat on one side and took time by the forelock.
The Admiral was so anxious to make William a thorough man of the world that he removed him from religious influences at Oxford and sent him to Paris to the Court of Louis IV, where for a short time he was forced to join in frivolous and gay society, and fence and duel with the young gentlemen of his age. When he left Paris he went to the famous Huguenot College at Saumur on the Loire, and studied under Moses Anyraint, a Calvinist minister,