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brightest testimonies of the meekness, selfdenial, and spirituality, essential to a true christian. They could not endure such a monument of human vanity perpetually before their eyes, and Penn, together with several other students, among whom was Robert Spencer, afterwards Earl of Sunderland, made war on the surplice, and tore it from the shoulders of those who ventured abroad in this garb. So flagrant an outrage could not, of course, pass unnoticed, and the authors of it, with Penn among the number, were expelled from the University.
His father was much offended, that his rashness, or his imprudence, should bring upon him such a censure, and he was equally disappointed at the bias which he found his son's mind had received. He had looked forward with high expectations to the success, which he flattered himself would attend his son in the world, favoured by the many advantages which he was enabled to confer on him by his own high station, and his extensive connexions with the leading men in power. But when he found all these bright hopes likely to be blasted by what he deemed the perverseness or unjustifiable singularity of his son, it was a source of mortification and displeasure. He tried argument and expostulation in vain, and he ended by turning him out of doors. This effervescence of passion, however, did not continue long. The son was recalled, and the father thought to dissipate his wayward fancies by sending him abroad,
where new scenes would attract his attention, and new objects press on his thoughts. But this expedient failed, for instead of finding anything to detain him in the gay and varied amusements of Paris, he sought for employments more congenial with his state of mind, and his father heard of him attending the lectures and receiving the private instructions of the famous Moses Amyrault, a calvinistic professor of divinity at Saumur in France. Penn was now nineteen years old, and he read the Fathers, and applied himself to systematic theology for several months, under the direction of Amyrault.
From Saumur he pursued his travels to Italy, but had advanced no farther than Turin, when he received a letter from his father requesting his return to England, that he might take charge of the family during the absence of the Admiral, who was appointed to the command of a fleet then fitting out against the Dutch. Soon after his return he engaged in the study of the law, and was entered at Lincoln's Inn, where he remained somewhat more than a year, till the plague of 1666 compelled him to leave London.
Meantime the religious tendency of his mind was neither diverted nor weakened ; the vivacity of manners, which he had acquired during his travels, wore off by degrees; he became sedate in his deportment, shunned the company of the gay, and took delight chiefly in the society of sober, religious people. His
father at length came back from his naval expedition, and was again chagrined to find his son leaning to his early habits, and possessing, apparently, no disposition to seek the honours, or attain the worldly distinctions, of which his connexions in life could not but give him a fair promise. One expedient only remained, and to this Admiral Penn determined to resort. ed estates in Ireland, and was intimately acquainted with the Duke of Ormond, at that time Lord Lieutenant. Thither William was sent, first to the court of the Duke, and then to the immediate superintendence of the estates in the county of Cork. With his promptness and fidelity in the management of business, the father was entirely satisfied, but he was still grieved to learn that no change took place in the religious opinions and propensities of his son, and that neither the society of the great, nor the amusements of fashionable life, had any charms to win him from the pleasures of sober meditation, and the adherence to his peculiar views of religious faith and worship.
An incident occurred, which made the case still more aggravating. William Penn happened to be in Cork on a certain occasion, when it was announced, that Thomas Loe, the Oxford preacher, was about to hold a meeting in that city, where a small body of Quakers resided. This was a temptation not to be resisted; from the time of the disastrous events at the University, Penn had considered himself greatly
indebted to this man, as the
who had awakened in him a proper sense of the spiritual nature of religion, and taught him to despise the vanities of the world, and the solemn mockery of outward forms in devotion, which makes piety a shadow, blinds the eyes of conscience, and cheats the heart of its purest joys. He listened again, with renewed satisfaction, to his favourite preacher, and the result was, that he became a regular attendant on the meetings of the Quakers, and began to be known by that appellation. At one of these meetings he and eighteen others were seized and imprisoned, under pretence that they were violating the law respecting tumultuous assemblies; nor was he released till he had written to Lord Orrery, president of the council of Munster. This letter was manly and dignified, decorous in manner and noble in sentiment, discovering at once a conscious rectitude of purpose, and a fearless freedom in claiming the rights of conscience, and pleading the cause of toleration. It produced the desired effect, so far as his personal liberty was concerned, and he was immediately discharged from prison.
Intelligence of this event coming to his father, he sent for his son to return home, and again expostulated with him in an impressive and affectionate manner on the course he was pursuing. But it was too late ; if a doubt had previously existed in the mind of William Penn, persecution had removed it; he had suffered in what he believed the sacred cause of con
science and truth; if his purpose had ever been wavering, it was now settled and unalterable. The Admiral made one effort more, however, which was to persuade him to remain with his hat off, while in the presence of the king, the duke of York, and himself. But this mark of outward deference his son declined, as incompatible with the simplicity of pure religion. The opinion of the early Quakers concerning the ceremony of uncovering the head as a token of respect, or of deference to a person present, is thus described by Mr Clarkson. “They took it for granted, that the use of the hat in the way described was either to show honour, respect, submission, or some similar feeling of the mind; but they contended, that,
! used as it then was, it was no more a criterion of these than mourning was a criterion of sorrow. tom, therefore, in their opinion, led to repeated acts of insincerity. A show was held out of the mind's intention, where no such intention existed. Now christianity was never satisfied but with the truth. It forbad all false appearances. It allowed no action to be resorted to, that was not correspondent with the feelings of the heart. Secondly, in the case where the custom was intended to have any meaning, it was generally the sign of flattery; but no man could give way to flattery without degrading himself, and at the same time unduly exalting the person whom he distinguished by it. Hence they gave to the custom the name of hat worship, a name which it bears among