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PREFACE TO THE READER.
There are two principles, by which men usually regulate their conduct, whether in private or in public life. The one is built upon political expediency; the other upon morality and religion.
That, which is built upon the basis of policy, looks almost wholly at the consequences of things, regarding but little whether they be in themselves honest or not. It springs out of the worst part of the nature of man. It has no pretension to any other name than that of Cunning. It is of all others the most pernicious in its effects. It leads to oppression at home, to wars abroad, and to every moral evil, of which mankind has had to complain ; and it is in general, besides, as far as the actor himself is concerned, productive of disgrace and ruin.
That, which is founded on the basis of religion, is on the other hand never concerned with consequences but in a secon
dary point of view, regarding solely whether that which is in contemplation be just. Its motto is “ Fiat Justitia, ruat Cælum.". It has its origin in the mind of man, but only where it has been first illuminated from above. Its name is Iisdom. No other species of action has a title to that sublime appellation. It is the only one, whose effects are blessed. It removes all evils. It promotes all good. It is solid and permanent. It lasts for ever.
I have now to observe, that it is under the influence of this latter principle that we are to see the conduct of William Penn, but more particularly as a public man, in the sheets which follow; or, in other words, we are to have a view of him as a Statesman, who acted upon Christian principle in direct opposition to the usual policy of the world. Such a view of him must be highly gratifying. It must be also highly useful. Suffice it then to say, that the desire I had to contemplate it: myself, and to exhibit it to others, furnished the principal motive for the present work.
Lire of William Penn, prefixed to the Collection
of his Works, in 2 vols. folio. The Select Works of William Penn, including his
Life, in 5 vols. octavo. William Penn's Rules for the Regulation of his
Family; or Christian Discipline, or good and wholesome Orders for the well governing of
History of the People called Quakers, by William
Account of the Life of Richard Davies.
and Travels, of Thomas Chalkley. Account of the Life and Travels in the Ministry of
John Fothergill. Journal of the Life of Thomas Story. Anderson's Historical and Chronological Deduction
of the Origin of Commerce. Bayle's Dictionary Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses. British Empire in America, by Oldmixon. Burnet's History of his own Times. Negotiations of Count D’Avaux, Ambassador from
Louis the XIVth to the States General of the
United Provinces. Picart's Religious Customs and Ceremonies of all Nations, translated from the French.
History of the Old and New Testament, translated
from the Works of the learned Le Sieur de Royaumont, by Joseph Raynor, and supervised by Dr. Anthony Horneck, Henry Wharton,
B. D. and others. Collins's Memoirs of the Sidneys, prefixed to the
Sidney State-Papers. Douglass's Summary. Ward's Life of Dr. Henry Moore. Life of John Locke, by John Le Clerc. Salmon's Chronological Historian. Macpherson's History of Great Britain, including
Original State Papers. Dialogues of the Dead, by George Lord Lyttelton. Dr. Jonathan Swift's Letters, collected by Deane
Swift, Esq. Noble's Continuation of Granger. Sutcliff's Travels in North America. Monthly Magazine. Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle. European Magazine and London Review. Manuscript Letters of William Penn. Authenticated Copies of the same. Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representa
tives of Pennsylvania, beginning Dec. 4, 1682 (an American publication).