despotic prince, and under a charter obtained from him
founding a government recognizing the equal rights of all
its citizens, educated in times of religious intolerance and
persecution, and himself a severe sufferer for conscience
sake, when invested with power, granting to such as
differed from him in sentiment, na}7, even to his oppressors,
perfect freedom of religious opinion and practice.
We find him who was educated in a country where a
sanguinary code of laws made the awful doom of death
the indiscriminate punishment for the petty thief and the
deliberate murderer, and at a time too when such a
change was certain to be pronounced a visionary innova¬
tion, advocating and adopting that system of graduated
and mitigated punishments which has since received the
sanction of the wisest and best of his successors.
Sound judgment, comprehensive and enlarged policy.
unbroken faith, and unsullied probity, formed in her early
days the prominent characteristics of Pennsylvanian
government; and, much as the}- may have been aber¬
rated from, by many of her succeeding rulers, the
influence of this early example has been powerfully
operative upon her character and actions from that day
to the present.
It is, however, beside our object at this time to
expatiate upon the conduct of Penn and his coadjutors,
in the prosecution of the ennobling designs to which we
have alluded; our view is simply to show that from a
government and people recognizing such principles and
doctrines, and, in the midst of darkness and ignorance,
displaying such vivifying light and knowledge, we might