Luther and the Reformation: eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Luther and the Reformation:.

These ships, under Minuit, landed their passengers but a few miles south of where Philadelphia now stands, and thus made the first beginning of what has since become the great and happy Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

This was six years before Penn was born.


[32] The description of the features of this plan is taken from Geijer’s Svenska Folkets Historia, vol. iii. p. 128, given by Dr. Reynolds in his Introduction to Israel Acrelius’s History of New Sweden, published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  It was first propounded by Gustavus Adolphus in 1624.  Also referred to in Argonautica Gustaviana, pp. 3 and 22.


How far William Penn was illuminated and influenced by the ideas of the great and wise Gustavus Adolphus in reference to the founding of a free state in America as an asylum for the persecuted and suffering people of God in the Old World, is nowhere told; but there is reason to believe that he knew of them, and took his own plans from them.

A few facts bearing on the point may here be noted.

One peculiarly striking is, that the same plan and principles with reference to such a colonial state which Penn brought hither in the Welcome in 1682 were already matured and widely propounded by the illustrious Swedish king more than half a century before they practically entered Penn’s mind.

Another is, that these proposals and principles were generally promulgated throughout Europe—­first by Gustavus and those associated with him in the matter, and then again by Oxenstiern, in Germany, Holland, and other countries.

Still another is, that in 1677 Penn made a special tour of three months through Holland and various parts of Germany, visiting and conferring with many of the most pious and devoted people, including distinguished men and women, and clergy and laity of high standing, information, and influence.  He made considerable stay in Frankfort, where he says both Calvinists and Lutherans received him with gladness of heart.  He visited Mayence, Worms, Mannheim, Mulheim, Duesseldorf, Herwerden, Embaden, Bremen, etc., etc., concerning which the editor of his Life and Writings says he had “interesting interviews with many persons eminent for their talents, learning, or social position.”  Among them were such as Elizabeth, Princess Palatine, niece of Charles I. of England and the daughter of the king of Bohemia, the special friend of Gustavus Adolphus, who died of horror on hearing that Gustavus was slain; Anna Maria, countess of Hornes; the countess and earl of Falkenstein and Brueck; the president of the council of state at Embaden; the earl of Donau, and the like; among all of which it is hardly possible that he should have failed to meet with the proposals which had gone out over all Protestant Europe from the throne of Sweden.  Nor is there any evidence that William Penn had thought of founding a free Christian state in America until immediately after his return to England from this tour on the Continent.

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Luther and the Reformation: from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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