The motives of Charles II. in granting his charter were, first of all, to discharge a heavy pecuniary claim of Penn against the government on account of his father; next, to honor the memory and merits of the late Admiral Penn; and, finally, at the same time, to “favor William Penn in his laudable efforts to enlarge the British empire, to promote the trade and prosperity of the kingdom, and to reduce the savage nations by just and gentle measures to the love of civilized life and the Christian religion.” Penn’s idea, as stated by his memorialist, was “to obtain the grant of a territory on the west side of the Delaware, in which he might not only furnish an asylum to Friends (Quakers), and others who were persecuted on account of their religious persuasion, but might erect a government upon principles approaching much nearer the standard of evangelical purity than any which had been previously raised.”
His own account of the matter is: “For my country I eyed the Lord in obtaining it; and more was I drawn inward to look to him, and to owe it to his hand and power, than to any other way. I have so obtained it, and desire to keep it, that I may not be unworthy of his love, but do that which may answer his kind providence and serve his truth and people, that an example may be set up to the nations. There may be room there, though not here, for such an holy experiment.” “I do therefore desire the Lord’s wisdom to guide me and those that may be concerned with me, that we may do the thing that is truly wise and just.”
And with these aims and this spirit he invited people to join him, came to the territory which had been granted him, conferred with the Swedish and Dutch colonists already on the ground, and together with them established the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
RECOGNITION OF THE DIVINE BEING.
II. Accordingly, also, the chief corner-stone in the constitutional fabric of our State was the united official acknowledgment of the being and supremacy of one eternal and ever-living God, the Judge of all men and the Lord of nations.