|08-06-2008, 08:28 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2008
Device: Sony 505
Penn, William Jr.: The Sandy Foundation Shaken; v1; 6 Aug 2008
In the middle of the 17th century, William Penn Sr. was a great man - a famous and knighted statesman and former dashing Admiral. William Penn Jr. was a renegade, some thought "ne'er do well", and a great disappointment to his father.
To this day, in England, if the name of William Penn is brought up, almost all will think of this famous father. In America, we don't even know there were two Penns and only think of the son. We are generally surprised when we learn the above.
William Penn Jr. is so famous in America that he is simply William Penn. We know him as a founding father, the creator of the great state of Pennsylvania, the inspiration for the name of at least two motor oils, and the face on the oatmeal box. In America, that is the height of popular fame - your picture on a cereal box!
Junior was a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and was, along with others of his persuasion, marginalized and even persecuted. He and his associates are an example of the kind of people who fled to America so they could believe and worship as they pleased.
This eBook represents a seminal event in the life of our Wm Penn. In it he carefully set forth a bit of Quaker theology that quickly won him the displeasure of the establishment and landed him in jail as a heretic and trouble-maker.
It is particularly interesting to note that to modern sensibilities, the subject matter of this tract is extremely esoteric and of little real consequence. After all, even the God fearing believe that the Almighty is essentially unknowable and that maybe one shouldn't take sides on such things. But at the time, this was a particularly important point. Not only was it of theological significance, but of great political significance. This was in the early days of the reformation and not too long after the establishment of the Church of England. There were a number of competing "religions" or "denominations" vying for supremacy and the hearts and minds of the populace. As some of these came to gain political favor, others were ostracized. There needed to be a "good reason" for this distinction. So often this turned on one or more theological fine points. Penn's major malfeasance was to challenge such a point that was currently being used to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys.
So while on one hand, Mr. Penn might be accused of political naiveté or a streak of idealism, one can also see that he had started down a path of analytical thinking and social consciousness that would lead to greatness.
Finally, I come full circle as to why this topic is so critical to many people. In the history of the world, their have been exactly three religions with an extreme focus on One God - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - and they all stem from the same ancient concept of the One True God. Therefore it is easy to see how the first cut to separate us from them, the God-fearing from the heathen, and righteousness from evil, would be the acceptance of this One God. But then there is this pesky idea of Three Gods. So one needs to be very careful and very precise about formulating your doctrine of the Trinity. Correspondingly this topic has taken a huge amount of time and energy in theological circles, and has been the subject of much finessing, for the last two millennia.
Compared to my recent uploads, this is a very small work. But I think it is very important and worth publishing. And, as usual, I have provided LRF and HTM versions for your convenience.
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