網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Lose what you lose like men and Christians."* Here spoke again the old spirit of martyrdom which said that his prison should be his grave before he would sacrifice a principle. The Pennsylvanians were forgetting how to suffer, and were being spoiled by their liberties.

The Assembly, however, was not inactive. Law after law was sent to the Governor, making affirmations valid in all courts. Either he did not believe with Penn, who appointed him, in the invalidity of the Queen's order, or was swayed by opposition to the party which dominated the Assembly. He refused his consent. Then a joint meeting of Governor, Council and Assembly was held. The Attorney General had advised that no charter could abrogate the law of England requiring a jury to be sworn in a capital case. Notwithstanding this it was decided that Governor and Council had power to pass a law, substituting affirmations for oaths, because it had been done in the past and the Crown had not objected. Moreover, there were country places where juries could not be made up without Quakers unless they should consist

' wholly of Swedes and other foreigners in whoni there would be much less security.” It was surther urged that those willing to take oaths would be permitted so to do, if the official was also willing to administer them.

To this the Governor objected that in many cases where the magistrate was not willing to administer oaths there would be no chance to have them taken, and that the Queen's order requires them in such cases. The Assembly replied to this that it had been well known that Quakers who had “first settled and now chiefly inhabit this country” would have nothing to do with oaths, and moreover that this had been recognized by allowing these same judges and magistrates to be qualified by an affirmation, and that it was very unlikely the Queen meant to remove all of them from office.

But, the Governor replied, some Quakers get along very well as judges notwithstanding the Queen's order.

On the other hand, said the Assembly, where there are conscientious Quaker justices, if some one desires evidence to be sworn to before them, the whole proceedings become null and void. Hence they ask that in such cases the affirmation may be legal.

• Penn and Logan Correspondence, page 248. + Colonial Records, Vol. II., page 233 et seq.

The Governor finally decided to sign the bill, to take effect after a lapse of time sufficient to allow the Crown to veto it.

The Episcopalians sent a protest against the bill to London and it was repealed. The Assembly re-enacted it and sent it to the Governor, who now refused to sign it. The Assembly protested with great vigor that there was no security against murder in a Quaker community, for their evidence would not be received.

The next Assembly, in 1711, conceded some points to the Governor, and a fairly satisfactory measure was passed, to be vetoed by the Crown in 1713. Until vetoed it remained in force. After this the process was again and again repeated, the Governor objecting each time to the passage of the bill. Finally in 1718 an act was passed carrying most of the provisions that the Assembly had contended for,—the right to consider an affirmation as valid as an oath in evidence, and as a qualification for office, and affixing the same penalties for lying under such circumstances as for perjury. This managed to escape repeal in London.

Another question now came up. Some Quakers objected to the phrase “in the name of Almighty God,” as approximating an oath in effect.

James Logan, in 1706, while admitting the form to be objectionable, thought that greater security than ordinary was needed in Pennsylvania, “ where such a rotten and insensible generation shelter themselves under the name "* (of Friends). (This was in the heat of his controversy with David Lloyd.)

The Yearly Meeting in 1710 recognizing the difference refused to take sides, but asked for charity. “The solenın affirmation is a thing of the greatest moment.

We exhort all to be very careful about it.

That Friends be charitable one to another about it; they that can take it, not to censure or reproach those who can not ; and those who can not, to use the like caution and regard to those who can, till further relief can be had for us all."

The whole matter so far as government was concerned was finally laid at rest by a law finally ratified by the king in 1725, prescribing the forms of declaration of fidelity to King George, and renunciation of a belief in the power of the Pope over the English Crown, of abjuration of allegiance to the Stuarts, and of affirmation. The latter form omitted any reference to God, and

• Penn and Logan Correspondence, Vol.II., page 187.

« 上一頁繼續 »