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NOTES ON TEXTS AND ANNOTATIONS - William Penn, The Political Writings of William Penn 
The Political Writings of William Penn, introduction and annotations by Andrew R. Murphy (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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NOTES ON TEXTS AND ANNOTATIONS
William Penn’s political writings can pose challenges to the modern reader. Like many of his contemporaries, Penn refers to Scripture, classical sources, church fathers, Reformation and post-Reformation history, and other sources prodigiously, unsystematically, and often obliquely. Many references presented as direct quotes turn out, upon visiting the primary sources, to be Penn’s paraphrases. Italicization and capitalization follow no discernible pattern. Such procedures were the norm, not the exception, in early modern political writing, especially for a writer like Penn who often wrote in the heat of political debate.
The purpose of my annotations is not to provide an exhaustive clarification of each of Penn’s many citations—such an endeavor would be unhelpful and distracting—but rather to guide the reader in appreciating the many building blocks upon which Penn built his theory of religious liberty. Thus, the antiquated spelling, punctuation, and syntax have not been altered; however, typographical errors have been silently corrected. For general references to individuals and groups, I have not, as a rule, included an annotation: Penn simply makes too many, too scattered references for a volume of this sort to address each one individually. I would refer readers interested in pursuing such references to the Dictionary of National Biography or to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation.
Where individuals or groups are mentioned in connection with specific texts, I have generally provided a note. I have also annotated Penn’s many scriptural references, and all quotations of my own are taken from the King James version of the Bible. Where Penn provides the reference in his text, I have not provided any additional annotations. Otherwise, I have included some general information on the author or text to guide those readers who wish to explore Penn’s sources more deeply. (For sources that have gone through multiple printings, I have cited by chapter rather than page number.) Similarly, on Latin quotations, I have not translated where Penn himself includes a translation in the text, and I have not annotated single-word Latin phrases or ones whose meaning seems clear in context.
None of the editorial annotations can be considered a substitute for reading Penn’s works alongside good histories of England, of the Reformation, of the Christian Church more generally, and of the rise of religious toleration in early modern Europe; below I suggest a few. Regardless of whether the reader is fully conversant with the wide range of historical, philosophical, scriptural, and political references that fill Penn’s political works, however, I hope that this edition will renew interest in Penn as a political thinker and in Penn’s works as an important element of the Anglo-American heritage. All texts in this volume are reproduced from A Collection of the Works of William Penn, 2 volumes (London, 1726).
early christianity and the reformation