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60QUAKER HISTORY Delaware Valley than for other regions, widi die exception of Rhode Island. Descriptions of Friends by foreign travelers and other non-Quaker observers also tended to concentrate on eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. While there were some regional differences in Quaker practice from one area to another, such variations were influenced more by local patterns than by any difference in Quaker beliefs and practices. The Society of Friends was remarkably homogenous in the eighteenth century. In this illuminating examination of the Quaker way of life in the colonial period, Professor Frost does not gloss over some of die weaknesses, inconsistencies and failings of his subjects. While he has described the general situation in quite positive terms, he also cites examples of those who failed to live up to the expectation of the prevailing discipline of die period. Aldiough he has not changed our basic understanding of the colonial Quaker family, he has indicated diat variations from the norm were more frequent than had been thought before. This is an extremely useful volume which will be consulted and quoted for years to come. Haverford CollegeEdwin B. Bronner Early Quaker Writings 1650-1700. Edited by Hugh Barbour and Arthur O. Roberts. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1973. 662 pages. $8.95. This massive collection is a unique contribution to the study of early Quakerism. It brings to die reader a wide variety of selections, short or long, from the first half century of Quakerism, with the aim of making known what is little understood by die majority of present-day Friends whatever dieir stamp. The material has been selected witìi a view to illustrate some of die forms of expression practiced by diese pioneers. It is not a golden treasury simply of the best. Indeed, three of the classical writings of the period— Fox's Journal, Barclay's Apology, and the works of William Penn are scarcely represented at all. This is intentional, for they have been for over a century the only well-known writings from diis period. The early Friends were prolific writers. For diat very reason one ought not to judge the movement principally by what is familiar and has become traditional. This is die first and indeed a major effort to expand our contact with literature, much of it heretofore inaccessible except in the myriad tracts available only in a few libraries, where indeed they are rarely used. What die effect of diis exposure might be to the reconsideration of our Quaker heritage I hardly like to predict. It should greatly broaden our impressions, should correct any narrow stream of analysis which Friends of more dian one stripe are only too prone to fall into. That generation was held together by no formula, no formality, no stereotyped theory of what constituted die right mental analysis of Quaker experience, duty or expression. My guess is that Quakerism was less homogeneous at the beginning than later. No doubt each modern variety will prefer parts of diese selections, and will regret die limited exposition of their own favorite dieological, social or ediical emphases. The editors have had no such aim. They are not allergic to any characteristic expression of early Quakerism, and they have carefully selected their samples and tried to show the relationship. Their major divisions are named BOOK REVIEWS61 "Tracts to Proclaim the Day of Visitation," "Journal of Lives Led by die Light," "Truth Defended," "Quaker Life as Testimony," "The True Church Restored." The selections are well edited widi modern spelling and with notes, and usually widi an introduction. Some of diese were described to me by a British reader as "inspired." As one would expect from the audior of Quakers in Puritan England, die relation of the Quaker position to that of their British contemporaries is well brought out. Indeed one of die best ways to know how early Quakerism veered from the conventional Christianity is to study the subjects of controversy. These appear in extracts from both sides. One of the longest and earliest extracts is from Fiigginson 's Religion of the Northern Quakers (1653). But long quotations from Barclay's Catechism and Confession of Faith and Anarchy of the Ranters...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 60-61
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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