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56Quaker History Less successful, at least from an esthetic point of view, is the modernization of the text. With care and competence, and a conscientious regard for the integrity of each sentence, the editor has managed to strip the language of its music; the effect cannot be otherwise than pedestrian. It is a half-way job by the very nature of the process. Though the syntax has been altered the images have not, and the use of modern headings only worsens the gap. To confer on the Fall of Man the existential term "Estrangement," then to follow this with a sober reference to the number of centuries which Adam survived his Fall, is to present the reader with two planes of thought which cannot meet. As a result he does the worst thing a reader can do: he ceases to believe; and the revision which was intended to make a concept vivid and modern only succeeds in pushing it farther into the past. Barclay's figures are not mere forms of speech, applied as external ornament; they are part and parcel of the thinking of his time. The ideas, images, and syntax of an age are all of a piece, and to subtract any one of these elements leaves the remainder curiously denatured. Nor does the need for clarity require such a sacrifice. Only a handful of words in the Apology are unintelligible to the modern ear, and one may assume that anyone capable of grappling with the theology of the seventeenth century is more than capable of adjusting to its syntax. These comments are, of course, those of a rival editor, and as such may be dismissed as jaundiced. It is possible, moreover, that there are many people who, entirely aside from the issue of clarity, are just more comfortable with tuneless prose than with the rich, baroque cadences of Restoration English. For these, as for the harassed librarian, the concerned Friend, or the professor faced with a half-hour chapel talk—none of whom will be likely to quibble about esthetics— this version of the Apology will undoubtedly prove useful. Moylan, PennsylvaniaEleanore Price Mather Herbert G. Wood, A Memoir of His Life and Thought. By Richenda C. Scott. London: Home Service Committee. 1967. 204 pages. Illustrations. 12s 6d. This Memoir of H. G. Wood (1879-1963) is divided into two equal parts. The first part is biographical and the second part contains chapters dealing with his views on The Inward Light, The Peace Testimony, The Christ-myth Controversy , The Nature of Man, Science and Religion, The Meaning of History, and The Search for Christian Unity. H.G., as he was usually called, is best known to Americans for his long association with Woodbrooke as Warden (1910-1915), as Director of Studies (1915-1940), and as a lecturer since 1904, until he was silenced in 1959 by a stroke. He was a scholar of outstanding ability but he was no academic recluse. This biography portrays him as a warm person, much involved in activities related to his many interests and concerns. Some regarded him as aloof and unapproachable but I remember him as the Friend who, more than any other, helped me when I was struggling to find my way. Book Reviews57 Richenda Scott says "young and old came to H.G. ... for help in their personal and intellectual difficulties." In a religious Society that is sometimes blown about by various winds of doctrine his simple faith remained steady and firm. His outstanding quality was steadfastness, "the courage that outrides all momentary weakness." He bore a faithful witness in all seasons to "the essentially Christian character of the Society of Friends and its message" and Maude Brayshaw was surely right when she wrote to him, in 1949, that "we have to thank you as much as anyone if London Yearly Meeting has become steadily more Christian. . . ." When he joined Friends in 1923 he brought a Christ-centered faith with him from his Baptist background. It is largely due to his witness and the witness of others like him that the Society is as Christ-centered as it is. Unfortunately not all those who have thus helped us to recognize...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 56-57
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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