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Book Reviews The Welsh Saints 1640-1660. By Geoffrey F. Nuttall. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. 1957. x, 93 pages. $2.00 Since the recent revival of Puritan studies, we have had to modify our interpretation of Quaker origins. We now place greater stress on the preparation for Quakerism in Puritan thought and piety than could such earlier historians as William C. Braithwaite and Rufus M. Jones. G. F. Nuttall analyzed much of this preparation most helpfully in his earlier volume on The Holy Spirit in Puritan Faith and Experience (1947). Now on a more modest scale in four lectures for the University College of North Wales he has described the spiritual religion of three seventeenthcentury Welsh Puritans. The celebrated Richard Baxter, viewing their work from just over the border in England, regarded Walter Cradock, Vavasor Powell, and Morgan Llwyd as a dangerously Antinomian trio. The influence of these three on one another was great. All lived and worked in the Welsh borderlands, all were left-wing Independents, and Powell and Llwyd were converts of Cradock, who was himself deeply indebted to William Erbury, the mystical and eccentric Puritan. But there were differences too. Cradock was respected throughout the Puritan brotherhood in Wales and England as an accomplished preacher, pastor, and physician of souls. Powell, because of his connections with Fifth-Monarchists and his social radicalism, had a more political reputation. Llwyd remained in Wales and wrote chiefly in Welsh; he was (and has remained) the most obscure of the three. But Dr. Nuttall believes that all deserve to be studied for the light they throw on Welsh church history and Puritan piety and politics. As examples of the spiritual element in Puritan religion, the quotations from Cradock's writings are especially interesting. The author can say of his style (as of Baxter's) that it is "so direct, penetrating, sure, yet so sincerely modest, almost ingenuous, and produces a strange feeling that the man is personally present, at least that he wrote this only yesterday and wrote it to you" (p. 19). Friends will be particularly interested in the final lecture on "The Impact of Quakerism." None of these Welsh saints became "convinced." AU opposed Quaker raids on their flocks. Yet the author emphasizes that "what preparation for Quakerism there was in Merioneth had, in fact, been provided, as in Wrexham and Welshpool, despite Powell's hostility, by nothing else than the piety fostered by Llwyd and himself" (p. 67). With such a spiritual awakening taking place, it is not surprising perhaps that George Fox, viewing the land from the height of Cader Idris in company with John ap John in 1657, could feel that "god would raise upp a people to sett under his teachinge." University of Minnesota (Duluth)J. F. Maclear 53 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
p. 53
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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