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120Bulletin of Friends Historical Association The Quaker Persuasion, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. A Handbook for Friends and Friends of the Friends. By William Wistar Comfort, with an introduction by Richmond P. Miller. Philadelphia: Frederick H. Gloeckner. 1956. 72 pages $2.50. This little book, completed just before the author's death, does not pretend to be either a history of Friends or a definitive statement of Friends beliefs. It is, rather, the personal affirmation of a man deeply involved in the Quaker movement and eager to interpret its faith to non-Friends—as eager as he ever was during his eighteen years as president of Friends Historical Association to bring Friends and non-Friends alike into its fold. As befits a historian, President Comfort devotes over half his pages to a survey of Quaker history, for he felt that to be an integral part of the Quaker faith. A number of photographs add to the personal interest of the book and remind us also of the author's long association with Haverford College. University of Pennsylvania Lyman W. Riley The Witness of William Penn. Edited with an Introduction by Frederick B. Tolles and E. Gordon Alderfer. New York: The Macmillan Company. 1957. xxx, 205 pages. $3.75. Editors must perform the miracle of resurrection. Either they select what is currently usable from the man's millions of words, or they prepare a sample which invites the modern reader to resurrect more for himself. These latest editors of a Penn anthology have done both well. Apparently most of Penn's controversial writings can stay buried in their original editions, of use only to specialists in later Stuart religion. Penn himself gave the order for interment when he wrote in Some Fruits of Solitude, perhaps recalling his youthful fervor: "to be furious in religion is to be irreligiously religious," (no. 533) and "zeal dropped in charity is good, without it good for nothing, for it devours all it comes near" (no. 541). Since the modern reader presumably tires after two hundred pages, only part of Penn's durable goods can be included: a third of Some Fruits of Solitude (1693, 1702); three-quarters of his history of Quakerism (1694); most of his essay on European federation (1693); five "little esays" from No Cross, No Crown (not separately dated); and shorter parts on Pennsylvania and for civil liberties. The Everyman's Library edition gave us several of these, whole and cheap, as well as Joseph Besse's Life. But it was innocent of modern editorial comment, avoided everything before 1677, and perforce left out No Cross, No Crown. Like other earlier and even fuller selections, its format was less attractive. This newest salesman's sample, unlike Isaac Sharpless's Selections or snippets, reproduces solid parts. Book Reviews121 The sales talks for each part are concise, restrained, and apt. They counter balance the general introduction's tendency to over-emphasize Penn's being "one of the few of his age"(p.xx) by showing how he reflected his age. Other near-contradictions and overlappings between the general and particular introduction suggest that the former might well have stopped with the bare outlines of life, times, and publications. The attempted sketch of Penn's thought has too many questionable judgments of the Elizabethans, Stuarts, and Puritans, and is too compressed for clarity. The most valuable comments introduce Some Fruits of Solitude (pp. 163-165). Here, in one final sentence, is a masterly characterization. The editor suggests that Penn had three periods of creativity. No attempt to be different, however, prevents the acceptance of earlier judgments, for example that the last period, 1692-94, should be represented with twothirds of the space. All Penn problems are not solved: I am still puzzled over Penn's relation to the Puritans, the Roman Catholics, and the rationalists, and I wonder about his relation to others in "the top echelon" (p. xi). But the editing is uniformly excellent and unobtrusive. It has successfully served as midwife in a rebirth of William Penn. University of California at Riverside T. D. Seymour Bassett ...


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