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EARLY AMERICAN WRITER AGAINST QUAKERISM 5 promised the commissioners, who made several concessions in the placing of this building, that we would try to give the effect of a tiny park in the center of Washington. Therefore the fence had to be sufficiently open for the public to see the shrubbery and trees. For the masonry of the piers and retaining wall we used the Foxcroft stone, with trimmings of limestone. The design for the caps of the four gateposts was taken from the fine old walls and piers that surround old St. Peter's Church, in Philadelphia . Very truly thine, Walter F. Price. AN EARLY AMERICAN WRITER AGAINST QUAKERISM By Henry J. Cadbury One of the earliest, if not the earliest, of anti-Quaker Americana has been brought to my attention by being mentioned in two recent English books on Quakerism by German authors.1 And to show further the international character of the anti-Quaker (as of the Quaker) interest I may add at once that the book itself, though written in New England, was published in England and received its title from a Dutchman whose adventures in Germany had been recorded by a Frenchman in Belgium and published in Lyons. Though the American work is thus not strictly an American publication, being printed in English at London translated from a work issued in French at Lyons, the identity of the American translator should be of interest not only to Quaker historians but to students of early Americana. And the translator's identity is the problem with which I here wish to deal. The volume is so far as I know not to be found in any American library. There are copies however in the British Museum and at Friends House, London. It is a small octavo bearing the following title page : 2 1 G. von Schulze-Gaevernitz, Democracy and Religion, London, 1930, p. 13; Eduard Bernstein, Cromwell and Communism, London, 1930, p. 225. 2 I am indebted to John L. Nickalls, Librarian at Friends House, for exact information about their copy. Gaevernitz, loc. cit., misspells Becholdus. 6 BULLETIN OF FRIENDS' HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION Johannes Becoldus Redevivus : or the English Quaker, The German Enthusiast Revived: Visible in this Narrative. Translated into English, for the use of his Qmntrey-men, by J. S. Written long since in French by Guy du Brez. [quotation] Eccles 1.10. London. Printed for and are to be sold by John Allen, at the Rising Sun in Paul's Church-Yard, 1659. The translator's preface speaks of the similarities between Quakerism and Anabaptism, and says that the Quakers had " ominously crawled over the vast brynish ocean attempting our Nova Albion Shores." It is signed " Joshua Scotton, Boston in New England, 26 of Novemb. 1658." The preface refers to the French original as having appeared " neer a hundred years since " under the title of " Le source raeine & fondement des Anabaptistes ou rebaptises de nostre temps," and says the translation is only a tenth part of the original. To give the translator's viewpoint the first paragraphs of the 1658 preface may be quoted. The language is often confused, but the last sentences quoted must, I think, refer to James Nayler as the counterpart " in our native soil " to the " comical part of the German enterlude." To the Reader The Soveraign disposer of beings, the times thereof, and the changes therein appointed to Adams Sons ; having allotted ours to be in these last and perilious daies, signally parallel unto those which this narrative relateth: there being then, as now, Deceivers sent forth, and judicially commissionated to execute the writ of vindictive justice, upon the nonreceivers of truth in love : God sending energy of errour, that they may believe a lye, the more effectual vigilance is required of us all, that in this our now we may carry it, as those which have found the favour to be preserved and accounted faithful therein; and that the present must be of heresies, may be subserviently tending to the manifesting of us approved. Now see the prodigious practises, and blasphemous belchings of these then Satans Emissaries, comply with these his late Agents in itching & bewitching times. I leave to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 5-13
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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