THE FRIENDS OF JESUS CHRIST 175 CROSWELL ROAD FARMINGTON FALLS, MAINE 04940 USA 2002
THE EDITOR'S FOREWORD
It pleased God to reveal his most precious truth to thousands of men and women in the 17th century through the ministry of George Fox. This most eminent man of God directed men and women everywhere to the light of Christ in their hearts so that they might find forgiveness of sins and deliverance from sins bondage and so be led thereby to a cleansing of their hearts from the old man of sin and the carnal mind by the baptism with the Holy Ghost. It was this baptism that brought unequaled spiritual power to the people of God called Quakers.
The Friends of Jesus Christ have from its beginning been strongly influenced by and felt fellowship with those early Quakers, recognizing that they are the quintessential example of what God can do for men and women that truly hunger and thirst after righteousness and holiness. And it is because of the spiritual benefit that we have received from their biographies that we have decided to reprint many of the most moving and instructive of them.
The volumes of this series are principally taken from the 14 volume set of the Friend's Library published from about 1837 to 1850 in Philadelphia by members of the Society of Friends. Needless to say, we owe more than we can express to the editors and compilers of that publication. In some cases we have merely extracted parts of Sewel's History of the Quakers, being the only place that we could find information about them.
We have taken much editorial liberty in the production of these volumes. We have been most free to modernize the grammar by the removal of the great profusion of commas and semicolons that were much in vogue in past times. We have also made the necessary changes so that we could shorten the very lengthy sentences much used in that period. Often the writers of the past would quote something but use the incorrect tense. In this case generally we have decided to merely remove the quotation marks without changing the tenses. And, finally, we took the liberty of changing all of the British spellings into the American forms since most of our readers will reside on the western side of the Atlantic.
All of this has been done for the sake of readability, feeling confident that the authors would approve of any changes that would make their writings easier for the ordinary person to read. But throughout it all a very special care, along with much prayer for the guidance of the blessed Holy Spirit, has been taken to always preserve not only the authors' intent but also the spirit of their writings. We believe that we have accomplished this satisfactorily.
It is my most fervent desire that these volumes will be a deserving memorial of these almost forgotten worthies who labored so assiduously for their great Savior Jesus Christ and for the propagation of his most blessed Truth. Above all it is hoped that these accounts of the powerful ministries of these men and women will bring glory and honor to him, even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who raised them up as it were from death and endued them with such life and power that they were able to go forward victoriously under the banner of divine love under the most dire persecutions.