William Sewel (1653-1720), being a Quaker himself, an honest and meticulous researcher, and an eye-witness to many of the events described in his writings, has long been considered the foremost authority on the early history of the Society of Friends. This lengthy but invaluable publication (first written in Dutch in 1717, and then translated by Sewel into English) tells the truly amazing story of a people who awoke from the lifeless and formal religion of their day, submitted whole-heartedly to the teachings of the Spirit of truth, and so returned to the original life, light, power, and purity of primitive Christianity.
I very well remember, though I was then quite a child, the day my father brought Sewel’s History home with him. I was but a little fellow, yet I was quite a good reader, and my father set me to read the book to him, while he sat upon his bench making shoes; for he was by trade a shoemaker. I recollect distinctly, as though it was but yesterday, how much I was affected in reading some parts of that book; especially where it told of the constancy which so many of those poor people, both young and old, showed under suffering and cruel persecution. I often had to stop reading, for I could not go on for weeping; and my sister Hannah, who was older than I, would take the book and read till I was composed enough to go on again. My childish sympathies were indeed very much stirred up on account of these poor, innocent sufferers of whom we read; and I thought that if there ever were any really good people in the world, these surely were some of them.- Christopher Healy
Friends Library Publishing exists to freely share the writings of early members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), believing that no other collection of Christian writings more accurately communicates or powerfully illustrates the soul-transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Download this and other books for free at www.friendslibrary.com.
The most accurate and exhaustive history of the Society of Friends, long considered the foremost authority on the true rise, increase, and progress of this Christian people during their first sixty-five years.
“About this time I read Sewel’s ‘History of the Quakers,’ which I think removed every objection, and confirmed me in my opinion of the truth of their principles. Their severe sufferings, their patience under them, and honest boldness before kings and rulers, convinced me that nothing but a divine power could have supported them.”— John Spalding