When Hugh Barbour and Arthur Roberts first published this volume in 1973, Edwin Bronner wrote in the foreword: The editors are steeped in the religious history of the seventeenth century, have spent many years in preparing this collection of Quaker sources, and have been encouraged by their publisher to share the results of their research with readers. [Their] extensive introductory essays will be most helpful to the average reader as well as to scholars.
By 1700, Friends had published more than 3,700 titles. Barbour and Roberts organize their selections into five sections: Proclamations of the Day of Visitation, Journals of Lives Led by the Light, Truth Defended, Quaker Life as Testimony, and The True Church Restored. This new volume contains an updated general introduction, as well as their original introductions to each chapter.