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Works of Robert Barclay

We may eventually publish most or all of the works of Quaker theologian Robert Barclay (1648-1690) both in print and online. The Apology for the True Christian Divinity (1678) is now both in print (March 2002) and online (July 2002). His Catechism and Confession of Faith (1673, with corrected editions in 1676 and 1690) has been online since 2000.

Editor's notes on the Apology:

See introduction and appendix to online edition.

Editor's notes on the Catechism

We placed the Catechism online in the fall of 2000, earlier than originally intended, because we had learned of plans for a paraphrased version of this document (it was published in 2001). A similar paraphrase of Barclay's famous Apology was published some decades ago (Dean Freiday, Barclay's Apology in Modern English, 1967; for a critique see the appendix to our edition). Since its publication the genuine 17th-century text of the Apology has been allowed to go out of print, possibly because the small market for Quaker books is not enough to support both the paraphrase and the original. Not wanting the original text of the Catechism to be similarly eclipsed by a paraphrase, we are making it available online.

Our online text of the Catechism, originally produced from an 1831 edition which was on hand to type from, has now been corrected from the three editions published in Barclay's lifetime:

Further corrections to the text, and additional observations based on the work done in comparing these three editions, may be forthcoming.

Since Barclay's final chapter criticizes some of the use of proof-texts in the historic Calvinist Westminster Confession of Faith, we have also posted the relevant selections from that document for comparison.

This page last modified 7/18/2002.