I have finished reading two Quaker classics. The first, Quaker Strongholds, was written by Caroline Stephen in 1890. She grew up in the Anglican church, but as an adult she could no longer believe its teachings or partake of its liturgy. She despaired of finding a place to worship again until she happened upon a Quaker meeting. There she found a new spiritual home. In clear, beautiful prose, her book introduces readers to the basic principles, or strongholds, that inform Quaker life and thought. She covers its organization into regular meetings, its belief in the inner light of God available to all, its rejection of sacraments, its focus on a free (that is, unpaid) ministry of men and women, and its testimony in favor of peace and simplicity. If you want to learn Quaker beliefs in their classic form, this is the book to read. An online copy is here.
The second is the Journal of John Woolman, an early American Quaker. I read this book 15 years ago but felt a drawing to read again. The novelist Joseph Conrad defined art in this way: art renders the highest kind of justice to the visible universe. The life of John Woolman, recorded in his Journal, was a living work of art; he rendered the highest kind of justice to the life Jesus sketched out in the Sermon On the Mount. Woolman walked with God, attentive to the light within, and he lived in gentle harmony with everyone around him. He offers a clear example of the Quaker principles Caroline Stephen talks about in her book. In addition to his mysticism, Woolman was a social philosopher who analyzed the roots of war and oppression. His testimony against luxuries (superfluities) is especially relevant today. An online copy of the Journal is here. For a vivid picture of a life devoted to Christ, acquaint yourself with John Woolman. His Journal was first published in 1774.
(The picture is a public domain image of a Friends meeting house in Delaware.)