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A Testament of Devotion Paperback – August 2, 1996


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Frequently Bought Together

A Testament of Devotion + The Sanctuary of the Soul: Selected Writings of Thomas Kelly (Upper Room Spiritual Classics. Series 1) + The Eternal Promise
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (August 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060643617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060643614
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Among the few great and undying books of devotion" (Christian Century)--now re-edited and featuring a new introduction by Richard Foster. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941) was a Quaker missionary, educator, speaker, writer, and scholar.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It lifts me every time I read a page.
Kenn Jennings
Simple, profound Kelly invites us to an inner journey into the presence of the holy.
J. Johnson
I bought this book (the original 1941 version) for 25 cents at a used book store.
Charles Runels Md

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of Christian books by such authors as Augustine, Aquinas, Brother Lawrence, Pascal, Caussade, Teresa of Avila, Dostoevsky, Lewis, Tozer, Sproul, Geisler, Willard, Foster, and many more... but I'm drawn back to this little book above them all. I've come to appreciate the paradox of "nothing matters; everything matters." As Kelly said, God "gives us the royal blindness of faith, and the seeing eye of the sensitized soul, and the grace of unflinching obedience. Then we see that nothing matters, and that everything matters, and that this my task matters for me and for my fellow men and for Eternity. And if we be utterly humble we may be given the strength to be obedient even unto death, yea the death of the Cross." My goal is to write a devotional, theological book to compare to it. I am not yet up to the task. I have many notes from my many readings, but first I must make God's presence and will the deepest realities in my life as they obviously were in Kelly's. I have the head knowledge, but lack the deepest heart's passion and abandonment to divine breathings that are required to pen a masterpiece. I've learned from Kelly that it is more important that I live as God's masterpiece than pen one myself. As Kelly said, "practice comes first in religion, not theory or dogma."
One correction to my earlier review: Kelly discussed the paradox of "nothing matters; everything matters" with a Hindu monk, not a Buddhist one.
In closing, I'm somewhat surprised to find that Kelly's book is not as popular as it deserves to be. But, then again, I'm not. - Brad Clark
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on May 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in Quaker mysticism, please read this book, the thoughts of a 20th century Quaker mystic and teacher.

Thomas Kelly lived briefly - reading this work brings the reader close to Kelly's experiential relationships with the Divine.

There was not enough writing left behind - this is a treasure. A book for meditation and reading, Kelly's words have a way of bringing the Light to the dedicated reader.

I really love this book and don't know how to express that without sounding trivial. It can take your breath away, bring you to joyful tears and encourage your seeking.

Blessings.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Carol006 on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased Thomas Kelly's TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION with an Introduction by Richard Foster (1992, ISBN 0-06-064212-2) after recently reading the 1941 (First printing) edition in my parish library. I happened to have both copies at hand when I began reading the newer edition, and I noticed a number of sentences were missing in the chapter on the Eternal Now, some of which have to do with Mr. Kelly's views of Quakerism, which perhaps the editors of the later volume thought were antiquated. On closer examination, I realized that something more was missing: a lengthy passage from pages 94-96 in the original volume. In this passage, Kelly describes the experience of the NOW with such eloquence that it is inconceivable to me how it could have been cut. The dustjacket for the 1992 edition notes that it has been "updated and edited for today's readers" and that it "retains all the warmth and wisdom of Thomas Kelly's thought." Not quite. I appreciate the updating of the language, but not the elimination of some of the book's most precious mystical content.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Mcdaniel on April 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
As I read this book, I thought, "This man had a lifetime of learning to live, think, breath and walk in the presence of God." However, at the end of the book, in the biographical section, I learned that Kelly really only began to live the life he describes the last few years of his life. It was not that it took him that long to achieve such spiritual levels, but rather, he apparently was busy with life and never tried.
I found this encouraging--that a life filled with God's presence does not have to take decades to find. Rather, it can begin to be experienced little by little day to day and in a relatively brief time, moment by moment as Kelly describes.
This is a great book. Kelly is not pretentious in any way. He plainly and simply gives clues of how to live a Christ-filled life in today's busy society.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By John Rawlings on July 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Call it a "classic" if you like, but to me, this book is a thing of beauty. There are few books that compare to it.
I once gave it as a graduation gift to a seminary student. She later commented that there were lots of things she agreed with. What?! There is no agrument or proposition here! You let it take you, lead you places. You immerse, wrap yourself in its beauty.
The 1941 edition with an intro/bio by Douglas Steere (also reprinted in 70s or 80s) is MUCH MUCH preferred to the Richard Foster edition. He not only adds his own intro, but does editing of the original. Blasphemy. Skip his "version" and find an original.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Reading this book was a wonderful experience and one I intend to repeat many times. It contains many beautiful descriptions of the inner life of one who listens to God's call and waits in silence for the Divine Presence. It's an invaluable companion in the life of anyone who is searching and seeking for that Presence and/or has already discovered that Presence.
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