“The longer I live, and the more I see
Of the struggles of souls toward the heights above,
The stronger the thought comes back to me,
That the universe rests on the shoulders of love;
A love so limitless, deep and broad,
That men have renamed it and called it God.”
Nearing the end of his life, Oliver Shaw Fell wrote this poem for his associates at the Universal Peace Union. Fell was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on 10 Third Month 1833 into the Religious Society of Friends and died on 31 Twelfth Month 1904 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Fell spent his life in faithful service to the causes of anti-slavery, temperance, and peace. Fell worked as a teacher for 35 years and then as the Business Manager of the Universal Peace Union. Oliver Shaw Fell’s life was in many ways similar to those of other 19th century liberal “Hicksite” Quakers.
For over 350 years the Religious Society of Friends has been made up of individuals such as Oliver Shaw Fell. Inner Light Books was formed to help tell their stories. In publishing books by and about Quakers and books that examine Quaker values it is the hope of the publisher to expand the knowledge of and appreciation for the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends. The first publication of Inner Light Books has been released in 2009. It is the intention of the publisher to offer selected texts on-line as well as in book form. The texts published will be from original unpublished manuscripts as well as out-of-print books. The publishing program will concentrate on 17th, 18th and 19th century texts. In addition, 20th century and contemporary texts will be published when the subject matter merits it.