Chapter 18 » 18.15

Testimony concerning Joseph E Southall (1861–1944):

Towards any form of pretence, hypocrisy, shallow or muddled thinking, he was merciless. He had a shattering way of evoking the memory of George Fox at the most inconvenient moment… Gatherings of Friends were often put upon their mettle by a summing up from Joseph Southall, and many were the sharp encounters which reminded us of simple but vital principles in danger of being smothered by more material concern. And then, the battle over, who has not seen him shaking hands with his late adversary over a cup of tea, beaming through his half-moon spectacles with the world’s most celestial twinkle in his eyes, the clear parchment pallor of his face broken into what would have been the smile of a benevolent old gentleman had it not somehow been pointed with the wit of a Joseph Southall.

Warwickshire Monthly Meeting, 1945

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