The lives and writings of seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Friends have had an enormous impact on later generations of Quakers. They have also received due attention from church historians. George Fox's Journal has achieved a measure of fame as a Christian devotional classic. Beyond this, only two of these early Friends have received significant attention, after their time, in circles beyond the Quaker family. One of these Friends, William Penn, is well enough known to need no further comment. The other one is John Bellers. His writings have had their chief impact on Socialist and Communist thinkers. Robert Owen, early nineteenth-century utopian socialist, acknowledges Bellers as an important source for his thought. Karl Marx cites Bellers in several footnotes in Das Kapital; in the most famous of these he calls Bellers a "veritable phenomenon" or a "phenomenal figure in the history of political economy." The revisionist Marxist historian, Eduard Bernstein, develops Marx's footnoted hints into a full chapter on Bellers in his study of radical religious- social movements of the seventeenth century: Cromwell and Communism.
Palmer, T. Vail Jr., "Religion and Ethics in the Thought of John Bellers" (1996). Truth's Bright Embrace: Essays and Poems in Honor of Arthur O. Roberts. 15.