Joseph Bevan Braithwaite (1818-1905) was a leading Friend in the latter part of the nineteenth century, yet in his youth he came close to resigning his membership. Before doing so he thought it right to attend the Yearly Meeting of 1840 throughout and form his own judgment. His mind was changed by the reading of the testimonies to the lives of deceased Friends, as he records:
I listened with an open mind to all that passed, whilst I was at the same time writing a pamphlet explaining my views in opposition to Friends... But I heard the testimonies [concerning] deceased ministers and was ashamed and self-condemned for my harsh judgment... I had been enabled through unutterable mercy to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour; now I saw somewhat of His unspeakable preciousness as 'the Good Shepherd' and 'Counsellor' of His people, 'always, even unto the end of the world'.