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LEONARD & COMPANY, PRINTERS,
The Oneida Association is located in a secluded valley on the Oneida Creek, in the towns of Lenox and Vernon, and counties of Madison and Oneida, in the State of New York, three miles south of the Oneida Depot, which is the half-way railroad station between Utica and Syracuse. The post office address of the Association is Oneida Castle, in the county of Oneida. The lands of the Association are part of the territory reserved till recently, to the Oneida Indians. The State purchased the territory in 1840 and '42, and disposed of it to white settlers, receiving part payment and giving articles securing deeds to the purchasers on full payment. The Association holds most of its lands under these articles. The domain, consisting of 160 acres, lying on both sides of the Creek, is mostly alluvial soil of good quality. It includes an excellent water privilege which is now occupied by a saw-mill and other lumber machinery, and affords abundance of power for a grist-mill, machine-shop, and other works, already projected by the Association. This water privilege and the land immediately adjoining, has been paid for in full, and is held by deed from the State.
NUMBER AND CLASSIFICATION OF THE MEMBERS.
On the 1st of January 1849, (which is the date of the preparation of the material of this Report,) the whole number of persons connected with the Association was eighty-seven.
The following is a classification of the age, sex, nativity, religious connection, and occupation of the members.
Number of persons between the ages of 40 and 50, ten; between 30 and 40, twenty-one ; between 20 and 30, eighteen; between 10 and 20, fifteen; between 1 and 10, twenty-three. Adults, (over 15,) fifty-eight; children, (under 15,) twenty-nine. Adult males, twenty-nine. Adult females, twenty-nine.
The adults were born in the following places, viz:- in Vermont, twenty-one ; in New York, seventeen; in Massachusetts, eleven; in Connecticut, four; in New Jersey, two; in Maine, one; in New Hampshire, one; in England, one.
The Churches out of which the adult members came are as follows, viz:- from the Congregational church came twenty; from the Methodist, seven; from the Presbyterian, three; from the Dutch-Reformed, two; from the Baptist, two; from the Quaker, one.
2 REPORT OF THE
The professions of the male members are as follows, viz:- four are farmers; two are carpenters and machinists; two are cabinet-makers; two are shoe-makers; two are blacksmiths; two are millers; two have been school-teachers; two were bred to the ministry; one is a printer; one is a wagon-maker; one is a gun-smith; one is a lead-pipe-maker; one has been a merchant and publishing agent. Some of the members are conversant with several other professions, such as those of editors, architects, harness-makers, masons, &c. &c.
HISTORY OF TUE ORIGIN OF THE ASSOCIATION.
The Association in its present form and location, has existed but one year, and this is its first Annual Report. But the history of its actual birth, and growth to its present form, extends back fifteen years. In February 1834,, John H. Noyes, a member at that time of the Senior class in the Yale Theological Seminary, and a licentiate of the Congregational Church, began to preach in the city of New Haven the doctrine of perfect holiness, and other kindred "heresies," and laid the foundation of what has been called the school of modern Perfectionism. The religious theory then developed, involved the social theory which has embodied itself in the Oneida Association.
J. H. Noyes, after laboring several years as an editorial and itinerant advocate of Perfectionism, in various parts of New England and New York, in l838 settled in Putney, Vermont, where his father and family resided This was the beginning of what has been called the Putney Community. - Perfectionism assumed the form of Association first in a small circle of the immediate connections of J. H. Noyes. his wife and several members of his father's family being associated with him in religious faith, and in the business of editing and printing, adopted, or rather naturally fell into the principle of community of interests. In 1840, George Cragin (who till then had been the publishing agent of the Moral Reform Society in the city of New York) joined the Putney circle with his wife, and has since had a large agency both at Putney and Oneida, in forwarding the growth of the Association. -. From 1840 to 1847, there was a gradual accession of members, till the family numbered nearly forty. During the same period all the leading principles of the present social theory of the Oneida Association were worked out theoretically and practically, and, step by step, the school advanced from community of faith, to community of property, community of households, community of affections.
In the mean time, the publications and other labors of the Putney Association gained favor and confidence among spiritualists throughout the country, and especially in the State of New York. In September 1847, Conventions were called at Lairdsville and Genoa, by the leading Perfectionists in this State, for the purpose of effecting a union between believers in these regions and the Putney Association. J. H. Noyes attended and took a prominent part in those Conventions. The result was the unanimous passage of the following resolutions at the Genoa Convention
1. Reso1ved, That we will devote ourselves exclusively to the establishment of the kingdom of God ; and as that kingdom includes and provides for all interests, religious, political, social and physical, that we will not join or Cooperate with any other Association.
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 3
2. Resolved, That as the kingdom of God is to have an external manifestation, and as that manifestation must be in some form of Association, we will acquaint ourselves with the principles of heavenly Association, and train ourselves to conformity to them as fast as possible.
1. Resolved, That one of the leading principles of heavenly Association, is the renunciation of exclusive claim to private property.
4. Resolved, That it is expedient to take measures immediately for forming a heavenly Association in central New York. (For a full account of the Convention, see "SPIRITUAL MAGAZINE," Vol.11. p. 1-6.)
In pursuance of the intent of these Resolutions, Jonathan Burt commenced a partial Association with D. P. Nash, J. Ackley and others, in November 1847, on his premises at Oneida, which are now part of the domain of the Association. Ackley arrived and commenced operations with Burt on the 26th of November.
While these movements were going forward, the Putney Association, located in the midst of a New England village, and of course surrounded by religious jealousy, was exposing itself more and more by the development of its new social principles, to the indignation and intrigues of its enemies. - Public excitement against the prominent members of the Association rose to a tumultuous pitch. At length it became evident that the only peaceable course open to them was to retire from the village, and seek a new location for the community school. J. H. Noyes left Putney on the 26th of November, and was soon followed by George Cragin and most of those members of the Association who had come in from abroad. They had no thought at that time of regathering at Oneida; but they afterwards perceived that the very day of the dissolution at Putney, (Nov. 26,) was the day of the first union at Oneida between Burt and Ackley. The Subsequent course of events proved that the apparent overthrow of the Association in Vermont was only a kindly transplantation of it to a more sheltered spot in New York, fully provided for by the Conventions, and the train of operations growing out of them.
On leaving Putney, J. H. Noyes, with Cragin and his wife, took lodgings in New York city, and waited for the opening of a new course. The other members of the Association were scattered to their various homes. In the latter part of January following, Burt and his associates invited J. H Noyes by letter to visit Oneida. The invitation was accepted, and the result of the negotiations which ensued was, that on the 1st of February the present Association was commenced by a full union between J. H. Noyes and J. Burt, and a transfer of $500,00 of U. S. Stock by J. H. Noyes to the stock of the new union.
Purchases of lands were immediately commenced, and the whole of the present domain was soon secured, having on it two comfortable houses, besides Burt's. On the 1st of March, Cragin and his wife from New York, and the wife of J. H. Noyes with the children of both families from Putney, met at Oneida and found a quiet home. In the course of the spring and summer, all the refugees from Putney, and a part of those who remained in that village, in all seventeen of the members of the original Association, with their children, were re-united at Oneida.
4 REPORT OF THE
Thus the Putney Association died and rose again. Many and great benefits resulted from the operation; but the most valuable of these benefits was this: the tumult and odium that attended the death, on the one hand tried and strengthened the faith and love of the victims and of all their true-hearted friends throughout the country, and on the other hand drove away from them a herd of treacherous, fair-weather followers, whose friendship had been a dead weight on the cause of holiness and union; so that in the resurrection at Oneida, the Association entered upon a period of growth, with the advantage of being exceedingly repulsive to the false, and more attractive than ever to the true spirits among Perfectionists. Thus the material that has gathered around the Putney nucleus during the past year, has been sifted.
The Association has been enlarged to its present number by accessions of new members and families from time to time through the year. Its first and strongest reinforcements came from the central counties of the State of New York. Subsequently it received a valuable colony from Northern Vermont; and later still, was joined by a delegation from Massachusetts.
The original accommodations of the Association, consisting of two ordinary dwelling houses and two small cabins, were put to full occupation in the course of the year; but their capacity, with the help of ingenuity and good will, proved to be almost indefinitely elastic, and sufficed, (with the addition of a rough board shanty early erected for the dormitories of the young men,) until more liberal quarters could be prepared.
ERECTION OF THE MANSION HOUSE.
Erastus H. Hamilton, a young man from Syracuse, N. Y., joined the Association with his family early in the spring, and having soon proved himself an able workman and manager, became the acknowledged chief of the industrial department. He had been an architect by profession, and under his superintendence, the Association undertook to build a Mansion house. With a saw-mill at command, and all the timber necessary on the domain, and with a good1y number of carpenters and joiners in the Association, this undertaking was carried through pleasantly and successfully. The whole of the work except the plastering, was done within the Association. All hands, whenever free from other necessary occupation, were merrily busy on the house. Even the women joined the sport, and the lathing was mostly the work of their hands. Many valuable lessons in regard to gregarious and attractive industry were learned in this operation. The house was ready for occupation before the advent of winter, and gave the Association seasonable and ample relief from short quarters
A brief description of the house will not be out of place in this Report. It stands on an elevated part of the domain, commanding a very extensive view of the surrounding Country It is sixty feet long, thirty-five feet wide, three stories high, and is surmounted by a cupola. The lower story or basement is divided by partitions across the whole width, into three apartments of equal size, viz., 35 feet by 20. The first of these apartments runs back into a rise of ground on which the house abuts, and is a cellar. The second or middle apartment is the kitchen. The third or front apartment is the di-
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 5
ning room. The second story comprises a parlor over the dining room, and of the same size, (i.e. 35 by 20,) a reception-room, a school-room and a printing-office. The third story is devoted to sleeping apartments for married pairs and for females. The garret, extending over the whole house, and without partitions, is the dormitory of the unmarried men and boys. This edifice now gives comfortable quarters to about sixty persons, and might easily accommodate one hundred.
LABOR AND FINANCES.
In connection with this main enterprise, the Association worked its farm successfully, and kept the saw-mill and other lumber machinery in operation. It did not undertake or expect, however, by these or any other labors, to meet the expenses of the year, but looked mainly to the capital coming in with its members, and to the subsidies of its friends, for subsistence and the means of building, regarding this first year as properly and necessarily one of preparation and outlay.
Mr. Cragin had approved himself at Putney as a man of ability and sound principle in financial affairs, and the Oneida Association unanimously gave him the charge of its money-matters. He adhered substantially, though not with unreasonable rigor, to the cash system, and by fair dealing, and prompt payments, secured confidence and popularity for himself and for the Association in the surrounding community. Under his management, the domain was paid for so far as the claims of the previous occupants were concerned, a liberal subsistence for the Association was provided, without incurring debt, the expenses of building were met, and debts to the amount of about two thousand dollars, with which Mr. Burt's property was previously encumbered, were cancelled. The only present liability of the Association of any importance, is the debt to the State for the lands of the domain, amounting to about two thousand dollars, the payment of which, however, it is understood, will not be demanded, so long as the interest is paid. The funds required for the operations of the year, have been supplied mostly by the members of the Association, but partly by the voluntary advances of friends in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey.
The opportunities and prospects of the Association for profitable business, in lumbering and several kinds of manufactures already commenced or contemplated, are very good, and it is not unreasonable to expect that after the present season of necessary preparation, it will become a self-supporting institution.
The printing press of the Putney Association was transferred to Oneida in July, and one number of the Spiritual Magazine was published soon after, in which the forthcoming of the " Confessions of J. H. Noyes" was announced. The First Part of these confessions was printed in the course of the fall, and is now in circulation. Two other parts are to be published hereafter. It is the intention of the Association ultimately to turn a considerable portion Of its force to the business of printing and publishing.
6 REPORT OF THE
HEALTH OF THE ASSOCIATION.
The general health of the Association has been remarkably good. In the latter part of summer, most of the adults were seriously attacked by dysentery; but faith and cheerfulness, without medicine, soon prevailed over disease. One death only occurred-that of an infant, previously very feeble*; and this loss was compensated by the birth of a pair of twins. In no case has the Association had occasion to employ the services of a physician. A more extended expose of the condition of the Association, as to health, will be found in the latter part of this report.
ARRANGEMENT OF THE HOUSEHOLDS.
Previous to the completion of the Mansion house, no special classification was attempted in the arrangement of the households, but the several families, composed as usual of parents and children together, were distributed to the four houses of the Association, as convenience and natural affinities from time to time seemed to dictate. In the course of the months of November and December, however, when the Mansion house came to be occupied, the following classification took place. The best of the ordinary houses, that nearest the Mansion house, was converted into n nursery, and all the children between the ages of two and twelve, (seventeen in number,) with the necessary house-keepers, and teachers, were established there, by themselves. The other principal dwelling house, previously occupied by Mr. Burt, was also converted into a nursery, and given up to the infants (six in number) with their nurses and house-keepers. This arrangement proved to be very favorable to the comfort and good-breeding of the children, and at the same time, saved the main household of the Association from much noise and confusion. The women serving as attendants of the children for short periods only, and in rotation, (except in cases of special taste and qualification,) found the business not a burden, but a pleasure. By systematic, but kindly discipline, in connection with religious instruction, good order was easily established in the household of the older children; insomuch that it was affirmed by all witnesses that there was less turbulence and confusion in that family of seventeen, than there had been under previous arrangements in families of only four or five children. The natural apprehensions which arose against the idea of separating infants from their mothers, and breeding them together, vanished before the demonstrations of experience; and it was found to be altogether a more comfortable task to take care of six in the new way, than it had been to wait on one in ordinary circumstances. The novelty and beautiful results of these arrangements for managing children, attracted much attention and admiration from visitors and the community around. The only drawback on the operation was the temporary distress of the mothers in giving up their little
* In contrast with this fact we may mention the statement contained in the last Annual Report of the Managers of the New York State Lunatic Asylum, where they say, in reference to the prevalence of dysentery at the Asylum the last summer, that "thirty-nine, out of two hundred and forty eases which occurred, [i.e. about one sixth part,] terminated fatally." And the Report adds, We trunk the mortality was not greater among the inmates of the Asylum who were attacked by this disease, than it was among an equal number who suffered under similar attacks out of the Asylum."
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 7
ones to the care of others, which made occasion for some melo-dramatic scenes; but the wounds of philoprogenitiveness were soon healed, and the mothers soon learned to value their own freedom and opportunity of education, and the improved condition of their children, more than the luxury of a sickly maternal tenderness. And then the periodical visits of the mothers to the nurseries, and of the children to the Mansion house, were found to be occasions of more genuine pleasure, than could ever be derived from constant personal attendance. Mrs. Mary E. Cragin, a woman who had proved herself, both at Putney and Oneida, specially qualified by nature and attainment, for the care of children, in connection with Mrs. Harriet A. Noyes, had charge of that department, and superintended the above arrangements.
The meals of the Association, at the Mansion house, were served at one table, extending through the dining-room, and were alike for all, not differing materially in quality from the meals of respectable households in ordinary life. The business of waiting on the table was left open to volunteers, and became a very attractive service, making occasion for lively competition. - The culinary department and general domestic economy was under the superintendence of Mrs. Sylvia Hamilton, assisted by the other women in rotation.
It was the wish and intention of the Association, from the beginning, to make the Mansion house its winter quarters, both because larger and more comfortable accommodations than the other houses afforded were needed, and for the sake of the educational and social advantages of consolidation. But as winter drew near, and the finishing of the house lingered, it became evident thlat this intention must be abandoned unless some new method of constructing dormitories, more expeditious than the usual one, could be devised. The original plan was to make eleven sleeping rooms of the third story, each 14 by 10, for the married couples and single females. But two difficulties presented themselves. In the first place, the Association had unexpectedly increased in number till about twenty married couples, besides eight single females, were to be provided for; and in the second place, the finishing off of so many rooms in the regular way, would occupy nearly the whole winter These circumstances suggested a device, which for its novelty and satisfactory results, deserves to be described. One half of the third story, i.e. a space of 35 feet by 30, was finished as a single apartment. Within this apartment twelve tents, (each about 7 feet by 8, large enough for a bed and all other apparatus necessary to a dormitory,) were erected against the walls of the room in the form of a hollow square. The tents were made of cotton cloth, supported on upright wooden frames about seven feet high, and open at the top. The space between the tops of the tents and the ceiling of the room (about 2 feet) gave free circulation to air and light. The interior the hollow square, a space about 18 feet by 14, became a comfortable common sitting-room for the occupants of the tents. One large stove in the center of this sitting-room was found sufficient to warm the twelve rooms around
8 REPORT OF THE
it, and two reflectors suspended in the same apartment gave light enough for all ordinary purposes to the whole. Thus a space which had been designed for only six bed-rooms, each of which would have required its separate stove and light, was converted into twelve bed-rooms, with a spacious sitting-room in the midst, requiring for all only one stove and two lamps. The cloth for the tents cost about ten dollars, and the labor of constructing them, and of moving the tenants into them was done by the Association in one day. The most obvious objection to this singular combination of house and tent is that its accommodations are not favorable to privacy; but the principles and habits of the Association, being somewhat more gregarious than usual, made the sacrifice of privacy a small affair in comparison with the advantages of consolidation; and on trial all parties were delighted with the arrangement. 'Christmas eve' was the first evening of the occupation of the tents; and the Association celebrated the occasion in the sitting-room of the encampment, with music and sentiment, in the midst of green festoons, and with mirth like that of the 'feast of tabernacles.' See Neh. 8: and Lev. 23: 40, &c.
The other half of the third story was divided into three small bed-rooms for pairs, and a long room across the width of the house (35 by 10) for single females. With these accommodations the main body of the Association found quarters early in the winter in the Mansion House, leaving only such detachments in the other houses as were required for taking care of the children.
In connection with this new fashion of making rooms it will be appropriate to allude to one or two other novelties which the Association has fallen into by free-thinking. Early in the summer, in consequence of some speculations on the subject of women's dress, which will be presented in a subsequent part of this Report, some of the leading women in the Association took the liberty to dress themselves in short gowns or frocks, with pantaloons, (the fashion of dress common among children,) and the advantages of the change soon became so manifest, that others followed the example, till frocks and pantaloons became the prevailing fashion in the Association. The women say they are far more free and comfortable in this dress than in long gowns; the men think that it improves their looks; and some insist that it is entirely more modest than the common dress.
CHANGE IN HAIR-DRESSING.
Another new fashion broke out among the women in the following manner. The ordinary practice of leaving the hair to grow indefinitely, and laboring upon it by the hour daily, merely for the sake of winding it up into a ball and sticking it on the top or back of the head, had become burdensome and distasteful to several of the women. Indeed there was a general feeling in the Association that any fashion which requires women to devote considerable time to hair-dressing, is a degradation and a nuisance. The idea of wearing the hair short and leaving it to fall around the neck, as young girls often do, occurred frequently, but Paul's theory of the natural propriety of long hair for women (1 Cor. 11) seemed to stand in the way. At length a careful
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 9
examination of this theory was instituted, and the discovery was made that Paul's language expressly points out the object for which women should wear long hair, and that object is not ornament, but 'for a covering.' In this light it was immediately manifest that the long hair of women, as it is usually worn, coiled and combed upward to the top of the head, instead of answering to Paul's object of covering, actually exposes the back part of the head, more than the short hair of men. It then occurred also that Phrenology, in pointing to the back of the head and neck as the seat of amativeness, has given a rational basis to Paul's theory of the propriety of women's making their hair a covering. It was evident moreover that the hair is not needed as a covering where the person is covered by the dress These considerations seemed to establish satisfactorily the natural and scriptural propriety of women's wearing their hair in the simple mode of little girls, 'down in the neck.' Accordingly some of the bolder women cut off their hair, and started the fashion, which soon prevailed throughout the Association, and was generally acknowledged to be an improvement of appearance, as well aa a saving of labor.
RELIGIOUS AND SOCIAL EXERCISES.
The meetings of the Association for religious conversation were held, during the first part of the year, at the several houses in rotation, on Sunday afternoon and evening, and on Thursday evening of each week. These meetings were not conducted in the formal way of ordinary religious conferences, but were given up to free and promiscuous conversation, accompanied with occasional songs. Mr. Noyes usually took the lead in the proposal of topics, and sometimes lectured at length. A few persons from the surrounding neighborhood attended occasionally, but no pains were taken to draw in such persons or to operate upon them. Self-improvement and not proselyting, was the object of the meetings, constantly avowed and faithfully adhered to.
After the concentration at the Mansion-house, a gathering in the spacious parlor after supper became a matter of course every evening. The following order of exercises for these gatherings was adopted. At the ringing of the bell all came together, and immediately the roll of the Association was called, not for the purpose of ascertaining the presence or absence of the members, (as all were free in this respect,) but in order to give each member an opportunity and invitation to present any reflections, expressions of experience, proposals in relation to business, exhortations, or any other matter of general interest that might be on the mind waiting for vent. This method of proceeding, (suggested by the practice in Congress of calling the roll on certain occasions in order to give each member an opportunity of bringing in bills,) generally secured good entertainment for a considerable part of the evening.
After this general exchange, the members dispersed to smaller parties of conversation, or to the pursuit of various studies, according to the inclinations of each. Systematic provision, however, was made for a series of excercises, suitable for occupying that part of the evening which remained after roll-call. Monday evening was devoted to readings in the parlor from the public papers; Tuesday evening to lectures by J. H. Noyes, on the social
10 REPORT OF THE
theory; Wednesday evening to instructions and exercises in Phonography; Thursday evening to the practice of music; Friday evening to dancing; Saturday evening to readings from Perfectionist publications; Sunday evening to lectures and conversation on the Bible. These exercises, though attendance on them was entirely voluntary, were generally well sustained.
RESULTS OF RELIGIOUS OPERATIONS.
As an index of the power and results of the religious influences circulating in the Association through the meetings and other channels, it may be mentioned that all the adults who entered the Association in an irreligious state, (being brought in by husbands, parents, or friends that were believers,) except one young man who seceded, were converted to a confession and happy experience of union with Christ. There were twelve instances of this kind, and several of them were cases of conversion from a state of fortified self-will and infidelity. Besides these conversions, serious and permanent religious impressions manifested themselves among the older children, and prevailed through the juvenile school
One instance of the salutary effects of the religious influences of the Association deserves to be specially recorded. Horace Burt, brother of Jonathan Burt, (the leader of the movement at Oneida,) had been, for many years previous to the advent of the Association, hopelessly insane. Twice he had been subjected to the hospital discipline at Worcester, without any substantial benefit; and at the time of the commencement of the Association he was under the guardianship of his brother, with no prospect of being anything but a madman for life. He had intervals of sobriety, but was for the greater part of the time a nuisance to the community around, and at times required violent restraints and the strait-jacket. Very soon after J. H. Noyes went to Oneida, this man yielded to his influence, and ceased his wanderings and crazy freaks. In process of time, as the Association increased in numbers and power, he became interested in its principles and operations, received its doctrines and became soberly and happily religious. He has manifested no symptoms of insanity for more than a year, and is now one of the most steady and valuable members of the Association.
SYSTEM OF CRITICISM.
In the machinery of religious and moral discipline employed by the Association, a system of mutual criticism has held a very prominent place, and indeed has been relied on for regulating character and stimulating improvement, more than the meetings or any other means of influence. This system was instituted by the Putney Association during the period of its most rapid advancement in spiritual life. The mode of proceeding was this - Any person wishing to be criticised, offered himself for this purpose, at a meeting Of the Association. His character then became the subject of special scrutiny by all the members of the Association, till the next meeting, when his trial took place. On the presentation of his case, each member in turn was called on to specify as far and as frankly as possible, every thing objectionable in his character and conduct. In this way the person criticised had the advan-
tage of a many-sided mirror in viewing himself, or perhaps 'it may be said, was placed in the focus of a spiritual lens composed of all the judgments in the Association. It very rarely happened that any complaint of injustice was made by the subject of the operation, and generally he received his chastening with fortitude, submission, and even gratitude, declaring that he felt himself relieved and purified by the process. Among the various objectionable features of the character under criticism, some one or two of the most prominent would usually elicit censure from the whole circle, and the judgment on these points would thus have the force of a unanimous verdict. Any soreness which might result from the operation was removed at the succeeding meeting by giving the patient a round of commendations This system of open and kindly criticism, (a sort of reversed substitute for tea-party back-biting in the world,) became so attractive by its manifest good results, that every member of the Putney Association submitted to it in the course of the winter of 1843, and to this may be attributed much of the accelerated improvement which marked that period of their history Instead of offences, abounding love and good works followed the letting loose of judgment.
This system was introduced to some extent at Oneida; but the number of members was so large, and their acquaintance with each other in many cases so limited, that it we found necessary to change the mode of proceeding, in order to make criticism lively and effective. Instead of subjecting volunteers for criticism to the scrutiny of the assembly, the Association appointed four of its most spiritual and discerning judges, to criticise in course all the members. The critics themselves were first criticised by Mr. Noyes, and then gave themselves to their work, from day to day for three weeks, till they had passed judgment on every character in the Association. Their method was first to acertain as much as possible about the character of the individual about to be criticised, by inquiring among his associates, and then after discussing his character among themselves, to invite him to an interview, plainly tell him his faults, converse with him freely about his whole character, and give him their best advice. The testimony of the members to the good effect of this operation will be found in the latter part of this Report.
RELIGIOUS BELIEF OF THE ASSOCIATION.
The religious views of the Oneida Association are presented at large in various publications issued by the Putney press between the years 1838 and 1846, and especially in a work entitled 'The Berean. A brief mention only of some of the most important of them will be appropriate in this Report.
The Association, though it has no formal creed, is firmly and unanimously attached to the Bible, as the text-book of the Spirit of truth; to Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God; to the apostles and primitive church, as the exponents of the everlasting gospel. Its belief is that the second advent of Christ took place at the period of the destruction of Jerusalem; that at that time there was a primary resurrection and judgment in the spiritual world, that the final kingdom of God then began in the heavens; that the manifestation of that kingdom in the visible world is now approaching; that its approach is
12 REPORT OF THE
ushering in the second and final resurrection and judgment; that a church on earth is now rising to meet the approaching kingdom in the heavens, and to become its duplicate and representative; that inspiration, or open communication with God and the heavens, involving perfect holiness, is the element of connection between the church on earth and the church in the heavens, and the power by which the kingdom of God is to be established and reign in the world.
THEORY OF ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT.
The Oneida Association regards itself as a branch of the kingdom of heaven, the exponent of the principles, and servant of the spiritual will, of that kingdom. It has no written constitution or by-laws - no formal mode of electing officers; the no other system of organization or means of government, than those which have been incidentally exhibited in the preceding account of its formation and transactions. In the place of all formulas, it relies on inspiration, working through those who approve themselves as agents of God, and by such apparatus of instruction and criticism as has been described.
A distinct view of the theory of the organization and government of the kingdom of God, held by the Association, is presented in the following extract from the Spiritual Magazine:-
"The kingdom of God is an absolute monarchy. It is a government not of compact between people and sovereign ; not limited by constitutional forms and provisos. God takes the entire responsibility of the State; and the only compact in the case, is the very one-sided one called by the prophet the 'new covenant.' It is summed up in these words :-' I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people.' The 'patronage' and appointing power of course remain with the responsible party; and all forms of popular representation are dispensed with.
"So far as there is a true church on earth, it is a frontier department of the kingdom; and will possess the great characteristics of heaven's government, viz., central executive power, and subordination. It will manifest in all its operations perfect unity of design, and true harmonious effort. To secure this, it includes a gradation of authority;- officers, not self-elected, not popularly elected, but appointed by God; whose credentials, if truly received of him, need no secondary influence to secure respect. In fact, the credential of authority through all God's kingdom, from the Supreme himself, down, is not a matter of parchment, or a voice from heaven merely, but the possession of actual ability.- Carlyle's doctrine is true, that 'mights in this just universe, do, in the long run, mean rights.' God's appointment to office confers on the individual ABILITY corresponding to his commission; and it is as certain that his ability will make his office recognized by those with whom he has to do, as it is that in a mixture of fluids the heaviest will sink to the bottom. Equivocal pretensions to superiority, based on diplomas of divinity schools, or musty apostolic commissions, and which make submission to the clerical authority a merely nominal, gratuitous thing - a matter of custom,- have no place in Christ's church. On the contrary, in that organic body, as we said before, superiority of every degree is a gift of power from God, which vindicates itself by an irresistible ascendancy over that which is inferior. It is this REALITY of power developed in a medium of love, that finally constitutes the church an organized corporation, well compared to the' human body; which causes each member to gravitate toward his true place and office,
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bringing the 'different gifts' of the church into the order and symmetry which is visibly expressed in the human form.
"In this construction of the church, the autocratic principle of the kingdom of God is seen throughout. The distribution of gifts - the appointment of 'apostles, prophets, evangelists,' &c.,- is far removed from human dictation : and as these offices are not merely nominal, but the channels of God's will, every Christian finds himself under a despotism extending far beyond any earthly rule. In short, wherever we come in contact with his spiritual government, we find it working with a strength which makes it wholly independent of human volitions. Whether in the direct application of the new covenant to our souls, or in the organization of intermediate agencies of his will, the same despotic purpose is manifest, the same disregard of democratic forms and privileges. The question now arises, What is the effect of this tremendous, irresponsible government, upon individual liberty ? can freedom exist under it?
"There are two classes of subjects. who will experience differently the operation of God's spiritual dominion. It is inevitable, in the first stages of inter course with God, while evil influences still exist in the character, that his will should come into constant collision with those influences, and the wills growing out of them. The inner and better part of our nature is even then free and happy ; and it is only the selfish, egotistical part which loves darkness, and seeks its own pleasure at all cost, that experiences the effect of collision with a superior will. The effect, is suffering ; a bitter sense of bondage; coercion of the soul. No prison can realize the idea of helpless constraint that the soul experiences, when conscious of a hostile contact with the will of God. Yet even then it is not God's purpose to bring the offending part into bondage, but to destroy it. Every spirit opposed to him, is destined not to slavery, but to destruction. The carnal mind is not to be subdued, but crucified. He will have no drudges about him, no unwilling 'subjects. He will reign in natures like his own, not as a lawgiver and tyrant, but as a helper. For all others is decreed tribulation, wrath, perdition. The whole process which causes the imperfect believer to feel unpleasantly the force of God's will, is not to take away his liberty, but to make him free,- to free the better part of him from an unnatural, selfish disposition ; thereby putting an end to the war which exists in every enlightened person between the spirit and the flesh, which is itself (as described in the 7th of Romans) the very essence of bondage. Then, with one undisturbed principle within, coinciding with the will of God, we have perfect liberty. Not so with the willing adherents of Satan; they find themselves in a completely inverted order at war with all nature and the constitution of things. God made the universe after the pattern of his own heart, and adapted it to a state of love. The whole machinery of it runs directly across selfishness; and for that reason evil men Can never be free.
"We would say to those who consider democratic institutions the palladium of individual liberty, that this very blessing is enjoyed to an infinitely greater degree under the monarchy of God. We believe that only those who have passed the quarantine of judgment and become naturalized citizens of the kingdom of heaven, know what is the glorious sensation of unshackled freedom of will. The highest experience and most glowing conceptions of liberty in the world, are but meagre shadows of the liberty which we achieve when we become sons of God. Our wills act under the attraction of a superior spirit, it is true. But what creature in the universe does not? There is no such thing for men, and there never can be, as willing independently of the great authors of good and evil. Our advantage consists in having escaped the exclusive dominion of the
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evil spirit, which would have entailed on us an eternal war of impossibilities;- in having ended the 'joint occupation' of two hostile influences in ourselves, which is incompatible with any sense of freedom; and in having come under the exclusive attraction of God, the author of all peace, harmony and beauty. Ah men are in one of these three predicaments ; and to all purposes of enjoyment the latter affords us perfect freedom.
"It offers us more. Suppose we have a desire to travel in distant countries. Liberty to do so would simply require that we should have leisure, money, conveyance, &c. But suppose a gentleman, a man exactly after our own heart, and entirely trustworthy, should come and say to us:- "You wish to travel for purposes of pleasure and improvement. Let me go with you, and take the care and trouble of your journey on myself. I will pay your bills and see to all your affairs. I am familiar with all the countries which you will visit, wilt be your companion, and so direct your journey that you need do nothing but enjoy and improve yourself." Would not the acceptance of this offer, confer upon us something better than mere individual liberty? True, we give up the direction of our affairs to another; but it is to one perfectly worthy of the trust, and we gain in exchange an exemption from the vexations and dangers of the undertaking. The more care we could thus transfer judiciously, the more liberty we should have, and the more completely would the object of our travels be gained. Precisely like this is the relation between God aud his people, in making the tour of the universe. We may suppose that we might go alone; but it would be better to have an intelligent power to direct and forward us, and to find all our purposes backed up by Jehovah himself.
"It is necessary and right that this supreme unity of will should run through every department of creation. It is the gravitation that will finally bring human nature, and every member of it, into the harmony of the starrv system so that each in his orbit shall be necessary to all, and the combined effect shall be worthy of God."
THEORY OF THE RIGHTS OF PROPERTY
The ideas of the Association in regard to the ownership and distribution of property are briefly these, viz
1. That all the systems of property-getting in vogue in the world, are forms of what is vulgarly called the 'grab-game,' i.e. the game in which the prizes are not distributed by any rules of :wisdom and justice, but are seized by the strongest and craftiest; and that the laws of the world simply give rules, more or less civilized, for the conduct of this game.
2. That the whole system thus defined is based on the false assumption that the lands and goods of the world, previously to their possession by man, have no owner, and rightfully become the property of any one who first gets possession; which assumption denies the original title of the Creator, excludes hin from his right of distribution, and makes the "grab-game," in one form or other, inevitable.
3. That God the Creator has the first and firmest title to all property whatsoever; that he therefore has the right of distribution; that no way of escape from the miseries of the 'grab-game' will ever be found, till his title and right of distribution are practically acknowledged; that in the approaching sign of inspiration, he will assert his ownership, be acknowledged and installed as distributor, and thus the reign of coveteousness, competition and violence, will come to an end.
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4. That God never so makes over property to man, as to divest himself of his own title; and of course that man can never in reality have absolute and exclusive ownership of lands, goods, or even of himself, or his productions, but only subordinate joint-ownership with God.
5. That in the kingdom of God every loyal citizen is subordinate joint-owner with God of all things. Rev. 21: 7.
6. That the right of individual possession of the specific goods of the universe, under this general joint-ownership, is determined by the arbitrament of God through inspiration, direct or indirect.
7. That there is no other right of property beyond these two; viz., the right of general joint-ownership by unity with God; and the right of possession as determined by inspiration.
8. That the right of possession, in the case of articles directly consumed in the necessarily equivalent to exclusive ownership, but in all other cases is only the right of beneficial use, subject to the principle of rotation, and to the distributive rights of God.
It will be seen from this statement of principles, that the Oneida Association cannot properly be said to stand on any ordinary platform of communism. Their doctrine is that of community, not merely or chiefly with each other, but with God; and for the security of individual rights they look, not to constitutions or compacts with each other, but to the wisdom and goodness of the Spirit of truth, which is above all. The idea of their system, stated in its simplest form, is that all believers constitute the family of God; that all valuables, whether persons or things, are family property; and that all the labors of the family are directed, judged and rewarded in the distribution of enjoyments by the Father.
Perhaps the best encominin on these principles may be deduced from the fact that the Association, under the influence of them, lived in entire harmony in relation to property-interests throughout the year, and met with no difficulty in respect to the distribution of possessions and privileges.
No accounts were kept between the members and the Association, or between the several members; and there was no more occasion for them than there is between man and wife, or than there was between the several members of the happy family which gathered around the apostles on the day of Pentecost. The Association believes that in the kingdom of heaven 'every man will be rewarded according to his works' with far greater exactness than is done in the kingdoms of this world; but it does not believe that money is the currency in which rewards are to be distributed and accounts balanced. Its idea is that love is the appropriate reward of labor; that in a just spiritual medium, every individual, by the fixed laws of attraction, will draw around him an amount of love exactly proportioned to his intrinsic value and efficiency, and thus that all accounts will be punctually and justly balanced without the complicated and cumbersome machinery of book-keeping.
As to the legal titles of land and other property, no special measures were taken to secure the Association from individuals. Those who owned or purchased lands in their own names at the beginning, retained their deeds, and no formal transfer of any property brought in by the members, was made
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to the Association. The stock of the company was consolidated by love, and not by law.
The terms of admission so far as property is concerned, were stated in the Register of the Association as follows:
"On the admission of any member, all property belonging to him or her, becomes the property of the Association. A record of the estimated amount will be kept, and in case of the subsequent withdrawal of the member, the Association, according to its practice heretofore, will refund the property or an equivalent amount. This practice however stands on the ground, not of obligation but of expediency and liberality; and the time and manner of refunding must be trusted to the discretion of the Association. While a person remains a member, his subsistence and education in the Association are held to be just equivalents for his labor; and no accounts are kept between him and the Association, and no claim of wages accrues to him in case of subsequent withdrawal."
THEORY OF THE SEXUAL RELATION.
This Report would not be complete without a frank and full exhibition of the theory of the Association in regard to the relation of the sexes. An argument therefore, on this subject, prepared by J. H. Noyes early in the spring of 1848, and adopted by the Association from the beginning, as a declaration of its principles, will here be presented, after a few introductory remarks.
1. The radical principles developed in this argument, were early deduced from the religious system evolved at New Haven in 1834, were avowed in print by J. H. Noyes in 1837, and were discussed from time to time in the publications of the Putney press during nine years.
2. The complete elaboration of these principles was a progressive work, carried on in connection with the long continued growth and education of the Putney Association, and necessitated by severe experience and singular providences, of which am account will be given in a future publication.
3. These principles, though avowed (as before stated) in 1837, were not carried into action in any way by any of the members of the Putney Association 1843.
4. It is not immodest, in the present exigency, to affirm that the leading members of the Putney Association belonged to the most respectable families in Vermont, had been educated in the best schools of New England morality and refinement, and were by the ordinary standards irreproachable in their conduct, so far as sexual matters are concerned, till they deliberately commenced, in 1846, the experiment of a new state of society, on principles which they had been long maturing and were prepared to defend before the universe.
5. It may also be affirmed without fear of contradiction, that the main body of those who have joined the Association at Oneida, and committed themselves to its principles, are sober, substantial men and women, of good previous character, and position in society.
6. The principles in question, have never been carried into full practical embodiment, either at Putney or Oneida, but have been held by the Associ-
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ation, as the principles of an ultimate state, toward which society among them is advancing, slowly and carefully, with all due deference to sentiments and relations established by the old order of things.
7. The Association abstains from all proselyting, aggressive operations, publishing its sexual theory (at this time, as heretofore,) only in self-defense, and at the command of public sentiment.
8. The Association, in respect to practical innovations, limits itself to its own family circle, not invading society around it, and no just or even legal complaint of such invasions can be found at Putney or Oneida.
9. The Association may fairly demand toleration of its theory and experiment of society, on the ground that liberty of conscience is guarantied by the Constitution of the' United States, and of the several states, and on the ground that Quakers, Shakers, and other religionists are tolerated in conscientious deviations from the general order of society.
l0. The principles to be presented, are not more revolutionary and offensive to popular sentiment, than the speculations of Fourier on the same subject; and are simply parallel in their scope, (not in their nature) with the theory of marriage and propagation, which Robert Dale Owen and Frances Wright propounded some years ago, in the public halls of New York, with great eclat. If infidels may think and speak freely on these 'delicate' subjects, why may not lovers of Christ and the Bible take the same liberty, and be heard without irritation?
11. The ensuing argument professes to be nothing more than an outline or programme of fundamental principles, and the original intention of the author was to have expanded it largely before publishing it. The proper limits of this Report, however, rather require that it should be condensed. It is especially deficient in the development of the prudential and transitionary principles which govern the Association in practice.
12. The argument cannot be perused with the fullest advantage by any but 'those who are familiar with the religious theory, of which it is the sequel
With these remarks we submit the document.
DEFINING THE RELATIONS OF THE SEXES IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
The Bible predicts the coming of the kingdom of heaven on earth. Dan. 2: 44. Isa. 25: 6-9.
The administration of the will of God in his kingdom on earth, will be the same as the administration of his will in heaven. Matt. 6: 10. Eph. 1: 10.
In heaven God reigns over body, soul, and estate, without interference from human governments; and consequently, the advent of his kingdom on earth will supplant all human governments. Dan. 2: 44. 1 Cor. 15: 24, 25. Isa. 26: 13, 14, and 33: 22.
Note 1.- The religious world has constantly professed to be in expectation of the kingdom of heaven, aud especially for the last twenty years. The popular hope of the Millennium, the universal use of the Lord's prayer, and the accumulating fervor of the public mind in relation to the Second Advent, Universal Reform, new theories of Society, &c. &c., are varied manifestations of that expectation.
Note 2.- In the introduction of the kingdom of heaven on earth, the citizens of that kingdom will necessarily he called to positions and duties, different from those of the primitive church. The object in view at the beginning of the Christian dispensation, was not to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth immediately, but to march an isolated church through the world, establish the kingdom in the heavens, aud prepare the way for the kingdom on earth by giving the Gentiles the Bible and religious training. It was not the business of the primitive church to supplant the governments of this world. Hence they were directed to submit to the 'powers that be.' But at the end of 'the times of the Gentiles' the church of God will be called to break in pieces 'the powers that be,' and take the place of them. This is necessarily implied in the proof of the third proposition above. (See also Dan. 7: 22, 27.) This difference of positions is a sufficient general answer to those who insist on a literal subjection of the present church to the precepts of the primitive church concerning civil governments and institutions.
Illustration. - An army sent into a foreign territory for military purposes simply, is placed under the rules of martial discipline, which have reference to hostile surroundings and are very restrictive. Such was the ease of the primitive church. But an army sent for the purpose of introducing civil institutions and settling in a foreign territory, ought to pass, as soon as it can do so safely, from the restrictions' of martial law, to the conditions of permanent civilized life. Such is the position of the church which is called to introduce the kingdom of heaven on earth.
The institutions of the kingdom of heaven are of such a nature, that the general disclosure of them in the apostolic age would have been inconsistent with the continuance of the institutions of the world through the times of the Gentiles. They were not therefore, brought out in detail on the surface of the Bible, but were disclosed verbally (more or less) by Paul and others, to the interior part of the church. 1 Cor. 2: 6. 2 Cor. 12: 4. John 16: 12, 13. (Compare John 3: 12.) Heb. 9: 5, in the original. The holy of holies in the temple, which was veiled from all but the high-priest, symbolized heaven. It was necessary that the veil should remain between the world and heaven, till the end of the times of the Gentiles. Then it is to be removed. Rev. 11: 15-19.
Note.- From this proposition it follows, that we cannot reasonably look for a parade of proof texts, specifically sanctioning every change which the kingdom of heaven is to make in the institutions of the world. It is to be assumed that the church which is called to introduce that kingdom, will have the same spiritual understanding which was the key to the unwritten mysteries of the inner sanctuary in Paul's time. It is enough, if the Bible furnishes radical principles on which a spiritual mind can stand and reason firmly concerning things within the vail. The Bible must not be asked to lead us step by step into the holy of holies, but only to point the way, consigning us to the specific guidance of 'the spirit of wisdom and revelation.' Eph. 1:17.
In the kingdom of heaven, the institution of marriage which assigns the exclusive. possession of one woman to one man, does not exist. Matt. 22: 23-30. 'In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage.'
Note.- Christ, in the passage referred to, does not exclude the sexual distinction, or sexual intercourse, from the heavenly state, but only the world's method of assigning the sexes to each other, which alone creates the difficulty presented in the question of the Sadducees. The constitutional distinctions and offices of the sexes belong to their original paradisaical state; and there is no proof in. the Bible or in reason, that they are ever to be abolished, but abundance of proof to the contrary. l Cor 11: 3-11. The saying of Paul that in Christ 'thereis neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female,' &c., simply means that the unity of life which all the members of Christ have in him, overrides all individual distinctions. In the same sense as that in which the apostle excludes distinction of sexes, he also virtually excludes distinction of persons; for he adds, 'Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.' Yet the several members of Christ, in perfect consistency with their spiritual unity, remain distinct persons; and so the sexes, though one. in their innermost life, as members of Christ, yet retain their constitutional distinctions.
In the kingdom of heaven, the intimate union of life and interests, which in the world is limited to pairs, extends through the whole body of believers; i.e. complex marriage takes the place of simple. John 17: 21. Christ prayed that all believers might be one, even as he and the Father are one. His unity with the Father is defined in the words, 'all mine are thine, and all thine are mine.' Ver. 10. This perfect community of interests, then, will
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be the condition of all, when his prayer is answered. The universal unity of the members of Christ, is described in the same terms that are used to describe marriage-unity. Compare 1 Cor. 12: 12-27, with Gen. 2: 24. See also I Cor. 6: 15-17, and Eph. 5: 30-82.
Note.- This proposition does not exclude from the kingdom of heaven special companionships, founded on special affinities of nature and position; it only denies exclusive appropriation.
The effects of the effusion of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, present a practical commentary on Christ's prayer for the unity of believers, and a sample of the tendency of heavenly influences, which fully confirm the foregoing proposition. 'All that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, as every man had need.' 'The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.' Acts 2: 44, 45, and 4: 32. Here is unity like that of the Father and the Son. ('All mine thine, and all thine mine.')
Note 1.- The unity of the day of Pentecost is not to be regarded as temporary and circumstantial. On the contrary, the accommodation to the fashion of the world, which succeeded and overlaid it in the apostolic age, was the transitory state of the church, and Pentecostal community of interests was its final and permanent condition in the heavens. The spirit of heaven manifested its nature and tendency for a moment, and then gave way for a season to the institutions of the world. The seed of heavenly unity fell into the earth, and was buried for a time, but in the harvest at the Second Coming it was reproduced and became the universal and eternal principle of the church.
Note 2.- We admit that the community principle of the day of Pentecost, in its actual operation at that time, extended only to goods and chattels. Yet we affirm that there is no intrinsic difference between property in persons and property in things; and that the same spirit which abolished exclusiveness in regard to money, would abolish, if circumstances allowed full scope to it, exclusiveness in regard to women and children. As we infer that an acid which has corroded the surface of a stone, would consume the whole of it, if allowed a full operation, so we infer from the operation of the spirit of heaven on the day of Pentecost, partial and temporary though it was, that in a continuous and perfect experiment, that spirit would consume all exclusiveness. The reason why a partial and temporary experiment only was exhibited, may be inferred from what has already been said in relation to the difference of times. (See Note 2 to Prop 3, and Prop. 4.) The world was not ripe for a thorough revolution even in regard to property, and much less in regard to sexual morality. A momentary operation of the community spirit on property exclusiveness was tolerated, but the experiment could go no further without a destructive collision with civil government, which was not according to the design of God at that time.
Note 38. - Paul expressly places property in women and property in goods in the same category, and speaks of them together, as ready to be abolished by the advent of the kingdom of heaven. 'The time,' says he, 'is short; it remaineth that they that have wives, be as though they had none; . . . . and they that buy as though they possessed not; . . . . for the fashion of this world passeth away.' (1 Cor. 7: 29-31.) On the day of Pentecost, 'they that bought
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were as though they possessed not.' The fashion of the world passed away in regard to property, for the time being. It is fair to infer from Paul's language, that the fashion of the world in regard to wives was, in his view, to pass away in the same manner; i.e. that exclusiveness was to be abolished, and free love or complex marriage take its place in the heavenly state into which the church was about entering.
The abolishment of appropriation is involved in the very nature of a true relation to Christ in the gospel This we prove thus :- The possessive feeling which expresses itself by the possessive pronoun mine, is the same in essence, when it relates to women, as when it relates to money, or any other property. Amativeness and acquisitiveness are only different channels of one stream. They converge as we trace them to their source. Grammar will help us to ascertain their common centre; for the possessive pronoun mine, is derived from the personal pronoun I; and so the possessive feeling, whether amative or acquisitive, flows from the personal feeling, i.e. is a branch of egotism. Now egotism is abolished by the gospel relation to Christ. The grand mystery of the gospel is vital union with Christ - the merging of self in his life - the extinguishment of the pronoun I at the spiritual centre. Thus Paul says, 'I live, yet not I; but Christ liveth in me.' The grand distinction between the Christian and the unbeliever - between heaven and the world - is, that in one reigns the we-spirit, and in the other the I-spirit. From I comes mine, and from the I-spirit comes exclusive appropriation of money, women, &c. From we comes ours, and from the we-spirit comes universal community of interests.
The abolishment of sexual exclusiveness is involved in the love-relation required between all believers by the express injunction of Christ and the apostles, and by the whole tenor of the New Testament. 'The new commandment is, that we love one another,' and that not by pairs, as in the world, but en masse. We are required to love one another fervently,' (1 Peter' 1: 22,) or, as the original might be rendered, burningly. The fashion of the world forbids a man and woman who are otherwise appropriated, to love one another burningly - to flow into each other's hearts. But if they obey Christ they must do this; and whoever would allow them to do this, and yet would forbid them (on any other ground than that of present expediency to express their unity of hearts by bodily unity, would 'strain at a gnat and swallow a camel;' for unity of hearts is as much more important than the bodily expression of it, as a camel is bigger than a gnat.
Note.- The tendency of religious unity to flow into the channel of amativeness, manifests itself in revivals and in all the higher forms of spiritualism. Marriages or illegitimate amours usually follow religious excitements. Almost every spiritual sect has been troubled by amative tendencies. These facts are not to be treated as unaccountable irregularities, but as expressions of a law of human nature. Amativeness is in fact (as will be seen more fully hereafter) the first and most natural channel of religious love. This law must not be despised and ignored, but must be investigated and provided for. This is the object of the present treatise.
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The abolishment of worldly restrictions on sexual intercourse, is involved in the anti-legality of the gospel. It is incompatible with the state of perfected freedom towards which Paul's gospel of 'grace without law' leads, that man should be allowed and required to love in all directions, and yet be forbidden to express love in its most natural and beautiful form, except in one direction. In fact, Paul says with direct reference to sexual intercourse - 'All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient;' all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any;' (1 Cor. 6: 12;) thus placing the restrictions which were necessary in the transition period, on the basis, not of law, but of expediency, and the demands of spiritual freedom, and leaving it fairly to be inferred that in the final state, when hostile surroundings and powers of bondage cease, all restrictions also will cease.
Note. - The philosophy of love and its expressions is this: love, in all its forms, is simply attraction, or the tendency of congenial elements to approach and become one. The attraction between the magnet and the steel is a familiar illustration of the nature of love. The only important difference between the two is, that while the attraction of inanimate substances is wholly involuntary, love, or the attraction of life towards life, is modified by the will. Volition can concentrate and quicken congenial elements, and so can increase, but it cannot create congeniality, and therefore it can only modify, not create, love. So that the essence of love is attraction, whether it is modified by the will or not. This, then, we repeat, is the nature of love in all its forms - as well between God and man, and between man and man, as between man and woman - as well between the highest spheres of spiritual life, as between the lowest sensual elements. Life seeks unity with congenial life, and finds happiness in commingling. Love, while seeking unity, is desire in unity, it is happiness. The commands of the Bible to love God and his family, and not to love the world, are commands to exercise the will in favoring profitable i.e. spiritual attractions, and in denying unprofitable, i.e. fleshly attractions. In a perfect state of things, where corrupting attractions have no place, and all susceptibilities are duly subordinated and trained, the denying exercise of thee will ceases, and attraction reigns without limitation. In such a state, what is the difference between the love of a man towards man, and that of man towards woman? Attraction being the essence of love in both cases, the difference lies in this, that man and woman are so adapted to each other by the differences of their natures, that attraction can attain a more perfect union between them than between man and man, or between woman and woman. Attraction between the magnet and the steel is the same in essence whatever may be the forms of the surfaces presented for contact. If a positive obstruction intervenes, the steel advances to the obstructing substance and there stops. If nothing intervenes, and the tangent ends are plane surfaces, the steel advances to plane contact. If the tailgent ends are ball and socket, or mortise and tenon, the steel, seeking by the law of attraction the closest possible unity, advances to interlocked contact. So love, restrained by law and the will, as in the world, is stopped by positive obstructions; love between man and man can only advance to something like plain contact, while love between man and woman can advance to interlocked contact. In other words, love between the different sexes, is peculiar, not in its essential naure, bat because they are so constructed with reference to each other, both spiritually and physically, (for the body is an index of the life,) that more intimate unity, and of course more intense happiness in love, is possible between them than be-
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tween persons of the same sex. Now in a state of unobstructed love, it is as certain that attraction acting between man and woman, will seek its natural expression in sexual intercourse. as that the magnet and steel will approach each other as near as possisble, or as that the attraction between man and man will seek its natural expression in the 'kiss of charity' or the embrace; and legal obstructions are no more compatible with spiritual freedom and rational taste in one case than in the other. It was manifestly the design of God, in creating the sexes, to give love more intense expression than is possible between persons of the same sex; and it is foolish to imagine that he will ever abandon that design by unsexing his children, or impede it by legal restrictions on sexual intercourse, in the heavenly state.
The abolishment of the marriage system is involved in Paul's doctrine of the end of ordinances. Marriage is one of the 'ordinances of the worldly sanctuary.' This is proved by the fact that it has no place in the resurrection. (See proposition 5.) The Roman Catholic church places it among its seven sacraments. (See Powers' Catholic Manual, p.29, & 185.) Paul expressly limits it to life in the flesh. Rom. 7: 2, 3. The assumption, therefore, that believers are dead to the world by the death of Christ, (which authorized the abolishment of Jewish ordinances,) legitimately makes an end of marriage. Col. 2: 20.
Note 1.--Marriage stands on the same basis with the sabbath. Both may be defended, on the ground of the sanction of the decalogue, and of their necessity and usefulness. Both may be assailed, on the ground of their legality and unprofitableness. Both are 'shadows of good things to come.' As one day in seven is to a perpetual sabbath, so marriage in pairs is to the universal marriage of the church of Christ.
Note 2. - The abolishment of the Jewish ordinances was the 'offense of the cross' in the apostolic age. Gal. 5: 11, & 6: 12. The nullification of circumcision was as revolting and impious to the Jew, as the nullification of marriage can be to the Geiltile. Written commandalents were as formidably arrayed against the spiritual doctrines of the new church in the one case, as they are in the other. The clash of the moral conscience with the spiritual, was ns complete in the one case as it is in the other. God's old orders confronted his new. The apostles had even less warrant in the Old Testament for their attack on the Jewish ritual, than we have in the whole Bible for our attack on marriage. The primitive 'offense of the cross' brought the church into collision with the civil as well as the ecclesiastical authorities, compelled believers to die substantially to the world at the outset, and exposed them to constant persecution and the hazard of literal death. If the spirit of Christ and of the unbelieving world are as hostile to each other now as ever, (which is certainly true,) it is clear that the cross of Christ, must have a development in the dispensation of the fullness of times, as offensive to the Gentile world, as its nullification of the Sinai law was to the Jewish world. Where then shall we look for the present 'offense of the cross?' How shall the gospel of death to the world by the death of Christ, protrude itself in a practical form, as it did in the apostolic age, and attack the central life of the Gentile world? The offense cannot come on the same point as it did in the primitive church; for the special ordinauces of Judaism have passed away. The same may be said of the ordinances of Popery, so far as the most important part of the religious world is concerned. The nullification of the ordinances of the popular Protestant sects, cannot be a full 'offense of the cross' corresponding
24 REPORT OF THE
to the primitive offense; first, he~ause the ecclesiastical authority of those sects is feeble, divided, and clashing; and secondly, because they have no civil authority ; so that emancipation fiom the ordinances of any one of them is only a partial collision with the ecclesiastical world, and no collision with the civil world. Whereas the primitive offence of the cross, was a full collision with the highest authorities both ecclesiastical and civil. Where then shall the death blow of the flesh fall on the Gentile world? We answer- on marriage. That is a civil as well as religious ordinance performed by clergymen and magistrates, defended by religion and law, common to all sects, and universal in the world. On that point the offense of the cross will be just what it was in the apostolic age on the ordinances of Judaism.
Note 3. - We admit that Christ and the apostles, with wise reference to the transitionary necessities and hostile surroundings of the church of their time, and to the purpose of God to give the Gentiles a dispensation of legal discipline, abstained from pushing the war against worldly institutions to the overthrow of marriage. Yet we insist that they left on record principles which go to the subversion of all worldly ordinances, and that the design of God was and is, that, at the end of the times of the Gentiles, the church should carry out those principles to their legitimate results.
The law of marriage is the same in kind with the Jewish law concerning meats and drinks and holy days, of which Paul said that they were 'contrary to us, and were taken out of the way, being nailed to the cross.' Col. 2: 14. The plea in favor of the worldly system of sexual intercourse, that it is not arbitrary but founded in nature, will not bear investigation. All experience testifies, (the theory of the novels to the contrary notwithstanding,) that sexual love is not naturally restricted to pairs. Second marriages are contrary to the one love theory, and yet are often the happiest marriages. Men and women find universally, (however the fact may be concealed,) that their susceptibility to love is not burnt out by one honey-moon, or satisfied by one lover. On the contrary, the secret history of the human heart will bear out the assertion that it is capable of loving any number of times and any number of persons, and that the more it loves the more it can love. This is the law of nature, thrust out of sight, and condemned by common consent, and yet secretly known to all. There is no occasion to find fault with it. Variety is, in the nature of things, as beautiful and useful in love as in eating and drinking. The one-love theory is the exponent, not of simple experience in love, but of the 'green-eyed monster,' jealousy. It is not the loving heart but the greedy claimant of the loving heart that sets up the popular doctrine that one only can be truly loved.
Note 1.- It is true, and an important truth, that in a right spiritual medium, the law of aifluity will bring about special pairing; i. e. that each individual will find a mate whose nature best matches his own, and whom of course he will love most. But this truth, confessedly, is no barrier to friendly relations and common conversation with others; and in the nature of things, it is no more a barrier to love and sexual intercourse with others. The fact that a man loves peaches best, is no reason why he should not, on suitable occasions, eat apples, or cherries. Daintiness and poverty of taste are as odious in love as in any other affection.
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 25
Note 2.- There is undoubtedly a law of dualty in love indicated in all nature, and suggested in the creation of the first pair. Indeed this law takes its rise from the constitution of God himself, who is dual - the Father and the Son - in whose image man was made, male and female, and of whose nature the whole creation is a reflection. But the question is, how does this law operate in such a multiplex body as the church of Christ? Does it exhaust itself on the petty business of joining individual persons in pairs, or is its main force directed to the establishment of the great dualty between the whole of one sex and the whole of the other? There is dualty in a dancing party. All that is done in the complex movements of the whole company, may be summed up in this - Man dances with woman; but this general duality is consistent with unlimited inter-change of personal partnerships. We cannot fairly infer any thing in favor of restricting sexual intercourse to pairs, from the fact that only two persons were created; for we might just as well infer from that fact that conversation and every other mode of intercourse ought to be restricted to pairs. Adam in the garden, had no body to talk with but Eve, but this is no reason why a man should talk with no body but his wife. We maintain, that, in the body of Christ, universal unity is the main point; and that the dualty between all men and all women, overrides all inferior dualities. For example, suppose a man, A, is married to a woman, B; and a man C, to a woman, D. Our position is, that in Christ the union of the whole four is first in importance, and the union of the pairs is secondary. We say that it is not enough that A is married to B, making the dual unit A B; and C to D, making the dual unit C D; but that the unit A B ought also to be married to the unit C D, making the quadruple unit A B C D. And we say further, that in the approach and marriage of the pair A B, to the pair C D, it is the dictate of the law of dualty, and the self-evident demand of nature, that the man of each pair should face the woman of the other.
The law of marriage 'worketh wrath.' 1. It provokes to secret adultery, actual or of the heart. 2. It ties together unmatched natures. 3. It sunders matched natures. 4. It gives to sexual appetite only a scanty and monotonous allowance, and so produces the natural vices of poverty, contraction of taste, and stinginess or jealousy. 5. It makes no provision for the sexual
appetite at the very time when that appetite is strongest. By the custom of the world, marriage, in the average of cases, takes place at about the age of twenty-four. Whereas puberty commences at the age of fourteen. For ten years, therefore, and that in the very flush of life, the sexual appetite is starved. This law of society bears hardest on females, because they have less opportunity of choosing their time of marriage than men. This discrepancy between the marriage system and nature, is one of the principal sources of the peculiar diseases of women, of prostitution, masturbation, and licentiousness in general.
Note. - The only hopeful scheme of Moral Reform, is one which will bring the sexes together according to the demands of nature. The desire of the sexes is a stream ever running. If it is dammed up, it will break out irregularly and destructively. The only way to make it safe and useful, is to give it a free natural channel. Or to vary the illustration, the attractions of male and female are like positive and negative electricities. In equilibrium, they are quiet. Separate them, and they become turbulent. Prostitution, masturbation, and obscenity in general, are injurious explosions, incident to unnatural separations of the
26 REPORT OF THE
male and female elements. Reform, in order to he effectual, must base itself on the principle of restoring and preserving equilibrium bv free intercourse. Even in the world it is known that the mingling of the sexes to a certain extent, is favorable to purity; and that sexual isolation, as in colleges, monasteries, &c., breeds salacity and obscenity. A system of complex marriage, which shall match the demands of nature, both as to time and variety, will open the prison doors to the victims both of marriage and celibacy; to those in married life who are starved, and those who are oppressed by lust; to those who are tied to uncongenial natures, and to those who are separated from their natural mates; to those in the unmarried state who are withered by neglect, diseased by unnatural abstinence, or plunged into prostitution and self-pollution, by desires which find no lawful channel.
The kingdom of God on earth is destined to abolish death. 1 Cor. 15: 24-26, Isaiah 25: 8
The abolition of death is to be the last triumph of the kingdom; and the subjection of all other powers to Christ, must go before it. 1 Cor. 15: 24-26. Isaiah 83: 22-24.
Note 1.- This proposition can be shown to be rational as well as scriptural. The body cannot be saved from disease and death till Christ has control of the powers which determine the conditions of the body. The powers of law and custom, organizing society, determine the conditions of the body. For instance, the present form of society compels the mass of mankind to drag out life in excessive labor - a condition inconsistent with the welfare of the body. Before Christ can save the body, then, he must 'put down all [present] authority and rule,' and have power to organize society anew. A physician cannot cure diseases generated in a pestilential dungeon, while the patient remains there. The marriage system is a part of the machinery of present society, which seriously affects the conditions of the body, as appears in Proposition 13 and note, and as will appear further hereafter. Christ must, therefore, have control of this department, and arrange sexual conditions according to the genius of his own kingdom, before he can push his conquests to victory over death.
Note 2.- This proposition give's a sufficient answer to those who insist that the resurrection of the body must go bejore the social revolutions which we propose. These revolutions are the very means by which the resurrection power is to be let in upon the world. It might as rationally be said that the snows of winter must not melt till the grass has grown, or that the clods over the dead must not be broken up till the dead have come forth from their graves, as that the institutions of this world must not be abolished till the resurrection of the body is finished. It is true that, as life works legitimately from within outward, the institutions uf the world ought not to be broken up till holiness is established in the heart, and moral discipline has advanced to maturity; i. e., till all things are ready for the resurrection of the body. The shell of the chicken ought not to be broken, till the life of the chicken itself is sufficient to make the breach. Yet in the order of nature, the shell bursts before the chicken comes forth: so the breaking up of the fashion of the world precedes the resurrection of the body.
Note 3.- The interests of human nature may be divided into three classes, - those of the soul, of the body, and of the estate. The rulers of this world corresponding to these three classes of interests, are the priests, the doctors and the lawyers. Christ must supplant all these rulers and take their powers into his
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 27
hands, before he can give man the redemption of the body. It is not enough that hiss kingdom should be emancipated from the priests. This may give redemption to the soul; but so long as the body remains in the hands of the doctor, and the state in the hands of the lawyer, it cannot be said that 'the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king ;' for 'other Lords besides him, have dominion over us;' and it is only when he is our only ruler that sickness and death are to cease. See Isaiah 26:13, 14, and comp. ver. 19: also Isaiah 33: 22, and comp. ver. 24.
The restoration of true relations between the sexes, is a matter second in importance only to the reconciliation of man to God. The distinction of male and female is that which makes man the image of God, i.e. the image of the Father and the Son. Gen. 1: 27. The relation of male and female was the first social relation. Gen. 2: 22. It is therefore the root of all other social relations. The derangement of this relation was the first result of the original breach with God. Gen. 3: 7; comp. 2: 25. Adam and Eve were at the beginning, in open, fearless, spiritual fellowship, first with God, and secondly, with each other. Their transgression produced two corresponding breaches; viz., first, a breach with God, indicated by their fear of meeting him, and their hiding themselves among the trees of the garden; - and secondly, a breach with each other, indicated by their shame of nakedness, and their hiding themselves from each other by clothing. These were the two great manifestations of original sin - the only manifestations presented to notice in the inspired record of the apostacy. The first thing then to be done, in an attempt to redeem man and reorganize society, is to bring about reconciliation with God; and the second thing is to bring about a true union of the sexes. In other words, religion is the first subject of interest, and sexual morality the second, in the great enterprise of establishing the kingdom of God on earth.
Note 1.- Perfectionists are operating in this order. Their main work, since 1834, has been to develope the religion of the New Covenant, and establish union with God. The second work, in which they are now specially engaged, is the laying the foundation of a new state of society, by developing the true theory of sexual morality.
Note 2.- The functions of the two churches, Jewish and Gentile, correspond to the two breaches to be repaid. It was the special function of the primitive church (which was the interior or soul-church) to break up the worldly ecclesiastical system, and establish true religion. thus opening full Communication with God. It is the special function of the present or body-church, (availing itself first of the work of the primitive church, by union with it, and a re-development of its theology,) to break up the social system of the world, and establish true external order by the reconciliation of the sexes.
Note 3.- We may criticise the system of the Fourierists, thus - The chain of evils which holds humanity in ruin, has four links. viz -1st, a breach with God; (Gen. 3: 8;) 2d, a disruption of the sexes, involving a special curse on woman; (Gen. 3: 16;) 3d, the curse of oppressive labor, bearing specially on man; (Gen. 3: 17-19;) 4th, Death. (Gen. 3: 22-24.) These are all inextricably
complicated with each other. The true scheme of redemption begins with reconciliation with God, proceeds first to a restoration of true relations between the
28 REPORT OF THE
sexes, then to a reform of the industrial system and ends with victory over death. Fourierism has no eye to the final victory over death, defers attention to the religious question and the sexual qnestion till some centuries hence, and confines itself to the rectifying of the industrial system. In other words, Fourierism neither begins at the beginning nor looks to the end of the chain, but fastens its whole interest on the third link, neglecting two that precede it, and ignoring that which follows it. The sin-system, the marriage-system, the work-system and the death-system, are all one, and must be abolished together. Holiness, free love, association in labor, and immortality, constitute the chain of redemption, and must come together in their true order.
Note 4.- From what preceedes, it is evident that any attempt to revolutionize sexual morality before settlement with God, is out of order. Holiness must go before free love. Perfectionists are not responsible for the proceedings of those who meddle with the sextinl question, before they have laid the foundation of true faith and union with God.
Dividing the sexual relation into two branches, the amative and propagative, the amative or love-relation is first in importance, as it is in the order of nature. God made woman because 'he saw it was not good for man to be alone;' (Gen. 2: 18;) i.e. for social, not primarily for propagative purposes. Eve was called Adam's 'help-meet.' In the whole of the specific account of the creation of woman, she is regarded as his companion, and her maternal office is not brought into view. Gen. 2: 18-25. Amativeness was necessarily the first social affection developed in the garden of Eden. The second commandment of the eternal law of love- 'thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself - had amativeness for its first channel; for Eve was at first Ada m's only neighbor. Propagation, and the affections connected with it, did not commence their operation during the period of innocence. After the fall, God said to the woman - 'I will greatly mnltiply thy sorrow and thy conception;' from which it is to be inferred that in the original state, conception would have been comparatively infrequent.
Note.- It is true that God made provision for propagation, in the organization of the first pair, and expre-sed his design that tl~ey should multiply. Gen. 1: 28. This opposes the Shaker theory. But it is clear that if innocence had continued, propagation would have been much less frequent than it is now, and would have been altogether secondary to amativeness.
The amative part of the sexual relation, (separate from the propagative,) is eminently favorable to life. It is not a source of life, (as some would make it,) but it is the first and best distributive of life. Adam and Eve, in their original state, derived their life from God. Gen. 2: 7. As God is a dual being - the Father and the Son - and man was made in his image, a dual life passed from God to man. Adam was the channel specially of the life of the Father, and Eve of the life of the Son. Amativeness was the natural agency of the distribution and mutual action of these two forms of life. In this primitive position of the sexes, (which is the position of the sexes in Christ,) each reflects upon the other the love of God; each excites and developes the divine action in the other. Thus amativeness is to life, as sunshine to vegetation.
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 29
Note 1.- By man's fall from God, he came into a state (like that of the otlier animals) of dependence on the fruits of the earth for life; i.e. he became 'dust,' and commenced his return to 'dust.' Gen. 3: 19. At the same time the disruption of the sexes took place. So that in the fallen state, both the source and the distribution of life are deranged and carnalized. Yet even in this state, love between the sexes, separate from the curse of propagation, (as in courtship,) developes the highest vigor and beauty of human nature.
Note 2.- The complexity of the human race does no talter the relation of amativeness to life, as defined in the foregoing proposition. If Adam and Eve in their original union with God and with each other, had hecome complex by propagation, still the life and love of the Father and the Son would have been reflected by the whole of one sex upon the whole of the other. The image of God would have remained a dualty, complex, yet retaining the conditions of the original dualty. Amative action between the sexes would have been like the galvanic action between alternate plates of copper and zinc. As the series of plates is extended, the original action, though it remains the same in nature, becomes more and more intense. So the love between the Father and the Son, in the complexity of Christ's body, will be developed with an intensity proportioned to the extent of alternation and conjunction of male and female. Victory over death will be the result of the action of on extensive battery of tbis kind.
Note 3.- Sexual intercourse, apart from the propagative act, (and it will appear hereafter that the two may he separated,) is the appropriate external expression of amativeness, and is eminently favorable to life. The contact and unity of male and female bodies, developes aud distributes the two kinds of life which in equilibrium constitute perfect vitality. Mere reciprocal communication of vital heat is healthful, (Eccles. 4:11,) and communication between male and female is more perfect than between persons of the same sex. 1 Kings. 1: 1-4. (The science of Animal Magnetism shows what influences one body has on another.) The principle involved in the doctrine of laying on of hands, (which was a fundamental doctrine of the primitive church, and was brought into practice in the communication of spiritual life both to soul and body ) is, that not only animal life, but the Spirit of God passes from one to another by bodily contact. The doctrine of baptisms of the 'laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead,' follow each other in Paul's list of the first principles of Christ, in scientific order. Heb. 6: 1 The first indicates the source of life, the second indicates the method of distribution, and the third indicates the result. The principle that life passes by bodily contact, is not restricted to the
bare action expressed by the term 'laying on of hands.' Paul revived Eutyclius by falling on him and embracing him. Acts 20: 9-12. So Elilab stretched himself upon the child; ( 1 Kings 17: 21 ;) and Elisha ' lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands, till the flesh of the child waxed warm,' &c. 2 Kings 4: 34. The specific method of bodily contact is not essential to the principle, but may he varied indefinitely. It is safe to affirm that the more intimate and perfect the contact, the greater will be the effect, other things being equal. On this principle, sexual intercourse is in its nature the most perfect method of 'laying on of hands,' and under proper circumstances may be the most powerful external agency of communicating life to the body, and even the Spirit of God to the mind and heart.
Note 4.- We see how foolish they are who think and speak of amaitiveness and sexual intercourse as contemptible, and in their nature unclean and debasing. Such persons not only dishonor God's creation, but despise that part of human
30 REPORT OF THE
nature which is the noblest of all except that which communicates with God.- They profane the very sanctuary of the affections - the first and best channel of the life and love of God.
Note 5.- The familiar principle that the abuse of a thing is no discredit to its use, and that the destructiveness of an element, when abused, is the measure of its usefulness, when rightly managed, applies to amativeness and its expression. If amativeness is a fire, which under the devil's administration burns houses, why may it not under God's administration prepare food, warm dwellings, and drive steamboats? If it is Satan's agency of death, why may it not be God's agency of resurrection?
The propagative part of the sexual relation is in its nature the expensive department. 1. While amativeness keeps the capital stock of life circulating between two, propagation introduces a third partner. 2. The propagative act, i. e. the emission of the seed, is a drain on the life of the man, and when habitual, produces disease. 8. The infirmities and vital expenses of woman during the long period of pregnancy, waste her constitution. 4. The awful agonies of child-birth heavily tax the life of woman. 5. The cares of the nursing period bear heavily on woman. 6. The cares of both parents, through the period of the childhood of their offspring, are many and burdensome. 7. The labor of man is greatly increased by the necessity of providing for children. A portion of these expenses would undoubtedly have been curtailed if human nature had remained in its original integrity, and will be, when it is restored. But it is still self-evident that the birth of children, viewed either as a vital or a mechanical operation, is in its nature expensive; and the fact that multiplied conception was imposed as a curse, indicates that it was so regarded by the Creator.
Note 1.-Amativeness being the profitable part, and propagation the expensive part of the sexual relation, it is evident that a true balance between them is essential to the interests of the vital economy. If expenses exceed income, bankruptcy ensues. After the fall, sin and shame curtailed amativeness, thus diminishing the profitable department ; and the curse increased propagation, thus enlarging the expensive department. Death, i.e. vital bankruptcy, is the law of the race in its fallen condition ; and it results more from this derangement of the sexual economy, than from any other cause except the disruption from God. It is the expression of the disproportion of amativeness to propagation - or of life to its expenses - each generation dies in giving life to its successor.
Note 2.-The actual proportion of the amative to the propagative, in the world, may probably be estimated fairly by comparing the time of courtship (which is the limit of the novels) with the breeding part of married life; or by comparing the momentary pleasures of ordinary sexual intercourse with the protracted woes of pregnancy, birth, nursing and breeding.
Note 3. - The grand problem which must be resolved before redemption can be earned toward to immortality, is this - How can the benefits of amativeness be secured and increased, and the expenses of propagation be reduced to such limits as life can afford? The human mind has labored on this problem already. Shakerism is an attempt to solve it. Ann Lee's attention however was confined to the latter half of it - the reduction of expenses; (of which her own sufferings in child-birth gave her a strong sense;) and for the sake of stopping propagation she prohibited the union of the sexes - thus shutting off the profitable as well as the expen-
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 31
sive part of the sexual relation. This is cutting the knot - not untying it. - Robert Dale Owen's 'Moral Physiology' is another attempted solution of the grand problem. He insists that sexual intercourse is of some value by itself, and not merely as a bait to propagation. He proposes therefore to limit propagation, and retain the privilege of sexual intercourse, by the practice of withdrawing previous to the emission of the seed, after Owen's fashion. Gen. 38: 9.. This method, it will be observed, is unnatural, filthy, and even more wasteful of life, so far as the man is concerned, than ordinary practice; since it gives more freedom to desire, by shutting off propagative consequences. The same may be said of the French method - the use of sacks. Madame Restell's system of producing abortions, is a still more unnatural and destructive method of limiting propagation, without stopping sexual intercourse. A satisfactory solution of the grand problem, must propose a method that can be shown to be natural, healthy for both sexes, favorable to amativeness, and effectual in its control of propagation. Such a solution will be found in what follows.
The amative and propagative functions of the sexual organs are distinct from each other, and may be separated practically. They are confounded in the world, both in the theories of physiologists and in universal practice. The amative function is regarded merely as a bait to the propagative, and is merged in it. The sexual organs are called 'organs of reproduction,'- or 'organs of generation,' but not organs of love or organs of union. But if amativeness, as we have seen, the first and noblest of the social affections, and if the propagative part of the sexual relation was originally secondary, and became paramount by the subversion of order in the fall, we are bound to raise the amative office of the sexual organs into a distinct and paramount function. It is held in the world, that the sexual organs have two distinct functions, viz., the urinary, and the propagative. We affirm that they have three - the urinary, the propagative, and the amative; i.e., thcy are conductors, first of the urine, secondly of the seed, and thirdly of the vital and social magnetism. And the amative is as distinct from the propagative, as the propagative is from the urinary. In fact, strictly speaking, the organs of propagation are physiologically distinct from the organs of union in both sexes. The testicles are the organs of reproduction in the aale, and the uterus in the female. These are distinct from the organs of union. The sexual conjunction of male and female no more necessarily involves the discharge of the testicles than of the bladder'. The discharge of the seed, instead of being the main act of sexual intercourse properly so called, is really the se quel and termination of it. Sexual intercourse, pure and simple, is the conjunction of the organs of union, and the interchange of magnetic influences, or conversation of spirits, through the medium of that conjunction. The communication from the testicles to the uterus, which constitutes the propagative act, is distinct from, subsequent to, and not necessarily connected with, this intercourse. On the one hand the seminal discharge can be voluntarily withheld in sexual connection; and on the other it can be produced without sexual connection, as it is in masturbation. This latter fact demonstrates that the discharge of the seed and the pleasure connected with it, is not es~entially social, since it can be produced in solitude ; it is a personal
32 REPORT OF THE
and not a dual affair. In fact this is evident from a physiological analysis of it. The pleasure of the act is not produced by contact and interchange of life with the female, but by the action of the seminal fluid on certain internal nerves of the male organ. The appetite and that which satisfies it, are both within the man, and of course the pleasure is personal and may be obtained without sexual intercourse. We insist then that the amative function - that which consists in a simple union of persons, making 'of twain one flesh' and giving a medium of magnetic and spiritual interchange, - is a distinct and independent function, as superior to the reproductive as we have shown amativeness to be to propagation.
Note 1.-We may strengthen the argument of the preceding proposition by an analogy. The mouth has three distinct functions, viz., those of breathing, eating and speaking. Two of these, breathing and eating, are purely physical, and these we have in common with the brutes. The third function, that of speaking, is social, and subservient to the intellectual and spiritual In this we rise above the brutes. They are destitute of it except in a very interior degree. So the two primary functions of the sexual organs - the urinary and reproductive - are physical, and we have them in common with the brutes. The third, viz. the aimative, is social, and subservient to the spiritual. In this we rise above the brutes. They have it only as a bait to the reproductive. As speech, the distinctive glory of man, is the superior function of the mouth, so the office of the sexual organs is their superior function, and that which gives waft a position above the brutes.
Note 2.- Here is a method of controlling propagtion, that is natural, healthy, favorable to amativeness, and effectual. 1. It is natural. The useless expenditure of seed certainly is not natural God cannot have designed that men should, sow seed by the way-side. where they do not expect it to grow, or in the same field where seed has nlready been sown, and is growing; and yet such is the practice of men in ordinary sexual intercourse. They sow seed habitually where they do not wish it to grow. This is wasteful of life, and cannot be natural. So far the Shakers and Grahamites are right. Yet it is equally manifest that the natural instinct of our nature demands frequent congress of the senses, not for propagative, but for social and spiritual purposes. It results from these opposite indications, that simple congress of the sexes, without the propagative crisis, is the order of nature, for the gratification ofordinarv amative instincts; and that the act of propagation should be reserved for its legitimate occasions, when conception is intended. The idea that sexual intercourse, pure and simple, is impossible or difficult, and therefore not natural, is contradicted by the experience, of many. Abstinence from masturbation is impossible or difficult, where habit made it a second nature; and yet no one will say that habitual masturbation is natural. So abstinence from the propagative part of sexual intercourse may seem impracticable to depraved natures, and yet be perfectly natural and easy to persons properly trained to chastity. Our method simply proposes the subordination of the flesh to the spirit, teaching men to seek principaly the elevated spiritual pleasures of sexual intercourse, and to be content with them in their general intercourse with women, restricting the more sensual part to its proper occasions. This is certainly natural and easy to spiritual men, however difficult it may be to the sensual. Our method is healthy. In the first place, it secures woman from the curses of involuntary and undesirable procreation; and secondly, it stops the drain of life on the part of the man. This cannot be said of Owen's system, or any other plan for preventing merely the effects of the emission
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION 33
of the seed, and not the emission itself. 3. Our method is favorable to amativeness. Owen can only say of his method that it does not much diminish the plea sure of sexual intercourse, but we can say of ours that it vastly increases that pleasure. Ordinary sexual intercourse (in which the amative and propagative functions are confounded) is a momentary affair, terminating in exhaustion and disgust. If it begins in the spirit, it soon ends in the flesh; i.e., the amative, which is spiritual, is drowned in the propagative, which is sensual. The exhaustion which follows, naturally breeds self reproach and shame, and this leads to dislike and concealment of the sexual organs, which contract disagreeable associations from the fact that they are the instruments of pernicious excess. This undoubtedly is the philosophy of the origin of shame after the fall. Adam and Eve first sunk the Spiritual in the sensual, in eating the forbidden fruit, and then having lost the true balance of their natures, they sunk the spiritual in the sensual in their intercourse with each other, by pushing prematurely beyond the amative to the propagative, and so became ashamed, and began to look with an evil eye on the instruments of their folly. On the same principle we may account for the process of 'cooling off' which takes place between lovers, and often ends in indifference and disgust. Exhaustion and self-reproach make the eye evil not only toward the instruments of excess, but toward the person who tempts to it. In contrast with all this, lovers who use their sexual organs simply as the servants of their spiritual natures, abstaining from the propagative act, except when propagation is intended, may enjoy the highest bliss of sexual fcllowship for any length of time, and from day to day, without satiety or exhaustion; and thus marriage life may become permanently sweeter than courtship, or even the honey-moon. 4. Our method of controlling propagation is effectual The habit of making sexual intercourse a quiet affair, like conversation, restricting the action of the organs to such limits as are necessary to the avoidance of the sexual crisis, can easily be established, and then there is no risk of conception with intention.
Note 3.- Ordinary sexual intercourse, i.e. the performance of the propagative act, without the intention of procreation, is properly to be classed with masturbation. The habit in the former case is less liable to become besotted and ruinous, than in the latter, simply because a woman is less convenient than the ordinary means of masturbation. It must be admitted also that the amative affection favorably modifies the sensual act to a greater extent in sexual commerce than in masturbation. But this is perhaps counterbalanced by the cruelty of forcing or risking undesired conception, which attends sexual commerce and does not attend masturbation.
Note 4. - Our theory, which separates the amative from the propagative, not only relieves us of involuntary and undesirable procreation, but opens the way for scientific propagation. We are not opposed after the Shaker fashion, or even after Owen's fashion, to the increase of population. We believe that the order to multiply attached to the race in its original integrity, and that propagation, rightly conducted and kept within such limits as life can fairly afford, is the next blessing to sexual love. But we are opposed to involuntary procreation. A very large proportion of all children born under the present system, are begotten contrary to the wishes of both parents, and lie nine months in their inother's womb under their mother's curse, or a feeling little better than a curse. Such children cannot be well organized. We are opposed to excessive, and of course oppressive procreation, which is almost universal. We are opposed to random procreation, which is unavoidable in the marriage system. But we are in favor of
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intelligent, well-ordered procreation. The physiologists say that the race cannot be raised from ruin, till propagation is made a matter of science; but they point out no way of making it so. True, propagation is controlled and reduced to a science in the case of valuable domestic brutes; but marriage and fashion forbid any such system among humans. We believe the time will come when involuntary and random propagation will cease, and when scientific combination will be applied to human generation as freely and successfully as it is to that of other animals. The way will be open for this, when amativeness can have its proper gratification without drawing after it procreation, as a neccessary sequence. And at all events we believe that good sense and benevolence will very soon sanction and enforce the rule that woman shall bear children only when they choose. They have the principal burdens of breeding to bear, and they, rather than men, should have their choice of time and circumstances, at least till science takes charge of the business.
Note 5. - It may be urged as an objection to our position that propagation is essential to the consummation of love; i.e., that the unity of two exists and expresses itself in the generation of a third. We assent partially to this view, but reply to the objection thus; simple amative action between two - , i.e. the interchange of spiritual without physical seed, actually generates a third. The male and female persons A and B, by amative interchange of life, generate a third, namely, the bisexual being A B; i.e., they return to the conditions of Paradise, and become what Adam was before the fall, a make and female unit. - We say that this kind of generation which acts by spiritual impregnation and condensation, consummates love more effectually than generation by physical impregnation and the production of a separate person. A child is born in both cases. In the first it is a child compounded of the two generating spirits. In the second it is a separate physical being. The principle of consolidation rules in the first, and the principle of division in the second. We admit however that physical generation under proper circumstances, is a secondary, though not an essential consummation of love.
Note 6. - The separation of the amative from the propagative, places amative sexual intercourse on the same footing with other ordinary forms of intercourse, such as conversation, kissing, shaking hands, embracing, &c. - So long as the amative and propagative are confounded, sexual intercourse carries with it physical consequences which necessarily take it out of the category of mere social acts. If a gentleman under the cover of a mere social call upon a lady, should leave in her apartments a child for her to breed and provide for, he would do a mean wrong The call might be made without previous negotiation or agreement the sequel of the call - the leaving of the child - is a matter so serious that it is to be treated as a business affair, and not be done without good reason and agreement of the parties. But the man who under the cover of sexual intercourse, commits the propagative act, leaves his child with the woman in a meaner and more oppressive way, than he would if he should leave it full born in her apartments; for he imposes on her not only the task of breeding and providing for it, but the sorrows and pains of pregnancy and child-birth. It is right that law, or at least public opinion, should frown on such proceedings even more than it does; and it is not to be wondered at, that women, to a considerable extent, look upon ordinary sexual intercourse with more dread than pleasure, regarding it as a stab at their life, rather than a joyful act of fellowship. But separate the amative from the propagative - let the act of fellowship stand by itself - and sexual intercourse becomes a purely social affair, the same in kind with other modes of kindly interchange, differing only by its superior intensity
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and, beauty. Thus the most popular, if not the most serious objection to feree love and, sexual intercourse is removed. The difficulty so often urged, of knowing to whom children belong in complex marriage, will have no place in a community trained to keep the amative distinct from the propagative. Thus also the only plausible objection to amative intercourse between near relatives, founded on the supposed law of nature that 'breeding in and in' deteriorates offspring, (which law however was not recognized in Adam's family,) is removed; since science may dictate in this case as in all others, in regard to propagation, and yet amativeness may be free.
Note 7. - In society trained in these principles as propagation will become a science, so amative intercourse will become one of the 'fine arts.' Indeed it will take rank above music, painting, sculpture, &c.; for it combines the charms and benefits of them all. There is much room for cultivation of taste and skill in this department as in any.
Note 8. - The reformed practice which, we propose, will advance civilization and refinement at railroad speed. The self control, retention of life, and ascent of sensualism which must result from making freedom of love a bounty on the chastening of physical indulgence, will at once raise the race to new vigor and beauty, moral and physical. And the refining effects of sexual love (which are recognized more or less in the world) will be increased a thousand fold, when sexual intercourse, becomes a method of ordinary conversation, and each is married to all.
Sexual shame was the consequence of the fall, and is factitious and irrational. (Gen. 2: 25; comp. 3: 7.) Adam and Eve, while innocent, had no shame; little children have none; other animals have none, To be ashamed of the sexual organs, is to be 'ashamed of God's workmanship. To b~ ashamed of the sexual organs, is to be ashamed of the most perfect instruments of love and unity. To be ashamed of the sexual organs, is to be ashamed of the agencies which gave us existence. To be ashamed of sexual conjunction, is to be ashamed of the image of the glory of God - the physical symbol of life dwelling in life, which is the mystery of the gospel. John 17 :21, &c.
Note 1. - One of the sources of shame is personal isolation, which was the consequence of the victory of the flesh over the spirit, which took place when Adam and Eve forsook the counsel of God. Their unity with God and with each other was in their spiritual part. In the physical they were two. When the physical therefore became paramount, as it did when they sought blessing from fruit instead of from God, they became consciously, two. Then began evil-eyed surveillance on the one hand, and morbid shrinking on the other, A man is not ashamed of his body before his own eyes, but before the eyes of another. So Adam and Eve were not ashamed so long as they were one; but when they be came two, their eyes were opened and they became ashamed. Another source of shame is sensual excess, in the fall from amative interchange to propagative expense, producing exhaustion, consciousness of uncontrolled and ruinous passion, and consequent aversion to the instruments of the mischief. This cause acts particularly on the male. (See Proposition 20, Note 2.) Another cause of shame is found in the woes of untimely and excessive child bearing, by which the sexual organs and offices contract odious associations. This cause acts particularly on the female. After the sentiment of shame (i. e. the sentiment which prompts to dishonor and to conceal the sexual organs) is generated by these causes, jealousy
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falls in with it and strengthens it. The greedy lover is naturally a fierce friend of a sentiment which secludes the charms of his mistress from all eyes but his own. And then custom, and finally law, elevates this spawn ot corruption into a virtue.
Note 2. - It is true that God, in the Mosaic law and in other ways, has added to the strength of the shame principle, by precepts directed against lewdness. But it must be remembered that all such legislation is predicated by a state of spiritual derangement, and its end is, not to restore the patient, but to prevent him from destructive violence, even at the expense of increasing his internal malady. Shame is a good straightjacket for crazy amativeness, and as such God has favored it. Adam and Eve first began to make flimsy aprons for their nakedness, and God stepped in and made them complete garments. Gen. 3: 7, 21. But he did not thereby approbate the spiritual and moral condition which made garments necessary.
Note 3, - True modesty is a sentiment which springs not from aversion or indifference to the sexual organs and offices, but from a delicate and reverent appreciation of their value and sacredness. While the shrinking of shame is produced by a feeling that the sexual nature is vile and shameful, the shrinking of modesty is produced by the opposite feeling, that the sexual nature is too holy and glorious to be meddled with lightly. This healthful delicacy is valuable as a preservative, and increases the zest of love. Modesty and shame ought to be sundered, and shame ought to be banished from the company of virtue, though in the world it has stolen the very name of virtue.
Note 4. - Shame is the real source of the impression, which many persist in exalting into a serious theory, that sexual distinction and sexual offices have no place in heaven. Any one who has true modesty, as above defined, would sooner consent to banish singing from heaven, than sexual music. The impression referred to is too self evidently absurd to be argued with to any great extent, and can be abolished only by abolishing shame from which it originates, and ma king men and women truly modest. From pure feelings sensible theories will flow. The loathsome loathings of the debauchee in a state of reaction must not make theories of taste and pleasure for the innocent.
Note 5. - The aversion which many have to thought and conversation on the subject we are corsidering, is like the aversion of the irreligious to thought and conversation about God and eternity. As irreconciliation makes thought about God disagreeable, so the sentiment of shame, whether contracted by debauchery or by education and epidemic spiritual influence, makes thought, and especially new thought and free discussion about sexual matters, disagreeable. Under the influence of that sentiment the mind is evil-eyed and not in condition to reason clearly and see purely. In such cases a spiritual conversion from, the spirit of shame to the spirit of true modesty, must go before intellectual emancipation.
Note 6. - That kind of taste which rises from the sentiment of shame, excludes such books as the Bible and Shakspeare from virtuous libraries. (Vide Webster's Bible, Dr. Humphrey's criticisms of Shakspeare, &c.
Note 7. - That kind of moral reform which rises from the sentiment of shame, attempts a hopeless war with nature. Its policy is to prevent pruriency by keeping the mind in ignorance of sexual subjects ; whilst nature is constantly thrusting those subjects upon the mind. Whoever would preserve the minds of the young in innocence by keeping them from 'polluting images,' must first of' all carry moral reform into the barn-yard and among the flies.
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Note 8. - The true way to purify the mind in its amative department, is to let in the light ; to elevate sexual love by mirroring it to religion; to clear away the vile, debasing associations which usually crowd around the thoughts of the sexual organs and offices, and substitute true and beautifu1 associations. The union of the child with its mother in nursing, is not base, but lovely and even sacred to the imagination. Sexual intercourse is as much more lovely and sacred, as we have seen amativeness to be superior to propagation Instead of thinking of our sexual nature in connection with sensuality and vice and woe, it is just as easy, and much truer to God and nature, to associate with it images of the garden of Eden, of the holy of holies, of God and heaven, thoughts of purity and chaste affection, of joy unspeakable and full of glory. The eucharist is a symbol of eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood; (Luke 22: 19-24;) of a union with him in which we dwell in him and he in us, (John 6: 56,) whereby we become bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, (Eph. 5: 30,) and he comes into us and sups with us and we with him. Rev.3: 20. Is not this a marriage supper? And is not sexual intercourse a more perfect symbol of it than eating bread and drinking wine? With pure hearts and minds, we may approach the sexual union as the truest Lord's supper, as an emblem and also a medium of the noblest worship of God and fellowship with the body of Christ. We may throw around it all the hallowed associations which attach to the festivities and hospitalities of Christmas or Thanksgiving. To sup with each other is really less sensual than to sup with roast turkies and chicken pies. Such thoughts surely are better than the base imaginations of shame which envelope the whole sexual department in filth and darkness, even in the minds of those who would be thought intelligent and refined. The Bible constantly associates ideas of heaven with sexual intercourse. Isaiah 62: 4, 5. Matt. 22: 2-4; 25: 1-12 ; Rev. 19: 7; 21: 2, 9, &c. The wisest of men expressed his taste in a song of love.
Note 9. - Shame seeks to degrade sexual intercourse by calling it 'sensual and carnal.' We reply, conversation is 'sensual and carnal.' Speech, in itself, is nothing but a wagging of the tongue (a carnal member) on one side, and a consequent vibration of the tympanum and nerves of the ear on the other. - Yet speech is the medium of spiritual blessings and refined interchange. Music is 'sensual and carnal.' Eating and drinking are 'sensual and carnal,' &c. Things 'seusual and carnal' are not necessarilv vile and unprofitable. See Rom.15: 27, & 1 Cor. 9: 11. By themselves they are of small value; and out of place, i.e. overtopping and abusing the spiritual, they are diabolical; but in their place, as servants of the spiritual, they are of great value. The senses are to the thoughts and affections of the spirit, as chess-men to a chess-game. By themselves, chess-men are trifles; and to play with them as children do, for their own sake, would be frivolous and degrading; but as instruments of the complicated thought and interest of a chess-game, they are noble. It is the ascetic Manichean philosophy, not the Bible, that despises the senses and matter. Of all the pleasures of the senes, sexual intercourse is intrinsically the most spiritual and refined; for it is intercourse of human life with human life; whereas in every other sensual enjoyment, human life has intercourse with inanimate matter, or life inferior to itself. In the same sense as that in which sexual intercourse, is 'sensual and carnal,' Peter's 'kiss of charity,' (1 Peter 5:
14,) which Paul calls ' holy', (Rom. 16:16, & 1 Cor. 16: 20,) and which both apostles, enjoined, is sensual and carnal. In the same sense, 'laying on of hands' is 'sensual and canal,' &c.
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The foregoing principles concerning the sexual relation, open the way for Association. 1. They furnish motives. They apply to larger partnerships the same attractions as draw and bind together pairs in the worldly partnership of marriage. A community home in which each is married to all, and where love is 'honored and cultivated, will be as much more attractive than an ordinary home, even in the honey-moon, as the community out-numbers a pair. A motive thus mighty is needed for the Association enterprise.- 2. These principles remove the principal obstructions in the way of Association. There is plenty of tendency to crossing love, and adultery, even in the system of isolated households. Association increases this tendency. Amalgamation of interests, frequency of interview, and companionship in labor, inevitably give activity and intensity to the social attractions in which amativeness is the strongest element. The tendency to extra-matrimonial love will be proportioned to the condensation of interests produced by any given form of Association; i.e., if the ordinary principles of exclusiveness are preserved, Association will be a worse school of temptation to unlawful love than the world is, in proportion to its social advantages. Love, in the exclusive form, has jealousy for its complement; and jealousy brings on strife and division. Association, therefore, if it retains one-love exclusiveness, contains the seeds of dissolution; and those seeds will be hastened to their harvest by the warmth of associate life. An association of states, with custom-house lines around each, is sure to be quarrelsome. The farther states in that situation are apart, and the more their interests are isolated, the better. The only way to prevent smuggling and strife in a confederation of contiguous states, is to abolish custom-house lines from the interior, and declare free trade and free transit, (as in the United States,) collecting revenues and fostering home products by one custom-house line around the whole. This is the policy of our system-'that they all [not two and two] may be one.'
Note 1.-The idea that amative magnetism can, by some miraculous agency peculiar to a state of perfection, be made to point only toward one object, (which is the hobby of some,) is very absurd. It is just as conceivable that a man should 'have an appetite for one apple but not for another equally good by the side of it, as that a man should have amative desire toward one woman, but not toward another equally attractive by the side of her. True, the will, backed by law and custom, may forbid the evolution of appetite into action in one case, and allow it in another; but appetite itself is involuntary, and asks for that which is adapted to it, as indiscriminately in respect to women as to apples If the sexual organs were so constructed that they would match only in pairs, we might believe that the affections which are connected with them, attract only in pairs. But as things are, it is quite as easy to believe that a man of integral nature and affections, should have no relish for the presence or the conversation of any woman but his wife, as that he should have no appetite for sexual interchange with any other. We say then, if the marriage fashion is to be continued, and amative appetite is to be suppressed in all directions except one, isolation is better than Association, since it makes less parade of forbidden fruit.
Note 2. - The only plausible method of avoiding the stumbling-blocks of the sexual question in Association, besides ours, is the method of the. Shakers. For-
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 39
bid sexual intercourse altogether, and you attain the same results, so far as shutting off the jealousies and strifes of exclusiveness is concerned, as we attain by making sexual intercourse free. In this matter the Shakers show their shrewdness. But they sacrifice the vitality of society, in securing its peace.
Note 3. - Association, in order to be valuable, must be, not mere juxtaposition, but vital organization - not mere compaction of material, but community of life. Every member must be vitally organized, not only within itself, and into its nearest mate, but into the whole body, and must receive and distribute the common circulation. In a living body, (such as is the body of Christ,) the relation of the arm to the trunk is as intimate and vital, as its relation to the hand, or as the relation of one part of it to another; and the relation of every member to the heart is as complete and essential, as the relation of each to its neighbor. A congeries of loose particles (i.e. individuals) cannot make a living body. No more can a congeries of loose double particles, (i. e. conjugal pairs.). The individuals and the pairs, as well as all larger combinations, must be knit together organically, and pervaded by one common life. Association of this kind will be to society what regeneration is to individuals -a resurrection from the dead. In the present order of isolation, society is dead. Association (genuine) will be properly named VITAL SOCIETY. Now as egotism in individuals obstructs the circulation of community life, (see Proposition 8,) precisely sc, exclusive conjugal love, which is only a double kind of egotism, obstructs community life. Vital society demands the surrender not only of property interests, and conjugal interests, but of life itself, or, if you please, personal identity, to the use of the whole. If this is the 'grave of liberty,' as the Fourierists say, it is the grave of the liberty of selfishness, which has done mischief enough to deserve death- and it is the birth of the liberty of patriotism. The whole gains more than individuals lose. In the place of dead society, we have vital society, and individuals have the liberty of harmony instead of the liberty of war.
In vital society, strength will be increased, and the necessity of labor diminished, till all work will become sport, as it would have been in the original Eden state. See Gen. 2: 15, comp. 3: 17-19. Here we come to the field of the Fourierists - the third link of the chain of evil. And here we shall doubtless ultimately avail ourselves of many of the economical and industrial discoveries of Fourier. But as the fundamental principle of our system differ entirely from that of Fourier, (our foundation being his Superstructure, and vice versa,) and as 'every system necessarily has its own complement of external arrangements, conformed to its own genius, we will pursue our investigations for the present independently, and with special reference to our peculiar principles. Labor is sport or drudgery, according to the proportion between strength and the work to be done. Work that overtasks a child, is easy to a man. The amount of work remaining the same, if man's strength were doubled the result would be the same as if the amount of work were diminished one half. To make labor sport, therefore, we must seek, first, increase of strength, and, secondly, diminution of work: or, (as in the former problem relating to the curse on woman,) first, increase of income, and, secondly, diminution of expenses. Vital society secures both of these objects. It increases strength, by placing the individual in a vital organization which is in communication with the source of life, and which distributes and circulates life with the highest activity by the altcrnation of male and fcmale. In
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other words, as vital society is properly a resurrection state, so individuals in vital society will have the vigor of resurrection. The amount of work to be done is correspondingly diminished. The staple necessaries of life are food, raiment, shelter and fuel. The end of all these is the maintenance of vital heat. Liebeg says, and experience demonstrates, that food is fuel; and that the better men are clothed, or the warmer their climate, the less food they need, especially animal food. On the same principle we say, that the more perfectly men are in communication with the source of vital heat, and the more they are enveloped in the genial magnetism of social life, the less food, raiment, shelter and fuel they will need.
Note 1. - As society becomes vital and refined, drawing its best nourishment from love, the grosser kinds of food, and especially animal food, will go out of use. The fruits of trees will become the staple eatables. Gen. 2: 16. The largest part of the labor of the world is now spent on the growth of annual plants and animals. Cattle occupy more of the soil at present than men. The cultivation of trees will be better sport than plowing, hoeing corn, digging potatoes, and waiting on cows and pigs.
Note 2. - As society becomes compact and harmonious, its buildings will be compact, and much labor now expended in accommodating egotism and exclusiveness with isolated apartments, will be saved. The removal of the partition between the sexes, will save many a partition to the carpenter. In many other things, as well as buildings, love will save labor. Unity of heart will prefer unity of accommodations as far as it is possible.
In vital society, labor will become attractive. Loving companionship in labor, and especially the mingling of the sexes, makes labor attractive. The present division of labor between the sexes separates them entirely. The woman keeps house, and the man labors abroad. Men and women are married only after dark and during bed-time. Instead of this, in vital society men and women will mingle in both of their peculiar departments of work. - It will be economically as well as spiritually profitable, to marry them indoors and out, by day as well as by night. The difference between the anatomical structures of men and women, indicates the difference of their vocations. Men have their largest muscular developments in the upper part of the trunk, about the arms, and thus are best qualified for hand-labor. Women have their largest muscular developments in the lower part of the trunk, about, the legs, and thus are best qualified for duties requiring locomotion. Girls outrun boys of the same age. The miraculous dancers are always females. How abusive then are the present arrangements, which confine women to the house! They are adapted by nature, even better than men, to out-door employments and sports-to running, leaping, &c.,- and yet they are excluded from every thing of this kind after childhood. They are not only shut up, but fettered. Gowns operate as shackles, and they are put on that sex which has most talent in' the legs! When the partition between the sexes is taken away, and man ceases to make woman a propagative drudge, when love takes the place of shame, and fashion follows nature in dress and business, men and women will mingle in all their employments, as boys and girls mingle in their sports, and then labor will be attractive.
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 41
Note 1.--The present dress of women, besides being peculiarly inappropiate to the sex, is immodest. It makes the distinction between the sexes vastly more prominent and obtrusive than nature makes it. In a state of nature the difference between a man and a woman could hardly be distinguished at the distance of five hundred yards; but as men and women dress, their sex is telegraphed as far as they can be seen. Woman's dress is a standing lie. It proclaims that she not a two-legged animal, but something like a churn standing on castors! Such are the absurdities into which the false principle of shame and sexual isolation betray the world.
Note 2. - When the distinction of the sexes is reduced to the bounds of nature and decency, by the removal of the shame partition, and woman becomes what she ought to be, a female man, (like the Son in the Godhead,) a dress will be adopted that will be at the same time the most simple and the most beautiful, and it will be the same, or nearly the same; for both sexes. The dress of children - frock and pantaloons - is in good taste, i.e. taste not perverted by the dictates of shame, and it is well adapted to the free motion of both sexes This, or something like it, will be the uniform of vital society.
Note 3.--We can now see our way to victory over death. Reconciliation with God opens the way for the reconciliation of the sexes. Reconciliation of the sexes emancipates woman, and opens the way for vital society. Vital society increases strength, diminishes work, and makes labor attractive, thus removing the antecedents of death. First we abolish sin, then shame, then the curse on woman of exhausting child-bearing, then the curse on man of exhausting labor, and so we arrive regularly at the tree of life, (as per Gen. 3.)
The will of God is done in heaven, and of course will be done in his kingdom on earth, not merely by genera1 obedience to constitutional principles, but by specific obedience to the administration of his Spirit. The constitution of a nation is one thing, and the living administration of government is another. Ordinary theology directs attention chiefly, and almost exclusively, to the constitutional principles of God's government. (The same may be said of Fourierism, and all schemes of reform based on the development of 'natural laws.') As loyal subjects of God, we must give and call attention to his actual administration; i.e., to his will directly manifested by his Spirit and the agents of his Spirit, viz. his officers and representatives. We must look to God, not only for a Constitution, but for Presidential out-look and counsel; for a cabinet and corps of officers; for national aims and plans; for direction, not only in regard to principles to be carried out, but in regard to time and circumstance in carrying them out. In other words, the men who are called to usher in the kingdom of God, will be guided not merely by theoretical truth, but by the Spirit of God, and specific manifestations of his will and policy, as were Abraham, Moses, David, Jesu Christ, Paul, &c. This will be called a fanatical principle, because it requires bona fide communication with the heavens, and displaces the sanctified maxim that the 'age of miracles is past.' But it is clearly a Bible principle; and we must place it on high, above all others, as the podium of conservatism in the introduction of the new social order, which we have proposed in the preceding Argument.
Note 1. - The principles of sexual morality which have been presented, are
42 REPORT OF THE
called incendiary and dangerous; and they are incendiary and dangerous, as fire, steam, gun-powder, &c. are, in unfit hands. We shall endeavor (as we have done) to keep them out of unfit hands ; and we hereby notify all, that we neither license or encourage any one to attempt the practice of these incendiary theories, without clear directions from the government in the heavens. No movement in these matters can be made safely, in the way of imitation, or on the mere ground of acquaintance with the theory of the new order of things. Other qualifications besides theoretical knowledge, are requisite for the construction and handling of a locomotive; and much more for the management of such tremendous machinery as that of vital society. Let no man attempt the work, without the charter and manifest patronage of the general government. Of course we cannot prevent children from playing with fire, but we forewarn them that they will burn their fingers
Note 2. - The first qualification for office in the kingdom of God, and especially for employment in the critical operations of the revolution in sexual matters, manifestly is true spirituality, securing inspiration ; and true spirituality cannot be attained without true holiness, i.e. self-crucifixion and the love-devotion described by Paul in 1 Cor. 13: 4-7. The government in heaven will not employ self-seekers; and whoever meddles with the affairs of the inner sanctuary without being employed by the government, will plunge himself in consuming fire. Thus official distinctions and love-rewards, in the kingdom of God, will be bounties on true spirituality and holiness. If a man desires place and emolument, let him first show that he holds 'the mystery of faith in a pure conscience;' 1 Tim. 3: 9.
The institutions and principles of the Oneida Association have new been presented without reserve. For the sake of exhibiting, in a bird's-eye view, the effects of those institutions and principles, and the actual spirit and condition of the Association, the members will now be placed upon the stand as witnesses for themselves. The ensuing mass of affidavits were elicited in the following manner At the close of the year covered by this Report, a series of questions was proposed to the Association by J. H. Noyes, at six successive evening meetings, The question proposed at each meeting was answered by the members in writing on the evening succeeding The answers were written in the intervals of busy occupation, and no one 'anticipated at the time that they were to be preseated to the public, the only object or the exercise being the satisfaction and improvement of the family circle. They constitute, therefore, together, a portrait of the spiritual, intellectual and moral character of the Association, more ingenuous and graphic than could be presented in any labored description .
'The influence of Association has made me mild and gentle, and taught me, in admonishing others, to speak the truth in love. I have learned to respect the judgment of others, and to cultivate love and a community spirit. I value less my own independence, and more the good will of others
JAMES L. BAKER.
The relation which I sustain to this body has rendered my heart and mind more susceptible of improvement than formerly; and this susceptibility increases. I have in a good degree been saved from selfishness and inordinate love of money.
SARAH A. BRADLEY.
I have gained a victory over self-will which I thought impossible when I came to Oneida. I believe that God has given me a permanent victory, and that it will be my greatest delight in future to act in accordance with his will.
Previous to my connection with this Association I possessed a strong self-will, which made me sometimes choose to suffer any affliction, even death, rather than yield my will to God. Since I became a member of this body I have submitted my will to the will of God, and have had generally a quiet, peaceful state of mind. I find I have new and enlarged views of God, and have learned to think less of myself, and more of the members of Christ's body.
MARY E. CRAGIN.
I have made the most improvement in overcoming effeminacy and false modesty, which was inherent in my nature, and fostered by education. My connection with this body has awakened a general interest in the family of God, which makes it easy and delightful to be spent in their service. I find myself gaining in courage and true independence of character.
44 REPORT OF THE
LEONARD F. DUNN.
I have been brought, through the influence of this Association, from a restless, discontented state of mind, to a state of peace and quiet. I am conscious of a growing desire for improvement and growth in grace, and an increasing attachment to this body.
FIDELIA A. DUNN.
Since joining this Association, I have surrendered my will to Jesus Christ, am now in possession of that peace and happiness which this world can neither give nor take away. I have witnessed the same work in others here.
ERASTUS H. HAMILTON.
In early life I was under the influence of a rigid, overbearing will, and often thought I would he careful not to acquire such a character myself. But I found as I grew up to manhood, that I possessed this same characteristic, and often waged fruitless war with it. Since becoming a member of this Association, I am sensible, by the judgment of others and by my own of having overcome it in a good degree I am thankful to God for the deep heart-education I have received through the community school, and feel that it is sufficient pay for all that I have been called to do.
SUSAN C. HAMILTON.
Since my connection with this Association I have gained an ambition and courage to conquer my faults. I was formerly discouraged when they were pointed out to me, and excused myself on account of my organization. I have learned that my whole nature must be in subordination to the will of God, and have acquired patience in suffering and a confidence in God that he will work in me, until all that is discordant with the spirit of truth, is destroyed.
ELEAZER L. HATCH.
I find myself improving in confidence toward God and man. I had but little trust in either when I came here, which made me suspicious and jealous; and nothing but the mild, melting love of God could have overcome my distrust. I find that I am seeking a more permanent spiritual basis, and have a desire to be come identified with Christ.
FANNY M. LEONARD.
During the six months I have spent here, I have sensibly improved in practically valuing the cultivation of the heart and intellect above every thing else. I have become more spiritual and reflective, and give less attention to outward things which formerly caused distraction. I have also learned to wait on God for inspiration, and have gained a courageous spirit for improvement.
JOHN H. NOYES.
I am sensible of a great enlargement and improvement of my philoprogenitiveness, by which I do not mean particularly my love of children, but my motherly feeling toward believers. I am learning more rapidly than ever before, to sympathize with Paul in those feelings of family affection, which gush forth so abundantly toward the church in all his epistles. Perhaps my spirit has borrowed of the mothers (who have been exercised so much about their children) some of their superfluous philoprogenitiveness. At all events I have come into sympathy with some of their feelings which I am very much pleased with. I find in my heart an unspeakable yearning for the improvement and happiness of every member of this Association, which gives me a clear insight into the feelings which make mothers so anxious to be sure that their little ones have warm clothing and good accommodations. I am not able to shed many tears yet, (which
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 45
always been a great deficiency in my character,) but I feel occasionally favorable symptoms in this respect, and hope under present influences to make ere long all desirable attainments of tenderness.
HARRIET A. NOYES.
Since I came to Oneida I have been cured of the hypo. My spirit has grown strong and courageous. I was formerly very impressible to evil influences; now my spirit is open to good. For years I had an evil eye, that looked on the dark side of every thing, and transformed good into evil. During the past summer, I have been learning to gather good from my circumstances and the evils which surround me. I am not discouraged, as formerly, when my faults are presented to me, but am willing to learn by my mistakes.
Since I have been here, I have learn ed to be sober-minded. I have found that trifling conversation produces barrenness, and pray that I may henceforth walk soberly and meekly before God and man.
Since I came here I have been led to study my own character, and found much that was contrary to the spirit of heaven. Among other things, bashfulness had troubled me. I have been brought to see that it arises from selfishness and egotism. I have learned some lessons in patience and contentment, and am much happier than ever before.
Sine I came here, my ambition and desire for improvement has increased. My heart is drawn out into sympathy with all the movements of the Association
HENRY J. SEYMOUR.
I see a very marked increase of strength in my moral and spiritual nature, arising from any connection with this body. One fault which caused me much trouble, was a dreamy imagination, which made me prone to build air-castles, abstracting 'my mind from every-day affairs. Since my connection with this Association, I find by practical experience, that my imaginings were not after all so visionary, but God is able and willing to do abundantly above all we can ask or think. The effect of community life has been to make my character more active and practical. So far as I can judge, I can say that the passion of amativeness has been brought into complete subjection to the will of God. Taking my character as a whole, I am entirely satisfied that there has been a miraculous change in it for the better since I came here; and am equally well satisfied that this change will go on with increasing rapidity, until all evil is cast out of 'my spirit and body, and I shall arise into the purity of the resurrection, and be fit society for the primitive church.
The spirit of Christ which reigns in this Association has given me peace, and a rejoicing, grateful heart. It has been like a refining fire to my whole character. Hidden selfishness has been brought to light and destroyed. I have learned not to seek my own pleasure, but to glorify God in all things. In the place of a discontented spirit which repined at God's dealings with me, I have found one that says 'Thy will be done'.
HARRIET H. SKINNER.
I think I have made a decided improvement in a meek and quiet spirit, since my connection with this Association. I am getting free from the propensity to self reference, and comparison of myself with others - and learning to think so-
46 REPORT OF THE
berly of myself. My capacity of enjoyment is much increased. I am learning to have more and more confidence in the instincts of the law within my heart and the direct guidance of the Spirit, and depend less upon outward instruction.
HIAL M. WATERS.
The change in my character since joining this Association has been general rather than scientific. I have been conscious of a steady and genuine improvement. Numerous secret springs of evil have been discovered, which I supposed did not exist. Selfishness has been uprooted, self-will broken, excessive personal feelings overcome, and isolated habits have given place to the habits of Association; and I am fully convinced that no person can remain under the influence of this community without a favorable change of character.
Before joining this body I had a suspicious spirit towards Mr. Noyes, but since I came here I am constrained to say, (as far as I am capable of judging,) that he is led by the spirit of God. I have now perfect confidence in him. I believe God has chosen hin) and prepared him to lead his people out of bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God. My confidence has also increased toward all the members of the community, and it is perfectly manifest to me that this people delight to bear one another's burdens.
Since my connection with this community, I have learned to trust God with regard to the body, of which I have formerly been over-careful. I have been delivered from a complaining spirit that I had, because I was not mere intellectual. I feel conscious that the Spirit of truth is searching my heart and inspiring my mind, and teaching me to walk in the Spirit at all times.
The effect upon me, of the system of criticism practised in this body, has been to bring my mind to decided action, and give me power to expel defects which bad long been manifest to myself, but which were too strong for me. It has produced a general refining influence upon my character, by begetting in me a spirit of meekness and humility.
Criticism has been a stimulant to action with me. It has caused me to search and find the defects in my character, and to take Christ as a Savior from them. It has drawn me nearer to God. My prayer is that I may overcome all defects, and be adorned with a meek and quiet spirit.
SARAH A. BURNHAM.
We read that 'evil men understand not judgment.' I am satisfied that the criticism which I have received was a just one, and that those who applied it were inspired and guided by a spirit of love and faithfulness. The effect has been to increase my desire for a meek and quiet spirit, and for improvement in all that is excellent.
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SARAH A. BRADLEY.
When our plan of criticism was first proposed, I held back, thinking it was serious business; but I made no real advance in faith and love till I submitted to the process. I have found that instead of diminishing love, it increased it very much. It seemed to remove a veil that had existed between me and those who criticised me. I feel very much indebted to those who have proved, their love and patriotism by faithful criticism. I consider it a mark of love when a person tells me of my faults.
The effect of criticism upon my character for more than a year past, has been of incalculable value. Circumstances transpired soon after my confession of Christ, that brought me, in a sense, to the judgment, revealing defects and evils in my character that caused me much suffering. After taking up my abode with Mr. Noyes, I invited him to be faithful to me in administering criticism whenever he saw that I needed it. He assured me that he should 'certainly be faithful to my spiritual welfare. And now, after an experience of nine years, I cam bear witness to the untiring constancy of his love. And under God I am indebted more to faithful criticism for what I am, than to any other means. The testimony of scripture on this subject harmonizes perfectly with the principles and experience of this Association :-' Rebuke a wise man and he will love thee.' 'If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons.'
MARY E. CRAGIN.
I am much indebted to criticism for improvement of character, and find that I love those best who have been the most faithful to me. I account it one of the greatest means of grace that we have among us. I admire God's wisdom, manifested in first knitting us together, and then putting on the strain of judgement. From what I see of its effects upon character around me, I am constrained to prize it highly. I think it may be compared to the rain which softens and fertilizes the soil, preparing it to receive the good seed of truth.
ERASTUS H. HAMILTON.
Through the whole of my experience since embracing the doctrine of holiness, criticism, or the spirit of judgment has been upon me. And since my connection with this body, although I have not been subject to much personal criticism, yet there has been almost constantly a criticising spirit at work searching out and judging my most secret thoughts and motives. The effect has been to drive me to Christ-to hate and forsake my own life, seeing that it is full of all manner of evil. I see distinctly that the spirit of criticism has been a most prominent means of improving my character.
SUSAN C. HAMILTON.
The effect of criticism on me, has stirred up an ambition and energy for improvement, and increased my love and confidence in those I have received it from. And as I think faithful criticism and love go together, I would not forfeit the privilege of receiving it for any consideration.
FANNY M. LEONARD.
I think criticism one of the best means to improve character. Its effect on me has been to cause me to feel thankful that 1 have been placed in such a school, where I could have my most subtle faults searched out and told me in love, and that too by those I love and have perfect confidence in--for we cannot see our own faults, so well as others can see them for us. I am satisfied that such a state of things could not exist among unbelievers, without causing hard feelings, while here it tends to produce love and good fruits.
48 REPORT OF THE
HARRIET A. NOYES
About three years after I received the doctrine of holiness, the spirit of judgment commenced its purifying influence on my character. Although I had light to discern my faults, and a disposition to be rid of them, yet for years I had not strength of myself to cast off evil, but depended upon the help of others. For a long time I never gained any decided victory without a severe criticism from J. H. Noyes. After I had become fully satisfied of its beneficial effects I used to request him to criticise me. For a year past the revelation of my faults has been accompanied or followed by the resurrection power in myself. The effect of the late system of criticism on me, has been to strengthen my general confidence in God, and to confirm my belief that he favors this method of education.
JOHN L. SKINNER.
The effect of the practice of criticising character, which was begun in Putney, and which has been adopted by the Association at Oneida, has been, so far as I can judge from my own experience and observation, very salutary and improving. However painful at the time, we have seen it yielding the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who have been exercised thereby. I am persuaded that the spirit of wisdom and of judgment has been given of God for this work, and also that it has been performed in the spirit of love. The secrets of many hearts have thus been revealed. Self-examination has been produced among believers, and godly sorrow for faults has wrought a clearing of themselves from those things that were offensive. I am confident moreover, that instead of producing enmity and grudging, the criticisms that have been performed have increased the love and confidence of the members towards each other.
REPORT OF THE CRITICISING COMMITTEE.
We think that the benefits resulting from the communications between the committee and the Association, have been highly reciprocal. The study of character has been a looking-glass to the committee, by which they have received considerable criticism gratis; and at the same time they have been edified and comforted by the faith and goodness abundantly manifest. They have prized their position more particularly for the opportunity it gave them to improve their acquaintance with all the members. If they have speculated on the outside with the eve of criticism, within, heart has met heart.
There were three particulars suggested to us in the beginning that we should bear in mind as prominent faults of the Association. 1st, a want of repose, restlessness ; 2d, the spirit of levity -want of earnestness; 3d, a contrary spirit.
We found that one or other of these faults was constitutional in almost every member; they were observable in the manner of receiving criticism. Some appeared to have over anxiety for criticism - a little impatient of the tide of improvement. ln others there was a slight disposition to lightness, and unprofitable talk about the subject. Our conversation with some seemed to open the door for the spirit of judgment from God, while the active presence of this spirit in others forestalled much criticism.
We think that the spirit of judgment is fast superceding the use of external discipline. A surprising change is observable in respect to sensitiveness since the system was commenced in Putney. 1 think that J. H. N. has found what he used to wish for - a people who will bear criticism.
Among other things, our observations convinced us that the marriage state is a school of bad manners - just the reverse of courtship, which it is well understood is a school of good manners. Lovers are assiduous to make themselves attractive,
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 49
but after marriage they fall info a neglect of the little courtesies and attention which adorn social intercourse, and their habits between themselves vitiate their manners in general.
The doctrine of free love as advocated by Mr. Noyes, is a subject that my mind has dwelt upon and investigated for a number of years. I had become fully satisfied before I joined this Association, that the time would Come when the institutions of the world would give place to the direct government of God ; - when exclusiveness and selfishness in respect to marriage would not exist. The conclusions I have come to on that subject, have done much to break up the spirit of legality and selfishness in me, and to turn my thoughts to an acquaintance with the laws of God, not only on that subject but on all others. I am sure that the free-love theory has had a great effect in bringing me into love and union with God, and all, the family of God, and to cause me to seek to improve my character and make myself attractive. I think our social theory is the cross of Christ, to separate us from the world and from all false fellowships.
LAURA A. ABBOTT.
The effect of our social theory upon my character, has been to enlarge my heart towards God and his children, and to root out selfishness. I feel that it has given me that love which seeketh not her own; and that it is fast restoring me to the vigor of youth.
The effect upon my character, of our social theory, as taught by Mr. Noyes his Bible Argument, has been - 1st, to bring to light deep-rooted and subtle traits of selfishness, previously unthought of by myself. 2d, It has brought to light an unsanctified state of my amative passions, discovering to me the true nature of the spirit of lust which worketh to envy, and is ungovernable and restless 'in its character. 3d. It has revived in my spirit a new and energetic feeling of loathing toward the spirit of selfishness in all its forms. 4th. It has proved to me more effectually than I ever realized before, the impotency of human energy to overcome the above evils. 5th. It has led me to seek and expect the inspiration of God to control the action of the passions and members of my body. 6th. Facts have proved to be in harmony with my faith Christ has in an enlarged sense manifested himself my life, wisdom, righteousness and strength.
SARAH A. BRADLEY.
If I had no evidence of the truth of the doctrines presented in the Bible Argument, but the change they have produced in my character, I should know they were of God. 'A corrupt tree cannot hi-mg forth good fruit.' Previous to my knowledge of these doctrines, false modesty found a faithful representative in me; but I have turned traitor and mean to do all in my power to annihilate it, and have true modesty take its place. I used to make a distinction between brotherly
-love and the love which I had for my husband; but I was brought to see that there was but one kind of love in the kingdom of God. I have found that true
50 REPORT OF THE
love is a great stimulus to improvement. Free love has brought to light defects in my spiritual character which nothing else could - idolatry, exclusiveness, and various other evils. Although the process of destroying selfishness has been an extremely painful one, I am very thankful for the experience I have had. ' It has brought me very near to God, and I now feel an interest in the happiness of all. I have learned that love is the gift of God.
HENRY W. BURNHAM.
The theory of sexual morality adopted by this Association, while it allows liberty which in the world would lead to licentiousness degrading to both soul and body, here produces the opposite effects; i.e. it invigorates with life, soul and body, and refines and exalts the character generally. It is calculated to abolish selfishness in its most subtle and deep-rooted forms, and practically adapted to fulfil the prayer of Christ in respect to the unity of the church, and thus introduce her gradually into the glories of the resurrection. My chief reason for believing this is because its development is invariably attended by the manifest judgment of God.
ABBY S. BURNHAM.
The effect that free love has had upon my character, has been to raise me from a state of exclusiveness and idolatry, to a greater enlargement of heart, and freedom of communication with God aud this body. Selfishness is being purged out, and its place supplied with the pure love of God. I feel that I am not my own, but am bought with a price, therefore I am to glorify God with my body and spirit which are his. I see more clearly than ever before the beauty of Christ's prayer, that we all may be one, even as he and the Father are one.
SARAH A. BURNHAM.
The social theory, as advocated by Mr. Noyes and this Association, and sustained by the Bible, has had a tendency to enlighten my understanding, and to try, enlarge and purify my heart.
The social theory of this community is, and has been from the first, associated in my mind with the end of this world, and the beginning of the kingdom of heaven upon earth. The evidence of its truth is as firmly rooted and grounded in my heart and mind as the gospel of salvation from sin; and my confidence therefore cannot be destroyed in one, without destroying it in the other' Of its effects upon my character I could say much. But in brief, I can say it has greatly enlarged my heart by purging it from exclusiveness - it has tamed and civilized my feelings, purified my thoughts, and elevated into the presence of God and heaven the strongest passion in the social department of my nature. I regard the 'Bible Argument,' so called, as the social gospel, second only to the gospel of salvation from sin, and destined to repair the second breach in the fall.
MARY E. CRAGIN.
I think the development of the social theory most favorable to the formation of character. It brings out the hidden things of the heart as nothing else could, by exciting the stronger passions of our nature, and bringing them out where they can be purified. Love without law, yet under the control of the Spirit of God, is a great beautifier of character in every respect, and puts the gilding on life. It is the manifestation of the resurrection power - revivifying soul and body. The best result in my own experience has been, that it has brought me into fellowship and acquaintance with the Father and the Son, more than any thing else ever did - and thereby I know that the doctrine is of God.
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ERASTUS H. HAMILTON.
The social theory brought out by Mr. Noyes investigates the strongest passion of humanity - one that by common consent is considered unapproachable - and disposes of the peculiar relations and restraints which surround this passion of amativeness, and which by the world are considered most sacred, in such a manner that the theory must of necessity stand or fall by its results. Its practical application to me, with the Spirit of truth which has accompanied it, has had an unmistakably healthy influence through my whole character. It has delivered me from the bondage of an insubordinate amativeness, which has been the torment of my life. It has brought me into a positive purity of feeling, that I am confident could come from no source but God. It has brought me near to God, increased life, been a most active means in causing me to hate my own life and in crucifying selfishness. The effect it has had upon the relation with my wife, has been directly opposite to what the world would expect to be its legitimate results; and for its fruits on this one relation alone, I should feel willing to give my decided testimony of approval.
SUSAN O. HAMILTON.
Since I have become acquainted with the social theory, it has had the effect of destroying selfishness, shame, and false modesty. It has also refined, strengthened, and increased my respect for love; and I look upon amativeness not as a low, sensual passion, but (under the influence of God's Spirit) as holy and noble. It has also taught me that there is no enjoyment in love, only when God takes the lead, and that the only way to perpetuate love is to walk in the spirit and learn to wait on him for it. Therefore I think our theory is the greatest /safeguard against sensuality.
I feel that the social theory is calculated to enlarge the heart and refine the feelings on the one hand, while on the other it brings out selfishness, which will lead us to see that we need the sanctifying influences of God's spirit to cleanse us from it, and from all unrighteousness.
ELEAZER L. HATCH.
Those who are experimentally acquainted with the associate life and principles, need no other proof that it originated in the mind of God. It expands and elevates the heart, roots out and destroys selfishness in its various forms - destroys isolation - unlocks a fountain in the soul unknown before, and leads us to the boundless ocean of God's love.
HANNAH W. HATCH.
When Mr. Noyes' social theory was first presented to me, I was unwilling to believe it, but was soon brought to feel the force of that truth, 'except a man forsake all that he bath, he cannot be my disciple.' I now feel that I have sufficient reason to believe it, from the tendency it has had to disclose and root out selfishness, from which springs jealousy, exclusiveness, &c., and to supply its place with the free, eternal love of God.
STEPHEN R. LEONARD.
The effect of our social theory upon me has been, to greatly quicken my energy for self-improvement and for every good work. It has brought me into more perfect sympathy with the designs of God, and has given force and direction to my whole character. It has opened the fountain of my heaart, and increased its capabilities of loving a hundred.-fold. It has tried and strengthened my faith, and given me a more vivid consciousness of God's approbation. The
51 REPORT OF THE
spiritual wisdom and skill displayed in the production of the document called the 'Bible Argument,' is conclusive evidence to me that the writer is in communication with the same God that dictated the Bible. I regard that document as the second volume of the New Testament.
FANNY M. LEONARD.
The effect of the social theory is like fire which purifies and refines. Its effect on my character has been an enlargement of the heart and softening of the spirit. It destroys envyings and jealousies, and draws us out from an isolated egotistical state, into the sunshine of God's free and eternal love - that love which envieth not and seeketh not its own.
The effect which the social theory has had upon me, has been, firstly, to develop the selfishness that was in my heart; and secondly, to sever me from the world and its sympathies on that subject-placing my selfishness upon the cross to die, enabling me to rejoice in the good of the whole, and to appreciate the worth of bare salvation.
SEYMOUR W. NASH.
Our social theory 'is well worthy of its wise and benevolent author, God. A system so perfectly congenial to man's nature could never have originated from any other source. Its first effect on me was the crucifixion of exclusiveness in its strong hold, viz. the marriage relation. Second, a sense of permanent unity with the church of God, of which I had never felt the like before. Third, enlargement of my whole spiritual nature, more enlarged views of the kingdom of God, its laws and regulations, and a greater clearness of perception and understanding, and flexibility of spirit.
HARRIET A. NOYES.
Our social theory bas been like a fire to me bringing to light and destroying selfishness. It has enlarged my heart, and developed in it love that thinketh no evil, envieth not, and seeketh not its own. It has increased my happiness, my justification, and my acquaintance with God. It is the natural sequence of salvation from sin, and so intimately connected with it, that I have felt if I gave up one, I must give up the other; and God's providence has favored it so manifestly, that if I doubted its truth I must doubt the existence of God.
When the social principles of this Association were presented to me, I asked, Am I not a Christian unless I adopt these sentiments? The answer in my heart was, 'Unless you yield yourself unreservedly to the care and teaching of Christ, without dictating what shall be the ordinances and institutions of his kingdom, you cannot he saved ;' and not till I ceased caviling and heeded the words of Gamaliel - 'If this doctrine or this work be of men, it will come to nought,' &c., did I find peace. I then found rest in believing that 'he that doeth the will of
God shall know of the doctrine.' I saw that the church of Christ must have a 'stumbling-block and rock of offense' to the world. I am confident these principles, controlled and guided by the Spirit of God, will purge selfishness from the world, and restore man to the original purity and innocence of the garden of Eden. Their effect on me has been to enlarge my heart, give me clearer ideas of God and truth, and to merge selfish interests in the desire for the fulfillment of Christ's prayer for his disciples, that they 'all may be one.'
JOHN L. SKINNER.
The social theory held by this Association, as explained in Mr. Noyes' Bible Argument, has greatly enlarged my heart and mind; and the views which it pre-
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sents of the relations of the sexes, and of the character and condition of love in the heavenly state, have done much to break up in me the power of the spirit of legality and routine, and to make room for and strengthen the spirit of universal unity with the members of Christ's body - that unity which will be' the fulfillment of his prayer for his followers, 'that they all may be one, even as he and his Father are one.'
HARRIET H. SKINNER.
I think that the present results of our social theory give lively promise of all that is described in the following passage from the article in the Berean, headed Condensation of Life: - "By the unity of life to which Christ calls believers, the good elements of an innumerable multitude of characters will be condensed into one, and the perfection of the compound will be transfused through every individual. It is easy to see that the operation will develope magnificent treasures of righteousness and beauty. The spiritual atmosphere in which individuals will grow and ripen, when the life and love of God and of the millions of the human race shall be concentrated in one glowing sphere, will be as different from that of the present order of things, as summer is from winter, or as the years of Palestine are from those of Greenland. 'The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose..' Education in its highest and most valuable form, will be a natural growth. As plants, which in northern regions require hot-beds and tedious cultivation, under the sun of the tropics grow spontaneously, so intellectual, moral and physical life, under the sunshine of divine and human love, will spring up with a rapidity, and bring forth fruit in an abundance which will put to shame the tillage of all our present schools for mind and body." I think we are realizing the splendid idea of vital society or organic union. I conceive of common society as vapid and lifeless. It is like inorganic matter, while ours is like animate nature, in which there is a heart-spring, circulation, growth and infinite change. I think that community of the affections gives play to all the noble and generous sentiments - brings out all the qualities of charity ; while marriage-exclusiveness covers selfishness and littleness which we should despise in respect to other things. I should withhold honor where honor is due, if I did not say that free love had improved my character very much.
With regard to the social theory. I can say in the spirit of truth and soberness, that I have seen great beauty and celestial purity in it, and I am sure that nothing but omnipotence could create such blissful, soul expanding and mind-elevating realities. That they were created for man's happiness in a state of purity I have no doubt. As we lost that state in Adam, I believe we shall find it in Christ.
LAURA A. ABBOTT.
In regard to industry, it has been delightful to me to see the contrast in my feelings. When I was in the world, I was working for myself, and selfish purposes, and was constantly in the 7th of Romans. I am happy to say that I can perform twice as much work here as I ever did in my own family, without tiring. Instead of selfishness, I have the spirit and love of God to prompt me to labor for him and his people.
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Since my connection with this Association my ambition for activity has greatly increased. The impression constantly sustains me that I am working for those I love as I love myself. To labor for the friends of God has a stimulus in it far exceeding anything I had previously known. The pleasant faces and buoyant spirits I see around me, have contributed to a large extent to remove the fatigue and feeling of drudgery usually attendant upon what is called labor. I find that I can endure more fatigue than formerly.
ABRAM L. BURT.
Since my connection with this body I have felt that I was at work fir the interests of God's kingdom, which has given me an ambition for labor which I never had before. It used to be very repulsive for me to do anything like work; but with the motives I have before me now, I find a total change in my feelings, and am willing to do all that is set before me.
HENRY W. BURNHAM.
The growing effect of Association upon my character in relation to the industrial department, so far as I can judge, has been to overcome a love of ease and a desire of freedom from responsibility, and to establish habits of energy, promptitude and faithfulness, both mental and physical.
SARAH A. BURNHAM.
The effect of Association on me has been to increase the spirit of true industry and activity, and to diminish worldliness and selfishness. I find my individual interests are being swallowed up in the general interests of the body.
SARAH A. BRADLEY.
The experience I have had in Association in regard to labor has effected a very favorable change in my character. Before living in Association I wanted to do every thing alone, and was rather particular about what I did. I now find it much pleasanter to work in large companies, and I can change from one kind of work to another without any trouble. I take more pleasure and interest in work now than when I lived by myself. I used to think if I had stronger motives for laboring I could enter into it with more enthusiasm. The idea that was brought out in one of our meetings, that all we did was undermining the world's selfish system, is sufficient to inspire any one with courage.
JAMES L. BAKER.
Previous to my connection with this Association, I worked for money, but found labor up-hill work - the pain far outweighing the pleasure. I have now an infinitely higher motive to action in doing all that I do for the glory of God, and find work unattended with exhaustion. I love to labor for God and those whom he loves. I believe this motive will inspire a man or woman as no other motive can, with the spirit of industry.
My own experience goes to prove that the motives to industry and activity of mind, as well as body, are a hundred-fold stronger in community life than they are in the world. I may say - by how much truth, heaven, and heaven's love., are greater, purer, and lovelier than selfishness, by so much are community life and motives preferable to isolated habits.
Association has not diminished my habits of industry and economy. My desire is to improve the talent that God has given me for the benefit of his church, and I wish to serve in the way that I can be the most useful.
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ERASTUS H. HAMILTON.
I feel disposed to be as active in business, if not more so, than when I was in the world. Business is now a part of my religion. My heart is in it. A vigor and elasticity of body and mind, a feeling of satisfaction in accomplishing, go with me, in labor which I never felt under the world's system. No matter what engages me: I feel that my calling is honorable. I am thankful that I am in circumstances where body and soul can work together and all things can be done unto the Lord. Objects high and noble as heaven rouse our ambition - the responsibility of our position excites us to industry, while love and attraction sweeten labor and make it sport.
The effect of living in Association has been to make labor easy and pleasant. I am satisfied that the spirit of love and purity existing in this body is beneficial to health, and gives activity to labor. I find it is a powerful stimulus to labor to do it to the Lord and his church instead of self. I think this community a poor place for any one who wishes to indulge in a spirit of laziness.
STEPHEN R. LEONARD.
I have lived in Association for six years, and have found by abundant experience the stimulus to labor to be far greater and much more effectual than in the world. I have been a faithful servant to work in the world, but selfishness and the money-motive were not sufficient to keep me from getting entirely sick of the whole system. From the commencement of my associate life, the influences that make labor attractive and invigorating to soul and to body have been steadily increasing, until now I solemnly aver, that I would rather work hard almost night and day with such associates as surround me, than to return to the worldly system, and work for my 'roast beef and eight dollars per day.'
DANIEL P. NASH.
I have been acquainted with this Association from its beginning, and have seen with interest the effect it has had on individual character. I have frequent. ly heard individuals say, 'I can perform twice as much work since I have lived in Association as I could while living in the world.' I have done more work the past year than in any year since I was 18 years old.
HARRIET A. NOYES.
I was educated in the most systematic method of working which worldly wisdom could invent. Rules, routine and economy, governed my business habits. The effect of living in Association at Putney, was to break tip these habits, and the desire to have my own way. My love of order and economy became subordinate to the love of harmony with others of different tastes and habits. My bouse-work was placed secondary to the publishment of the truth and my own education. As long as I worked from the force of habit, I was distressed ; but when my motive was changed to that of serving God's children, I worked comfortably.. At Oneida my employment has chiefly been sport. I have taken pleasure in conquering difficulties-in doing things which once would have appeared impossible for me.
JOHN H. NOYES.
I am not very well qualified to judge by experience of the comparative merits of the two industrial systems, having never labored under the stimulus of the money-motive in my life. But I am satisfied from all my experience under God's training, and especially from what I have seen and felt during the last year, that perfect community of interests and perfect freedom in respect to labor, are not only compatible with, but essential to the best development of industrial energy and enterprise.
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HIAL M. WATERS
One prominent objection of the world against Association is, that it destroys the motive to labor, by removing the pressure of necessity; but my observation and experience in this body contradicts this assertion. I find that love, confidence and esteem, are a far stronger stimulus than money or necessity. The thought that we are laboring for those who are dear to us, inspires us with new energy, and makes work sport. Public sentiment in the body makes labor honorable: drones cannot live here. I think we present to the world a true system of attractive labor.
As far as my experience goes; I can testify that the industrial system in this, body is calculated to stimulate to greater ambition and love for labor, than the influence of selfishness and necessity. Love is the motive power here which in. cites me to labor, and it is a strong stimulus. I rejoice much that I am in a community where each one delights to do his neighbor good.
JAMES. W. PERKINS.
Since I became a member of this body, I have changed my motives for labor. I can labor for Jesus Christ in undermining the devil's kingdom with considerable zeal. I find the law of love makes it pleasant to me to serve others.
Previous to my joining this Association I was very sensitive about the suffering of the flesh - and found I had more life in it than I was aware of; which I discovered while undergoing a painful disease last summer and fall. I found my attention drawn away from exercising faith in God, and brought into sympathy with my disease to an extent which rendered my spirit weak and powerless. By the help of the Association, and Mr. Noyes' writings, I was enabled to turn my thoughts from my disease to God, and refuse sympathy with the part afflicted. In this way I got a healthy, joyful spirit, which held my flesh in a state of subjection and quietness and enabled me to hold sweet communion with God, while my flesh was suffering severely. I know that my life in the flesh has to a great extent been crucified, and a foundation laid for true health of body.
I have a strong desire for the full redemption of the body, which state I believe will be attained by following the spirit of this Association.
LAURA A. ABBOTT.
I have been for many years afflicted with sick-headache, but since my connection with this Association I have gained the victory over it, and my health has much improved.
HENRY W. BURNHAM.
Previous to my connection with this Association, I labored under a disease of the kidneys which unfitted me for labor, and which physicians' prescriptions had jailed to cure. Within two years this difficulty has been gradually leaving me, so that now I consider myself a well man, physically able, to do any thing; which results I ascribe to the power of life received by communication with this Association.
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ABBY S. BURNHAM.
I have been troubled with sick headache as often as once in two or three weeks ever since my remembrance until since my connection with this Association. Since that union was formed I have gained an important victory over it.
During the last year I have experienced a steady and rapid improvement of health, and strength of body - so that at present I feel, to a large extent, the vigor of my youth. - The change from an enfeebled condition of body, to my present condition, I attribute to the spiritual influences with which I am surrounded.
I think living in Association has been beneficial to my health. From a state of trouble and anxiety of mind, I have been brought to a state of peace; - from a wandering, restless and unsettled state, to a steady state of composure and rest. My bodily health is also much improved.
The effect of Association upon my health has been rather progressive than sudden. Previous to my connection with the Putney Association my health was miserable. As a last resort, before making a confession of Christ, I adopted what was called the ' Graham system,' and for two years walked in all the ordinances of Grahamism blameless. But notwithstanding my strict attention to the subject of eating and drinking, the gospel found me a cadaverous looking object. From that time to the present, I have been gradually overcoming physical weakness. If feelings are allowed to testify in this case, I should say that I am ten years younger than I was nine years ago, when I found salvation from sin. One of the greatest means employed in gaining victories over disease, has been a firm, unwavering faith in Christ as the physician of the body as well as the soul ; and I may add, the next best means is, a steady purpose to attend to whatever the interests of Christ's kingdom demand, without excusing myself on the ground of ill health.
MARY E. CRAGIN.
Since I joined the Oneida Association I have gained in strength and vigor, and found myself able to 'endure hardness.' I find the resurrection power steadily but surely triumphant over the weakness of the flesh. I find the promise verified in my case from time to time, that 'my youth shall be renewed like the eagles', and fully believe the atmosphere of Association to be the best of all safeguards against disease and death.
ERASTUS H. HAMILTON.
Since I joined this Association I am sensible of possessing more vigor, and freedom from former ailments and lassitude. I was formerly subject to asthma, hut since I became identified with the doctrine of Association at Genoa in 1847, have been almost entirely free from it. I am sensible that there is a life amongst us which is steadily driving disease before it.
SUSAN C. HAMILTON.
When I first Joined the Association I was not far from being an invalid. I had a tedious fit of sickness which ended in ague and fever, and left me with an inflammation of the liver which was considered chronic. I almost despaired at times of being delivered from a pain in my side, and general weakness. But now my health is good; the swelling in my side has disappeared, and I sometimes feel as though I had been raised from the dead; and I am satisfied that it is the power of God's life in this Association that has done it.
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ELEAZER L. HATCH.
Since my connection with the Association there has been a very decided improvement in my health. For some years previous I suffered with weak lungs, accompanied with cough and general debility, which made me unfit to labor more than two thirds of the time. I had some hesitation in coming here on that account, but I found an atmosphere here that seemed to infuse new life and vigor into my system, rendering recourse to the 'sovereign balms' I formerly used quite unnecessary. I find that the buoyancy which I feel is not so much owing to the circumstances that surround me as to the spirit and power of God working from the inner man outward.
HANNAH W. HATCH.
Since 1840 I have been afflicted with various diseases, and resorted to medicines, but found nothing which affected a permanent cure. After I became interested in the doctrine of holiness, my mind was turned towards Christ as my physician; but I had not sufficient faith to throw myself upon him as the Savior of the body, until I became acquainted with, and joined this Association. Since that time I have perceived a gradual restoration to health and strength which I have not enjoyed for ten years. I cannot attribute this recovery to any thing but the power of God manifest in this body.
FANNY M. LEONARD.
Since my connection with this Association in July, my health has materially improved. Previous to my coming here my health was poor, but ever since my arrival the healthy spiritual atmosphere with which I am surrounded has had a beneficial effect upon me. I attribute my recovery to the condensation of life in the Association.
JOHN H. NOYES.
The contentions with opposers which attended the beginning of the Association last winter, renewed the throat disease which disabled me some years ago ; and the cares and labors of the spring and summer gradually reduced my general health, till at length in the latter part of the fall I found it necessary to stop preaching and throw off care. No very decided change for the better ensued till the early part of December, when I was blessed for two or three days with a most painful boil in the corner of my mouth, attended with a baptism of hell-fire on my whole body. This interesting season was given tip to meditation on the principles of resurrection-health, to prayer and to fasting, i.e. unavoidable abstinence not only from food, but from all conceivable creature comforts. The result was a strong and effectual reaction of my spirit against the disorders of my body, which impelled me to stir up the whole Association against disease and death, and so brought on a revolution which has restored me to more than my former strength of life and lungs. So I have had a victory at Oneida quite similar to that which I had at Putney in the fall of '46. The enthusiasm and love generated by Association, has thus in my case twice baffled the approaches of consumption; and I expect with more confidence than ever, that these mighty influences will ere long bring forth the life-cholera, before whose march disease shall vanish and death shall die.
HARRIET A. NOYES.
Association has been the means of increasing the vigor of my life wonderfully. It manifests itself to me by endurance of active exercise without fatigue, as well as in repulsing disease. I have been growing young for two or three years, and am looking for death to be swallowed up of life.
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SARAH B. NASH.
Since I came into sympathy with this Association, I have been conscious of a gradual yet constant improvement of my health, which before was very feeble. From my childhood I have been subject to severe attacks of headache, but I have gained the ascendancy over it.
The strongest proof to me that God is at the head of this Association, is an internal evidence - the Spirit of God bearing witness in my spirit, that we are built on the foundation of Christ and the apostles. The fruits of the Association are such as might be expected according to the testimony of all good men; namely, faith. confidence, love and harmony with each other, which cannot be found in any other institution. The success that has attended all our movements in temporal things, and the power which brings all who come among us to acknowledge Christ as their Savior, is proof that God is with us. The improvement of character, the intelligence, honesty and sincerity of the members composing this community, are evidence to me that God would not suffer us to be deceived.
My belief that the power of God is with this community, arises from seeing his goodness in giving them the victory in all their movements, and from the joy and peace I have had since I confessed Christ.
One of the standing evidences that the power of God is here, is seen in the clearness and rationality with which its members perceive truth, going beyond any thing which has appeared since the days of the primitive church. Connected with this, is the truth that the members of this body are spiritual plants which for years past have been enlarging and putting forth leaves, answering to the sayings of Christ concerning his Second Coming, - 'When ye shall see all these things, know that summer is nigh.' We also have a unity of interests in all respects, distributing justice to all alike by the power of love, without any of the rules of law. There is a spirit here which repels disease without the aid of medicine. The old testify that they are growing younger; and the spirit of peace reigns. Our enemies are in many instances converted into friends, by the power which reigns among us.
JAMES L. BAKER.
The evidences of God's power are manifest among us in saving from sin, and perfecting the whole character. I have seen too much of God's power in healing the sick and casting out devils, to doubt that many of the signs spoken of in Mark 16: 17, follow us. The fact too that so many can live together in peace and harmony, with different tastes and habits, is evidence that God is with us.
HENRY W. BURNHAM.
By comparing the spirit and purposes of this body with those of Christ and Paul in the primitive church, as exhibited in the New Testament, it will he seen that they harmonize; - that is to say, the preparatory process of discipline and
60 REPORT OF THE
deep judgment which this body is manifestly passing through, is in perfect keeping with God's method of dealing with his people in Bible times. The experience that has been brought out relative to the health of the body, and the actual, substantial improvement of the whole man, make it certain that God is amongst us, raising from the dead and purifying to himself a peculiar people.
SARAH A. BURNHAM.
I fully believe that God reigns here in the power of his judgment and resurrection. I am conscious of its effects upon my own heart and character. I have also seen changes in others that nothing else could effect. The faithful ness, love and unity manifest here - in short every move that is made - confirm me in the belief that the kingdom of God is being established in this world.
The evidence to my own mind that this Association is God's work, is found in the fact that it is undergoing a process of refinement, through the operation of judgment and crucifixion of the old man, and a resurrection of the new. Another evidence, and a very manifest one, may be found in the harmony and correspondence between the whole tenor of scripture, bearing on the prophecies and promises of the final establishment of the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the principles and deeds upon which this Association is founded. The great central idea of the Bible, and that which overtops all others, is the unity of the church of Christ. The promise is, 'that in the fullness of times,' 'there will be a gathering together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him.' This scripture, together with many parallel passages, harmonize perfectly with the leading features of this Association. The aspirations for unity with the primitive church - the ambition for improvement, and the miraculous transformation of character, in answer to the desires and prayers of the body, are facts that go to show very conclusively that all things on earth and in heaven are being gathered into one.
MARY E. CRAGIN.
I find internal evidence that the power of God is present here, from feeling its positive effects on my body and spirit. Many times I discover that God has used me to do his will, without my being aware of it at the time, taking possession of my desires and tastes and will, and bending them to his purposes. I see also the same results brought about in the Association generally - the same power producing subordination, zeal for improvement, an appreciation of the value of criticism, and a desire to do the will of God, which offers the flesh to death. I see private tastes in all things submitting themselves to the general interests - and selfishness giving place to love. The fact that unbelievers who come among us from time to time, find an influence which they cannot resist, is a strong proof to me that God is here. And last, though not least, the happy faces which I see all around me, bespeak the presence of the Spirit of God.
SARAH A. BRADLEY.
The fact that no evil or selfish spirit can enter here without being detected, proves to me that God is here. I have been astonished sometimes to see the power of God bring to light the hidden things of my heart. Natural defects of the most stubborn kind have been overcome, and I find myself in another world. What but the power of God could break such iron wills and subdue such unsanctified natures?
The evidences I have of the power of God in this Association, are satisfactory to myself beyond a doubt. When I became convinced that God had com-
ONEIDA ASSOCIATION. 61
menced his kingdom on earth, I felt that all I had belonged to him. to assist in establishing it. The providences of God in favoring the movements I made in joining this Association, were numerous, as well as the strength I had given me from God to endure hardships and the fires of persecution that came upon me. Since I came here, the conversion of my children, and the criticism I have received on my own character, are evidences of God's power in this body.
JULIA S. DUNN.
When I came here I was an infidel ; and I feel that nothing but the power of God in this Association could have brought me to a confession of Christ.
LEONARD F. DUNN.
The question as to God's presence in this Association was settled in my mind before joining it, by the evidence I saw of the attachment of the members to each other - the good luck that attended the efforts of the Association, and the happiness of its members. Since joining I have had no reason to change my mind, only that I have partaken in some degree, of the attachment, good luck and happiness of the Association, by giving up all into the hands of God. The nearer I get to God, the nearer I find myself to this body; which is a convincing proof to me 'that we are that happy people whose God is the Lord.'
ERASTUS H. HAMILTON.
A community school under the care of God, would produce the following fruits, namely: - 'love joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness,' &c. That these fruits are being produced, and abound among us, is evident to me from my own experience and observation, and from abundant testimony relative to each other, and personal testimony such as was given in answer to the last question. We have had visitors from time to time who have testified without exception (unbelievers as well as believers) that we were a peaceful, harmonious, happy, family.
Righteousness rules here. This is an unmistakable fact, with every member. It seems to me that to the reflecting, intelligent mind, seeing and believing that such is our condition, is the best possible proof that we are indeed a people whose God is the Lord. The universal testimony of the world is, that man is a selfish being, and that the idea of living in community, is a perfect humbug. The whole history of the world coincides with this position. That we are an example right in the face of all this, can only be ascribed to the omnipotent power of God.
CHARLES L. HAMILTON.
I am satisfied that this Association is under the guidance of God, because none but God's people can live together in such peace and happiness. I know that I was not happy until I confessed Christ and became one with this body. And I know that selfish and worldly persons could not come here and mingle with this Association, any more than we can mix oil and water together.
LOIS F. KNOWLES.
There are many evidences manifest to my mind that God is with us. The following are some of them. 1st. The power that is daily manifested among us in subduing self-will and bringing it into subjection to the power of truth. 'Is not my word as a fire, saith the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?' 2d. The power of love that is being developed among us. 'God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him.' 3d. The rapid change of character that is going on among us, in translating us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. Old things are passing away, and all things are becoming new. 4th. The change that has taken place in my own character, I am well persuaded that nothing less than omnipotent power could effect.
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Tbere are many evidences to me of the power of God in this Association. Some of them are these - that selfishness cannot live here ; that inspiration and good luck mark all our movements; that 'charity which suffereth long and is kind, envieth not,' &c., is manifested here. Another evidence is, that the commandments of God are not grievous to us, especially the one which requires us to 'love one another.'
STEPHEN R. LEONARD.
My reasons in brief for believing that we are that happy people whose God is the Lord, are- 1st, The gospel we have received comes to us through one who has manifestly (to me) approved himself as a minister of God according to Paul's standard in 2 Cor. 6: 4-10, viz: ' In much patience, in afflictions,' &c. 2d. I think it is evident that our Association, as a body, is characterized by the same traits described above. 3d. It Is plain to see that the difference between 'the works of the flesh' and the' fruits of the spirit,' as specified in the 5th chapter of Galatians, is just the distinction between our Association and the unbelieving world around us. According to this standard we contrast with the world in the following particulars:- 'Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these - adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-~suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.' 4th. Christ's test of discipleship will apply to this ~ Association, but not to the world, or to the religious sects about us:- ' Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, ye have love one to another.' 5th. The whole policy of our Association from its commencement - at swords points as it has been with the policy of the world on every question that has arisen - evinces by its success the presence of wisdom and power that can be attributed to God only. 6th. The confessions, of the Association as the representative of the kingdom of God on earth, and of its leader as a minister of Christ, would, if they were, not true, be blasphemy of the most damnable kind, fitted to insure the speedy judgment of heaven upon us. But instead of this, even unbelief is led to query whether God may not be with us, and to exclain- 'Can a man [or an Association] that is a sinner do these things?'
FANNY M. LEONARD.
It is very evident to me that God has been with us ever since the Association was first formed in Putney. The evidence I have had from time to time in my own experience for several years, and in the experience of others, has oftentimes served to convince me that we were the people of God, and that the, eyes of the Lord were over us. The fruits of the Spirit are manifest among us. The harmony and oneness of spirit that prevail in this body, together with the judgment of character that is going on continually, is also conclusive evidence to me that God is with us.
SEYMOUR W. NASH
My first ground (and that upon which all others are based) for believing this to be a school under the care of God, is the testimony of God's Spirit within my own heart. The next ground is the universal diffusion and manifestation of pure unselfish love and unity through the body. Another is the uniform and marked manifestation of God's care over this body in managing its external matters generally.
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OTIS H. MILLER.
The evidence of God's presence and power in this Association, I think can be easily shown to all who have a single eye to the truth. No people have ever lived together before, for any great length of time, in entire community of interests, without law. The association of the Shakers is little more than joint stock of property and labor. They lock up the passions, and trust themselves to be governed not by grace, but by walls, and rigid rules. Whereas here, the passions are unlocked, and reliance is placed on the Spirit of God and truth, to tame and civilize them. The success that we have met with is a proof to me that we are governed and led by inspiration. In my own case, I have found that selfishness and the manifold evils which the world engenders, have been brought to light. - I find I have now a more loving and peaceful heart, and am ready to do the will of God in all things; which I attribute to the power of God in this Association.
HARRIET A. NOYES.
I see evidences almost every day of the power of God working in this body. One is the spirit of judgment which is bringing to light the defects in the characters of all. The strength and wisdom by which these defects are overcome, I believe to be superhuman also. The order and harmony of this work of transforming character - the bearing one's experience has on another, the ability to admonish one another, and the subordination of one to another which is leavening the body, are proofs of God's power. The unity existing among us, I consider the work of God. And then the strength of life to overcome disease, which manifested here, I think is from God.
SARAH B. NASH.
are many reasons to my mind for believing that the kingdom of God is set up here. Health and character are renewed - stubborn wills are broken - haughty looks are brought low, and confessions of Christ are made daily. These facts, together with the love and unity which I have felt with this body, all tend to satisfy me that God is setting up his kingdom here. Nothing short of his power could keep so many hearts together.
The evidences I think are numerous, that the power of God rules in this Association. Love seems to be the prevailing element. In my own case, I feel nothing but the Spirit of God, which is manifest here, could have wrought so effectually on my mind in turning me from the darkness which reigned with-in, to see the light which gives great joy and peace. There is that here which is like a two.edged sword; and it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I can hear witness to the power of God in this Association, manifested in healing us from sickness, and in bringing hidden things to light. I have been conscious of a refining process going-on in my spirit ever since I became acquainted with this body.
JAMES. W. PERKINS.
In looking over the history of the world, its past and present condition, I should say that the world is ripe for Association. There have been a great many attempts made to form or organize society anew, which have nearly all failed. I believe that this Association will stand and prosper, because I believe it is the work of God, and that it is the stone spoken of by Daniel, which is destined to fill the whole earth; for I discern a spirit here that prizes the truth and light more than any thing else.
64 REPORT OF THE
JOHN L. SKINNER
My principal reasons for believing that this Association is under the special care and guidance of God, are these : 1st. All evidence I have (and it is very weighty and convincing) in favor of the visible head of this Association, J. H. Noyes, as the one chosen of God to develope in this age the primitive gospel of holiness, and to bring in the 'dispensation of the fullness of times,' is so much evidence that the Association, as it has been gathered chiefly by his influence, is under God's special care. 2d. All the proofs I have had that the Putney Association was gathered and guided by God, are so many proofs that this Association is also under his care and guidance; since this Association includes that of Putney, or in other words, the Putney Association is here re-established and enlarged. 3d. The spiritual power which has been manifest in the Association, both here and at Putney, producing great, beneficial changes of character, subjecting the will to truth, overcoming selfishness, &c., is convincing proof to me that God is with us, and reigning over us. I may here include the effects produced on my own character, and the consciousness I have that God has led me, and that he has established his reign in my heart. 4th. The manifest providential leadings and interpositions of God, in bringing this Association together from various parts, and in overcoming the obstacles and difficulties that stood in the way of our progress, are strong proofs of God's care over us. 5th. My confidence in the uprightness of heart, the mental intelligence and love of truth, which characterize the members of this body - a confidence founded on personal acquaintance - greatly strengthens my persuasion that they are not following a delusion, but that they are in truth, what they profess to be, the people of God, and that lie therefore rules and guides them.
HARRIET H. SKINNER.
When I look abroad for evidence that this is a manifestation of the kingdom of God, I see plain enough, as we have heard it said, that God has been at work this 1800 years, grading the road and laying the rails for just such a locomotive as he is building here - the world is all ready for just such a religion, just such a social theory, and just such external arrangements as we are carrying out.
Within the Association, the impossible combinations or paradoxes which exist here, always strike me as evidence ofa superhuman power at the center, and that power omnipotent, wise and holy. First, the combination of purity with license; of good behavior with liberty. We have modesty without shame - order without rule-business character without worldliness. Second, the comb nation of love with faithful criticism. Third, the combination of spirituality with the pleasures of the senses, or religion and amusements. We have going at the same time, the most cruel mortification of the flesh, and the highest cultivation of all our natural instincts and tastes. For instance - cutting off the hair is the repulsive ceremonial by which a nun seals her renunciation of the world; but we mix it in with what the world would consider a life of free pleasure.
In my own heart I know that the God of the Bible is here. The same Spirit is here that inspired Paul and James and John to write their epistles. Their writings continually witness to the living word which is searching the thoughts and intents of my heart.
HENRY J. SEYMOUR
One great evidence to me that God is our teacher and lawgiver and guide, is an instinct similar to that which perceives warmth, strength and happiness by communion with some power separate from itself. If God is not with us, why do our hearts burn within us when our thoughts and desires are directed towards
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him? Another evidence that God in an especial manner superintends this Association, is to be found in the peculiar system of education which is to be found here. That system of education which the world adopts is defective, inasmuch as it cultivates one part of our nature at the expense of the other. The fact that our system provides for every department of our nature, is proof to me that God is its founder.
My belief that God's peculiar care is over this Association is very strong, and is founded on the evidence which I have that the fruits of the Spirit are being brought forth here. 'A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit.'
HIAL M. WATERS.
I joined this Association with the belief that it was the will of God that his children should combine their efforts for the establishment of a better state of things, that his blessing would follow; and I can say that I have not been disappointed. Universal success has attended our efforts. God has seemed to direct us in a peculiar manner. We have not had to strain our credulity in order to believe that superior wisdom is directing us. But the great reason that presents itself to my mind, is, that we bear fruit in accordance with the requisition of the Bible. I see evidence that we are fulfilling the prayer of Christ, that we all may be one.
I find abundant proof that God is the author of this Assointion, in the evidence I have that all who are under its influence are governed by love. All are willing to be taught; and we have promise that the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land.
In looking at my past experience, and at the history of this Association from the commencement of its operations in Putney, I see many evidences of God's care and protection over them. One evidence that they are the people of God, is their reverence for God's word. He has promised to dwell with them who believe his word. Another evidence is - that no man or body of men could have preached or written, and practically carried out their principles, as this Association has done, unless they were in communication with the power of God.
As to the evidence that the kingdom of God has come, and is with us, I think much may be found in the daily experience of the members of this Association. The power to overcome sickness, to conquer bad habits and evils both in mind and body, and the spirit of judgment to bring out and destroy evil - together with the confidence and harmony that prevails In every heart, are sufficient evidence to me that God is with us.
JANE A. KINSLEY.
There are many evidences to my mind that the power of God reigns in this Association. The rapid improvement in the character of its members, the love and union that prevails, and the witness of the Spirit in my own heart, are sufficient to keep me from ever doubting this truth.
JOHN H. NOYES.
I know that the same God who quickened my spirit and opened my understanding in 1831 and 1834, is still with me, and is with this Association. If I am asked how I know that God to be the true God ? I answer, it is certainly the God of the Bible ; for it has led me constantly and above all things to prize and
66 REPORT OF THE ONEIDA ASSOCIATION
search the Bible. It is certainly the God of righteousness; for it has constrained me to seek for myself and proclaim world perfectness. It is certainly the God of all power; for it has given me a succession of victories over all principalities and powers. It is certainly the God of all consolation, love, and joy; for these have abounded to me from the beginning, and abound more and more in this Association. My heart and mind ask for the God of the Bible - the God of all righteousness, power, consolation, and joy, is the true God. I have seen the glorious works of this God in the affairs of this Association more distinctly than in all my past course. His manifest providences have encompassed us and buoyed us up in the midst of a raging ocean of enmities and uncertainties. His power over heart and character has been manifested in unsearchable abundance. The testimonies which have been given in concerning the physical and spiritual improvement of the me~nbers, constitute a huge pile of proof that God i's with us. He is manifestly leading us rapidly and victoriously irto a position at war with the kingdoms of this world, and at the same time, those kingdoms are being dashed in pieces. I believe therefore that this Association is the germ of the kingdom of God; - and as the past foretells the future, I expect without wavering, the steady, irresistible advances of this Association to the conquest of the world.