Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes, Founder of the Oneida Community

Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes, Founder of the Oneida Community

Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes, Founder of the Oneida Community

Religious Experience of John Humphrey Noyes, Founder of the Oneida Community

Excerpt

In the center of New York State lies a region, rich in Indian names and legends, where to the south extends a succession of deep wooded valleys closed in the distance by the foothills of the Allegheny Plateau, and to the north the broad basin of Oneida Lake bordered on its farther side by the blue rim of the Adirondacks. Here in the latter part of the nineteenth century was the scene of a remarkable sociological experiment, the Oneida Community.

The Oneida Community was a product of the great religious revival which swept over America in the years 1830-1834. Its founder, John Humphrey Noyes, and nearly all of his original associates were converts of that revival. After beating against the confines of Calvinistic piety for several years, the religious impulse of these earnest people burst forth at last in an attempt to attain salvation from sin in this world. The experience of the "Perfectionists," as they were called, gradually brought them to the conviction that salvation from sin, though possible under the conditions of ordinary society, must have for its full objective development a reconstructed society. They, therefore, in 1838 formed the nucleus of a Community at Putney, Vermont.

The purpose of this book is to recount the per-

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