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KERS

femuriausiais mhol is tot slordn bwiory po ni * tii11 ឧស់ ន ម រ ប : 111{}! qu moj ste zum ERA Vogna nga!

orgt derlig929 190 katero bas zoor autod di boot | #9vOM H 1 swot altii sis now :

ENFIELD, is a small villages entirely inhabited by that extraordinary sect denominated "Shakers.!!! On entering it. I was immediately struck with the remarkable neatness of the houses, farms, and fences; and the first impression was therefore very much in favour of the sect. The Shakers, like the Harmonites, are great manufacturers, and supply the neighbourhood with a quantity of necessary articles at a cheap rate. They apply ma chinery to every purpose that can be imagined, and carry this to such a length, as even to churn butter by the assistance of the wind. This however is a very simple and effectual way, and is worthy of being adopted more extensively; for a very light breeze is sufficient to put in motion the small sails attached to the churn.

The sect of Shakers was founded about the year 1768, by Ann Lee, the wife of an English blacksmith. She pretended to be inspired; called herself “ Anne the Word;” and instituted a new mode of worship, “ praising the Lord by dancing.” Being prosecuted for riotous conduct, she and her followers were thrown into prison ; a treatment which caused their emigration. They came to America in 1774, and settled in the State of New Hamp

shire. Anne afterwards removed to the State of New York, where she began to prophecy, declaring that she was the second Christ, and that those who followed her should have their sins forgiven. Although she declaimed against all sexual intercourse whatsoever, which she held up as a mortal sin, yet she gained numerous proselytes, who have since made various settlements in different parts of the United States.

The principal persons in the sect, are the elders, father confessors, and saints. They enjoin confessions, penances, absolutions, &c. The members are frequently honoured by the miraculous interpositions of the Deity. Indeed they affirm that they do every thing by “ a gift," that is, by an immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit. An account of the application of this very rational doctrine is thus given in the North American Review. "A youth of one of the Shaker settlements, of a cheerful happy spirit, was once asked, whether he had his liberty, and could do as he pleased. Certainly, said the youth (repeating, doubtless, what all are taught to believe); we do whatsoever we have a gift to' On being asked therefore, what he would do, if he wanted on a fine winter's morning to go down and skate on Enfield Pond, he replied, I should tell the Elder, that I had a gift to go down and skate. Being further asked, whether the Elder would permit him, he answered, certainly, unless he had a gift that I should not go.' : But if you still told the Elder that "you had a gift tờ go down and skate, and go you must ? Why, then the Elder would tell me that I had a lying gift, and that he had a gift to beat me, if I did not go about my work immediately.'"* “ The Shakers maintain, thắt they are the only true church; that all the rest of mankind will be damned ; and that by " the Second Dispensation," that is, by the appearance of Anne Lee, the Old Testament and the gospels, which were before necessary, are now useless. They have in consequence a bible of their own, called “ Christ's Second Appearance';” a work which persons who are not of their sect would consider as a curious proof of the madness of superstition.

Every one, whether man or woman, who may join the society, must give up all worldly possessions to what they call the Church. In obedience to this religious duty, husbands leave their wives and famifies destitute, and occasion the greatest possible distress. Several States therefore have passed a law, obliging a man who may join the Shakers, to make some provision for his family. . ..i "ri

Like all sects that pretend to the community of goods, the rule of equality is not strictly adhered to." On the contrary, the Elders, and chief men

* North American Review, Jan. 1823, Art. Shaker. This article, though in my opinion much too favourable to the Shakers, is well worth perusal.

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or women, are much better off than the rest, live in better houses, and have better fare. 5 di buano

As persons in the full possession of their faculties are little disposed to embraće visionary idoc** trines, it may at first be a matter of surprise to the

reader, how this continent sect is enabled to keep up its numbers, and even to be rather on the increase. But the Shakers will receive childrenl of any age, preferring those who are very youngpand poor people, who have large families, are induced to send one or more children to the Shakers, knowing that they will be well clothed and fed gratis, and moreover taught some useful trade. Só far the society is a good one; but these children are only just taught to read and write, are not allowed to read any book but the Shaker Bible, are made to look upon the Elders as demi-gods, and are constantly impressed with the charitable belief that the world's people ?". (thus they designate all who are not Shakers) will inevitably got to everlasting punishment. They have indeed very little intercourse with the world's people ;" for alli business. is transacted by the Elders. "POTOM has more

Those who know what influence superstition has upon the youthful mind, and how great an effort it requires, in those even who frequent the best society, to get rid of the prejudices in which they have been educated, may easily conceive what an influence this system, backed by the most profound ignorance, exerts upon the young proselytes.co So istrong in

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deed is its that few ever leave the sect who have joined it as children, and though nature will someistimes assert her rights, and brother Ebenezer run

off with sister Susan,, yet as soon as enjoyment has - somewhat abated their desires, and when that fatal

period the Honey Moon is about to terminate, the - Esinners will almost always return; and having conin fessed their sins, and undergone penance, are again tus received into the society, sê hours .. by all I could easilyenlarge on the subject of Shakerism,

and could mention some of the horribly disgusting

and indecent scenes, said to be practised in private 9 kby: the members of this sect; but not to offend is modesty, I refer all those who may be curious to u know more about them, to a work lately published w in New Hampshire, entitled " A Portraiture of v Shakerism,” by Mary M. Dyer.. trilu This woman's husband joined the Shakers, and

i obliged her to do the same, by, making over all his guisubstance: to his new brethren. She afterwards t's quitted the society, having suffered great cruelty

and insult from them; and as she is now their

enemy, and moreover a Baptist, her own statements er must be looked upon with a sceptical eye. I grant Ji moreover that her book is ill written ; but this does

anot destroy the authenticity of the numerous affi1199 davits, made before magistrates, at different places w andriat different times, both by persons who have 9 been themselves Shakers, and by others. These si affidavits contain statements of depravity, folly,

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