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For there are certain men crept in unawares ,; . . . ungodly men, 
turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. — Judt. 

Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves 
into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel : for Satan himself is 
transformed int<3 an aneel of light.— Paw?. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, 

By Hubbakd Eastman, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Vermont. 





Many judicious persons were decidedly of the opin- 
ion that the welfare of community required the publi- 
cation of a work like the one here presented. It was 
thought that the public ought to be put in possession of 
facts, sufficient to enable them to form a correct judg- 
ment, in relation to the moral character of the Society 
which has lately arisen under the auspices of Mr. John 
H. Noyes. It was also deemed important that the 
pernicious principles, propagated by Mr. Noyes and his 
coadjutors, should be exhibited in such a manner that 
their immoral tendency and ultimate ruinous results 
might be clearly seen. 

Moreover, several professional gentlemen of high 
standing — who were familiar with the principal facts 
elicited by some startling disclosures made at Putney, 
Vt., in the autumn of 1847 — were consulted in refer- 
ence to the propriety of publishing the present work ; 
and they were unanimously of the opinion that the cir- 


cumstances not only justified, but loudly called for suck 
a publication. 

Furthermore, a prospectus was issued, briefly stating 
the design of the work, and about three hundred copies 
were readily subscribed for in the town where the Soci- 
ety under the immediate supernsion of Mr. Noyes was 
located, and which, for several years, was the head- 
quarters of the sect, self-styled Perfectionists. Many 
subscribers were also obtained in adjacent towns, and 
in other places at considerable distance — thus affording 
unmistakable indications of public sentiment relative to 
the propriety of the present undertaking. 

The writer, for a few years past, having been a resi- 
dent of the village where the Community under the 
immediate control of Mr, Noyes had its location, and 
also having had access to the published documents of the 
Perfectionists, has thus been favored with many facili- 
ties for acquiring a knowledge, not only of the doctrines 
of the sect, but of the character and pohcy of the Soci- 
ety in Piitney — their head-quarters, until recently. 
The work, however, owing mainly to the mass of material 
and the peculiar character of the subject, has been one of 
much labor and many difficulties. To prepare, select, 
and arrange such matter as would be suitable for the 
public eye, adapted to the design of the work, and prof- 
itable to the reader, must necessarily be an arduous 


task. How far tlie object in view lias been success- 
fully accomplished, is left for the reader to decide. 

The following pages contain matters, not merely of 
local or sectional interest, but bring to view some im- 
portant facts and principles in which all classes of com- 
mvmity have a common interest. Disclosures have 
been made, clearly exhibiting the practical tendency of 
the pernicious principles held and promulgated by the 
Perfectionists. An account of recent developments— 
so far as deemed advisable— has been given ; and one 
of the most iniquitous systems ever devised and propa- 
gated under the name and garb of Christianity, is 
brought to view—- exhibiting a deeply laid scheme of 
personal aggrandizement— a scheme designed to sever 
the ties of consanguinity — sunder the social relations — 
subvert the present order of society— sap the founda- 
tions of civil government— and erect upon the ruins of 
republican institutions and the relics of morality, a 
petty Monarchy, with a head as dogmatical and merci- 
less as the Papal Throne, and the whole throughout as 
corrupt and shameless as the " mother of harlots 
AND abominations" — thus exalting an ambitious indi- 
vidual who aspires to be sole dictator of all under his di- 
rection and control ; and who has assumed that he and 
his adherents, in their present " advanced position/^ are 
exempt from all " K^ritten law^^' both human and divine ! 


Matters connected with recent disclosures, have, to 
some extent, been legally investigated, and the results 
of that investigation are given — also all events worthy 
of note connected with the history of the sect, so far as 
known, have been recorded. 

Owing doubtless to the nature of the facts which 
have gone out from the head-quarters of the sect — ac- 
companied it is presumed by some exaggerated state- 
ments and false rumors — some persons entertain slight 
fears as to the moral influence of an exposure. But 
it is probable that this impression prevails only to a 
Hmited extent ; and arose doubtless from a misappre- 
hension of the design and character of the work. Facts 
sufficient to exhibit the most prominent features of the 
sect, must necessarily be given ; but this has been done 
in language the least objectionable. Although it was 
necessary to speak of vice with some degree of free- 
dom, under the peculiar aspect which, in the present 
instance, it has assumed ; yet it has been the design 
throughout to do it in the most proper manner ; and at 
the same time the most correct moral sentiments have 
been strictly inculcated and strongly enforced. An 
extended detail of disgusting scenes has not been given ; 
neither a repetition of much odious language used by 
Mr. Noyes. This was uncalled for, and deemed highly 
improper. One prominent object in preparing the 

Pimi'ACfi. vii 

present work has been to place upon record such mat- 
ters as the times imperiously demand. Were tins not 
done at the present juncture many facts might be for- 
gotten, and at some future period this hideous monster 
of iniquity — which still exists — might rise up, with 
renewed vigor, when the facts necessary to counteract 
its deadly influence could not be rescued from oblivion. 
It does not enter into the design of the present work 
to discuss the subject of joerfection as presented in the 
Bible. Every pers©n conversant with die Scriptures 
is familiar with the fact that the terms perfect and per- 
fection are employed to designate a state or standard 
of moral attainments, especially imder the Gospel Dis- 
pensation, which men are exhorted to strive to attain. 
As to the height or definite point to which we may 
arrive in the present life, there is some difference of 
opinion among evangelical denominations. In regard to 
this question sincere Christians may honestly entertain 
different views without being derogatory to their Chris- 
tian character. Touching this matter it does not come 
within the province of this work to give even an opinion ; 
but to exhibit the hind of perfection taught by Mr. Koyes 
and his followers. Bible perfection and Noyesism are 
as diverse as light and darkness. The one is the high- 
est state of moral purity at which man is capable of 
arriving ; the other is the worst of spiritual maladies 


with which man's moral nature was ever infected. 
Bible perfection is moral purity^' — the perfection of 
l^ojes and his followers is perfection in sin ! 

The issue of the work has been delayed beyond the 
time originally intended. This was rendered necessary 
in consequence of the impracticability of obtaining at 
an earlier date some important facts and documents 
deemed very essential. The delay, however, will doubt- 
less add to the permanent value of the work. The 
subject has lost none of its importance ; meanwhile, 
matters of considerable interest have been in a course 
of gradual development, and it is beheved that the addi- 
tional information obtained will amply compensate for 
the necessary delay. 

* Having been prepared to meet the present exigen- 
cies, this unpretending volume is now commended to 
the favor, and submitted to the candid consideration of 
the pubhc, with an earnest desire that it may be instru- 
mental of good. Should it contribute something toward 
effectually correcting the existing evil — which it is de- 
signed to expose— and thereby subserve, to some extent, 
the cause of truth and correct morals, the end of its 
publication will be answered. 

Putney^ May^ 1849, 


Introduction, .,.»... 13 


Preliminary Remarks— Birth, Parentage, and Early His- 
tory of John H. Noyes, ..... 25 

Origin of Modern Perfectionism— Brief Sketch of its 

Early History, . , . . . , . 30 

Legal Proceedings, ...... 85 

Legal Proceedings Continued, . . , .89 


Confessions of John H. Noyes, ..... 46 

Action of the Citizens of Putney — Proceedings of Public 

Meetings, 51 

Citizens of Putney falsely charged with having adopted 
harsh measures for the extirpation of the Perfection- 
ists—Gratuitous plea of Repentance set up for the 

Leading Perfectionists, Q8 

Reproaches cast upon the Citizens of Putney-^ Cry of 

Persecution raised by the Noyesites, . . .74 




Noyesism at Putney, 79 


Principles taught by Noyes, 85 

The Battle Axe Letter and its History, . . . 91 

Principles on which the doctrines of the Battle Axe , 

Letter are based, . . . . « . 102 

Ultimate results of the sentiments of the Battle Axe 

Letter, 117 

Extracts of letters addressed to Mr. Noyes—Noyes's letter 

to Miss Harriet A. Holton, . . . . 12? 

Koyesite Community at Oneida — Rule in the Putney 

Community — State of things in New York, . 137 

Extracts from Correspondence — Visit of Mr. Lowell to 

the Oneida Community, 147 

Noyes searching for Stolen Goods, . . . . 154 

Affidavit of Alexander Wilder — Expulsion of Mr. John 
B. Lyvere and Miss Almira Edson, 

Bible Secretiveness, 

Pretensions of Perfectionists to Miraculous Power, 

Pretended Miracles of Noyes — Case of Mrs. Harriet A. 

Hall, 185 



Pretended Miracles of Noyes continued— Case of Mrs, 

Harriet A. Hall continued, . . . . 198 

Pretended Miracles of Noyes continued — Case of Miss 

Mary A. Knight, 210 

Pretended Miracles of Noyes continued — Sundry Cases, 238 

Prominent trait in the character of Noyes — His Censori- 
ousness — Intolerant Spirit of Noyesism — False state- 
ments of Noyes — Martyr-Spirit of ancient Chris- 
tianity, . . . . , . . . 243 

Article from the Advocate -of Moral Reform — Remarks 

of Rev. Joseph Tracy and Rev. "S. B. Yarrington, 259 

Remarks of O. H. Piatt, Esq., ..... 271 

Putney Perfectionism, . . . . . . 1>84 

Assumed and acknowledged Supremacy of Neycs— His 
female co-workers at Putney — Remarks of Mrs. S. 
T.Martyn, ..,..,. ^88 

Latitudinarlanism — Effects of Licentiousness, . . 298 

Doctrines of the Perfectionists — Perfectionist Creed — 

Theses of the Second Reformation, . . . 30& 
Noyes's Views of Deity — Image of God — View of Noyes 

concerning Angels, 324 

Abolition of Death, 341 




Noyesite Theory of Disease, . . . . . S57 

©istinguishing and Leading Doctrines of Noyesisnij . 36^ 

Origin of Evil — Human Depravity — Holiness of Adam — 
Judgment — Resurrection — Sabbath — Temperance 
Amusements — Fellowship, . . . . . 38^ 


Concluding Observations, . . . . . . Z9T 

Appenpix, . , . . o , . . 43Z 


Ii? «verj age and among all nations impostors and 
fanatics have existed — ruinous errors and pernicious 
heresies have prevailed — and delusions dark and deep 
have exerted a mde-spread and destructive influence. 
But the present appears to be an unusually prolific 
period, distinguished for the multiplicity of erroneous 
systems and idle theories, which are starting into exis- 
tence in rapid succession on every hand ; and which, 
after continuing for a time, will undoubtedly share the 
fate of many which have gone before — ^be exploded and 
pass away, or remodelled and merged in other systems 
of kindred character, between the essential elements of 
which there is a close affinity. 

But a few years have elapsed since a singular sect, 
claiming a religious character of the highest grade, 
arose in New England, called Perfectionists. This 
sect — which has advanced some. very novel sentiments 
—has attracted but little attention until very recently. 
Its adherents, however, have been actively engaged^ 
during the brief period of its existence, in propagatmg 
their pecuhar tenets ; and the leaders, especially, have 
been industriously disseminating the most pernicious 
principles. Almost from the very outset, there have 
been occasional demonstrations in different places 
among small societies of Perfectionists, which clearly 
indicated the corrupting influence and immoral ten^ 


dency of their distinctive doctrines ; but of late there 
has been such a disgusting exhibition of their legitimate 
fruits among the leading Perfectionists at head-quarters 
as to shock the moral sense of the community, demand 
some legal action, and call for a public exposure of the 
enormities of this sect. 

Perhaps, as a general rule, the best method to over- 
throw error is to present its opposite — plain, simple, 
unvarnished truth. But when new and erroneous sys- 
tems, and especially such as are peculiarly iniquitous, 
are first being promulgated and urged upon public 
attention, a presentation of such facts as may have 
come to light, tending to exhibit their true character, 
and an investigation of their fundamental principles, are 
sometimes, if not always, demanded. This the public 
good imperiously requires. 

Recent disclosures of a startling character have eli- 
cited some astounding facts, which, together with senti- 
ments heretofore pubhshed by the Perfectionists, place 
this sect, but more especially the leaders and most 
prominent members, before the public in a very unfa- 
, vorable — yea, in a most contemptible — light ; and they 
now occupy a no very enviable position. The veil, 
which had been spread, and had long hung, over this 
hydra-headed monster of iniquity, has at length been 
removed, and the principal actors in the scene behind 
the curtain are now exposed to public view. And 
especially the leader, Mr. John H. Noyes, stands out 
very prominently. 

It is well known, at least, to some extent, that Mr. 


N. was arrested in the fall of 1847, for some very high 
crimes — that he was placed under heavy bonds — that 
he absconded soon after his arrest — that the Grand 
Jury for Windham County found a Bill against him — 
and that he did not appear at Court when his case came 
on for trial, and his bonds were forfeited; Now, these 
circumstances are sufficient to fasten the conviction 
upon every mind that Mr. N. is guilty of the charges 
alleged against him ; but in addition to this, they're is 
abundant proof in relation to this matter, and not a 
shadow of doubt remains as to his guilt. 

Prior to his arrest, Mr. N. and his coadjutors had 
put in motion a somewhat complicated machinery, which 
required some ingenuity to invent, and considerable 
time and labor to construct and bring to completion. 
This engine, the product of so much labor and skill, 
was designed to operate against all existing organizar 
tions, both of Church and State. 

Many of the views advanced by Mr. Noyes are so 
peculiar to himself, and the doctrines taught so diverse 
from evangelical truth, and the system in all its funda- 
mental principles and practical tendencies so evidently 
anti-Christian, that we think it should hereafter be 
known by the more appropriate name of Noyesism, in 
preference to Perfectionism. But for the sake of con- 
venience these terms are used as synonymous in the 
present work. 

Noyesism is evidently near akin to, if not the worst 
form and must dangerous species of, the Come-outism of 
the present age. That it is treasonable in its designs 



there is not a shadow of doubt — this its advocates ac- 
knowledge and assert. It aims a deadly blow at the 
foundations of the civil and social fabric, and is as det- 
limental to the moral interests of a community where 
its influence is felt, as the pestiferous Sirocco is to the 
health of the person who inhales its baneful, breath — 
and it is as fatal to the moral principles of those who 
are brought fully under its power, as the deadly 
Simoom is to the hapless wanderer who may chance to 
fall in its way. 

Such being the character and tendency of Noyesism, 
arguments for its refutation may seem almost superflu- 
ous. Indeed, so numerous are the discrepancies in the 
writings of Mr. N. and his co-laborers, and such palpa- 
ble absurdities appear in almost every part of the sys- 
tem, that it carries to every considerate mind its own 
refutation. The contagion contains, to some extent, its 
own antidote. 

That the character of the sect, and the tendency of 
the entire system of doctrines which they advocate and 
to which they pertinaciously adhere, are what they are 
here represented to be, is abundantly sustained by a 
multitude of well authenticated facts ; and when 
divested of the false glosses which its principal advo- 
cates have thrown around it, the whole system is so 
utterly revolting that it can gain no credit in an intelli- 
gent and virtuous community ; — it needs only to be j 
known, to be discarded. 

Hence it has evidently been the settled policy of the 
prime mover in this matter to keep, at least to some 


extent, its true chai-acter and direct tendency conceal- 
ed from public view ; and although much was inferable 
from the language used at different times, yet such 
confused explanations of terms and phrases were often 
given, and so many artful disguises thrown around it, 
that the mind of the reader would be darkened, and 
the whole subject mystified, except to those who had 
been initiated into the secrets of the system. More- 
«Dver, when facts discreditable to the characters of the 
leaders w^ere in danger of being disclosed, eveiy possi- 
ble efibrt was made for their suppression. 

It is deeply to be regretted that this enormous sys- 
tem of error and iniquity ever had an existence, and 
rendered an exposure necessary ; but it must be a 
matter of heartfelt rejoicing to every lover of truth and 
good morals, that facts have beea so far divulged as to 
undeceive the public in relation to the character of the 
sect, and the .tendency of their . distinctive doctrines. 
And even now., rather than exMbit the guilt of those 
•concerned, it would be more agreeable — were it com- 
patible with the public good, and in keeping with cor- 
rect principles — to throw the mantle of charity, or the 
pall of obhvion, over the whole matter, and let it for- 
ever rest in undisturbed repose. But this can never 
be consistently done ; — then if it cannot be buried in 
oblivion, nor covered with the broad mantle of Chris- 
tian charity, it should be held up to public view with 
^11 its '• imperfections upon its head," and its most 
glaring features exposed to the ga.^e of an outraged 
and justly indignant community. 


The subject, we are aware, l3 naturally uninviting 
and even quite repulsive ; but, however irksome or 
unpleasant the task imposed, exposure is necessary in 
order to afford timely warning to the unwary, and 
cruard against further encroachments of one of the 
most fatal delusions vfhich ever had an existence — not 
unaptly t-ermed a mushroom growth of all' modern 
fanaticisms. How exceedingly strange that men will 
plunge into those follies which make them the derisioii 
of their race ! But " tlie more egregious a foolery, the 
more greedily do men sivalloiv it dmtm, and the more 
anxioud are th-ey to he gulled with still 7nofe rnorisfroni> 

Had the principal advocates of this system renou.a- 
ced their errors, and abandoned their vicious course of 
conduct, the necessity of exposure would have been 
gt-eatly diminished, if not entirely obviated. But tliiir 
is not the case. Tliey have renounced none of their 
principles — they have abandoned none of their practi- 
ces ; but on the contrary are laboring, and evidently ] 
intend to labor with renewed zeal and redoubled i 
energy for the dissemination of their heretical and' dtn: 
gerous doctrines : and they will continue to exist ai^ i 
exert a fatal infiuence where^'er their touch is fell, 
unless some eountera^cting inffucnces are brought ^: 
bear against them.* Information of what has tra; ^ 

*Aft€r leaving Putney, Mr.Noyes located at a place called Oae,! • 
Keserve, in Central New York, and is now building up a Coramu: : 
there on the sanme principles of tag ons fji-si?rly under hh sapci . y*- 
JOQ a; Putney 


pired at Putney should be communicated to ail parts 
where the contagion has spread. But says one — " Let 
it alone and it will die of itself — let it take its natural 
course and it will work its own cure." This is just the 
doctrine the leaders would like to have preached — 
such a course would essentially subserve the interests 
of their own cause. The history of the past clearly 
exhibits the incorrectness of such sentiments. If appli- 
cable in one case they would be in all, and if univer- 
sally appKed it would be a death blow to every moral 
enterprise of the age. Moral evil finding in the unre- 
generate h%art a congenial soil, if not timely eradi- 
cated, shoots up with the rapidity and l^Lixuriance of a 
noxious plant. 

Aside from occasional references to this sect by a 
few public JQjirnals, it has passed almost entirely unno- 
ticed. The movement has generally been regarded as 
a mere chimera of a distempered brain, and looked 
u}X)n as an insignificant and harmless affair, utterly 
unworthy of notice. A public attack, it was thought, 
would give it a notoriety and importance to which it 
was not entitled. Thus it was permitted secretly to 
diffuse its poison through society, until it began to 
assmTie a tlu-eatening aspect, and call loudly for expo- 

But the peculiar character of the subject renders it 
extremely embarrassing. To give publicity in a proper 
manner to a sufficient number of facts, and exhibit the 
peculiar doctrines of the sect in such a manner as to 
give the public a correct idea of itg characterj and tbs 


tendency of the whole system, and at the same time 
Bot outrage the moral sense and offend the correct taste 
of an intelligent and virtuous community, is a difficult 
work. Moreover, objections are sometimes made to 
any disclosures or efibrts for the suppression of the sin 
of licentiousness. It is true, there are extremes to be 
avoided on either hand. Indiscriminate disclosures 
and injudicious efforts on the one hand, and profound 
silence and a heartless apathy on the other, are equally 
to be deprecated. The proper position is a medium 
point equi-distant from these two extremes. 

Noyesism, in all its essential elements, tends to 
immorality, and has resulted in systematized licentious- 
ness I This is the sum and end of the system ! But 
what renders it doubly dangerous is the fact that it 
originated with, and is sustained by, a few persons of 
considerable talent ; but delusions are not confined to 
the ignorant, and vice in its most revolting forms often 
appears among persons of acknowledged talent. The 
odious sin of licentiousness, in whatever form it makes 
it sappearance, is debasing in its character,' and ever 
ruinous in its results. That it exists throughout the 
land, and prevails to an alarming extent in our princi- 
pal cities, we are compelled to believe ; and this state of 
things caUs for combined and energetic efforts for its 
suppression. In view of its bearing upon this subject, 
we think it proper here to notice briefly some recent 
action in one of our principal cities. A large number 
of clergymen belonging to different religious denomina- 
tiona in Boston, being alarmed for the morals of the 


citj, in consequence of the increase of licentiousness, 
held, in the winter of 1848, a series of meetings for 
consultation, and for the purpose of directing attention 
to this subject. The various Protestant denominations 
of the city were represented, and more than seventy 
clergymen were present at different periods in the 
course of the proceedings. At one of the meetings a 
resolution was adopted, appointing a committee to pre- 
pare an Address to the citizens of Boston, which was 
to be confined " to the consideration of the opinion 
entertained hy many persons, that licentiousness is a 
subject of such a nature as not to admit of any direct 
notice ; an opinion which, so far as it prevails, must 
prevent afiy action that would be effectual in restrain- 
ing the increase of this sin,^^ 

The committee appointed reported an Address to an 
adjourned meeting, which, after, being amended, was 
adopted, and, by a special committee appointed for 
that purpose, presented to the citizens of Boston 
through the public prints. That Address contains 
some sentiments so truthful and well-timed, touching 
matters under consideration, that we shall make no 
apology for quoting a few paragraphs. In reference 
to licentiousness, the Address speaks thus :— 

" It is the impression of many thoughtful and excel- 
lent persons, that this is a vice so peculiar in its char- 
acter, and so surrounded by hazardous associations, 
that nothing can be said about it, without the probabil- 
ity of doing more harm than good. They fear to speak 
of it, even to look at it, much more to encourage any 


effort for its suppression, lest the evil should be aggra^ 
vated, rather than diminished. We do not wonder a^ 
this apprehension, or at the silence and inaction which 
it produces. But we entreat our friends to review 
their judgment under the hght of this single considerar 
tion, that, if nothing be done, or said, or attempted, 
the evil must go on increasing, multiplying its means 
of ■ destruction, and augmenting the number of its 

" This is not a vice that declines by being. ' let 
alone.' It thrives under concealment. It spreads its 
snares, and destroys its prey, with the advantage which 
it gains from bemg left to pursue its plans unreproved 
and unobserved. — It seems to us clear, therefore, that 
disregard of its existence is unwise and wrong. To do 
nothing, to attempt nothing, to say it is so (difficult or 
so delicate a subject that we cannot even speak of it 
without aggravating the evil, is to yield to a despair, 
as unjustifiable on principles of reason and experience, 
as it is unworthy of those who have faith in Christ and 
his religion. We know that harm has come from inju- 
dicious action and inconsiderate speech. We know 
that the subject is environed with difficulties. But we 
also beheve, that the difficulties which lie in the way of 
abating any moral nuisance, and the mistakes which 
have been made by others, should only quicken our 
endeavors to discover and apply the proper means for 

its suppression All history and observation, the 

tendencies of human nature, and the facts of universal 
experience, contradict the supposition, that this vice, 
having its origin in an abuse of our nature which many 
of the habits of modern civilization tend rather to 
encourage than to check, will cease from the land 
through its own want of ability to perpetuate itself. 
Unhappily, this, more than most vices, is independent 


of social circumstances. It is found among the poor 
and among the rich, the coarse and the refined, in the 

country and in the city There is no alternative, 

as we conceive, but direct effort for the suppression of 
this vice, or its unchecked continuance and probable 
increase. We say probable, but vre might more justly 
speak of its certain increase. .... We are pursuaded, 
that the reluctan^je which so many feel, to have any 
connection with it even in thought, keeps them in igno- 
rance of much that ought to be known. And worse 
still, it prevents that contemplation of the real charac- 
ter of the evil, which could not but awaken an anxious 
desire to be instrumental in its removal. If a proper 
sense were 'entertained of the enormity of the vice ; if 
its mournful and fatal consequences were rightly appre- 
hended ; if the wise and good would allow themselves 
to think about it long enough to see vfhat it is, and 
what it produces — we cannot believe they would rest 
m that inactivity which now leaves the mischief to its 
own natural power of diffusion." 

Emanating from so high a source, the foregoing sen- 
timents are entitled to serious consideration. They 
are so candid and weighty that they can hardly fail to 
<jarry conviction to every unprejudiced mind, of the 
propriety and importance of judicious action in relation 
to this subject. A strong reason for directing special 
-attention to tliis matter at this time, is found in the 
fa-<;t that licentiousness as an integral part of Noyesism 
has come up in a new form — has assumed an aspect 
before unknown. Hitherto this vice has shunned the 
public gaze, and been content to Hve and thrive in its 
own secret haunts. All have been ready to admit its 
heinousness, not excepting its votaries and victims. 


But Mr. Nojes has undertaken to transform this enor- 
mous YiGe into an exemplary virtue, and make it ulti- 
mately stalk unblushingly abroad at noon-day ! And 
with this unholy mantle dra\Yn around him, Mr. N. ha& 
impiously thrust liimself forward into the front rank of 
the " sacramental host," professing to be conducting 
the tribes of the true Israel on to glorious achievements 
^nd ultimate triumph ; when in fact he appears to be 
leading on to certain defeat the very van of Abaddon's 
inglorious army ! 



Preliminary Remarks — Birth, Parentage, and Early 
History of John H. Nbyes, 

Error assumes almost eyery conceivable aspect, and 
presents itself to public view in various forms. It is 
often arrayed in a gorgeous attire, and brings to its aid 
the most plausible arguments. But however pleasing 
or imposing in aspect— however ably advocated or art- 
fully adorned, error is ever delusive and dangerous, 
misleading and tending to ruin those who embrace it, 
and are brought under its fatal influence. Its victims, 
however, are often unconscious of danger, even when 
sudden destruction awaits them ; and its advocates not 
unfrequently labor with quenchless zeal and tireless 
assiduity for its dissemination. 

Error, in all its diversified forais, is ever dangerous 
and destructive, but never more so than when it 
assumes an apparently sanctimonious garb, and is so 
interwoven with truth, that to trace it through all its 
devious and intricate windings, and detect and expose 
it, would be an arduous work*— an almost hopeless task. 


But happily our Savior has given us a plain, simple . 
Tule by wliich all difficult and doubtful cases may be 
readily decided. He said, in reference to the false 
teachers of primitive times — " By their fruits ye 
SHALL KNOW THEM." This rule is not only applicable 
to all teachers of like character in every age, but it 
contains a principle by which all false systems of reli- 
gion may be tested. The nature of doctrines may be 
known by their legitimate fruits. Practical consequen- 
ces ever stand as a fair commentary upon principles — 
the character of which may be as definitely determined 
hj their results, as the nature of the tree is known by 
its fruit. The ruinous results of erroneous doctrines 
should be faithfully exhibited, that their true nature 
may be kno^\ii, and their certain tendency clearly seen 
— that thus a sufficient number of beacon-lights may be 
set up along the dangerous coast of error to afford a 
timely w^arning to the inexperienced voyager upon the 
ocean of life, lest his bark be suddenly wrecked upon 
the hidden rocks below. 

Without a knowledge of facts, the innocent and 
unsuspecting would often be unapprized of the dangers 
to which they stand exposed — and, lured by a syren 
song, they might be unconsciously drawn a^ide from 
the path of rectitude, and fall victims to a fatal delusion. 
For the purpose of exhibiting the nature, tendency and 
practical results of Noyesism, we proceed to give a 
concise history of the rise, progress and present position 
of the sect of Perfectionists — and shall exhibit and 
briefly notice some of their most prominent doctrines. 


John H. Noyes claims to have been the founder of 
this seci>— which claim it is preetimed no one will feel 
disposed to contest, for such honors are not to he 

To gratify, to some extent, a natural curiosity, exist- 
ing in the public mind, in regard to persons who have 
published nevf doctrines and founded new sects, we 
shall briefly refer to the parentage and early history of 
the founder of modern Perfectionism. 

John H. Noyes was born at West Brattleboro, Yt., 
Sept. 3, 1811, and was the eldest son of John and 
Polly Noyes. 

Hon. John Noyes, the father of John H., was a man 
of respectable talents, had a liberal education, and in 
early life proposed to enter the Christian ministry, but 
subsequently abandoned the idea, and devoted himself 
to mercantile pursuits, in which for many years he was 
extensively engaged. Being successful in business, he 
accumulated considerable property ; and subsequently 
acquired some political distinction — ^being a Represent- 
ative in Congress in 1816, from the Southern Congres- 
sional District of Vermont. He became a resident of 
Putney about the year 1823, where he afterward lived, 
— and died in 1841. At his decease the lawful heirs 
to his estate — consisting of three sons and three daugh- 
ters — inherited each a handsome patrimony. 

Thus it appears that the founder of the sect of Per- 
fectionists had a respectable, and even somewhat hon- 
orable parentage. But in a country like this, where 
every person •mu.ot rely upon his own merits and 


resources if he would rise to eminence, or be exten- 
sively useful, the question of pedigree can never be one 
of very great importance in a moral point of light. 
Ancestral titles and artificial distinctions can never 
screen the guilty, and make vice honorable — ^neither 
will a want of them detract from true merit, and render 
virtue valueless. 

We are not apprized of any thing remarkable in the 
early history of Mr. Noyes : we shall, therefore, pass 
over the scene of his boyhood as affording little worthy 
of note, simply adding an item of information, which he 
has given of himself: — " Much of my youth was spent, 
in reading history, romance and poetry, of a martial 
character, such as the Life of Napoleon, The Crusa- 
ders, Marmion, &c." 

Mr. N. graduated at Dartmouth College in 1830, 
being then nineteen years of age. Soon after leaving 
college, he commenced the study of the law. After 
having studied law about one year, or, in August, 
1831, his attention — as he says, in ^ving an account 
of himself — w^as directed to rehgious sulgects, and he 
soon after made a profession of religion, at a protracted 
meeting held in Putney, Vt., and became .a member of 
the Congregational church in that town. Soon after 
uniting mth the church in Putney, Mr. N. determined 
on entering the ministry, and commenced his studies 
preparatory to engaging in that work. ' In about four 
weeks from the time of his professed conversion, he 
entered the Theological Seminary at Andover, Mass., 
where he remained one year, and then went to New 


Haven, Ct., and entered the Theological Seminary con- 
nected with Yale College, in the fall of 1832, In 
August, 1833, he was licensed to preach, "by the New 
Haven Association. After receiving license, he labored 
for six weeks as pastor of a small church in North 
Salem, N. Y, In February, 1834, he came out a 
Perfectionist, so called. 

Soon after this took place, the Association from 
which Mr. N. received license to preach, withdrew that 
license ; and subsequently, he was excommunicated 
from the Congregational church in Putney — of which 
he had been a member — for heresy and breach of cov- 
enant, on the ground of the following " specifications of 
charges," which, together with several others of a more 
local character, were fully sustained : — 

"1. That he has taught that the ordinances, Bap- 
tism and the Lord's Supper, are done away. 

"2. He has spoken of social and public prayer in 
terms of condemnation, as being hypocritical. 

"3. He has inculcated the sentiment that the Sab- 
bath is abolished, and that the whole moral law, as 
summarily contained in the ten commandments, is abro- 



Origin of 3Iodern Perfectianmn—Bnef Sketch of its 
Early History, 

In February, 1834, as we have seen, Mr. Nojes 
became a Perfectionist— he being then a student in the 
theological department of Yale College. For many 
months prior to this period, Mr. N. had been approxi- 
matmg toward this point. He had become connected 
with a " little band of re\dvahsts " in New Havea, 
which was called the " Free Church," and labored wifcii 
them in some new measure movements. For some 
time Rev. James Boyle, a revivahst of that day, wa^^ 
pastor of the Free Church. During the excitement: 
under the labors of Boyle in the winter of 18og~4, 
Noyes hoisted his colors. In the following spring Boyle 
became a Perfectionist. Noyes and Boyle, being asso- 
ciated, soon commenced the pubhcation of a paper. 
This was the genn, and here wa« laid the foundation, 
of the sect of Perfectionists, which, in a few short years, 
has fully developed its tme character. This was the 
origin of the new ism, and from New Haven went forth 
the moral contagion, which has since been diffusing; its 
poison through society.* 

^ may be proper here to remark that No yes and 
Boyle did not long labor in unlson^ — they soon separa- 

*A gentleman residing in Central New York has given a brief 
sketch of the origin Q.f a sort of Perfectionism, m that State, which 
carr:»3 us back b^yoa^ %H HJOYement by Noyeg at New llmm. It 


k-d, and Boyle subsequently renamiced lii^ Perfection- 
ism. Boyle, though an early, was not the first corner t 
of Noyes. Abigail Merwin, a member of the Free 
Church, was the first to embrace Perfectionism after 
Noyes. She made rapid proficiency, and rendered 
efficient service to Mr. N., but soon left him. Mr. N. 
afterward in the " visions of his head " had a \iew of 
her, and says : — 

*' I saw her, standing, as it were, on the pirmacle of 
ohe Universe, in the glory of an angel ; but a voice 

appears that one Hiram Sheldon raised up a small society in Central 
ISiew York, about the year 183") or 1834. I'he gentleman just alluded 
to thus speaks of him : — 

"During his life-time his Influence was great in Central New York, 
and lie used it to develop and sustain order. He is now dead. His 
followers scarcely retain a separate identity, except a few ■ New 
Lights ' in the vicinity of his place of residence." 

The same writer continues : — 

'-' The lumen of Eastern New York Perfectionism is referred to 
JoHK B. EooTE, a tiieological student in Kirk's School, at Albany. 
Modest and timid to excess, the revival spirit soon impelled him witli 
its deep-toned enthusiasm. Around him gathered the most devoted 
of the class. Mr. K. tried to quell the storm, but failed. The refrac- 
tory students became the preachers of the new faith. To their labors 
most of the Perfectionism in Mass. and westward owes its existence. 

'■• Chauncey E. Dutton had breathed tlie afflatus. In 1S33 be left 
Albany and entered the theological department at New Haven. Ct. 
Here he infused the new enthusiasm into John H. Noyes, a young 
man from Putney, Vt., v/ith whom he had become familiar. Thus 
began the logos of New Haven Perfectionism." 

Whatever influence the move in New York might have iiad at New 
Haven, it is evident that Noyes has advanced views so peculiar to 
himself, and so diverse from all that had gone before, that he may 
properly be said to be the founder of modern Pesfectioiijism in its pres- 
ent pecuH.^.r aspect. 


fi-om which I could not turn away, pronounced her 
tijle — ' Satan transformed into an angel of light. ^ I 
_gave her up, and cast her from me as one accursed." 

Many of the members of the Free Church embraced 
Perfectionism and left the Church, but afterward 
seceded from Noyes and returned. 

Noyes, having lost most of his influence at New 
Haven, left, and spent considerable time in travelling 
in different parts of the country. During his peregrin- 
ations he made a few converts to his faith ; but at 
length he gave his " wanderings o'er," and returned 
and seated himself at Putney in 1838, where he 
resumed the publication of a paper called " The Wit- 
ness," which had been suspended about a year previ- 
ous, in consequence of the odium brought down upon 
him by the publication of the Battle-Axe Letter, which 
we shall hereafter notice. 

A minute detail of events which have from time to 
time transpired among small societies of Perfectionists 
in different parts of the country — possessing as they do 
more of local than of general interest — would not be 
very entertaining to the reader, and would swell this 
little volume beyond its intended limits. Therefore we 
shall pass over many things as unworthy of note. Suf- 
fice it to say, that enough transpired long since to 
clearly indicate the course of the current among Per- 
fectionists, and point with unerring accuracy to ultimate 
results. One writer who has been acquainted with 
their movements from the very commencement, and is 
familiar with their whole history, says : — 


'' It has been the standing reproach of Perfectionists, 
that their views of the peculiar binding nature of the 
Decalogue, were such that the grossest hcentiousness 
might be indulged, and then would be in strict accord- 
ance with their theology. And, in fact, their views 
have been so carried out. We omit the late rumors, 
which appear to be well founded, of the abominable 
lewdness of Noyes and his immediate disciples.* From 
the outset of New Haven Perfectionism, there have 
been a succession of individuals, receivers of that pecul- 
iar type of Perfectionist doctrine, who have been guilty 
of overt acts of immorality. .... But what makes this 
look more abhorrent, is that those involved, asserted the 
favorite tenet that they were '' bom of God," " not 
under law, but under gTace," and led, as all Perfec- 
tionists profess to be, by the Spirit of the Lord in all 
these matters ! It being a sentiment of the sect, that 
all w^ho believed (setting charity so far aside as to sel- 
dom speak even its name, it being all faith) became 
so perfectly free from sin, as to be no more able to com- 
mit any transgression of moral law : all the vv^rath, 
malice, evil speaking, harsh denunciations, and other 
evils in which they indidged, were stamped with the 
seal of the Almighty — all was inspired by God ! I 
have known Perfectionists in the highest excitement of 
rage, assert that it was a holy anger, vfell pleasing to 

Passing by other places and matters of minor conse- 
•'luence, we shall direct the attention of the reader more 
paTticularly to Putney. Here, at an early period, Mr. 
I^. planted his standard — here he unfurled his banner 
— here his press teemed with his heresies' — here was a 

*This language was penned soon after the disclosures at Putney, 
in 1847. 



socictj liiider his immediate eye and supervision — 4iere 
was the head quarters of the whole sect — here Perfec- 
tionism was disconnected from all other doctrines — and 
here was a fair criterion by which to judge. What 
Nojesism has been in Putney it will be elsewhere — 
for the streams will partake of the natiu-e of the fown- 
tain whence they flow. 



Legal Proceedings. 

Persons familiar with the doctrines taught by Mr, 
JS'^oyes, would naturally expect that, sooner or later, 
there would be an outbreak — an exhibition of their 
practical results ; for the legitimate fruits of those doc- 
trines would, in due time, naturally make their appear- 
ance among those who adhered to them. What wa^ 
expected, has come to pass. Almost from the very 
commencement of the promulgation of those doctrines 
there have been occasional demonstrations ; and- — 
according to Mr. N.'s own acknowledgments — 'frequent 
violations of moral and statute law, among small socie- 
ties of Perfectionists in difterent parts of the country. 
But Mr. N. denied at the time that such immoralities 
were the proper fruits of his doctrines, and attributed 
tliem to an admixture of what he was pleased to tenn 
spurious doctrines, with his own, in such societies. But 
]io pointed to Putney, Vt., as the place where Perfec- 
tionism was pure^ — unmixed with other doctrines — and 
asserted that he was willing it should be judged b}- its 
moral fruits there. But it was soon found that Mr. N. 
and the society under his supervision at Putney were 
(|uite as d.eeply involved in guilt as others had been— 
showing conclusively that the conduct of other societies 
elsewhere was in perfect keeping with his principles. 
['; is true, he denounced such conduct after it wa^ made 
public, but he thereby cither wished to expiv-^s.!! bis dis- 


approbation of the course pursued by some of the pre- 
cocious members of such societies, because they had 
commenced carr3dng out his doctrines before consulting 
him — thus committing an act of insubordination against 
the acknowledged head — or he secretly favored such 
conduct, and openly denounced it when made public, 
merely for the purpose of blinding the eyes of the peo- 
ple. The latter is the more probable, for he taught 
his followers at Putney that such conduct 'wa8 right 
among them ! 

But facts of a startling character at length came to 
light, in relation to the conduct of Mr. Noyes, and the 
civil authorities deemed it their duty to institute a legal 
process against him ; and he Avas accordingly arrested, 
Oct. 25, 1847, charged with adultery and fornication. 
He waived an examination before a Justice of the 
Peace, and came forward and gave bonds for his 
appearance at the County Court. If innocent of the 
charges alleged against him, why did Mr. N. waive an 
examination ? He could not have feared false witnesses, 
for the witnesses were from among his own people. If 
innocent, an examination would have resulted in an 
honorable acquittal. But he well knew that an inves- 
tigation would bring out facts highly discreditable to 
his moral character ; hence he waived an examination, 
and remarked, as we leam, that the people of Putney 
should not have sport that day at his expense. 

But let us glance at the course pursued by the Per- 
fectionists in relation to the examination of the case of 
Mr. N. before the Grand Jury. When it was ascer- 


tained that a subpoena was about being issued for the 
purpose of summoning the witnesses, there was quite a 
stir and scattering among the Noyesites at Putney. 
Several important witnesses hastily left the State, 
before the officer could serve the subpoena upon them, 
and they remained away till after Court. Why all 
this ? If those persons knew nothing against the moral 
character of their leader, why abscond ? The reader 
can draw his own inferences. 

Let us look a little farther. The Grand Jury before 
w^hom the case was examined found a bill against Mr. 
Noyes for adultery and fornication. The witnesses in 
the case were all Noyesites except one or two who were 
formerly followers of him, but, faltering by the way, 
had lost their fellowship with him. Now it cannot be 
supposed that Mr. N.'s own disciples w^ould testify 
falsely against hun ; — they were very reluctant to tes- 
tify at all, and acknowledged no more than they w^ere 
obliged to ; and undoubtedly they told the truth as far 
as they went, but whether they told the whole truth, It 
is not for us to say — they know in relation to that.* 

Now the fact that a panel of eighteen Grand Jurors, 
without one dissenting voice, found a bill against Mr. 

* It may be proper here to remark that the testimony taken before 
the Grand Jury is of such a character, that, as a whole, it would be 
improper to publish it. It brings to view language so obscene, and 
conduct so base on the part of Mr. Noyes, that it would be unfit for 
the public eye. Moreover, the end may not be yet, in relation to legal 
proceedings ; and there would, in that case, be an impropriety in pub- 
lishing even detached portions of the testimony before all such mat- 
ters were fully matured. 


Noyes, and that too upon the testimony of his own fol- 
lowers, speaks volumes, and makes the case exceed- 
ingly clear. 

But again : — At the session of the County Court for 
Windham County, held m September, 1848, the case 
of Mr. N. came on for trial ; but he did not appear, 
and his bonds were of course forfeited. Now it is 
always to be presumed that an accused person who 
IwJds Jiimself ready for a legal investigation before a 
proper tribmial, is mnocent mitil he is proved guilty. 
^wX: fleeing from a legal investigation is always deemed 
prima facie evidence of gniilt. This case at the com- 
mencement, in regard to Mr. N.'s character, was quite 
dark, but it grew darker and darker at every succes- 
sive step of the legal proceedings ; and the manner in 
whiich those proceedmgs were closed up, leaves not a 
shadow of doubt in tlie public mind as to the guilt of 
Mr. N. 



Legal Proeeedings Continued. 

We give a certified copy of the Record in the office 
of the Clerk of the Court for Windham County, in the 
case of Mr. Noyes, It contains the indictment against 
Mr. N., together with all other legal proceedings which 
were matters of record : 



Pleas and Actions heard and tried by 
the County Court, begun and held at Newfane, within 
and for the County of Windham, on the fourth Tues- 
day — being the twenty-sixth day — of September, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 

P R E S E N T , 

Hon. Daniel Kellogg, Chief Judge. 

Hon. James H. Phelps and \ . . ^ , r r 
Hon. Thomas Miller, \ Asm,toM. fudges. 

The S tate of Ve^rmont, ] It appears to the Court here, 
vs. ^ that at a Court of inquiry and 

John H. Xoycii. J examination, held at Putney, 
in the said County of Windham, on the 25th day of 
October, A. D. 1847, before Royall Tyler, a Justice 
<jf the Peace within and for said County, John H. 
Noyes, of said Putney, was brought upon a Complaint, 
exhibited to Jonathan Cutler, Esquire, a Justice of the 
Peace ' in and for said County, by Thomas V/hite, 
Grand Juror of said Putney, who, on his oath of office, 
complained, and gave said Justice to understand and 
be informed, that John H. Noyes, of said Putney, he 


the said Jolni H. Noyes, of said Putney, on or about the 
first day of August, A. D. 1847, at said Putney, he the 
said John H. Noyes then and there being a married 
man, with force and arms did carnally know one Fanny 
M. Leonard, she the said Eanny M. Leonard then and 
there being a married woman, and the wife of one Ste- 
phen R. Leonard, and with her the said Fanny M. 
Leonard did commit adulterj^, contrary to the form, 
force and effect of the statute in such case made and 
pro^dded, and against the peace and dignity of the 
State. — And the said Thomas White, Grand Juror as 
aforesaid, upon his oath of office further complained, 
that the said John H. Noyes, on or about the first day 
of September, now last past, at Putney, aforesaid, he 
the said John H. Noyes, then and there being a mar- 
ried man, with force and arms did carnally know one 
Achsah Campbell, a single woman, and with her the 
said Achsah Campbell did commit adulterous formica- 
tion, contrary to the form, force and effect of the stat- 
ute in such case made and provided, and against the 
peace and dignity of the State. 

Thomas White, G-rand Juror. 

Oct. 25, 1847. 

And the said Grand Juror names as witnesses in 
support of the above Complaint, Daniel J. Hall, Har- 
riet A. Hall, Eunice Baker, James L. Baker, and 
Clifford Clark. Thomas White, Grand Juror. 

The mthin Complaint was exhibited to me this 25th 
day of October, A. D. 1847, and process then issued. 
Jonathan Cutler, Justice of the Peace. 

State of Vermont, \ To any Sheriff or Constable in 

Windham^.. \ the State, Greeting. 

The foregoing Complaint having been exhibited to 

me, this day, by the authority of the State of Vermont, 

you are hereby commanded t-o apprehend the body of 


tho said John H. Nojes, and him have forthwith before 
the subscribing authority, or some other Justice of the 
said County, at the inn of J. Black, in said Putney, 
that he may answer to the foregoing comphiint, and be 
further dealt with according to law. 

Given under my hand, at said Putnev, this 25th day 
of October, A. D. 1847. 

Jonathan Cutler, Justice of the Peace. 

And you are hereby commanded to summon the 

above named Daniel J. Hall, Harriet A. Hall, Eunice 

Baker, James L. Baker, Clifford Clark, and Ellen A. 

Baker, to appear at the time and place of examination. 

Jonathan Cutler, Justice of the Peace. 

Windham ] Putney, Oct. 25, 1847. 

County ^, \ Then by virtue of the within precept, 
I arrested the body of the within named John H. 
Noyes, and now have him here in Court. 

Attest, Charles Chapin, D. Sheriff, 

Windham \ Putney, Oct. 25, 1847. 

County, \ Then summoned the within named 
witnesses by reading the within precept in their hear- 
ing. Attest, Charles Chapin, D. Sheriff,. 
State of Vermont, ] Be it remembered, that at a 

Windham,.... ss. j Court of Inquiry, holden at Put- 
ney, in the County of Windham, on the 25th day of 
October, A. D. 1847, before Boyall Tyler, a Justice of 
the Peace within and for said County, John H. Noyes, 
of said Putney, was brought upon a complaint exhibited 
to Jonathan Cutler, Esquire, a Justice of the Peace in 
and for said County, by Thomas White, Grand Juror 
for said town of Putney, who complains that John H, 
Noyes, of said Putney, on or about the first day of 
August, A. B. 1847, at said Putney, he the said John 
H. Noyes then and there being a married man, with 
force and arms did carnally know one Fanny M. Leon- 


ard, she the said Fanny M. Leonard then and there 
being a married woman and the wife of one Stephen R. 
Leonard, and with her the said Fanny M. Leonard dil 
commit adultery— contrary to the form of the statute 
in such case made and provided, and against the peace 
and dignity of the State. 

And the said Thomas White, (xrand Juror as afore- 
said, further complains that the said John H. Noyes, 
on or about the first day of September now last past, at 
Putney aforesaid, he the said John H. Noyes then and 
there being a married man, with force and arms did 
carnaliy know one xlchsah Campbell, a single woman, 
and with her the said Achsah Campbell did commit 
adulterous fornication — contrary to the form of the 
statute in such case made and provided, and against 
the peace and dignity of the State. And the said 
John H. Noyes, being present, waives an examination, 
and submits himself to the order of the Court in the 

Whereupon, the said Royall Tyler, Justice of the 
Peace as aforesaid, doth order and direct that the said 
John H. Noyes be held for trial before the County 
Court next to be holden at Newfane, ^\ithin and for 
said County of Windham, on the fourth Tuesday of 
April next, by giving bonds, by way of recognizance, 
with sufficient security, in the sum of I' wo Thousand 
Dollars, to the Treasurer of the State of Vermont, con- 
ditional for his the said John H. Noyes' s personal 
appearance before said Court, to answer to the things 
which shall then and there be objected ' to him on this 
behalf, and abide the judgment of said Court thereon. 
A true copy of Record. 
Attest, RoYALL Tyler, Justice of the Peace, 

State of Vermont, ( Be it remembered, that at Put- 
Windhamy...S8. \ ney, in the County of Windham 


' lesaid, on the 25tli day of October, A. D. 1847, 
tonally appeared before me, Royall Tyler, Justice 
rhe Peace in and for sejd County, John H. Noyes, 
said Putney, as principal, and John R. Miller, of 
•^aid Putney, as surety, and jointly and severally 
' ' nowledged themselves indebted to the Treasurer of 
State -of Vermont in the sum of Two Thousand 
liars, to be levied of their, and each of their goods, 
attels, lands and tenements, and for want thereof, of 
tiieir bodies, if default be made in the condition follow- 
ing, that is to say : — The condition of this recognizance 
is, that if the said John H. Noyes, charged before me 
with the crimes of adultery and fornication, shall make 
his personal appearance before the County Court next 
to be holden at Newfane, in and for the County of 
Windham, on the 4th Tuesday of April, A. D. 1848, 
and answer to the matters and things which shall then 
and there be objected to him in that behalf, and shall 
abide the order of said Court thereon, and not depart 
without leave of Court — then this recognizance to be 
void, otherwise offeree. 

Taken and acknowledged this 25th day of October, 
A. D. 1847. 

Before me, Roy all Tyler, Justice of the Peace. 

I hereby certity the foregoing to be true copies of 
Records and Files, remaining in my office. 

RoYALL Tyler, Justice of the Peace. 

As by the Files and Copies of the said Royall. Tyler, 
Justice of the Peace, here on file, more fully and at 
large appear. 

And the cause was entered in this Court, at a term 
thereof begun and held at Newfane, in said County, 
on the fourth Tuesday, being the 25th day, of April, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
forty eight. 


And the said John H. Noyes stands indicted by the 
Grand Jurors within and for the body of the County of 
Windham, at said April term of said Court, which 
indictment is in the words following, to wit : — 

STATE OF VERMONT, ) Be it remembered, that at 
Windham County ^ \ the County Court begun 
and holden at Newfane, within and for the County of 
Wmdham, on the fourth Tuesday of April, in the year 
eighteen hundred and forty^eight, the Grand Jurors 
within and for the body of the County of Windham 
aforesaid, now here in Court, duly empanelled and 
sworn upon their oaths, present : — That John H. Noyes, 
late of Putney, in the County of Windham aforesaid, 
on the tenth day of June, in the year eighteen hundred 
and forty-seven, at Putney aforesaid, in the County of 
Windham aforesaid, he the said John H. Noyes then 
and there being a married man, with force and arms 
did carnally know one Fanny M. Leonard, she the said 
Fanny M. Leonard then and there being a married 
woman, the wife of one Stephen R. Leonard, and with 
her did commit adultery — contrary to the form, force 
and effect of the statute in such case made and provi- 
ded, and against the peace and dignity of the State. 

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths 
aforesaid, do further present : — That the said John H. 
Noyes, on the twentieth day of August, in the year 
eighteen hundred and forty-seven, at Putney aforesaid, 
in the County of Windham aforesaid, he the said John 
H. Noyes then and there being a married man, with 
force and arms did carnally know one Achsah Camp- 
bell, then and there being a single woman, and with 
her the said Achsah Campbell did have that intercourse 
and connection which in case the said Achsah Campbell 
had been a married woman would have constituted the 
crime of adultery — contrary to the form, force and 


effect 01 the statute in such case made and provided, 
;ind against the peace and dignity of the State, as by 
;-aid indictment on file. 

The said John H. Noyes appeared at the last term 

this Court, by Larkin G. Mead and Wilham C. 
, £»iadley, his Attorneys ; it was then ordered by the 
Court that this cause be, and the same was, continued 
to the present term of this Court. 

And now upon this twenty-sixth day of September, 
in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight, 
and during the session of this Court, the said John H. 
Noyes being thrice called in open Court to appear in 
Court, and save himself and bail, appears not, but 
thereof makes default; and the said John R. Miller, 
who recognized to have the body of the said John H. 
Noyes in Court, being thrice called in open Court to 
have the said John H. Noyes now in Court and save 
his recognizance, does not appear, neither does he have 
the body of the said John H. Noyes in Court here, but 
thereof makes default. 

Whereupon it is considered by ihe Court here, that 
the said recognizance be, and the same is, forfeited to 
the Treasurer of the State of Vermont. 


Windham Coimty Cowrt Clerk's Office^ y 
Newfane, Dec. 12, A. D. 1848. J 

I hereby certify the above and foregoing to be true 
copies of Record. 

Attest, M. MiLLEK, Clerk. 


Confessions of John H. Noyes. 

Mr. Noyes, in his organ — the Spiritual Magazine of 
Aug. 5, 1848 — announced the intention of publishing 
a book of several hundred pages, to be entitled 


This work we are informed is to comprise — 1. The 
" religious history " of Mr. K. ; 2. A " historj of the 
Putnej Community, including the transactions which 
led to the agitation, prosecutions and dispersion '' in 
the fall of 1847 ; 8. "A full theoretical exhibition of 
the social organization of the kingdom of heaven, inclu- 
ding all the principal articles " which Mr. N. had pub- 
lished in his papers on that subject. 

^' Co-nfessio7is of John II. iSfoyes " ! Now this title 
is certainly calculated to raise, at first sight, the expec- 
tation that the book would contain some acknowledg- 
ment of his offences ; but we are informed that nothing 
of the kind is to appear. In common usage, the term 
coifesdon signifies an acknowledgment of guilt ; using 
it in this sense, Mr. N.'s book and its title would be as 
far apart as opposite points of the compass. But the 
term in the present instance ir; used in an entirely dif- 
ferent sense. We are to have a confession of Mr. N.'s 
■''" Religious Experience " .' — a co7ifession of his ''Social 
Experience^' ! — and a confession of his " Social Prin- 
ciples " ! Wonderful confessions indeed I 

But pei-sons acquainted with Mr. N.'s position would 
not expect, even from the title of bb book, any conf"-.- 



'sion of guilt, for he has assumed that he cannot sin ; 
and when a person arrives at this point, a quietus is 
put upon conscience. And we can never expect con- 
victions of wrong, or confessions of guilt, from a perijon 
who has completely stultified or lost his conscience ! 

Mr. N. has made a clean sweep of all legal barriers, 
bv assuming that he is exempt from all " ivritten law "; 
and as an offset for rejecting Imv^ he professes to be 
under grace ; but facts show conclusively that he is 
under neither law nor grace I 

We learn from jNIr. N. that he has delayed the pub- 
lication of the book which he announced as forthcom- 
ing, for the purpose of having the '• advantage " of 
saying something in relation to '' Noyesism Unveiled." 
He is perfectly welcome to all the '' advantage '' he 
can gahi in this respect. We intend the present work 
shall stand upo!i its own merits, and if it does not carry 
to the mind of the reader a conviction of its truthful- 
ness, we ask no credit for it. 

But Mr. N. has recently pubUshed the ^'.Firsi Part " 
of his promised book, as there was no " advantage'' to 
be gained by delaying the publication of this part. It 
contains a " Confemon of Religious JSxferience." 
Now it is rather late in the day for this. It is about 
as proper as it would be for a criminal, standing upon 
the gallows, to relate his religious emotions when com- 
mitting the crime for which he is about to be executed ! 
A confession of Mr. N.'s irreligious acts would be bet- 
ter suited to the times. 

But a word in relation t-:> ih^ part just pubHshed. 


This is a pconjyJdet of 96 pages, rather poorly " got up." 
A parcel of these books was sent to Putney and offered 
for sale at fifty cents per copy ! Not finding a ready 
sale at that, they soon went down to twenty-five cents, 
and we learn that they are a drug in the market at 
that. One thing is certain — the buyer could have the 
satisfaction of reading 96 pages, made up almost 
entirely of old, stale matter which was published four 
or five years ago by Mr. N. in his paper at Putney. 
It was thought by some that this was a little akin to 
Mormons ^^ milking the Grentiles " / So much fo}' the 
'• Fii-st Part" of Mr. N.'s book. 

The Second and Third Parts are coming " sooner or 
later. "^^ Perhaps, from the mtimations given by Mr. 
N., we can so far anticipate the character of what is 
forthcoming as to say all that may be necessary in 
reference to it. 

Part Second is to contain a " history of the Putney 
Community, including the transactions which led to the 
agitation, prosecutions and dispersion " in the autumn 
of 1847. We think we shall give a pretty full history 
of the Putney Community, and '' shall endeavor to 
complete, if we do not supersede " Mr. N.'s " work." 
We know something about Putney matters, and touch- 
ing the " transactions " the whole may be summed up 
in few words — a hnoioledge of the high-handed offences 
which Mr. JV. had been committing, was the cause of 
the " agitation, prosecutions and dispersion.'^'* 

Speaking in reference to his course, Mr. N., under 
date of Aug. 5, 1848, says : — 


"* We think we can do better than to engage in a 
small quarrel with an excited village. We thought so 
last fall, and chose the peaceable, non-resistant course 
— ' giving place unto wrath.' " 

We had not supposed Mr. N. was so extremely 
" peaceable and non-resistant " — a change must have 
come over him. After his arrest, he roared like the 
lion at the end of his chain ; but when he found that 
the grapplings of the law were fast upon him, he 
became quite " peaceable and non-resistant." There 
was a powerful motive for this. The prospect of being 
encompassed by granite walls, and looking through iron 
grates, was not the most pleasing ; and in view of this, 
he might vrell become so very " peaceable and non-re- 
sistant " as to leave the State — thus voluntarily absen1>- 
ing himself from a legal investigation, which was a 
virtual acknowledgment of his guilt. 

The Third Part of Mr. N.'s work is to comprise a 
" full theoretical exhibition of the social organization of 
the kingdom of heaven." In this part Mr. N. is going 
to bore the reader again with old, stale — not to say, 
obscene — matter, published in his paper long ago. But 
in addition to this we expect he will give us something 
new. After leaving Putney, Mr. N. drew up a long 
article, entitled " Institutions and Organization of 
THE Kingdom of Heaven," i. e. a Noyesite Commu- 
nity ! He sent this article to the " believers " at Put- 
ney, and they copied it and sent it to three persons in 
different parts of the country, and gave them instruc- 
tions to show it to sincere inquirers. They deemed it 


'' too treasonable to human institutions to admit of its 
being published with safety ^^^ at first ! This article 
was considered so wonderful bj the Noyesites, that 
they imagined if the doubting could only see it, they 
would exclaim, " My Lord and my God P^ 

This production was thought by the Noyesites to be 
equal to any article in the Beeean — a book published 
by Mr. N., — and they declared that it was written with 
the same inspiration that dictated the articles in that 
book ! 

Indeed I the fact has at length leaked out, then, that 
the Noyesites regard the Berean as an inspired book ! 
Then we may lay it upon the shelf by the side of the 
Golden Bible got up by Joe Smith — for it is highly 
probable they were both coined at the same mint ! 

Now, as Mr. N. has promised to give a '^fidl theo- 
retical exhibition of the social organization of the king- 
dom of heaven," and as the article just alluded to is 
undoubtedly very essential to the accomplishment of 
that object, we may expect to see that article, unless it 
is too " treasonable to human institutions tjo admit of its 
being published with safety" even now;— but if he 
withholds that article w§,^n hardly see how he catt 
fulfil the promise to gx^'^Mtfidl theoretical exhibition 
of the social organization of the kingdom of heaven," 
What course he will take'^ time will determine. 



Action of the Citizens of Putney — Proceedings of 
Public Meetings. 

Soon after his arrest at Putney in the autumn of 
1847, Mr. Noyes absconded ; and about the same time 
several members of his society there, left town. But 
some of the most prominent membei-s still remained ; 
the Association was not disbanded, and they continued 
the publication of the Spiritual Magazine, their official 
organ. Mr. N., though at a distance, could keep up 
an open communication, by letter, with the society at 
Putney, and still control their affairs ; and although 
under arrest, with not a shadow of doubt remaining as 
to his guilt, — through the medium of his press, which 
was still in operation at Putney, he could disseminate 
his pernicious principles with almost as much facility as 

Under this state of things the citizens of Putney 
would of course feel dissatisfied ; and they deemed 
it advisable, in a collective capacity, to take some 
action, and in a proper manner give an expression of 
public sentiment. They accordingly assembled for 
consultation, and several resolutions were adopted 
expressive of their sentiments, and those resolutions 
were as mild as could have been expected under the 
circumstances. Several public meetings were held in 
December, 1847, the principal proceedings of which) 
as reported by the Secretary, we give below : — 


" The inhabitants of the village of Putney met at 
the vestry of the Congregational Meeting-House, on 
the evening of the second day of December, inst., for 
the purpose of taking into consideration the outrageous 
proceedings of the Perfectionists, so called. 

"1. Organized by appointing Preston W. Taft, 
Chairman, and Wilham Houghton, Secretary. 

" 2. On motion of Dr. John Campbell, appointed a 
committee of five to draft and report some appropriate 
resolutions at a future meeting. 

" Israel Keyes, Esq., Rev. A. Foster, Rev. H. East- 
man, Hon. John Kimball, and James Keyes, Esq., 
were appointed said committee. 

" 3. On motion, adjourned to Monday evening, 
Dec. 6, 1847. 

" Monday, Dec. 6. Met agreeably to adjournment, 
and Israel Keyes, Esq., reported the following pream- 
ble and resolutions, which, after being discussed, were 
unanimously adopted : — 

^* Whereas^ An Association of Perfectionists, so 
called, has existed in the town of Putney for several 
years past, who, among other things, have declared that 
the Moral Law is abolished, and have inculcated senti- 
ments of a licentious tendency, and exerted an influ- 
ence detrimental to the moral interests of the commu- 
nity ; — and whereas^ from recent disclosures it is evi- 
dent that those licentious principles have been carried 
out in practice to an alarming extent in said Associar 
tion, threatening to ruin the characters of all connected 
therewith or brought under its deadly influence ; — and 
whereas J John H. Noyes, the founder and leader of 
said Association, has recently been arrested for his 
licentious practices and placed under heavy bonds, and 
has since absconded ; and whereas^ George Cragin, an 
associate of Noyes, has also recently absconded under 
cover of the night, evidently from fear of the threatened 


penalty of the law ; — and whereas, said Association is 
publishing a periodical, denominated the Spiritual Mag- 
azine, through the medium of which they are dissemin- 
ating their pernicious principles, and are thus exerting 
a demoralizing influence, not only upon the community 
in the more immediate vicinity of its publication, but in 
different parts of the country where it is- circulated ; — 
and whereas, the principles of said Association are evi- 
dently disorganizing in their tendency, and adapted, if 
carried out to th*eir utmost extent, to abolish all law 
and government, both of Church and State, and erect 
upon their ruins an irresponsible hierarchy : There- 

" 1. Resolved, That the moral interests of this com- 
munity demand the immediate dissolution of said Asso- 

" 2. Resolved, That the Spiritual Magazine, which 
is the principal organ of said Association, through 
which they are disseminating their pernicious senti- 
ments, and which has evidently become a public nui- 
sance, ought immediately to be discontinued ; and that 
no publication whatever ought hereafter to be issued by 
said Association inculcating those principles which, if 
carried out in practice, would result in a violation of 
the laws of the land. 

"3. Resolved, That those Perfectionists who stiU 
remain in this town, ought publicly to renounce those 
principles which tend to, and abandon those practices 
which are, a violation of the statute laws of the State. 

'^ 4. Resolved, That those persons in this town who 
have received serious injuries from said Association, 
ought to be suitably remunerated by said Association. 

'' 5. Resolved, That the Editors of the Vermont 
Phoenix, Windham County Democrat, Semi- Weekly 
Eagle, and Bellows Falls Gazette, be respectfully 
requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting, 


and that the Secretary farnisli eacli of them with a copy 
of the same. Preston W. Taet, Chairmcm. 

" Wm. Houghton, Seeretary. 

" Putney, Dec. 6, 184T." 

The foregoing Preamble and Resolutions embody the 
deliberate sentiments of the citizens of Putney, who 
were resolved, by all prudent and lawful measures, to 
vindicate the rights of the injured, bring the guilty to 
justice, and remove this gangrene wfiieh had fastened 
upon the morals of the community. 

The first resolution, the purport of which was that 
the moral interests of the community demanded the 
immediate dissolution of the Perfectionist Association, 
contains a self-evident truth, as clear as the shining of 
the sun at noon-day. No right-minded person, acquain- 
ted with affairs at Putney, could doubt this. But the 
Association was not dissolved. It is true, the pubhc 
meetings at the chapel were discontinued ; but the few 
still remaining continued to have little gatherings at 
private dwellings, and have kept them up to the pres^ 
ent time — ^March, 1849. 

But we have a little information touching this point, 
which came direct from head quarters. In the spring 
of 1848, about four months subsequent to the passage 
of the foregoing resolutions, one of the master spirits 
in the Putney Community held the following lan- 
guage :— 

" The world may think our Association dissolved ^ 
hut we have been going on from strength to strength 
during the past winter , in union ivith the heavenly 
world, and felloivship among ourselves.''^ 


Among the Noyesites, '^ fellowship "^^ has a peculiar 
meaning and an unusual significance. Thus it appears 
that in regard to the dissolution of the Association there 
was a total disregard of the deliberate sentiments of 
the citizens of Putney as set forth in the first resolu- 
tion. By the expression, " Union with the heavenly 
loorld^^ which is coupled with " Fellowship among our- 
selves^'' the reader will readily perceive how impiously 
the Noyesites connect the most sacred things with the 
most crying abominations ! 

The second resolution in the series has reference to 
their organ, the Spiritual Magazine. The substance 
of that resolution is, that their paper, having become a 
public nuisance, ought forthwith to be discontinued; 
and that no publication of a licentious tendency ought 
to be issued from the press of the Putney Association. 

This was taken in high dudgeon by the " acknowl- 
edged head " of the sect of Perfectionists. Touching 
this matter, Mr. Noyes, in the Spiritual Magazine pub- 
lished at Oneida Reserve, Aug. 5, 1848, speaks thus : 

"It is sufficient to say here, that the immediate 
cause of the suppression of our paper at Putney, was a 
resolution passed at an ' indignation meeting' of the 
citizens of that place, denouncing our pubhcation as 
licentious, and requiring an immediate stoppage of our 
press. If we had been fond of squabbling, it would 
have been natural for us to have resisted this arbitrary 
requisition ; and it would be easy for us now to com- 
ment severely on the entire mistake of the citizens in 
regard to the character of our paper (which is too well 
known to its subscribers to need justification from the 
charge of licentious tendency); and we might say 


something about the inquisitorial, anti-republican char- 
acter of proceedings which demanded the summary 
closing of a printing-office in a free country." 

In the foregoing paragraph Mr. Nojes denies that 
his paper has been licentious in its tendency. The 
numerous extracts from his own writings found in this 
volume are prima facie evidence agamst him ; and with 
this testimony before them, we could submit the ques- 
tion to the public without any doubt in regard to the 
decision. But we wish to ask a few plain questions 
touching this point. Will Mr. Noyes den;i/ that his 
paper from the very commencement has been the expo- 
nent of his principles, and that he has designedly set 
them forth, though often in an ambiguous and mistified 
manner ? Will he deni/ that the infamous conduct 
among the Perfectionists at Putney, which was a gross 
violation of the civil law, and gave rise to the prosecu- 
tions in the fall of 184T, was the legitimate fruit of 
those very principles ? Will he den^ that in the Com- 
munity over which he presides the marriage covenant 
is virtually nullified ? Will he deni/ that the seventh 
commandment in the Decalogue is set aside by Perfec- 
tionists ? Will he deuT/ that he and his most enthusi- 
astic admirers believe and teach that the crimes known 
in law as adultery, fornication and incest, are the 
'^ Cross of Christ " ? And will he deny that his paper 
has been set for the defence and promulgation of most 
or all of these doctrines, and that they have been openly 
avowed or covertly taught through this medium ? 

If this be the case — which can be clearly shown — we 


are at once carried to the conclusion that the paper has 
been grossly licentious in its tendency, Mr. N.*s naked 
assertion to the contrary notwithstanding. In view of 
all the facts, it appears that the citizens of Putney were 
7iot mistaken in regard to the character of Mr, N.'s 
paper. Was it, then, " inquisitorial " and " anti-re- 
puhhcan " for them to ask for the stoppage of such a 
print ? Certainly not. But Mr. N. thinks he ought to 
be permitted to do as he pleases in this ''free country.'''' 
Hjs views of freedom evidently coincide with those of a 
certain foreign emigrant who once landed upon our 
shores. A son of Erin's " swate " Isle had heard of 
the land of liberty, and had long and ardently desired 
to enjoy its mestimable privileges. At length he was 
permitted to reach this happy country ; and he sought 
an early opportunity to give a practical demonstration 
of his freedom. Scarcely had his feet pressed Ameri- 
can soil, when he dealt a heavy blow at the first person 
he met, and laid him prostrate upon the ground. When 
called to an account for his offence before the civil 
authorities, he remarked, in justification of his conduct, 
that he thought this was a free country, where every 
man might do as he "' plazed^ 

So Mr. N. would Hke to do as he pleases ; and is not 
only determined to " pass and repass as he pleases the 
usual boundaries of technical theology," but resolved if 
possible to caiTy away all the legal landmarks in the 
land, and " pass and repass " at pleasure the " usual 
boundaries " set up by Statute Law. 

But we will dismiss the point relative to the licen- 


tious character and tendency of Mr. N.'s official organ, 
by here introducing a few pertinent remarks of 0. IT. 
Piatt, Esq., Editor of the Vermont Phoenix. The 
opinion of Mr. Piatt is entitled to weight from the fact 
that he is a barrister by profession, and consequently 
conversant with judicial matters, and competent to 
judge in relation to the character of Mr. N.'s paper 
when viewed in a legal point of light. It is as fol- 
lows : — 

"A ^ajMT so licentious and indecent — so seditious 
mid immoral m its character^ as this has been ever 
since its co7nmencement, would not, even in the tainted 
atmosphere of the city, he tolerated for a single iveek. 
It ivould he indicted as a nuisance, hefore a seco7id 
numher could he issued, and suppressed hy the strong 
arm of the lawP 

The purport of the third resolution of the series 
under consideration, was, that those Perfectionists still 
remaining in Putney " ought publicly to renounce those 
principles which tend to, and abandon those practices 
which are, a violation of the statute laws of the State." 
No attention was paid to this resolution — or at least no 
evidence was given that there was any reformation in 
their conduct ; and it is a well known fact that they 
renounced none of their principles. 

The substance of the fourth resolution was, that the 
Perfectionists ought suitably to remunerate those per- 
sons in Putney whom they had seriously injured. This 
they refused to do, and several actions were brought 
against Mr. Noyes for damages done to different fami- 
lies ; and they found it expedient to " settle itpy But 


no one pretends that an ample remuneration was made 
for the damages done to different individuals in conse- 
quence of the infamous conduct of Noyes and his col- 

We have thus briefly referred to the character of the 
resolutions passed by the citizens of Putney . Were those 
resolutions unreasonable ? Not in the least. In view of 
the circumstances, we do not see how the citizens of Put- 
ney could have consistently expressed themselves in mil- 
der terms. Moreover, they did not imperatively demand 
that the resolutions shoidd be complied with, for they 
did not consider that this was their prerogative ; but 
they deliberately said in a collective capacity that they 
ought to be complied with ; and it was then left optional 
with the Perfectionists to heed the voice of the people, 
or abide the issue. The resolutions were but partially 
complied with. The people said the moral interests of 
the community demanded the dissolution of the Perfec- 
tionist Association at Putney, which was a self-evident 
truth ; but it was not dissolved, according to their own 
declaration. The people said that their paper ought to 
be discontinued^ but it was not. It is true, a notice 
was issued, announcing the suspenmn (not discontin- 
uance) of the publication of the paper, but that only 
'-^ for the present.''^ And the publication of the paper 
has since been resumed at Oneida Reserve, N. Y. A 
remark here, touching the topic of newspaper liberty, 
may not be ill-timed. The freedom of the press has 
the sanction of a constitutional guarantee ; but the 
largest authorized liberty is remote from unrestricted 


license. Every denomination professedly religious has 
the right, through the medium of the press or other- 
wise, to promulgate their peculiar tenets, provided they 
are not contrary to the laws of the land^ nor injurious 
to pMio mo7'als. But whenever any sect professedly 
rehgious incorporate into their creed principles which 
tend to, and countenance and even enjoin those acts 
which are^ a gross violation of statute law, and intro- 
duce vice and immorality in their most revolting forms, 
they forfeit the protection of law, and render themselves 
obnoxious to its penalties. Now it is a notorious fact, 
that the principles taught by Mr. Noyes are diametri- 
cally opposed to, and the course pursued by him and 
his followers is a gross violation o/, the laws of the 
land, and are fatal to public morals wherever their 
touch is felt. This being the case, was it unjustifiable 
in the citizens of Putney to say that their press ought 
to be stopped ? By no means. Yet Mr. N. denounces 
it as " inquisitorial " and " anti-republican." Such a 
charge comes with an ill grace from such a source. 

Again — the citizens of Putney said that the Perfec- 
tionists ought to renounce their pernicious principles, 
but this was not done. In the notice which was issued 
by the publishers of the Spiritual Magazine, announcing 
the suspension of the publication of that paper, the doc- 
trines which they had formerly taught, and all along 
had been inculcating, were commended, "/or the pres- 
ent^ to the re-examination of Perfectionists.^^ Thus 
their disciples were put back upon a review, that they 
might refresh their memories and become more famiUar 


with the sentiments already taught, until circumstances 
would admit of their resuming the publication of their 
paper, which, as we have seen, has already been done. 
No evidence has been given that they have renounced 
a single iota of their principles ; and the course which 
they are pursuing clearly indicates a settled determin- 
ation on their part to disseminate still the same princi- 
ples as heretofore pubhshed, so far as circumstances 
will admit. If they pertinaciously adhere to their per- 
nicious principles, and are resolved to carry them out, 
unless prevented by the rigid supervision and adminis- 
tration of municipal law, it is time for the conservators 
of the public morals to be on the alert. 

When at Putney, the Noyesites necessaiily mingled 
to some extent in their business matters with the citi- 
zens of the village ; and this state of things they found 
to be a little unfavorable to the carrying out of their 
peculiar social principles — ^being subject to public 
observation ; which, together with their published prin- 
ciples, made no very favorable impression as to the 
state of morals among them. And when the law would 
allow them to remain no longer without feeling its pen- 
alties, the leaders left, and retired to a somewhat seclu- 
ded spot, and now congratulate themselves on being 
" clear of the clashings of village interests." At 
Oneida Reserve, in Central New York, they have 
planted their standard, and are now beating up for 
recruits ; and they hope to be permitted there to 
'' work out " their social principles, unmolested. At the 
very outset in their operations, they gave the people in 


the vicinity of Oneida Reserve quite a smart sprinkling 
of " soft solder ^^^ obviously with a design to ingratiate 
themselves into their favor. But probably this worth- 
less commodity will be duly appreciated by the intelli- 
gent citizens of that section of country. Mr. Noyes tells 
the people there that they are " less bigoted " than the 
inhabitants of New England, and he presumes they will 
let him " w^ork out and pubhsh his principles of associa- 
tion in peace." As much as if he had said, " If you 
wiU let us do as we please, and give us your sons and 
daughters to aid in building up our kingdom, we will 
call jow pretty goodfelloivs — otherwise, we shall think 
you 710 ' less bigoted ' than the people of New Eng- 
land. Meanwliile we will keep up a very fair exterior 
— you shall have no occasion to complain of ' our gene- 
ral behavior to our neighbors,' but you must not meddle 
with our domestic affairs — -you must not come mthin 
the ' chaniied circle,' unless you will submit to all the 
rules and regidations.^^ The heads of famihes in the 
vicinity of Oneida Reserve, if they would protect their 
own firesides, and preserve the sanctity of " sweet 
home," would do well to keep a vigilant eye upon the 
Noyesite Community there, although they will need no 
such caution after a full account of the doings at Put- 
ney is fairly laid before them. Should they suffer 
their sons and daughters to be enticed from under the 
parental roof, and by the soft hand of persuasion drawn 
mthin the " charmed circle," their certain ruin would 
be sealed. 

But to return : — The citizens of Putney said that the 


Nojesites ought to renounce their pernicious principles. 
Was this improper ? Not in the least. It will be read- 
ily gi-anted that in matters of mere belief, not affecting 
the moral interests of the community, nor tending 
to the infraction of statute law, a resort to coercive 
measures would be an unauthorized invasion of the 
rights of conscience. But this was far from bemg the 
case in the present instance. The doctrines taught by 
Noyes tended directly to, and had actually resulted in, 
gross ^dolations of law. The outrageous conduct com- 
plained of at Putney, was not contrary to^ but in per- 
fect Jceeping ivith^ their principles. It " was not only 
a necessary consequence, but a positive mandatory 
injunction of their doctrine " ; and they have at last 
taken the Heaven-daring and utterly outrageous posi- 
tion, that such infamous conduct is the " Cross of 
Clirist^^ ! ! I Now it is perfectly plain that nothing 
short of a renunciation of the principles which were the 
basis of such conduct, would be satisfactory, or afiford 
any security for the future. Circumstances might be 
such that they might deem it expedient, or consider it 
good pohcy, to promise an outward observance of the 
law ; but what confidence could be placed in such 
promises ? How far could we trust a person hardened 
in crime, upon a mere verbal promise, when he con- 
tended that he had a perfect right to transgress the 
laws of the land? He might be compelled by the 
pressure of exterior circumstances to change his course 
of conduct for a season, but without a renunciation of 
those pernicious principles which naturally lead to 


offensive conduct, there could be no radical reform. 
A Noyesite who pertinaciously adheres to his princi- 
ples, would not obey the law unless compelled to. Ohe- 
dience to law would be disobedience to his leader, 
whose authority is considered paramount to all law. 

We know full well what Mr. Noyes will say in 
regard to some points which we have noticed. He 
contends that he and his followers are exempt from 
law ; hence in their view there is no immorality in per- 
petual violations of legislative enactments, or the letter 
of Divine law. Such absurd assumptions, and the 
sophistical arguments brought to sustain them, will have 
no force in an intelligent and candid community. 

Let it be remembered that the resolutions to which 
we have already referred, were passed at a public 
meeting of the citizens of Putney, held Dec. 6, 1847. 
At that meeting a committee was appointed to lay the 
proceedings before the heads of the Corporation,* and 
they were instructed to urge imrtieularly upon their 
attention the propriety of complying with the resolution 
relative to making remuneration to those whom the 
Perfectionists had injured. This committee was also 
to confer with them in relation to their future course of 
conduct, and report to an adjourned meeting to be held 

* Mr. Noyes, when at Putney, tried the experiment in a small way 
of conducting his pecuniary affairs on a plan similar to that of the 
Fourierists. He adopted the principle of a community of goods, and 
gave to the concern under his control the name of Corporation, 
although an act of incorporation was never granted by the Legisla- 
ture of Veraaont. 


on the 9th of the same month. It was hoped that hy 
this course the necessity of further prosecutions might 
be evaded. The committee reported that the heads of 
the Association refused to acknowledge that thej had 
Injured any one ; but promised that for the future they 
would regard the requisitions of moral and statute 
laws, and that nothing of a licentious tendency should 
appear in their paper. This report was laid upon the 
table, not being satisfactory for the reason that they 
refused to remunerate those whom they had seriously 
injured, and because the promises made were considered 
worthless. But it may be asked — ivere the promises 
made by the Noyesites of any real value, and ought the 
citizens of Putney to have been satisfied with them ? 
Let us see. The Committee appointed to confer with 
them, reported, that the leading Noyesites remaining in 
Putney, promised that their conduct, and that of the 
members of the Association, so far as they could 
control their action, sliould be governed in future by 
the requisitions of Moral and Statute Laws. Now, 
this language among common people would mean some- 
thing, but in the mouth of the Noyesites it amounts to 
a '-' SOLEMN NOTHING." They positively assert that 
the Moral Law is abohshed ! They have proclaimed it 
upon the hill-tops, and rung it through the valleys, that 
they are exempt from all '' written law," and they 
glory in their freedom. They utterly scout the idea 
that the letter of the Moral Law, and the enactments 
standing on the Statute Books, are binding upon them, 
or should be regarded as a rale of life. They set 


themselves up as a privileged fraternity — exempt fron. 
all external law — having a law within them which i< 
the rule of action — and they pretend that they are 
divinely inspired 1 They may he inspired, but if so, 
their inspii-ation is certainly of a very questmiable 
character, li they will have it that they are inspired, 
we will not here contest the pomt, but must be allowed 
the privilege of expressing the settled conviction that 
they are mspired from the WRONG SOURCE ! If 
their doctrmes are doubted, or the correctness of their 
course of conduct questioned, the olyjector is met with 
the "mouth-stopping" declaration — •• ^\'e aee divinely 
INSPIRED !" This answers all questions — this ends all 
controversy in their estunation I However vicious thoi 
conduct and aggravated their crimes, they will no' 
admit that they transgress any law that is bindins: 
The law within them, by which they are governed, the;. 
assert to be paramount to all external, or >mtten law ' 
Of how much value would a promise be, coming fror 
persons adhering to such principles ? If they believed 
the Moral Law to be abrogated, they could not cori- 
sistently obey it ; for obedience to it would be disobe- 
dience to that internal prmciple which they declare 
to be paramount to all law. Moreover, it was declared 
by one of their number several montlis after this pror. 
ise was made, that they had been pursuing tlu' sani ?. 
course as fonnerly. 

But it was reported that they promised that nothing 
of a licentious character or tendency should appear in 
leir paper. This at first view appears very specious, 


but amounts to nothing. The j will not admit that they 
have ever pubHshed any thing of such a character. 
They could have re-published all the oflfensive matter 
that had ever appeared in their paper, and, according 
to their construction, it would have been no violation 
of this promise. They could have set forth principles 
of the most immoral tendency in perfect keeping with 
such a pledgee 

That this is the hght in which they viewed the 
subject is perfectly clear from Mr. N,'s own language. 
He has since said that the citizens of Putney were 
entirely mistaken in relation to the character of his 
paper, and that it was " too well known to its subscri- 
bers to need justification from the charge of licentious 
tendency." This language contains a peremptory 
denial that they had ever published any thing licentious; 
hence in promising not to publish any thing of such a 
character, they promised to do jii%t as they had done ! 
A valuable promise this. 

Thus it appears that for the purpose of allaying the 
justly indi.gnant feehngs of the citizens of Putney, the 
leading Noyesites promised to be governed by whole- 
some law^s, and to pursue a proper course ; but their 
promises were couched in such language as to deceive 
the people ; and it appears that they really meant that 
they would do just as they had done, so far as circum- 
stances would warrant ; but that for the time to come 
they would be careful and not be detected. Thi?, 
appears to have been the sum of all their promises. 



Citizens of Putney falsely charged with having 
ad/Of led harsh measures for the extirpation of the 
Perfectionists — Gratuitous plea of Repentance set 
up for the leading Perfectionists. 

The citizens of Putney have been charged wth 
having adopted hai-^h measures instead of mild ones for 
the purpose of breaking down and extirpating the 
Perfectionist Community there. But this charge, from 
whatever source it may emanate, is utterly false and 
groundless. The facts in the case will speak for them- 
selves, and the course pursued by the citizens of 
Putney, clearly shows that they did not wish to resort 
to any improper and unlawful measures, for the purpose 
of con-ecting the existing e\il. Instead of violent 
measures, the usual process in such cases was instituted 
against Mr. Noyes in the midst of his high-handed 
offences, and all the facts abundantly show that the 
citizens of Putney resorted to the mildest measures 
which could have been consistently adopted. They 
have been charged with having urged the ci-editore of 
the Corporation *' to jjounce upon them for the imnie' 
diate payment of their demands, for the purpose of 
breaking them down in a pecuniary sensed But not 
% solit-ary instance his been produced, neither indeed 
cun be, as we verily beheve, in which the citizens of 
Putney as a body, or any considerable portion of them, 
or even a singh individual, has urged one creditor of 


the Corporation k? call for the immediate payment of 
his dues. The facts in the case are simply these : — 
Several citizens of Putney had loaned considerable 
sums of money to the Corporation, and after the arrest 
of Mr. Noyes they became somewhat alarmed. They 
had reason to fear that things were so " rotten in 
Denmark," that they mic/M'diW go to ruin ; and they 
accordingly took the timely precaution, upon their own 
responsibility, to obtain ample security, or have their 
demands liquidated. What prudent — not to say 
shrewd- — business man would not have taken a similar 
course ? 

But was there no just cause of alarm ? And did 
not the creditors even, pursue a proper and justifiable 
course ? Let us see.— Strong fears were evidently 
entertained by some of the near relatives — persons 
best acquainted with the circumstances- — of the woman 
known in Imv as the wife of John H. Noyes, for he 
was required to convey by deed to a certain individual 
— to be held in trust — a large amount of real estate, 
for the purpose of affording security to his wife for a 
portion of the property which she possessed at the time 
of her marriage. How can we account for this, if 
there was no just cause of alarm? If there was any 
pouncing^ here was the hea^^dest part of it. So much 
for the harsh measures of the citizens of Putney, 
touching this matter. 

But let us look a little further. Mr. Noyes was 
arrested — ^he soon after absconded — and not appearing 
at court, his bonds were forfeited. Although the peni- 


tentiary was the proper place for him, yet, by paying a 
few hundred dollars he has the privilege, for the 
present, of running at large out of the State of 
Vermont. — Geo. Cragin, an intimate and accomplice 
of Noyes, fled hastily under cover of the night to 
avoid an arrest. — Two prominent Perfectionists who 
owned the dwelling in wl5ch Mr, N. had his company, 
were not disturbed — one remaining in town a number 
of months, and the other is still there. They might 
have been indicted for keeping a house of prostitution. 

But the citizens of Putney wished to be lenient ; 
and thought if the leaders were brought to justice,, 
others who had been led away by them would forsake 
their evil ways. But nothing of the kind has occurred 
— and because sentence against their evil works was 
not " executed speedily," their hearts are evidently 
'' fully set in them to do evil." 

Now in view of all the facts and circumstances, 
it plainly appears that the citizens of Putney were 
extremely lenient — lenient even to a fault. They 
evidently erred on the Me of mercy. How unjust 
then to charge them with having adopted liarsh meas- 

Speaking in reference to their^ paper, the Editor of 
a neighboring pubhc journal says : — 

" That it has been so long endured by the respecta- 
ble and intelligent inhabitants of Putney^ is otving 
probably to the respectability of his family^ and a 
reluctance to wound their feelings by any public pro- 


Again alluding to the public meeting at which the 
resolutions noticed in the preceding chapter, were 
passed, the same wiiter says : — 

'' We most cordially participate in the sentiments 
and indignant feelings expressed by the meeting. It 
is almost incredible, that in tliis intelligent community, 
people can be found so deluded, or so shameless, as 
boldly to avow and practice the doctrines attributed 
to this sect ; and we should l^e much more amazed, if 
they were for a moment tolerated or suffered to exist. 
We are only surprised^ that the citizens of Putn&y 
have exercised so much forhearance and moderation., 
and have not sooner extirpated so disgraceful an 
outrage upon society and Moral and Statute Law.^^ 

In fine, it has been matter of much surprise to 
people abroad, that the citizens of Putney have been 
so tolerant. Often have individuals in different places 
made remarks to this effect : — •' Had the Perfection- 
ists been located in our village or vicinity, they would 
not have been tolerated for any length of time. A 
community professing and practicing such doctrines as 
the one at Putney, if it could not be reached any 
other way, would come under the jurisdiction of 
moh law. 

But an individual is occasionally to be found whose 
sympathies are wonderfully moved toward the Noyes- 
ites ; the reason for this we are utterly at a loss to 
conceive, unless it be found in the fact that such 
persons find in the Perfectionists, congenial or kindred 
spirits. The plea of repentance was gratuitously set 
up for some of the Noyesites, evidently for the purpose 


of palliating their criminalities. It was thought at 
Putney — whether by more than one person we are not 
prepared to say — ^that a promise of amendment by a 
few of the remaining Perfectionists was sufficient : 
which promise, as we have seen, was utterly worthless. 
That the Noyesites have reformed or ever intend as 
a body to reform, we have not a particle of proof to 
show. The course which Mr. N. and his followers are 
pursuing is a living commentary upon the utter futility 
Qf all promises of amendment coming from that quar- 
ter. But even admitting such promises to be rehable, 
would they satisfy the demands of justice agamst 
offenders ? Not in the least. Such a principle apphed 
to pecuniary matters would liquidate every debt which 
a person might have contracted. Just let him promise 
not to augment his Kabilities, and he might demand 
exemption from payment. On the same principle the 
most notorious culprit might demand acquittal at the 
hand of the minister of justice. 

Some persons have extremely lax views of repent- 
ance. Repentance has mostly to do with the past and 
present, although its genuineness is evinced by an 
exemplary future walk. Conviction of wrong done is 
indispensable to true repentance. Now the Noyesites 
have no such' convictions, for they will acknowledge 
no sin ; it is a leading doctrine with them that they' 
cannot sin, do what they may. Here then is an insu- 
perable barrier to repentance. 

Again, sorrow for sin is necessary to true repent 
ance ; but the Noyesites have no compunctions of 


conscience whatever — do what they may, they are 
ready to wipe their mouths and say — ^^ We have 
drine no evil.^^ Moreover, the legitimate fruits of 
genuine repentance appear not only in reformation of 
conduct, but in reparation for injuries already inflicted, 
so far as circumstances will admit. At Putney, crimes 
were not only committed against the " peace and 
dignity of the State,'' but individuals were seriously 
injured ; and the Noyesites there have manifested no 
disposition to make voluntary restitution. They have 
done no more than they were compelled to do by law. 

But gentlemen, in trymg to make it appear that the . 
Noyesites have repented, have undertaken to do a work 
of supererogation ; but perhaps they are not aware 
that they are rendering a gratuitous and thankless 
service. The Noyesites cannot consistently ask for, 
or accept of, any such work ; for repentance has no 
place among them. It implies the existence of sin, 
and this they will never admit. The security of the 
saints, i. e. Noyesites, is represented as the key-stone 
in the arch of Noyesism. Should they acknowledge 
that they have sinned^ or even admit it 2^(^-^'^^^^ fo" 
them to sin, they would thereby knock the key-stone 
out of their own arch, and the whole superstructure 
would tumble down. They profess to be "■ stand- 
ing on the plain eternity, beyond the judgment,'' and 
we might as soon expect to find repentance among the 
sinless intelligences of heaven, as to obtain an admis- 
sion of its existence among the Noyesites. 


CHAPTER yill. 

Reproaches cast upon the citizens of Putney — Cry 
of persecution raised hy the Noyesites. 

The inhabitants of Putney have, for several years 
past, suffered more or less in the estimation of people 
abroad, according to the amount of information which 
the public have possessed in relation to the character 
of the Perfectionist Community located there. This, 
undei^ existing circumstances, could not well be avoided. 
Although the citizens of Putney had, for some length 
of time, had reason to siisjyect there was " something 
rotten in Denmark ;" yet facts did not come to their 
knowledge sufficient to warrant a prosecution imtil 
the autumn of 1847. In the mean time, however, 
the Perfectionists, through the medium of a periodical 
published at Putney, and the efforts of a few public 
teachers, had been scattering their licentious doctrines 
broadcast over the country. People abroad had 
become familiar, at least to some extent, with those 
doctrines ; and guided by the sentiment that men are 
not better thaii their principles^ they arrived at the 
legitimate conclusion that they were a licentious people. 
Moreover, facts confirming this conclusion had also 
come to light. The practical results of their pernicious 
principles, had appeared among some societies of Per- 
fectionists elsewhere. Hence, people abroad supposed 
they were not mistaken as to the true character of the 
society at Putney. This was the -model, and other 


societies at a distance receiving their impress from this, 
were regarded as so many mirrors reflecting its true 
features. And the people of Putney, for several 
years, suffered the reproach of permitting them to 
exist in their midst. But in this they acted wisely. 
Had they on mere suspicion, however strong and well 
founded, resorted to violent measures, or commenced 
a legal process without sufficient evidence to sustain it, 
the cry of persecution, long and loud, would have gone 
up — the sympathies of some would have been enlisted 
in their behalf — a prejudice would have been created 
against the citizens of Putney, and the evil which they 
wished to eradicate, would have taken deeper root, 
and they would have been under the painful necessity 
of enduring it for a much longer time. But at length 
sufficient facts were elicited, and a wholesome correc- 
tive was applied. 

But, alas ! strange as it may seem, we are evidently 
doomed to hear the cry of persecution. This is a 
weapon which impostors ever have at hand, but one 
that culprits seldom have the confidence to use. But 
It evidently appears that in the present instance it is to 
be brought into requisition. Mr. Noyes, we under- 
stand, when arrested, remarked to his followers, that 
the more they were 2^^'^secuted the nearer they came 
to the Primitive Church ! 

And from present indications it would not be at 
all surprising if Mr. N., in a work which he has 
announced as forth-coming, should give us a dolcrous 
account of his persecutions at Putijey. But the citi- 



zens of Putney have asked for no raore than even- 
handed justice ; and should that be administered, and 
any considerable portion of them remain dissatisfied, 
and proceed to unjustifiable acts, there would then be 
sufficient time to tall^ about persecution. The subtle 
incendiai-y, the daruig highway robber, and the 
cold-blooded midnight assassin, might with as much 
propriety raise the cry of persecution when pursued 
by the officer of justice, as the Noyesites, or any of 
their minions, can lift their voices and raise such a cry 
5e/bre justice is administered. 

Persecution implies the infliction of unjust punish- 
ment for crimes committed, or the doing of injuries for 
adherence to any particular religious creed, or mode 
of Divine worship. 

Has Mr. Noyes or any of his followers been injured^ 
for adhering to their 'pecidiar hreligious notions^ 
simply considered ? Not in the least. Has any unjust 
punishment been infficted for the heinous crimes which 
they have committed ? Not at all. The sequel will 
clearly show that not even a moiety of justice has yet 
been admhiistered. Irreparable injuries have been 
done to some of the citizens of Putney — injuries for 
which dollars and cents would be a poor remuneration. 
Thus it appears that the cry of persecution comes with 
an extremely ill grace from the Noyesites, especially 
so far as the action of the citizens of Putney is con- 

Inasmuch as the citizens of Putney have been 
charged with adopting unjustifiable measures in rela- 


tion to the Perfectionists — and the charge may be 
reiterated from a certain quarter — ^we have deemed it 
proper to saj thus much in vindication of their course, 
and for the purpose of laying tLe whole matter before 
the reader. 

Perhaps before dismissing this subject it may be 
proper to say, that Mr. Noyes had a standing and influ- 
ence at Putney, wliich he could not have acquired 
elsewhere. The family to which he belonged were 
formerly very respectable and highly respected. 
Possessing, as they did, talent, education, wealth, and 
consequently considerable influence, there was a com- 
bination of favorable circumstances calculated to give 
them a somewhat elevated position. Several members 
of the family to which Mr. N. belonged, having 
embraced his views at an early period, added something 
to his influence in Putney. Although many of the 
citizens of Putney regarded the move as wholly chhn- 
erical, and did not even read the publications of Mr. 
N., yet there were some inclined to favor his notions. 
There were also others — and among them some of the 
sober and staid citizens — who, notwithstanding his 
published sentiments, were slow to believe that he 
would plunge into iniquity — but they were at leng-th 
compelled to beheve that he had ; showing that what 
he taught in theory he intended to carry out in 

Noyesism, it has been seen, unlike many of the isms 
of the age, had a ' respectable origin — ^having been 
started by men of considerable talent and intelligence. 


This circumstance probably gave it character and influ- 
ence ; but the delusion is none the less deep and 
dangerous, and its enormities none the less alarming, 
but even the more so — for the greater the amount of 
perverted talent, the more disastrous the results. 



Noyesism at Putney. 

I Noyesism as a system — if a heterogeneous mass of 

I the grossest errors and most palpable absurdities can be 

! called a system — is peculiar in its character, and as 

■ diverse from pure Christianity as the darkness of 

I midnight is from the light of noon-day. Although it 

; claims to be a perfect embodiment of the Christian 

j virtues and the very beau ideal of moral beauty, yet it 

will be seen on examination that it has no affinity 

whatever with the Gospel of Christ. That it is diverse 

I from the doctrines taught by Evangelical denominations 

I is evident not only from its general features, but is 

' acknowledged and asserted in unequivocal language 

I by the founder of the system. Mr. N. says : — " New 

HavPM Perfectionism is a neiv 7'eligion . . . has affinity 

until no sect this side the ^:>r^w^^^^Ve church. . . . As 

a system it is distinct from all the popidar theologies. '''' 

Perfectionist, Vol. iv. No. 4. 

Mr. N. terms it a new religion to distinguish it from 
the popular theologies now extant ; but in calling it a 
new religion he has unwittingly spoken an important 
truth. Noyseism is verily a neiv religion — another 
Gospel ; and St. Paul says : " But though we or an 
angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you 
than that which we have preached unto you, let him 
be accursed!" Gal. i. 8, 

But where shall we find the Simvn Pures of this 
new system ? Has there ever been a full development 


— a practical demonstration of this neiv ism f In 
what follows we shall find an answer to these questions. 

Mr. Noyes visited Belchertown, Mass., in Feb. 1842, 
and in reference to a meeting held there, he says : — 
'' I made one remark at B., in reply to rumors which 
had begun to circulate there, about the licentiousness 
of Perfectionists in Southampton, Brimneld, and other 
places, which I will repeat here ; viz., 

'■'•New Haven Perfectionism is a doctrinal system, standing hy 
itself, distinct from Wesleyan, New York, and Oberlin Perfec- 
tionismy as it is from non-resistance, ^ comeoutisin,' §'c- -'Is such 
it is to be judged by its own proper fruits, not by those of its 
supposed kindred. And its own proper fruits are to be looked 
for in those fields where it has had an opportunity to take root 
and groto to maturify by itself, not in fields where it has been 
aown incidentally among other seeds, and has been corrupted 
and choked. The only place that I know of lohere it has had 
an extended and fair opportunity to manifest its own proper 
nature and tendency, is Putney, Vt. : and I am willing it should 
oe judged by the moral fruits which it has produced in that place. 
Perfectionism in other places, so far as Iknow, (individual instan- 
ces excepted,) has been mixed up with New York fanaticism, 
Boyleism, Gatesism, non-resistance, ^'c, §'<?., and must stand or 
fall by itself. New Haven Perfectionism is not responsible, la 
Putney, during an experiment of seien years in the faith of 
perfect holiness, there has been no tendency towards licentiousness 
among believers ,\ and excepting a temporary leaning toioard 
Shakerv^m, there has been no practical departure from ordi- 
nary sexual morality.'' " 

The italicising in the above language of Mr. Noyes, 
is his ov/n. We have given his statement entire ; 
and it is a happy circumstance that he has taken a 
bcid stand, and so di?tmctly defined his position. The 


public mind is thus fortunately directed bj Mr. N. 
himself, to a point where Perfectionism exists ^:>2r/^^ and 
unalloyed — unmixed a?id imearrupted. Here it appears 
in its native dress, and exhibits its true, character. 

For the purpose of evadingfethe charge of licentious- 
ness, which had been brought against Perfectionism. 
Mr. N. asserts that the distinctive doctrines of his 
system, v/ith a few individual exceptions, have been 
mixed with the doctrines of Boyle, Gates, and others, 
wMch he disavows, and for which he says D^ew 
Haven Perfectioaism is not responsible. Hence, 
whatever improprieties may have appeared among 
societies of Perfectionists elsewhere, he w^ould attribute 
to other doctrines which had been incorporated vrith 
his own ; and he seems to be quite unwilling to 
acknowledge such improprieties as the legitimate fruits 
of genuine Perfectionism. But in the society at 
Putney we have a genuine embodiment of the princi- 
ples of Perfectionism. This society from its verv 
infancy has been under the inmiediate vratch-care and 
control of Mr. iT., the father and foimder of the sect. 
Mr. N. Speaks in behalf of the T\^hole society respect- 
ing their conduct ; and we should infer that he has 
been perfectly familiar with all their movements, and 
has controjled the whole internal regulations, — wliich 
has undoubtedly been the case. 

In Putney, then, and only there, according to Mr. 
N.'s own statement. Perfectionism "Aas had an 
extended anJj fair opportunity to manifest its oivn 
proper nature and tendency.'^ Here it stands alone. 


and in this fair field, T\-liere it has not been " corrupted 
and clioked^'^ we are to look for its legitimate fruits. 
Here it has taken deep^oot, and been tenderly nnrtnred 
under the fostering care of its own parent, and has 
" grown to maturity" — has exhibited its legitimate 
fruits — and w^e will add, has recently gone to seed ! 

The reader cannot be in doubt. The foregoing 
pages have thrown a flood of light upon this matter. 
The moral fruits which Perfectionism has produced in 
Putney, have been exhibited in a manner which cannot 
be mistaken. The true features of Noyesism are 
portrayed, and it is held up to public view in its native 
aspect. And a more disgusting picture cannot well be 

The society in Putney, having been a perfect pattern, 
other societies formed elsewhere, so far as they have 
been moulded after the true model, have borne its 
impress, and exhibited its distinctive features. 

Moreover, should Noyesism for a season survive the 
shock which it has lately received, and like a wounded 
reptile " drag its slow length along," and linger out 
a miserable existence, still its nature and tendency 
would be the same. What it has been, it Avill, in all 
probability, continue to be, except it be to " increase 
unto more ungodliness ;" for in Putney we^ave not 
had a false and corrupted form of Perfectionism, but 
the true one — not a counterfeit coin, but the genuine 
mintage. There it has taken its natural course — 
worked out, so far as its influence has extended, its 
legitimate results — and exhibited its own proper fruits. 


Mr. 1^. having affinned that he is willing it should 
he judged bj the moral fruits which it has produced in 
Putney, it seems to be very necessary, in order that 

I Sk correct judgment m-ay be formed in relation to it. 

' that its moral results there should be faithfully and 
fully exhibited. It is hoped this volume will accom- 
plish that work. 

In Feb, 1842-5 ^s seen by the extracts already given, 
Mr, Noy^s holds the following language :■ — " In Put- 
ney^ -during an experiment of seven yearB in the faith 
•of perfect holi^iess, tJiere has heen no tendency tovjard 
licentiousness among helievers ; and excepting a tempo- 
rary leaning toward Shakerism^ there ha% been no 
practical departure f rem ordAnary sexual morality J' 

In a letter bearing date, Putney, July 2, 18>39^ 
addressed to a Mr. HoUister, Mr. Noyes alludes to the 
*' temporary leanimg toward Shakerism" above men- 
tioned, in the following terms :— " In 1838, after an 
absenoc of more than a year, from the Lord's flock in 
this place, I returned, and found a considerable number 
of them strongly disposed to adopt the legality of Slrak- 
■erism on the subje<3t of sexual iiitercourse. I testified 
plainly against it, and the brethren and sisters above- 
mentioned have since unanimously renounced their 

The reader will readily perceive •from fhe aboye 
language, that the members of the society in Putney 
have been so completely under the influence of Mr. 
Noyes, that they could be swayed by Mm at will, 
with the ease of the sapling by the hand of the sturdy 


woodman. Mr. N. was fearful that his followers were 
getting too much under the influence of legality — were 
getting to be too strict, and he sets himself about 
rescuing them from under the rules of law, and bringing 
them into a state of liberty. 

If the statements of Mr. N. are entitled to credit^ 
we must beheve that the Putney Perfectionists had 
regarded the common rules of morality up to Feb. 
1842. But as we pursue the subject we shall find 
other statements which conflict with these, and the 
reader will be left to form his own conclusions after tlict 
whole subject is fairly laid before him. 



Principles taught hy Noyes. 

In addition to the facts already presented, so strik- 
ingly illustrative of the character of IsToyesism, we 
shall now proceed to notice some of the principles 
taught by Mr. ISf., and considered as essential parts of 
the system. It will be seen on examination that the 
principles and practices of Noyes and his followers 
go hand in hand, and are in perfect keeping the one 
with the other.. 

But we would frankly acknowledge that we continue 
the investigation of the subject with extreme reluc- 
tance ; and no consideration whatever, but a settled 
conviction of the necessity of so doing, in order to 
apprize the public, and especially the young, of the 
danger to which they are exposed, would induce us to 
propeed in the work. Much perplexity arises from the 
fact that Mr. Noyes, in speaking of some points, has 
descended so low, and unblusliingly published senti- 
ments so sensual and debasing in their character and 
tendency, and in some instances used language so very 
obscene and vulgar, that it is extremely difficult and . 
almost impossible to present the subject in a just light, 
without transgressing the common rules of propriety. 
But we will endeavor to avoid corrupting the mind of 
the reader while we seek to remedy the existing evil. 

The utter impiety and solemn mockery to which Mr. 
Noyes descends in trying to couple his gross licen- 


tiousness mth the sublime mysteries of Christianity^ 
can but shock the sensibilities of every virtuous mindj, 
and is an utter outrage upon the morai sense of a 
Christian community I Never was the grace of God 
more completely turned into lasciviousness [—2^ever 
vyas the demon of darkness more effectually trans- 
formed into an angel of light, than in the instance- 
before us ! The characters spoken of in scripture as— 
'' Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease 
from sin," come up before us in all their native cor- 
ruption under the cover of Noyesism ! 

In investigating the subject, we shall quote some- 
what largely from the writings of Mr. NoyeSy thereby 
presenting his principles to public view in their native 
dress. We shall however withhold some portions of 
his language which he has unblushingly blazoned 
abroad through the medium of his official organ- 
Though it may have been read with pleasure by the 
Koyesites, who have cast out all the bond-woman's' 
children not excepting " decen€7/^^-—jet 5t is utterly 
unfit for the public eye. In the letter addressed tc 
Mr. HoUister, and which has already been alluded to, 
Mr. N. writes as follows : — 

" About three months from the time when I received' 
Christ as a whole Savior, my mind was led into long 
and deep meditation on the subject which principally 
interests Shakers — the relation of the sexes. I then^ 
came to the conclusions in which I have since stood, viz, 
that the outward act of sexual connection is as innocent 
and comely as any other act, or rather, if there is any 
difference in the character of outward acts, that 


is the most noble and comely of all. This sentiment, 
covered with any covering but that of the Spirit, is 
licentiousness. The same is true of every principle 
of human action. ^Whatsoever is not of faith is 
sin ;' and to him that believeth, ' all things are law- 
ful.' God tells me that He does not care so much 
what I do, as lioiv I do it, and by this word I walk in 
all things. I never inquire whether it is right to do 
this, or tvrong to do that, but whether Grod leads me to 
do it or not- I look not at the thing to be done, but 
at the influence by which it is done. These principles 
I apply to the use of women, ardent spirits, money, 
carnal weapons, &c. So I have testified for the past 
five years ; and every day sinks me deeper ?jid deeper 
in the certainty that these are the principles of God, 
and his heavenly hosts." 

The above are the settled principles of Mr. Noyes, 
and they throw a flood of Hght upon the whole system 
which he has laid down. And they have been the rule 
hj which he has walked from 1834 up to the present 

Kow, if sentiments of like character, or equally 
licentious in their tendency, should come out from those 
hot-beds of iniquity, city brothels, it would not be very 
surprising ; but coming as they do from a man claiming 
to be a Christian^ and setting himself up as the founder 
of a sect which is called 7'eligious, it surpasses any 
thing which has ever existed either in ancient or 
modern times. Verily this is a " master stroke of 
Satanic pohcy— a refinement of wickedness which 
puts papacy to the blush," and is the " very i7icar- 
nation of impurity." As a kind of screen for his 


fv'ickedness. Mr. N. impiously and hypocriticalij pre- 
teiids to throw the " covering of the Spirit" over all 
his acts, of whatever character ! To him all things are 
la'wful I This is throwing off all legal restraint, and 
stepping out upon the platform of universal freedom. 
If this is not unrestricted license, then we know not 
what is. Under such principles a man might carry 
out whatever notions might chance to come into his 
head, and if his course was questioned at all, he might 
reply — " I am led hy the S'pirit.^^ This reply would 
answer all questions I 

But to return — ^Let the reader bear in mind that 
the long and deep meditations of Mr. JST. upon this 
subject commenced about three months after he came 
out a staunch Perfectionist, which was in Feb. 1834. 
Now he asserts that he had since " stood^^ in the 
conclusions to which he then came, which conclusions 
are contained in- the extracts already given — that he 
had walked by the rule there laid down " m all tilings'^ 
— and says — '' These principles I a^pply to the use of 
women, ardent spirits, ^-c." — And that he had testified 
the same from 1834 up to 1839. 

How do these statements agree with the assertion 
that there had been nothing immoral among the 
" believers" in Putney up to Feb. 1842 ? Plowever 
it might have been with liis followers, we venture to 
say that the reader will find it difficult to beheve that 
Mr. N. had been guiltless all the while, his protesta- 
tions of innocence to the contrary notwithstanding.. 


But let us hear him again. — In the Spii'ituai Mor- 
alist of June 13, 1842, he writes as follows : — 

'' In the whiter of 1834, I abandoned the popular 
rehgious system in which I had been educated, and 
became a perfectionist. The change in my views at 
that time, Avas not confined to the subject of holiness, 
but extended to every department of theology and 
morals. Finding gi'oss error in the foundation of my 
pre\ious faith, I suspected error in every part of the 
8uj)er.structure. I therefore gave it up altogether, 
and commenced a new course of investigation, trusting 
myself more exclusively than I had before done, to the 
guidance of the Bible and the Spirit of truth. The 
subject of sexual morality was early forced upon 
my attention, by its close connection with those 
pecuhar views of the laiv, of the leadings of the 
Spirit, and of the resurrection .^ which are among the 
principal elements of my testimony in the Perfectionist 
and in the Witness. Personal circumstances of an 
interesting character, the startling and in some instan- 
ces the corrupt suggestions of men with whom I was 
then connected, and a variety of scandalous reports 
concerning the licentious doctrines and practices of 
certain Perfectionists, conspired to urge me to a thor- 
ough examination of the matter. On the one hand 
my 'practical propensities, trained as they had been in 
the school of New England sobriety, and confirmed by 
the deep interest which I had taken in the Moral 
Reform enterprise, strongly attached m^e to the ordi- 
nary maxims of sexual virtue. On the other hand^ 
I cared nothing for reputation, for I had none to lose, 
and was therefore free to adopt any theory^ however 
' heretical' and offensive, which the gospel of the 
resurrection might require. Under these circum> 


stances, I meditated on the subject much of the time 
for two years. My mind was particularly exercised in 
relation to it during several long seasons of spiritual 
trial. In the winter of 1836-7 my views assumed a 
definite and satisfactory form." 

What the " definite and satisfactory form^^ was, 
which the views of Mr. Noyes assumed in the winter 
of 1836-7, we gather from what is familiarly called 
and generally known as the "Battle Axe Letter." 
This letter bears date, Jan. 15, 1837, and on account 
of the peculiar doctrines which it contains has acquired 
considerable notoriety, and exhibits the views of Mr, 
N. in a — to him — '' definite and satisfactory form." 



H^he Battle Axe Letter and its History. 

The famous Battle Axe Letter of which so much 
has been said, was written by Mr. Noyes, when at 
Ithaca, N. Y., and was addressed to Mr. David Har- 
rison, of Meriden, Ct.— ^Mr. Harrison, in accordance 
with the liberty given by Mr. Noyes, lent the letter to 
an acquaintance, and after passing round among a few 
Perfectionists, it fell into the hands of Theophilus R. 
Gates J of Philadelphia, who published a part of it— 
in Aug. 1837— in a periodical which he was then 
issuing, called the Battle Axe. From the circum- 
stance of its being published in that paper it took ..the 
name of the Battle Axe Letter* The following extract 
contains the substance of the letter, or that portion of 
it which relates to the subject under consideration : — 

'•'- 1 will write all that is in my heart on one delicate 
subject, and you may judge for yourself whether it is- 
expedient to show this letter to others. When the will 
of God is done on earth, as it is in heaven, there will 
he no marriage. The marriage supper of the Lamb^ 
is a feast at which every dish is free to every guest. 
Exclusiveness, jealousy, quarrelling, have no place- 
there, for the same reason as that v/hich forbids the 
guests at a thanksgiving dinner to claim each his 
separate dish, and cjuarrel with the rest for his rights. 
In a holy community there is no more reason why 
sexual intercourse should he restrained hy law, than 
why eating and drinking should he^ — and there is a& 
little occasioji for shame in the one case as in the other. 


God has placed a wall of partition between the male 
and female during the apostasy, for good reasons, 
which will be broken down in the resurrection, for 
equally good reasons. But woe to him who abolishes 
the law of the apostasy before he stands in the holuiess 
of the resurrection. The guests of the marriage 
supper may have each his favorite dish, each a dish of 
his own procuring, and that without the jealousy of 
exclusiveness. / call a certain woman my wife — she 
is you7's, she is Christ'' s^ and in him she is the bride of 
ALL SAINTS. She is dear in the hand of a stranger, 
and according to my promise to her I rejoice. My 
claim upon her cuts directly across the marriage cove- 
nant of this world, and God knows the end." 

It will be remembered that in 1834, after " long 
and deep meditations" about certain Shaker doctrines, 
Mr. N. came to some definite conclusions^ in which he 
declares he had '^ stood'^ up to 1839, a period of five 
years. In connection with his conclusions he had also 
adopted certain pincijjles^ in which he had walked 
during the same period, and which he says he applied 
to the " use of women, ardent spirits, &c." — Now it 
is evident that the ''conclusions'^ to which Mr. N. 
came after " long and deep meditations," and also the 
''principles'^ which he adopted as a rule of action^ 
" in all things," were in perfect keeping with the 
sentiments of the Battle Axe Letter ; for he " stoocV 
and " walked ^^ in them, and " a/)pZ?ec?" them in all 
cases from 1834 up to 1839 ; although they did not 
assume the "definite and satisfact6^y form" of the 
Battle Axe Letter till 1837. The Battle Axe Letter 
was evidently intended as a kind of feeler among a 


few choice spirits, for Harrison to whom it was written 
was a staunch Perfectionist. Nojes undoubtedly 
designed to broach the subject of the Battle Axe 
Letter to different individuals as circumstances might 
warrant, and thus secretly and silently diffuse among 
thorough-going Perfectionists the specious doctrines 
contained in that letter. 

But through the agency of T. R. Gates it was pub- 
hshed without the knowledge of Noyes, and he was 
evidently not a little chagrined and disconcerted at its 
sudden appearance ; but it could not be recalled, and 
the only alternative was to make the best of it he 
could. Gates published the letter without giving the 
author's name, and there were many conjectures 
relative to the source whence it emanated. Some 
attributed the authorship of the letter to James Boyle, 
who was an early convert to Perfectionism, and for 
some time an associate of Noyes. — Others supposed 
Noyes to be its author, and a number of letters were- 
soon written to ascertain whether it originated v^'ith 
him. He acknowledged that he was the author of the 
letter ; and in the Witness published at Ithaca, N. Y., 
Sept. 23, 1837, he holds the following language rela- 
tive to the matter : — 

" Several persons have written to inquire whether I 
or Mr. Boyle was the author of the letter lately 
published in the Battle Axe. I answer, I am the 
author, hut not the publisher ^ of the letter. As an 
anti-mason, I cannot object to its publication ; and as 
an optimist I am bound to rejoice. Yet I must be 
permitted to say, that it contains doctrines and allusions 


which I should never have obtruded npon the public, 
not for fear of persecution or reproach, but lest my 
liberty should become a stumbling-block to others." 

In the Spiritual Moralist pubHshed at Putney, Vt., 
June 13, 1842, Mr. N. again refers to the same point. 
Speaking in reference to the publication of the Battle 
Axe Letter, he says : — 

" He (Gates) pubhshed a part of it in a periodical 
he was then issuing, called the Battle Axe, without 
any suggestion of the circumstances under which it 
was written, or of the person to whom it was addressed, 
leaving his readers to suppose that it was written to 
himself and designed for publication. I was then at 
Ithaca, just commencing the pubhcation of the Witness. 
I had scarcely seen the paper containing the letter, 
before I received several letters of inquiry about it. 
Some supposed Boyle to be the author of it ; others 
attributed it to me. I immediately acknowledged 
myself the author of it in the Witness, avowed my 
continued conviction of the truth of its sentiments, and 
promised a full explanation. 

" I confess I had previously shrunk from the respon- 
sibility of ])ringing forward into puhlie discussion a 
matter so delicate and inflammatory ; not because I was 
ashamed of the truth, or afraid of the wrath of man, 
but because I dreaded the ruinous offences which it 
would occasion. Yet I had seen the ultimate necessity 
of the open warfare to which I was now summoned, 
and was waiting on the providence of God for a leading 
movement. Gates's publication of my letter, fraud- 
ulent and foolish as it was on his part, was to me the 
voice of God calling me to my post. I had not been 
willing to begin the battle myself, but when it was 
begun, I was willing to stand in the front of it, for I 
knew ' the battle was the Lord's.' " 


It may be proper here to introduce a brief account 
of the circumstances connected with the pubUcation of 
the Battle Axe Letter, given by Mr. Harrison, to 
whom the letter was written. Tliis account is found 
in an extract from a letter written by Harrison to 
Noyes, and is as follows : — 

" I have never told you how the Battle Axe Letter 
escaped me. I kept it several months without showing 
it to any one ; but the Lord gave me no liberty to 
suppress it. I first showed it to Lovett — he liked it 
and wished it to peruse — I consented, but requested him 
to return it. While it was with him, Elizabeth Haw- 
ley got hold of it, and insisted upon sending it to 
Gates, or ' she ivould leave the house in a thunder- 
storm that night for Neiv Haven.'' So it went. I 
soon heard of it, and anticipated the result, and should 
have written immediately to Gates 'forbidding its 
publication, hut I coidd not get the Lord^s consent. 
So you see, the Lord obtained the letter from me as it 
2vere hy stealth P'' 

This account must have been very satisfactory to 
Mr. Noyes. What a wonderful providence in the 
affair ! But Mr. JST, says : — " The letter was written 
not for the pubhc, but for the perusal of a famihar 
friend, with due regard to the delicacy of its subject, 
and without any mtention of obtruding it upon the 
notice, even of Perfectionists — much less of casting 
it before dogs and stvvne. * * * While I cast from me 
the fear and shame of guilt, I nevertheless acknowl- 
edge myself a follower of Paul in my views of expe- 
diency, (See I. Cor. ix. 19-22,) believing that there 
are things spoken of ' in the third heaven, which are 


not lawful to be uttered,' and that there is wisdom 
which ought to be communicated only to ' the perfect.'" 

The allimons of Mr. ISToyes in the foregoing lan- 
guage cannot be mistaken. Such sentiments indicate*; 
a mind grossly sensualized^ and irrecoverably lost to 
all chaste and delicate feelings ! 

But in the Witness of Sept. 23, 1837, Mr. N. 
speaks in reference to the publication of the Battle 
Axe Letter as follows : — 

"As I am not responsible for the consequences of 
its puhlication^ I might easily escape in a measure the 
fury of the storm which must follow it, but I choose to 
' bide its brunt,' and therefore say, that / hnoiv the 
doctrine of that letter 'is God's truth, and that ivhoso- 
ever contends with it, ' rushes upon the thick bosses of 
His buckler.'^ 

"As to the expediency of its publication at the 
present time, I say nothing. God understands his own 
business, and I leave it with liim and T. R. Gates to 
settle that matter. One thing I know, viz: that 
before the will of God is done on earth, as it is in 
heaven, that doctrine will be preached upon the house- 

In the Spiritual ^^loralist of June 13, 1842, Mr. IST. 
again alludes to the sentiments of the Battle Axe 
Letter and its publication by Gates as follows :■ — 

" From that time I have never faltered in my 
purpose of ' pubhshing on the house-tops,' the truths 
contained in that letter." 

The foregoing extracts have been made from the 
writings of Mr. Noyes, for the purpose of presenting, 
in one connected chain, his remarks made at different 


times in reference to the circumstances connected with 
the publication of the Battle Axe Letter. 

The attentive reader will readily perceive, from the 
concluding language of the foregoing extracts, that, 
according to Mr. N.'s view, the time when the will of 
<Tod would be done on earth — at least by a portion of 
its inhabitants — as it is done in heaven, could not be 
very far distant. He says that before the ushering in 
of that period, the doctrines of the Battle Axe Letter 
would be preached upon the house-tops. These 
doctrines had been partially preached from the time 
of the publication of that letter by Gates in 183T, up 
to 1842 ; and at that time Noyes and Cragin, by the 
publication of the Spiritual Moralist, addressed them- 
selves " to the task of making a full exposition" of 
those doctrines, and they were proclaim.ed abroad, and 
preached not only upon the house-tops, but upon the 
hill-tops, and scattered through the medium of the 
Spiritual Moralist broad-cast over the country. 

It is true, Mr. K. does not undertake to fix the 
precise time when this great event should take place, 
but as the tender branch and unfolding leaves of the 
fig-tree betoken approaching summer, so from the 
public manner in which the sentiments of the Battle 
Axe Letter had been sounded abroad, through the 
length and breadth of the land, in 1842, we can but 
see that " coming events were casting their shadows 
before," and should naturally infer that the time was 
drawing near ! 

Subsequent events have shown this to have been the 


case. The coming of the kingdom has been formally 
announced, and it seems that 1847 was the year in 
which, according to the views of Mr. N. and his 
followers, the long looked for event, which was the 
" Jiope of their ealling^^'' was ushered in ! And a full 
disclosure of startling facts clearly shows that the 
doctrines of the Battle Axe Letter have been carried 
out in the Perfectionist Community at Putney, to an 
alarming extent. A multitude of facts have already 
been presented touching this matter. 

It will be recollected that Noyes wrote the Battle 
Axe Letter to D. Harrison, and left it discretionary 
with him to retain it in his own possession or show it 
to others, as he might deem it expedient. Harrison, it 
seems, lent it to a friend, and after having been exam- 
ined by several Perfectionists, it fell into the hands of 
T; R. Gates, who was not, as Noyes asserts, a Perfec- 
tionist; but who certainly hold doctrines in perfect 
keeping with the sentiments of the Battle Axe Letter, 
for he approved of, and pubhshed it. Gates, however, 
puWished the letter upon his own responsibihty, without 
the knowledge of Noyes, who evidently was taken by 
surprise at its unexpected appearance in print, and 
deeply mortified in view of its pubHcation. But as an 
anti-mason, he says he could not object to its publi- 
cation. Certamly he could not object with any show 
of consistency, in view of his avowed anti-masonic 
principles in opposition to all secret movements. 

But he also says, that as an optimist he was bound 
to rejoice. Although to be consistent with his princi- 


pies as an optimist, or one who believes that all things 
are ordered for the best, he acknowledges himself 
hound to rejoice, yet it does not very clearly appear 
that he did rejoice. His attempt to make this appear 
is extremely lame. Although he says that he had seen 
the " ultimate necessity of of en warfare,'* and was 
"waiting on the providence of God for a leading 
movement ;" and although he asserts that the publi- 
cation of the Battle Axe Letter by Gates, was 
regarded by him as the " voice of God calling him to 
his post," yet the language of Mr. N. relative to the 
matter, implies a severe censure upon Gates for pub- 
lishing the letter ! Manifest insincerity is here clearly 
exhibited. If he had really rejoiced, his gratitude to 
Gates should have been proportionate to his joy in, 
view of the publication of the letter ; and he should 
have regarded him as an honored instrument in the 
Divine] Hand, in carrying out a wise purpose, and 
accomplishing a desirable end. 

Neither would he have denounced the publication of 
the letter by Gates as a " fraudulent and foolish" act, 
if he believed that it was in accordance with the dic- 
tates of Infinite Wisdom, and the arrangements of an 
unerring Providence. 

Mr. N. says that he knew the doctrine of the Battle 
Axe Letter to be God's truth, and that the contest in 
which he was engaged was the Lord's battle ; yet ha 
doubted the expediency of the pubHcation of the letter 
at the time, and uses language implymg a severe 
censure upon Gates for doing \{^ Kis doctrine seems 


to be that it was right for the battle to be fought, but 
wrong to commence it ! — That it was right for the 
thing to be done, yet wrong to do it !^— That it was 
both right and wrong at the same time ! 

Mr. N. says that he, shrunk from the responsibility 
of brining the subject before the pubhc, simply 
because he dreaded the ruinous offences which it would 
occasion ; and that he never should have obtruded the 
doctrines and allusions contained in the Battle Axe 
Letter upon the public, lest his liberty should become 
a stumbling block to others. From all this it appears 
that he intended to keep his peculiar doctrines a pro- 
found secret, or at least within certaui prescribed 
limits, lest others not so wise and holy as he, should 
misapprehend and misapply them! But when pub- 
lished he tries to be reconciled to it, although he finds 
it very difficult to bring himself up to the sticking 
point, and humbly submit. 

If the doctrine was God's truth, and the publication 
of it in accordance with His will, Mr. N. need not 
have entertained any fears about " ruinous offences." 
Truth never suffers by exposure to the Hght, nor shrinks 
from the pubhc gaze, and its influence is ever salutary ; 
but error and iniquity ever shun the hght, and seek 
for the darkest seclusions. 

The pubhcation of the Battle Axe Letter brought 
down much odium upon the head of Mr. N., and he 
was compelled immediately to suspend the pubhcation 
of the Witness, which was resumed, however, at 
Putney in about one year, and that paper continued to 


be the medium through which he disseminated his 
licentious doctrines. Mr. N. has never renounced the 
doctrines of the Battle Axe Letter, but has repeatedly 
reaffirmed his belief in them, and he still pertinaciously 
adheres to them. 



Principles on which the doctrines of the Battle Axe 
Letter are based. 

Mr, Noyes has laid down the principles on which 
the doctrines of the Battle Axe Letter are based, and 
given the mental process by which he arrived at the 
conclusions contained in that letter. He says that the 
change which took place in his views when he became 
a Perfectionist in 1834, extended to every department 
of theology and morals. Finding, as he supposed, gross 
error in the foundation of his previous faith, he 
suspected error in every part of the superstructure^ 
and gave it up altogether. Thus it appears that on 
mere suspicion, Mr. N. gave up the whole noble super- 
structure of Gospel doctrines and Christian morals as 
held by different evangelical denominations. What- 
ever different views may have been entertained by 
evangelical Christians relative to doctrinal points, many 
of which are non-essential, there has hitherto been 
perfect unanimity respecting the morals of Christianity. 
And it is very surprising that an attempt should be 
made to bring about a change relative to this departs 
ment of the Christian rehgion. The morals of the 
community are all-important — the peace, the prosperity, 
and the welfare of the whole body politic are deeply 
involved in this matter. 

But let us look at the manner in which Mr. Noyes 
came to the conclusions contained in the Battle Axe 


Letter, and the principles from which they were 
derived. Says Mr. N. : — 

'' The process by which I attained this result, was 
like that by which I had before found the truth in 
relation to holiness and the Second Coming of Christ. 
In the case of both of these subjects, after balancing a 
while in suspense between the apparent contradictions 
of Bible testimony, I found it necessary to fix my 
mind upon that part of the evidence which was direct 
and decisive, and believe it boldly, leaving that which 
was indirect and doubtful to after consideration, and 
assuredly expecting to find conclusions thus formed 
ultimately ^conciled to all truth. In other words, 
my maxim was, not to alloio uncertain objections to 
lander my belief in certain testimo7it/. 

'' Finding direct, mdisputabie evidence in favor of 
the doctrine of holiness, for instance in I. John, iii. 8, 
I made that an unchangeable land-mark of faith, and 
then waited patiently, with all confidence, for the 
removal of objections. So on the subject of the 
Second Coming, I found rest, only by stubbornly 
believing such certain statements as Matt. xxiv. 34, 
in spite of all uncertain evidence to the contrary. 
Guided by the same principle in my inquiry concerning 
the sexual relation, I at length formed two fixed points 
of belief, viz., 

1. " TJiat God made mankind at the beginning 
male and female, and lias given no intimation that 
this original constitution will ever be altered, but on 
the contrary has declared hy the mouth of Paul, that 
' the man is not without the tuoman, neither is the 
tvoman without the man in the Loed.' 

2. " That in the resurrection, i. e. in the ultimate 
perfect condition of the human race, there will he 
^neither marrying nor giving in marriage.^ 


" It hardly need be said, that the conclusions which 
necessarily folloTy from these premises, are exceedingly 
alarming and offensive to those who sympathize with 
the fashions and feelmgs of the world. It will be the 
first object of this paper (the Spiritual Moralist) to 
exhibit those conclusions, and guard them from perver- 
sion. It is sufficient for the object of my present 
statement to say, that I mentioned them without dis- 
guise, in a private letter (dated Jan. 15, 1837) tc^ 
David Harrison, of Meriden, Conn." 

Thus we learn that the views of Mr. Koyes which 
assumed a " definite and satisfactory form" in the 
winter of 1836-7, and were embodied in the Battle 
Axe Letter, were legitimate conclusions necessarily 
following from the " two fixed points of beHef " which 
we have already given ; and which in the ehtimation of 
Mr. N. constitute the central point of truth relative to 
this whole subject, and are the " direct and decisive" 
evidence to which all other testimony must yield. 

We do not object to the abstract principle which Mr„ 
N. has laid down, viz., that we should believe " direct 
and decisive" evidence relative to any doctrinal pointy 
but we object to the application in the case under 
consideration. The question arises, Is the testunony 
adduced touching this point "direct and decisive?" 
This Mr. N. asserts, but it will be found on exam- 
ination, that the testimony on which he relies to sustain 
the "two fixed points of belief," instead of being 
" di7'ect and deeisive,^^ is " indirect and doubtful.'' 
And if it appears that the foundation is false, the 
whole superstructure of the Battle Axe Letter and all 


will fall to the ground unless it can stand without any 
foundation. As the Battle Axe Letter, with all its 
concomitant sentiments, sprung from these " two fixed 
points of belief," they should be carefully examined. 

The first principle which Mr. N. has laid down is, 
" That Qod made mankind at the beginning male and 
female^ and has given no intimation that this original 
constitution will ever he altered^ 

We reply, the Scriptures do give intimations^ and 
also positive proofs^ that the original physical consti- 
tution of man will be changed. It is asserted by St. 
Paul that the resurrection body will be '^ spirituaV' 
and ''• incorruptible.''^ It will be entirely different 
from the natural body. The resurrection body will 
be built up on entirely new and wholly indestructible 
principles. It will be free from all infirmities and 
imperfections, and will not be dependent upon natural 
productions for its support; it will be exempt from 
disease^ decay and dissolution. In the Apostle's 
description of the resurrection body we certainly 
discover very strong intimations that man's original 
constitution will be altered. 

But the Apostle holds the following definite and 
emphatic language touching this point : — 

" Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats ; 
but God shall destroy both it and them." I Cor. 6 : 13. 

We infer from this language, that the Creator has 
given man an animal appetite^ or a desire for food, and 
that He has provided various aliments to meet the 
demands of his nature. This is clearly demonstrated. 


The appetite is adapted to the aliments, and the 
aliments to the appetite ; hut God shall destroy both it 
and them. These are not eternal ; all the lower appe- 
tites and sensations will be destroyed by death, and 
have no existence in the resurrection body. 

The only passage adduced by Mr. N. in support of 
the position which he has assumed, is one of doubtful 
import, found in the writings of St. Paul : — " The man 
is not without the woman, neither is the woman without 
the man in the Lord." I Cor. 11 : 11. — Before utter- 
ing this language, St. Paul had argued the supremacy 
of the man over the woman in the established order of 
things ; and lest this doctrine should be construed into 
a disparagement of the female sex, he intimates that 
there is a mutual dependence between them. 

In the Lord, Theodoret renders in the world. Per- 
haps the meaning of the Apostle is, that the human 
race is continued by an especial providence of God. 
Thus the testimony of Mr. N. appears to be " indirect 
and douhtfid,^^ and is entirely swept away by the 
'' direct and decisive^'' evidence which we have already 
adduced. The second position or " fixed point of 
behef " on which Mr. N. rests the superstructure of 
the Battle Axe Letter is, " That in the resurrection, 
i. e. in the ultimate perfect condition of the human 
race, there will he * neither marrying nor giving in 
marriage."* " 

The resurrection, or ultimate perfect condition of 
the human race, of which Mr. N. speaks, is not the 
resurrection of that body which dies, for he utterly 


discards this doctrine. The resurrection state, or 
*' perfect condition of the human race," according, to 
the vi^w of Mr. N., is to be attained in this world — 
is to be wrought out by spiritual influences — and every 
'' increment of faith" in the " body of believers," in 
the view of Noyes, is tending directly to this result — 
the exemption of the body from death ! This state 
has long been the "hope of their calling," and it 
appears that at last they think that they have attained 
it. One of the master-spirits in the Putney Com- 
munity, who is perfectly famihar with every point of 
doctrine among them, has asserted that they have 
attained the resurrection of the body. They have not 
made bold to publish this to the world, but have 
expressed it in a somewhat private manner. Their 
policy seems to be to keep such doctrines for a time, 
vrithin the " charmed circle," lest they should be too 
fully committed, and get into difficulty by letting their 
" advanced position" be publicly known. The doctruie 
of " Bible secretiveness" is very convenient for Per- 
fectionists, and quite applicable in this case. 

But the passage on which Mr. N. relies mainly for 
support concerning his second position is this : — " In 
the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in 
marriage, hut are as the angels of Q-od in heaven.'^'' 
Matt. 22 : 30. 

As Mr. N. evidently considers this passage his 
strong hold, and has drawn from it a stereotyped 
argument, let us endeavor to ascertain its true import. 
It will be seen, by considering the circumstances under 


which it was uttered, and the evident design which 
the Savior had in view, that it perfectly harmonizes 
with the commonly received opinion of a literal, resur- 
rection of the body, and yields no support whatever to 
Mr. N.'s new notion. 

Our Savior was combatting a formidable objection 
of the Sadducees to the resurrection of the body. 
That objection rested on two grounds. 

1. They denied that there was any future state 
whatever. " For the Sadducees say that there is no 
resurrection, neither angel, nor Spirit : but the Phari- 
sees confess both." Acts, 23 : 8. Denying that men 
have any souls after death, of course they would deny 
the resurrection of the body. 

2. They supposed the doctrine was irrational^ and 
absurd in itself, as is manifest from the case of the 
woman who had seven husbands, which they adduced, 
and from which they reasoned. Our Savior first clears 
away the difficulties which they had thrown around the 
subject, and then attacks their main position, which 
was a denial of the immortality of the soul. If the 
foundation of their theory could be removed, the super- 
structure would fall. 

But their doctrine must be overthrown by the 
Scriptures. And they had rejected all the Scriptures, 
but the five books of Moses. Our Savior proceeds, 
therefore, to prove the immortahty of the soul from 
the Pentateuch itself; and quotes Exodus 3. 6, — "I 
am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and 
the God of Jacob." And his comment upon the 


passage, is, that " God is not the God of the dead^ 
but of the living.'''' Thus showing that Abraham, 
Isaac and Jacob were living when this declaration 
was made to Moses, although their bodies were dead, 
and had been for centuries. Their souls, therefore, 
lived after their bodies were dead. Thus the Saddu- 
cees were confounded out of their own acknowledged 
Scriptures, and the foundation of their objection to the 
resurrection of the body removed. Never was an 
argument more logically constructed or strictly con- 
formed to the established rules of argumentation than 
this, and it completely silenced the Sadducees. 

Thus it appears that the passage under consideration, 
refers to a resurrection state entirely diverse from 
the one which Mr. N. has pictured in his imagination. 
For a better understanding of the views of Mr, N. 
relative to the subject under consideration, we will 
give some remarks of his made by way of comment 
upon the passage just quoted. . Speaking . of that 
portion of the Battle Axe Letter which treats of 
marriage, Mr. N. says it " teaches neither ' a commu- 
nity of wives' nor ' plurality of wives,' but a nullity of 
wives. Its doctrine is, ' When the will of God is done 
on earth, as it is in heaven, there will he no marriage;'' 
which is a simple and necessary deduction from the 
saying of Christ, 'In the resurrection they neither marry 
nor are given in marriage^ but are as the angels of 
God.' How are the angels ? Answer. ' Suffer little 
children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom 
of God.' How are little children ? Answer. They 


' neither marry nor are given in marriage ;' they are 
' naked and are not ashamed/ as Adam and Eve were 
before they sinned, and as all God's creatures are m 
heaven and under heaven, except man. Moreover let 
it be marked that the Battle Axe Letter teaches not 
even a nullity of wives, as a matter of ^yese?it practice. 
Its language is, ' When the will of God is done on 
earth, as it is in heaven, there will he no marriage.'' " 

The above language was pubhshed in Jan. 1839. 
Mr. N. evidently feared that his doctrine would appear 
too revolting without some guarding and garnishing — 
hence he denies that it was then to be a " matter of 
present practice,''^ but was applicable to a prospective 
period — a state of things yet in anticipation. 

But let us here draw, with all possible accuracy, 
an outline of the state anticipated. And in doing this 
we shall quote Mr. N.'s own language. He defines 
his position relative to this matter with all necessary 
precision. In 1838 he says : — 

1. " I believe f that marriage does not exist in heaven. 

2. " / believe, thai the will of God will be done on earth, as it 
is done in heaven: consequently that a time will come when 
marriage will not exist on earth. 

3. " 7 believe, that for the present transition period, proper 
instruction for believers is contained in the 7th Chap. I. Cor. 
especially 29-31 verses. 

4. " I believe, that in the heavenly state — which is the hope of 
our calling — the Holy Spirit takes the place of vrritten laws, and 
arbitrary ceremonies, in regard to the intercourse of the sexes, and 
all other matters. 

5. ^^ I do NOT believe, that any have attained to that state that 
are now on earth."" — Witness, Vol. I, No. 4. 


In stating that none had attained to that state then 
on earth, Mr. N. flatly contradicts what he had 
previously said of himself. He says that in 1834 he 
had eaten of the tree of life, and partaken with Christ 
of the marriage supper ; and certainly we are at a loss 
to conceive w^hat higher attainments can be made in 
this life. But let us hear him further in relation to 
the state of things anticipated for the body of behevers. 

" I will state briefly my reasons for behevmg that' 
the marriage supper of the Lamb, is a ' feast at which 
every dish is free to every guest. 

1. "I believe that distinction of sexes exists in 
heaven. ... I have never jfound the shghtest valid 
reason for the common nebulous impression that 
heaven is inhabited by a company of non-descript 
ghosts. I believe that the paradise of redemption^ in 
its elementary constitution, in all respects, except those 
which involve evil, resembles the paradise of creation, 

2. " Applying to the views which I have just stated 
several familiar passages of scripture, I cannot avoid 
the results described in the Battle Axe Letter. The 
passages are these — Luke xx. 25 : ' They which shall 
be counted worthy to obtain that world, neither marry 
nor are given in marriage.'' Luke xviii. 17 : Sufier 
little children to come unto me and forbid them not, 
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'' If the 
distinction of sexes exists in heaven, and yet there 
is no marriage, but the inhabitants are Uke little 
children, what else can the marriage supper be, but 
' a feast at which every dish is free to every guest ?/ 
I am not frightened by this inevitable result, (however 
fevoltmg it may seem to that kind of modesty which 
was the first fruit of sin,) because I know by expc- 


rience^ as well as by the testimony of God, that the 
Holy Spirit, which grives and executes the laws of 
heaven, is a surer safeguard of modesty, chastity, and 
whatsoever is pure, and lovely and of good report, 
than laws, and ceremonies, and pubHc opinion. 

** Having explained to you then, 1st, my views of 
present duties of Christians — ^2d, my views of d, future 
heavenly state— it only remains to inquire 3d, Whether 
the heavenly state is to be expected in this world ? 
I answer, I fully believe that the will of God will he 
done on earth as it is done in heaven, because it 
is predicted in Scripture." Witness, Vol. I. No. 10. 

Again says Mr. N. : "As Paul says of the second 
coming, * We which are alive and remain, shall be 
changed, and caught up^ — it may now be said of the 
third coming, We which are alive and remain, shall be 
changed and take everlasting possession of this world.^^ 
Witness, Vol. I. No. 5, 

It appears from the foregoing extracts that Mr. N, 
in 1838 was anticipating a glorious state — an eventful 
era not far distant, when the will of God would be 
done on earth — ^at least by a portion of its inhabitants 
— as it is done in heaven. This " heavenly state" 
was the hope of their — the Perfectionists — calling. — 
This paradise of redemption, which Mr. N. had pictured 
in his imagination, would be in its elementary constitu- 
tion, in all respects, like the paradise of creation, except 
that sin could never enter there ! And when this 
auspicious period should be ushered in, the saints — 
that is all genuine Perfectionists — would take everlast- 
ing possession of the earth! Would all set down 
together at the marriage supper of the Lamb. 


But has the long-looked-for period arrived ? Has the 
millennial day been ushered in ? 

On the evening of the first day of June, 1847, it 
was declared by a unanimous voice that the kingdom 
of God had come to the town of Putney^ and the 
Perfectionist Comnmnity established thtre 1 

This was the ^^ consummation" so long and devoutly 
desired, and appears to have been the signal for the 
carrying out of the doctrines of th€ Battle Axe Letter 
through the ranks of the Perfectionists. The whole 
matter then may be summed up in few words, and in 
plain English stands thus : — The time had arrived for 
the Perfectionists to '' take everlasting possession of 
this world''^-^The will of God was being done among 
them as it is done in heaven — They had entered the 
^' heavenly state,^^ which had long been the " hope of 
their calling^ ^ — Had taken possession of the ^'paradise 
of rede7np)tion^'' — And were banqueting at the feast 
— the marriage supper of the Lamb — where " every 
dish is free for every guest P^ What impious mock- 
ery ! I What daring impiety ! ! ! 

Their ideas of heaven appear to be confined to a 
little clan of Perfectionists who have "joined their 
households under one common roof," with John H. 
Noyes at their head — where there is a " nullity of 
wives'^ — and where the doctrines of the Battle Axe 
Letter are carried out ! Such was the little company 
of Perfectionists at Putney until the strong arm of the 
law reached the leader and scattered the clan. And 
such is the Community of Perfectionists lately estab- 


lished and now existing at Oneida Reserve in Cen- 
tral New York, under the immediate eye and super- 
vision of John H. Nojes. 

More grovelling sentiments and debasing views of 
heaven, with all its angelic purity, its hallowed enjoy- 
ments and extatic delights, cannot well be entertained ! 
If this is not the " master stroke of Satanic policy,'^ 
then it has no existence. Ifthis is not the very incar- 
nation of impurity" and " wickedness that puts Papacy 
to the blush," then it cannot be found. 

This is a — if not the — " man of sin, the mystery of 
iniquity." It is a covering for — 

" All wicked, all abominable things/' 

Model most complete 

Of perfect wickedness, where deeds are done, — 
Deeds ! let them ne'er be named ! — 
From first to last it was an evil place : 
And now such things were acted there, as made 
The devils blush ; and from the neighborhood, 
Angels and holy men, trembling, retired : 
And what with dreadful aggravation crowned 
This dreary time, was sin against the light. 
These men knew God, and, knowing, disobeyed ^ 
And gloried to insult him to his face. 

Of every order, sin and wickedness, 
Deliberate, cool, malicious villany, 
This age, attained maturity, unknown 
Before : and seemed in travail to bring forth 
Some last, enormous, monstrous deed of guilt. 
Original, unprecedented guilt, 
That might obliterate the memory 
Of what had hitherto been done most vile." 

The peculiar doctrine— the reader will understand the 


allusion — of Noyes is represented by Perfectionists as 
tlie stumhling-stone arid roek of offeyice which God has 
laid in Zion ; and the " confession of this doctrine** is 
declared to be the " cross of OJmst in this dispensa- 
tion, the end of the world, and the judgment of selfish- 
ness," JVo^es^s doctrine of " sexual morality^^ the 
CROSS OF Christ ! ! This caps the climax ! This is 
the chief corner stone of that edifice-^or " monument 
of disgrace'^ — wliich Mr. N. has built upon the princi- 
ples on which the doctrines of the Battle Axe Letter 
are based. He professes to have received this doctrine 
at an early date — •'•' when he received the doctrine of 
holiness, or soon after at the tim« he received hm 
commission!" And his foilowerp think that he " sus- 
tains it by as mighty truth as Ae does the doctrine of 
holiness or the Second C-pfliing"- — and Perfectionists 
declare that in their " e^penence they have had as 
many signs of its truth is they have had of any other 
doctrine !" 

Now Mr. N. professes to have received the doctrine 
of holiness in Feibruary, 1834, and soon after received 
his commission^ Indeed ! He is divinely commis- 
sioned, then ! From Mr^ N,'s account of some peculiar 
exercises which he experienced in May, 1834, we infer 
that he received his commission about that time. Mm 
doctrine of " sexual morality" he received at as early 
a period as this ; thus it appears that it is no new thing 
with him, however it may have been with some of Km 
It appears that Mr. N., — at least so far as doctrine 


is concerned — ^has fairly outstripped MaJiomet himself, 
and thrown the great Arabian Impostor far back into 
the shade 1 Mahomet promised Ms faithful followers a 
paradise of sensual pleasures after this life, or in a 
future state of existence ; but Mr. Noyes has fitted up 
Buch a place in this world, and offers to his followers 
in this life what Mahomet promised after this life. 
Thus it appears that Noyesism is an improved and 
enlarged edition of Mahometanism ! 

Noyes is holding out to his disciples the promise of 
exemption from death. And it appears that his 
heaven is to be composed of a little company of immor- 
tals — i. e. a Per&^ctionist Community — in which he 
pretends that the ^Holy Spirit takes the place of 
written laws and arhwary ceremonies, in regard to 
the intercourse of the sext^ and all other matter s^^ — 
or in other words, where th^ doctrines of the Battle 
Axe Letter are carried out. '^at blasphemous senti- 
ments! Such a Community ajipears to be all the 
heaven the Noyesites know any thing about ! 



Ultimate results of the sentiments of the Battle Axe 

The reader has already been made acquainted with 
the sentiments of the Battle Axe Letter, and some of 
the disgusting fruits which a practical application of 
those sentiments has produced ; but a further notice is 
necessary to B^full understanding of the subject. 

The Battle Axe Letter not only contemplates a com- 
plete annihilation of the conjugal relations, but it 
designs to sever the ties of consanguinity, and its ulti- 
mate object is to make a clean sweep of all the social 
relations ! And when all the ties of kuidred are cut 
asunder, there must be complete submission to the will 
and absolute control of Mr. Noyes ! But let us look at 
a few more phases which the doctrines of the Battle 
Axe Letter have assumed. 

Speaking in reference to the Shaker doctrine of 
entire continence, Mr. N. quotes Luke xx. 35—" But 
they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that 
world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither 
marry, nor are given in marriage '^ — and adds the fol- 
lowing comment : — 

" In order to avail themselves of this text, Shakers 
are obliged to take for granted that where there is no 
marrying there is of course no connection of the sexes 
— the only alternative of matrimony. Now, I aver, 
that all animals except man ' neither marry nor are 
given in marriage,' and yet are not Shakers. If it is 


objected that this is a degrading allusion, I aver again, 
that ^ little children,' whom Christ expressly declares 
are patterns of the heavenly state, ' neither marry nor 
are given in marriage,' and yet are not Shakers. The 
truth is, marriage and the sexual connection are differ- 
ent things. The first is artificial, the second is natural. 
One is an ordiaance of man, the other an ordinance of 
Grod. Christ simply declared, in Luke xx. 35, that the 
ordinance of man (which, alone, be it observed, cre- 
ates the difficulty presented by the Sadducees) has no 
place in heaven. There^ as among ' little children,' all 
belong to all. But mamage is nearer this state than 
Shakerism." — Witness, Vol. i. No. 10. 

More unscriptural and debasing sentiments can 
scarcely be conceived, than those contaiued in the fore- 
going language. In view of the doctrines of Noye& 
and the facts which have been developed, who can 
refrain from exclaiming with Pollok — 

'Poor, poor, poor man ! fallen far below the brute !" 

Such doctrines, carried out among mankind, as Koyeff 
has here and elsewhere taught, would transform this 
beautiful earth into a complete Pandemonium — 

" And make, on every side, so black a bell. 
That spirits, used to nigbt and misery, 
Would far withdraw, and look another w^ay.'^ 

The scheme which leads directly to the ruinous results 
which we are contemplating, was devised — 

" In that dark den of shame, 
Which who hath seen shall never wish to see 


This diabolical scheme was an — 

" Invention savoring much of hell! Indeed,, 
It was the master-stroke of wickedness^ 
Last effort of Abaddon's council dark,"^ 


But let US hear Mr. N. a little further — he says : — 
" Adultery^ fornication and incest are horrible 
€iimes, but they are crimes created hy law. The acts 
which those crimes designate, are not had itf themselves, 
but bad because the law forbids them. The law that 
forbids them is good, and worthy of all reverence, 
because it is necessary, in the present apostate condi- 
tion of the human race. Its value is proportionate to 
its necessity, and offences against it are criminal in 
proportion to its value. But observe, its necessity is 
earned by the sinfulness of mankind. Incest, for 
instance, is a crime of great magnitude, not by nature, 
.... but by a law for which experience has found a 
dreadful necessity: and that necessity is created by 
human wicJcedness.^^ — Spiritual Moralist, Vol. I. No. 2. 

The doctrine of Mr. Noyes is, that the necessity of 
the law prohibiting the crimes specified — adultery, 
fornication and incest — arises wholly from the . " sin- 
fulness of mankind.^^ Then it follows, of course, that 
in a Noyesite Community professing to be free from 
sin, the necessity for a laio prohibiting these crimes is 
entirely done atvay ; and although the " acts which 
those crimes designate" exist, there would be no sin ; 
for Mr. N. contends that they are " not bad in them- 
selves ! ! " Argument is mmecessary- — comment is 
uncalled for. It may be said of the man who has pro- 
mulgated such doctrines under the guise of Christi- 
anity : — 

" He was the devil's pioneer, who cut 

The fences down of virtue, sapped her walls, 

And opened a smooth and easy way to death." 

And he who can carry out, and urge upon his 


Mowers the practice of such doctrines, richl/ deserye® 
the searching application of the keen and cutting 
language o^ the poet :— 

" Most guilty, villaaous, dishonest man f 
Wolf in the clothing of the gentle ! 
Dark traitor in Messiah's holy camp I 
Leper in saintly garb ! — assassin masked 
In Virtue's robe ! rile hypocrite accursed ? 
I strive in vain to set his evil forth. 
The words that should sufficiently accurse. 
And execrate such reprobates, had need 
Come glowing from the lips of eldest hell.'' 

It appears frojn the foregoing language of Mr. 
Nojes, that adulter?/, fornication and incest constitute 
the triple crown which has been placed upon the head 
of Nojesism ! 

But let us look at Mr. N/s position in relation to 
marriage ; in 1842 he defined it thus : — 

" We believe that we sustain a similar relation to 
the institution of marriage, that the Old Testament 
saints did to the first, or Old Covenant. The Old 
Covenant was good and adapted io their condition, as 
a course of discipline preparatory to their entrance 
into a perfect and future state, of which thej were 
constantly reminded. But did they on this account 
abandon the dispensation under which God had placed 
them ? By no means : Faithfulness in the discharge 
of duties devolving upon them,, as servants under the 
law, was the qualification which fitted them to enter 
into the dispensation where their education would be 
perfected ; So with us in regard to the institution of 
marriage : notwithstanding we find many objections, to 
it, and pronounce it imperfect and adapted* only to a 
state of trial and discipHne, yet we beheve the new 


order of things which we anticipate, will not take its 
place until we have attained the resurrection of the 
body ; and then only by the manifest authority of 
G-od."— Spiritual Moralist, Vol. I. No. 2. 

The " new order of things" which they were 
anticipating in 1842, contemplated the sundering of 
the ties of kindred, the crucifying of the natural 
affections, and the breaking up of all the social rela- 
tions. The resurrection of the body was to introduce 
them into this " new order of things," in which mar- 
liage was to be done away. We are credibly informed 
that they believe they have attained .that resurrection. 
And indeed this is fairly inferable from their published 
sentiments. Soon after the proclamation went forth 
early in the summer of 1837 that the kingdom of 
God had come, which it was declared included all the 
elements of the judgment and the resurrection, Mr. N. 
spoke as follows in behalf of the Putney Community : — 

" We have attained a position in which, before heaven and 
earth, we trample under foot the domestic and pecuniary fashions 
of the world. Separate household interests, and property exclu- 
siveness have come to an end toith us. Our association is 
established on principles opposed at every point to the institutions 
of the ivorld." 

Thus it appears that having entered into the " new 
order of things," they had thrown off all legal re- 
straints ; and subsequent developmenta clearly show 

" They stole the livery of the court of hearon 
To serve the devil in.'' 


" la holy phrase, transacted villanies 

That common sinners durst not meddle with." 


It appears to have been the settled policy of Mr. 
N. to keep the ruinous results of his licentious doc- 
trines carefully concealed from public view. Knowl- 
edge of these things was to be communicated only to 
" the perfect^^ — ^not cast before " dogs and swine.'''' 
In this Mr. N. exhibits some wisdom — ^his doctrines 
Y/ere too revolting for even " dogs and swine,''^ 
however readily they might be received by "Me 
perfect. ^^ 

The process to which Mr. N. subjects his disciples, 
appears to be this : In the first place he holds up the 
doctrine of holiness suiTOunded with a tolerably fair 
show of Scripture, and mixed with a measure of truth 
to make it a little palatable ; and as soon as they have 
fairly swallowed the somewhat pleasurable potation, 
Mr, N. sets himself to work to bring them up to the 
" sticking point" and fix them fast ©n the subject of 
miracles- — and if by sleight of hand and " cunning 
craftiness" he can succeed in making them believe that 
he has power to tvorh miracles, they must as a natural 
consequence acknowledge that he is a holy man, and 
if so, it would be very logical to believe that he could 
do nothing ivrong. Thus the door is open to all 
manner of iniquity ! Do what he might, it would not 
be wrong in the eyes of his followers. Murder, 
rapine, robbery, and all manner of evil, might come in 
and take a stand upon this broad platform ! For let it 
be remembered that Perfectionists reject the written 
word as a rule of action, and Mr. N. asserts that 
" the controlling element of the moral philosophy of 


Perfectionism, is a reference to the will of God, 


Now they might take it into their heads that 
they were led by the Spirit to put an enemy out of the 
way ; and even a member of the Putney Community 
was heard to say a few years since, that he would kill 
a man as quick as he would a serpent, if the Lord told 
him to do it I We do not say that Perfectionists stand 
charged with having committed any such crime, and 
we do not know that any one even suspects any such 
thing of them ; but we do say that from the premises 
which they have laid down, this conclusion might be 
reached without any difficulty. We have no warrant 
against this; and some of the staid citizens of 
Putney would be no more, if as much surprised, to 
learn this of them, than they were when they were 
compelled to beheve that they had violated extensively 
— and utterly rejected as a rule — the seventh com- 
mandment of the Decalogue. Should they say that 
the command — " Thou shalt 7iot kilV — is of perpetual 
obligation, then they would recede from the position 
that the will of God is to be ascertained by special 
revelation, or the " direct communications of the 'Holy 
Spirit ;" and they would have to fall back upon the 
external or written law as being, at least in part, an 
infallible rule of life. 

If they have thrown away the command forbidding 
adultery, might they not that prohibiting murder on 
the same principle. These two commands are coupled 
together in the Decalogue, and stand upon the same 


basis. They each forbid crimes the most heinous 
in their nature ; and in the order in which the j are 
mentioned in the Scriptures, the crime of adultery 
sometimes takes the precedence of murder ; and from 
the whole tenor of Scripture we are led to the conclu- 
sion that adultery, if not equal to, stands the next in 
order after, murder, in point of enormity. 

If they have laid aside the command prohibiting 
adultery with such perfect coolness, and with a settled 
determination to carry out their principles, have we 
any assurance that they will never lay aside that 
forbidding murder? Past events may justly excite 
some fears touching future action. 

Moreover, the Noyesites at Putney have buried 
some of their dead in the night. This course every 
one knows may sometimes be dictated by common 
prudence, and existing circumstances may not only 
render it expedient but necessary. But we have 
every reason to believe that in the present instance it 
has been matter of choice and not of necessity. But 
why take this course ? Was it simply to show their 
utter contempt of all the customs and fashions of this 
world ? Some of the people of Putney have suspeeted 
that in adopting this rule they had an eye to some 
future events. Past transactions show that they have 
generally had some design in their moves. Deeply 
laid schemes have existed where all was looked upon as 
very harmless. We express no personal opinion rela- 
tive to the present case, but we must confess that to 
bury the dead in the night from choice looks a little 


dark. And our Great Teacher has taught us that the 
sole reason why men love darkness rather than light, 
is because their deeds are evil. 

We have contemplated some of the ultimate ruinoug 
results of the doctrines of Noyesism, and others equally 
sad, naturally follow in their train. Mr. N. is laboring 
to palm off the grossest errors and the worst of 
corruptions, under the guise of that ever-to-be-admired 
system of truth which issued from the Fountain of 
Wisdom and Purity, and was designed to reform, ele- 
vate and crown with the happiest of consequences the 
human race. And in some instances he is too 
successful — the young and inexperienced are some- 
times drawn in — and occasionally persons of age and 
considerable experience. A person's safety lies only in 
a timely precaution. If once upon the outer circle of 
this whirlpool of ruin, there is great danger of being 
drawn into the awful vortex. If Mr. N. can succeed 
in getting a person into the rapids above the Niagara 
of licentiousness, he is quite sure to be carried over 
the fearful cataract, and make the fatal plunge ; and 
pehaps he is gone ere he is aware of danger. In 
view of all the facts developed and doctrines taught by 
Mr. N., may it not be said that — 

*' He set himself, with most felonious aim 
And hellish perseverance, to root out 
All good, and in its place to plant all ill ; 
To rub and raze, from all created things, 
The fair and holy portraiture divine. 
And on them to enstamp his features grim ; 
To draw all creatures off from loyalty 


To their Creator, and make them bow 

The knee to him 

. Vilest of traitors ! most dishonest man ! — 
Sat by the door of Euin, and made there 
A melody so sweet, and in the mouth 

Of debauch, that else had croaked 

In natural discordance jarring harsh, 
Put so divine a song, that many turned 
Aside, and entered in undone, and thought, 
Meanwhile, it was the gate of heaven, so like 
An angel's voice the music seemed. 

Nor the saints elect, 

Who walked with God, in virtue's path sublime. 
Did he not sometimes venture to molest : 

And in their way 

Bestrewing pleasures, tongued so sweet, and so 
In holy garb arrayed, that many stooped. 
Believing them of heavenly sort, and feel ; 
And to their high professions, brought disgrace 
And scandal." 



Extracts of letters addressed to Mr, Noyes — Noyes's 
letter to Miss Harriet A. Holton. 

We present a few paragraphs from communicatioas 
addressed to Mr. Noyes by different individuals who 
embraced Perfectionism at an early period in its 
history. They are curious specimens of reUgious(?) 
experience and emotions — ^mere echoes of the senti- 
ments uttered by the great oracle of Perfectionism, 
The letters from which the extracts are taken, were 
published in the Witness of Jan. 23, 1839. 

The first extract we shall give, is from a letter 
written by Wm. Green, Jr. in Jan. 1839. 

" Dear brother Noyes — ^A few days since, the 
Spirit said to me, write to Noyes, and ever since, 
there has been a controversy in my mind whether to 
address you by brother Noyes, or dear brother Noyes. 
My feelings said the latter, but there were so many 
things that I could not understand, that safet}^ said the 
former. . . . The Lord said to me last fall, that the 
doctrines advanced by you were from hell, and when 
I found within the few past weeks, that the opposition 
of my heart was gradually giving away, I could not 
for some time, reconcile it with what he had told me 
of your doctrines, but before I became free to write 
to you, the Lord cleared up my mind, by showing me 
that the views I received as being your real sentiments, 
were licentious,' but that those were not your real 
sentiments as they lay in your mind." 

Wonderful indeed !, What a marvellous clearing up 


of the poor man's mind in the midst of this perplexing 
bewilderment ! 

The next letter which we shall notice, is from a Mrs. 
H. C. Green, who appears to have been very much 
displeased at the first appearance of the Battle Axe 
Letter ; so much so that she turned Mr. Noyes out of 
doors. But probably viewing it afterward through the 
glasses placed before her eyes by Mr. N., she 
appears to have been perfectly enamored with its 
beauties ; and becoming " converted to the practical 
channs of Perfectionism," she hastily retraced her 
steps, and expressed herself thus, under date of Jan. 
12, 1839. 

"• Dear brother Noyes— You have not to learn in 
this stage of your experience not to be surprised at 
any thing strange, or indeed, not to consider any thing 
as strange, since God's ways are not as man's, and 
seeing he has declared that a strange work will he per- 
form in the earth. I shall therefore make no apology 
for calling you dear brother, but only say that the 
Lord has taught me that it is safe to love in some 
cases where it is not safe to judged 

Mrs. Green appears to have been formerly a mem- 
ber of the Moral Reform Society, but on the avowal 
of her sentiments was disowned by that society, in 
reference to whose members she continues : 

" Poor souls ; they are deadly opposed to the truth. 
How can they, with such beams in their own eyes, see 
to pull out the mote out of their brothers. The veil 
of worldly modesty and delicacy which they have put 
on to cover their nakedness, does but make manifest 


the filth and rottenness withm. I believe that this 
subject in every root and branch will have to undergo 
a most thorough reform, even until that which is now 
called purity will be seen to be utterly abominable in 
the sight of God. I believe that every thing ought to 
be done under the leadings and guidance of the Spirit, 
and every relation^ so far as it has a tendency to inter- 
fere with that Spirit, has the curse of God resting 
upon it. I am beginning to learn the great secret that 
' whatsoever is not of faith is sin,' and bless the Lord 
that he is cutting the cords one after p^nother, that the 
• word may have free course and be glorified.' The 
axe is laid at the root of the tree and the last stroke 
will complete the wonk. Glory to God, we are riding 
in chariots on the king's highway, and cry, 'Cast ye up, 
cast ye up, take the stumbling block out of the way of 
my people.' . . . We find the members of the body 
imperfectly formed and scattered — what vfonder then 
that we • cannot always fit smoothly together. While 
some are farther advanced and others behind, we have 
need of that cement of love which ' hopeth all things, 
believeth all things, endureth all tilings.' 

-' I feel that you are passing through a fiery furnace, 
and though we have iielped kindle the fire, I am sure 
you will be more refined, and it is your turn to rejoice 
that we too have liad our clothes scorched by the same 
fire. Bless the Lord — let it burn, until the last rag is 
consumed, it is not our fire but His. When he brings 
us out, we shall not have even the smell upon our 

" We should like one of the books, v/hich you have 
been publishing. Should an opportunity present, 
will you send us one ? I need not say to you, should 
the Lord lead the way, come yourself. I can assure 
you a hearty reception to the house, and at least one 


heart. Tlie others are of age and must speak for 
themselves. It would give me pleasure to see that 
sister whom the world calls your wife. I hear you 
passed under something of a forra, I hope it con- 
tained nothing of the ingredients which composed the 
first marriage ceremony ever pronounced upon woman 
— viz. Eve's curse — ' Thy desire shall be to thy hus- 
band and he shall rule over thee.' Nay, I am 
persuaded you know what it is to live without being 
bound by any law, and yet be the more firmly united.'''^ 

We next give some extracts from a letter written by 
Mrs. R. Black, about the time Mrs. Green indited 
her epistle. It appears that the \dru3 of Perfection- 
ism had already been diffused to some extent — that the 
infection had taken in some localities, and was becom- 
ing quite contagious among a certain class :— 

" Dear brother Noyes — I. have sat down to write to 
you because the Spirit of the Lord leads me to do so, 
and as he shall give me so sliall I write, neither more 
nor less. At the time I saw you in N. Y. at brother 
Green's, I supposed that I understood your views, and 
with some of them was perfectly disgusted, and also 
with you for entertaining them, but I now beheve that 
I was not prepared to receive them at that time, and I 
bless God that lie has taught me all 1 know of the 
subject upon which we differed. Possibly my present 
sentiments would not agree with yours, indeed, I need 
not expect to have so extensive an acquaintance with 
the subject as yourself. Yet I think it probable, that 
as far as I have gone we shall agree : if I can get the 
e\ddence that we are in the same school, this will be 
sufficient for me. I anticipate your answer, that I 
may receive the truth come from vfhence it may, but 


this is not enough for me ; although I want a candid 
expression of your sentiments, I want still more to 
know that you are my dear brother. I believe that 
you are, or I should not write thus plainly. . . . 
Every one has got some of the 5(?wc?-woman's children 
clinging about them in some form or other. Some- 
times I think I can discover one hanging about me, 
but my cry is, ' Cast out the bond woman and her 
children.' Some of them are safety^ prudence^ expe- 
diency, decency, and the hke. I hate them all. Now 
I recollect to have heard the word expediency used by 
yourself, in a number of instances ; you may mean 
something that I do not : do tell me brother, what you 
do mean. Do come and see us. The Lord is doing 
great things for us. He has made me to laugh, and 
all those that see me will laugh with me. It is indeed 
a strange work, it is just like my God— to Him be all 
the praise. Give my love to all who knoiv Jiimy 

This caps the climax! The "bond-woman's chil- 
dren" must be turned out, " decency^^ and all ! 
Fanaticism here completely runs riot. 

These sickening extracts serve as fair samples of the 
communications which Mr. Noyes was frequently receiv- 
ing from different quarters thus early in the history of 
Perfectionism. These being specimens, the reader can 
judge as to the general character of the correspondence 
which was pouring in upon Mr. Noyes, from all points 
of the compass. 

Straws show which way the current moves. And 
the tenor of the extracts given, as clearly shows the 
natural tendency of the doctrines taught by Noyes, 
at that early period in his career, as the shining of 
the sun at noon-dav. 


Eut it seems that some of the early converts to 
Perfectionism — some of the weak disciples of Noyes, 
were at first disgusted, and almost horrified, at the 
open avowal of his sentiments ; but they appear to have 
made rapid proficiency under his tuition ; for we soon 
find them looking with favor upon his doctrines, and 
liberally interlarding the wonderful change which had 
passed over them, with the most pious expressions. 
Thus hypocritically pretending that divine influences 
had brought about their conversion to these new notions ; 
when in fact the natural inclination of their own unre- 
newed hearts must have caused them to drink the 
fatal poison, which Noyes had prepared and placed 
before them. And we find them at length blasphe- 
mously attributing the most sheer nonsense, the most 
indecent and even ridiculous conduct to a divine 
impulse ! 

Mr. Noyes, as if boasting of the victims he had 
secured and the converts he had made, unblushingly 
confronts the public with the letters — in the character 
of testimony — from which we have selected the 
extracts already given; which letters were accompa- 
nied by a note of unqualified approbation from Mr. 
Noyes. He asserts that the cause of truth -required 
him to set aside " all considerations of personal 
dehcacy," and he introduces the testimony of Mrs.. 
Green and Mrs. Black, as " pertinent and necessary I'' 

Mr. Noyes, to exhibit his gallantry, and show that 
he was not a whit behind those zealous females in 
discarding the " bond-woman's children,'* publishes 


the substance of a letter which he wrote to a young 
lady, making proposals for a kind of " partnership" 
which the world commonly calls marriage. He 
undoubtedly designed this letter as a kind of ofifeet to 
the productions of Mrs. Green and Mrs. Black; 
or a significant response to the sentiments they had 
uttered, which were probably called forth by the open 
avowal of his own liberal and licentious doctrines. 

Mr. Noyes introduces the letter alluded to, by a few 
remarks : — 

^' To prove that I repudiate in myself as well as in 
others, all unreasonable dehcacy, I wUl now introduce 
un epistle of my own, written on what is commonly 
considered a very ' delicate' occasion. I do this the 
more readily, because it has been requested by several 
friends, who judged it might be very serviceable as a 
practical explanation of the doctrines of the Battle 
Axe Letter. Moreover, it is a sufficient reply to Mrs. 
Oreen's inquiry about forms, and Mrs. Black's 
inquiry about my views of expediency. ... A fe\v 
paragraphs in the original letter are here omitted, as 
being irrelevant to my present purpose." 

" From J. H. Noyes, to Miss H. A. Holton." 

Putney, June 11, 1838. 
"Beloved sister: — 

After a deliberation of more than a year, 
in patient waiting, and watching for indications of the 
Lord's will, I am now permitted — and indeed happily 
constrained — by a combination of favorable circum- 
stances, to propose to you a partnership, which I will 
not call marriage, till I have defined it. 

" As behevers, we are already one with each other, 
and with all saints. This primary and universal union, 


is more radical, and of course more important, than any- 
partial and external partnersMp ; and with reference 
to this, it is said, ' there is neither male nor female,' 
' neither marrying nor giving in marriage in heaven.' 
With reference to this, also, my offensive remarks in 
the Battle Axe Letter were written. With this in 
view, we can enter into no engagement with each 
other which shall hmit the range of our affections, as 
they are limited in matrimonial engagements, by the 
fashion of this world. I desire and expect my yoke- 
fellow will love all who love God, whether they are 
male or female, with a warmth and strength of affection 
unknown to earthly lovers, and as freely as if she 
stood in no particular connection with me. In fact the 
object of my connection with her will be, not to 
monopolize and enslave her heart or my own, but to 
enlarge and establish both, in the free fellowship of 
God's universal family. If the external union and 
companionship of a man and woman in accordance 
with these principles, is properly called marriage, I 
know that marriage exists in heaven, and I have no 
scruple in offering you my heart and hand, with an 
engagement to be married in due form, as soon as God 
shall permit. 

" At first I designed to set before you many weighty 
reasons for tliis proposal ; but upon second thought, 
I prefer the attitude of a witness to that of an advocate, 
and shall therefore only suggest briefly, a few matter 
of fact considerations, leaving the advocacy of the case 
to God — the customary persuasions and romance to 
your own imagination — and more particular explana- 
tions to a personal interview. 

1. "In the plain speech of a witness, not of a 
flatterer, I respect and love you for many desirable 
qualities, spiritual, intellectual, moral and personal; 


and especially for jour faith, kindness, simplicity and 

2. " I am confident that the partnership I propose, 
will greatly promote our mutual happiness and 

3. " It will also set us free, at least myself, from 
much reproach, and many evil surmisings, which are 
occasioned by celibacy in present circumstances. 

4. *" It will enlarge our sphere, and increase our 
means of usefulness to the people of God. 

5. " I am willing at this particular time, to testify 
by example, that I am a follower of Paul, in holding 
that ' marriage is honorable in all.' 

6. '^ I am also willing to testify practically against 
that ' bondage of liberty,' which utterly sets at nought 
the ordinance of man, and refuses to submit to them 
even for the Lord's sake. I know that the immortal 
union of hearts, the everlasting honey-moon, which 
alone is worthy to be called marriage, can never be 
made by a ceremony, and I know equally well that 
such a marriage can never be marred by a ceremony. 

"You are aware that I have no profession save that 
of a servant of God — -a profession which has thus far 
subjected me to many vicissitudes, and has given me 
but little of this world's prosperity. If you judge me 
by the outward appearance, or the future by the past, 
you will naturally find in the irregularity and seeming 
instability of my character and fortune, many objections 
to a partnership. Of this I will only say, that I am 
conscious of possessing by the grace of God, a spirit of 
firmness, perseverance and faithfulness in every good 
work, which has made the vagabond, incoherent 
service, to which I have thus far been called, almost 
intolerable to me ; and I shall welcome heaven's order 
for my release from it, as an exile after seven years 
pilgrimage, would welcome the sight of his home. I 


see now no reason why I should not have a ' certain 
dwelling place,' and enter upon a course which is 
consistent with the duties of domestic hfe. Perhaps 
your reply to this will be the voice saying to me, — 

' Watchman ! let thy Tvanderings cease, 
Hie thee to thy quiet home.' 

" Yours in the Lord, 

J. H. NOYES.'^ 

We have thus given the letter of Mr. Noyes, in 
full, as he published it. It seems to have been regarded 
with favor,, by the lady to whom it was addressed ; 
and in entering into the proposed " partnership" they 
" passed under something of a form," and that lady 
has since been known in law as the wife, or perhaps 
we ought to say, the '' ijartner'^ of Mr, N. 



NoT/esite Community at Oneida — Rule in the Putney 
Community — State of things in New Yorlc, 

In an article publislied in the Spiritual Magazine of 
Aug. 5, 1848, Mr. Noyes speaks of the dispersion of 
the believers at Putney, in the autumn of 1847 — refers 
to their removal from Putney to Oneida,' and their 
settlement there, and says : — 

".We find ourselves now, after a short interval of 
comfortable confusion, by the invitation and cordial 
co-operation of Mr. Jonathan Bukt, and others of 
this vicinity, in a position much better than Putney 
ever gave us. . . . Our dispersion last fall, and the 
revolutions among believers generally, resulting from 
the new position of our cause, have opened and 
warmed many hearts, as the varied correspondence 
presented in this paper shows." 

That the reader may be made acquainted with the 
character of the elements which lie at the bottom of 
the Noyesite Community at Oneida, it is necessary to 
state that Mr. Jonathan Burt — who invited Noyes to 
locate at Oneida Reserve, and who is cordially co-oper- 
ating with him — went to Jesse Ball, of Canastota, N. 
Y., and demanded his (Ball's) wife, affirming that, 
" She was his, for Cod had given her to himJ^ Mrs. 
Ball had been converted to Perfectionism, through 
the influence and agency of Burt, but she refused to 
follow her spiritual father in this matter. This mfor- 
mation we have derived from a reUable source. Hav- 
ing such a foundation, with Noyes at its head, we 


cannot mistake as to the character of the Oneida 
Communitj. This Community is henceforth to be the 
rallying point, the centre of attraction to all " true 
believers^' in the Noyesite heresy. 

But let us glance at their " new," or " advanced 
position." There can he no doubt in regard to the 
stand which they have recently taken. Facts and 
circumstances abundantly show that the carrying out 
of the sentiments of the Battle Axe Letter, and 
consequently a virtual nullification of the institution of 
marriage among all Perfectionists, is the distinguishing 
characteristic of their present position. This, more- 
over, is in perfect keeping with doctrines which Mr. 
N. has long taught. 

But let us look at a few facts. In the sunmier of 
1847, soon after it was announced that the kingdom 
had come, Mr. Noyes made known the rule which was 
henceforth to govern the Putney community. It 
appears that prior to this period, the specious doctrines 
of Mr. N. had been confined principally to the leaders 
or master spirits in the society at Putney ; but the 
time had arrived when there was to be a more general 
spread of those doctrines, and they were to be more 
extensively carried out in practice. But there must 
be some exercise of discretion. The subject must be 
laid before advanced scholars instead of young disci- 
ples. But Mr. N. broached the subject to a person in 
Putney village, who was a Perfectionist, but had not 
joined his household under the " common roof," and 
met with a prompt repulse. 


The course marked out by Mr. N. for the Putney 
Community henceforth to follow," cuts directly across 
the marriage covenant of this world /" This rule was 
to be applied to all in the society, both married and 
unmarried ; and those who refused to come under the 
rule, and submit to the regulations, were considered 
guilty of disloyalty to the " acknowledged head of the 
Corporation !" Mr. N., in order to induce the indi- 
vidual alluded to, to comply with his Jesuitical requi- 
sitions, told him that without taking this last step, and 
pursuing the course which he had marked out, they 
could not be perfect^ or could not have 'perfect love ! 
An associate of Noyes also labored with the individual, 
and asked him if he was not going to submit to Mr, 
N. — as though resistance to his authority would be a 
high handed offence. But they did not succeed ; 
and lest some matters might be divulged not very 
creditable to the " acknowledged head," — if a recon- 
cihation was not brought about — they compromised the 
matter by Mr. N.'s agreeing to let the person referred 
to, be exempt from the rule which had 'been adopted. 
And thus the matter ended. 

It appears that there were a few in the Putney 
Community, who, notwithstanding the teachings of Mr. 
N. for several years, had not seen the practical ten- 
dency of his doctrines, and did not actually know what 
the final results would be, until the matter was 
unblushingly laid before them, and every shadow of 
doubt was dispelled. Hence, as a matter of course, 
there would be some refractory spirits, who would not 


bow down in humble submission to Mr. N. — but such 
were given to understand that they must submi| or 
leave the premises; and one elderly lady from an 
adjoining town, who had recently come under the 
" common roof," but who refused to submit to the ruUy 
actually quit the premises and removed to an adjoining 

But while strenuous efforts were being made in' 
Putney, for the purpose of making thorough wo»k:, 
and carrying out the precious doctrine through the 
whole Community, other places came up in remem- 
brance before the great leader. In the midst of the 
move, or while things were progressing at Putney, 
Mr. N. took a five weeks tour into the State of New 
York, and attended two Conventions — one at Lairds- 
ville, Oneida Co., which met Sept. 3, 1847 — and the 
other at Genoa, Cayuga Co., which met on the 17th of 
the same month. 

These Conventions were called by John B. Foote, 
and John Corwin, both of New York. The object 
of the Conventions, as specified by those who called 
them, was to bring Eastern and Western — or New 
York and Vermont — Perfectionists together, "for the 
purpose of acquaintance, acknowledgment of each 
other, and co-operation." 

One object — but whether "a primary or secondary, 
we are not prepared to say — of Mr. N. in attending 
these Conventions, undoubtedly was to give the mem- 
bers a sprinkhng or a thorough baptism of the doc- 
trines of the Battle Axe Letter. This is fairly infera- 


ble from the following circumstance : — -At the Lairds- 
ville Convention, Mr. Otis Sanford, of Clinton, N. Y., 
introduced a few resolutions, which, among other 
things, expressed entire approbation of the " general 
course of the press at Putney," and pledged a cordial 
co-operation with the brethren there in the circulation 
of their publications. The report of the Convention 
says that these resolutions were " discussed harmo- 
niously and passed unanimously." Mr. Noyes, in a 
note appended to these resolutions, pubHshed in the 
Spiritual Magazine of Oct. 1, 1847, says: — "After 
the close of the meetings, Otis Sanford, in consequence 
of discovering that I was the author of the ' Battle 
Axe letter,' (which he had never seen before,) 
retracted his assent to these resolutions." 

Now, from this circumstance, it plainly appears that 
Mr. Noyes introduced the Battle Axe Letter into 
those Conventions — perhaps as a feeler — or at least 
showed it to some individual members, for the purpose 
of securing their influence in favor of its doctrines. 
But it appears that they were not prepared, to any 
considerable extent, for the reception of such revolting 
sentiments. Even Mr. Sanford, who introduced the 
resolutions expressive of entire approbation of the 
course pursued by the Perfectionists at Putney, when 
apprized of the fact that Noyes wrote the Battle Axe 
Letter, immediately withdreiv his assent from the very 
resolutions which he had himself introduced. 

But let us look at the principles sanctioned and set 
forth by the Conventions already referred to. These 


principles are embodied in a series of resolutions 
passed at the Genoa Convention, wliicli are as 
follows : — 

1. " Resolved, That we will devote ourselves exclu- 
sively 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 co-operate with any other associ- 

2. " Resolved, That as the kingdom of God is to 
have an extensive manifestation, and as that manifes- 
tation must be in some form of Association, we will 
acquaint ourselves with the principles of Heavenly Asso- 
ciation, and train ourselves to conformity to them as 
fast as possible. 

3. " 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 immediately to 
take measures for forming a Heavenly Association in 
Central New York. 

5. " Resolved, ThatWm. H. Cook be authorized, on 
our behalf, to visit Perfectionists throughout the State, 
for the purpose of stirring up their minds in relation to 
Association, and ascertaining the amount of men and 
means that are in readiness for the enterprise." 

These resolutions speak for themselves — they cannot 
be mistaken — comment is unnecessary. Let it be 
borne in mind that all the " Heavenly Associations" to 
be formed, must be based upon the principles embodied 
in the foregoing resolutions; and built up in all 
respects after the pattern of the one existing in 
Putney. A site was selected, as we are informed, 


near Oneida Castle, for a great central '' Heavenly 
Association" in the Empire State, and measures taken 
to obtain the necessary means. Mr. Noyes, having 
thus hoisted his colors in JS'ew York, and put in motion 
a train of operations which promised success, returned 
to Vermont ; and soon after was arrested for several 
crimes of the darkest shade I Soon after his arrest at 
Putney, Mr. Noyes absconded, and finally fixed on 
Oneida Reserve — upon the very site previously 
selected, as we suppose, for founding a " Heavenly 
Association ;" and as all the elite of the Putney 
Community have been transferred to that point, we 
take it for granted that they have there a genuine 
Noyesite Association. 

It may be proper here to remark, that Jonathan 
Burt, to whom we have already referred, and who 
laid claim to the wife of Jesse Ball, of Canastota, was 
Moderator of the Lairdsville Convention ; and he 
seems to be — at least, so far as pecuniary matters are 
concerned — the pedestal, on which the Oneida Com- 
munity stands. 

John B. Foote, for a considerable time, stood at the 
head of the Western division of Perfectionists, but at 
the Lairdsville Convention, the supremacy of Noyes 
was acknowledged; and Foote and his followers, as 
we are informed by a gentleman who was present, 
" paid the most servile homage and adulation to their 
chief." Noyes, and his associate leader, Foote, imme- 
diately concerted schemes for future operations. But 
this state of things was destined to be of short 


duration — a revulsion was at hand. The gentleman 
just alluded to, who attended the Lairdsville Conven- 
tion, says : — 

"A new difficulty threatened to spoil all. The 
Perfectionists of New York deserted Noyes hastily 
and incontinently, as they had just before rushed 
eagerly into his embrace. 

" The ' Battle Axe Letter,' written by Noyes in 
1837, declared that in the *■ holiness of the resurrection 
there would be no marriage.' ' The marriage supper 
of the Lamb,' says the letter, ' is a feast at which 
every dish is free to every guest.'' This sentiment, 
which they had hoodwinked their own eyes from 
beholding, now disconcerted his new allies. Speedily 
did they trumpet it forth as a new discovery, though 
they had had the evidence ten years. For although 
Noyes had quibbled around this letter, he had never 
denied its real meaning. For most inquirers, a little 
dust was sufficient to blur their eyes. Not till its 
practical bearings were brought into notice, did they 
allow it to be a doctrine of evil tendency. But as 
soon as they heard of cross-fellow ship, and the fact 
that their chosen apostle was under bonds for the 
charge of adultery, they gave the alarm, when the 
evil was already their own by endorsement. Perhaps 
they were honest in all tliis ; but certainly appearances 
are unfavorable. I except Wm. S. Hatch." 

We infer from what follows, that Noyes and Foote 
are now arrayed against each other. Speaking in 
reference to the present position of affairs, the same 
writer contmues : — 

" In this curious predicament are the members of 
this denomination. In the heart of New York, within 
a few miles of each other, reside the leaders at open 


war. Their future course is a matter of curious spec- 
ulation , but not a proper subject for present decision. 
One party bids fair to perish in its own corruption ; 
the other to be swept hither and thither with every 
wind of doctrine." 

The following remarks exhibit the leading charac- 
teristics of the two prominent individuals just alluded 
to — and refer to the early part of their career : — 

"The aspirations of J. B. Foote were for spiritual 
glory. Power was the element of J. H. Noyes." 

That the reader may the more clearly see the true 
position of Noyes, and the present state of things in 
New York, we quote still farther from the same 
writer : — 

" To crown the whole, we must copy still farther 
from a letter written by Noyes, an extract of which 
was published in the Battle Axe and Weapons of "War, 

" ' God is about to set a throne on his footstool, and 
heaven and earth, i. e. all spiritual and political dynas- 
ties, will flee from the face of him that shall sit there- 
on. The righteous will be separate from the wicked 
by the opening of the books and the testimony of the 
saints. Between this present time and the establish- 
ment of God's kingdom over the earth, lies a chaos of 
confttslon, tribulation, woe, and such as must attend 
the destruction of the fashion of this world, and the 
introduction of the will of God, as it is done in heaven. 
Cfod has set me to cast up a high ivay over this 
chaos.'' . . . 

" ' When the will of God is done on earth, as it is 
in heaven, there will he no marriage. . . . God has 
placed a wall of partition between the male and the 


female during the apostacy, for good reasons, which will 
be broken down in the resurrection for equally good 
reasons. But woe to him who abohshes the law of the 
apostacy, [i. e. marriage,] before he stands in the 
holiness of the resurrection. [Observe the expression : 
The holiness of the resurrection, not the resurrection 
state. So Smith, Lyvere and other associates of Noyes, 
affirm that he taught them.] The guests of the 
marriage supper may have each his favorite dish. 
[This probably refers to an external form of marriage,] 
— each a dish of his own procuring, and that without 
the jealousy of exclusiveness.' . . . 

"It is due to Western Perfectionists, and many 
others, to state again that they have not subscribed 
to many of the more odious doctrines here copied. 
Yet as they have silently passed over them, without 
remark, the community is liable to attribute to them 
the sanction of deeds which they would regard with 
abhorrence. But the Antinomian elements infused 
into all their habits of thinking, are very evident in all 
their expositions of Scripture, and of com'se must be 
exhibited in their lives. In spite of their protesta- 
tions, they are but too Hable to be of the class whose 
spirit is exclusive, who are inflated with conceptions of 
personal superiority." 



Extracts from Correspondence-^ Visit of Mr, Lowell 
to the Oneida Community. 

Immediately after the startling disclosures at Putney 
in the fall of 1847, there was quite a " revolution among 
believers generally, resulting from the new position" of 
things. Many, not only in the State of New York, 
but elsewhere, who had embraced the doctrines of 
Noyes, but . did not discover their immoral tendency 
till their practical results were fairly exhibited, were 
alarmed, fell off, and rejected their leader. But the 
most prominent Noyesites at Putney professed to be 
more surprised at the expressions of confidence from 
believers in different places^ than they were at their 
trials and the falling off among them. They now 
profess to believe — but how long they have so behoved 
we are not informed — that the doctrine of " sexual 
morality'''* taught by Noyes, and which may now be 
considered the distinguishing doctrine of the sect, 
is the stumhling stone and roch of offence^ which 
God has laid in Zionfl The Noyesites would of 
course expect that '^ the world,'' ^ i. e. all who were not 
Perfectionists, would take offence at this doctrine ; and 
it seems that they were not • surpnsed that weak believ- 
ers were stumbled at it. But notwithstanding the 
falling off among them, there were some who were so 
far advanced^ or who had such strong faith, that they 
were ready for the new 'position. Many of these 


" kindred spirits'^ sent in their Cliristian(?) salutations 
by way of encouragement to the " hod^ of helievers'^ 
at head quarters. We make a few extracts from the 
" varied," and to them " interesting correspondence," 
which has been coming in from almost all points of the 
compass. The first is from a letter of encouragement 
from a correspondent at Barnstable. Mass., whose 
name is withheld. The letter bears date, March 14, 
1848, and the extract is as follows : — 

'^ Be not discouraged, mj dear friends. Although 
you may be bound and crucified as was your Master, 
because you tell the truth, and do the works* he inspires 
you to do, you shall rise again from the dead, and 
truth shall go forth from conquermg and to conquer." 

It seems that the dear man did not know that 
Noyes tras dead against the doctrine of the ^'resur- 
rection of that liody which dies^ This correspondent 
was trying to encourage them with the hope of that 
in which they have no behef, and for which of course 
they have nc desire ! Poor encouragement this. 

The next extract which we give, is from a letter 
written by Wm. H. Perry, of New York City, and is 
datedMarch26, 1848:— 

"I am at Oneida now in spirit a good part of the 
time, and look forward with a good deal of anxiety, 
when the saints of the Most High will be associated 
and united together in the strong bonds of union, 
never to be separated." 

It seems that Oneida is the point to which all eyes 
are now turned, and the true oelievers scattered abroad, 
who appear to be " few and far between," although 


absent in body, are there " in spirit a good part of the 
time," and joyfully anticipate the day, -when they shall 
be banded together under their " acknowledged head." 
The course which they are pursuing is in perfect 
keeping with the saying of the Savior — ''Where the 
carcass is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." 
Next Joseph H. Thomas comes up from New 
Jersey, and tells what the " behevers" are doing at 
Newark. Under date of April 25, 1848, he says : — 

" We feel that we are fast condensing life in 
Newark; the power of love, which is Grod^ 8 magnet- 
ism, is increasing daily among us. . . . There never 
was a time when such a oneness was manifest as now. 
We find ourselves speaking the same things, and 
thinking the same thoughts.'''' 

" Thinkixg the same thoughts !" This is truly 
wonderful ! 

Next, Enos Kellogg sends up Fifty Dollars of 
borrowed money from " the land of steady habits," to 
aid in the '•^ estahlishment of Crod\s kingdmn on 
earth P^ Writing from Somers, Ct., June 3, 1848, 
he says : — 

" I have no funds that I can come at just now, but 
have borrowed fifty dollars, which I am happy in 
sending to you, to aid in the estabhshment of God's 
kingdom on earth." 

What! The kingdom of God established with 
money ! How apostolical ! That individuals have a 
legal right thus to dispose of their money no one will 
question. But they would do well to take warning 
from those who have cast in their all to forward some 


fatal delusion, and in a few years found themselves, 
penniless and forlorn. Many of the deluded followers 
of the Mormon Prophet have suffered immensely. 
Some of the mistaken Millerites foolishly threw away 
their property, and brought ruin upon themselves and 
wretchedness upon their families. If individuals will 
not heed these warnings, happy will it be for them, 
if they learn wisdom, though late, by the things wbich 
they may suffer. 

Again, a voice from the " far west" proclaims high 
hopes of final triumph. Simon Lovett, writing from 
Bristol, Wisconsin, April 29, 1848, says : — 

" One thing I know, — the stone is rolling which is to 
break in pieces all these kingdoms." 

But last, though not least, Stephen E. Leonard 
speaks out from the very " paradise of redemption l" 
While others have hailed from distant lands and 
different regions, Mr. Leonard has given us an inkling 
of affairs at head quarters. In a letter dated Oneida, 
July 31, 1848, and addressed to John E. Miller of 
Putney, he says :-— 

" I have, with others, my ' impressions' of Oneida — 
and very interesting and edifying ones they are too. 
You are aware of course that before leaving Putney, I 
would speak of our prospects here with enthusiasm. I 
endeavored however at the same time, to look at things 
soberly also, and was assured in my own mind, that my 
enthusiasm was based on a substantial Spiritual founda- 
tion. Mere external adversity was no stumbling-block 
to my faith, and flattering external appearances were 
not the soul of my sanguine hopes. ' Things not seen 


and etemar were the groundwork of my anticipations. 
Amidst all the turmoil of the past winter, the conscious- 
ness of our having loving hearts was to me the surest 
eartiest of success. I felt that this eternal principle 
within us could not help working its way through any 
difficulties that could possibly interpose, and in due 
time find its natural expression in an unselfish Associa- 
tion. With such a basis for my confidence, you may 
well suppose I am not about to confess myself to have 
been too ardent. ' Revelhng in the halls of the 
Montezumas' is no camparison to me, with the pri'vd- 
lege of living in a loving community — where we are 
free to have God wash away all exclusiveness from our 
natures, and teach us to worship Him in the beauty of 
holiness and love. Such a community we have here. 
The peace of God that passeth understanding, dwells 
in our midst ; and the scouring of the material that is 
destined for the great battery which is to abolish death, 
elicits from time to time currents of the heavenly 
electricity that are worthy of a place in the paradise 
of God. The idea of leaiTiing to love one another as 
God loves us, without reference to the outward rela- 
tions we are made to sustain to each other by law, I 
conceive to be the glory of the church ; and if this is 
so, we shall ere long certainly be to the rest of the 
world as a city set on a hill. We are all ' earnest 
souls' for the practical developement of this idea. It 
is plain to me that we are progressing steadily and 
swiftly towards the accomplishment of that great 
miracle — the unity of all believers — which is foreor- 
dained to convince the world of our identity with 
Christ."— Spiritual Magazine, Vol. II. No. 13. 

Mr. Leonard is the printer in the " Heavenly Asso- 
ciation" at Oneida, and in the foregoing extract he 
has certainly given us quite a glowing description of 


things there. Now, if " reveHing in the halls of the 
Montezumas is no comparison to the privilege of living 
in" that Community — and if " the idea of learning to 
love one another without reference to the outward 
relations they are made to sustain to each other by 
law," is " the glory of the (Noyesite) church" — and 
z/they " are all ' earnest souls' for the practical devel- 
opement of this idea" — then we may fairly infer that 
the Community at Oneida is just like the one at 
Putney, and " a little more so /" 

In the same paper from which the preceding extracts 
were taken, we find a brief notice of a visit which the 
Oneida Community had from a man by the name of 
Lowell. We give it entire — it is as follows : — 

"A Self-Trumpeter. — Our Community was hon- 
ored with a call the other morning from a man by the 
name of Lowell, who professes, we understand, to be 
the blower of the ' seventh trumpet.' His pretensions, 
as put forth in our presence, were not so imposing as 
amusing. For instance, he observed with a most ludi- 
crous air of mmgled solemnity and caricature, ' When 
the Millerites talk about looking for the coming of 
Christ, I tell them they need not look any further ; 
I'm the man V We all had a very refreshing season 
of laughter at his rhodomontades of this kind; and, 
to do him justice^ he bore our merriment with good 
nature, joined loudly, if not heartily, in the laugh^ 
and seemed disposed, like a good actor, to give us a 
farce as extravagant and entertaining as possible. 
He said he was a ' wayfaring man,' which being 
interpreted, (as we have since been informed,) 
signifies in his case — a pedler. It is a curious and 
almost incredible fact that several PerfectionistSy 


heretofore thought to he men of sense, finding them- 
selves in a starving, malcontent condition, have become 
the sucklings of this poor vagrant.^^ 

We were not aware that the kingdom of heaven was 
a place of merriment and farcical scenes ! Perhaps 
such things are befitting a Noyesite company, but not 
a Christian community. We infer from the foregoing 
that when individuals leave the Noyesite ranks, they 
are no longer considered men of sense ; but it is highly 
probable that they have as much sense after as they 
had before leaving. And if persons can swallow such 
a congeries of absurdities as Noyesism, with all its vile 
abominations, it would not be at all surprising if they 
should find themselves in a '' starving^ ^ condition — 
seeing they are feeding upon " husks'^'' — and certainly 
they would be fit subjects to become the " sucklings^ ^ 
of any '' poor vagrant" that might chance to come 



Noyes searcMyig for Stolen Groods. 

We give below a particular account, by an eye-wit- 
ness, of a little affair which took place several years 
ago, in Putney. It may be thought by some too small 
a matter to be recorded. Under ordinary circumstan- 
ces it would not be entitled even to a passing notice ; 
but as almost every thing connected with the history of 
distinguished individuals is read with some degree of 
interest, we think it proper to give an account of the 
affair just as it was related by the person under whose 
immediate observation it transpired. Small as the 
matter may seem, it appears to be a somewhat impor- 
tant link in a chain of events which are evidently des- 
tined to obtain some notoriety, flatters small in them- 
selves sometimes throw great light upon the characters 
of noted men. 

The account of which we speak was given by Alex- 
ander Wilder, Esq., of Verona, N. Y. Mr. Wilder 
embraced Perfectionism several years since, and for 
some time remained in fellowship with Mr. Noyes, 
but at length became convinced that he was an impos- 
tor, clearly saw the tendency of this new ism, and, Hke 
an honest man, renounced the error which he in sincer- 
ity had embraced. The account given by Mr. Wilder 
is as follows : — 

" The affair of Noyes's search for stolen goods took 
place directly under my personal observation, and the 


ridiculous light into -which it cast all his pretensions to 
infaUibility of judgment, rendered it to me particularly 
valuable. It saved me from attributing to him a divine 
power which he did not possess, and eventually assisted 
in my emancipation from his thraldom. 

" When John L. Skinner — to whose care I was com- 
mitted, that I might be restored to confidence and 
fellowship — insisted on the superior spiritual wisdom of 
our chief, I alluded to this case, and never without suc- 
cess. The evil dispositions ascribed to me (for Perfec- 
tionists have made me their scape-goat) were increased 
by such occurrences. Now for the story : 

" In the latter part of August, 1843, Austin Kent, 
a Mr. Hurlburt and wife and two other women, from 
Stockhohn, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., visited Putney. 
They were spiritualists, on a very similar plan with 
Noyes, but professing superior illumination. This 
offence was unpardonable. S. R. Leonard and myself 
were engaged in prefes-work, which occupied us for some 
two hours of this visit. During this time they had 
delivered a testimony to Noyes, disapproving of some 
parts of his course, and implying that though he had 
holiness of lieart^ his mind was still imsanctified.* He 
would not cordially receive their words. They then 
requested permission to repose, as they were in feeble 
health and weary with travelling. Beds were accord- 
ingly furnished them. They took piEows from those 
couches which they did not occupy, as suited their con- 
venience, and when they arose they left them where 
they had lain down. About the time we had finished 
our work at the office, and came in to see the new 
comers, they were giving a last testimony to our leader. 

*Kent and his followers believe that the heart and mind are dis- 
tinct entities, requiring separate conviction and conversion ; and that 
a person may be saved from sin in heart, and still be a sinner in mind. 


As Kent exclaimed, in a quiet tone, ' You have a bad 
spirit,' Noyes, in a sharp, loud tone, replete with rage, 
exclaimed five or six times, ' You are an i7npostor — 
You ARE AN Impostor.'* 

" Probably his refusal to bow before the Putney 
chief was the stamp of his imposture ; certainly his 
manner indicated no such thing. The company then 
retired from Mr. Noyes, going up to the old Noyes 
homestead, where they had left their conveyances, with 
which they proceeded to Mr. Perry's Inn, where they 

* Kent and his company professed to be divinely commissioned to 
correct certain errors and reveal important truths. Noyes, in giving 
some account of the visit from these spiritualists, published in the 
Perfectionist of Sept. 15, 1843, says : — " They called upon me recently, 
and gave me to understand that they were commissioned to instruct 
me. I invited them to open their minds As the discourse pro- 
ceeded, I insisted on having the privilege of questioning their posi- 
tions, and answering their arguments. They were very averse to this, 
and strove hard to make me receive their testimony as a message 
from God, not to be argued with. . . . The dispute waxed warm tow- 
ard the conclusion, and they finally averred in plain terms that they 
came to teach me, and not to be taught ; and that it was my business 
to hear them, and not to argue. One of the men at last told me I 
had a ' wicked spirit.' I told him he was an impostor. He threat- 
ened me with the vengeance of God, and they departed. They re- 
mained till the afternoon of the next day at the tavern in this village . 
Several of the believers called, and had conversation with Ihem. 
Their principal labor was to convince those that called that I am a 
very wicked man ^ and that persons saved from the ' sin of heart,' are 
not saved from the ' sin of mind.' ... I recommend that they be 
called upon to prove their commissions. This is certainly no more 
than is reasonable, if we consider merely tlie mouth- stopping author- 
ity which they assume." 

It appears that Noyes could not brook in others that dictatorial 
spirit, that " mouth-stopping authority,'' which he is wont to assume 
himself. And he also in turn may be called upon to " joroye" his com- 
mission; not by TUQiQ false pretences, but by substantial evidence. 


put up. That evening and the next day (Sunday) 
they were visited by the different Perfectionists in 
town, myself among the number. They received us 
courteously and treated us with urbanity. 

"• At the invitation of Mrs. Louisa Shaw, they on 
Sabbath afternoon left Mr. Perry's and went over to 
the ' East Part ' of the town, where they remained sev- 
eral days. The Perfectionists generally over there 
gave them their fellowship. This was very offensive to 
our ' acknowledged Head.' From tliis period I date 
my declension in his favor, for I had treated them 
civilly. As I had not held conversation with them 
except as their guest, I could not decently do other- 

" They had taken the pillow from my bed when they 
laid down. As I am not very particular about such 
things, I slept Tvithout it several nights, not caring 
enough or even thinking to mention the affair. Fanny 
White, who generally was the chamber-maid, was gone 
to her father's. Mrs. Noyes at length asked me about 
the pillow. I told her that I had slept without it a 
number of nights, ever since the company were there. 
She told it to her husband. In an instant he exclaimed, 
' They have stole it.'' It was in vain that she affirmed 
that it could not be, for the people had gone out in full 
view of us all, so that we would have witnessed it. 
'- The old woman,' he w^ould have it, ' could put it under 
her clothes^ and it ivoidd serve for a cushion.^ 

" He hastened out and gave the alarm to the family 
at the upper house. I think he had it searched, but 
am not positive. He also went to Mr. Perry, to get 
him. to search the tavern. His motions were uiiusually 
rapid, for he was much excited — and a malicious tri- 
umph characterized his manner. I had never seen him 
possessed by such a spirit. He was as though half 


" At this juncture, Fanny came over from home to 
the village, and called in. Finding out our uproar, she 
Tvent up stairs, looked over the apartments, and found 
that the pillows were all there. Mrs. Noyes, who is 
usually a meek, quiet woman, exclaimed, ' I am sorry 
that all this fuss has heen made.'' It was a character- 
istic remark. 

" This is the contemptible affair which is destined to 
obtain an importance, because of its forcible illustration 
of the weak spot in Noyes's character. I have given 
it at length, that other witnesses might recognize the 
facts the more readily.'' 



Affidavit of Alexander Wilder — Expulsion of Mr, 
JoJin B. Lylere and Miss Almira Edson. 

In addition to the statements found in the foregoing 
Chapter, we give the following Affidavit, which Mr. 
Wilder has kindly furnished : — 

" The question has often been put to me — ' Why do 
you not forget past differences, and return into the fel- 
lowship of Perfectionists and of their leader, John H. 
Noyes V 

" I have sought, heretofore, rather to evade than to 
answer this interrogation. My reason for this was, that 
the well-known habit of the individual above referred 
to, ha^ been to pursue with unrelenting severity every 
one who seceded from his connection. Indeed, when- 
ever I have sought to give the desired information, it 
has been attributed to personal enmity rather than to 
the true motive. I have generally consented to be 
abused, without attempting any regular self-defence ; 
preferring quiet and peace before justice to myself. 
Propriety requires, however, at the present crisis, that 
I should announce myself in my true colors. I cannot 
re-enter the fold of Perfectionism, because, in the first 
place, I do not beheve several of its prominent doc- 
trines ; secondly, I have no confidence in the religious 
character, integrity, and fair deahng and wisdom of its 
acknowledged chief, John H. Noyes. 

" Orthodox Perfectionists do not substantially admit 
that this man is capable of error of life, or even of 
judgment. They also require, as a test of fellowship^ 
th« acknowledgment of his pontifical supremacy as the 


successor of the apostle Paul. Indeed, he recently 
asserted his authority in a public meeting, (at Lairds- 
ville, N. Y.,) because, (to use his own words,) ' like 
the strongest cow in the pasture, he had hooked down 
every rival.' 

" The doctrines of the Eternal Devil, and of that state 
of things predicated in a letter written by Noyes, in 
which he teaches a resurrection state, on which Perfec- 
tionists are now entering ; and in which, while the sex- 
ual distinction is not set aside, yet marriage is abroga- 
ted, are to me especially odious. I fear the moral 
influence of these sentiments. The more so, as he has 
already announced the advent of the kingdom of hea- 
ven at Putney, Vt., where he resides, and where he 
has an association of disciples. See the Witness, Vol. 
I. pp. 21, 22, 49, 50, 76 ; Perfectionist, Vol. V. p. 33 ; 
Spiritual Magazine, Vol. II. pp. ^b^ 69. It may be 
necessary to state that, so far as my kyiowledge extends, 
though several of his intimate friends have, through the 
influence of the ' Battle Axe Letter,' perpetrated acts 
of flagrant licentiousness, Noyes himself is innocent of 
any such impropriety.* Other difierences of doctrinal 
opinions are not worthy of present notice. 

" The lack of confidence in his character was occa- 
sioned by several circumstances which occurred during 
my residence in his family. In February, 1840, after 
long and anxious deliberation, I rejected the religious 
sentiments which I had held, and in which I was edu- 
cated, and became what was termed a Perfectionist. 
My firm, steady adherence to the new doctrines, is sat- 
isfactory evidence of my sincerity in embracing them. 
Some weeks after, I learned the existence of John H. 

* W. H. Cook, of Syracuse, has since made it known that Noyes» 
admitted to him that he had had sexual connection with seyeral 


Noyes. With the simplicity of a child and the confi« 
dence of a brother, I sought to be acquainted with his 
character and publications. At length in November, 
1842, I left my home in Verona, and went to Putney, 
where I resided till February, 1844. When I parted 
from him and his disciples, it was on my part with 
unfeigaed good will. Since that time, however, I have 
been separated in feeling from him ; nor do I expect, 
knowing the character of the man as I do, that the 
breach will be repaired. Before I left Vermont, I had 
suffered severely from him; but it was afterwards, 
that by reflection upon what had transpired, want of 
confidence and embittered feelings, on account of 
unkind treatment, sprung up in my mind, producing 
alienation. I will how state the prindpal facts which 
occasioned the estrangement. 

" Returning from a tour in Massachusetts, in Febru- 
ary, 1848, Mr. Noyes began to try his skill in Animal 
Magnetism. Being impressible, I was the subject of 
many of his experiments. By reason of their continu- 
ation for some weeks, and being operated upon by 
several of his family, a diseased state of mind and 
body was produced. For m.any months I suflfered a 
very great depression of spirits. I felt myself in 
connection and rapport with influences which caused 
the keenest mental anguish, and knew not how to free 
myself. A nameless fear, despondency, gloom and 
despair, paralyzed my strength of mind. A mwbid 
attachment for individuals was induced ; and the whole 
corporeal system partook of the disorder. The inter- 
vals of pleasure, like the exhilarations of intoxicating 
drugs, gave relief for a little season, but only to 
plunge me into a deeper gloom. To heighten my 
misery, Noyes began to berate me, charging my suffer- 
ings to various causes, and even to the influence of the 


Devil. This devil, or evil genius, I now know eman- 
ated directly from him. 

" Toward the latter part of the year, my health 
began to improve. I was more cheerful. A new 
and more serious difficulty awaited me. Report had 
gone abroad of his skill as a magiietizer. A young 
man named Baker requested him to visit his sister, 
[now Mrs. H. A. Hall,] who for several years had 
been confined to her bed. He did so a number of 
times. She also became a proselyte to his doctrines. 
In October she came to his house, and remained about 
three months. He continued his manipulations occa- 
sionally. Presently after I incautiously tried the 
experiment of casting her into the mesmeric slumber, 
and succeeded even better than Noyes himself. As I 
am of a temperament less harsh, forbidding, and 
repelling than he, the rapport was probably the more 
complete, so the patient acknowledged. She has 
since, however, I regi^et to say, set her hand to a ver- 
sion of this affair which widely contravenes the tiTith. 
Nor can I acquit her of falsehood because she seals 
her testimony with a miracle. I was persuaded to 
continue magnetizing her, because I was assured that 
Mr. Noyes wished it, and I was desirous to relieve 
suSbring ; it bemg also at the request of her brother ; 
not at all imagining that I was assuming the responsi- 
bility of the case. I was informed subsequently that 
she grew better, and so continued till he disturbed her 
mind by bitter, angry reproach. 

" I speedily abandoned a practice which, I am nov/ 
convinced, is more corrupting and enen^ating than 
beneficial to the persons engaged in it. But I did not 
draw away her fellowship from Noyes. Indeed, she 
renounced him before I did. In this matter my con- 
science has been ever void of offence. My motives 


•were benevolent ; but I have been greatly misrepre- 

" At this time a protracted meeting was held at the 
Methodist Chapel in Putney, in which I took great 
interest. No party feeling directed me. I only 
desired the salvation of souls. This too was offensive 
to our leader. Spies watched my words and actions ; 
they were reported to him ; my language was miscon- 
strued to a meaning which I thought not of. In short, 
by a trial behind my back, wholly ex 'parte ^ I was 
decided to be out of fellowship, and committed to 
discipline. My vindication was treated with scorn ; 
I looked for friends, they were all as briers ; and the 
best was sharper than a thorn hedge. 

'"' One Monday morning in December, 1843, while 
the protracted meeting was going on in the Methodist 
Chapel at Putney, and in which I was greatly inter- 
ested, not from sectarian motives, I arose before the 
rest of Noyes's family, built a fire and began a French 
Lesson. Noyes soon got up, came out and began to 
commence directing me how to proceed with inquirers. 
I felt oppressed. The peculiar espionage of his family 
was very disagreeable to me. His false accusations 
were more tormenting. My own health was very poor. 
As he went on I timidly remarked, ' I think it were 
better to follow the lead of the Divine Spirit at the 
time. Arbitrary, set rules tend to confuse, and I am 
like an animal about to strike a given mark, if you 
seige the horn and attempt to guide it, he will falter, 
all confused and effect nothing.' 

" With an eye sparkling with rage — for he possesses 
an infernal temper — N. exclaimed, — ' If you think to 
get from under my control, you will find that I will 
take you by the horns.' These words struck a blight- 
ing feeling all over me, like a torpedo shock. Many 


hours passed before I recovered. Never again did I 
converse familiarly with that man, though I remained 
in Putney six or eight weeks. My eyes were opened. 
Not till the steel entered my o^vvn soul, was I willing 
to think evil of J. H. Noyes. But I know him to be 
a despot — an ambitious self-seeker — and my horror of 
him is as intense as my horror of a venomous serpent. 

" Three times have I been assailed in his paper. 
These affairs have not given me pain. In those very 
articles that man lied — lied in his throat — and indorsed, 
if he did not instigate, others to lie. He gives liberty 
to his followers, provided they exercise it as he chooses. 
As the French officer addressed his soldiers^' Com- 
rades you are at liberty to vote as you please on the 
question whether Napoleon shall be First Consul for 
life — ^but all who don't vote so shall be shot. Vive La 
Liberty.' ^ 

" Thus, in my youth, ignorance, and inexperience , 
was I involved in difficulties from which I lacked 
courage and power to extricate myself. I have since 
been published in the Perfectionist as a false brother 
and a hypocrite ; but have never responded publicly to 
the attack. I doubt whether the majority of Perfec- 
tionists are sufficiently candid and honorable to give 
me a fair hearing. I have not found them the people 
which I had hoped. I make this exposition, not so 
much to justify myself as to show why I cannot co-op- 
erate with John H. Noyes and his adherents. I regret 
that I ever indulged personal bitterness of feeling 
toward him ; but am glad to say that such is not now 
the case. I remember the past, not to feel ill will ; 
but because it warns me to beware of that man for 
the future : that life and reason be not again endan- 
gered by his influence. I can excuse many of his 
unkind deeds ; I can forgive all : that forgiveness he 


has spurned. He undoubtedly will retract notliing — 
not even his incorrect charges against my brother 

"As to my own theological views, I regard all that 
is true in doctrine, all that is useful in practice to 
result from our union and conformity to God. This 
is the Grospel of the New Covenant. 

" I belong to no sect in religion. I am identified 
with no body of people. Yet all that savors of piety, 
philanthropy and honesty attracts my warmest sym- 
pathy. For in every nation, every party and denom- 
ination, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness 
shall be accepted. 

" It is proper to add, that I consider all obligations 
assumed by me, and devolving by reason of my rela- 
tions to Perfectionists as now canceled. 

" Alexander Wilder. 
*' Oneida Co., ss. 

" Subscribed and sworn (affirmed) before me this 
6th day of Sept. 1847. 

"Geo, C. Cadwell, Justice of the Peace^ 

The foregoing affidavit of Mr. Wilder speaks for 
itself. It certainly breathes a very commendable 
spirit, and will carry to the mind of the reader a 
conviction of its truthfulness. Though plain and 
pointed, it is devoid of harshness and unwarrantable 
severity. There is one important point, worthy of 
special notice, brought prominently to view, viz., the 
complete surveillance to which the followers of Mr. 
Noyes are subjected. They must bow in silent and 
humble submission to his sole dictation, or incur his 
hot displeasure, and feel the scorching flame of his 
fiiercest indignation ! 


The case of Mr. Wilder is not a solitary instance in 
which Mr. Noyes has assumed the sole dictation of 
members of the Putney Association. These cases are 
of common occurrence, as the citizens of Putney well 
know. And indeed none are suflfered to continue long 
in the Perfectionist Community unless they are found 
to be loyal subjects. The point under consideration is 
clearly illustrated by the excommunication of Mr. John 
B. Lyvere and Miss Almira Edson from the Perfec- 
tionist Association at Putney. The following is the 
form of expulsion, with quite a list of names attached : 

" Whereas, faithful subordination is essential to the welfare of 
our association, and ivhereas John B. Lyvere and Almira 
Edson, hy a clandestine marriage in defiance of the known 
will of the acknowledged head of the corporation, have committed 
an act of gross and deliberate insubordination, therefore — 

" Resolved, That our connection with them be dissolved, and 
that they be requested to withdraw from the corporation, 

John H. Noyes, Harriet A. Noyes, 

Geo. Cragin, Mary E. Cragin, 

Geo. W. Noyes, Polly Noyes, 

John L. Skinner, Harriet A. Skinner, 

John R. Miller, Charlotte H. Miller, 

G. W. Wilder, Fanny Lord, 

David Wilder, Sally Cobb, 

Isaac Palmer, Jr., Polly Palmer, 

WilHam Sherwood, Lauretta Sherwood, 

Clifford Clark, Sally Clark." 
H. Bowles, 

Thus it appears that a Bull of excommunication was 
immediately issued by Mr. Noyes against Mr. Lyvere 
and Miss Edson, because they acted for themselves, 


and contracted a marriage — as they had a perfect 
right to do — agreeable to their owii choice ; but con- 
trary to the '• known will of the acknowledged head of 
the Corporation !" 

And furthermore, it appears that a large number of 
the members of the Association in Putney were con- 
senting to the act ; and by attaching their names to 
the instrument of expulsion thereby became aiders and 
abetters of the deed. 

If any of those individuals whose names appear, 
were not fully persuaded in their own minds relative to 
the propriety and justice of thus summarily disposing 
of those members whom Mr. Noyes considered refrac- 
tory, they were probably awed into humble submission 
and implicit obedience by beholding the rod of correc- 
tion extended in terrorem over their heads ; and lest 
a refusal on their part to affix their names to the fatal 
instrument should be construed by the " acknowledged 
head of the Corporation" into " an act of gross and 
dehberate insubordination." In such a case there 
would be no alternative but to submit to a fate similar 
to that of the victims before them, and suffer aU the 
pains and penalties in such cases made and provided. 

But, perhaps^ we ought in justice to a few individu- 
als whose names appear in the foregoing list, to say, 
that they have since renounced the doctrines of Noyes, 
and voluntarily withdrawn — to their praise be it spoken 
— from the Association ; and now have no fellowship 
with, nor sympathy for, the Perfectionists. 

But the question may be asked. Were Mr. Lyvere 


and Miss Udson Perfectionists f That they were 
professedly so there is no doubt ; but were they really 
so ? If they were Perfectionists merely in ^profession 
but not mfaet^ then in point of character they were 
on a level with common sinners, and were not entitled 
to the privileges and immunities of a society so holy 
as Mr. Noyes and his followers profess to be ! That 
Perfectionists lay claim to all the heights and depths 
of perfect holiness, there can be no manner of doubt. 
The language of Mr. Noyes is plain and unequivocal 
touching this point. He says, " We verily believe and 
unUusMngly maintain that we are free fronoi sin /'^ 
Berean, p. 181. Here Mr. N. undoubtedly speaks in 
behalf of Perfectionists in general, and in reference to 
himself in particular. 

Now if Mr. Lyvere and Miss Edson were Perfec- 
tionists in profession merely, then according to the 
doctrine of Mr. Noyes, they were entirely sinful ; for 
he assumes that " Every being in the universe^ at anfiy 
given time, is either entirely wicJced, or entirely holy^^ 
— that " all men are either as righteous as Christy or 
as ivicked as the devil. ''^ If Mr. Lyvere and Miss 
Edson were " entirely wicked," then they had no 
right to a place in a community as holy as the Putney 
Association professed to be, and might have been 
expelled at any time without any injustice — and indeed 
in that case they never ought to have been admitted 
to membership. If they were thus wicked what 
becomes of the arrogant claims of Perfectionists ? 
They profess to be the true Church. They set them- 


selves up as a perfect model of primitive Christiamtj, 
and lay claim to all the miraculous gifts of the apos- 
tolic age ; and thej have promised " to surrender all 
pretensions of being a true Christian church,^ ^ if they 
cannot " make out a case substantially like that of the 
primitive c^i^rc^."— Spiritual Magazine, Yol.II. No.lO. 

Now Mr. Noyes asserts that " the power of ' dis- 
cerning spirits ' was one of the gifts of the primitive 
church." — Berean, p. 45. But where is this gift 
among Perfectionists? If Mr. Lyvere and Miss 
Edson were '' entirely wicked, ^^ then Mr. Noyes or 
some of his co-adjutors, had they possessed that gift, 
would have been able to discern such " wieked^^ spirits. 
But this they were unable to do. 

Being unable, at least in this, as well as in other 
instances, to " make out a case substantially like that 
of the primitive church," will they now " surrender," 
in fulfilment of their promise, " all pretensions of being 
a true Christian church " ; — or will they falsify their 
word and still stand it out when stubborn facts stare 
them full in the face, and they are destitute of a parti- 
cle of proof to substantiate the an-ogant claims which 
they have impiously set up ? 

Turn this subject which way you please, Mr. N. 
occupies a no very comfortable position ; and from what 
precedes, as well as from what follows, it plainly appears 
that he must hang upon one or both horns of a 
dilemma ! 

But the question recurs — Were Mr. Lyvere and 
Miss Edson Perfectionists? That they were profes^ 


sedly so, no one doubts ; but we ask again, were they 
really so ? Were thej Perfectionists not onlj in name^ 
but in deed and in truth f 

If it be admitted that they were Perfectionists, in a 
full and proper sense, then Mr. Noyes is plunged into 
still deeper difficulties. It will be readily granted that 
in that case he might with the utmost propriety receive 
them into his society ; but Mr. N. has assumed that 
real Perfectionists, or Perfectionists of a higher order, 
are not ox^j free from sin, but that they can never fall 
into 8171. 

Now if Mr. Lyvere and Mss Edson were really Per- 
fectionists, they could not sin, according to Mr. N.'s 
doctrine. For what, then, were they expelled ? For 
doing right ? If so, injustice was done them, and the 
most downright despotism exercised over them. They 
had done no wrong — they had committed no sin — and 
yet they were summarily severed, at a single stroke, 
not only from the head, but from the whole " body of 
believers " ! But will it be asserted, to avoid the charge 
of injustice, that they had really sinned ? Then the 
security of the saints, so strenuously contended for by 
Mr. Noyes, goes by the board, and is clean gone 

But the mystery about the whole matter may be 
cleared up in few words : — If a person is perfectly sub- 
missive to the " acknowledged head of the Corpora- 
tion," and commits the keeping of his conscience to that 
self-exalted functionary, do what he may, all will be 
well. But if he has a mind of his own, and acts for 


himself, the very first independent deed, however right 
of itself, will be denounced as "an act of gi*oss and 
deliberate insubordination " — a mortal offence, worthy 
of immediate excommunication ! 

By Perfectionists the will of John H. Noyes must be 
regarded as the rule of right, and taken as the standard 
of judgment. Whatever accords with that will is pro- 
nounced praiseworthy ; but whatever is contrary to it, 
if it is not set down as sin, yet in point of demerit and 
penal deserts, is considered tantamount to it. Quiet, 
humble and unceasing submission alone can secure the 
favor of the " acknowledged head of the Corporation." 

But the case which has been under consideration, 
together with other important facts which have come to 
light in Putney, show conclusively that Mr. Noyes has 
assumed the prerogative of controlling all matrimonial 
arrangements among Perfectionists, or at least in the 
society over which he has the immediate supervision. 
Implicit submission in all such matters, or prompt expul- 
sion, are the only alternatives ! 

Mr, Noyes recommends marriage, not because he 
behoves in its validity^ but because he deems it expedi- 
ent under existing circumstances. T\iq penalty of the laiu 
probably prompts his faith in that expediency ; and he 
seeks to evade that penalty by d, partial conformity to the 
law. Were there no penalty annexed to the law touch- 
ing this matter, Mr. Noyes would utterly discard the 
marriage institution among his followers, and trample it 
under foot as a thing of nought. When a person mar- 
ries a member of the Corporation under the direction of 


Mr. Nojes, that person is not united to one member 
only, but joined to the whole " body of believers.'' 
Thus when a bride is introduced to the Association, she 
is welcomed within the " charmed circle," and given to 
understand that she must consider herself a member of 
that body of which John H. Noyes is the head. And 
the bridegroom, to be a loyal subject and meet with 
favor in the eyes of the " acknowledged head," must 
be ready to adopt the sentiments of the Battle Axe 
Letter, and address Mr. Noyes as follows : — " I call 
this woman my ivife — she is yours, she is Ohrisfs, and 
in Mm she is the bride of all saints ^ 



Bible Secretiveness, 

An editorial article under the above heading, pub- 
lished in the Spiritual Magazine of Sept. 1, 1847, 
clearly exhibits the process by which Mr. Noyes and 
his coadjutors indoctrinate their followers, and lead 
them along step by step till they reach the verge of 
ruin ; and then, perhaps, pleased with the fatal delu- 
sion, they take a fearful leap into the dark abyss below, 
almost unconscious of danger, though doomed to 

Although the article referred to reveals the modus 
operandi by which these master spirits initiate their dis- 
ciples into the higher branches and sublimer mysteries 
of Noyesism, yet it is couched in such language and 
contains such allusions as would render it unintelligible, 
— aside from recent disclosures, — without a thorough 
knowledge and insight into the system. But happily 
the veil has been removed, and the clue obtained by 
which to unfold the hidden abominations of Noyesism. 

The author of the article alluded to, in his modesty 
more than intimates that Noyesism is the key which 
unlocks the store-house of divine knowledge and reveals 
the wonders of the universe ; and that unless a person 
becomes a Perfectionist, the Bible will be to him a 
sealed book, and the priceless treasures of divine truth 
never obtained ! 


It is, moreover, asserted that " infinite treasures '* 
are reserved for " advanced minds." Thus it appears 
that although an individual should secure the key of 
knowledge by embracing Noyesism, he is not to be let 
into all the secrets at once, lest his moral sensibilities, 
not yet rendered obtuse, should be shocked, and being 
affrighted at the grosser parts of the system, he should 
retrace his steps, and the object thus be defeated and 
the prey lost. But their sentiments must be dealt out 
very cautiously, and the sublimer doctrines inculcated 
only as the mind is prepared by a regular training for 
their reception, and in accordance with the principles 
brought to view in the folloTving extract from the article 
alluded te : — 

" Honesty will not suffer us to make a false state - 
pieni of our views, but it will allow us te reserve them 
when we please. . . . Milk for babes, and strong meat 
for them that are of full age. . . . The Bible contains 
the germs of all truth — the distinct clue to all science. 
While, therefore, its meaning maybe said to be so plain 
that ' he who runs may read ' ; and its straight path 
such, that ' the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not 
err therein ' ; yet it is also certain that the revelation 
of its deep treasures is altogether a matter of attain- 
ment. Get hold of its clue at the right end, and 
you proceed steadily and safely to unfold the myste- 
ries of the universe : come at it elsewhere, and either 
you find it a sealed up volume of dullness, or if you 
attempt to interpret it you are liable to -be lost in the 
midst of truth, inverted and misunderstood — liable to 
make the Bible the leading path to error and damna- 
tion. There is only a possibility that you will find your 
way back to the true starting place. Now the begin- 


ning of this clue, the primary station of departure from 
which we shall alone safelj and certainly be led into all 
truth, is undoubtedly found in the doctrine and experi- 
ence oi salvation from siny 

Alas for us ! the whole world en masse is doomed by 
these modern wise men to darkness impenetrable, and 
must hang their harps upon the willows and sit down in 
sad despair, never expecting to get the clue to a right 
understanding and correct interpretation of the Sacred 
Writings unless they become Perfectionists ! These new 
lights, in some respects, appear to be near akin to the 
Romish clergy I If they do not, like Papal priests, lock 
up the letter of the Scriptures from the mass of the 
people, they profess to hold the keys of the kingdom of 
heaven, and they alone can give their true spiritual 
meaning ! Hence we must wait on Mr. JST., — ^he being 
the " acknowledged head" of the " body of believers" — 
to turn the key, unlock the sacred volume, and reveal 
its hidden mysteries ! 

But the same writer, speaking in reference to the 
receivers of holiness after the Noyesite faith, proceeds 
as follows : — 

" That untruthful curiosity which disregards the 
principal, plain significance of their lives, and prefers 
rather to criticise and understand the details of their 
conduct and motives, will find in them the same enigma, 
the same occasion of error and stumbling, that they find 
in the Bible. ' The wind bloweth where it listeth,' says 
Christ, ' and ye hear the sound thereof; but ye cannot 
tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth : so is every 
one that is born of the Spirit.'' " 


Thus Perfectionists, with their high-sounding profes- 
sions of hohness and pretensions to super-emiaent spirits 
uality, shrink from the scrutiny of the world respecting 
the " details of their conduct and motives." But why 
so ? The Savior assigns the sole reason why men pre- 
fer darkness to light, and that is, because their deeds 
are evil ; and he asserts in the same connection, that 
" he that doeth truth, cometh to the hght, that his 
deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in 
God." John 3: 19-21. 

Again — the same writer continues : — . 

'' While it is our business to present day by day to 
the world the great proposition which they most need, 
and which honest men can understand, viz., ' the right- 
eousness of God which is by faith,' it is not our duty 
(because it would be injurious if not impossible) to set 
before them all the lessons which a spkitual man finds 
in perusing the revelation of God in the illumination of 
the Holy Ghost." 

Undoubtedly there is direct reference in the above 
language to those peculiar sentiments characteristic of 
Perfectionism — those licentious doctrines which Mr. 
Noyes considers of great importance — holding them 
second only to theology itself ! 

Thus we are made acquainted -vvith the course pur- 
sued by Mr. Noyes and his associates in conducting 
their followers, deluded and hoodwinked, along the road 
that leads to infamy and death, and bringing about 
their utter degradation and ruin ; and probably they 
witness with rapture the results of their well-directed 


It is not probable that all are thus deluded and 
mi consciously led like the lamb to the slaughter ; for 
^ome, having acquired a tolerably correct knowledge of 
the character and tendency of the system, have, no 
doubt, viewed it with the eye of the libertine, and 
"influenced by impure motives, joined the '^. body of 
believers," and thereby availed themselves of a favora- 
ble opportunity to carry out their base designs, and^ 
gratify lawless lust. They may also fancy that they 
have found in Noyosism a kind of universal salvo for all 
conceivable sins ; and may have appeased the upbraid- 
ings of conscience by viewing through the medium of 
the Noyesite faith this ruinous vice, transformed into 
an exemplary virtue I 

It is ever dangerous to listen to the dulcet strains of 
the alluring syren, but some have listened to the voice 
of the charmer — being unacquainted with the nature 
and tendency of the doctrines taught by Noycs, they 
have, in the sincerity of their hearts and the simplicity 
of their souls, embraced them ; and becoming at length 
intoxicated with the pleasing delusion, by the aid of 
subtle influences exerted upon them, have been brought 
to submit to the sole dictation of Noyes, who has 
regarded them as lawful prey ; and they have in the 
end, and perhaps to their sorrow, found themselves 
fast bound in the meshes of Perfectionism. Being 
brought under powers and surrounded by influences 
with which they were unable to grapple, and against, 
wliich it would be in vain to attempt to contend — the 

avenues of escape being closed around them, and 



terrified at the thunderbolts of wrath and indignation 
which not unfrequently burst forth from his " Holiness " 
whenever any uneasiness is manifested, they have been 
compelled to succumb, and have yielded themselves, 
though perhaps very reluctantly, to his sovereign sway, 
and have at length become the passive instruments of 
lust and cupidity. These hapless victims having lost 
their virtue, lay aside their modesty and are soon seen 
glorying in their shame. Their ruin went on rapidly 
^— the work of destruction was cut short in wickedness ; 
and from the very depths of degradation and the pits of 
pollution, these deluded votaries of vice send up the 
ringing shout of liberty, and loudly proclaim their 
fancied freedom ! Freedom from law, but bondage in 
sin ! They hug their chains with a death-like grasp, 
though boasting of freedom, and are the subjects of the 
most servile bondage while loudly proclaiming their 
liberty! Such are the results of this strange and 
almost unaccountable delusion ! 

But let us listen to their own language relative to 
the subject under consideration. In the Spiritual 
Magazine of Nov. 1, 1847, we find the following 
graphic account of events which had but recently 
transpired, and were frequently transpiring in the 
Association at Putney :— 

" The concentration of interest, of will, of affection, in this 
body, demonstrates the presence of a moral magnet of incon- 
ceivable strength. Every kind of character has succumbed to 
its power. Iron wills have broken ; excessive self-esteem has 
bowed ; acquisitiveness has opened its hand ; the affections have 
vjithdrawn their strength from every attraction without, and 


gathered within the charmed circle. The resistance of nature 
in many cases was tremendous. How often have we seen passion 
exasperated to the pitch of insanity, in the last agony of cruci- 
fixion — the last strain upon its attachments ; hut the inflexibility of 
truth conquers — the central {ittraction prevails, and immediately 
rapture illumes the countenance where the blackness of despair 
was brooding. This process has been repeated till all its phe- 
Tkomena are familiar, and we are able to calculate results with 
precision. . . . We have seen imaginations suddenly cast down, 
and thoughts captivated by one flourish of our spiritual weapons. 
" The gravitation of hearts is irresistible. One daily inter- 
course is rapidly condensing life and intensifying the power of 
love. . . . Private tastes are all offered up on the altar of 
universal love. Our senses perceive a jar or discord -with 
increasing acuteness, and perfection must be the result of the 
revolution of our social machinery. It turns out daily miracles." 

If their social maciiinerj turns out daily miracles^ 
we may infer that they can be manufactured to order ! 
Thus we have laid before us, by Perfectionists them- 
selves, the breaking-down process — the bringing of 
wills and thoughts into captivity and complete subjec- 
tion, not to the will of Christ, but to the will of John 
H. Noyes ! And this, too, not in a solitary instance — 
a few isolated cases — -but in numerous instances. AU 
must bow the knee and lick the dust before this would- 
be Pontiff. The language above quoted was somewhat 
dark and mysterious before the recent disclosures, but 
the revelations in Putney have thrown a flood of light, 
and language which before was very obscure is now 
perfectly plain and intelligible. The process alluded 
to by Perfectionists appears, from their own language, 
to have been so often "repeated" that they had 


become adepts in the business of hreaklng-down ; and 
the whole phenomena was so perfectly familiar that 
they could " calculate results with precision." They 
appear to have acquired wonderful skill in flourishing 
^' spiritual weapons." And under the influence of the 
great "moral magnet of inconceivable strength," 
which was among them, is it at all strange that each 
devoted victim should be drawn within the " charmed 
drde^'' and doomed to irretrievable ruin ? 

Wherein does this " process" differ, in its essential 
features, from the course pursued at houses of ill-fame 
in our principal cities ? A virtuous, inexperienced, 
and unsuspecting female is unfortunately thrown 
within the circle of influence Vy^hich surrounds a city 
brothel ; immediately the most unhallowed influences 
are brought to bear upon the hapless victim. Find- 
ing it impossible to extricate herself — after many 
unavailing efforts — the last ray of hope being extin- 
guished, she yields herself into the hands of her 
destroyers and^her fate is sealed. The rising emotions 
of a virtuous heart being suppressed, and the moral 
sensibilities rendered obtuse, sensual delights alone 
" illume the countenance w^here the blackness of despair 
was brooding." 

The " process" which was so •' familiar" to the 
master-spirits of the Perfectionist Association at 
Putney, agrees in all its essential features with the 
course pursued at those fountains of iniquity, those 
gateways to death, to which we Iiave alluded. The 
analogy,- .between the tw-o is striking, the parallel 


almost perfect. If the course pursued bj Perfection- 
ists is not in every respect so compulsory, it is none 
the less effectual and fatal. Virtuous females have been 
drawn in and ruined by the heads of the Association 
in Putney, yet Mr. Noyes called the company banded 
together there a holy Community, and impiously 
asserted that the kingdom of Heaven was established 
in that Association ! 



Pretensions of Perfectionists to Miraculous Power. 

Perfectionists lay claim to all the miraculous gifts of 
the apostoHc age ; and strenuously contend that as 
signal displays of Divine power may be expected 
among them as were exhibited in the Primitive Church. 
A simple portraiture of the moral character of 
Perfectionism abundantly confutes this preposterous 
assumption, and the subject might thus be summarily 
disposed of; for we cannot suppose that supernatural 
gifts would be conferred upon persons who do not 
sustain a fair moral character. ' But the Perfectionists 
appeal to facts in confirmation of their assumptions, 
and present arguments to sustain the position which 
they have taken. The subject is one of some impor- 
tance, and the question whether the age of miracles is 
past, has, for centuries, been one of hackneyed discus- 
sion throughout Christendom. Whatever views may 
be entertained in relation to this question, the sequel 
will present the pretensions to miraculous power by 
the Perfectionists to pubhc view in a most glaring and 
even ludicrous light. 

Miracles have been seized upon by all the petty 
impostors, from the days of Mahomet down to the 
times of Joe Smith and John H. Noyes. The mantle 
of pretended miracles has been thrown over the most 
hideous deformities by all the pseudo-^Qci^ in Christen- 
dom. The credulous and those in whom the hump of 


marvellousness is fully developed, are struck with awe 
and wonder at the very mention of a miracle, and are 
easily deceived with pretensions to wonder-working 
j^ower ; and if an impostor by spiritual jugglery can 
produce the conviction that he is divinely commis- 
sioned, and thus gain the entire confidence of a 
person not accustomed to investigation, he can palm off 
the most glaring absurdities, and accomplish the most 
nefarious designs, with the utmost ease and facility. 

The great rnagician* of Putney, as well as the won- 
derful seer of Palmyra, is no less an impostor than the 
far-famed Arabian Prophet ! Mahometanism, Mor- 
monism. Perfectionism, and a long catalogue of other 
isms^ are all of kindred character. They are but the 
varied species of the same genus. In addition to the 
Koran and the Golden Bible, we now have the Berean, 
a production of Mr. Noyes, which his followers firmly 
believe to be an inspired book ! 

The limits of this work will not allow of an extended 
investigation of the subject of miracles. The question 
of the cessation of miracles, we propose. Providence 
permitting, to examine in a separate pubHcation; 
and shall here make only a single remark touching this 
matter. Much confusion in relation to this subject has 

*The application of the term magician to Mr. Noyes is not gratui- 
tous, or wholly unauthorized. A writer in the Spiritual Magazine, 
who was a niember of the Putney Community, speaking in reference 
to that Community and its " acknowledged head," says—" He must 
be a magician indeed^ if without any weapon but the wand of hig 
word, he had reduced the intelligence, the pride, the natural independ- 
ence of this company, to its present subordination." 


undoubtedly arisen from a want of distinction between; 
the ordinary and extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. 
The extraordinary gifts of the apostolic ago, such as- 
miracles, &c., were designed to substantiate the 
Divine commission of those who possessed them, and 
place upon a permanent basis the whole noble super- 
structure of Gospel doctrhies. The specific object for 
which these miraculous endowments were conferred 
having been accompHshed, they would of course cease, 
being no longer necessary. The first promulgators of 
Christianity, under a Divine commission, spread abroad 
the doctrines which they had received, and confirmed 
the truths which they taught by many infalUble signs ; 
and having accomplished their work, their acts were 
placed upon record and transmitted to after genera- 
tions, accompanied by the ordinary influences of the 
Spirit, which were to continue to the end of time. If 
the record given does not convince a person of the 
truth of Christianity, he would not be convinced though 
one should rise from the dead. 

Although it does not enter into our present design to 
discuss at length the question of the cessation of 
miracles, yet we propose to give a full account of the? 
pretended miracles wrought by Mr. Noyes at Putney ; 
and shall exhibit the utter shallowness of his preten- 
sions to mirac^ulous power, and also the gross wicked- 
ness connected with such pretensions and carried 
forward imder this assumed covering. In the follow- 
ing chapter we shall commence the examination of Mr. 
N.'s pretended miracles. 


' Pretended Miracles of Noyes. 


Great prominence has been given bj Perfectioniste 
to the case of Mrs. Harriet A. Hall, and through then', 
efforts to give it publicity, this case has obtained some 
notoriety. And in view of the fact that Mr. Noyes 
attaches much importance to it, and has even set it 
forth as an '•'unirnpeacliahle^^ miracle^ perhaps this case 
is entitled to some attention. Mr. N. seems to take it 
for granted that tliis case is unanswerable, and evi- 
dently considers it sufficient, in connection with many 
other cases of like character but of a lower order, to 
fully substantiate his claim to miraculous poiver^ and 
settle the question of his divine commission ! 

In the Spiritual Magazine of Oct. 15, 1847, Mr, N, 
speaks thus in reference to this case : — 

" The cure of Mrs. Harriet A. Hall is as unimpeach- 
able as any of the miracles of the primitive church. It 
is notorious that she had been sick eight years, with a 
complication of diseases ; that she was completely bed- 
rid, and almost blind, lying in nearly total darkness. 
From this state, she was raised instantly, by the laying 
on of hands, and by the word of command, into strength 
which enabled her to walk, to face the sun, to ride 
miles without inconvenience and with excessive pleas- 

Now, if the case of Mrs. Hall is as " unimpeacha- 
Me'' as it is represented to be, we are certainly bound 


to acknowledge the supremacy of Mr. Noyes, and 
admit the claims which he has set up. But the case is 
open for inspection, and the people have a right to 
investigate the matter, and are not bound to concede 
the claims of Mr. N. — which appear to be quite arro- 
gant — unless the facts in the case fally sustain the 
position which he has voluntarily assumed. 

We think we hazard nothing in saying, when the sub- 
ject is submitted to public scrutiny — has passed a careful 
examination — and the facts are brought out, the opinion 
will be almost or quite unanimous that it was a very 
-vdsionary affair — one of the greatest apologies for a 
miracle ever got up ; and having no sure foundation on 
which to rest, it will be left " air-suspended like the 
baseless fabric of a vision." 

But let us look at a few of the most prominent fea- 
tures, and endeavor to take a just view of the whole 
affair. As it has been publicly announced by the Per- 
fectionists as a miracle as " unimpeachable " as any in 
the " primitive church," perhaps the curiosity of many 
has been so far excited as to create some desire to 
know the circumstances connected with the " raising" 
of Mrs. Hall. It may not be improper to gratify, to 
some extent, that curiosity ; and, indeed, this may be 
necessary to a right understanding of the case, although 
it must necessarily occupy more space than was origin- 
ally assigned to the subject. 

A very circumstantial account of the whole affair is 
given by three witnesses — all interested, however, 
being the parties concerned ) but as their testimony is 


all we have, we must take it for what it is worth. We 
presume Mr. Noyes takes it for granted that every 
word is firmlj- estabUshed by the testimony of these 
three interested witnesses ! 

The testimony is published in the Spiritual Magazine 
of Sept. 15, 1847, and is introduced as follows: — 

" The testimony of the parties concerned was taken 
at the request, and in presence of John B. Foote, of 
Westmoreland, N. Y., for his private use, and not with 
a view to publication. We think, however, it may be 
appropriately inserted here. 

The Testimony of Three Witnesses in the ease of 
Mrs. Harriet A, Hall* Given at Putney ^ July 3, 


' Eight years ago I was taken sick. The physicians 
called my disease the dropsy, particularly of the chest 
and region of the heart. There was also at the same 
time a serious affection of the spine. I had previously 
had a liver complaint, for which I had been under 
Thompsonion treatment. This became much worse at 
the time above mentioned, insomuch that my breathing 
became very difficult, and I was under the necessity of 
being cupped frequently. I had night sweats and 
hectic fever — was thought to be in the last stages of 
consumption. My life was despaired of. A dreadful 
cough attended all these symptoms, which continued 
about eight months. After that period, the difficulties 
about my chest and lungs subsided, but my back 
became much worse. This disorder was connected with 
a terrible pressure on the brain. All exercise was 

* Formerly Harriet A. Baker. 


attended with much pain, and evidently aggravated mj 
disorder, so that I was at last forbidden by the physi- 
cian even to walk, or stand on my feet j and I lay a 
year and a half without attempting any exercise. 
After that I was able to walk a little. Three years 
from the commencement of my sickness I was suddenly 
reduced to entke blindness. This continued six months. 
In the seventh month I began to see a little. 

* About this time my mind became interested in the 
subject of Animal Magnetism, and hearing that Mr. J. 
H. Noyes had made some successful experiments in 
that science, I sent for him. His operations had some 
good effect upon my eyes. I soon began to perceive 
that he was a Christian, and requested him to inform 
me about his faith. He sent me books and papers, and 
conversed with me, and I immediately saw the truth of 
his testimony, and confessed myself a believer in per- 
fect holiness. — From that time I began to improve ih 
health, took more exercise, and was able to walk more 
and more. Soon after this, (Oct. 27, 1843) I was 
conveyed to Mr. Noyes's house. To the astonishment 
of my friends, the ride (distance two miles) did not 
pain or tire me, and I steadily grew better, under Mr, 
Noyes's care, till I was able to walk about the house 
quite comfortably. My head and eyes improved, so 
that I could write again. 

' After several weeks, Alex. Wilder, who was in Mr. 
ISToyes's family, began to magnetize me, and assumed 
the charge of my case. He drew me away from Mr. 
Noyes, and by constant manipulation enveloped me in 
his own spirit. From this time I began to be worse. 
My old disorder returned upon me, and with more 
power than ever. I returned home, and to my old 
state of prostration and darkness. About this time the 
separation between Mr. Noyes and Mr. Wilder took 
place, and I was deceived by Mr. Wilder so far that I 


lost much of my first confidence in Mr. Noyes. My 
health continued worse for the ensuing three years and 
a half. 

• In the course of this time (viz. on the 2d of Nov., 
1845) I was married to Mr. Hall, a man who made no 
profession of rehgion, and who, though somewhat 
friendly to Mr. Noyes's writings, was on the whole an 
infidel. I was barely able to sit up long enough to go 
through with the marriage ceremony. After this I was 
separated still farther from Mr. Noyes, and at last 
became nearly as much a skeptic as my husband. 

^ But in the mean time my brother and two sisters 
had returned fully to fellowship with Mr. Noyes, and 
so communication was kept open between him and our 
family. By this means my heart was finally turned 
back to my first love and confidence. Indeed, very 
soon after my feelings took a favorable turn, I was 
attracted and bound to Mr. Noyes more strongly than 
ever, and invited him to visit me. This took place in 
the fore part of June last. 

• I had felt, through all my sickness, a dim, instinc- 
tive assurance that I should yet recover, and from the 
time of my first acquaintance with Mr. Noyes I had 
more or less expectation that I should be healed by 
faith. This expectation revived with much strength at 
tlie time of my return to his fellowship. 

• It may be mentioned here, that in the whole course 
of my sickness, medicine of every kind proved ineffec- 
tual and injurious. I tried many kinds, and many 
systems of practice. I consulted at different times not 
less than ten physicians. At length I lost all confi- 
dence in medicines, and about the time of my renewal 
of intercourse with Mr. Noyes, entirely abandoned the 
ase of them, committing my case to the care of God. 

' On the 22d of June, Mr. Noyes, in company with 
Mrs, Cragin, visited me. I was at that time in a very 


low condition — lower than ever before. An additional 
disease, viz. ulceration of the kidneys, which commen- 
ced a year and a half ago, had become very painful 
and threatening. I was unable to move or to be moved, 
without excruciating pain in my back and kidneys. 
My eyes could not bear the light. A mere crack of 
the window, below the curtain, was all that I could 
endure. Yet I expected to be healed, and even to go 
home with Mr. Noyes, at his first visit, and had told 
my husband on that morning that I should certainly 
get well, and asked him what he should think if I should 
go away with Mr. Noyes. 

' I will not attempt a particular account of the things 
that were said and done by Mr. Noyes and Mrs. Cra- 
gin during the three hours of their visit to my dark 
room. They will speak of these things themselves. I 
will only say that I was calm and happy through scenes 
which would once have been agitating and even fright- 
ful to me. 

' Mr. Noyes at one time spoke of going home, but I 
could not beheve that he would go till I could go with 
him. At length I told him that I would do any thing 
that he would bid me. He told me. to sit up in the 
bed. I did so with ease. He then commanded me, 
with great energy, to ' get up ' ; and taking me by the 
hand, led me to a chair. Without pain and with great 
dehght, I sat before the window. Mrs. Cragin raised 
the curtain and let in the blaze of day. My eyes were 
perfectly well, and drank in the beauty of the world all 
new to me, with wonderful pleasure. I was constrained 
to declare again and again that I was ' perfectly well.* 
I called for work, and found myself able to knit with 
facility. It was soon determined that I should go home 
with Mr. N. and Mrs. C. I was immediately stripped, 
by my sisters and Mrs. C, of my extra flannels and 
caps, and my grave-clothes in general, and in an ordin- 


arj dress, without spectacles or veil, I took my seat in 
the carriage, and rode two miles, in a south direction, 
in the light of a mid-day summer's sun, without the 
least fatigue. That was indeed a joyful ride. I was 
conscious of perfect health. All pain in my head, back 
and kidneys had vanished. 

' This event took place about two weeks ago. I have 
never doubted since that I was healed instantaneously 
by the power of God. I have gained daily in power 
over my muscles. I have been able to ride long 
distances, to attend meetings in the evening at home, 
and on Sunday at the Chapel, to take my meals with 
the family, &c. &c. My appetite is very good. My 
eyes are strong. I am fast overcoming the effects of 
the long disuse of my limbs, and am learning to walk 
as fast as can be expected of a child. On the whole I 
can honestly say, that whereas for eight years past I 
have been a miserable, bed-rid, half dead victim of 
disease, I am now well.' 


' During the past three months, I have been myself 
affected with a painful disease which I ascribed to 
various secondary causes. Despairing of help from 
human aid, I committed myself fully to Jesus Christ 
as physician for the body as well as the soul. After 
making this surrender the scales fell from my eyes, 
and I recognized unbelief as the first cause of disease 
and death. I saw that I must have a healthy spirit in 
order to have a healthy body. After much bodily 
suffering and mental conflict with the powers of dark- 
ness, I was enabled through the grace given unto me 
to confess Christ within me a Savior from the power of 
unbelief. The result was an almost immediate restora- 
tion to health. Sickness left me as suddenly as it had. 
seLzed me, and I found myself able to prove by word 


and deed that the power of Christ's resurrection had 
taken effect m every part of my nature. 

' Before I received final deliverance I thought much 
of the case of Mrs. Hall. From what I heard from 
time to time from her, I was sensible that she was tast 
approaching the same point with myself, namely, a 
thorough conviction that faith alone could save her 
from death. I fully believed that the work begun in 
her in 1843 would be completed, but was conscious that 
any testimony which I could give her respecting my 
confidence in the power of faith would be powerless so 
long as I was in bondage myself. On the morning 
after my confession of Christ, I felt as though I wcis 
ready to visit her and testify to her of the power of 
God. On my way to her residence I was perfectly 
well, and very happy in the prospect of being a help 
to her. When I entered her darkened room and saw 
her helpless condition, I was struck with horror at the 
nightly power of unbelief, and the thought arose in 
my mind that she wa< in the same grave from w^hich I 
had been raised. At the same time I felt a perfect 
willingness to go doAvn into the grave again, if by s.> 
<loing I could help her out. As these thoughts and 
desires occupied my heart, I was conscious of general 
sickness and distress of body unlike any thing I had 
ever felt before. But as my mind was filled with 
what I was anxious to say to her, I did not give my 
attention at all to my bodily feelings. 

• When Mr. Noyes said to me that lie had got 
through what he wished to say, and that I might talk 
to her, I imnnediately began to tell her what God had 
done for me in saving me from unbelief. I had not 
talked more than a minute before a ' horror of great 
darkness' seized me. I realized as I never did before 
the murderous nature of unbehef, and God's hatred to 
it. My eyes grew dim so that I could not distinguish 


objects, and my hearing left me so that I could not 
hear the sound of my voice. Still I resisted until my 
tongue was palsied and I did not know what I was 
saying. I had sufficient consciousness left to attempt 
to rise to go to the door, but I felt as though Mr. 
Noyes was not willing. I felt as though I was sinking 
lower and lower into a dreadful dark abyss. When I 
began to recover I found myself sitting in my chair, 
and heard Mr. Noy^s commanding me in a loud voice 
tx) look at him. The tones of his voice thrilled through 
me like a shock of electricity, and as soon as I looked 
at him hfe triumphed over death. I rose and walked 
the room, astonished and delighted at the power which 
I felt diffusing itself through my veins, recaUing me to 
newness of life. I said to Mrs. Hall, This is the most 
effectual preaching you can have ; I have tasted of 
death, and behold the power of the resurrection. 
After conversing with her some time, this same horror 
of unbelief began to paralyze me again. I rose and 
attempted to throw it off, but could not. I called to 
Mr. Noyes, and had sufficient presence of mind to 
look steadily at him until I partook of his strength, 
and it passed away. The remainder of the day I was 
stupid and sleepy, and felt as I imagine persons do 
who have been recovered from drowning ; but since 
that time am perfectly sound in health.' 


• Many circumstances have conspired to draw the 
attention of believers in this place within a few months 
toward the healing power of Christ, and to raise a 
belief in their minds that great manifestations of that 
power are at hand. The unity, internal and external, 
into which we have lately been brought, the power and 
vsuccess of our testimony to the world around, and the 
exigency of our situation in the midst of the raging 


enemies of faith, enlarged our expectations and stimu- 
lated us to demand more strength from God. Some 
instances of the victory of faith over disease, which 
were notable to us, though not to the world, occurred 
during the past winter and spring. 

' Soon after we came together in family unity, Mrs. 
Cragin was attacked by disease of an obstinate and 
threatening character. This brought me into a neces- 
sity of examining our position in relation to sickness, 
death, medicines, &c. I settled my own principles 
more thoroughly than ever before, and gave a course 
of lectures, in which I declared my independence of 
the medical systems of this world, and claimed for 
Christ the office of physician to our community. 
There was but one heart and one voice among us about 
the matter. I treated Mrs. Cragin's case on faith 
principles entirely ; and though the struggle with the 
power of death was long and desperate, life graduall}'- 

' After Mrs. Hall returned to our fellowship, I. 
began to have a strong impression that the first signal 
manifestation of heaUng power would be in her case.. 
The fact that she had come under my care several 
years ago, and a cure had been commenced, which had 
been defeated for the time by evil powers, seemed a 
pledge of a complete work yet to come. Her connec- 
tion with an infidel husband and an infidel father, 
made her case just such an one as we might suppose 
God would choose, if he wished to strike a death blow 
at unbelief. From the time when she invited me to 
visit her, I felt myself challenged to a pubhc contest 
with death. I made up my mind not to go to her, till 
I could go in the fallness of faith ; and I had an 
assurance that my- dealings with her at this time would 
not be like those of the former trial, but altogether 
more swift and decisive. 


* Mrs. Cragin's case was yet upon my hands. Her 
enemies, though often routed, yet persecuted her from 
time to time, and I found at last that the traitor who 
let them in was a subtile spirit of unbehef. It became 
evident to me that a decisive and final victory over 
unbelief was essential to a permanent victory over 
disease of any kind, forasmuch as unbehef is the 
protecting cover of all subordinate powers of evil. It 
also became evident that I could not reasonably expect 
to carry victory over unbelief abroad, till I had 
obtained it at home. This then was the burden that 
lay upon my heart, viz., I must lift Mrs. Cragin out 
of the grave of unbehef, before I can hope to raise 
Mrs. Hall, On Monday (the 21st of June,) the con- 
£est of unbehef came to its crisis in the case of Mrs. 
Cragin. In the evening meeting she testified her 
assurance that Christ had saved her forever from the 
unbeheving spirit. The next morning, I saw that all 
was ready for a movement towards Mrs. Hall. Her 
sister was at our house and wished to be carried home. 
I and Mrs. Cragin went with her. 

' The first half hour of our visit to Mrs. Hall was 
spent in general discourse on the subject of faith. 
Wh^n I had finished what I had to say, I called on 
Mrs. Cragin to speak. She commenced, but had not 
proceeded far, when she began to be pale and faint. 
I took her hand and supported her while she sunk into 
death. I said to her several times in a loud voice, 
^ Look at me.' She heard me not. Her eyes were 
open, but fixed and glassy Hke a dead person's. I 
carried my head forward till my eye was in range with 
the direction of hers. At that moment there was a 
ghmmer of recognition in her eye. I smiled and she 
replied by a smile (!). Immediately the deadly spell 
passed away, and Mrs. C, emerged into angelic life 


and beauty (!). This scene was afterwards repeated 
in a milder way. 

' When these transactions were finished, Mrs. C. 
and I placed ourselves in more immediate communica- 
tion with Mrs. Hall, by taking hold of her hands. I 
perceived that the power of unbehef was broken. 
Mrs. Hall declared with emphasis that she felt ' some- 
thing good' taking place in herself while Mrs. Cragin 
was dying(!). Up to this time, I had no very definite 
idea of what was to be done for Mrs. H. The way 
seemed to be open for her release, but the circum- 
stances in which I found myself were new, and I 
shrunk from any thing like over- boldness or experi- 
menting. I thought and spoke of returning home, 
and yet it seemed to me that she ought to go with me. 
On the whole I could not leave her so. 

' At length as I walked the floor meditating on these 
things, an omnipotent will began to infuse itself into 
my consciousness. I said in my heart with a freedom 
which goes with the power of realization. — ' God shall 
have his own way in this matter.^ 

'• Soon after this the way was naturally and easily 
opened for me to call her forth from her prison, and I 
did it as she has described, with full consciousness of 
the co-operation and authority of God. 

' Aft^r she arose, and while the women were chang- 
ing her clothes, I walked in another room, and then 
again felt an omnipotent will going forth from my 
heart, decreeing as from the throne of the universe, 
that she should go home with me(!) ; which she did as 
she has related." 

An editorial note added to the above says : — 

*•' At the date of this paper [Spiritual Magazine of 
July 15, 1847] Mrs. Hall remains well. Her mus- 
cles have nearly recovered their natural strength, so 


that she is able to walk with ease, and to work moder- 

We have thus given the testimony in full relative to 
the raising of Mrs. Hall, just as it was spread out 
before the public by the Perfectionists. As the trans- 
actions were of a somewhat private character, we take 
it for granted that we are now in possession of all 
the material facts respecting the whole affair, with 
which they intend to enlighten the public. Let it be 
remembered that the testimony relative to this won- 
derful case, was given by the ''parties concerned^' — 
the operator, the assistant, and the subject ! 

This case has been trumpeted abroad as a miracle, 
as " unimpeachable as any of the miracles of the 
primitive church ;" but it wiU be looked upon as 
a contemptible affair by an intelligent community. 
The whole account from beginning to end is tinctured 
with the ludicrous, and some portions of it are extremely 
disgusting ; yet it is spread out before the public by 
Mr. Noyes with ^all the minuteness of exact detail, as 
though every part of the transaction was of the 
utmost importance. And Perfectionists swallow the 
whole story, as a marvellous affair, without any scruples 
or hesitation. This is undoubtedly very gratifying to 
the ambitious spirit of Noyes ; and seeing the affair 
took well among his followers, he spread his sails, 
caught the breeze, and attempted to advance the more 
rapidly, but his glorying and triumphing — like that of 
the wicked — was destined to be of short duration. A 
sad revulsion was at hand. 



Pretended Miracles of Noyes continued, 


It may perhaps be thought bj some to be a mere 
waste of words to dwell upon this case ; but it is 
claimed to be a cure as " unimpeachable as any of the 
miracles of the primitive church f^ and should it 
receive no special attention, Perfectionists might lift up 
their heads and triumphantly assert that it was such a 
notable miracle that it could not be gainsayed. Hence, 
it seems to be necessary to exhibit the shallowness of 
the pretensions of Mr. Noyes, and show that the 
attempt to palm off this affair as a miracle^ is a perfect 
imposition upon the people, and an utter outrage upon 
the intelligence of the community. 

It will be found on examination that this pretended 
MIRACLE was no cure at all ; but a mere temporary 
effect resulting from natural causes to which we shall 
hereafter allude. Cases of Hke character are of quite 
frequent occurrence ; and we deny point blank that this 
was a miracle, or even a semblance of one ; and shall 
endeavor to show to a demonstration that there was 
nothing at all supernatural in this case, the testimony 
of the " three witnesses" to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing. We dehberately take this position, although we 
thereby run the hazard of having the gentleman uncork 
anew the vials of his wrath — labelled " holy indig- 


nation" — and pour out their contents without mixture 
of mere J upon our head. 

But let us look at a few of the statements contained 
in the testimony given. After Mr. Noyes had com- 
manded her to " get up," Mrs. Hall^says, " I was con- 
strained to declare again and again that I was per- 
fectly tvelV She also says that during her ride of two 
miles, she " was conscious of perfect health^ Again, 
about two weeks after this event she says, ''I have 
never dovhted since, that I was healed instantaneously 
by the power of Grod.''^ And finally, Mrs. Hall closes 
her testimony in the following emphatic language : — 
" On the whole, I can honestly say, that whereas for 
eight years past I have been a yniserable, bed-rid, half 
dead victim of disease, I am now well.^' 

But accompanying the strong and unequivocal asser- 
tions of Mrs. Hall, that she was " welV^ — ''perfectly 
well " — and " conscious of perfect health,''^ we find 
the following language used about two weeks after she 
was " healed instantaneously " and made ''perfectly " 
whole :- — " I have gained daily in power over my mus- 
cles. . . I am fast overcoming the effects of the long 
disease of my limbs, and am learning to walk as fast as 
can be expected of a child " ! 

How do these diiferent statements agree with each 
other ? Two weeks after she had come in possession of 
*•' perfect health,^'' she says she had " gained daily in 
power over her muscles," and was " learning to ivalk 
as fast as could he expected of a child " ! About tliree 
weeks after the wonderful occurrence transpired and 


she pronounced herself '^ perfeetly well,'^ the Editor of 
the Spiritual Magazine says : — '' Her muscles have 
nearly recovered their strength, so that she is able to 
walk with ease, and to work moderately " I 

But how, if she was '^ perfecUy^^ healed at first, could 
she be gradually and constantly improving for a long 
time afterwards ? Why, Mr. Noyes had told her — and 
she verily behoved it — that the disease was entirely 
removed^ but that her hmbs had been so long inactive 
that they must be gradually restored to strength, and 
that she must learn to walk as the child learns ! 

How does this -case compare with the miracles of 
Christ and his Apostles ? If it is as " unimpeachable 
as any of the miracles of the primitive church," we 
may certainly expect to find a striking resemblance, in 
all their leading characteristics, between them. But is 
this the case ? Not at all. Not a parallel case can be 
found — not an instance on record, either in the Old or 
New Testament, in which an individual who had been 
unable to walk, from whatever cause, or however long 
the period, and was miraculously healed, who was not 
restored to perfect soundness. And not unfrequently 
were persons thus healed immediately seen " ivallcing 
and leaping ^^'' thus giving the most convincing and 
incontestable proofs of the appHcation of superhuman 
agencies, and the genuineness and completeness of the 
work. We have an instance in Acts 14: 8 — 10, of 
a man " impotent in his feet" who had never walked, 
whom Paul restored, and it is said he " leaped and 
ivalkedy AVe also have an account of a still more- 


striking instance, recorded in the 3d and 4th chapters 
of Acts. We have there an account of a man " above 
forty years old,^^ who had been lame from his birth, 
whom Pet^r healed, " and wimediately Ms feet and 
ancle hones received strength; and he, leaping up^ 
stood, and zvalked, and entered with them into the tem- 
ple, loalhing, and leaping, and praising God." These 
persons, though they had never walked, and one was 
*•' above forty years old^^ did not have to learn to walk 
hke a " cliiW 

In all the miracles wrought bj Christ, his Apostles, 
and the ancient Prophets, there was no half-way work. 
Wlien commenced, the work was immediately carried 
forward to its completion. 

Had the miracles wrought in the Primitive Church, 
wliich were designed to prove beyond a doubt the truth 
of Chi'istianity and place it upon a permanent basis, 
been of a partial kind, or of an obscure character, 
doubts might have reasonably arisen, and been enter- 
tained in reference to the matter ; hence the Divine 
Author of the Christian system, for the purpose of 
removing all cause of vahd objections, and every rea- 
sonable ground of disbelief, presented the substantiatiag 
proofs in the clearest light and the strongest possible 
manner, so that if rejected, it must be in the face of 
evidence as clear as the shining of the sun at mid-day. 

How strong, how clear, how convincing the proofs 
drawn from the miracles of the Primitive Church ; and 
how weak, how dim, and even how contemptible, the 
evidence coming from the mere pretensions of Noyes ! 


It is as valueless, and far more insignificant, than the 
veriest taper in the fiill blaze of meridian day. 

We might now dismiss the case of Mrs. Hall, and at 
this stage submit it to the public for decision, with a 
moral certainty — yea, without even a shadow of doubt 
— respecting the verdict which would be rendered; 
but as Mr. N. attaches so much importance to the mat- 
ter, and as there are to him so many interesting cir- 
cumstances clustering around this case, we deem it 
proper to notice it still farther, and give the public a 
few more items of information in reference to it. 

Not a very long period had elapsed after Mrs. Hall 
was " raised " by Mr. Noyes, before she relapsed into 
her former condition — and her old complaints again 
exhibited all their original strength and virulence. 
After having remained at Mr. N.'s for a number of 
weeks from the time she was " healed instantaneously," 
Mr. Hall, her husband, becoming dissatisfied for some 
reason, was unwilling to let her remain longer, and 
accordingly removed her home. Being away from the 
presence of Mr. N., and beyond the reach of the influ- 
ences with which she had been surrounded — whether 
mesmeric, or what not — while at his residence, the 
excitement, or whatever kept her up, subsiding, she 
immediately sunk into her former state, and was as bad 
or worse than ever. And Mr. Noyes had the privilege 
of again trying his miracle working (?) power, but 
without much effect, only affording temporary reHef ; 
and she has ever since remained much in her former 
condition, only alternately a little better or worse, as 


surrounding circumstances and her own feelings might 
affect her. 

Does all this look like a miraculous work — a radical 
cure ? Did any of those healed by Christ or his Apos- 
tles thus relapse ? Certainly not. If they were not 
afterward proof against disease, they certainly were as 
likely to be attacked by some other disease as the one 
from which they had been healed. But says Mr. 
Noyes, " He [Christ] did not insure them [his patients] 
against relapse, but on the contrary said to one of 
them — ' Behold, thou art made whole ; sin no more, 
lest a worse thing come unto thee.' " The case here 
referred to is not parallel with the one under consider- 
ation. A relapse appears to have been suspended upon 
the condition of sinning, and it is certainly implied that 
there would be no relapse if no sin was committed. 
Mrs. Hall, being a Perfectionist and consequently not 
capable of sinning, according to the doctrine of Noyes, 
would be in no danger of a relapse. But she has 
relapsed ; of course there was no radical cure. 

Speaking in reference to this case some weeks after 
it occurred, Mr. Noyes says — "How many said, 'If 
Harriet Hall only holds out, we will believe.' She has 
held out, and is daily walking your streets ; and how 
many of you have kept your promise f* It seems, that 
the pretended miracle not gaining much credit in the 
community, and proselytes not being multiplied accord- 
ing to his hopes and anticipations, Mr. N. felt disposed 
to take the people to task for their unbelief ; and he 
manifests the disposition — but unfortunately for him he 


lacked the power — to force them up to the work, and 
compel them to believe. Being impatient of delay, he 
severely rebukes them for not acknowledging his power 
and submitting to his authority. He says — undoubt- 
edly considering it a very convincing argument — " She 
has held out." But the truth is, she has not held out, 
and all the arguments based upon that circumstance go 
by the board. 

Again : let us look at the means used for her recov- 
ery at a former period. In the summer or early part 
of the autumn of 1843, which was about four years 
after her sickness commenced, Mrs. Hall says her 
" mmd became interested in the subject of Animal 
Magnetism, and hearing that Mr. J. H. Noyes had 
made some successful experiments in that science, I 
sent for him. His operations had some good effect on 
my eyes." After having been mesmerized a number 
of times, she embraced the doctrines of Noyes, and 
says — " From that time I began to improve in health, 
took more exercise, and was able to walk more and 
more. Soon after this, (viz. Oct. 27, 1843,) I was 
conveyed to Mr. Noyes's house. To the astonishment 
of my friends, the ride (distance two miles) did not 
pain or tire me, and I steadily grew better, under Mr. 
Noyes's care, till I was able to walk about the house 
quit« comfortably. My head and eyes improved, so 
that I could write again." 

It appears that some months previous to the time 
just alluded to by Mrs. Hall, Noyes had commenced 
operations as a magnetizer — for Mr. Wilder, as will be 


seen by referring to his affidavit, says — '-Returning 
from a tour in Massachusetts in February, 1843, Mr. 
Noyes began to try his skill in Animal Magnetism." 
And it appears that in a few months he had acquired 
some celebrity, for Mr. Wilder continues — " Reports 
had gone abroad of his skill as a magnetizer. A young 
man named Baker requested him to visit his sister, 
[now Mrs. H. A. Hall,] who for several years had 
been confined to her bed. He did so a number of 
times. She also became a proselyte to his doctrines. 
In October she came to his house, and remained about 
three months. He continued - his manipulations occa- 

From all that is said in reference to the case of 
Mrs. Hall it is evident that no more wonderful agencies 
were employed in the partial restoration or temporary 
relief which she experienced in the autumn of 1843, 
than mesmeric influences ; nothing supernatural was 
even pretended. And yet there were some things 
almost or quite as surprising as those which took place 
at the time of her pretended miraculous cure. She rode 
the same distance (two miles)to the astonishment of her 
friends, and she asserts that it " did not pain or tire" 
her. She also gradually improved in walking and in 
other respects, much as she did after the wonderful 
performance in the autumn of 1847. 

Mr. Noyes says in his " testimony" touching this 
matter, that " the fact that she had come under my 
care several years ago, and a cure had been com- 
menced, which had been defeated for the time by evil 


powers, seemed a pledge of a complete work yet to 
come." It seems then that Mr. Noyes would have it, 
that, though the cure was commenced under mesmeric 
influences, yet it was completed through supernatural 
agencies. He pretends that he went to her in the full- 
ness of faith, and with the assurance that his dealings 
with her would not be hke those of the former trial, 
but was confident before he commenced that the work 
would be " altogether more swift and decisive !" 

But let us glance at the manner in which he affected 
to perform this wonderful work. He says, she was 
" raised instantly, by the laying on the hands, and by 
the word of command." 

The Apostles, disclaiming all "power and holiness" 
of their own were accustomed to perform their works 
in the name of Christ. If this in every instance was 
not expressed, yet it was so common that it was under- 
stood to be invariably impHed. But it appears that 
Mr. Noyes does not recognize the name of Christ in 
his attempts at miracles, but pretends to perform them 
by virtue of his own " power and holiness !" 

Perhaps we ought to view him in the light of a 
competitor of the Apostles, aspiring at superior honors. 

From the testimony already given, the reader is left 
to draw his inferences respecting the agency and effect 
of mesmeric influences in the case of Mrs. Hall. 
This testimony, let it be remembered, comes wholly 
from those who have been, and mainly from those who 
still are staunch Perfectionists. But however much 
or little mesmerism may have had to do with the 


matter, the case of Mrs. Hall evidentlj comes under 
that class of .diseases in which a powerful exercise of 
mind has a controlling influence, and may produce a 
sensible and very visible effect upon the system; — 
thus naturally arraying itself under this head, the case 
of Mrs. Hall may be easily accounted for on this 
wise: — • 

She placed impKcit and even unbounded confidence 
in Mr. Noyes, and under the peculiar circumstances, 
a command coming from him with the thunder of a 
stentorian voice, would naturally play upon the 
extremely delicate net-work of the nervous system like 
a shock of electricity. With a mind intensely excited 
— with feelings wrought up to the highest pitch — and 
with nerves distended to the utmost, Mrs. Hall would 
of course be susceptible of very powerful impressions, 
especially those caused by influences coming from 
such a source ! 

And it is not at all surprising that under such 
powerful impressions she forgot her real or imaginary 
infirmities, and that she ralhed, arose from her bed, 
and rode home with Mr. Noyes ! 

Perfectionists lost no time in trumpeting this farcical 
affair through Putney village as a wonderful work, a 
mighty miracle, equal to those in primitive times. 
And Mr. Noyes himself was seen riding through the 
street with Mrs. Hall, exhibiting that supercilious air, 
and that haughty bearing which ever betoken an 
approaching fall. The peculiar hauteur of his manner 
was accompanied with a significant and consequential 


expression, whicli seemed to say in the most emphatic 
language to the villagers,—" SEE WHAT. I HAVE 
DONE !" 

The over-crednlous were half inclined to believe it 
something marvellous and almost unaccountable ; and 
those who are ever struck with awe at the very 
announcement of a miraculous work, without inquiring 
into the circumstances, were in suspense. Seeing the 
matter was not fully understood by all, and that it 
gave them some influence witli a certain class. Perfec- 
tionists lifted up their heads, as though they expected 
their claim to miracle-working power was about to be 
substantiated. A spirit of vain boasting and self-confi- 
dence characterized all their movements, clearly exhib- 
iting a lack of humility, that most valuable of all the 
Christian graces ; ako showing a want of that sense of 
dependence so essential to spiritual prosperity. The 
whole affair can be ^dewed in no other light than a 
mere ruse for the purpose of diverting the attention of 
the people and thus hiding their crying abominations. 
While professing the greatest spirituality and proclaim- 
ing their wonder-working power, it appears they were 
fast filling up the measure of their iniquities. This 
is the very tact of impostors. It has been said, and 
probably with much truth, that " Impostors cover licen- 
tiousness with great professions of spirituality." 

Soon after Mrs. Hall w^as " raised," the Perfection- 
ists were actively engaged as runners through the 
village — calling upon their neighbors — feeling of the 
public pulse — and sounding the people in relation to 


the matter, probalsly for the purpose of ascertaining 
what impressions they had made — what their prospects 
were ahead, and how much they might calculate upon 
in their future operations. And if any one did not 
readily acknowledge the " raising" of Mrs, Hall to be 
a manifestation of the power of God, and would not 
admit that John H. Noyes could work miracles, they 
would immediately take offence, as though the people 
were bound to believe in Noyes, and that they must 
and sJiould believe at all events. 

A Perfectionist belonging to the Putney Community 
called at the residence of the writer, and the matter 
of the notable miracle was introduced ; and because the 
claim of Mr. Noyes was not unhesitatingly acknowl- 
edged, it was taken in high dudgeon, and all the petu- 
lance was manifested which is often exhibited in chil- 
dren governed by unrestrained passion. But Mr. 
Noyes gives to anger, which he and his followers not 
unfrequently indulge, the very soft and inoffensive 
appellation of holy iwlignation ! 

We are happy of the privilege of here introducing a 
statement of the case of Mrs. Hall, prepared expressly 
for this work, by her principal attending physician — 
Dr. David Allen of Putney — who has been famihar 
with her case from the very commencement, and who, 
it will be seen, has given it as his deliberate opinion 
that her disease has never been removed — that she has 
vxver been in reality any better , and that the favorable 
appearances at the time Mr. Noyes j)retended to work 
a miracle,were produced by the power of imagination or 


mesmeric influences. Dr. Allen is an intelligent and 
highly respectable physician, and holds himself res- 
ponsible for the correctness of the statement which he 
has made. He says : — 

" Mrs. Harriet A. Hall, in her early sickness, was 
affected with a derangement of the liver and digestive 
organs generally, with a well marked scrofulous habit 
of constitution. In this state of debiUty, by making 
considerable over-exertion, she brought on an organic 
displacement, which prostrated her upon her bed ; and 
with her early complaints, and a highly sensitive 
nervous development, was the cause of much suflfering, 
and protracted confinement. 

" Subsequently there came on a scrofulous disease of 
the kidneys, which has since produced ulceration ; and 
is now progressing in a regular course, and ever has 
been, apparently, to a fatal termination. 

" At the time Mrs. Hall first came out, she had 
been for some time more comfortable, the system had 
become so far accommodated to the state of her 
disease, that she was able, under a strong effort of the 
will, to exercise for a time as she did. But as might be 
expected, her essential symptoms of disease returned, 
with about the same violence as before. Medical aid 
was again called for. 

" Another period of more than two years confine- 
ment and rest, with some appropriate remedies, enabled 
her again to rally for a time, under the well known 
power of a highly excited imagination, or mesmeric 
influence. But the reported cure, seems after all to 
prove no cure. Her diseased kidneys and other 
debility, have never been removed ; and she is now, 
(Dec. 28, 1848) and has been for some time past, 
entirely confined to her bed ; an object of much sufifer- 


ing and pity. Apparently, death will ere long relieve 
her of her sufferings. 

" Cases where individuals were raised from long 
confinement, by a strong mental efibrt, are compara- 
tively frequent. The case of Miss Martineau, the well 
known authoress, as reported in the Enghsh Journal in 
1845, is in point. She reports herself as having been 
raised from a protracted confinement, under somewhat 
similar circumstances, by the influence of Mesmerism, 
though she was destitute of the incipient disease, that 
will doubtless in the event prove fatal to Mrs. Hall." 

Another physician- — shrewd and somewhat facetious — 
who was well acquainted with the case of Mrs. Hall, 
and who is not easily deceived in relation to such 
matters, remarked that Mr. Noyes had done no more 
for her than any common sinner in the land could have 
done if she had only had as much faith in him as she 
had in Noyes ; and gave it as his opinion, that the 
agencies employed in raising her, were about as sub- 
stantial as '^ moonskine'^ or '^ bottled fog. ^^ Speaking 
in reference to her immediately leaving her bed and 
being able to ride, the same gentleman also remarked, 
that highly charged with mesmeric influences, she could 
go through ^'fire and brimstone P"* 

Facts abundantly show that the power of imagina- 
tion, even in removing — which in this instance does not 
appear to have been the case — various diseases and 
infirmities, especially those of a nervous kind, is very 
great. From various circumstances, the effects pro- 
duced may be shown to be the legitimate results of the 
operations of natural laws, although the principles of 


those occult lavys, and their mysterious operations may 
forever elude the keenest philosophical research. The 
old adage, " Imagination kills and imagination cures," 
contains much truth. Numerous instances might be 
cited, in which different diseases have been caused and 
cured, and even death superinduced by working upon 
the imagination. 

The following is in point : — 

" Many years ago, a celebrated physician, author of 
an excellent work on the effects of imagination, wished 
to combine theory with practice, in order to confirm the 
truth of his propositions. To this end, he begged the 
Minister of Justice to allow him to try an experiment 
on a criminal condemned to death. The minister con- 
sented, and delivered to him an assassin of distin- 
guished rank. Our savmit sought the culprit, and 
thus addressed him : — 

'' ' Sir, several pei-sons who arc interested in your 
family, have prevailed on the Judge not to require of 
you to mount the scaffold, and expose yourself to the 
gaze of the populace. He has therefore commuted 
your sentence, and sanctions your being bled to death 
within the precincts of your prison ; your dissolution 
will be gradual and free from pain.' 

'' The criminal submitted to his fate ; thought his 
family would be less. disgraced, and considered it a 
favor not to be compelled to walk to the place of 
public execution. He was conducted to the appointed 
room, where every preparation was made beforehand ; 
his eyes were bandaged ; he was strapped to a table ; 
and, at a preconcerted signal, four of his veins were 
gently pricked with the point of a pin. At each corner 
of the table was a small fountain of water, so contrived 
as to flow gently into a basin placed to receive it. 


The patient believing it was his blood he heard flowing, 
gradually became weak ; and the conversation of the 
doctors, in an under tone, confirmed him in his opinion. 

"'What fine blood,' said one. 'What a pity this 
man should be condemned to die 1 he would have hved 
a long time.' 

" ' Hush,' said the other ; then approaching the 
first, he said in low voice, but so as to be heard by the 
criminal, ' How many pounds of blood is there in the 
human body ?' 

" ' Twenty-four. You see already ten pounds 
extracted ; that man is now in a hopeless state.' 

" The physicians then receded by degrees, and con- 
tinued to lower their voices. The stillness which 
reigned in the apartment, broken only by the dripping 
fountains, the sound of which was also gradually 
lessened, so affected the brain in the poor patient, that 
although a man of very strong constitution, he fainted, 
and died without having lost a drop of blood." 

Not only extreme fear, but excessive joy has pro- 
duced death, often instantaneously. 

Br. Ramsey asserts, on well authenticated testimony, 
that the door-keeper of Congress was so overjoyed on 
hearing of the surrender of the British commander. 
Lord Comwallis, at Yorktown, during our revolutionary 
struggle, that he immediately expired under the rap- 
ture caused by the joyful intelligence. 

" It is said that Sophocles, the tragic writer, died in 
consequence of a decision being given in his favor in a 
contest of honor. Diagoras died at the instant when 
his three sons were cro-wned on the same day as victors 
at the games. Pope Leo X. died of a fever produced 
by the joyful news of the capture of Milan." 


We make the following extracts from a course of 
lectures delivered by Professor Hitchcock of Amherst 
College, in 1830, before the students of that institution. 
They forcibly illustrate the power of imagination in 
curing as well as producing diseases : — 

" Imagination and passion have often proved of the 
highest benefit in the cure of diseases. History is 
fall of examples of this kind. The Animal Magnetism 
of Mesmer, and the metalHc tractors of Perkins, 
whereby thousands were actually cured of most obsti- 
nate disorders, by means which were proved in the 
most satisfactory manner to be mere mummery, curi- 
ously illustrates this subject ; although I have no time 
to enter into details. ... At the siege of Breda in 
1625, the scurvy raged to an alarming degree ; so that 
the garrison was about to surrender ; when the Prince 
of Orange sent into the fortress a few phials of sham 
medicine, which was distributed among the sufiferers, 
as most costly and invaluable. The effect was almost 
miraculous. ' Such as had not moved their limbs for 
a month before, were seen walking in the streets, 
sound, straight, and whole. Many, who declared that 
they had been rendered worse by all former remedies, 
recovered in a few days, to their inexpressible joy.' . . 
The remarkable cures celebrated as miracles in the 
Romish Church, by touching bones, rehcs, &c., all 
belong to the same class ; and are well worth the 
student's attention, as illustrating the power of imagin- 
ation over the body, and as showing the facility with 
which mankind may be duped by the crafty and 

" Murat, king of Naples, received a letter from his 
wife, while absent in Bonaparte's celebrated Russian 
campaign, detailing some proceedings of his govern- 


ment, which he thought encroached upon the royal pre- 
rogative ; and so great was the effect of jealousy, that 
before he had finished the letter, his whole skin became 
completely jaundiced. ... A boy was once let down 
the side of a very high precipice in a basket, to rob an 
eagle's nest : while suspended some hundreds of feet 
above the rocky base, he was attacked by the eagle ; 
and on cutting at the bird with the sword which he 
carried with him, he struck the rope by which he was 
suspended, and cut it nearly off; on drawing him up, 
his hair was found changed to white. ... A widow 
in Paris, on learning that her daughter with her two 
children had thrown herself from an upper story of the 
house and was dashed in pieces, became in one night 
as black as a negro. ... A Jew in France came in 
the dark, over a dangerous passage on a plank that lay 
over a brook, without harm ; the next day, on viewing 
the perilous situation he had been in, he fell down 
dead. . . . Philip V. of Spain died suddenly on learn- 
ing the disastrous defeat of his army ; and on dissection 
it was fomid that his heart was literally burst asunder ; 
showing that the common phrase, a broken heart, is 
sometimes pathologically correct. . . . The case of a 
man cured of the gout by terror and alarm, as men- 
tioned by physicians, is striking. Another person, 
disguised as a spectre, entered his chamber while he 
was in a paroxysm of the disease, seized him and 
dragged him down stairs with the gouty feet trailing 
behind him. Then the ghost disappeared ; when the 
sick man sprang upon his feet with the utmost ease, 
ran up stairs, and never afterwards felt another symp- 
tom of gout.'* 

To the foregoing we will add an instance or two of 
more recent date, and which occurred in this vicinity. 
A person in a neighboring town, having an organic 


affection, applied to a physician in whom he had 
unbounded confidence. The physician, wishing to try 
an experiment, simply administered bread pills ; the 
patient in the mean time believing he was taking some- 
very efficacious medicine. The experiment proved 
successful. The patient was healed not by the efficacy 
of the pills, but by the power' of imagination. 

Again— an amusing incident occurred several years 
since in an adjouiing town. A person at some distance 
pubHcly announced that he could heal diseases if per- 
sons afflicted would send their names to liim legibly 
written upon a slip of paper. A woman afflicted with 
real or imaginary maladies, wrote her name according 
to order, and safely lodged it in the hands of a person 
who designated a certain day on which he intended to 
start for the place where the wonder-worker resided, 
and promised to deliver the billet containing the name. 
A few days after the time specified for the person to 
start, a neighbor called upon the sick woman, and to 
her surprise found her at the tub, laboring with might 
and main. " Well," said the woman, " my name has 
got there and I am cured." But it so happened that 
the person who was to carry the name to the wonder- 
ful physician, for some cause, had not left his home. 

When informed of this fact, the poor woman was very 
much chop-fallen, and immediately felt the symptoms 
of indisposition — soon took to her bed — and her old 
complaints returning hke a spring-tide, rushed in upon 
her apace, and she was soon as bad or worse than ever. 

Had this woman remained ignorant of that one fact, 


probably she would not have relapsed. The power that 
raised her, was no doubt as mysterious and wonderful 
as that which raised Mrs. Hall from her bed and sent 
her home with Mr. Noyes ! There was as great a mirar 
cle in one case as the other; with this difference, 
however ; the case of the woman laboring under a sheer 
mistake appears to be the more striking of the two ; 
it exceeds that of Mrs. Hall. This woman was enabled 
to labor immediately with her accustomed strength, 
but Mrs. Hall, though able to walk, had her infirmities 
still lingering about her, and was able to perform but 
very little labor ; and as soon as she left the residence 
of Mr. Noyes and returned home, she relapsed into 
her former condition. 

We have cited the foregoing eases to show the 
power of imagination manifested in various ways. 
Cases of a similar character are of common occurrence ; 
and they so far exceed the case of Mrs. Hall that it 
is thrown far back into the shade ; and yet Mr. Noyes 
has the effrontery to declare it as '' unimpeachable as 
any of the miracles of the primitive church." The 
surprising effects in the cases cited were produced by 
natural laws in their mysterious and inscrutable opera- 
tions, and it would be utterly absurd to attribute such 
results to any supernatural agency. 

In conclusion, perhaps we ought to say, for the 
information of the reader, that the whole affair res- 
pecting Mrs. Hall, was crowned with the crying abom- 
inations of Noyesism. Mr. Hall, the husband of Mrs. 
Hall, becoming eonvinced of the wickedness of Noyes, 


brought an action against him for adultery ; but the 
matter was hushed up and kept as still as possible. 
Although the case was not legally investigated, yet 
not a shadow of doubt remains as to the guilt of Mr. 
Noyes. His criminality in the case is a " fixed facf^ — 
a fact known and read of all the people of Putney — a 
fact substantiated by the statement of Mrs. Hall herself. 
So much for the pretended miracle of Noyes, which he 
has exultingly proclauned to the world, and impiously 
asserted to be as " unimpeachable as any of the mira- 
cles of the primitive church ;" while the facts in the 
case fix upon his brow in legible and indelible char- 
acters one of the most heinous crime which man is 
capable of committing ! 



Pretended Miracles of Noyes continued. 


Having been encouraged and emboldened in a meas- 
ure by the partial success which, for a time, appeared 
to attend their efforts in the case of Mrs. Hall, the mas- 
ter-spirits in the Putney Community were evidently 
waiting with some degree of anxiety for another oppor- 
tunity to present itself for them to display their mirac- 
ulous (?) power! Expecting, no doubt, that if they 
should be so successful as to humbug the people to any 
considerable extent, the bright day of prosperity would 
be fairly ushered in ; and in that case they were 
undoubtedly determined to ride rough-shod over all 
who did not rally around their standard. 

The next case that came in their way, and to which 
their special attention was directed, was that of Miss 
Mary A. Knight, a respectable young lady residing in 
Putney village, who was not a Perfectionist. Miss 
Knight for several months had been in a decline, and 
at length was pronounced by her physician to be in a 
confirmed consumption, and beyond the reach of medi- 
cal aid. 

While in a feeble state and gradually sinking, though 
able to ride out occasionally, John R. Miller, a zealous 
Perfectionist and an associate of Noyes, frequently 
called on Miss Knight with a carriage, and gave her aii 


opportunity to ride ; and took occasion at such times to 
exhort her to give up the use of medicine entirely, and 
seek to be healed by faith alone. 

Mr. Noyes, in giving an account of the case of Miss 
Knight, published m the Spiritual Magazine of Oct. 15, 
1847, after speaking of calling on her at the request of 
her father, says :- — " Soon after, John R. Miller took 
her to ride a considerable distance, and, contrary to the 
forebodings of her friends, his faith sustained her, and 
she returned much invigorated." His faith sustained 
her I Wonderful indeed ! 

The next day after Mr. Miller's faith so signally 
sustained (I) her, Mr. Noyes says that he called on 
her, and offered to take her to the " hospital," as Per- 
fectionists were pleased to term it— a dwelling some- 
what retired, and which they evidently wished to have 
regarded as a kind of modem Bethesda. 

Miss Knight being in a state of great debility, but 
still having a strong desire to be restored to health if 
possible — -all hope of being healed by medical aid hav- 
ing fled, and knowing that she must die if she remained 
where she then was, and that she could but die if she 
went, and the nature of Mr. Noyes's conversation prob- 
ably inspiring a faint glimmering of hope — she finally 
concluded to go, and her friends generally consented, 
She accordingly was conveyed to the ''hospital" on the 
16th of Aug., 1847 ; and a somewhat singular scene 

After having removed Miss Knight to the " hospital," 
the first business would naturally be to instil into her 


mind the most important principles of their creed, and 
make her a proselyte to their faith, for they are not 
backward in relation to such matters ; and by present- 
ing plausible arguments and holding out to Miss Knight 
the hope that she might be healed if she would embrace 
their views and follow their directions, they in some 
measure succeeded. Perhaps we ought hereto state 
that Miss Knight was not a professing Christian, and 
had never become established in any particular reli- 
gious belief. Being in a state of great debility, and 
consequently incapable of much reflection and investi- 
gation, she was not able to detect — as she might have 
done under different circumstances — the fallacy of their 
reasoning and the untenableness of their positions ; and 
it is not at all surprising that she fell in with their 
views to some extent. 

Having prepared the way for future operations by 
securing the degree of faith, in Miss Knight, which was 
deemed pre-requisite to a procedure, the next move by 
the Perfectionists was to pass through a ridiculous and 
disgusting performance, thereby exhibiting a most impi- 
ous scene of solemn mockery, in which Mrs. Cragin, 
who acted so conspicuous a part in the raising of Mrs. 
Hall, pretended to die, or descend into the grave of 
unbelief for Miss Knight, and then to rise to newness 
of life and dehver her from the power of death ! And 
it was then proclaimed around that she was cured^ and 
would soon recover from the effects of the disease, 
which still remained ; and Miss Knight was so far 
deceived herself that she believed and asserted that she 


was well, that is, that the disease was removed, and 
that she should soon have her usual strength. The 
Pefectionists unitedly and positively asserted that she 
would be restored to soundness, and they repeated it 
again and again, and held on with a strange pertinacity 
till the very last. Their confident and repeated asser- 
tions probably had much to do in inducing Miss Knight 
to join in the belief that she should recover, and her 
mind, through their influence, was wrought up to the 
highest pitch, and being kept in a state of constant 
excitement, for a number of days she maintained the 
belief that she should soon have perfect health. 

But while the pleasing phantom was playing before 
the imagination, and holding out the beautiful bow of 
hope, the disease, deeply seated and far advanced, 

" Like a staunch murderer, steady to his purpose," 

was rapidly hastening to a fatal termination. Miss 
Knight at length became convinced that she could not 
recover. She sank rapidly, and in less than three 
weeks from the time she left her father's house, she 
died. And so strangely were the Perfectionists infatu- 
ated that they believed, or at least professed to beheve, 
that she would be raised 1 And we are credibly 
informed — and this information is derived from a per- 
son who was present at the time — that after Miss 
Knight died, a company of Perfectionists assembled in 
the room in which the corpse was placed, and there 
remained for some length of time, expecting to see her 
restored to life. But she slept the sleep of death, and 
notwithstanding all their professions of faith and preten- 


sions to miraculous gifts, they possessed no power to 
break the dreamless slumber 1 

Thus it appears that they were carried away with the 
same strange infatuation into which individuals in all 
ages have fallen, viz., that they could raise the dead ! 

Now it is a well known fact that Mr. N. discards the 
doctrine of the resurrection. He asserts that he has 
" long argued against the notion of the resurrection of 
that body which dies.^' Here then we find Mr. Noyes 
stoutly contending against the resurrection of the body 
which " dies ;" and at the same time Perfectionists are 
trying to raise such a body ! Trying to do what Mr. 
N. says is never to be done ! This is a fair specimen 
of Perfectionist consistency ! 

All their efforts in the case of Miss Knight were 
unavailing. Here was a deeply seated disease which 
the power of imagination could not overcome — no 
deception could be practiced. Here was a fair trial, 
and it proved a complete failure. 

Mr. Noyes appears to have been at his wits' ends to 
escape the odium which this case has brought upon him 
and his followers. He has undertaken to make the 
very best he could of an extremely bad case ; but the 
attempt to clear himself and his followers is a very 
lame and ineffectual one. In reference to this matter 
he says : — ^ 

" In the first place, supposing this case to have been 
as complete a failure as it has been represented by our 
enemies, it was no worse failure than the disciples met 
with, when they undertook to cast out the arch-devil 



described in Mark 9 : 17. . . . The worst that can be 
said of ns in relation to Mary Knight's case, is what 
Christ said to his disciples, viz., that we failed ' because 
of our unbehef,' that we needed more ' prayer and fas1> 
ing ' in order to encounter successfully so tremendous a 
devil as consumption in its last stages." 

''Arch deviV\' — ''So tremendous a devil as covv 
sumption in its last stages " f The reader will readily 
perceive the state of mind indicated by these expres- 
sions ; such a state borders upon the blasphemous, and 
is naturally induced by the unhallowed and grossly 
debasing influences of Perfectionism. But let us look 
at the implied admission of Mr. Noyes found in the 
foregoing language. Ke seems to admit that they had 
a measure of unbelief. He says the worst that can be 
said of them is that they failed through unbelief — and 
he does not deny but it might be said in truth. In the 
Spiritual Magazine of Oct. 1, 1847, Mr. Noyes holds 
the following language, — " We say that unbelief is not 
a mere lack of faith, but a positive baptism of the 
devil." Now if Perfectionists harbor any unbelief 
whatever, a,ccording to the doctrine of Mr. Noyes, they 
have a " positive baptism of the devil." And if a 
person has a " positive baptism of the devil" he must of 
course be in a measure sinful ; and the doctrine of Mr. 
Noyes is, that if a person is sinful at all he is " eii- 
tirely^^ so. Thus it appears that Mr. N. with one 
stroke of the pen put up a gallows on which to hang 
the whole unbelieving world, but by a slip of the same 
pen he drops himself ■ and his company from the scaf- 
fold, and leaves the whole body of believers suspended 


'apon the gallows of his own erecting. But let us look 
at the doings of Mr. Noyes, and what transpired after 
Miss Knight was removed to the " hospital." We will 
give his own language in relation to the matter :■ — 

'' She was conveyed to the ' hospital,' and Mrs. 
Achsah Campbell, the widow of a physician and a very 
successful nurse, undertook the care of her, I visited 
her frequently during the ensuing ten days. My spirit 
was brought into several severe contests with her 
disease, the details of which need not be given. The 
presence of the power of God was very manifest in the 
results. Mrs. Campbell is not inclined to fanatical faith^ 
and is certainly sagacious in regard to the symptoms 
of the sick. She says she saw in that time a miracle 
which no subsequent reverse can efface from her mind.* 
She testifies that every symptom^ of Mary's disease 
was subdued ; that her fever left her ; that her cough 
became like that of a person recovering from a cold ; 
that the pain in her limbs ceased ; and that there was 
«very indication of new life. — The day before I left, 
after witnessing a distressing drawback, caused, as 
Mary herself declared, by a protracted visit from an 
unbelieving friend,! I said to Mr. Knight — ' The suc- 
cess of our treatment depends entirely on faith in the 

* By turning to the 44th page of the present work the reader will 
see that Mrs. Achsah Campbell, who '• saw'' this " Jiiirade''' v/as im- 
plicated in the indictment against Mr. Noyes ! And she is the only 
witness which Mr. N. brings forward to prove that he wrought a 
miracle in the case of Miss Knight ! Thus he presents a person 
involved with himself in guilt, to prove his mimculous power! 

t ThQ unbelieving friend alluded to, was a respectable young gentle- 
man to whom Miss Knight was engaged to be married. The Noyes - 
ites were very unwilling to have him visit her, and he was given to 
understand that if she recovered he would have to become a 
Perfectionist or never enjoy her society. 



patient and those around ; and if we are not at liberty 
to shut off from her unbeheving friends, you may as 
well take her home and let her die, for die she will.' 
He gave us the liberty we demanded, and the next day, 
at the time of my departure, she was riding abroad, 
meeting her friends with a joyful smile, and declaring 
herself well. So much for my agency, in this case." 

The foregoing language, and especially the conclud- 
ing sentence, savors strongly of the consequential. 
Were we to admit all that he says, we must acknowledge 
that there was a signal display of Di\'ine power — that 
a miracle even was wrought — and that Miss Knight 
was nearly or quite healed. But Mr. Noyes continues : 

" On the eve of my departure, I earnestly fore- 
warned Mary, and all who were to have the charge of 
her, that if unbelievmg spirits could not be kept away 
from her, and if her testimony of faith could not be 
kept firm, she would certainly die. I wrote, while on 
my way to ISTew York, that her case was like a tie on a 
vote in Congress, where the Speaker has the casting 
vote ; meaning that she would live or die according to 
her own faith and testimony.'' 

" I shall leave it for othera to relate the particulars 
of what took place after I left. It is sufficient to say 
in general, that Mary soon began to decline from her 
confidence and her strength ; that her worldly friends 
closed around her, that the believers who had charge of 
her fought the king of terrors heroically, desperately, 
and even fanatically ; that she failed in spite of them, 
and on the eighth day from my departure, died.'^ 

It will be perceived that the ^' departure*^ of Mr. 
Noyes from Putney just previous to the death of Miss 
Knight, is spoken of in such a manner as to indicate 



that it was considered an important event, fraught with 
deep interest, and that it was verj unfortunate for Miss 
Knight that he was under the necessity of leaving at 
that juncture ; and in fine, the tenor of the language 
used hy Mr. Nojes seems to saj — ^' If I had he6n 
there she had not died P^ 

But if she was well, as we are left to infer, at the 
" departure" of Mr. Noyes, how are we to account for 
her sudden relapse, her rapid declension, and her almost 
immediate death ? Why, Mr. Nojes would lay it all 
to the " unbelieving spirits " about her. These *' un- 
believing spirits" troubled them very much, and it 
seems they fought them very manfully, but were not 
able to conquer them ! A great ado was made about 
these troublesome, "unbelieving spirits ;'' and from the 
language of Mr. N. we should infer that the Per- 
fectionists had a " pitched battle" with them — that it 
was a mortal affray ! But it appears to have been a 
mere mock battle — a kind of " sham fight," if the ex- 
pression is allowable. The whole affair, so far as the 
Perfectionists were concerned, appears to have been a 
ridiculous, contemptible farce, utterly unworthy of 
people of sane minds. 

At one time when Miss Knight had a sinking turn, 
an apparently half crazy Perfectionist professed to have 
a great struggle with " unbelieving spirits," and con- 
fidently asserted that if it had not been for Ms faith she 
would have died ! Mis faith kept her alive ! When 
she rode out, if her friends came to the carriage to 
speak with her, the Perfectionists appeared v. ry im- 


willing to have them remain any length of time, and 
■would apparently hurry away lest the influence of "un- 
believing spirits" should have a bad effect upon her 1 

Mr. Noyes appears to have been so troubled with 
"unbelieving sprits" that he asked and obtained liberty 
of Mr. Knight, the father of Miss Knight, " to shut off 
from her unbelieving friends ;" not even excepting the 
young gentleman to whom she was engaged to be mar- 

When the friends of Miss Knight consented to have 
her removed to the " hospital," it was with the under- 
standing that they should have the privilege of visiting 
her agreeably to their own wishes. This the Per- 
fectionists had promised, and we are assured that with- 
out this condition her friends would not have consented 
to her removal. But very soon after she went, Mr. 
.Noyes " demanded" the liberty to " shut off unbeliev- 
" ing friends," assigning as a reason for the requirement 
that the success of their treatment was involved in the 
matter. But if this was really the case, did not Mr. 
N. know it as well before as after she went ? Why 
then did he not, like an honest man, inform her friends 
in the beginning ? 

The "unbeheving friends" spoken of were those 
who did not acknowledge the supremacy of Noyes and 
adhere to his doctrines. Such an act was requisite 
in order to constitute a behever in the view of Mr. N. 
A person might be a humble Christian, a devout dis- 
ciple of Christ, but if he did not believe in this new 
ism, in the estimation of Mr. N., he would be no 


Christian at all ! Those who were favorably disposed 
toward the Perfectionists, and gave indications of being 
inchned towards the new faith, were considered as 
" hopeful" cases, and received a little more favor at 
the hand of the " acknowledged head." * 

Perfectionists made efforts to induce some of the 
relatives of Miss Knight to embrace their views, and 
the circumstances go to show that in taking her under 
their care they hoped thereby to gain readier access to 
her friends ; and by an open communication through 
this medium with the different members of the family 
they could exert an influence which they could not 
otherwise do, and would have a greater prospect of 
making proselytes, and drawing some into this vortex of 

They assigned as a reason for asking the privilege of 
shutting off ,,mibelieving friends," that the success of 
their treatment depended entirely on faith in the patient 
and those around ; but probably one great object was to 
secure the privilege of managing matters according to 
their own liking, and that others might not be ac- 
quainted with all that might transpire. After having 
shut off her " unbelieving friends," Mr. N. then threw 
the whole upon her own faith ; and says after he left 
her " that she would Hve or die according to her own 
faith and testimony." 

But notwithstanding Miss Knight died, Mr. N. will 
have it that a miracle was wrought in the case ! We 
have his naked assertion — which is not very valuable 
at this late day— that the "presence and power of God 


was Tery manifest." And this assertion seems to 
be backed up by a statement from Mrs. Campbell. 
She thinks she saw a miracle, but the sole reason as- 
signed for so thinking seems to be the favorable aspect 
which the symptoms at one time appeared to assume ! 
It is a well known fact that consumption is a very 
flattering disease — that those who are gradually sinking 
under its irresistible power, are often deceived and 
entertain hopes of recovery to the very last. And not 
only is the patient deceived, but friends also not un- 
frequently partake of the same deception, unless they 
have had considerable experience and have some degree 
of discernment. To those who are familiar with the 
workings of the disease in its different stages, favorable 
appearances occasionally manifested are not at all 
unexpected, neither are they regarded as omens of 
lasting good ; but to anxious friends and relatives who 
are watching with intense interest, and marking even 
the slightest change in the disease, favorable ap- 
pearances — ofton mistaken for indications of returning 
health — serve to revive desponding hopes ; but such 
hopes are revived for a little season, only to be sud- 
denly dashed by a sad revei-se, followed by a more 
rapid advance of the disease which is hastening to a 
fatal termination. The favorable symptoms in the case 
of Miss Knight, as the result clearly showed, were no 
more than what frequently occurs in cases of like 
character. So much for the miraculous work in this 
After trying to make it appear that he had performed 


a wonderful work, and asserting that on the eve of his 
'^departure," Miss Knight was riding abroad and 
declaring herself well, Mr. Noyes says with much ap- 
parent self-complacency, and in a spirit of vain boast- 
ing — " So much for my agency in this case.^^ 

But he says that soon after his " departure" Miss 
Knight " began to decline from her confidence and her 
strength."* And might not this have been reasonably 
expected ? — and indeed how could it have been other- 
wise ? Her mind had been wrought up to a very high 
pitch, and for a number of days kept in a state of ex- 
treme excitement, which served to keep her spirits and 
courage up, and caused her to exert to the uttermost 
what httle remaining strength she had ; but the disease 
in the mean time had been steadily advancing, and was 
rapidly hastening to a fatal termination. Nature being 
exhausted, her strength gone, and the lamp of life 
just flickering in its socket, all hope of recovery would 
naturally and necessarily expire ; and she could no 
more reasonably and consistently beheve that she should 
be restored to health, than a person could expect to rise 
independently of the laws of gravitation, soar above, 
and range the aerial regions without the aid of pinions. 
But says Mr. Noyes; — " Her worldly friends closed 
around her, and the believers who had charge of her 

* A Perfectionist at on<; time remarked that Miss Knight^s faith was 
so strong that she should recover, tliat she — the Pgrfectionist — believed 
she would. Thus Miss Knight's faith was reprcsented as being very 
fArong, and seems to have been the basis of the faith of the Per- 
fectionist ; yet the language of Mr. N. implies that she died in con 
sequence of a lack of faith! 


fought the king of terrors heroically, desperately y. 
and even fanatically." What ! Perfectionists fanatics ! 
This is a strange concession for Mr. Noyes to make in 
behalf of the " body of believers." What ! Divinely 
inspired — '' a miraculous instinct every day shaping 
their ends" — and yet fighting " fanatically !" Surely 
so far as they fought fanatically^ so far they were 
fanatics ! If they were fanatical in relation to this 
matter they may b€ in relation to all others. If fanati- 
cal in a measure, there certainly is danger of their be- 
coming wholly so. If the door is thrown open, where 
shall the bounds be set ? 

Notwithstanding all the efforts made and all the faith 
exercised, this case proved a complete failure. Mr. 
Noyes met with a stern repulse which ended in a signal 
defeat. Having been completely vanquished, but still 
determined not to yield the point, Mr. N. turns every 
way to find some rehef ; and finally flees for '^aid and 
comfort" to the Battle of Bunker Hill! But what — ^ 
the half-astonished reader is ready to inquire — 'has the 
Battle of Bunker Hill to do with the case under con- 
sideration ? Let us see ; says Mr, Noyes : — 

" In the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Americans were 
defeated. They repulsed three terrible charges of the 
British troops, and after their ammunition was ex- 
hausted, they clubbed their muskets, and stood their 
ground against the storming column. But finally they 
were compelled l^retreat. Yet this battle is glorified 
by Americans as a substantial victoiy. The day will 
come when this first battle of faith with the terrible 
despotism of consumption, though it ended in a retreat,. 


will be glorified as the Bunker Hill of the Faith-Revo- 

This caps the climax ! Mr. Noyes will have to look 
far down the vista of future ages to behold the day 
which he anticipates, and wait for several successive 
centuries before he realizes the " consummation so 
devoutly to be wished I" Before leaving the subject 
let us look at the motives which probably induced Mr. 
N. to take Miss Knight to the " hospital." By a 
plausible statement he designed to palm the matter off 
as an act of pure benevolence. But when all the cir- 
cumstances are taken into the account, it evidently 
appears, that if there were not sinister motives, there 
were some selfish ends to be subserved ; that personal 
aggrandizement was the leading object in view, and had 
success attended his efforts, in all probability self- 
glorification would have been the crowning act. But 
let us hear Mr. N. in relation to the matter. He says 
that the next day after she rode out with Mr. John R. 
Miller, whose faith wonderfully sustained her ; — 

" Seeing that her father was disposed to place her 
under our care, I called on her, and said to her in the 
presence of her friends, — ' Your room is very small 
and near the street, exposed to noise and dust and 
troublesome visitations. We have a room in our 
' hospital,' a retired house, where you will be much 
more comfortable than you can be here. That room is 
at your service. You will certainly have as good 
chance to live there as here, and if you cannot live, it 
will he a pleasant place to die in. We will nurse you 
as well as we can, and do our best to save you.' I 
made this offer after deliberately counting the cost, I 


had no special confidence that she would live, and I 
knew if she should die on our hands, we should be dis- 
graced, as we have been. But I said in my heart, 'No 
fear of the cruel mockings of those who watch for evil, 
shall hinder me from doing a simple act of benevolence 
which is fairly set before me. Let the consequences 
be what they may, I will do as I would be done by.' " 

Now all this appears very well on paper — although 
the one-sided allusion, or rather back-handed thrust at 
those whom he suspected of watching for evil, does not 
exhibit a super-abundance of Christian charity — and we 
should be glad to regard it as a bright spot amid the 
surrounding darkness if Ave could consistently do so. 
But do the circumstances warrant the statement made, 
and sustain the assumed position that it was " a simple 
act of benevolence ?" How does the language used 
agree with the course pursued ? 

As soon as Miss Knight was fairly in their hands 
and fully under their care, extraordinary instrumen- 
talities were employed, and mysterious appHances were 
resorted to by the Perfectionists, and it was confidently 
affirmed by them that she would he cured. And 
was soon sounded abroad that her disease toas removed, 
and asserted that she only needed time to entirely 
recover her usual strength. 

Mr. Noyes asserts that before Miss Knight came 
under his care, he " ?tad no special confidence that she 
would live f but his confidence in her recovery 
appears to have increased very rapidly, for he soon 
after says — " The success of our treatment depends 
entirely on faith in the patient and those around.'''' 


Thus it appears that in his view there was no insuper- 
able barrier in the disease — that there was one only 
pre-requisite, viz. faith — that a due degree of faith in 
the patient and those around would accomplish the 
work ! Having the privilege granted of shutting off 
'' unbelieving friends," Mr. N. says on the eve of his 
" departure" — '' That if unbelieving spirits could not 
be kept away from her, and if her testimony of faith 
could not be kept firm, she would certainly die." This 
language plainly implies that if " unbelieving spirits" 
could be kept away, and her testimony could be kept 
firm, she would certainly live. Lest he should stand 
fully committed, Mr. N., it will be perceived, at last 
suspended the case upon that insignificant yet all-impor- 
tant word, IF ; so that if there should be a failure, he 
could attribute that failure to the non-fulfillment, on 
the part of INIrs. Knight, of the conditions, and thus 
clear himself. 

Mr. N. asserts that it was " a simple act of benevo- 
lence," but he does not appear to be content with the 
mere honor of having performed such an act, for he 
very complacently takes to himself the credit of hav- 
ing wrought a miracle ! And he would have his signal 
defeat celebrated as a " substantial victory !" And he 
seems to think that ere long it will be " glorified as 
the Bunker Hill of the Faith-Revolution!" 

Mr. Noyes said to Mr. Knight at one time — " If 
we are not at liberty to shut off from her unbelieving 
friends, you may as well take her home and let her die, 
for die she will." Thus it appears that if Mr. N. 


could not have his own way in all things, he was ready 
to tum her back upon her friends, and let her die ; 
and yet he holds it up as an act of pure benevolence ! 
If it was a " simple act of benevolence,'' and if Mr. 
N. " had no special confidence that she would live" 
when he took her, why did he say to Mr. Knight — 
" You may as well take her home and let her die, for 
die she will, if we are not at liberty to shut off from 
her unbeheving friends" ? He had said to Miss 
Knight previous to her removal, that if she could not 
live, the " hospital" would he '■' a pheasant place to die 
inf yet, if his requests were not granted, and his 
doctrines complied with, he uses language which seems 
to imply a threat to return her home. If it was a 
simple act of benevolence, why not let her remain and 
die at the " hospital" ? The idea of its being an act 
of benevolence appears to have been an after-thought, 
designed to meet the emergency ; for the whole affair 
shows upon the very face of it that the thought of an 
act of benevolence was lost and swallowed up in the 
strong desii-e of Mr. N. to accomplish something, if 
by sheer humbuggery, that would redound to his own 
glory and self-aggrandizement. The circumstances we 
think warrant this conclusion. 

Had Mr. N. been so fortunate as to have found in 
Miss Knight a case like those which sometimes occur, 
in which persons apparently near the close of life 
recover ; who are pronounced beyond the reach of medi- 
cal aid, but nature rallying throws off the disease and 
health returns, it would have been trumpeted through 


the land as a miraculous work, and Mr. N. would have 
made capital of it, and turned it to his own account. 
But he had to grapple, not with an imaginary or mild 
disease, but with a stubborn case, and he found him- 
self unequal to the combat ; the odds were against him, 
and he was completely vanquished. 




Pretended Miracles of Noye^ continued. 


In concluding our notice of the pretended miracles 
of Nojes, we shall quote several cases, pubUshed in the 
Spiritual Magazine of Oct. 15, 1847. Sajs Mr. 
Noyes : — 

" Instances of recovery by faith among us have been 
very numerous. We will present a few samples of 
them. ^ 

" My own case deserves to be recorded. The facts 
are these : — In consequence of long and loud speaking, 
and the wear and tear of a laborious life, I contracted 
in 1842 a disease of the throat and lungs, which 
deprived me of the use of my voice in public, and 
rendered ordinary conversation painful. I was evi- 
dently threatened with consumption. At first I listened 
to friends and physicians, so far as to make some 
slight experiments of medication. But I obtamed no 
help in this way, and finally, in the face of Dr. John 
CampbelFs warning and acl\dce, I gave up my case to 
the sole treatment of Jesus Christ. I grew worse till 
September 1845, and at that time had abundant inter- 
nal reason to expect a speedy death. When the 
symptoms were at the worst, Jesus Christ advised me 
to neglect my disease, and act as though I was well. 
I did so, and entered upon a course of new and severe 
labor with my voice, in meetings and in conversation. 
From that time I have been substantially well, and 
have performed more hard labor with my tongue in the 
last two years, than in any other two years of my life. 


" The case of Mrs. Fanny Leonard is well known 
in this community. About a year ago, after the birth 
of a child, she began to decline. The symptoms of her 
disease were severe pain in her breast and side, and 
sinking weakness. She became worse, till her friends 
had httle hope of her recovery. In March of the 
present year, a general persuasion manifested itself in 
our association, that she would be healed by the power 
of God. As that persuasion arose, she still sunk. At 
length the crisis of faith and of her disease came 
together. She received strength at the very time 
when our faith predicted it, and she received it hy the 
laying on of hands* She has been visibly improving 
ever since, and is now a healthy w^oman. 

'* The case of Mrs. E. Cragin may be briefly 
referred to here, though she has given some account of 
it in a previous paper. From the period of her six- 
teenth year till the past summer, she has been subject 
to frequent attacks of the ' sick headache.' The 
disorder increased upon her till its visits were expected 
regularly as often as once a week. Many attempts 
were made to subdue it by medicine, but nothing 
availed. In May last it became constant and terribly 
distressing. Death seemed inevitable. We resisted 
the disease as a spii-itual power, not by medicine, but 
by the faith and will of our hearts. The devil was 

♦Mr. Noyes, in conversation with a person professing to be a Perfec- 
tionist, said that in this instance the layiug on. of hands meant sexual 
intercourse. The person alluded to Ims testified under oath that 
Noyes made this statement. By turning to the 44th page of this 
work, the reader will see that Mrs. Leonard is implicated in the 
indictment against Noyes. Whether the phrase laying on of hands 
when used by Noyes always means tlie same, we have never been 
informed; but in the absence of all knowledge to the contrary, we 
are left to inf^-r that it docs ! Such baseness cannot well be sur- 
passed ! 


cast out of her stomach, and she has not had an attack 
of this ' sick headache' since. 

" John R. Miller has long been subject to severe 
attacks of headache. On one of these occasions in 
the course of the last summer, I went into his room 
and found him on the bed, suffering dreadfully. I 
laid mj hands on his head, and told him to shake off 
the devil. He arose at once, perfectly free from pain, 
and has not been troubled with this disease since." 

There ! the world must *' give in" now ! Such a 
mass of miracles, and such miracles too, are over- 
whelming ! ! 

But we must give the reader another precious mor- 
ceau. An article published in the Spiritual Magazine 
of Nov. 1, 1847, supposed to be from the pen of Mrs. 
Harriet A. Skinner, a sister of - Mr. Noyes, and one 
of the most prominent members of the Putney Com- 
munity, contains the following language : — 

" There is one miracle which the world gives us 
credit for, which we cannot arrogate to ourselves ; and 
that is, the combination of peace and licentiousness. 
Licentiousness and quarreling are as inseparable as 
fear and guilt ; and with all our povjer^ we cannot 
sunder what Grod has joined together in these two 
cases, . . . Are we not a miracle to ourselves, that 
when all hell is stirred to do us harm, we are not only , 
trustful and calm, but hght-hearted and merry ? . . . 
Stripes and imprisonments have not come yet, but they 
impend — and not a heart quails. And do not our 
hearts tell us that we ' love not our lives unto death,' 
should enmity be excited to the desperation of mur- 
der ? . . . Jl miraculous histinct every day shapes our 
ends ; ive see the direction of the current, and every 


thing sets that icouy ; our smallest affairs are foreor- 
dained^ conspiring to the general effect. We fire^ avid 
expect to hit the centre of the mark. How often the 
ringing shout announces the unerring aim.'''' 

Thus we have noticed the most prominent pretended 
miracles of Noyes. That we should notice all, could 
not be expected ; for if their '• social machinery.)^'' is so 
highly charged with a " miraculous instinct, ^^ that it 
turns out '''daily 7niracles,^'thls would be a hopeless task. 

Mr. Noyes appears to have been quite busily 
engaged in casting devils out of his followers ; but the 
reader may be curious to know how, if it is impossible 
for the Noyesites to sin, it happens that they are so 
extensively possessed with devils. Can Mr. N. tell us ? 

Mr. Noyes stoutly contends that the age of miracles 
is not past, but it is quite certain that the age of his 
miracle's is past in Putney, and it is presumed that the 
people generally are very much rejoiced that it is so. 

In conclusion, let us gather up the divergent rays, 
throw them into one common focus, and take a bird's- 
eye view of Mr. N.'s field of miracles. And first in 
importance — though not in the order of time- — is the 
case of Mrs. Harriet A. Hall, declared to be a cure as 
'' unimpeachable as any of the miracles of the primitive 
church ;^^ but she is still and ever has been the subject 
of the same disease that she was before Mr. N. pre- 
tended to work a miracle ! And in this very case Mr. 
Noyes was guilty of adultery!! 

In the case of Mrs. Leonard, whom he declares was 
healed by the '•' laying on of hands,^^ he was also 


guilty of adultery ! Mr. N. alao says that he ca%t the 
devil out of Mrs. Cragin^s stomach and cured the 
sick headache ! Probably there might have been seven 
devils cast out of her, for she was the mistress in 
Noyes's seraglio ! 

He cast the devil out of John K. Miller's head — and 
Miller was one of the joint owners of the harem kept by 
Noyes ; and under this " common roof^^ the '-'body of 
believer 8^^ were banded together ! 

Mr. Noyes asserts that he wrought a miracle in the 
case of Miss Mary A. Knight ; and he brings Mrs. 
Achsah Campbell to prove it — a woman implicated in 
the indictment brought against him ! 

Thus we have a panoramic view of Mr. N.'s field of 
miracles. Such an array of miracles the world never 
before beheld, and for the honor of human nature, it is 
hoped that it will never be called upon to witness such 
a spectacle again 1 ! 



Prominent Trait in the Character of Noyes—Bu 
Censoriousness — Intolerant Spirit of Noyesism — 
False statements of Noyes — Martyr-Spirit of an- 
cient Christianity, 

There is one very prominent trait in the character of 
Mr. Nojes which deserves a passing notice. He ap- 
pears to have possessed bv nature a despotic disposition 
— was evidently inclined to break away from restraint, 
and disposed to rule those under his authority with a 
rod of iron. This •independent, aristocratic spirit began 
early to develop itself, and it appears to have been long 
cherished, and has evidently come to maturity. Thus 
from his youth up he appears to have been afflicted 
with a kind of mental malady termed by Pollok, 

" Incurable insanity of will." 
Not only the coui-se which Mr. N. has pursued, but 
his own language uttered at different times, clearly 
exhibits this same disposition. Soon after determining 
on entering the ministry, and when preparing for 
admission into the Theological Seminary at Andover, 
he says : — 

" On one occasion, at this period, in conversation 
with my father, who wa? fond of theological argument, 
I suggested an interpretation of some passage in scrip- 
ture, which he thought was new. ' Take care,' said he, 
' that is heresy.' ' Heresy or not,' said I, ' it is true.* 
^ But if you are to be a minister,' said he, ' you must 
think and preach as the rest of the mimst-ers do ; if 


you get out of the traces^ they ivill whip you in.'* I 
Tvas indignant at the idea of being obliged to think bj 
other people's rules, and replied, ' Never ! Never will 
I be whipped by ministers or any body else, into 
views that do not commend themselves to my under- 
standing, as guided by the Bible, and enhghtened by 
the Spirit.' " 

The sentiments contained in the above language, 
properly expressed under ordinary circumstances, might 
not b^ very objectionable ; but the reader cannot fail 
to perceive the pecuUar spirit, predominant in Noyes, 
which looks out from every part of the paragraph. 

The following unmistakable language, uttered a few 
years later, is found in the first number of the " Wit- 
ness," published at Ithaca, N. Y : — 

" I have long traversed unshackled the broad field 
of universal trutli, and have learned to scale or tram- 
ple down the fences with which that field has been 
disfigured by scientific fools. As an inhabitant, and, 
with others, a joint proprietor, of the universe, I will 
not be robbed of the right of universal thought. I 
shall therefore pass and re-pass as I please the usual 
boundaries of technical theology, knowing that the 
theology of heaven includes every other science." 

The idea of a new sect probably originated in the 
indomitable disposition of Noyes to "" trample doivn^"* 
all others ; and but for this cause Noyesism would, in 
all probability, never have had ^n existence. 

We shall quote a few paragraphs from the writings 
of Mr. N., which will serve as choice specimens of the 
sweet spirit which he has exhibited at different times, 
and on various occasions, and which appears to have 


been long cherished, and evidently exerts a cotitrolling 

Charles H. Weld became an associate of Noyes 
at an early period in the history of Perfectionism — 
sincere friendship appears to have existed between 
them for a time, and even ripened into great intimacy. 
Noyes approved of the general course of Weld, and 
spake of him in terms of high commendation. Some 
diflferences of opinion at length arose between them, and 
they separated. The disagreement which subsequently 
existed between them appears to have arisen, however, 
not so much from mere differences of opinion, as from a 
disposition on the part of Noyes to exercise the supre- 
macy over Weld, and from an unwillingness on the 
part of Weld to succumb in all things to the control 
and dictation of Noyes. 

This, in the eye of Noyes, was an unpardonable 
offence, and he gave vent to his indignation in unmeas- 
ured terms. The feelings which he indulged toward 
Weld after the rupture, as well as the manner of express- 
ing himself, appear in a letter written by Noyes, and 
addressed to Weld, bearing date Sept. 1836, and was 
published in the "Witness" in Sept. 183T. The 
following is the language of Noyes, addressed to 

" Our relations to each other, during two or three 
years past, have been, apparently, those of sincere 
Christian affection. On my own part, the appearance 
corresponded to the reality, until a little more than a 
year ago. The events of that period, forced upon mae 


the conviction that jou was an enemj in disguise. — - 
Yet I was not disposed to publicly utter this conviction, 
until every shadow of doubt had passed away. I have 
since had full time and opportunity to analyze your 
character. The darkness is passed and I am now pre- 
pared not only to assert, but to prove, to you and to 
all men, that you are ' a child of the devil, an enemy 
of all righteousness.^ [, 

After speaking somewhat at length relative to the 
subject of supremacy — the " war of wUls," and a 
" death-struggle" for the mastery, which took place 
between him and Weld, Mr. Noyes resumes the strain 
as follows : — 

" I was compelled to give you up as a reprobate, 
and to scrutinize you as an adversary. . . . ^he 
proofs of your hypocrisy have since been constantly 
accumulating, until now I can no longer shrink from 
believing and declaring you to be in very deed, and 
beyond hope, according to your own confession, a 
Prince of Devils. ... I have suflfered personally 
more, by the cruelty of your benevolence, than by all 
other causes put together ; and the way of truth has 
been evil spoken of more by reason of the perverse 
things which have come in through you, than for all 
other reasons. For God's sake, therefore, and for his 
elect's sake, I will lay bare your nakedness, till you 
receive your full portion of everlasting shame and 
contempt J ^ ! ! 

How unlike the meekness and gentleness of Christ 
must be the spirit which can prompt such expressions. 
How diverse from the spirit of Him, who, when he was 
reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, threatened 
not. No person would cherish such a spuit, and 


indulge in the use of such, language, who was striving 
to comply with the apostolic injunction — " Let this 
mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." — 
Phil. 2: 5. It is the solemn asseveration of an 
inspired apostle — " If any man have not the spirit of 
Christ, he is none of his." Rom. 8: 9. 

But Mr. N. appears to have arrogantly assumed the 
character of a judge, and seems to be strongly disposed 
to deal the bolts of his wrath " round the land," on 
all whom he deems his foes 1 

That years have not diminished, but rather strength- 
ened this disposition, is evident from the fact, as the 
writer is credibly informed, that an elderly lady, who 
had connected herself with the Corporation in Putney, 
but who refused to submit to the sole dictation of 
Mr. N., and determined on leaving — was charged by 
Noyes not to divulge what she knew of his heinous 
offences, and was told by him, that in- case she did, he 
would sink her to the lowest depths of hell ; blasphe- 
mously asserting that he had power to do it in this 
world, and in the world to come ! 

The same spirit that has been manifested toward 
individuals, has also been exhibited toward all evangel- 
i cal denominations in Christendom. Writing to James 
Boyle, who was an early convert to PerfectionisM, but 
afterwards renounced the system, Mr. Noyes expresses 
himself in the following characteristic language : — 

'^ God speed to you, my brother, in the work of 
unmasking and proclaiming the shame of the mother of 
abominations. Professors of orthodox religion in this 


daj, fill the front rank of the army of hell. Their 
mouths are ' the gates of helV '• 

Comment is unnecessarj. Such uncharitable expres- 
sions and sweeping denunciations speak for themselves. 
But let us look at the instructions which Mr. N. has 
given his followers relative to the subject under consid- 
eration. He teaches the very principles which he 
carries out in practice. He makes the following 
remarks on anger : — 

" ' Be ye angry and sin 'not.'' — Eph. iv : 26. I 
take this passage as a precept ; and regard anger as 
one of the most important duties of a Christian. The 
apostle places it in immediate connection with cessation 
from sin, as if he had said, ' Be ye angry that ye may 
sin not.' No man will ever cease from sin, till he so 
abhors it, as to be angry with himself and with all sin- 
ners. No man will ever love God with all his heart, 
till he 'hates the wicked with a perfect hatred.' — Where 
there is ' love stronger than death,' there must be ' jeal- 
ousy, cruel as the grave.' " 

The foregoing singular comment of Mr. Noyes, 
looks very much like gi^ang liberty to throw a loose 
rein upon the neck of passion, and put spurs to the 
fiery steed. 

As an oflfeet to the exposition of Mr. N., we will give 
a few remarks from the pen of a learned and critical 
commentator* on the same passage ; and we think they 
are far more rational and consistent, and entitled to 
quite as much iveight as the remarks of Mr. Noyes. 
They are as follows : — 

* Dr. Aaam CI«rke. 


'^ Be ye angry ^and sin not. — We can never suppose 
that the apostle delivers this as a precept^ if we take 
the words as they stand in our version. Perhaps the 
sense is, Take heed that ye he not angry ^ lest ye dn ; 
for it would be very difficult, even for an apostle him- 
self, to be angry and not sin.^^ 

It is said of the Savior, that at a certain time he 
looked upon the Pharisees with anger. 

" And when he had looked round about on them 
with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their 
hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine 
hand." — Mark iii. 5. 

The commentator from whom we have just quoted, 
well remarks upon the term, anger, as applied to our 
Lord, in the following brief manner : — 

" What was the anger which our Lord felt ? That 
which proceeded from excessive grief, which was 
occasioned by their obstinate stupidity and blindness : 
therefore it was no uneasy passion, but an excess of 
generous grief." 

St. Paul exhorts the Christians at Ephesus and 
Colosse in the following emphatic language : — 

" Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and 
clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with 
all malice. But now ye also put off all these ; anger, 
wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of 
your mouth." — Eph. iv. 31 ; Col. iii. 8. 

Thus it appears that every degree of anger, using 
the term in its common acceptation, is prohibited by 
express apostolic injunction. 


But let us look at the intolerant spirit of Noyesism. 
Early in the autumn of 1847, the writer took occasion 
publicly to express some general views relative to the 
subject of miracles — to exhibit the absurdity and shal- 
lowness of the pretensions to miraculous power, of the 
many little chimerical sects which are springing up at 
the present day — and also to expose the deception 
which the Perfectionists were attempting to practice 
upon the people of Putney. This of course gave 
offence to the leading Perfectionists ; and soon after, 
the following characteristic language was found in the 
Spiritual Magazine, the intended application of which 
no one could doubt : — 

'' I have seen a man — perchance a priest — take ad- 
vantage of the times and push aside the truth of the 
gospel, giving its place to a mass of falsehood which the 
people stumble over, and he thinks he has made a suc- 
cessful revolution ; but every he is on its way to Tophet, 
and that man has raised himself a monument of dis- 
grace ; we can only deplore for him the certain ven- 
geance of time, which is hurrying towards the triumph 
of the right." 

This language is supposed to be from the pen of Mrs. 
Harriet A. Skinner, the so-called wife of Mr. John L. 
Skinner, an associate of Noyes. Mrs. Skinner is a 
sister of Mr. Noyes — was a liberal contributor to the 
Spiritual Magazine, and is a Perfectionist of the deep- 
est dye. The language quoted clearly indicates the 
intolerant spirit prevalent among Perfectionists. Senti- 
ments conflicting with their views are at once pro- 
nounced falsehoods ; and whoever dares speak the 


truth must expect to be denounced by them. As to 
the -' monument of disgrace," we cheerfully submit it 
to the judgment of the public, whether an exhibition 
and refutation of the errors of such a system are as 
great a " monument of disgrace" as the facts which 
rec ent disclosures have clearly brought to view. If we 
mistake not they, by their conduct, have erected a 
" monument of disgrace" which will stand through all 
coming time — whose towering head shall be distinctly 
visible from far distant regions. 

But the fair writer professes to " deplore" for us the 
" certain vengeance of time." This language indicates 
a disposition to assume a threatening aspect for the 
purpose of intimidating ; and we greatly fear that the 
wish to have ''vengeance" executed -vfSkS father to the 
thought expressed. 

We cannot find it in our heart to indulge aught but 
feelings of the most profound commiseration for those 
who cherish the spirit from which such language ema- 

We would gladly have been excused from performing 
tj^e disagreeable task of stirring this stagnant pool of 
pollution, could it have been consistently done ; but he 
proves himself recreant to duty, who refuses to speak 
and act when time and circumstances demand it. 

Again, m the autumn of 1847, we addressed a few 
questions to the editor of the Spiritual Magazine, 
touching the subject of miracles. These questions 
were couched in respectful, and we think unob- 
jectionable language, and were published in the above 


mentioned paper of Oct. 15, 1847. Mr. Nojes re- 
plied at length, and that reply contained the tocsin of 
alarm, and was taken for the signal to let slip the dogs 
of war which bore down with their loudest bay, and 
many a cur manifested a disposition to join the pack 
and hunt down our humble self. 

Various questions, unworthy of notice, were proposed 
to the writer by different correspondents of the Maga- 
zine and termed, by the astute editor of that paper, "-per- 
tinent ;" — and all this because we dared to propound a 
few questions expressive of doubt as to the infalhbihty 
and miraculous power of the Putney Pontiff! This 
was an unpardonable offence ! A more dictatorial, 
mouth-stopping spirit is seldom manifested. Perhaps 
they fancy that their residence is in such exalted 
regions that they are exempt from the common civilities 
of civilized and social hfe, and that those who are so 
unfortunate as to dwell in this loioer world are not 
entitled to the common courtesies of life. 

Mr. Noyes has made some exceedingly erroneous 
statements relative to the leading denominations of the 
land, which are entitled to a passing notice. For n 
better understanding of the subject we will quote a few 
paragraphs from the writings of Mr. N. He in his 
modesty says : — 

" We believe that all true knowledge of the New 
Covenant, and of the holiness which it gives, was lost 
after the apostolic age, and that the system which has 
existed since, both in Popish and Reformed Christen- 
dom, though called Christianity, has been, so far as it 


has had in it any divine element, only a second edition 
of Judaism — a continuation of the spiritual testimony 
of Moses and Elijah. . . . We have seen no evidence 
that the Neio Covenant was ever known or preached 
after the destruction of Jerusalem^ A. D. fo, till it 
was published at New-Haven in 1834."— Perfectionist, 
Vol. iv. No. 4. 

Again, speaking in reference to an expectation of 
the near approach of the Millennium, which prevailed to 
some extent about the year 1830 and for some time 
after, Mr. N. says : — 

" In 1834, premonitory symptom of expectation 
came to its highest point. Then the truth of the 
primitive gospel was developed. It stood on the top 
swell of the spirituality of that period. The revival 
spirit and the attainments of the church had reached 
their highest tide, and on that basis the gospel of 
HOLINESS rose up again before the eyes of men. . . . 
What has been the history of the churches since ? 
They have had no revivals. . . . Since the time we 
speak of, the churches have been steadily wilting, 
drooping, and losing their influence over the minds of 
men. The Methodist Church has fallen off largely in 
numbers, as have also the others.". — Spiritual Maga- 
zine, Vol ii. No. 13. 

We wish to call the reader's special attention to the 
concluding statement of the foregoing language. Mr. 
N. roundly asserts that the " Methodist Ohurch has 
fallen off largely in numhers'^ since 1834. Let us 
compare this statement with the statistics of that 
denomination. It appears that the Methodist Church 
in different parts of the world numbered : — 


In 1834 - 984,2% 

" 184T - 1,765,680 

Increase 781,290 

In the United States the statistics stand as follows : 

In 1834 602,136 

" 1847 1,183,426 

Increase 581,290 

But Mr. N. asserts that other denominations have 
also fallen off in numbers. Let us look again at 
statistics : — 

The Congregational, Presbyterian, and Baptist 
Churches numbered in the United States : — 

In 1834 917,934 

" 1847 1,654,316 

Increase 736,382 

We have no data from which to ascertain the num- 
bers of the Congregational, Presbjt-erian, and Baptist 
Churches, throughout the world, consequently we have 
given them for the United States only. There has 
probably been a proportionate, and perhaps even a 
greater increase in other parts of the world than in 
the United States. Many of the foreign Missions have 
been in a prosperous condition, and some of them have 
been favored with very extensive revivals. Although 
it is very difficult finding statistics that are perfectly 
accurate, yet those which we have given probably 


approximate as nearly to the truth as can be expected. 
They show an aggregate increase in the four leading 
evangelical denominations in the United States, of one 
million three hundred and seventeen thoiisand six 
hundred and seventy-two^ between 1834 and 1847, or 
during the period in which Mr, Noyes says that the 
churches have ''''fallen off largely in number s^^ ! 

Such random statements ill compoi^ with the high 
professions of Mr. N., and yet his disciples who believe 
in his infallibility^ are ready to receive any statement 
he may make as undoubted truth, however false it may 
be. If he and his followers can look the foregoing 
facts full in the face without any misgivings, then they 
are prepared for almost anything^ If this is a fair 
sample of Mr. N.'s veracity, his word is of little value. 
If he cannot state simple facts with the ordinary 
accuracy of a common chronicler of passing events, he 
had better moderate his claim to inspiration, or the 
public will be justified in believing that he is inspired 
from a very questionable source. 

Mr. Noyes gives a lesson upon the martyr-spirit 
exhibited in the Primitive Church ; and strange as it 
may appear, he condemns that spirit, and speaks, as 
will be seen, very reproachfully of those worthy men 
who counted not their lives dear unto themselves, but 
joyfully received the crown of martyrdom, and whom 
the church in all ages has delighted to honor. The 
reader would be struck with utter astonishment at what 
follows, were he not prepared from the preceding pages 


to expect almost any thing, however heretical and anti- 
christian, from the gi-eat Perfectionist leader. 

Even the holy martyrs have not escaped the whole- 
sale slanders and sweeping denunciations brought by 
Mr. Noyes against every thing of a religious character, 
which does not bear the impress, and is not in perfect 
keeping with Perfectionism. Let us hear him ; — 

" When we have learned from the scriptures, that 
Christ came the second time immediately after the 
destruction of Jerusalem, and took away the spiritual 
part of the primitive church, we are compelled to infer 
that the moiety which was left, though it bore and trans- 
mitted the name and forms of Christianity, was actually 
an apostate church. But then the question urges itself 
upon us — ' What shall we think of the splendid and 
innumerable martyrdoms which have been the glory of 
that church through so many ages V We will endeavor 
to answer this question ' without partiality, and without 
hypocrisy.' For this purpose we will present a speci- 
men of the martyr spirit that prevailed in the next 
generation after the apostles, and then we will offer 
several remarks showing our opinion of that spirit. 

" Ignatius is universally regarded as one of the most 
illustrious of the early martyrs. Indeed he was the 
chief father of what may be called the martyr-mania of 
the first three centuries. He is therefore an example 
to our purpose. The writers of the Oxford Tracts give 
the following account of him : — 

' St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, and Martyr, is 
reported to have been the child whom Christ took in 
his arms, in order to give his disciples a pattern of 
christian humbleness. But, however this was, he 
certainly was a disciple and friend of the Apostles, 
particularly of St. Peter and St. John. 


' St. Peter and St. Paul are said to have laid on him 
their hands, and made him Bishop of Antioch. In A. 
D. 106, when he had been Bishop nearly 40 years, the 
persecuting Emperor Trajan came to Antioch ; and on 
finding Ignatius resolute in confessing the faith of 
Christ, he ordered him to be carried prisoner to 
Rome, and there thrown to the beasts in the idolatrous 
heathen show — a command which was strictly obeyed. 
During his journey, he wrote letters to various 
Churches, by way of taking leave of them, and to con- 
firm them in Christian zeal, love, and unity.' " 

After giving a few extracts from an epistle which 
Ignatius wrote to the Romans, while on his way to 
Rome, in which he exhorts his fellow disciples to 
steadfastness in the faith, and expresses his willingness 
to suffer martyrdom, Mr. JSfoyes proceeds to remark : 

" So far as mere courage in coveting death, or mere' 
religious zeal, is concerned, we might easily find 
examples among the worshippers of Juggernaut that 
would fully match Ignatius. The martyr spirit which 
Ignatius exhibited, and which became so fashionable 
afterwards, was not necessarily connected with holiness 

and truth We have no fear in declaring 

our belief that the ambitious thirst for martyrdom, 
manifested by Ignatius and the mass of those who have 
been glorified with him, as the ' martyr church,' was 
the very climax of ' spiritual wickedness in high 
places' — a strong delusion of self-righteousness, sup- 
planting the atonement, making death instead of faith 
the way to perfection, and planting the seeds of the 
whole system of penances, self-torture, and purgatorial 
salvation, which have since gained for Popery the name 
of Antichrist."— Witness, Vol. II. No. 5. 

Thus the noble army of martyrs, ^^ho, with true Chris- 


tian fortitude, maintained their position against fearful 
odds, and manfully breasted the torrent of persecution 
which burst upon the Church in the early ages, are trar 
duced by Mr. Noyes. He does not hesitate to impute 
to them the most unworthy motives, and impiously 
asserts his belief that the spirit by which they were 
controlled was the " very climax of spiritual wicked- 
ness' " a 

Mr. N. also virtually asserts his superiority, in point 
of moral excellence and spiritual attainments, over that 
veteran band of worthies who laid down their lives 
rather than renounce their religion and treacherously 
betray the cause of their Master which they had 
espoused — thus would he disrobe them of the mantle 
of righteousness, wrest the palms of victory from their 
hands, and with a sacrilegious hand take the crowns of 
glory from their sainted heads, and unblushingly place 
them upon his own ! 



Article from the Advocate of Moral Reform — 
Remarks of Rev. Joseph Tra<^ and Rev. S. B. 

In delineating the character of Perfectionism, we 
deem it proper, not only to present such facts and doc- 
trines as will exhibit its true features, but also to give 
the opinions of different individuals who have mformed 
themselves relative to the subject, and whose position 
and standing in society entitle them to confidence and 
give weight to their opinions. 

Thoughts emanating from different individuals, and 
information derived from various sources at differ- 
ent periods in the history of Perfectionism, being 
gathered into one common focus, throw a flood of light 
upon this " abomination of desolation, standing in the 
holy place," and present it to pubHc view in all its 
native deformity ! 

We deem it appropriate here to introduce an able 
editorial article, pubhshed several years ago, in the 
Advocate of Moral Reform. This article was pub- 
lished when Perfectionism was comparatively in its 
infancy, but had so far developed itself as to .give 
unmistakable indications of its true character — ^its 
direct tendency and inevitable consequences. It may 
be proper here to remark, that Geo. Cragin, who for 
some time was the publishing agent of the Advocate of 
Moral Reform, probably finding the principles of the 


Moral Reform Society too strict for him and the place 
he occupied too straight, renounced those principles 
and embraced Perfectionism, which afforded him more 
latitude. He soon qi'ter removed to Putney, and became 
an associate and intimate of Noyes. He then deliber- 
ately turned round and denounced the " Advocate of 
Moral Reform as the greatest of religious humbugs. ^^ 

There are certain persons of whom it is sometimes 
said, '' Their censure is praise." The present is an 
instance in point. 

In 1842, Cragin was associated with Noyes in the 
publication of a paper called the Spiritual Moralisty 
devoted expressly to the dissemination of licentious 
doctrines. This paper contained such offensive matter, 
and was so extremely disgusting, that it received but 
little favor except from those who had lost all sense of 
delicacy and propriety ; and it was discontinued — 
probably for want of patronage — after the publication 
of two numbers. 

The article from the Advocate of Moral Reform 
given below, is well-timed and very truthful. We 
bespeak for it an attentive and candid perusal : — 

" Perfectionism.^^ 
" We have not hitherto thought it advisable to intro- 
duce any topics of discussion into the Advocate, which 
were foreign to its immediate object ; and our readers 
will bear us witness, that we have never contended for 
the shibboleth of a party. Our high aim has been to 
combine all the moral and religious influence in the 
community, to bring it to bear upon the removal of a 
national sin ; and thus far, all sectional and denomina- 


tional differences seem to have been merged in one 
common feeling of interest in this great work. We 
have not departed from the rule heretofore laid down, 
in bringing forward the subject which stands at the 
head of this article. Sentiments have of late been 
openly advanced by those who call themselves Perfec- 
tionists, of such an immoral and destructive tendency, 
that it becomes our duty as humble conservators of the 
public morals, to bear a decided testimony against 
them, particularly as the names of some among us 
have been coupled with this dangerous and seductive 
heresy. To those who are happily ignorant of the 
name and nature of Perfectionism, we fear we shall 
hardly be able to make ourselves intelligible ; for we 
shrink from the task of disturbing this stagnant pool 
of corruption, even for the sake of warning the unwary 
from its brink. But we dare not close our eyes to the 
fact, that while some whom we loved and honored, 
have fallen into this snare of the devil, there are others 
in equal, or greater danger, who may be induced by the 
warning voice of truth, to examine the ground on 
which they stand, and escape for their lives, while yet 
escape is possible. 

" In some recent pubhcations by the leaders of this 
sect, the doctrines, of Robert Dale Owen and Fanny 
Wright are boldly espoused and advocated, and the 
institution of marriage set aside, as a part of the sys- 
tem of bondage from which Christ is to make us free.. 
We will not stain our pages with specimens of this 
reasoning, which makes the blessed Redeemer the 
minister of sin, and converts the bread of life into a 
deadly poison. Indeed the language so much resem- 
bles the jargon under which the ancient mystics used to 
veil their meaning, that our readers would not probably 
understand at once its full import. From the words of 
our Savior concerning the inhabitants of heaven, * They 


neither many, nor are given in marriage/ they argue 
the abolition of the institution here, in a resurrection 
state which it seems some of them have already 
attained. It will at once be seen, that this master 
stroke of satanic pohcy opens a flood-gate- to every 
species of licentiousness ; and by a refinement of 
wickedness which puts papacy to the blush, sanctifies 
the very incarnation of impurity. A state of society 
such as these doctrines would inevitably produce, can- 
not be adequately conceived or described. The sacred- 
ness of the domestic constitution invaded — the marriage 
covenant annulled — parental and filial obligations tram- 
pled in the dust — while unbridled license stalks among 
the ruins, smiling at the havoc she has made, and 
feasting on the last bleeding remnants of chastity and 
virtue ! Surely, when sentiments like these are advo- 
cated under the mask of high-toned piety, it is the 
duty of all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, 
to ' contend earnestly for the' purity of ' the faith 
once delivered to the saints.' 

'^ But this doctrine, monstrous as it is, is only the 
growth of another, which may be termed ' the root of 
the evil,' viz. ' that believers under the Gospel dispen- 
sation, are delivered from the obligation of personal 
obedience to the moral law,"* The violation of this law 
does not, they say, necessarily involve transgression, 
for the spirit which is in them being an infallible guide, 
may in many supposable cases lead them contrary to 
the letter of the law, without bringing guilt upon their 
souls. Those who are familiar with Ecclesiastical 
History, will recognize in this belief the essential 
features of that Antinomianism, which, under some of 
its varying forms, has infested the church from the 
days of the Nicolaitans whom Christ hated, down to 
the present time ; and against which Wesley and 
Fletcher in England, and Edwards and Bellamy in our 


own country, sent forth the warning voice. It is 
indeed true that we have become incapable of keeping 
the law, as a covenant of works, ' the man that doeth 
these things, shall live in them,' — but as a rule of 
action, it is still obhgatory on us, and must continue to 
be so, while those rights of God and man exist which 
it is designed to protect. The Christian behever not 
bound to obey the moral law of God ! That law which 
binds all created intelligences together with a golden 
chain, and hnks them indissolubly to his holy throne ! 
That law, in which, as in a glass, we see all the perfect 
attributes of Jehovah's character, while love, like the 
sun, sheds a full-orbed splendor over the whole, — 
insufferable from its brightness, did we not behold it 
tempered in the face of Him who came to be ' the end 
of the law for righteousness, to every one that belie veth.' 

" Those who can thus turn the grace of God into 
laciviousness, may endeavor to take refuge in the 
gospel from the unwelcome requisitions of the law, but 
it will be found in another day to be a refuge of lies 
which the hail shall sweep utterly away. ' Think not 
I am come to destroy the law or the prophets,' 
said the Savior, ' I am not come to destroy, but to 
fulfil.' ' Bo we then make void the law through 
faith V is the language of the apostle ; ^ God forbid ; 
yea, we establish the law.' But time would fail, were 
we to attempt an enumeration of the passages which 
prove that the law of God, Hke his nature, is unchan- 
geable and eternal in its spirit and sanctions. 

''' We have not attempted to go into an exposition of 
the views of the Perfectionists, or an argument against 
them ; a task for which we have neither leisure nor 
inclination. In common with many others, we have 
been shocked and alarmed at the avowal of sentiments 
which seem to us the very refineuient of licentiousness, 
and a declaration of our views was deemed necessary 


for the satisfaction of those interested in our course. 
We desired hkewise to warn the sincere inquirer after 
hoHness, to beware of embracing an error, which if not 
abandoned in time, will certainly sink the soul to a 
deep and dark perdition. The church must come up 
to a higher standard of personal consecration and 
holiness, before the world can be converted ; but in 
doing this, let her not run into an extreme more dan- 
gerous than the one she seeks to avoid. ' The tree is 
known bj its fruits.' This doctrine leads its advocates 
to neglect prayer, both social and private — to throw 
away the Sabbath, with all its inestimable blessings — 
to despise the ordinances and means of grace, as shad- 
ows which vanish at the appearing of the substance — 
in fine, to withdraw from all benevolent, moral and 
rehgious associations, as a system of legality^ in which 
they have no interest. These are not good fruits ; we 
must therefore pronounce the tree corrupt, and refuse 
all fellowship or countenance to those who walk thus 
disorderly, though the act of excision be as painful as 
the amputation of a limb, or the plucking out of an 

The above language is strong and decisive, and cuts 
every way, like the keen two-edged sword of truth. 
Though penned several years since, it applies with as 
much if not more propriety to Perfectionism now than 
when it was first published. 

In continuing our quotations from the writings of 
distinguished individuals who have spoken in reference 
to Perfectionism, we give a few remarks of Rev. Joseph 
Tracy, an eminent Congregational clergyman. Mr. 
Tracy was formerly editor of the Boston Recorder, and 
is extensively and favorably known, especially in New-^ 


England. He speaks of Perfectionism as early as 
1835 ; thus showing that its nature was known — ^its 
tendency seen — and that even its fruits began to appear 
at that early period, or very soon after it came into 
existence : — 

" This thing of Perfectionism is an affair which will 
happen now and then. The previous condition, the 
predisposing cause of it, in a community, is Ultra- 
Calvinism, taking the form of Antinomianism. It 
commences by a reaction, more or less thorough-going, 
towards Arminianism. Next, the theoretic possibility 
of becoming perfect is embraced as a speculative truth. 
Next, it is reduced to pretended practice, by persons 
who think they give themselves up, unreservedly, to be 
guided \ij the immediate suggestions of the Spirit ; 
accompanied by the behef that they can tell a move- 
ment of the Spirit by the feeling of it. Next, — which 
is scarcely another step, — they beheve themsei\jes 
inaccessible to temptation ; either because they have 
become so holy that the devil can have no access to 
them, or because they can tell the movements of the 
Spirit from every thing else so easily and infallibly. 
Next, certain feehngs which some of the male and 
female members of the sect have for each other, being 
of the nature, not of hate but of love, are taken for 
the motions of the Spirit, and followed accordingly ; 
ending, theoretically, in certain nonsense about spiritual 
marriage, and practically, in the grossest licentiousness. 
This is the last stage of ihQ disease. Those who have 
not yet joined them understand their character, and 
they cease to make proselytes. They themselves — that 
is, such of them as are not really insane, — become 
undeceived. Some few, very few probably, who have 
not been quite so ' perfect' as the rest, recover so 
much of their Christian character as to be tolerable ; 


others take up the business of rehgious imposture as a 
trade ; and the greater part become avowed infidels. 
Some years since we watched the progress of a little 
sect of Perfectionists through all these stages, from its 
predisposing cause to its final termination. Several 
months since, we received a communication, on good 
authority, stating that some of the Perfectionists of 
this day had begun to practice their spiritual marriage 
very disreputably." 

We subjoin a more extended article, written with 
considerable ability, by Rev. S. B. Yarrington, a 
Methodist clergyman residing in the interior of New- 
York. It was published in 1843. Mr. Yarrington 
brings to view some of the mental phenomena attendant 
upon the reception of Perfectionist doctrines. He 
directs the mind to a subject for contemplation worthy 
of- special attention. This is an all-important point. 
We should cautiously guard against that morbific state 
of mind, and that unhealthful tone of moral feeling 
which tends to induce this dangerous disease. The 
entrance should be sedulously watched, for it is much 
easier keeping the enemy out than it is expelling him 
when he has once entered. Mr. Yarrington speaks 
briefly, though pertinently, of '' the rise, progress, 
cause, tendency and cure of modern Perfectionism." 
He says : — 

'' This egregious error arose about twelve years since, 
at a time of almost unparalleled excitement in these 
States, under the labors of certain eccentric revivalists, 
whose names need not be mentioned, — some of whom 
have dropped like stars from the galaxy, and all ceased 
to agitate and convulse the land. 


" The heresy spread rapidly for a time. The mass, 
however, being composed of heterogeneous materials, 
having little affinity, soon gave signs of disintegration, 
and the fire that burnt strong at first, presently smoul- 
dered away for want of sustenance. Still, the dying 
embers remain in society, scattered in every direction, 
and wherever they have fallen, to a certain extent 
bum and sterilize the moral soil, destroying the seed of 
truth that is sown therein. It is not probable that this 
error is on the advance at present, but rather, it is to 
be hoped, on the decline. Yet, like the wounded bear, 
it makes an eflbrt to live, and to recover its energies 
that it may revenge itself on its assailants. 

" The cause of this delusion may be traced to the 
efiervescence of certain minds about 1830. As Venus 
is said to have arisen from the froth of the ocean, so 
this heresy was begotten in the fumes of fanaticism. 
As one extreme is attended by another, so the wild, 
unscriptural notion of necessary indwelling sin, by the 
collision of antagonist minds, gave place to the no less 
extravagant and anti-biblical idea of impeccability. 
An over-weening self-esteem, doubtless, conduced some- 
what to the production of such an opinion. Cultivating 
one class of faculties to the neglect of others, probably 
contributed to the same end. It is pernicious to mental 
improvement to become the ' creature of one idea.' 
The human mind has more than one faculty. In it 
many difierent powers inhere. These powers should 
be cultivated so as to balance each other, or equilibrate. 
The modem Perfectionist seems to have cultivated 
self-approbation and marvellousness, whilst he has barred 
the door to such intmders as comparison, causality and 
veneration : whereas the latter had most need of 
tuition. Intense, unabated study of divine subjects 
may have, more innocently, beguiled some unwary 
individuals into the arms of this Delilah. Man is so 


constituted that he cannot for a very long season, with- 
out interruption or relaxation, prosecute one train of 
thought without shattering somewhat the pillars of the 
intellectual edifice. No doubt many imbibe error by 
first blunting their mental powers in this way ; and not 
a few, by the same course, conduct reason to certain 
and long, perhaps fife-long, interment. Some well 
meaning persons have imagined that the height of 
piety consists, not in active labors for the salvation of 
souls, but in uninterrupted contemplations of refigious 
themes. Let a person pursue this course one year, and 
his mind, however strong in the commencement, will 
have become somewhat imbeeihtated. Probably some 
individuals of more than ordinary talent, have in this 
way neutralized their influence, and well nigh rendered 
themselves nuisances in community. Variety in things 
lawful and expedient is truly the spice and food of the 

"The tendency of Perfectionism is 'e\dl, only evil, and 
that continually'. The suicidal efforts of its advocates 
can but be injurious to the physical economy. As well 
might the volcano remain undiminished within at the 
time of its irruption, as such persons retain their health 
in the midst of such awful disemboguements. Never 
did a system of error have a more withering, scathing 
influence upon intellect, than does this, where it is 
allowed to have full scope, put forth all its energy, and 
stamp its own image on its votary. Indeed, it is an 
idiotic theory ; and cannot be expected to gender 
aught but its like. The stream can rise no higher 
than the fountain. Like system, like advocate. Fol- 
low the fightnings in all their zig-zags through the sky, 
before attempting to trace the trackless flight of such 
an intellect I True refigion can by no possibility be 
hostile to science and intellectual improvement. What- 
ever, therefore, is prejudicial to these interests, is anti- 


religion. To assume that man may not be deeply 
pious without impairing at least some of his faculties, 
is to present Christianity in a sorry attitude. On the 
contrary, it may be asserted, fearless of refutation, that 
there is nothing so well calculated to develop the native 
powers of mind as the Christian religion. What injury 
did Christianity inflict upon the subhme genius of a 
Milton, or the philosophic mind of a Newton ? Men 
never surpassed, the former in the department of 
poetry, the latter in that of mathematics. No doubt 
religion was the intellectual food of these men. Milton 
was greatly indebted to his knowledge and love of the 
Bible for his unrivalled sublimity of thought and 
expression. Newton's reverence and love of Deity 
contributed much to the profundity and acumen of his 
gigantic mind. The absolute Perfectionist runs a 
meagre chance of rivalling these or any other great 
men in any department of science or literature, from 
the fact that in the outset of his career he lays suicidal 
hands upon the best faculties of his nature, and yields 
himself up to the control of powers that ought to 
operate in obedience to the guidance of their superiors. 
The moral tendency of this presumptuous notion is 
equally deleterious. As well might the Sirocco enter 
Italy, or the Simoom rush upon a caravan in the desert 
without inflicting injury, as this system be other than a 
' Bohon Upas' to the morals of any vicinity where it 
prevails. By it the ' fruitful field is converted into a 
wilderness', and the song of the nightingale into the 
croak of the raven. It sweeps by the board aU the 
stated formal means of grace. Family religion is 
blighted with mildew. The breezes of the Sabbath 
sing the funeral dirge of Jehovah's day of rest, while 
the monster prepares a sepulchre for its entombment. 

" Little hope can be indulged of restoring to a 
healthy state of mind the modem Perfectionist whose 


belief is of long standing. The reason is, no access 
can be had to those faculties which ought to be 
addressed, on account of their dormancy, if not ex- 
tinction of functions. Where the reception of this 
error is of recent date, however, there is some prospect 
of producing a state of convalescence bj making a loud 
appeal to these nobler powers, their languishing 
energies not having as yet become completely pros- 
trated. The following directions may not, therefore, 
be altogether unavailing. Make an effort to reflect on 
a variety of subjects, rejecting none that are lawful 
and expedient. This is absolutely necessary to restore 
a sickly mind, and also to preserve it in that state. 
Monomania is a mental disease of alarming prevalence 
at the present time. It is produced by taking an op- 
posite course from the one here advised. Be sociable 
with all, and converse as instructed to meditate, that 
is, on various topics, provided they are useful. Deeply 
ponder the depravity of the human heart, aside from 
grace ; and consider the imbecility and folly even of 
the best of men compared with the potency and wisdom 
of the Infinite Unknown, and yet sufficiently known to 
the wise, in their judgment eternally to eclipse all 
created excellence. Feel like a mere point amid the 
splendors of the Great Adorable. In fine, pray to be 
made and to be kept humble. Remember, so far from 
being able to equal the Omniperfect here, no man or 
angel, though constantly increasing in knowledge and 
holiness, will ever approach so near to divine per- 
fection, as not to find himself infinitely in the rear. 
Be humble, therefore, and be wise.*' 



Remarks of 0. H, Piatt, Esq. 

The extracts given in the preceding chapter refer to 
Perfectionism, both at an early period, and also after it 
had existed several years, and had given some practi- 
cal demonstrations of the direct tendency of its doc- 
trines. At an early date its character was discerned 
and its tendency clearly seen by the intelligent and 
observing, and the sad consequences which it was 
evident would naturally follow its promulgation were 
anticipated and deeply deplored by the virtuous part of 
community. From the time of its commencement 
at New Haven in 1834, the tide of events took their 
natural course among Perfectionists, and at length 
assumed an alarming aspect. 

Mr. Noyes, however, from time to time resorted to 
various expedients to screen himself and his followers 
from merited reprobation, and by repeated shufflings 
succeeded in keeping, to some extent, from public view 
the practical tendency and results of his pernicious 
principles. But they have at length fully come to^ 
light, and doubt no longer hangs over the subject. 

But let us for a season leave the past and come 
down to matters of more recent date. We shall not, 
however, here enter into any minute detail of transac- 
tions which have taken place in Putney; but shall 
quote some general expressions of opinion relative to 
tiie posture of affiiirs after certain developments had 
been made. 


Up to the time of the demonstration at Putney, in 
the autumn of 1847, the press in this section, both 
secular and religious, had passed the matter by as an 
insignificant and harmless affair, unworthy of notice 
and even undeserving of the notoriety which a public 
attack would give it. But affkirs assumed such an 
aspect as to attract public notice not only in this section 
of the country, but elsewhere ; and several public 
journals bestowed considerable attention upon them. 

We shall give some extracts from several editorial 
articles published in the Vermont Phoenix, at Brattle- 
boro'. Those articles received the approbation of the 
community, and were not only expressive of the views 
of the Editor of that paper, but will serve as a fair 
exhibition of the sentiments which universally prevailed 
and which still prevail in the community at large, at 
least so fa;r as the' facts in the case are known. 

0. H. Piatt, Esq., Editor of the Phoenix, in his 
paper of Nov. 24, 1847, holds the following language : — 
" Since the last issue of the Phoenix, we have taken 
some pains to inform ourselves, as well of the present 
conduct and condition of the Society calling themselves 
' Perfectionists,' in Putney, as of the tenets and doc- 
trines they profess. We learn that though some of 
the individuals of this sect have dispersed, the Associ- 
ation itself is 7iot broken up, nor their organ discon- 
tinued — but on the contrary, that the peculiar tenets 
which, with them, justify the conduct complained of, 
are still pertinaciously adhered to ; that meetings are 
still held, and the community have a right to believe, 
that, though popular indignation may suppress for a 
time the public exhibition of their conduct, they still 


continue to practice what thej boldly preach and 
justify. . . . We confess to utter ignorance, until the 
last week, of the origin and history, as well as of the 
nature and tendency of the peculiar doctrines of this 
sect of ' Perfectionists.' With a desire to do impartial 
justice, and to be satisfied Tvhether the ebullition of 
feeling manifested by the citizens of Putney, was 
justified as well by the published principles, as the 
actual practices of the 'Perfectionists,' we have taken 
some pains to procure their pubhcations, and to 
examine them. . . . The acts complained of are not 
only the natural result of the doctrines they hold and 
teach, but actually constitute in themselves one of their 
pubhshed tenets. ... The avowal of them, [their 
doctrines] though plain and positive, was so covered up 
by subtleties, by mystification, and confused explana- 
tion, and by bold denial of imputed licentious conse- 
quences and results, that the unwary and the unsuspi- 
cious might well be deceived. This consideration 
should inculcate feelings of charity towards those who 
seem innocently to have l)een misled, and drawn into 
the vortex of ruin. It has also determined us to give 
our readers v/ho may be as ignorant on this subject as 
we have been, the history of this sect, and the proof 
which their pul^lislied tenets afford, that in their 
domestic relations they are not only absolved from the 
observance of the moral law, but the constant infrac- 
tion of it, is required as a necessary consequence of 
the state of perfection they lay claim to— in fine, that 
as to all sexual relations, they are strictly Antinomians. 
" It is not within the province of tliis journal to 
discuss controversial points of religious doctrine, unless 
they tend directly to the infraction and subversion of 
the laws which uphold the fabric of society and gov- 
ernment ; and we shall tliereforc endeavor to keep 


within this limit. But when such monstrous doctrines 
as these are promulgated and practiced, and when 
there is such indubitable evidence as the history of 
this sect has furnished us, to prove that the young, the 
innocent and unsuspicious, are enticed to disgrace and 
ruin by them, and that systematic seduction and licen- 
tiousness are practiced under the specious garb of 
religion — or rather, made impiously a part of religion 
itself — it is time for the public press to expose the true 
character of its prmciples, and warn the young and 
credulous, at least, of the snares that are spread for 

In the Phoenix of Jan. 7, 1848, Mr. Piatt continues 
as follows : — 

" The organ of this sect has been treated in general, 
by the religious and political press, with silent con- 
tempt, as the weak and harmless effusion of a distem- 
pered brain ; but it has nevertheless obtained a wide 
circulation, made converts, and secured for the sect a 
foothold in many parts of the country. Its pernicious 
principles, choked with artful disguises, have thus 
been suffered to infuse their poison far and near, 
unchecked by exposure and warning, and almost 
imnoticed. The names of contributors, subscribers, 
and converts, with their religious experience in the 
form of letters, appear conspicuously in the^ paper, • 
and have accompanied it, as endorsers of the doctrines 
it inculcates. . . . 

" The female converts seemed to take pleasure in 
blazoning abroad their shameless doctrines, under the 
authority of a multitude of Bible quotations, and the 
solemn mockery of obedience to the promptings of the 
Holy Spirit. We have given enough to show the 
publicly avowed principles and practices of the ' Per- 
fectionists,' at this early stage of their existence. 


" These principles were industriouslj disseminated 
in all parts of the country, both bj the gratuitous circu- 
lation of the paper, and the personal preaching of Mr. 
jS'ojes ; and many societies formed. The idea of 
])erfeet holiness, of being in a state where it is impos- 
sible to sin, where salvation is secured beyond a perad- 
venture, is no doubt alluring and sweet ; and it is not 
wonderful that many persons, credulous and unreflect- 
ing, or tempest-tost and shipwrecked upon the waves of 
controverted points of religious doctrine, should fly 
for refuge to this infallible soul-preserver, in v/hich 
every fear and every anxiety is banished forever, 
and all the passions hold a jubilee. It is a tempting 
bait to the anxious and inquiring mind ; and, garnished 
as it is, with plausible passages of Scripture, requires 
but a little self-deception to make it palatable and safe. 
The utter licentiousness and wickedness to which this 
doctrine of Perfection leads, is glossed over and 
buried, by specious denials, and a multitude of words, 
which mean nothing. The new converts, unconscious 
perhaps at first, of the practical results of their 
religious belief, are led along, step by step, and their 
minds gradually prepared to swallow Perfectionism, 
with ail its revolting abominations. 

"If Mr. Noyes is charged with holding himself exempt 
from all obedience to law, he boldly denies it — he 
admits his independence of external law, but he will 
tell you he is guided by an internal law, the Imv of the 
Spirit J which is paramount to all others. If you 
charge him with licentiousness m his doctrines and 
practice, he will deny this also, and tell you, that 
though, in domestic relations and sexual intercourse, 
the Perfectionists disregard the civil and moral law, yet 
they are still acting under the ' law of the /Spirit,^ 
and therefore it is not licentiousness. In other words, 
they may give free rem to unbridled vico and debauch- 


erj, and may trample with impunity upon all the rules 
of morality and decency, and still it is right, because 
prompted by the ' law of the Spirit.' 

" Many of the societies, that sprung up in other sec- 
tions of the country, practiced the doctrines of the 
'Battle-Axe' letter so openly as to bring down upon 
them the indignation of the community, and the penalties 
of the law. ... In Putney under the immediate eye 
of Mr. Noyes, things were conducted more prudently ; 
and while asserting, as he does in the ' Berean,' that 
believers ' are released from the law, without the dan- 
ger of licentiousness,' he kept their practices secret for 
a time. . . . Not only is unbridled license given to 
the passions by this state of ' perfect holiness,' but the 
exercise of every natural affection is forbidden. Hus- 
band and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, 
must banish every feeling of affection, and regard each 
other as not of kin, and if they are .all Perfectionists, 
have the same freedom of intercourse with each other, 
as with other members. In fine, the ordinary parental, 
matrimonial and blood relations are annihilated, and 
have no existence among the ' perfect' — they are aU 
brothers and sisters, and husbands. and wives together. 
Some of the female correspondents seem to take 
special delight in boasting of their contempt of natural 
affections. One of them, whose father attempted to 
reprove her abandoned conduct, says she ' stepped^ up 
and struck him in the face and said to him, he had got 
the biggest devil she had seen, and if he would believe 
she would cast him out.' 

'-'• We sicken with this disgusting and revolting exhi- 
bition of the very incarnation of beastly licentiousness 
and crime, and, passing over the semi-monthly repeti- 
tion of it, we come do^vn to the last year. 

'' In the spiing of 1847, emboldened by the succees 
of his operations, and the apparent indifference of 


community to his proceedings, Mr. Noyes induced the 
^ body of believers' in Putney to join their ' households 
under a common roof.^ This was probably to facilitate 
the promiscuous intercourse enjoined upon believers — 
for, heretofore, though constantly urging upon them 
the duty and necessity of submitting to this free com- 
munity of intercourse, he still stoutly denied the 
actual practice of it himself. But the impunity of his 
previous conduct at length determined him to throw 
aside the thin cloak of pretended decency he had 
heretofore maintained, and to fraetice openly^ what he 
had constantly preached openly, and doubtless secretly 

" On the first of June 1847 — as related by him in 
the ' Spiritual Magazine' for July — at a meeting of his 
flock, he argues the question fully, and thus states it : 

" ' I will put the question. Is it not noiv the time for 
us to commence the testimony, that the Kingdom of 
God has come ? to proclaim boldly that God, in His 
character of Deliverer, Lawgiver and Judge, has come 
in this town, and in this association V 

" After noticing the discussion to which it gave rise, 
he states the conclusion thus : 

" ' It was unanimously adopted, therefore, as the 
consistent testimony of the believers assembled, that 
the Kingdom of God has come.' 

" This was nothing more than the public transfer of 
themselves, by resolution, to that state of ' perfect 
holiness' which sanctifies vice and profligacy as a 
religious duty. ... It may seem strange that Mr. 
Noyes should deem it necessary to hold a meeting and 
put it to vote, whether the ' Kingdom of God' had 
come ; but it is probable there were some refractory 
members — some who could not see how an act that was 
wicked and criminal on earth, could be holy and 
innocent in Heaven, and it might be necesaory to bring 


a little public opinion to bear upon them. It is saidy 
however, that after this pubhc vote, the doctrine of 
Perfection, in all its length and breadth, was carried 
into practice by the Association at Putney, publicly 
and professedly. 

" It would seem, from his paper, that Mr. Noyes 
had occasionally some difficulty in breaking down the 
barriers of virtue and decency ; and considerable space 
is devoted to the removal — ^by plausible sophistry, or 
threatened expulsion from Heaven — - of supposed 
scruples and reluctance, and the complete triumph 
over shame, modesty, and the worldly ideas of virtue 
and chastity, is treated as a Christian duty^ of necessity 
preliminary to the attainment of perfect holiness." 

After having given numerous extracts from the 
writings of Mr. ISToyes, and from communications re- 
ceived from his correspondents, accompanied with 
appropriate comments, Mr. Piatt concludes his long 
and able editorial, pubHshed in the Phoenix of Jan. 7, 
1848, and from which we have made several extracts, 
with the following appropriate and forcible remarks ;— 

" We forbear further extracts to show what is the 
doctrine and practice of the Perfectionists, in reference 
to the moral law. We have been thus particular in 
making quotations, to show and convince all, and 
especially those who, unaware of their tendency, are 
inclined to espouse their principles, that the recent 
demonstration at Putney is no casual outbreak or effer- 
vescence of excitement, nor the wild excesses of a 
few pretended and hypocritical Perfectionists, but the 
genuine, necessary, and inevitable result of their pid)- 
lisTied doctrines and creed, from their first avowal at 
New-Haven, to the present time. We have given 
enough to show the criminality of their principles as^ 


well as their practice ; to show, that they are utterly 
subversive of the whole fabric of society, and of moral 
and civil law ; and annihilate, at a blow, every vestige, 


shocking consequences of the doctrine of Perfection 
are carefully concealed, however, from the young and 
unsuspicious converts. To them, nothing is revealed 
but the beauty of a state of ' perfect holinels' ; of the 
bliss of believing, that though on Earth, they may 
actually enter Heaven, where it is impossible to sin, 
and where salvation is certain. Many, sjixious for the 
future, and having no fixed ideas upon religious sub- 
jects, clutch eagerly at this doctrine of ' perfect 
holiness', as a drowning man catches straws ; and 
shutting their eyes upon doubts and consequences, 
believe because they want to believe it. Others doubt- 
less look upon Perfectionism with the eye of the 
libertine, and see in it only an easy and safe mode of 
deluding and destroying. 

" We would hope there are many who have been 
deceived into the embrace of this pernicious doctrine, 
and yet kept in ignorance of its true character and 
tendency ; and who, when informed of it, will hasten 
to escape from the fathomless abyss which yavfns at 
their feet. 

"Let it not be supposed that such impious ribaldry 
and weak sophistry can do no mischief, and does not 
require exposure and reprobation by the press. It has 
already penetrated, and found advocates and victims, in 
almost every county of New-England and New- York. 
The newspaper organ has been mostly filled vfith letters 
from recent converts, scattered through the whole 
country ; and it plainly shows that many of them are 
ignorant of the practical tendency of Perfectionism, 
and have been deceived. The paper has attained, by 
gratuitous distribution, a very considerable circulation, 


and the ' Berean,' containing matter quite as infamous, 
is meeting with a rapid and extensive sale. It was only 
in September last that two conventions of Perfection- 
ists were held in the State of New-York — one at 
Lairds ville 5 and one at Genoa — and associations formed 
upon the model of that at Putney. The association at 
Putney has been the fountain of the poisonous stream 
of Perfe(?fcionism, wherever it flows ; and though its 
founder and some of the members have been driven 
away by outraged public feeling, it still maintains its 
organization, and the remaining members still adhere to 
the doctrine of Perfection, as stated above. The 
paper, which has been the instrument of all this 
wide-spread mischief and ruin, is merely suspended in 
deference to public sentiment, not discontinued ; and 
the whole machinery of the association is evidently 
waiting only for the excited public feeling to subside, 
to be* again set in motion. 

" Under these circumstances, we have felt it a duty 
devolving upon the public press, to strip the veil from 
this monster of iniquity — standing up in society like 
the fabled Upas tree in the desert, alluring the hapless 
wanderer by its luxuriant foliage and fragrant perfume, 
to seek repose under its shade, but dealing instant 
death to all who come within the influence of its 
poisoned atmosphere. We have thought it a duty to 
expose it to view, in all its naked hideousness, perad- 
venture it may open the eyes of some, who have been 
enticed within its influence, and forewarn the unwary 
and innocent. 

" If people have regarded this doctrine as harmless 
and contemptible, they will do so no more. The 
persevering and systematic attempts to entice the 
young and unsuspecting into their association — some- 
times successful and at others happily frustrated — show 
how dangerous it is to community, and how necessary 


it is to provide a prompt and efficient remedy. It is 
the duty of every citizen, who would not see the sacred 
family and domestic institutions broken down, to lend 
his voice and influence to extirpate this evil. It is to 
be hoped, that those now connected with it, will see 
its destructive tendency, and abandon it ; but there 
should be, in regard to it, neither toleration nor 
compromise. The public should understand — what is 
in fact true — that every household, -holding and prac- 
ticing doctrines similar to this at Putney, is in fact a 
brothel. It should be marked and shunned as infa- 
mous. It should be known that each member of it 
holds to principles that justify theft, robbery, arson, and 
murder, and all other crimes his evil passions prompt ; 
for he cannot sin, and his impulse is the only law he 
recognizes. After all efforts to reclaim them have 
failed, let every member of such association be fol- 
lowed, wherever he goes, by public infamy and public 
abhorrence, and marked and shunned as a pubhc 

^'We have charity to beheve, that many have 
embraced this doctrine honestly, and without any 
suspicion of its consequences or true character. All 
such will hasten to abandon and denounce it. It 
might be charitable to beheve that the founder of this 
association is a monomaniac, on the subject of religion ; 
and it may have been true in the beginning of his 
course ; but a monomaniac is honest and truthful. 
His opinions may be absurd, and his reasoning 
ridiculous, yet he will never flinch from the position 
he takes, nor tell a wilful untruth to escape the odium 
of it. It is possible Mr. Noyes was honest in his 
letter to the '• Advocate of Moral Reform,' denying his 
own doctrines, as asserted and acted upon by him both 
before and afterwards. It is possible he was sincere 
in holding ' beUevers' to be in a state of ' perfect 


holiness,' and incapable of sinning^ when he was 
constantly denouncing as hypocrites, those believers, 
whose licentious conduct happened to become public. 
We say it is possible, but is it probable 9 To us, there 
seems to be in his conduct a marvellous exhibition of 
scheming, insincerity, and libertinism, for a mono- 

"We dismiss the subject with a single remark. 
Many of the frie'nds of the individual identified with 
this sect, are respectable and highly respected ; and 
may consider themselves somewhat implicated in the 
exposure and reprobation of his conduct. It is not, 
however, the exposure nor the reprobation, but the 
profession and practice of Ms infamous doctrines 
which are truly disgraceful. These doctrines have been 
boldly avowed and promulgated by him, here, for ten 
years past, and scattered by means of his paper, all 
over the country ; yet no efforts of friends or relatives 
have sufficed to suppress, either the publication or the 
practice of them. A paper so hcentious and indecent 
— so seditious and immoral in its character, as this has 
been ever since its commencement, would not, even in 
the tainted atmosphere of the city, be tolerated for a 
single week. It would be indicted as a nuisance, 
before a second number could be issued, and suppressed 
by the strong arm of the law. That it has so 
long been endured by *the respectable and intelhgent 
inhabitants of Putney, is owing probably to the 
respectabihty of his family, and a reluctance to 
wound their feelings by any public proceedmgs. But 
to whatever cause it may be owing, that the dis- 
semination of the infamous doctrines has been so long 
tolerated — whether from the disability or disinchnation 
of friends, or the apathy or forbearance of the people — 
the welfare of society demands that these pernicious 


principles should be held up to public detestation and 

" We shall make no apology for the length of this 
article. The subject is one that concerns the whole 
communitj, and if we have been remiss in bringing it 
to their notice, it is because we had no conception of 
the character or magnitude of the evil. In respect to 
it, we may truly say, Hhe half has not been told ;' but 
we trust enough has been said to put the public on 
their guard, here and elsewhere," 



Piitn ey Perfe ctlonism . 

Below will be found the substance of an article 
which was published, under the above heading, in 
whole or in part, in several public journals, soon after 
the developments at Putney in the autumn of 1847. 
The article was prepared by the writer, and although 
it gives but a very succinct account of what had trans- 
pired, yet, as far as it goes, it is beheved to be a 
correct statement of facts, and a fair representation of 
existing circumstances : — 

Events deeply interesting to the community have 
recently transpired in this place. Disclosures have 
been made, and facts eUcited, which can but shock the 
sensibilities of every wtuous mind ; and it is due to 
the pubhc that they should be made acquainted with 
existmg circumstances, and thus be guarded against 
further encroachments of errors most demoralizing in 
their influence, and destructive in their tendency. 

A small sect or community of Perfectionists^ so 
called, has had an existence in tliis town for several 
years past. They have been under the direction of 
John H. Noyes, who, to some extent, is known abroad, 
and who stands at the head of this modern sect. Mr. 
Noyes, for a number of years, has been industriously 
disseminating the most pernicious heresies, principally 
through the medium of a periodical published in this 
village, which, from time to time, has assumed different 
names, but is now denominated the " Spiritual Maga- 
zine,'^ and is issued semi-monthly. Mr. Noyes has 


recently published a work entitled '■ The Beeean"," 
which contains his views relative to various topics, 
and is for sale in different parts of the country. But 
it does not appear that his efforts to spread his heretical 
and dangerous doctrines have been crowned with any 
very signal success, though some small societies have 
been formed in different places. 

Mr. Noyes has taken the strange and unwarrantable 
position, that the moral law is abohshed, and that he 
and his followers are governed and guided by direct, 
inspiration and revelation, as were the inspired Apos- 
tles. They claim to be the true churchy and pretend that 
they have all the miraculous gifts of the apostolic age. 
They repudiate the Sabbath, reject all religious ordi- 
nances, deny the vahdity of the Christian ministry, 
sip at the intoxicating cup, and indulge in common 
amusements to any desirable extent. Some years 
since, Mr. Noyes made war upon the marriage institu- 
tion, and advanced sentiments of a most licentious 
tendency, which he has never retracted, but has 
repeatedly re-affirmed. He contends that in a holy 
community, such as they claim to be, the marriage 
covenant is virtually null and void ! 

From recent developments, the civil authorities 
deemed it their duty to institute a legal process against 
Mr. Noyes, and he was accordingly arrested, and 
placed under heavy bonds for his appearance at the 
next term of the County Court, for Windham County, 
but has since absconded. From the facts which have 
come to light, it appears that he has committed crimes 
of the deepest dye — crimes of such a character that 
delicacy forbids that they should be mentioned. Under 
the seal of secresy, and the assmned garb of sanctity, 
he has practiced the grossest iniquities ; but his deeds 
of darkness have at length been revealed in open day 
— ^the strong arm of the law has reached him — and he 


has hastily fled from the face of justice to seek a shel- 
ter and find a lodging place in some secluded retreat. 

For several months past, a number of families have 
resided together in a large dwelling in this village, 
with Mr. Nojes at their head. The recent disclosures 
have placed them before the public in no verv enviable 
position : and the same odium is now attached to them 
that there is to a house of ill-fame. All who adhere 
to their doctrines and remain among them, are now 
looked upon by a virtuous community, as immoral 
characters ; and no person who wishes to maintain a 
respectable standing in society, will hereafter be iden- 
tified with them. The course which they have pur- 
sued for some time past, has been well calculated to 
deceive, seduce, and ruin the young and unsuspecting. 
Efforts have been made, and allurements held out, for 
the purpose of enticing the young, drawing them in, 
and seahng their certain ruin ; and in some instances 
they have been successful. The domestic circle has 
been invaded, hearts have been broken, hopes blasted, 
and characters ruined. 

Although the most flattering invitations were 
extended to several young ladies of this village and 
vicinity, yet it is a happy reflection that the victims of 
their guilt have not been very numerous ; the spell is 
now broken, and some have escaped, like the bird from 
the snare of the fowler, or the fascination of the wily 
serpent. In this town they have heretofore numbered 
only about forty, and that number has, of late, been 
very materially diminished ; some have withdrawn, 
others have left, and but a mere remnant now remains. 

Mr. Noyes and his followers have made the highest 
pretensions to moral purity and spiritual attainments, 
and have boldly assumed that they covld not sin ; and 
have thus thrown the mantle of high professions over 
the most hideous deformities, and practiced the grossest 


iniquities under the assumed garb of superior sanctity ! 
Not only have individuals been ruined, and families 
irreparably injured, but they have exerted an influ- 
ence as fatal to the morals of this community as the 
deadly miasma is to man's physical constitution. 
Under such a state of things, the people have become 
alarmed and incensed to a high degree, and have 
arisen en masse to correct the evil and ask for redress. 
The disclosures already made have brought to light 
a degree of moral turpitude seldom surpassed by the 
most degraded and abandoned ; and it can but be a 
painful reflection that they have assumed the name of 
Christians^ and that too of the highest grade ; thus 
claiming that to which they have no right, and casting 
a reproach upon the Christian religion, which condemns 
in the most unqualified terms, every species and 
degree of moral impurity. Noyesism is the veriest 
infidelity in its m.ost dangerous form. If infidelity and 
irreligion would appear in their native dress, and sail 
under their own black colors, we should then know the 
character of the foe with which we had to contend ; 
but when they fling to the breeze false colors and 
appear in a borrowed garb of superior goodness, they 
prove doubly dangerous, and often deceive and ruin the 
unwary and unsuspecting. 



Assumed and acknowledged supremaey of Noye^ — 
His female co-workers at Putney — Remarks of 
Mrs. S. T. Martyn. 

" There be, indeed, — ^I say it in all sorrow,— bad, apostate souls, 
Deserted of their ministering angels, and given up to liberty of sin : 

For these, ray counsel is, avoid them if thou canst : 

For the iine edges of thy virtues will be dulled, by attrition with their 


Mr. Noyes has assumed the supremacy over ail 
Perfectionists proper, throughout the country. His 
arrogant claims have been acceded to, on the part of 
his disciples, almost by universal consent; and his 
supremacy was pubhcly acknowledged by two Conven- 
tions of Perfectionists held in Central New-York, in 
1^37 ; the one at Lairdsville and the other at Genoa. 

But particularly at Putney has his vanity been 
flattered, and his ambitious feelings gratified. For a 
number of years past he has been emphatically the 
" acknowledged head^^ of the Perfectionist Association 
in that place. And it appears that he has recently 
reached: the very apex of ambitious desire. A few 
months after the dispersion in the fall of 1847, a 
promment member of the Putney Community said — 
" Those who stand hy John now have given him every 
thing^^ ! ! If his followers have made a full surrender, 
Mr. N.'s ambition must be saturated. Moreover, he has 
had quite a number of special agents employed in his 
service in different places, but especially in Putney, 


who have lent their entire aid, who have exerted all 
their influence, and made every possible effort for the 
furtherance of his nefarious schemes, and the accom- 
phshment of his unhallowed designs. 

The company of co-workers in Putney included 
several females of considerable talent, and formerly of 
some hafluence among the people of Putney. They 
were liberal contributors to the periodical published by 
Noyes, and were very fit instruments, and rendered 
efficient aid, in carrying out his base purposes. The 
persons particularly alluded to, together with other 
members of the Association, were using their influence 
and making special efforts to draw innocent and unsus- 
pecting females into the vortex of ruin, at the time the 
startling disclosures were made in the autumn of 1847. 
In some instances they were successful, but in others 
they failed. The active efforts of those special agents 
at home, and the exertions of certain runners abroad, 
together with the paper, which, with a liberal hand, 
was scattered through the length and breadth of the 
the land, contributed largely to the great object which 
Mr. Noyes had in view. These agencies all combined, 
were exerting considerable influence. And at the 
time of the great eruption in Putney, followed by the 
breaking up of that strong hold of hiiquity, the 
'-' kingdom" estabhshed by Noyes, but undoubtedly 
under the special supervision of his Satanic Majesty, 
great exertions were being made to gather i\\Q outcasts 
in ; and the forcible saying of the Savior was being 


strikingly exemplified, " Wheresoever the carcass \s^ 
there will the eagles be gathered together.'' 

Below will be found the substance of an article from 
the pen of an intelHgent female,* who saw with deep 
regret, that even some of the most talented of her sex 
were lending their aid to the growing evils of the age, 
especially that of hcentiousness. This excellent lady, 
in common with many others, has interposed her influ- 
ence to impede, if not aiTest, the progress of that tide 
of sensuality which is setting in with a strong current 
upon the land, and which, if not turned back, will, it is 
to be feared, roll on with accumulated strength and 
accelerated velocity, and ere long acquire a momentum, 
against which all efforts would be unavaiHng ; which 
would carry away, as with a flood, all opposing influen- 
ces, and fearfully sweep, like a desolating tornado, 
over the land, spreading devastation around on every 
hand, and making a moral waste of many of the fairest 
portions of our happy country, and working the 
temporal and eternal ruin of thousands and millions of 
our race. 

The remarks which we are about to give will apply 
with much propriety to various classes in different parts 
of the land, but they are pecuUarly applicable to the 
Perfectionists, and especially to the most prominent 
and active female members of the Association at 
Putney. Let the extracts be read with special atten- 
tion : — ■ 

Mrs. S. T. Martyn. 


^' Among the various phases assumed bj the infidel 
philosophy, which preceded and accompanied the 
outbreak of the French revolution, in 1798, there was 
one, which, more than all the rest, tended to destroy 
the last vestige of social order and happiness during 
that fearful period. The same unhallowed lips that 
denied the existence of a God, and proclaimed ' death 
and eternal sleep,' taught also, that marriage was an 
intolerable monopoly,' — a burden which none but the 
vulgar should bear, and that a ' union of souls,' was 
the only union to be recognized by the enlightened dis- 
ciples of the new code. This doctrine was openly 
promulgated in the splendid saloon of Paris, by the 
fashionable and high-born dames who worshipped at the 
shrine of Voltaire, Condorcet and Mirabeau ; it was 
echoed by the fierce spouters of the Jacobin clubs, and 
re-echoed in the fauxbourgs, the garrets and the 
cellars of the metropolis, where crime and misery 
rejoiced in the prospects of unbounded license thus 
opening before them. To the scenes that followed, we 
need only refer. The annals of the Erench revolution 
— its unimaginable horrors and atrocities, — ^have been 
so long familiar to the ear, that we may well be spared 
the revolting task of dwelling upon them here. It is 
enough to say, that the tree thus blended, bore its 
legitimate fruit ; and that beneath its poisonous shade, 
e7ery thing honorable, lovely and of good report, 
perished, until the land became a moral desert, almost 
through the length and breadth of it. 

The same sentiments with regard to obligation of 
law, human and divine, and particularly in relation to 
the sanctity of the marriage covenant, as those which 
prepared the way for the scenes to which we have 
alluded in France, are at the present moment prevail- 
ing to an alarming extent in our country. They come 
to us in a different garb, and wearing a somewhat 


different aspect, it is true ; but their character and 
tendency are always the same. Instead of furnishing 
the material for a flowery discussion between male and 
female philosophers in a spendid saloon, or a Jacobin 
club, these principles, in some quiet and unsuspecting 
guise, enter our domestic circles, seat themselves at 
our firesides, and wait patiently for the best opportu- 
nity of gainuig a foothold which shall never again be 
surrendered. Their apostles may be known by the 
cant words forever on their hps, of ' spiritual attraction,' 
' secret sympathy,' ' affinity of souls,' &c.— words 
which sound very sweetly to the uninitiated, but full of 
deep and bitter meaning to those who know their 
hidden signification. For when explained^ as they 
too often are by acts^ these seemingly harmless sylla- 
bles signify domestic discord and disunion, followed 
perhaps, by actual separation, misery and death. It 
is generally (we blush to admit it) by our own sex, 
that the pernicious doctrines to which we allude are 
most ably and fearlessly advocated. We know women, 
whose personal accomplishments, and standing in soci- 
ety, give weight to their opinions, and who do not 
hesitate to affinn, that ' affinity of soul' forms the only 
real bond of union between the husband and the wife, 
and that where, in the judgment of either, this does not 
exist, the legal ceremony of marriage is null and void, 
to all intents and purposes. Of course, the parties 
thus situated are at liberty to form a ' union of souls' 
wherever they find the mysterious ' affinity' of which 
they speak ; and no law, human or divine, has a right 
to contravene their choice. 

"As there are certain falsehoods of such intense 
bitterness and potency, that one drop would be suffi- 
cient to poison the whole vfell in which truth was said 
to have dwelt, so there is in this ' declaration of senti- 
ments,' enough specious error, mingled with some 


important truth, to disorganize and destroy society, 
wherever it is adopted. It is undoubtedly true, that 
a union of hearts is absolutely necessary to marriage 
in the sight of God ; but it does not therefore follow 
that a public recognition of this union by others, is 
unimportant ; or that the legal ceremony which ensures 
this recognition, is unnecessary. Still less does it 
follow, that a union thus legally recognized, may be 
dissolved at the will or caprice of either of the parties, 
without incurring fearful guilt, and the reprobation of 
society. We know that some who have wantonly cast 
off all domestic ties, and thus bid defiance to the laws 
of God and man, talk eloquently of their sufferings 
and wrongs, of the want of sympathy they have expe- 
rienced, and the thirsting of heart they feel for 
^ spiritual union and affinity ;' but under aU this gloss 
of honied words, there is concealed a principle which 
aims at nothing less than the subversion of all existing 
institutions, and the entire banishment of God from the 
world He created, and the hearts of the creatures who 
were formed by his power, and sustained by his 
goodness. It is this union of the ideal with the 
sensual, (for disguise it as they may, it is sensually in 
its most dangerous form with which we are contend- 
ing,) that gave to the philosophy of France its deadly 
venom — -and it gives strength and vigor to the same 
sentiments in our own day. Divested of the mantle 
of ideality, which so gracefully drapes it, the gross 
deformity of this imaginary deity would at once shock 
and disgust every beholder, while beneath its ample 
folds it is doing its work of death unperceived and 
almost unsuspected. . , . 

''■ There are too many educated, intelligent women, 
who do not hesitate, whenever they meet a ' kindred 
spirit,' to repay the most generous confidence and 
hospitality, by a systematic attempt to appropriate the 


affections of the husband and the father. While them- 
selves glorying in having spumed the matrimonial 
yoke, they inculcate in other families the most blind 
and unquestioning obedience on the part of the wife, 
and the right of the husband to do as he will in all 
respects, unfettered by even the shadow of duty or 
obhgation lioward the being whose earthly happiness 
has been confided to his care. Such is the egregious 
inconsistency of these victims of a moral leprosy, 
infinitely more loathsome than that which banished the 
poor Israehte from the society of his fellows, and con- 
signed him to a living tomb. It would be well for 
society were laws equally stringent now, where the 
danger of infection is as much more imminent, as our 
moral nature is higher and of more value than the 
body, or wounds inflicted on the heart more grievous 
than physical pain and suffering. 

'' Our remarks on this subject may be deemed harsh 
by those who have not met the evil of which we speak ; 
but the case is not one which in our estimation demands 
forbearance or toleration. It is not an impulse of the 
heart which has led its subjects into unintentional 
error; which we are condemning — but a belief of the 
head — a perversion of intellect, deliberately conceived, 
and carried out to its consequences, as coolly as though 
no earthly interests were involved in the result. 
Indeed, in many cases it would be impossible, in the 
utmost exercise of charity, to believe that the affections 
of the heart had any thing to do with the matter. The 
thief who steals to satisfy the cravings of want, or the 
homicide who takes the life of his fellow under the 
sudden impulse of passion, may be subjects of pity and 
forgiveness; but the woman who unblushingly avows 
her disregard of all law, human and divine — who 
scorns the restraints of marriage,' and casts off its 
obligations, has, by this act, thrown herself out of the 


pale of society ; and the sentence of outlawry it passes 
iipon her, should be as complete and effectual as that 
which separated Eobin Hood and his band of ' merry 
men' in Sherwood Forest, from the yeomanry of Eng- 

'' We have not yet spoken of the source of all this 
moral evil — the hidden spring from which these streams 
of bitterness flow out to desolate and destroy. It may 
emphatically be said of the class to which we allude, 
^ There is no fear of God before their eyes.' Never, 
until the sanctions of religion are forgotten or disre- 
garded, and the Bible trampled under foot, can a 
woman so far unsex herself as to promulgate a doctrine 
which, more than all others, degrades and debases her, 
and leaves her a defenceless prey to th-e passions and 
caprices of the stronger sex. The want of religious 
principle is at the foundation of all these errors in 
belief and practice — and where this is wanting, the 
human heart is like a ship at sea, without helm or 
rudder, tossed about by the whirlvfinds of passion, 
and liable at every moment to be driven on the rocks, 
^nd wrecked irretrievably. The humble cottager, who 
'' Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true,' ■ 

who reverences and obeys its precepts, and looks 
upward for divine guidance, lives usefully and happily, 
and goes down to the grave in full hope of a blessed 
immortality — while the woman of splendid intellect and 
varied acquirements, who proudly rejects the light 
from Heaven that would direct her steps, wanders from 
the path of rectitude into the mazes of error, and after 
a few years of eager and fruitless search after the 
phantom happiness, she sinks Hke a falling star into the 
blackness of darkness forever." 

The foregoing extracts speak a strong and impressive 
language ; they faithfully portray in characters of living 


light the enormous sin of licentiousness ; and should 
serve as a timely warning, especially to the youth ^ 
against the dangers to which they are exposed, and the 
seductive influences which are abroad in the land^ 
under various guises. The evil is the same, however 
specious the garb in which it may be arrayed, or 
imposing the aspect which it assumes. The sentiments 
which we have quoted bear directly against the Perfec- 
tionists, and press heavily upon Mr. Noyes and his 
followers; but we are well aware that Mr. N. will 
strive to evade the force of the concluding remarks of 
Mrs. Martyn, by asserting that Perfectionists do not 
reject the Bible, and are not destitute of religious 
principle ; but possess every virtue in the highest 
possible degree. 0, shame ! where is thy blush! And 
modesty, where hast thou fled ! 

Mr. N. assumes that he and his followers have 
advanced far beyond the Bible — they reject it as a true, 
standard, and treat it as a dead letter ! Mr. N. 
impiously and presumptuously affirms that he is living 
under a new dispensation, and is constantly receiving 
fresh communications and revelations from Heaven ! 

It makes but little difference whether a person 
rejects the Bible in toto, or, professing to believe it, 
virtually nullifies it, by discarding it as an infallible 
standard — whether he does not come up to it, or 
whether he goes professedly beyond it — whether he 
never takes it from the shelf, or whether he contempt- 
uously tramples it under foot, as Perfectionists have 


virtually done ! Infidelity lies at the bottom in the one 
case as well as the other. 

Does Mr. Koyes expect that such miserable subter- 
fuges as he has got up and is laboring to palm off upon 
the people as religious verities, will obtain credence 
and currency, to any considerable extent, in an intelli- 
gent community ? It is true that occasionally a rene- 
gade from all respectable society falls into his ranks — 
and from what motives they do it at this late day, the 
reader is left to judge. If Mr. N. is really anticipa- 
ting any formidable accessions to the company under his 
control, he certainly cannot place a very high estimate 
upon the intelligence of the community, or at least a 
considerable portion of them. He must suppose that 
they are yet in their leading strings — that they have 
not arrived at their teens— that they are even in their 
veriest dotage. 

Common sense people with no extraordinary degree 
of discernment, can clearly see through the gauzy garb 
which Mr. N. has thrown over this monster of iniquity. 
Reason with even half an eye could readily penetrate 
the flimsy veil which has been somewhat dexterously 
drawn over the most hideous deformities. 



Latitudinarianism — Effects of Licentiousness, 

One of the errors of the present age is a prevailing 
disposition to theorize in relation to religious matters. 
A great diversity of views and conflicting sentiments, 
and the consequent multiplication of erroneous systems, 
is a prolific source of evil. Indifference to practical 
piety prevails to an alarming extent, and the tide of 
infidelity is setting in. The endless speculations in- 
dulged, and the frequent discussion of theological ques- 
tions, tends to mar, in the eye of the spectator, the 
just proportions and beautiful symmetry of the fabric 
of Christianity. The restless elements unsettle the 
faith of some, and threaten to carry away the an- 
cient landmarks of religion. Noyesism is but one of 
the offspring of a parent evil whose numerous progeny 
are comuig up, like the plagues of Egypt, to afflict and 
desolate the land. Much sickly sentiment exists, and 
many are beconung perfect latitudinarians in relation 
to all religious matters. 

A morbid appetite which loathes the plain, simple, 
substantial food of gospel truth, and craves the crude 
and indigestible mass of errors which are afloat in the 
world, has for many years been making advances upon 
the pubHc mind, and has never, it is believed, prevailed 
to a greater extent than at the present period. This 
spirit not only prevails to an alarming extent without, 
but to some extent within, the pale of the Church. 


There always will be a few restless spirits who spurn 
wholesome restraints and cry out against all rules and 
regulations as oppressive. These characters may he 
teraied religious croakers, and are near akin, at least in 
spirit, to downright latitudinarians, though making 
exceedingly high professions of piety at first. A few 
scathing remarks from the burning eloquence of Reve 
E, T. Taylor, the mariner's preacher who ministers at 
the Bethel in Boston, shows up these croakers in their 
true hght : — 

" They are religious overmuch," says he ; " they 
eat religiously, and breathe religiously, and walk 
religiously, and dress religiously, and comb down every 
hair religiously. With such I have no connexion. 
There is a great gulf between us. I have been watch- 
ing them for thirty years. They soon begin to fall out 
with the world ; fall out with their brethren ; fall out 
with the church ; and become too holy to remain in 
it ; and finally quarrel with Almighty God himself ; 
and then turn rank infidels, walking pestilences, scat- 
tering mildew and death over society, staggering to 
their graves under the curse of God, and cursing God 
as they go !" 

These ever restless and troublesome spirits, are, 
from time to time, calling loudly for deserters, and by 
continually beating up for volunteer recruits, have at 
length succeeded in mustering quite a company of 
Oome-outers, who have renounced, and are now, for 
want of better employment and in perfect keeping with, 
their peculiar calling, loudly denouncing the Church in 
no measured terms. 

The whole herd of Come-outers, of whom Per- 


fectionists are a fractional part, have in a most reckless 
spirit, thrown the rein loosely upon the neck of the 
fiery and furious steed of uncontrolled passion and 
unholy ambition, and are heedlessly hurrying hood- 
winked, onward toward the vortex of ruin. 

We shall make no apology for transfering to our 
pages from the Ohristian- Observatory <^ some very 
truthful and well-timed remarks upon the subject under 
consideration. These remarks are entitled to an at- 
tentive perusal : — 

" There is a foolish notion stealing abroad, and 
creeping into small and unoccupied heads, that Chris- 
tianity is about to present itself in an entirely new 
aspect, so broad as to have no outside, so comprehensive 
as to include every thing but sound scriptural ortho- 
doxy,, so liberal as to give away all the Gospel which is 
worth keeping, so ' spiritual' as to contain nothing more 
substantial than metaphysical fog, and ' the stuff that 
dreams are made of,' so 'transcendental' as to get far 
beyond the bounds of common sense and dull reality, 
and so progressive that it will go to Beelzebub without 
troubling him to come after it. It is thought % many 
that some new exposition of religion is to be made, 
which is to serve as a solvent for all sorts of opinions, 
to regenerate society as -by some magic spell, and to 
usher in the hght of the millennium as it were by the 
combustion in the old candlestick of some newly 
invented gas. In some way or other, instruction is to 
be drawn from the teachings of Christ, which they have 
never imparted before. 

"It is an insult to- the Bible to cherish any such 
expectation, for it implies that the multitudes to whom 
it was given as a guide, have been laboriously and 


prayerfully studying for two thousand years, without 
discovering its most important meaning. In bringing 
about this impossible expectation, much account is to be 
made of the philosophy of religion, whereby men will be 
able to philosophize the Assembly's Catechism so that 
they can at the same time subscribe it and ridicule it, 
with perfect consistency. It is from this propensity to 
tamper with and tinker the philosophy of reHgion, or 
to fit it up and rig it in some new philosophy, that all 
the depravings and corruptions of the Gospel from the 
days of the Apostles have originated. The dark ages 
were caused by the thick clouds of speculation and 
moral invention, which clouded Christendom in gloom, 
and hid her radiant Sun. 

"It is also necessary J in order to clear the way for 
this style and fashion of Christianity, to explode every 
' form of sound words,' and to cry up a crazy crusade 
against creeds and dogmas. A great clamor must be 
raised about creed-bondage. And the panic-stricken 
fugitives fleeing from this bug-bear, are ready to rush 
into a triple bondage of doubt, delusion and distress. 

'' To have clear views, and settled convictions, and 
fixed principles, involves no sacrifice of independence. 
He who is overcome by the force of truth, is not 
brought into bondage thereto ; but has for his own 
share, all the fruits of this victory over himself. As 
was said by the valiant Puritan, Thomas Hooker, of 
Hartford, it is the honor of a man truly wise, to be 
conquered by the truth ; and he hath attained the 
greatest liberty, that suffers himself to be led captive 
thereby. But our modern seekers after progress, 
account it a species of slavery, if a man have attained 
to decision of character, and to indulge in the luxury 
of moral certainty on any point whatever. 

" Hence they find it necessary for their purpose to 
make a mock of consistency. This trait of character. 


■whicli used to be proverbially ' a jewel,' has no beauty 
in their eyes. They regard it as a gilded chain, fetter- 
ing the free motions of the mind, and vexatiously res- 
training the ' largest liberty' of thought. They are for 
obeying the impulse of the hour, and the inspiration of 
the moment ; and look upon it as a piece of imper- 
tinence if you expect to find them of some certain way 
of thinking to-day, because they professed it eloquently, 
poetically, and with a fine scorn of all opposers, 
yesterday or the day before. 

" But the worst of it is, that this passion for 
theological progress cannot be vented without peril- 
ously tampering ivith the Bible. It is in vain to think 
of educing any new Christianity out of the whole 
Bible as it is. The plenary inspiration of the Holy 
Scriptures must be denied at the outset ; for it were an 
intolerable grievance to the freeborn ' oversoul,' to be 
obliged to bow implicitly to the dictates even of Infinite 
Wisdom and Eternal Truth. There is no such thing 
as is now in demand, if we must hsten to the canonical 
books as the utterance of the infaUible Arbiter of all 
truth, righteousness and goodness. Accordingly it is 
proposed, that we regard the Bible as inspired only in 
part, and that it be left to our ingenuity to discriminate 
as well as we can between ' the divine and the human 
in the sacred records.' Take away from revealed 
religion as much as need be of its supernatural and 
authoritative character, and then you may invent as 
many patent Christianities as you please. 

" It is not considered at what a ruinous price we 
must purchase this rare piuvUege of going to de- 
struction, each in his own way. All the external 
evidences of Christianity must be cast aside ; for if 
these do not prove the inspiration of the whole Bible 
they prove nothing. These evidences go to sub- 
stantiate the claims of the entire book to an inspired 


ori^ ; and hence our men of the movement party 
undervakie them, and treat them as of no account. 
The fulfilled prophecies they regard as random hits, or 
the forecastings of pohtical sagacity. The miracles 
they either utterly deny, or ascribe them to the use of 
natural means. As to this, we shall be more ready to 
beheve them when we see them able to repeat any one 
of the mighty works of the Savior. Let them walk 
upon the sea, heal the leprous, give sight to the blind, 
or raise the dead. There is no lack of opportunity. 
And if any one of them will do any one of these 
things after our Savior's manner of doing them, we 
will consent that the successful operator shall prepare 
an improved edition of the Bible, with the text cor- 
rected according to his judgment, the divine part 
stamped with golden capitals, and the human part 
printed in the humblest minion and brevier, or, better 
still, wholly omitted. But till some messenger comes 
from God, commissioned as evidently by signs and 
seals from heaven, as were the Prophets and Apostles 
who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 
we must adjure the new-theology men to keep their 
profane hands from that scripture which is ' all given 
by inspiration of God.' Till the same authority which 
enacted the Bible shall repeal it, in whole or in part, 
we must submit to it in its full force and power." 

Mr. Noyes, it has been seen, has set himself up as a 
worker of miracles, thus following in the wake of all 
the impostors which have gone before, and exhibiting to 
the world another sad spectacle of human folly. 

We think it proper here to present a few general, 
but very pertinent remarks, in reference to the sin of 
licentiousness, taken from an Address — to which we 


have already alluded — which was presented some 
months since to the citizens of Boston, through the 
public prints bj a special Committee, appointed by a 
large body of the clergymen of different religious 
denominations in that city. As this great and growing 
evil is the same in its nature, its tendencies, and its 
results, whatever aspect it may assume, and under 
whatever guise it may present itself to view ; and as 
Mr. Noyes and his followers have become aiders, 
abettors, and promoters of this alarming evil, though in 
a very singular way, and a peculiar and specious form, 
they naturally come under the general head, Noyesism 
is but one species of a genus whose progeny is already 
quite too numerous. It is a liideous monster, though 
dressed in the richest drapery, decorated with the 
nicest embroidery, and the whole tinseled with the 
finest phrases. The remarks which we give, though 
originally addressed to the citizens of Boston, are of 
such a general character that they possess more than 
mere local interest, and are equally applicable in other 
latitudes : — 

'•It, [ licentiousness ] is a sin which we entreat you 
to devise some means of restraining, if it cannot be 
extirpated ; — a sin against God, against our neighbor, 
and against a man's own body and soul ; the most 
debasing and destructive sin in which one can indulge. 
More than any other unlawful indulgence, it corrupts 
the character, impairs self-respect, breaks down moral 
principles, shuts out piety from the heart, makes 
religion a pretence, and faith a mockery. Do we use 
language stronger than facts justify ? V/here, in 


civilized or barbarous lands, in Christian or in heathen 
countries, shall we find such a wreck of humanity, 
such a perversion of all that is noble or lovely, such an 
example of the debasement to which our nature may 
be reduced, as in a woman who has given herself up to 
a life of guilty pleasure ? And who merits the con- 
demnation of his fellows, or may be regarded by them 
with loathing, if it be not the man who has destroyed 
female innocence, or helped to quench the lingering 
reproaches of female virtue ? There is but one more 
heinous crime than that which she commits who sells 
herself to pollution, and that is his who sacrifices 
woman to his own base passion. 

" Look at the consequences of this vice. Take the 
lowest point of view. Consider its economical relations. 
We dare not tell you what sums are lavished upon the 
support of estabhshments whose inmates are themselves 
led, while they lead others, to destruction. We might 
remind you of ^e temptations to fraud and theft, which 
many of those who have little money of their own to 
spend upon their vices, have found themselves unable to 
resist. We might cite examples of open disgrace, of 
beggary and misery, arising from this cause ; but we 
will only hint at these things. 

" Look at the efiect on health. Physicians tell us, 
that illicit indulgence is the cause of a large amount of 
the diseases which come within their practice. The 
physiologist instructs us, that such indulgence must 
impair the constitution, and lay the foundation of life- 
long suffering or premature death. 

" Look at the moral connections of this vice. Be- 
yond any other, it depraves the whole man, enslaves the 
reason, pollutes the imagination, deadens the conscience, 
hardens the heart, tramples upon the affections and 
rights of domestic life, and makes the soul a moral 


pest-house. Beyond any other, it inflames every low 
desire, adds vehemence to every animal appetite, and 
brings whatever is spiritual and immortal in man to 
subjection to that which is carnal. It is even worse, 
far more injurious in its effects upon the character, 
than intemperance. The drunkard will have his 
seasons of abstinence, and his hours of repentance : 
the man of dissolute habits is a continual sinner, 
without shame and without remorse. 

" Look at its influence on the community in which 
licentiousness is suffered to exist withsut rebuke. The 
standard of character is lowered ; the sanctity of home 
is less carefully cherished ; the tone of sentiment im- 
perceptibly, but steadily decUnes ; and, when few 
perhaps understand, or can trace the cause, a general 
deterioration of morals takes place. The poison has 
insinuated itself through the life of the community, 
whose whole appearance indicates a secret malady. 

" Look at the effect on Christian dharacter and 
Christian institutions. The latter may obtain an out- 
ward respect, but the former can only exist in a name, 
among those who are the servants of uncleamiess. We 
might with as much propriety talk of a profane, or a 
dishonest, as of a licentious Christian ; with as little 
misapplication of language speak of Christian forgery, 
as of Christian profligacy. Sensuality and spirituality 
are as opposite as darkness and light ; they can meet 
in the same person, only when heaven and hell can 
meet in the same experience. 

" Consider, finally, the consequences which in a 
future life must follow the indulgence of lewd desires 
and the enjoyment of infamous pleasures, here. The 
soul stained and branded with its vices, goes into 
eternity, to a God whose authority it has disowned, a 
judgment which it has defied, and a fate which it can- 


not avert ? From that fate must we not desire to save 
those who share with us the gift of immortality ? 

" Fellow Christians ! our Lord and Savior came to 
seek and to save that which was lost — to redeem them 
who were ready to perish, from the evil of their ways — 
to bear the quickening and renewing influences of divine 
truth to souls that were buried in sin. Have we not a 
duty to perform as his followers ? Is not the ministra- 
tion of his gospel committed to our hands ? If we 
have experienced the salvation that is through him, and 
have ' tasted the good word of God, and the powers of 
the world to come,' do we not owe it to those who are 
held in the captivity of their own lusts, heirs of cor- 
ruption and strangers to the promise, to exert ourselves 
for their deliverance, that if possible, we may bring 
them to God, through him who is ' the way, the truth, 
and the life V Do we n@t owe it to those who are beset 
by temptations with which they are unable to cope, to 
assist them in their great peril, or to diminish, if we 
may, the hazards of their condition ? Do we not owe 
it to the community in which we live, at least to inquire 
whether we may not do something to limit the ravages 
of the most fearful evil that can fasten itself upon the 
moral life of a people ? 

" Friends and fellow Christians ! we appeal alike to 
your conviction of duty, and to your sense of personal 
interest. We appeal to your reverence for the Bible, 
and remind you of the plainness and severity of the 
language which is there used respecting those who 
' fulfil the lust of the flesh.' Is a vice denounced in 
such unequivocal terms in the Holy Scriptures, one on 
which Christian sensibility or Christian delicacy may 
not even utter a word ? We appeal to your faith in the 
religion of Christ, whose name you bear. We entreat 
you to remember not only his condemnation of every 


impure desire, but his rebuke of those who, having 
much committed to them, yet, through neghgence or 
timidity, are unfaithful to their opportunities of useful- 
ness. We beseech you to bear in mind his example, 
and the encouragement he has given to those who shall 
follow him in the regeneration of the world." 




Perfectionist Creed — Theses of the Second Reforma- 

Having disposed, in the main, of the historical part 
of Noyesism, we now proceed, in pursuance of our 
plan, to notice some of its leading doctrines. We shall 
in the first place give the Perfectionist Creed, at least 
so far as it has been presented to the public in a tangi- 
ble form. 

In the Witness of Aug. 20, 183T, we find the 
following : — 

" What we believe.'^'' 

1. " We beheve, that God is the only rightful inter- 
preter of the Bible, and teacher of theological truth, — 

2. We beheve, that no doctrine can become an 
article of true faith ^ which is not recognized by the 
believer as an immediate revelation to him from God, — 

3. We believe, that God, " who worketh all in allj^^ 
can and does teach his own truth, through his written 
word and through the testimony of his sons, — therefore, 

4. We beheve it is proper, that we should state, as 
untnesses for God, the fundamental articles of our own 

5. We believe " there is none good but one, that is 
God," — that all the righteousness m the vmiverse is 
God's righteousness. 

6. We beheve, that God's righteousness may be 


revealed in his creatures, as a man's spirit is revealed 
in the motions of his body. 

7. We believe, that " the works of the flesh, [i. e. 
human nature,] are adultery, uncleanness, envyings, 
strife, and such lihe'^ only. 

8. We beheve, that all attempts to produce better 
results from human nature, by instruction and legal 
discipline, only increase the evil, — inasmuch as they 
refine and disguise, without removing it. 

9. We believe, that the Son of God was manifested 
in human nature for the purpose of destroying, (not 
reforming,) the works of the flesh, and revealing the 
righteousness of God. 

10. We believe, that the righteousness of God was 
never revealed in human nature, till the birth of Jesus 

11. We believe, that the object of all God's dealings 
with the human race before the birth of Christ, was, 
not to promote the righteousness of the flesh, i. e. 
self-righteousness, i. e. the perfection of sin ; but to 
prepare the way for the manifestation of his own 
righteousness through Jesus Christ, — hence, 

12. We beheve that the righteousness of the saints, 
under the law before Christ, was only " a shadow of 
good things to come, and not the very image of the 
things," bearing a relation to the true righteousness of 
God, like that of a type to its anti-type. 

13. We believe, that the servants of God under the 
law, by submission to the discipline of the dispensation 
in which they lived, were prepared for, and became 
heirs of the righteousness of God, afterward revealed 
by Jesus Christ. 

14. We believe, that " God was in Christ reconciling 
the world unto himself," — that the union of human and 
divine in him, made the righteousness of God accessi- 
ble to all men. 


15. We believe, that Christ is properly called the 
second Adam, and as the human race in spirit is one 
body, that he became, by his incarnation, " the light 
that lighteth every man." 

16. We beheve, that all who are apprized by the 
gospel of the fact, that the Son of God has come, are 
thereby called to choose whether they will hold the 
fallen or the risen Adam as their head. 

17. We believe, that faith alone receives, and unbe- 
lief alone rejects, the blessings given to men by the 
second Adam, — ^by faith men awake to a perception of 
the truth as it is in Christ, — unbelief is the devil's 

18. We believe, that Christ, as he is in his resurrec- 
tion and glory ^ is given to every member of the 
human race. 

19. We believe, that all the faith, righteousness, 
liberty and glory of the risen Son of God, are given to 
every man. 

20. We believe,. that Christ in his incarnation was 
" made under the law," and that the christian dispen- 
sation did not commence, in any sense, until he 
ascended up on high. 

21. We believe, that none are christians, in any 
sense, till they receive Christ in his resurrection, — 

22. We believe, that the disciples of Christ, during 
his personal ministry in the flesh, were not christians. 

23. We believe, that Christ in the resurrection is 
free from sin, from the law, from all ordinances, and 
from death ; hence all who are subject to any of these, 
are not properly called christians, as not having 
attained the hope of their calling. 

24. We believe, that the history which the Bible 
contains of the Church, after Christ's ascension, com- 
monly called the primitive church, is a history rather 


of the latter-day glory of Judaism, than of the com- 
mencement of Christianity. 

25. We believe, that the apostles and primitive 
believers, so far as they were subject to sin, law, and 
death, were Jews and not christians. 

26. We believe, that Christ plainly and repeatedly 
promised to his disciples, that he would come to them 
a second time and complete their salvation within the 
life-time of some of his immediate followers. 

27. We beheve, that the primitive church, living in 
the transition period, from the first to the second com- 
ming of Christ, were more or less partakers of the 
resurrection, holiness, liberty, and glory of Christ 
according to their faith. 

28. We believe, that at the destruction of Jerusa- 
lem, the end of the Jewish dispensation, Christ .came 
to beHevers the second time, according to his promise. 

29. We believe, that at the period of the second 
coming of Christ, Christianity, or the kingdom of 
heaven, properly began. 

30. We beheve, that this was the period of the full 
development of the New Covenant, (Heb. viii.) 
which secures to believers perfect and eternal salvation 
from sin, full freedom from written law and human 

31. We beheve, that the whole body of Christ, i. e. 
the church, attained the perfect resurrection of the 
spiritual body at his second coming. 

32. We believe, that Antichrist, at the same period, 
attained the perfect resurrection of damnation. 

33. We believe, that this was the period of the 
commencement of the judgment, (crisis, see the 
Greek,) of this world. 

34. We beheve, that after this period, the salvation 
given to all men in Jesus Christ, included nothing less 
than a perfect and eternal salvation from sin, — a por- 


feet redemption from the law and legal instruction — a 
perfect resurrection of tlie spiritual body, and a stand- 
ing on the plain of eternity beyond the judgment." 

Below will be found a few remarks made by Abner 
Kneeland relative to the above creed. Pehaps we 
owe an apology to the reader for here introducing the 
name of Kneeland, the great champion of modern 
infidelity. We would simply say, that we were induced 
so to do from the consideration that his remarks would 
serve a very important purpose. They show conclu- 
sively that avowed infidels consider the practical results 
of the principles held by Perfectionists as identical 
with their own, at least, as it respects religious worship, 
both tending directly to do it entirely away. 

The remarks above alluded to were pubHshed in 
connection with the Perfectionist creed by Mr. Knee- 
land in his infidel organ, the Boston Investigator, of 
July 24, 1835, and are as follows : 

" We have pubHshed this week the creed of the 
' Perfectionists,' as they modestly call themselves, 
merely to let our readers know what a confused mess 
of unmeaning and ridiculous nonsense religious people 
can adopt as sublime mysteries. This is a mystery a 
thousand times more mystified than any thing in the 
Bible ; and if it be revelation, taken as a whole, it is a 
revealed mess of hodge-podge. We hke this creed on 
one account, because, as no one can tell what it means, 
there is no risk in either behoving" or disbeheving it ; 
and as it is intended to do away, and in fact does do 
away, all necessity of worship, or religious teaching of 
any kind, all being taught immediately from the pure 
fountain, and all know that they are right, however 


much they differ from each other, it comes, practically 
at least, if not in principle, exactly to our views. Our 
only fears are, that they will know so much, and so 
perfectly, about rehgion, there will not be much room 
for knowledge of any other kind. If they will be only 
satisfied with what is revealed, so as to be perfectly 
contented and unconcerned about it, givuig themselves 
time and opportunity to attend to every thing else that 
is useful for the time being, there will be practically no 
manner of difference so far as regards all religious 
mummery, between the behevers in this creed and 
those who have no creed at all — ^between the consum- 
mation and perfection of all religion and no religion. 
The only difference will be, the Perfectionists will be 
unavoidably superstitious, while those who make no 
pretensions to religious faith, are mere rationalists.'^ 

We protest against the apparent coupling of the 
Perfectionist creed with the doctrines of evangelical 
denominations, which appears in the above language. 
Aside from this, the remarks of Mr. Kneeland contain 
more truth than fiction — he makes many just allusions 
and gives the Pei-fectionists several happy hits. One 
important fact, worthy of special attention, stands out 
very prominently to view, viz., that the doctrines of 
Kneeland and Noyes tend directly to the same point — 
that Perfectionism and the rankest infidelity practically, 
if not in principle, coincide ** exactly''' — both aiming a 
deadly blow, though in a different way, at the very 
vitals of true religion. 

It is not at all strange that Abner Kneeland liked 
the Perfectionist creed in some respects, seeing there 
is so little difference between that creed and no creed — 


between the perfection and consummation of that hind 
of religion and no religion at all ! 

Of the two, Kneeland occupied the more honorable 
position. He and his adherents had the boldness to 
openly avow their sentiments — take a position antago- 
nistical to all reUgion, and bide the consequences ; 
while Noyes and his company, like a piratical crew or 
a set of cowardly miscreants, have been sailing under 
false colors. The one has worn its own true attire and 
fully exhibited its native deformity, while the other has 
appeared in disguise and concealed its disgusting 

Theses of the Second Reformation. 

To give a more extended view of the doctrines of 
Noyesism, we quote the following sentiments published 
under the above heading, in the Perfectionist of Feb. 
22, 1845. 

"1. God is a dual being, consisting of the Father 
and the Word ; and man, as male and female, is his 
image and likeness. 

2. By the Word, ^ all things were made that ivere 
mflt<ie, viz., heaven and earth, and all the ' principalities, 
thrones and dominions' that belong to them. 

o. All things that God made were ' very good,' and 
evil never originated by his act or in his works or with 
his consent. 

4. ' The old serpent called the Devil and Satan' 
was a ' sinner from the beginning,' and is the un- 
created source of all evil as God is the uncreated 
source of all good. 

5. This evil being was permitted to seduce Adam 
and Eve into sin, and thus to incorporate into himself 
spiritually the parent stock of the whole human family. 


6. One consequence of this event has been that the 
whole posterity of Adam and Eve have been born in 
spiritual captivity to the author of sin and death. 

7. Another consequence has been that Satan, availing 
himself of the reproductive powers of human nature, 
has intermixed his own proper seed with the posterity 
of Adam. 

8. The depravity of mankind is therefore of two 
sorts. The ' seed of the woman' are depraved by 
spiritual incorporation with Satan ; while the ' seed of 
the serpent' are depraved by vital identity with him. 

9. Both of these classes are involved in a ruin that 
would have been eternal, had not a system of re- 
demption been instituted. 

10. The depravity of the latter class is such that 
they will never avail themselves of the offer of re- 
demption, and of course their ruin be eternal. 

11. The former class being less radically depraved, 
will hear the voice of mercy and attain eternal sal- 

12. God foreknowing these diverse results of the two 
sorts of depravity, predestinated men accordingly — the 
' seed of the serpent' to perdition, and the 'seed of the 
woman' to eternal life. 

13. The proximate object of the system of re- 
demption is the disengagement of men from the evil 
spirit with which they are incorporated, and their 
restoration to spiritual unity with God. 

14. To the end the entire administration of God in 
this world has been directed from the beginning. 

15. Yet the means of its actu^ accomplishment 
were not introduced into the world till the times of the 

16. By the call of Abraham and the isolation of 
his seed, God prepared a nation to be the vehicle of 


his communications and the theatre of the final act of 

17. By the law and the prophets he purged the 
chosen people of idolatry, advanced them in external 
morality and civilization, excited their hopes of a future 
dispensation of holiness, and so prepared the way for 
the gospel. 

18. Yet there was thus far no radical redemption 
from the spirit of evil, either in this world or in that 
which is beyond death. The reunion of God and man 
was a ' mystery hid from the generations and ages' of 
the old testament ; and without that there could be no 
effectual resurrection of the spirit from the power of 
sin or of the body from the power of death, i. e. no 
Second Birth. 

19. Nevertheless, they who feared God and died in 
faith, under the legal dispensation, were reserved in a 
state of partial happiness in the world of souls till the 
revelation of the gospel mystery, and then received 
perfect salvation. 

20. But their sinful experience under the law, as 
recorded in the Old Testament, is not to be admitted 
as evidence against the completeness of the salvation 
which came by the gospel. 

21. The incarnation of the Word or Son of God, 
was the beginning of the process by which the effectual 
redemption of mankind from the evil one, and their 
re-union with God, was accomplished. 

22. By the incarnation and its concomitants the 
power of the uncreated God was introduced into human 
nature, and brought to bear upon the power of the 
uncreated Devil. 

23. Jesus Christ, by the .strength of his divine 
nature, overcame sin in his own flesh from the begin- 
ning, and so maintained open communication with the 


24. Bj the influence of his spirit, bj the confidence 
which his miracles elicited, and by the wisdom of his 
words and deeds, he drew about himself such a body 
of disciples as was necessary to constitute a medium 
of spiritual communication between himself and the 

25. By his death he completed his obedience to the 
Father, and his sympathy with the temptations of 
humanity, and at the same time established com- 
munication with Hades, the abode of the dead. 

26. From this lowest point of his descent, the Father 
by his mighty power drew him back to his own bosom ; 
and in this ascent he burst the gates of Hades and 
Mortality, the dominions of the evil one, and left them 
open behind him. 

27. As his descent into fellowship with humanity 
had not broken his communication with the Father, 
so his ascent to the bosom of the Father did not break 
his communication with humanity. He was now, on 
the one hand, ' Lord of the living and the dead,' (i. e. 
in spiritual union with men in the flesh and men in 
Hades,) and, on the other, fully reinstated in his 
primeval partnership with the Father. Thus the train 
was fully laid for the at - one - ment. 

28. By the intercession of Christ, the spirit of truth 
was next poured out ; and active communication 
between God and man commenced. 

29. It was the office of the Spirit to show believers 
'the things of Christ,' and in process of time it revealed 
to them his divine nature, his \'ictory over sin and 
death, the judgment of the prince of this world, and 
the spiritual reconciliation of God with man. 

V' 30. The apprehension of these facts brought believers 
into fellowship with Christ's death and resurrection, 
and made them partakers of his divine nature and his 
victory over the evil one. 


31. This was the Second Birth ; and before this, no 
man had ever been bom. 

32. As the dispensation of the second birth dates 
from a period subsequent to the personal ministry of 
Christ, and subsequent to the out-pouring of the spirit, 
it is manifest that the sins of the disciples while Christ 
was in the flesh, and during the early part of the 
apostohc age, are not to be received as evidence 
against the perfectness of gospel regeneration. 

33. The second birth of the primitive believers, was 
in fact the beginning of their resurrection. 

34. As such, it transferred them in spirit from this 
world to immortality, and thus released them from the 
law of ordinances and carnal commandments. 

35. It set them free from all sin. 

36. It gave them eternal security of holiness. 

37. The life which it gave to the soul, extended its 
influence more or less to the body. 

38. It terminated, after a few years, in a full resur- 
rection and glorification of the body, and a translation 
to the presence of the Father. 

39. The second Advent took place immediately after 
the destruction of Jerusalem, according to the plain 
predictions of Christ, and the acknowledged expecta- 
tions of his followers. 

40. The saints in Hades and Mortality were then 
rmsed from the dead, and judgment was administered 
upon them and upon their enemies. 

41. These transactions took place in the spiritual 

42. This was a resurrection and judgment of only a 
part of mankind. 

43. The world, as a whole, had not then received 
the preparatory legal training, necessary to the spiritual 
apprehension of the gospel. The universal resurrec- 
tion and judgment, therefere was deferred. 


44. The legal dispensation wlu^h had been given to 
the Jews, was transferred, after the destruction of 
Jerusalem, to the Gentiles. 

45. The rehgion of Christendom, since the apostolic 
age, though it has borne the name and external of 
Christianity, has in fact been a second edition of Juda- 

46. The second birth, founded as it was in the prun- 
itive chui'ch on a spiritual apprehension of the resur- 
rection of Christ, and effectual as it was to save from 
all sin, has not been known in the nominal Christian 
church since the Second Advent. 

47. The second and final resurrection and judgment 
are yet future. 

48. But within a few years the primitive faith of 
regeneration by the resurrection of Christ has again 
been given to the world ; and thus the process has 
commenced, which, according to the order of the for- 
mer dispensation, must ere long terminate in the second 
resurrection and judgment. 

49. No radical reformation of mankind will ever be 
effected by any other agency than that which God has 
employed, viz., the power of Christ's resurrection, 
which overcomes the evil one and saves from all sin ; 
and no end of the tribulations of this world will ever 
be attained, but by the judgment which separates the 
righteous from the wicked. 

50. When the power of the resurrection and judg- 
ment shall have done its work, uncreated Good will 
commence its perfect and eternal triumph over uncre- 
ated Evil — Christ will assume the dominion which 
Satan has usurped over this world, and ' of the increase 
of his government there shall be no end,' " 

The above Theses, together with the Articles of 
Faith already given, constitute the Perfectionist creed. 


or, at least, so much of it as Mr. Nojes has ever 
drawn up in consecutive order, and given to the public 
in a condensed and tangible form. Other portions of 
the creed, considered no less important by them, have 
been kept back, in perfect keeping with Perfectionist 
policy. This creed, in the main, appears to be of a 
speculative character — though not without some impor- 
tant practical bearings of evil tendency, as the sequel 
clearly shows — and is made up, for the most part, of 
absurd and fanatical notions which all right-minded 
persons would immediately reject; but as there is 
nothing too absurd for a certain class of the commu- 
nity to embrace, this creed, as unscriptural, contra- 
dictory, and even ridiculous, as some parts of it 
evidently are, is cordially received by those who are 
extremely fond of netv things, however inconsistent and 
erroneous they may be. 

In addition to what has already been given, there 
are also many broken fragments and detached portions 
of the Perfectionist creed, scattered throughout their 
multifarious writings, which it will be our object, so far 
as they are worthy of notice, to gather up and present 
in their proper place. Moreover, it is evident, from 
recent disclosures and the present aspect of affairs, 
that Mr. Noyes resorted to some well-devised strata- 
gems, and had used considerable adroitness in the 
aggressive warfare, which, for a number of years, he 
has been carrying on against religion and the best 
intei-ests of society. He appears to have studiously 


avoided publishing his real sentimentg relative to some 
points, and has so mystified others by confused expla- 
nations and dextrous manoeuvres of the pen, as to keep 
his readers in almost total darkness respecting his real 
designs. Thus by his artful policy he kept the worst 
features of the system concealed for several years from 
the community at large ; and he undoubtedly did this 
lest it should be so disgusting, when viewed in its 
native dress and most revolting form, as to be instantly 
discarded by those whom he wished to secure, and 
thus his hopes be blasted and his plans frustrated. 

He evidently laid the heaviest contributions upon 
his available energies, and toiled almost incessantly to 
make the fatal draught of error and iniquity assume 
the pleasing aspect of a rich and wholesome repast, 
that the specious poison of sin, like a gilded bait, 
might be swallowed ere the devoted victim should be 
apprized of the danger to which he was exposed. And 
in some instances he has been too successful. 

By garnishing the most fatal errors and seductive 
heresies with the tinsel drapery of his false philosophy, 
Mr. Noyes has deceived and drawn in those who had. 
not sufficient discernment to penetrate the flimsy veil 
which he had thrown over this monster of iniquity, 
modem Perfectionism ! And those who have been 
duped and deluded by his artful disguise, perhaps in 
many instances have verily behoved that he was setting 
foiih the soundest doctrines, when in fact he w^ 
roaming the regions of fancy and expatiating at 
pleasure — 


•* On speculations wild, 
And visionary theories absurd, 
Prodigiously, deliriously absurd, 
Compared with which, the most erroneous flight 
That poet ever took when warm with wine, 
Was moderate conjecturing !" 

Nevertheless he has sought to sustam his visionary 
notions bv proofs drawn from the Bible ; and bj utter 
perversions of scripture, arid an imposing array of 
sophistical arguments, he has confirmed his deluded 
followers in the belief that he is a sound and logical 
reasoner ; and this is not very surprising, for it is evi- 
dent that — 

" He had an art, 
A kind of hellish charm, tiat made the lips 
Of truth speak falsehood, to his liking turned 
The meaning of the text, made trifles seem 
The marrow of salvation." 

And undoubtedly to the full satisfaction of hia fol- 
lowers, he — 

" Proved still his reasoning best, and his belief, 

Most rational, most scriptural, most sound, 

Though propped on fancies wild as madman's dreams ; 

With mortal heresy denouncing all 

Who in hia arguments could see no force." 



Noyes^s Views of Deity — Image of God — View$ of 
Noyes concerning AngeU. 

We deem it proper in this connection to give the 
views of Mr. Noyes respecting the Deitj. In refer- 
ence to the Godhead he lays down the following 
proposition as an article of faith : — 

" God is a dual being, consisting of the Father and 
the Word ; and man as male and female, is his image 
or likeness." 

Again, speaking of the unity of our first parents, 
and assuming that they are '• an image or miniature by 
which we are to form our conceptions of the nature 
of God," he says, 

" We are led to the simple conclusion, that the 
uncreated Creator, the Head of the universe, like the 
head of mankind and the head of every family, though 
one, is yet ' twain ;' (Mark 10 : 8 ;) in a word, that 
the creation has a Father and a Mother." 

Again in reference to the same point he says : — 

•* If we reason from the seen to the unseen, assuming 
that the essential nature of the effect is in the cause, 
we have proof as broad as the universe, that the God- 
head is a duality ; for every link of the chain of pro- 
ductive life, in its whole visible extent from the lowest 
region of the vegetable kingdom, to the highest of the 
animal, is a duahty. The distinction between male and 
female is as universal as vitality, and all visible 
evidence goes to prove that it is the indispensable 
condition of reproduction, i. e, of vital creation. If 


we j&nd two elements in all the streams of life, why 
should we not infer that the same two elements are in 
the Fountain ?" 

Once more— as more fully explanatory of his views 
Mr. N. holds the following language : — 

'' I do regard the Father and the Son, as two Spirits^ 
who bear a similar social (not physical') relation to 
each other as that which exists between man and 
woman, one of whom is greater than the other, (as the 
man is greater than the woman) who love each other 
and have pleasure in their fellowship, (as man and 
woman love and have pleasure in spiritual fellowship) 
who are the joint parents of all created things, (as 
man and woman are the joint parents of their offspring) 
who are thus the prototype in whose image Adam and 
Eve were made." 

Lastly, in his preface to the Berean Mr. N. says : 

" We believe, not in the Trinity, nor in the Unity, 
b ut in the Duality of the Godhead ; and that Duality 
in our view, is imaged in the two-fold personality of the 
first man, who was made ' male and female.' Gren. 1 : 
27. As Adam was to Eve, so is the Father to the 
Son ; i. e. he is the same in nature, but greater in 
power and glory. '^ 

The reader will undoubtedly find it very difficult to 
discover the propriety of representing the Son of God 
as the female part of the Godhead ! Moreover, Christ 
is represented in the above language as being inferior 
in "power and glory" to the Father, which is diametri- 
cally opposed to the most plain and unequivocal 
declarations of Scripture. St. Paul says Christ 
" thought it not robbery to be equal with God." 


Phil. 2:6. And the Evangelist John declares that 
the " Word was Crod.^^ John 1:1. These passages 
with many others of similar import clearly show that 
the Son was not inferior in power and glory to the 
Father, the assertions of Mr. N. to the contrary 

The untenableness of the positions and the fallacy 
of the reasoning found in the foregoing extracts, must 
be apparent to all. 

The Godhead is represented by Mr. N. as a duality, 
in opposition to the doctrine of the Trinity, so clearly 
taught and abundantly supported by the Scriptures. 
The Bible teaches us that there is one God — and that 
there are three distinct persons united and existing in 
the Godhead, co-equal and co-existent, viz : — The 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

From the whole tenor of Mr. N.'s writings, but 
more especially from tracing his views of Deity, the 
reader cannot fail to perceive, and must be forcibly 
impressed with the fact that his sentiments are ex- 
tremely low and grovelling. He turns every thing 
that he touches into a polluted channel : and his mind 
appears to be almost or quite incapable of soaring above 
sensual objects. From the corrupt vein running 
through all his writings, the current of his thoughts and 
drift of his feelings are most apparent. 

Image of God, 

Mr. Noyes imagines that he discovers an image of 
the Gt)dhead in the circumstance of our original 


progenitors having been created male and female ! 
This is supremely contemptible, and the most absurd 
of all absurdities. God being an infinite and eternal 
Spirit, no visible form or physical organization can be 
an appropriate symbol of the Divine Nature. God 
being a Spirit, can have no corporeal image whatever. 
That great prohibitory precept with which the deca- 
logue opens, and which was designed as an antidote to 
every species of idolatry, forbids the making of any 
'' image ^ or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven 
ahove^ or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the 
water under the earthJ' Ex. 20: 4. 

Moses, in exhorting the children of Israel to beware 
of the idolatry so prevalent in Egypt, says : — " Take 
ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; (^for ye saw 
no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake 
unto you in Horeh out of the midst of the fire ; ) lest 
ye corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, the 
similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or fe- 
male." Deut. 4: 15, 16. 

There were some among the corrupt and idolatrous 
Egyptians, who, like Mr. Noyes, found in the male and 
i^male figure the fittest image to gratify the impure 
workings of their own depraved hearts and sensualized 
imaginations ; and Moses^ in cautioning the Israelites 
against such gross idolatry, uses specific language — 
language plainly implying that a figure or image 
representing the male or female form would be as 
improper and inappropriate to shadow forth the God- 
head as any representation whatever, which would not 


have been the case were it what Mr. N. imagines it to 
be. All material forms whatever, in heaven or earth, 
utterly fail to give us any adequate conception of the 
incomprehensible Jehovah. There is not the least 
approximation in any figure toward that mysterious 
Bemg who has neither " body nor parts.'^ 

The language just quoted is fatal to the theory of 
Noyes, and clearly shows that the position he has 
assumed is utterly mitenable. 

For scriptural proof to sustain his position, Mr. N. 

rehes solely upon Gen. 1 : 27, " So God created man 

in his own image, in the image of God created he him ; 

male and female created he them." This passage 

affords no support to Mr. N.'s favorite theory. The 

o-rammatical construction does not warrant the con- 

elusions to which he has arrived. There is reference 
in this passage loth to the image in which man was 
created, and his physical structure — they are spoken 
of separately and not conjointly — ^the one being distinct 
from, the other. 

Moreover, the image of God, in which man was 
created, could not have been physical, but must have 
been intellectual or moral ; for God in his very nature 
is a spiritual essence — an intellectual and moral being. 
The image then of the creature must have corresponded 
with the nature of the Creator. 

But the Scriptures are not silent relative to this 
subject. St. Paul fixes this image with so much pre- 
cision and definiteness that no sincere inquirer after 
truth need err or be in doubt. He makes it to consist 


in knotvledge, in righteousness, and true holiness. In 
fwriting to the Colossians he says :- — '' Ye have put off 
the old man with his deeds ; and have put on the new 
man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of 
him that created him." — Col. 3 : 9, 10. Again, to the 
Ephesians he sajs : — "Put on the new. man, which 
after God is created in righteousness and true holi- 
ness:'— E^h. 4 : 24, 

Thus it appears that man was originally ivise in ^m- 
derstanding, holy in heart, and righteous in life ; 
which moral qualities constituted the image in which 
he was created. Here we have proof toucliing this 
point which is " direct and decisive,'' and that which is 
" indirect and doubtftd " must yield to it. 

This point is settled, then, by incontestible proofs ; 
but it will appear in a clearer hght on further ex- 
amination. The great end of the mission of Christ 
into the world was to recover man from the ruins of the 
fall — reinstate him in the Divine favor — and restore 
the image which was lost by transgression. The image 
to be restored by Christ was that which was lost by the 
fall — the image lost by the fall was the image in which 
man was created — hence the image which Christ came 
to restore was that which man originally possessed ; 
and we have already ascertained that it was a moral 
image, consisting in knowledge, righteousness, and true 

The Scriptures abundantly sustain the position that 
it is the peculiar and appropriate work of Christ as a 
Redeemer and Savior to restore to man that which was 


lost by the fall. If the image in which man was 
created was physical, then the loss of that image by | 
the fall was a physical loss, and the restoration by 
Christ must be physical also. But the fall produced 
no change in man's physical structure, and the 
restoration — at least so far as relates to what takes 
place in the present life — is not physical ; hence the 
image in which man was created was not physical. 

But again — if the image was physical, then all men, 
irrespective of moral character, possess that image, and 
will to all eternity, according to Mr. N.'s views ; for he 
beheves that image will never be effaced, much less 
obliterated, but that the identity if not the present 
peculiar structure of man's physical organization will 
continue forever. Mr. Noyes also believes in the 
future punishment of the wicked — then it follows, 
according to his notions, that the wicked, while writh- 
ing under the scalding vials of Jehovah's wrath, will 
retain, with as much distinctness and in as high a 
degree of perfection, the image of God, as man 
possessed when he came pure from the plastic hand of 
his Maker ! Forever suffering and yet forever pos- 
sessing the image of God, in which he was created ! 

But in addition to the feeble testimony adduced to 
sustain the unwarrantable position assumed, Mr. N. has 
advanced one argument, and the rest he has to say 
relative to the subject is made up mostly of assertions 
and assumptions. The argument alluded to is found in 
the preceding extracts and is as follows : — 

^' If we reason from the seen to the unseen, assuming 


that the esential nature of the effect is in the cause, we 
have proof as broad as the universe, that the Godhead 
is a duality ; for every link of the chain of productive 
life, in its whole visible extent from the lowest region 
of the vegetable kingdom to the highest of the animal, 
is a duality. The distinction between male and female 
is as universal as vitality, and all visible evidence goes 
to prove that it is the indispensable condition of repro- 
duction, i. e. of vital creation. If we find two elements 
in all the streams of life, why should we not infer that 
the same two elements are in the Fountain." 

The above appears to be the sum of Mr. N.'s rea- 
soning touching this point ; and although it is somewhat 
plausible, it is nevertheless unsound. To reason from 
the seen to the unseen in this matter is quite sophistical. 
Though the visible creation bespeaks an invisible Author, 
yet from the works of nature we cannot ascertain, to 
any considerable extent, the true character of Deity, or 
the mode of the Divine Existence. It is one thing to 
institute comparisons and draw analogies, and quite 
another thing to prove that they are founded in the 
reality of things. If the essential nature of the cause 
is in the effect, then we might prove that God is a 
material Being ; and on the same principle we might 
prove that the " essential nature" of the artisan is in 
every piece of handiwork which he produces — which 
would be utterly absurd. 

From the views and reasoning of Mr. N., we should 
infer that through his inverted optics and distorted 
vision he sees all things double, and that nothing to 
him has any beauty or comeliness except a duality, 


having the distinction of male and female. Who can 
refrain from expressing his utter abhorrence of such 
grovelling sentiments, and such debasing ^dews of the 
Divine Nature ? While Mr. N. has been deahng 
largely in sublime mysteries, so evanescent that they 
have evaporated into airy nothings, a few disciples have 
gathered around liim, apparently struck with amaze- 
ment ; and while gazing almost with adoring wonder, 
have verily behoved that Mr. N. was soaring to the lofti- 
est heights, diving to the lowest depths, and ranging the 
remotest regions of spiritual philosophy, when in fact 
he was fast bound to the car of carnality himself, and 
was dragging his hoodwinked and deluded followers 
through the filth of sensuality down to the lowest 
depths of degradation and the darkest shades of black 

Views of Noyes concerning Angels, 

Mr. N. not only assumes the position that sexual 
distinction exists in the Godhead, but also that it exists 
among angels ! The following language of Mr. N. 
contains this sentiment : — 

"' I confess I see nothing very horrible in the idea 
of there being sexual distinction in the angehc race. 
If the distuiction of spirits^ the twofold life, which I 
have described in what I have said ' of God, exists in 
the angelic nature, (as I behove it exists in every 
living thing, from God to the lowest vegetable,) I see 
no very alarming reason why that distinction should 
not be expressed in the bodily form of angels as well as 

In support of the theory that sexual distinction 


exists in angelic natures, Mr. N. relies mainly, if not 
wholly, upon a few passages found in the 6th chapter 
of Genesis, and the Epistle of Jude. And a remark 
which he makes in reference to these passages brings 
his ideas in relation to the nature of angels distinctly 
to view. He says his view of the meaning of these 
passages " involves no intrinsic absurdity. It only 
makes a breach in the theories of those who assume 
without proof that angels have not a corporeal and 
sexual nature." 

Here Mr. N. takes a stand, and we think he 
" assumes without proof" that angels have a " corporeal 
and sexual nature." This sentiment is apparently 
very gross, and a little investigation will show that it is 
utterly absurd and anti-scriptural. 

The proof on wliich Mr. N. rehes to sustain his 
theory in the Old Testament, is found in Genesis, 6 : 
1, 2. "And it came to pass, when men began to 
multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters 
were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the 
daughters of men that they were fair ; and they took 
them wives of all which they chose." 

Mr. N. contends that the sons of God here spoken 
of were angels ; and asserts that most of the ancient 
Christian Fathers, and many of the modern Jewish 
Rabbins favor this exposition. But such authorities 
will never sustain a theory so obviously absurd and 
anti-scriptural. The declaration of the Savior made in 
reply to the curious and inquisitive Sadducees, is fatal 
to the position of Mr. N, Christ declares that, " In 


the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in 
marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. '^ 
Matt. 22 : 30. 

Mr. N. believes and asserts that " marriage does not 
exist in heaven," which is equivalent to admitting that 
it has no place simong the angelic hosts ; and in the 
passage just quoted it seems to be assigned as the prin- 
cipal reason why in the " resurrection they neither 
marry, nor are given in marriage,'* — that they are as 
angels. This shows conclusively that the Creator 
never designed angels for a marriage stat6 ; and from 
their very natures they are evidently incapacitated for 
such a state. 

Now, the sons of God mentioned in Genesis, 6 : 2, 
took wives, or entered into the matrimonial relation; 
consequently they could Twt have been angels. The 
most rational and consistent interpretation of the 
passage under consideration is, iiiat the " sons of God" 
were the descendants of Seth, who were so called 
because of their eminent piety ; and that the " daugh- 
ters of men" with whom they intermarried, were the 
progeny of wicked Cain. 

But Mr. N. tries to press St. Jude into his service, 
and obtain from him some support for his theory. We 
give his quotation with a few comments which he has 
attached : — ■ 

" The angels which kept not their first estate, but 
left their own habitation^ he hath reserved in everlast^ 
ing chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the 
great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the 


cities about them, in like manner giving themselves 
over to fornication^ and going after strange Jieshy are 
set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of 
eternal fire.' The account, and the only one which we 
have in the Old Testament, to which we can suppose 
Jude to have referred, of angels leaving their own 
habitation and going after other flesh, is found in the 
sixth chapter of Genesis, where it is said, that ' when 
men began to multiply on the faee of the earth, and 
daughters were bom unto them, the sons of God saw 
the daughters of men that they were fair ; and they 
took them wives of all that they chose.' " — Berean, 
p. 100. 

The quotation from Jude, which Mr. N. has given, 
taken independently of the connection in which it 
stands, gives a false and perverted view of the apostle's 
teaching. According to Mr. N.'s construction, Sodom, 
Gomorrah, and the cities about them, gave themselves 
over to fornication in like manner unto the angels 
which left their own habitation. This exposition 
carries its own refutation with it, for it has already 
been seen that the sons of Cfod spoken of in the sixth 
chapter of Genesis to which Mr. N. supposes Jude 
referred, were not angels. 

They " took them wives," and however unwise this 
m-ay have been under the circumstances, and whatever 
ruinous consequences may have resulted to them per- 
sonally therefrom, we have no intimation that they 
violated any natural or statute law. If there was 
nothing unlawful in their course, they were not guilty 
of fornication, and could not have been referred to by 
Jude as having gone after strange flesh. This view of 


the subject completely overturns the whole theory of 
Mr. N., for the inhabitants of Sodom, Gomorrah, 
and the cities about them, Avere guilty of fornication 
in like manne?' to a class already mentioned, which 
could not have been the sons of God as Mr. N. would 
have it, for they were not guilty of that sin, as has 
been seen. 

Mr. N.'s interpretation is far-fetched, as appears by 
consulting the context of the passage which he has 
quoted. Jude opens his Epistle with a general exhor- 
tation to all true believers, '' earnestly to contend for 
the faith which was once dehvered unto the saints." 
He also warns them against the dangers to which they 
were exposed, arising from false teachers who were 
among them, disseminating their pernicious heresies. 
" Por," says he, " there are cei^tain men crept in una- 
wares, who were before of old ordained to this condem- 
nation; ungodly men, turning the grace of our God 
into licentiousness." — Ver. 4. 

Thus Jude prominently sets forth the sin of those 
false teachers who had insinuated themselves into the 
Church by specious pretences, and who were striving 
to overthrow the faith of true believers, and turn them 
away from the simplicity of the Gospel ; and he inti- 
mates that they were doomed to condign punishment. 
And for the purpose of illustrating the subject, and 
making it more impressive, Jude immediately intro- 
duced several striking examples where signal judgments 
had been inflicted for heinous offences. The first 
example mentioiieA, is, .that of tlie unbelieving Israelites, 


wlio, notwithstanding they had been miraculously 
delivered from Egyptian bondage, were afterward 
destroyed in the wilderness, because they believed not 
the word, neither obeyed the commands of Grod. The 
seco7id example cited, is that of the apostate angels 
who are '' reserved in everlasting chains, under dark- 
ness, unto the judgment of the great day." The 
third example adduced is that of the wicked inhabit- 
ants of Sodom and Gomorrah, who, giving themselves 
over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, in 
LIKE MANNER unto the false teachers mentioned in verse 
4, dxe set forth for an example of what God will do to 
such transgressors. 

He then calls these false teachers '^filthy dreamers,^'' 
and conveys the idea that they and their followers 
were as unbelieving and disobedient as the Israelites in 
the wilderness, as rebellious against the authority of 
God as the fallen angels^ and as impure and unholy 2i^ 
the Sodomites; and that consequently they must 
expect similar punishment. 

But the sentiments of St. Peter perfectly harmonize 
with those of St. Jude when speaking of the same or 
a similar class of persons, and come in to corroborate 
the view which we have taken of the subject, and 
confirm, our exposition of Jude's language. St. Peter 
says : — " There shall be false teachers among you, who 
privily shall bring in damnable heresies." 

These false teachers appear to have advanced and 
inculcated sentiments quite similar to those taught by 
Noyes, at least in some- resr^ects. A kind of Antino- 


mianism was probably the foundation of their many 
heresies. One commentator says : — '^ They pampered 
and indulged the lusts of the flesh ; and, if the 
Nicolaitans are meant, it is very appHcable to them, 
for they taught the community of wives, &c." 

It is said that many should follow their pernicious 
ways ; by reason of whom the way of truth should be 
evil spoken of. If persons professing Christianity, 
follow abominable practices, the way of truth — the 
Christian religion, is blasphemed. Should they call 
themselves by any other name than that of Christ, his 
religion would not suffer. 

Now, Peter presents the rebellious angels, the wicked 
antideluvians, and the corrupt inhabitants of Sodom 
and Gomorrah, as ensamples to those who should 
afterward live ungodly ; thus showing that those wicked 
and false teachers who corrupt the pure doctrines of 
Christianity shall not escape condign punishment. 

But to return — the Scriptures afford not a particle 
of testimony to prove that angels have a corporeal 
nature. But the Bible is not wholly silent relative to 
this subject. Though the testimony in relation to the 
nature of angels is not very abundant, yet it is suffi- 
ciently clear and conclusive to prove that they are 
spiritual or incorporeal beings ; capable, however, of 
assuming different forms and appearing in a bodily 
shape, for there are several instances on record of 
their having thus appeared in ancient times. 

That angels are incorporeal beings, is evident from 
the following passages :-— " And of the angels he saith, 


Who maketh his angels spirits." Heb. 1 : 7. — Again, 
speaking of the angels, it is said :-^" Are they not all 
ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who 
shall be heirs to salvation ?" Heb. 1 : 14.— Here 
angels are termed spirits ; and the Savior has taught 
us— and in the very nature of things it is impossible 
that it should be otherwise— that spirits are incorporeal 
substances. Addressing his disciples on the eve of his 
ascension, when they were " terrified and affrighted" at 
his appearing suddenly them, and supposing 
that they had seen a spirit, he said to them, " A spirit 
hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." Luke 
24 : 39. This shows to a demonstration that spirits 
are not corporeal, but are distinct in their natures 
from material beings. Angels being spirits and spirits 
being incorporeal, it follows that they are not material 
beings. The theory, then, of Mr, Noyes is clearly 

But the position assumed by Mr. N., viz., that 
angels have a corporeal and sexual nature, and came 
down to earth and entered into the marriage relation, 
is as unphilosophical and repugnant to reason, as it is 
anti-scriptural. In the scale of being, there ?s a ''just 
gradation," and one part rises in " due degree" above 
another, from the lowest point of created existence, up 
through all the ascending series to the throne of God, 
Each class of beings in this connected and wonderful 
chain, has a distinct and peculiar nature, occupies its 
assigned position, and acts in its proper sphere. All 
the varied species of sensitive creatures have their 


constitutional peculiarities, and the bounds of their 
appropriate spheres are drawn by the infinitely wise 
Architect of the universe, and are defined with exact 
precision. And although, as links of the great chain 
of being, and parts of the " stupendous whole," they 
approach near to each other, yet there are distinct 
lines of demarcation drawn between them which they 
can never pass. But the -theory of Mr. Noyes makes 
angels, those higher and holier intelHgences, step from 
their exalted station, leave their " divine abode," pass 
the limits of their appropriate sphere, and come within 
the precincts of humanity ! Or his view represents 
men and angels as being identical in all the essential 
elements of their natures ; thus would he recklessly 
break down the barrier between the two, and impiously 
attempt to commingle natures which Infinite Wisdom 
ordained should ever be distinct. 

The conclusions and views of Mr. N. relative to this 
subject approach nearer the wildest vagaries of a dis- 
tempered brain, than the deliberate and rational deduc- 
tions of a reflecting mind. His theory appears to be 
a mere creature of the imagination, having neither 
Scripture, reason nor philosophy to sustain it. 



Abolition of Death. 

Mr. Noyes lias assumed a somewhat novel position 
relative to the subject of death. He boldly asserts, in 
opposition to the uniform and unequivocal testimony of 
Scripture, and the universal experience of all past 
ages, that there is no necessity/ of dying ! 

No person who receives the Bible as an infallible 
rule of faith can be in doubt relative to this subject. 
The following plain and positive declarations of Scripture 
are the unmistakable land-marks of every true believer's 
faith in reference to this point :— 

" Du8t thou art and unto dust shalt thou return — we 
must needs die — the7^e is no man that hath power over 
the Spirit to retain the Spirit : neither hath he poiver in 
the day of death : and there is no discharge in that 
war — it is appointed unto men once to die — wherefore 
as hy one man sin entered into the world, and death by 
sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that all 
have sinned.''^ 

The universal prevalence of death in every age, and 
among all nations, has been a hving commentary upon 
these divine declarations — a standing memorial of the 
melancholy truth, that man is mortal. And we might 
as soon expect to arrest the planets in their course, 
reverse the wheels of nature, break the immutable 
decree of Jehovah, or demolish the pillars of the 
eternal throne, as to escape the jaws of death. To 
this general rule there have, however, already been two 


exceptions, viz., in the case of Enoch and Elijah, who 
for wise ends were translated that they should not see 
death ; but we have no intimation that another instance 
of like character will ever occur, except in the case of 
those who shall be found living upon the earth when 
Christ shall " so come in like manner" as he was seen 
to ascend on high, and who, instead of passing through 
the ordinary form of dying, will experience an in- 
stantaneous change equivalent to death. In view of 
the repeated declarations of Scripture, no person can 
discard a doctrine so clearly taught as the certainty of 
death, without utterly rejecting the Bible as a perfect 
standard of faith, and closing his eyes to the light 
which has shone in all ages as clear and strong as the 
sun at noon-day. The efforts of Mr. Noyes to make it 
appear that death may be abolished in our present 
state, clearly exhibit a strong disposition, not only to 
" put far away the evil day," but to banish all thoughts 
of death forever from the mind. The course pursued 
by Mr. N. and his followers would naturally render 
death repulsive, and array it with so many terrors as 
to make it an unwelcome subject, which could not be 
contemplated with any great degree of composure. 
The mind also must be rendered grossly dark by sin 
and error before the vain and delusive hope of escaping 
death can be indulged. 

But let us look at the position of Mr. Noyes, relative 
to the subject under consideration, as defined by him- 
self. In the Perfectionist of Sept. 7, 1844, he dis- 


eourses as follows, in reference to what transpired in 
May, 1834 :— 

" On sitting down to my proposed task, (of writing) 
I found myself very much straitened in spirit and 
mind. My thoughts refused to take the direction 
which I had prescribed for them, and I soon became 
satisfied that God was calhng my attention to other 
subjects than those I had chosen- — that the thinking I 
had to do was to be for myself, instead of for others. 

" The first subject toward which the instincts of my 
heart turned, and which soon took possession of my 
thoughts, was th^^ resurrection. The gospel which I 
had received and preached was based on the idea that 
faith identifies the soul with Christ, so that by his death 
and resurrection the believer dies and rises again, not 
literally, nor yet figuratively, but spiritually ; and 
thus, so far as sin is concerned, is placed beyond the 
grave, in ' heavenly places' with Christ. I n^w began 
to think that I had given this idea but half its legiti- 
mate scope. I had availed myself of it for the salva- 
tion of my seuL Why should it not be carried out to 
the redemption of the body f Heretofore I had had 
no occasion or time to look at this bearing of m.y 
theory, but now I found myself face to face with it. 
And my attention was riveted upon it, not as a matter 
of speculation, but as a subject involving tremendous 
practical obligations. The question came home with 
imperative force — ' Why ought I not to avail myself of 
Christ's resurrection fully, and by it overcome death 
as well as sin V 

'' The suggestions and spirit of Weld had some 
^agency in turning my mind to this physical aspect of 
the gospel, and there was doubtless a tinge of legahty 
in the feelings with which I viewed it at this time. 
There was a mixture and strife of good and evil 


spiritual influences within me — the good seekmg to 
bring on a new and healthful crisis of faith, and the 
evil busy mth enchantments, hoping to make that crisis 
an occasion of false imaginations and ruin. Not in a- 
presumptuous or ambitious spirit, but under a solemn 
sense of duty resultmg from what I reg-arded as logical 
deductions of truth, I summoned all my powers to an 
act of faith in Christ as the Savior of the body as well 
as of the soul. — A spirit of wrestling pi-ayer for victory 
over death came upon me. It was not so much the 
act of dying that I wished to be dehvered from, as the 
spiritual power of death which broods aver all men 
Uving and dying — that dominion of the 'king of terrors' 
by which men are ' all their life-time subject to bond- 
age.' I sought that identity with Christ by which I 
might realize his emancipation from death, as well for 
my body as for my soul ; that I might with him, see 
death behind me — the ' debt of nature' paid. What I 
sought I obtained. From that time to this I have 
acknowledged and felt no allegiance to death. The 
fear that once hung like a cloud over my life passed 
away, and has long been a forgotten thing. 

" As it has been frequently reported that I have pro- 
fessed a belief that I should ' never die,' I may as well 
briefly define here my position in relation to this point. 
The conclusions to- which I came, at the period under 
consideration, and which I have always avowed since, 
are as follows : — 

" 1. As Christ did not scruple to say, ' He that be- 
lieveth on me shall never die,' and that too with mani- 
fest reference of some kind to the body, (see John 11: 
26 and 8: 51,) so the behever need not scruple to apply 
that language to himself. If then I am pressed to say 
whether I take the language literaUy or figuratively, I 
answer. Neither way, but S2?irifualhj. The believer 
may part with his flesh and blood, but shall never pari 


with his hfe. His true body — that which is within his. 
flesh and blood — is ah-eady risen from the dead by the 
power of Christ's resurrection, and parting with flesh and 
blood will be to him no death. He will pass into the 
inner mansions, not naked but clothed with his immortal 

''2. The death of flesh and blood to the believer is 
not inevitoMe. It is not a ' debt' which he owes to the 
de\'il, or to sin, or to the laws of nature. His debts to 
all these tyrants are paid. Christ has bought him out- 
of their hands ; and the question whether he shall die in 
the ordinary sense will be determined, not by some in- 
exorable necessity, but by the choice of Christ, and of 
course by the choice of himself as a member of Christ. 
' No man taketh my life from me, (said Christ,) but I 
lay it down of myself.' — (John 10: 18.) The power 
which he had in respect to his own life, he has in 
respect to the lives of those who believe on him. As 
members of him, they may lay down their lives as he 
did ; but no man or devil takes their lives from them. 
Accordingly Paul, balancing between the desii^e of 'life 
and death, said, ' 1 luot not ivJdcli I shall choose' — 
(Phil. 1: 22.) This language implies that life and death 
were at his option. The fact that the saints who lived 
till the Second Coming (to say nothing of Enoch and 
Ehjah) passed within the vale without dying, proves that 
the death of flesh and blood iij not inevitable — that 
Christ has power to discharge believers from its bond. 

"3. It is certain from the predictions of scripture 
that the time is coming when death will be abolished 
both as to form and substance in this world. .It is not 
to be expected that individuals will enter into this last 
victory of Christ much in advance of the whole body 
of believers. — God is evidently preparing for a general 
insurrection against the ' king of terrors,' and we may 
reasonably anticipate the crisis and victory as near. 


* They that are alive and remain' till the promised con^ 
summation, will not die in any sense, but will pass from, 
the mortal to the immortal state by a change similar to 
that which is described in I. Cor. 15: 51, &c. 

" My profession, then, since 1834, has been briefly 
this : ^ If I pass tkrough the form of dying, yet in 
fact I shall never die. But I am not a debtor to the 
devil even in regard to the form of dying. No man 
taketh my life from me. I wot not whether I shall 
choose life or death. But this I know, that if I live 
till the kingdom of God comes, which I believe is near, 
I shall never die in fact or in form. This is the pro- 
fession, for which I have been charged by certain 
' devout and honorable women' with ' stumping my 

" The first results of the act of faith which I have 
described, were delightful. I passed one night in 
unspeakable happiness. I felt that I had burst through 
the shroud of death into the ' heavenly places.' " — ■ 
Perfectionist, Vol. iv. No. 13. 

* The sentiments expressed in the foregoing para- 
graphs are in perfect keeping with the tenor of the 
following extracts from a letter written by Mr. Noyes 
about the same time, viz., May, 1834. Both the pre- 
ceding paragraphs and the following extracts refer to 
what took place at that particular time : 

" I determined to cease from out-going effort, and 
fall back upon the leadings of the Lord. Soon I was 
led to a distinct view of this truth, that while I have 
been reproving others for lagging behind their privilege, 
remaining in Judaism, &c., I have been unwittingly 
doing the same thing myself. I have only come up to 
the ground on which Paul stood, whereas it is my 
privilege to attain 7igw the resurrection of the dead. 


* . . On Sunday I became assured that within three 
days I should eat of the tree of life which is in the 
midst of the paradise of God. * * * Yesterday in the 
forenoon the travailing pangs of the final resurrection 
came upon me. I read the last chapter of Isaiah, and 
found a peace I never knew before. I wrote in my 
journal, ' Death is swallowed up in victory.' — (Isa. 25: 
8.) In the evening I felt assured the coming of the 
Lord drew nigh. I even expected to see Jesus face to 
face. Yet I knew not how or when he would come. 
Imagination was very busy, but the Lord helped me to 
curb its flight. I gathered in all my thoughts and 
desires upon this one wish — Come, Lord Jesus, come 
quickly. He came ; not in bodily or visible shape, but 
in a manner more satisfactorily demonstrative of the 
reality of his presence. He entered the secret 
chamber of my soul, and we sat down together to the 
marriage supper. I will not attempt to describe to 
you the glories of that feast. * * * I scarcely closed 
my eyes during the night. This morning I am sick of 
love, and feel that this mortal must indeed put on 
immortality, or it would be consumed in the love of 
Grod, Now indeed I am married, and will henceforth 
wait only on my husband. I know he will give me all 
the desire of my heart. I have no heart to pray— my 
harp is tuned for an everlasting song of praise. I 
have eaten of the tree of life. God is the temple of 
my spirit. I think, brother, we have been but in 
embryo hitherto. * * * The cherubim and flaming 
sword are withdrawn at the gate of Paradise. Adam 
may return, and eating of the tree of life, become im- 
mortal. * * * Faith is the key of the door of the third 
heaven, as well as the door of the outer court. You 
may enter as soon as you believe from the heart. "^ — 
Spiritual Magazine, Vol, ii. No. 9, 


It is evident from several points of resemblance in 
the extracts from the Perfectionist and Magazine, that 
Mr. Nojes refers in both accounts to the same peculiar 
exercises of mind at a given time in May, 1834. Mr. 
N. says in the Perfectionist — " The first results of the 
act of faith which I have described, were delightful. 
I passed one night in unspeakable happiness.'^ In the 
Magazine he says — " I scarcely closed my eyes during 
the night." The connection in which these respective 
expressions occur, clearly shows that they refer to the 
same time. Now what was the great object which Mr. 
N. had in view at this particular time ? Certainly the 
resurrection. Mr. N. says he had previously " only 
come up to the ground on which Paul stood." But he 
concludes to step beyond the great Apostle ! He 
discovered it to be his " privilege to attain noiv the 
resurrection of the dead." He wished to see the 
"debt of nature" paid. And he says — "What I 
sought I obtained." He also says that he felt " that 
this mortal must indeed put on immortality, or it would 
be consumed in the love of God." Now we have no 
intimation that the " mortal" was thus " consumed," 
and of course we are left to infer that, in the estimation 
of Mr. N., it put on " immortality" ! He also says 
that he sat down with Christ at the " marriage supper" 
— and that he ate of the " tree of life which is in the 
midst of the Paradise of God." Now this is as plain 
as language can well be, and defines the position of Mr. 
N. relative to the resurrection as applied to himself, with 
considerable precision. Occupying this position rela- 

NOYESiSM unveiled: 349 

tive to the resuiTection, we might readily anticipate his 
position respecting death. But he does not seem 
disposed to 'bide the consequences naturally deducible 
from the premises. Although he had stepped beyond 
St. Paul, and attained the " resurrection of the dead," 
lest, by positively asserting, in so many words, that he 
should never die, and thereby too fully commit himself, 
he steps back upon the apostle's ground and says — " I 
wot not whether 1 shall choose life or death J^ If the 
power of life and death was at his own option, and 
death an enemy which it is desirable to conquer, we 
can hardly see how he could be in doubt relative to 
the point. 

But the reader will readily perceive the utter per- 
version, and consequent misapplication, of the apostle's 
language, as used by Mr. Noyes. St. Paul expressed 
a desire to " depart and be with Christ," which he 
considered " far better" than to remain in this vale of 
tears, subject to the common sorrows of life. If the 
power of life and death had been lodged with Iiim, he 
could have readily decided the question. And his 
language — "J tvot not ivhich I shall choose^^ — did not 
'imply that he possessed any such power. But knowing 
that he must die, and being ignorant of the time when, 
he did not wish to assume the prerogative of judging in 
relation to it, but in the spirit of humble submission he 
was disposed to refer the decision of that important 
question to the infinitely wise Ruler of the universe. 

We have given, in the extracts already made, the 
views of Mr. Noyes relative to the subject of death, at 


considerable length; and it will be seen on further 
investigation, that he has defined his position in relation 
to this matter, in a manner which cannot be mistaken. 
Some points are quite clear, though he has thrown 
his wonted mysticisms around some portions of the 
subject. On this subject Mr. N. stands fully com- 
mitted. He has voluntarily placed himself in a position 
from which he can never retreat. He speaks in plain 
language touching one point. He says : — But this I 
hnow^ that if I live till the kingdom of God comes, 
which I believe is near, I shall never die in fact or in 

Mr. Noyes, then, has not only assumed that he shall 
never die spiritually, but he positively asserts, in the 
most unequivocal language, that should he live till the 
kingdom of God should come — which at the time of 
making the assertion he believed to be near — he should 
never part with flesh and blood — should never die in 
any sense whatever. 

Mr. Noyes having thus plainly defined his position, 
the question naturally arises. Has the kingdom of God 
come F Have we any data by which this point can be 
definitely determined ? Now, however visionary the 
matter may appear in the eyes of an intelligent and 
sober community, it appears that in the opinion of Mr. 
Noyes and the Putney Community, this long-looked-for 
event has actually taken place. The body of believers 
assembled in secret conclave on the evening of June 1 , 
1847, took the subject into consideration, and after 
fully discussing the whole matter, gravely passed, a 


very famous resolution. It is reported in the Magazine 
of July 15, 1847, in the following manner : — " It was 
unanimously adopted^ therefore^ as the confessio7i and 
testimony of the believers assembled, that the kingdom 
of G-odhas comeT 

Let it be remembered that in 1844, Mr. Noyes said 
that his profession since 1834, had been — " This I 
hrioiv, that if I live till the kingdom of God comes, 
ivhieh I believe is near, I shall never die in fact or in 
form^ In 184T it was proclaimed abroad that the 
kingdom had come. Consequently his position is 
clearly defined. Then the Rubicon is passed — the 
question is settled. And it has become a " fixed fact," 
that John H. Noyes has announced that he " shall 
never die in fact or in formP^ 

But Mr. N. stated several years since, and it can be 
proved by several substantial witnesses — that he should 
never die ! 

But was Mr. N. sincere in all this ? Further exam- 
ination will clearly show that he was not sincere. 
Several months after it was announced that the king- 
dom had come, Mr. N. stated publicly, as we learn 
from a reliable source, that he did not know whether 
he should die or not ! And denied that he had ever 
said that he should not die ! Before the kingdom 
came, he knew that if he lived till it come, he should 
never die ; but after it had come, according to the 
notice of Noyes and his company, he is in doubt about 
it — he does not know what he so well knew before ! 
He wot not which to choose ! 


But let us look at his own published language 
touching this point. Some three months after it was 
decided by the unanimous voice that the kingdom of 
God had come, speaking m reference to the case of 
Miss Mary A. Knight — a young lacly in a confirmed 
consumption who was under his care, an account of 
whose case is given at length elsewhere, and whom he 
was trying to heal in a miraculous manner — Mr. Noyes 
holds the following language : — 

" As to my leaving her at this juncture, the simple 
truth is, that I had engaged to attend two conventions 
in the state of New York, had published that engage- 
ment in the Magazine, and had set the day for my 
departure, before I was called to Mary Knight. She 
and her father were anxious about my going away, 
from the beginning, and fre(pently asked if I should 
go, in case she remained sick. I always answered 
them that I should go at the day appointed, if I tvas 
alive, whatever might be her state ; and all that I 
should do must be done before that day." 

Let the reader mark his language : — " I always 
answered them that I should go at the day appointed, 
IF I WAS ALIVE." Mr. Noyes had declared that he 
hiew he should never die if he lived till the kingdom 
of God came— he had announced the coming of that 
kingdom — but several months subsequent to that period 
he uses language highly expressive of doubt relative to 
his own case ! Language implying not only that he 
mi(/ht die, but that he might die ver^ soon, ev*en before 
the time appoii^ted for his departure should arrive, 


whicli was but a few days after ! What beautiful 
consistency ! 

Thus, in an unguarded moment, Mr. N. unwittingly 
betrays himself, and clearly exhibits his own insincerity 
— showing conclusively that he had but little or no confi- 
dence in his own statements. And we are irresistibly 
carried to the conclusion that Mr. N., in assuming for 
the time being his position relative to the subject of 
death, must have been actuated by some sinister 
motives, and had in view the accomphshment of some 
.nefarious ends. He could not have acted without hav- 
ing some object in view. 

He would fain deceive the people by his contempti- 
ble juggling, and many of his followers are mightily 
pleased with the delusion. They prefer to be hood- 
winked and humbugged, rather than be made acquaint- 
ed with sober facts and substantial reaUties. And he 
would be considered an enemy, who should attempt to 
break the spell, and let in the searching light of truth 
upon the whole matter. 

But in the extracts already given Mr. JST. not only 
speaks in reference to himself, but the whole •• body of 
believers," i. e., all genuine Perfectionists. He had 
long been anticipating a period in which death would 
be abolished, both in form and substance, in this world. 
He,viewjed the " crisis and victory" as being not far 
distant, and fancied that God was " preparing for a 
general insurrection against the king of terrors" ; and 
asserts that those who should be " alive and remain till 
the promised consummation, would not die in (iny 
23 • ' 


sense, ''^ but would " pass from the mortal to the 
immortal state by a change similar to that which is 
described in I. Cor. 16: 52, &c." 

The "promised consummation" spoken of is un- 
doubtedly the coming of that kingdom to which we 
have alluded, which event, as we have seen, has already 
taken place according to the notions of Perfectionists. 
Consequently Mr. Noyes and all his true followers, or 
the whole body of believers, have passed from the 
" mortal to the immortal state," and have experienced 
that change spoken of by St. Paul, w^hich was to take 
place " in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the 
last trump." — ^I. Cor. 15: 52. This view of the sub- 
ject is confirmed by a statement made, in a somewhat 
private manner, by one of the master-spirits of the 
Putney community, which was — that they had attained 
the resurrection of the body ! Thus with Perfectionists 
eternity has begun, and they are now walking the earth 
in their immortal bodies I ! 

But let us look at the influence which the doctrine 
of Mr. N. respecting death has had upon the " body 
of believers" at Putney. A prominent member of that 
" body" holds the following language, pubHshed in the 
Spiritual Magazine of Nov. 1, 1847 : — 

" The pall of the fear of death which overspreads all 
the world, is removed from our abode. We are all 
conscious of the fact, by whatever means it has come 
about, and it is ha-vdng a tremendous influence upon our 
character. — Strength, ambition, hope, have ten times 
the chance to flourish. Healthy merriment is not 
checked by the ghostly spectre. Our happiness never 


feels its chill. Age does not rest on its oars and wait 
for it, but wends back as fast as possible to immortal 
youth. * To be prepared for death,' never enters our 
heads ; • and a visitor from some sphere where it is not 
known, might go in and out with us ever so long, and 
not have his curiosity excited about this point in human 

From the above it appears that the subject of death 
is one that receives no attention among Perfectionists, 
especially those at Putney. All thoughts of it are 
banished from the mind. " ^ To he prepared for death^^ 
never enters their heads. ^'' 

And when a person embraces their views, the 

" First of all eradicate, 
As much as possible, from out His mind, 
All thought of death." 

The influence of Noyesism is here seen in its true 
light. What can be more ruinous or sad in its results ? 
The sentiment of Solomon — " It is better to go to the 
house of mourning, than to go to the house of feast- 
ing" — -is utterly discarded by Perfectionists ! This is 
being wise above what is written ! 

Suitable reflections, at proper times, upon the close 
of life, exert a salutary and reforming influence upon 
the heart and life. And he who never indulges in 
such reflections, cannot be prepared for a death-bed 
scene. It is almost incredible that people should be so 
strangely deluded as to suppose they can escape death. 
When health und prosperity attend them they may 
indulge in their vain boastings ; but the scene will ere 


long be reversed. Death, like the unerring archer, has 
marked each for his victim ; and " like a staunch 
murderer, steady to his purpose," will sooner or later 
accomplish his work. A few short years will tell the 
sad tale. " Passing away'' is written upon the very 
brow of every human being ; and each in turn must be 
lodged in the "narrow house," and sliunber beneath the 
silent clods of the valley. And he who makes no 
preparation for the coming change — whose sensibilities 
are locked in profound slumber, it is to be feared will 
at last lie down upon a thorny pillow. Is it not wise to 
timely prepare for our approaching end ? 



Noyesite Theory of Disease. 

Perfectionists assume that sin — ^not the sin of our 
first parents, but of each individual person — is the 
immediate cause of disease and death ; and that if 
disease makes its appearance and death ensues after a 
person is freed from sin — as all Perfectionists profess to 
be — it is owing to a '' Spiritual Momentum^'' which 
was acquired before the person experienced a de- 
liverance from sin. Let us hear them touching this 
matter, and look at an illustration which thej have 
given of this subject : — 

"In consequence of the belief of Perfectionists that 
dn is the cause of sickness and death, questions like 
the following have many times been put to them: 
" How is it that you who profess to live without sin, yet 
suffer the consequences of sin ? Can an effect exist 
without a cause ? Does not the fact, then, that you 
still suffer pain and sickness, (if these are consequences 
of sin,) prove you to be still a sinner V &c. I have 
sometimes thought that an answer to such questions 
might be found in the following illustration : — 

" We see a locomotive with its train, travelling at a 
rapid rate ; and when we inquire into the cause of its 
motion, we find it is the power of steam operating 
through the agency of machinery. Yet, though the 
steam may be shut off, as is the case when the cars are 
about to stop, we perceive that the motion of the cars 
does not cease immediately, but is continued through 


the agency of another force called momentum^ which ig 
a secondary cause of motion, and which, though it may 
for a Hmited time continue motion already produced, 
has no power to produce it, and therefore cannot long 
overcome the resistance of the atmosphere, friction, 
&c. Hence all motion whose primary cause is cut off 
and which consequently has nothing to sustain it but 
secondary causes, must gradually cease, because such 
causes are not equal to the resistance with which they 

" Passing from the natural to the spiritual world, we 
find powers in existence similar to, if not the same as, 
the natural laws of this world, such as attraction, 
cohesion, repulsion, light, heat, &c. And judging from 
analogy, we should naturally infer that there was such 
a thing as spiritual momentum, as well as motion. . . , 
Taking this view of the subject, then, we see that men 
in their fallen state are travelling with a fearful rapidity 
in the way to death ; and the only motive power that 
has been and is driving them in that way, is sin. But 
when sin is cut off, as is the case of those who are bom 
of God, the only possible subjective reason for the con- 
tinuance of the effects of sin, must be found in spiritual 
momentum — in secondary causes, which have no power 
to beget disease, and which are not able long to over- 
come the resistance of the atmosphere of heaven which 
surrounds every renewed heart, and is constantly 
opposing all tendency toward sickness and death. So 
that letting things go along naturally, if a man has been 
delivered from the propelhng power of the devil, his 
tendency toward death is continually decreasing, and 
would as certainly cease eventually, as a train of cars 
would cease their motion after the propelling power of 
steam was withdrawn. 

" But there is another thing to be considered : if a 
train of cars were fast approaching a precipice, th^ 


mere shutting off of the steam might not save them. 
Their headway might be such, with the shortness of the 
distance to be travelled, as to secure their destruction. 
The wheels must therefore be reversed, and the brakes 
applied. By such efforts many hves have been saved 
that would otherwise have been lost. 

'' Perfectionists should keep it before their minds, 
then, that if according to their faith sin has been 
destroyed in them, the motive power which has been 
driving them away from life, has ceased to act ; and if 
holiness has been begotten in them, the wheels have 
been reversed and are now turning in their right 
direction. The cessation of the deadly tendency and 
influence of a wicked spirit, the commencement of 
healthy action within us, the natural effects of salutary 
causes, and the promises of the Gospel, all combine to 
strengthen and enlarge our hope in regard to the 
extension and final victory of the Spirit of Life." — 
Perfectionist^ Vol. iv. No. 13. 

Whatever plausibility may be attached to this theory 
in its practical application, it appears to have been of 
no essential benefit, even to its strongest advocates. 
The Perfectionist Community at Putney was established 
in 1838 — in 1847, Mr. Noyes said in regard to that 
Community, " We have had a reasonable share of 
diseases^ both chronic and acute.^^ Again, in 1834, 
Mr. N. became a Perfectionist ; in 1845 he says of 
himself — when speaking of a disease of the throat and 
lungs which he had contracted — I "had abundant 
external reason to expect a speedy death.^^ 

Now if the members of the Putney Community, 
during the nine years following its estabHshment, "had a 


reasonable share of diseases" ; and if Mr. N. eleven 
years after he became a Perfectionist, '' had abundant 
external reason to expect a speedy death," it appears 
that the train of disease was moving on among them 
with its accustomed speed, if net indeed with ac- 
celerated velocity ! 

If this be the fact one of two thino'S must necessarily 
follow — either they must have been under tremendous 
headway, and acquired a fearful " spiritual momen- 
tum^ ^ before they shut off the steam, or they have 
never yet shut it off, reversed the wheels, and applied 
the brakes. The latter appears to be the more probable. 
They can have the privilege, however, of hanging upon 
which horn of the dilemma they please. 

Eut the Noyesites, not content with sweeping away 
moral and statute laws, assert their independence of 
natural laws ! A correspondent of the Spiritual 
Magazine, under date of Nov. 7, 1847, says : — 

" According to the degenerate age in which we live, 
it is expected that if we transcend or violate any of the 
laws of nature, we must smart for it. Suppose we 
hoist a counter project to this, and say that the laws of 
nature have been and will again be subject to spiritual 
power ; so that the child of faith may by a full sur- 
render step upon the platform of perfect deliverance in 
this life from sin, disease and death." 

In what foolish and fruitless speculations will men 
sometimes indulge ! What ! the laws of nature cease 
their operations at the bidding of a puny mortal 1 
Verily here is faith that amounts to fanaticism ! And 
fanaticism completely runsriot ! 


In 1844, Geo. Cragin sent a paper to Br. Sylvester 
Graham containing an absurd and sillj article on '-^The 
Love of lAfeP The article was marked for Dr. G.'s 
perusal. He returned the paper with the following 
pithj and truthful note upon the margin, in his own 
hand-writing : — 

" The labUings of a fool — not a natural fool, hut a self-made, 
self-deluded fool, wJwse heart is set on perverting the truth, and 
v:resting the scriptures to his own and others' destruction !" 

To indulge in endless speculations appears to be the 
height of ambition with some of the Nojesites — specu- 
lations grossly absurd, and of no sort of practical 
application or importance whatever. 

But let us hear the Noyesites a little farther in 
relation to diseases and death — their cause and cure. 
Says a correspondent of the Spiritual Magazine — 
" The devil has the jooiver of death, and of course of 
disease in its every stage P 

Again, says Mr. Noyes : 

" Among the most formidable enemies to be overcome 
in order to the establishment of Christ's kiugdom in 
this world, diseases and death hold a conspicuous place. 
How many of our King's Hege subjects have been made 
prisoners, or have been wounded,' and disabled for 
efficient service, by the assaults of these tyrannical 
invaders. . . . And though many of the King's sub- 
jects may still fall in battle before the termination of 
the war ; yet they can feel that they are fighting in a 
glorious cause ; that even though they fall in this cause 
they cannot be destroyed ; and that complete victory 
is certain at last. . . . Let us not consider ourselves 


as lander obligation to receive kindly, or to entertain 
honorably, Death's ambassadors or envoys, who come 
to us in the forms and under the names of various 
diseases. Let us not consent to enter into any amicable 
negotiation vrith them, nor count them worthy to lodge 
in our houses, or to be waited on and nourished by us ; 
but treat them as their real character deserves, as a 
set of base, insidious, murderous intruders ; and let 
us arouse such a general sentiment of just indignation 
against them, that they shall be thrust forth from every 
company of the faithful, and from all decent society, 
and be expelled out of our coasts." 

Again, the " body of believers'^ in Putney "joined 
their households under one common roof" in the spring 
of 1847 ; and in the following July Mr. Noyes said : 

" Soon after we came together in family unity, Mrs. Cragin 
was attacked by disease of an obstinate and threatening charac- 
ter. This brought me into a necessity of examining our position 
in relation to sickness, death, medicines, &c. I settled my own 
principles more thoroughly than ever before, and gave a course 
of lectures, in which / declared my independence of the medical 
systems of this world, and claimed for Christ the office of physi- 
cian to our Community. There was but one heart and one voice 
among us about the matter^' 

Now it is a well known fact, that, after the above 
declaration was made by Mr. Noyes, and sanctioned by 
the united voice of the members of his Communit;y , a 
physician was employed in that same Community, and 
that too while Mr. N. was with them — showing con- 
clusively that his claim was quite arrogant. Moreover 
the Noyesites still remaining in Putney have had, we 
think, a common share of sickness. Thus stubborn 


facts stand out against Mr. N.'s theory, and upset his 
absurd assumptions. It evidently appears that he has 

" Great striving made to be ridiculous. 
The mighty reasoner, he who deeply searched 
The origin of things, and talked of good 
And evil much, of causes and effects, 
Of mind and matter, contradicting all 
That went before him, and himself the while, 
The laughing-stock of angels j diving far 
Below his depth, to fetch reluctant proof, 
That he himself was mad and wicked t©o " 



IHstinguishing and Leading Doctrines of Noyemm. 

In June 1839, E,ev. Charles T. Torrey of Salem, 
Mass., addressed a letter to Mr. Noves in which he 
made several inquiries relative to Perfectionism. Mr. 
N., in his reply to that letter, says : — 

" In order that I may give a definite answer to your 
inquiries relative to matters of fact, I must first define 
Perfectionism.. You are aware that a considerable sect 
has recently appeared among Calvinists, with President 
Mahan at its head, who believe that perfect holiness is 
attainable in this life, and yet are not called Per- 
fectionists. You are also aware, as your letter 
intimates, that similar classes of believers exist among 
the Methodists, and Friends, who likewise decline the 
name of Perfectionists. So^ that it is evident that 
Perfectionism, in the prevailing sense of the word, is 
not distinguished from other religious systems merely 
by the doctrine of perfect hohness. What then are 
the adjuncts of this doctrine peculiar to Perfectionists, 
which actually distinguish them from all other sects ? 
I answer — 

1. " Their belief that jyerfect holiness, when attained, 
is forever secure. This point is not insisted upon by 
any of the classes before mentioned. . . . 

2. " Their belief that perfect holiness is not a mere 
privilege, hut an attainment absolutely necessary to 
salvation. Holding this belief they of course deny the 
name of Christian to all other sects. . . . 

3. " Their belief that the second coming of Christ 
took place at the period of the destruction of Jerusa- 


Urn. . . . Perfectionists insist upon this doctrine, as 
the foundation of the two preceding. 

^' Other distinctive tenets of Perfectionists might be 
named, and perhaps would be regarded by many as 
more important than those to which I have adverted ; 
for example, their ' Antinomianism,' their belief of a 
present resurrection, their peculiar views of the fashion 
of this world in respect to marriage, &c., but I regard 
all these as secondary consequences of the doctrines I 
have mentioned, not essential in a radical definition of 
Perfectionism. . . . Then, you will understand that by 
Perfectionists, I mean that class of religionists who 
hold the three points of faith above noticed." 

We shall merely glance at the doctrines above 
mentioned — as the limits of this work will admit of 
nothing more — and then proceed to briefly notice a 
variety of other points embraced in Noyesism. 

The position assumed by Mr. Noyes in relation to 
the second coming of Christ, viz., that it took place at 
the destruction of J erusalem, appears to be regarded 
by him as as an €ill-important point — a leading and very 
essential doctrine. That there was a coming of Christ 
in the events connected with the destruction of Jerusa- 
lem, might be readily granted without strengthening the 
position of Mr. N. or proving prejudicial to the opposite 
view of the subject ; but that the Second Coming of 
Christ took place at that time, we deny point blank. 
At the ascension of Christ the angels said to those who 
witnessed that event — 

'^ This same Jesus which is taken up from you into 
heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen 
him go into heaven.'^'' — Acts 1: 11. 


Until Mr. N. can point us to the book, chapter, and 
verse, where it is said in unequivocal language that 
this prediction has been literally fulfilled, he must not 
complain if we refuse our assent to his doctrine of the 
second coming. Mr. N. assumes without a particle of 
proof, that Christ's coming at the destruction of Jerusa- 
lem took place in the spiritual world ! But was not 
the ascension of Christ a visible event ? and did not 
the disciples behold him with the natural eye when he 
ascended ? Then if he is to "so cortie in like manner''^ 
as he was seen to ascend, will it not be a visible trans- 
action ? Most certainly. Mr. N. asserts that Christ 
came in the spiritual world ; but how does he know 
this ? He has not learned it from the Scriptures, for 
they teach no such doctrine. Where, then, did he 
find it ? Why, forsooth, he assumes that he is inspired, 
and was taught it by the Spirit ! And lo, his followers 
beheve it ! In all ages individuals have been found 
afflicted with a similar disease. A few years ago, when 
the Millerites were moving heaven and earth and com- 
passing sea and land to make proselytes to their faith, 
some of the tvisest — ^in their own eyes — among them, 
roundly asserted that the Spirit had revealed to them 
the precise time when Christ would make his appearing. 
With all such, reasoning was out of the question — 
entirely at an end. You might as well undertake to 
reason with a mad man, as with such persons. But 
time proved all their predictions false, and their revela- 
tions went by the board. They might have been 
insjHred by a, but certainly they were not by the Spirit^ 


in this matter. And so it is with Mr. Noyes. He and 
his followers assume that they are inspired and are 
receiving special revelations. They also profess that 
they are living under a new dispensation, as far in 
advance of the Gospel as that was of the Jewish 
dispensation. The followers of Noyes believe that he 
wrote the Berean by inspiration, and in their estimation 
it is as much more valuable than the N'ew Testament^ 
as that is than the Old ! The word of John H. Noyes 
with his disciples is better authority than the sayings of 
Christ and his Apostles recorded in the New Testament. 
They receive the doctrine that Christ came in the 
spiritual world from his mouth as undoubted truth, 
without a particle of scriptural proof to sustain it, and 
even in opposition to the plain language of Scripture ! 
The doctrine that Christ came in the spiritual world 
appears to be the mere creature of Mr. N.'s perverted 
imagination in ^ts erratic wanderings. That his mind 
is subject to excursive r amblings is very evident from 
his own language. 

In the Spiritual Magazine of March 15, 1846, speak- 
ing in reference to his future course, Mr. N. says : — 

" Without pledging ourselves to any precise course, 
(for we cannot foresee very definitely the travels of our 
own minds) . . . we expect to extend our excursions 
freely hereafter beyond the province of Perfectionism 
into other and all regions of spiritual science^ 

" Beyond the province of Perfectionism " / Where 
is the man going ! No wonder that he is already lost 
in the mazes of error ! And we might as well undertake 


to follow the thunder-bolts of heaven m then- travels 
through the trackless ether, as the fitful excursions of 
such a mind in its undefined and indefinable course ! 

But to return : — Nearly aUied to Noyes's doctrine 
of the Second Coming of Christ, stands the idea that 
'''' perfect holiness is not a mere privilege, hut an attain- 
ment ahsolutely necessary to salvation.''^ If by this is 
meant that moral purity is a pre-requisite or passport 
to a full possession of the heavenly inheritance, we do 
not object ; but if it means that no person in a state of 
justification, prior to perfect purification, can have a 
well-grounded hope of future happiness, we enter our 
solemn protest against the doctrine. 

Next, as a distinguishing tenet of Noyesism, stands 
the doctrine of the security of the saints. Mr. N. 
asserts that ^'perfect holiness, lohen attained, is for ever 

In support of this position he relics very much upon 
the following passage : — '' Whosoever is born of God 
doth not commit sin ; for his seed remaineth in him ; 
and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." — 
1 John 3 : 9. 

Mr. N. rejoices over this passage as though he had 
found great spoil. He ensconces himself behind this — 
as he supposes — impenetrable shield, or invulnerable 
rampart, and is ready to defy the world in arms to 
meet him. The rigid - interpretation which he gives, 
and for which he strenuously contends, makes this pas- 
sage prove that it is utterly impossible for the Christian 
to sin. 


If Mr. N, adopts the principle of exegesis that the 
term cannot implies an impossibility^ we think he will 
find that in many cases it will prove quite too much, 
and will not always work well in its apphcation. If he 
will turn to the 24th chapter of Joshua, he will find 
that the term cannot is there used without implying a 
moral invpossihility, Joshua, after rehearsing to the 
heads of Israel the dealings of God with them, and cau- 
tioning them against the sin of idolatry, exhorts them 
to serve God ; and the people replied emphatically that 
they would serve him. Then '' Joshua said unto the 
people, ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is a holy 
God ; he is a jealous God ; he will not forgive your 
transgressions nor your sins." — Josh. 24: 19. " And 
the people said unto Joshua, Nay ; but we will serve 
the Lord." — Verse- 21. " So Joshua made a covenant 
with the people that day, and set them a statute and 
an ordinance in Shecliem." — Verse 25. " And Israel 
served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and the days 
of the elders that outhved Joshua." — Verse 31. 

The sum of the whole is — The people of. Israel 
asserted that they would serve the Lord — Joshua' says, 
Ye cannot serve him — the people repeat. We will serve 
him — Joshua makes a covenant with them — and Israel 
then "serves hiiu. No person will contend that the term 
cannot in this case implied a moral impossibility^ for 
matter-of-fact shows to the contrary. 

Now if the term cannot^ did not, in the case under 
consideration, imply an impossibility ^ it may not in 

other cases. That it. does not when used by St. John 


is quite probably, if not morally certain ; for were it 
otherwise, all the warnings, admonitions, and cautions, 
as well as the exhortations to steadfastness and perse- 
verance, addressed in the Scriptures to Christianis, 
would be perfectly nugatory ! 

We have thus briefly noticed the points which Mr, 
N. has set forth as the distinguishing doctrines of 
Perfectionism; and we shall now proceed to notice 
several others embraced in the same system. 

Let us hear Mr. Noyes in relation to the Primitive 
Church. He says : 

" The Apostles, prophets, and believers, who were 
gathered into Christ during the period preceding the 
destruction of Jerusalem, are certainly still in ex- 
istence. This no one doubts. They are risen from 
the dead, and glorified with Christ. This no one will 
deny, who believes that Christ came the second tirae 
according to his promise. But have they any concern 
with this world? Are they not laid away in some 
secret mansion of the universe, so distant that they 
have nothing to do with us or we wita them ? These 
are questions to which conscience as well as curiosity 
demands an answer. The fact that the primitive church 
has passed through death into the invisible state, does 
not prove that it has no concern with this world. . . . 
The first thing to be done in order that we may have 
fellowship with the primitive church, is to believe that 
it is a real, living church, and is at work ever us and 
around us^ — Berean, pp. 497, 499. 

In the Spiritual Magazine of May 15, 1847, we find 
the following language : — 

" The Magazine is the exponent and organ of a 


religious body whose direct ambition is to give the 
renewing power of God full scope in their characters, 
and to multiply their points of sympathy and attraction 
with the primitive church, until a perfect junction is 

In the Magazine of June 15, 1846, we read as fol. 
lows touching this matter : — 

" Again, when we consider the object which is before 
us, of joining ourselves to the primitive Church, we 
shall not think it strange that we are tried with fiery 
trials. We believe that God has gathered a glorified 
throng, and that the church is one ; and our aim and 
calling are, to approach toward it and enter into 
sympathy with it — to join it here in this world, and to 
invite it into this world. And the only way for us to 
join that church, is, to be strained up to the pitch of 
love and faith which exists in it. To use a vulgar 
expression, if we are to be welded on to the primitive 
church, both ends of the irons must be white JioL Cold 
iron cannot be welded. If God is ever to raise a 
touching point between believers here and his church 
above, he must find a way to bring up our faith and 
love to the white heat of heaven.'* 

This is Perfectionist dialect, and it contains the 
Noyesite Shibboleth. Comment is uncalled for. 

As being closely connected with the foregoing re- 
marks relative to the Primitive Church, we proceed to 
give the views of Perfectionists in relation to the 
Kingdom of Heaven. Mr. N. assumes that the com- 
missions given by Christ and the Apostles did not 
extend beyond the destruction of Jerusalem, A. D. 70 
— that all the commissions since that time handed 


down in the various Christian churches are not valid — 
and that the kingdom of heaven exhibited in this world, 
and the divine authority derived from Christ and his 
Apostles, must stop at the destruction of Jerusalem 
*^ till we can find a church that can prove hy une- 
quivocal credentials that it is in conjunction with the 
primitive government.''^ 

Mr. N. takes it for granted that the Perfectionists 
have the " unequivocal credentials" ! And from the 
foregoing premises he draws the following conclusions : 

1. " The kingdom of heaven is not to be confounded 
with popular Christianity, Popish or Protestant. 

2. " On the other hand, it is not to be conceived of 
as something hereafter to be instituted. Its organiza- 
tion is a fixed fact, and it is eighteen hundred years 
old. . . . 

3. " We are not to think of our own sect as the 
kingdom of heaven. It can never be more than a 
provincial department of that kingdom. The seat of 
the government and of its chief functions, is and forever 
will be in the spiritual world. 

4. " The way to ' seek the kingdom of God,' is to 
seek conjunction with Christ and the Apostles and the 
primitive church. 

5. " When we pray ' Thy kingdom , come' — we 
properly mean to ask that the spiritual organization 
commenced by Christ at his first coming and matured 
at his second, may be extended into this world. 

6. " Until that organization shall be demonstrably 
extended into this world, we have no external vehicle 
of the authority of the kingdom, except the Bible. 

'' The ways and means of entering into conjunction 
with the kingdom of heaven, of obtaining authority 


from it, and thus of establishing a branch of it in this 
world, deserve to be considered at some length here- 
after. — Perfectionist, Vol. v. No. 19. 

In the Spiritual Magazine of July 15, 184T, we 
have the extended notice, at least in part, of the 
kingdom of heaven, promised at the conclusion of the 
foregoing extract. At an assembly of behevers " under 
the common roof," on the evening of June 1, 1847, 
Mr. Noyes put the following question and made the 
accompanying remarks : — 


* * u y[q |)elieve that the kingdom now coming is the 
same that was established at the Second Coming of 
Christ. Then God commenced a kingdom in human 
nature, independent of ^the law of the world. The 
church was then emancipated from the institutions of 
men, and commenced a course of existence under the 
sole management of God. TJiat kingdom, having been 
zvithdrawn to heaven, has been strengthening and en- 
larging itself ever siyiee. We look for its establishment 
here — for its complete extension into this world ; and 
this 'extension of an existing government, is what we 
think and speak of as the kingdom of heaven which is 
now at hand. We at the same time have expected that 
its manifestation on earth, after a successful operation 
of 1800 years in the invisible world, would be by a 
diflferent process in some respects from that by which it 
was originally formed. . . . The kingdom of heaven 
will be established here by a process hke that which 
brings the spring on the earth. The primitive church, 
like the sun, will come near to us. The destruction of 
evil, and all the transactions of the last judgment, will 
be effected by a spiritual infusion from them of the light 
and energy of God. The resurrection also will come 


by a similar communication of life. We discard entirely/ 
those gross, mechanical impressions concerning these 
transactions which are common in the world. We are 
persuaded that all the powers of the world to come are 
to be let in, not in a formal, theatrical way ; but silent- 
ly, like a thief in the night, they are to be established 
in the world. . . . How shall we determine the time of 
its advent ? What shall be the manner of our transi- 
tion from the testimony, ' The kingdom of God is at 
hand,' to the testimony, ' The kingdom of God has 
come V 

" The difference between our situation and that of 
the primitive church previous to the Second Coming, is 
like this : Suppose it is universally understood that on 
the 20th day of March, at noon, spring begins. The 
natural declaration, before that time, would be, ' Spring 
is at hand ' ; but immediately on the arrival of the 
appointed hour, it would be said with one consent, 
' Spring is come.' This illustrates the circumstances 
of the primitive church. The personal coming of the 
Lord Jesus was to be the definite signal, was to mark 
the precise period for them, of the institution of the 
kingdom of heaven. ... On the other hand, if the 
spring comes as it usually does, it is not subject to any 
such arbitrary, definite rules, by which we can fix the 
exact date of its ascendancy. Its advent is not limited 
and determined by a certain day of the month and hour 
of the day, but by the progress of the sun's power on 
the earth. To determine the presence of spring in this 
case, is a more difficult problem than was offered in the 
other ; but still, within a moderate latitude of time, and 
with a certain accumulation of data, it i^ easily done. 

Through the month of March the progress of the sun 
up the heavens is distinctly visible, though there is yet 
a prevalence of wintry weather. Still later, when we 
begin to have sunny, spring days, there are also occa- 


sional ones in which the ground is covered with snow. 
Thus with the common alternations ©f sun and clouds, 
which characterize the early part of the season, it is 
impossible to refer the advent of spring to any precise 
point of time. Yet we are certain that some time 
within the limits of April, that event will have taken 
place — spring will have come, 

'' Now if our theory of the manner m which the 
kingdom of heaven is to he .established is true, then we 
are certainly somewhere in the transition towards it ; 
and the question will sometime urge itself upon us, Has 
spring come ? We shall sometime have to change our 
testimony from the future to the present form, and to 
say decisively, The kingdom of God has come. Sooner 
or later, we shall have to stand forth and face the prin- 
cipalities and povfers of the world with this declaration. 

" I will put the question, Is not noio the time for us 
to commence the testimony that the kingdom of god 
HAS COME ? to proclaim boldly that God, in his charac- 
ter of Deliverer, Lawgiver and Judge, has come in this 
town and in this Association ? ... No more should 
we expect the full power of the judgment and of the 
resurrection, until we have made a decisive response in 
the boldness of faith, to that divine influence which is 
with us, and which only waits confession to expand into 
the full majesty of its nature. . . . Christ can do no 
more for an individual or a corporation, after his voice 
has wakened them, until it is recognized by them, and 
confession made according to the fact. 

" The process of advancement in this dispensation, as 
we have said, is like the progress of the sun in spring. 
The work af spiritual development has been going on, 
steadily and silently, until we are finally brought to the 
question. Is not the kingdom of God in us ; including 
all the elements of the judgment and the resurrection ? 
Have not these closing >cts of the great drama com- 


menced ? I believe we are now called upon to take 
our stand on this great truth as a corporation : and our 
confession of it to ourselves and the world, will be 
the beginning of a new development of its power in us. 
I am as well prepared as ever I shall be, to make this 
great corporate confession of Christ. ... I think there 
is abundant evidence in the past, especially in the last 
year, that the judgment has begun. He that search- 
eth the hearts and trieth the reins of the children of 
men, has been among us, cutting between the righteous 
and the wicked, between good and evil in our own 
characters.* In the most important sense, we have 
been conscious of living in the day of judgment. So 
of the resurrection. We have seen enough to prove 
that there is a power among us that can conquer 
death. . . ." 

From an editorial note appended to the foregoing 
extracts, we take the following : — 

" The discussion that followed these remarks corres- 
ponded in interest to the suggestions presented. The 
nature and effect of the proposed act, in all its bear- 
ings, were fully examined and illustrated. . . . All 
the believers present expressed themselves deliberately 
and freely on the subject under consideration. . . . 
Respecting the present existence and operation of the 
fire of judgment and the power of the resurrection 
among us, there was but one belief and one voice. It 
was seen that a new and further confession of truth was 
necessary ; that it was the next thing before us, in the 
course of progress to which we have been called. It 

* Perfectionists "believe and unblushingly maintain that tbey arc 
free from sin." Mr. N. assumes that if a person is sinful at all he is 
entirely so. Now if there has been evil in the character of the Noyes- 
ites, what. position have they occupied ? 


was unanimously adopted, therefore, as the confession m 
and testimony of the believers assembled, that the 


The reader -sv-ill perceive from the foregoing extracts, 
that Mr. N. assumes much and proves nothing ; but 
his followers, who believe in his infallibility^ receive, 
as undoubted truth, every word he utters. He specu- 
lates upon sublime subjects, but his object evidently 
was to bring his followers up to the point, and prepare 
them for the doctrines of the Battle Axe Letter in all 
their practical bearings ; for the announcement that the 
kingdom of God had come was the signal for the carry- 
ing out of those doctrmes through the Perfectionist 
ranks, which is now being done, as far as circumstan- 
ces admit ! 

Soon after the proclamation went forth that the 
kingdom of God had come, Mr. Noyes made the great- 
est pretensions to miraculous power. His followers 
acknowledged this power, and under these circumstan- 
ces he put forth the following manifesto : — 

" The kingdom of God is an absolute monarchy. . . 
So far as there is a true church on earth, it is a frontier 
department of this kingdom ; and it will possess the 
great characteristics of heaven's government, viz., cen- 
tral executive power, and subordination. It will mani- 
fest 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 cre- 
dentials, if truly received of him, need no secondary 
influence to secure theii* respect. In fact, the creden- 


tiaJ 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 mix- 
ture of fluids the heaviest will sink to the bottom. . . . 
In that organic body, [Christ's church] 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. ... In this 
construction of the church, the autocratic principle of 
the kingdom of God is seen throughout. . . . Every 
Christian finds himself under a despotism extending far 
beyond any earthly rule." 

From the sentiments expressed in the paragraphs 
just quoted, and from the fact that they were pubhshed 
immediately after the case of Mrs. Hall was noised 
abroad, we think it may be fairly inferred that Mr. 
Noyes wished to have it distinctly understood that the 
" central executive power " of the " frontier depart- 
ment" of the kingdom of heaven was lodged in him ! 
Having as he evidently supposed established this point, 
he then proceeds to read his followers a lecture on sub- 
ordination. This he deemed very essential. Relative 
to this point he starts with the questions : — 

" What is the effect of this tremendous, irresponsible 
government upon individual liberty ? Can freedom 
exist under, it ?" 

In answering these inquiries Mr. N. designates tw© 


clsses of subjects — the one wholly submissiye, the other 
partially so. In reference to those who are wholly 
submissive he speaks thus : — 

" 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." 

That is, in plain English — Those who have passed 
the ordeal to which Mr. Noyes subjects his disciples, 
and have become perfectly submissive to his will, and 
on whom he has set the broad seal of his approbation, 
are liberated from all law except the will of Noyes him- 
self ! They may then do just as they please, provided 
that it is always their pleasure to do just as he wishes 
them to do ! And Mr. N. would have them distinctly 
understand that in doing his will they are doing the 
will of G-od; for he sets himself up as Jehovah's vice- 
gerent — as His accredited ambassador — His represent- 
ative upon the earth ! " Under the monarchy of God," 
he asserts that " all forms of popular representation are 
dispensed with," and in the " organization of interme- 
diate agencies," there is a " disregard of democratic 
forms and privileges." 

The upshot of the matter is — John H. Noyes has an 
'' ability corresponding to his commission " ! And this 
ability is manifest in the mighty works he has wrought ! 

But in reference to the second class of subjects — 
those who have not become wholly submissive — he 
says :— 

<< It is inevitable, in the first stages of intercourse 


with God, while evil influences still exist in the charac- 
ter, 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, egotis- 
tical part which loves darkness, and loves to do as it 
pleases at all cost, that experiences the efiect of collision 
with a superior spirit. The efiect is suffering ; a bitter 
sense of bondage ; coercion of the soul. No prison can 
realize the idea of helpless constraint that the soul expe- 
riences when conscious of a hostile contact with the 
will of God. . . . Every spirit opposed to him, is des- 
tined not to slavery, but to destruction. ... He will 
have no drudges about him, no unwilling subjects." 

As Mr. Noyes virtually claims to stand at the head 
of all J)rincipaUties and powers upon earth, he thus 
gives his followers who are not entirely submissive to 
his will, to understand, that, if they would escape " suf- 
fering," and be freed from a " bitter sense of bondage," 
and not come in collision with his " superior spirit," 
they must yield imphcit obedience to his will, and sub- 
mit to his absolute control. 

From the language of Mr. Noyes which we have just 
noticed, we should naturally infer that he was a finished 
aristocrat. Circumstances justify the inference, and 
facts confirm its correctness. We learn from a person 
formerly connected with the Association at Putney, 
that the followers of Mr. Noyes appeared t® regard 
him with a kind of awe when in his presence. 

There were evidently two classes among them — the 
higher and the lower. The line of distinction probably 
lay between those who were wholly submissive to 


Noyes, and those who were but partially so. Those 
who rendered implicit obedience to the '■' acknowledged 
Head," and were his particular favorites, had special 
honors conferred upon them, and were admitted to 
peculiar privileges ; while others had a humbler place 
assigned them, and must there remain till by proper 
discipline they were prepared for a more honorable sta- 
tion ; and must patiently wait until the " acknowledged 
Head" was pleased to say, " Come up higher,''^ 

For the special benefit of the lower plass, or menials, 
the higher order found it necessary occasionally to give 
some instructions. Some among them appear to have 
been ambitious of higher honors, and to reconcile them 
to their humble lot, soon after Mr. Noyes had given 
the necessary instructions relative to " central execu- 
tive power " and " subordination," they had the follow- 
ing significant '' hint " : — 

'' In the household of faith, he is chief who serveth 
most ; and he that humble th himself is exalted. The 
spirit that disdains not the lowest ofiice, that is diligent 
and does with its might what the hand finds to do, has 
a path of honor before it. ... A disposition that is 
not fastidious and dainty, but will condescend to any 
thing, is of high price. . . . Here [in the Putney Com- 
munity] honor and service are balanced. Every one 
is rewarded according to his works. ... It is here, of 
course, no privilege to be idle and luxurious — to be let 
off from difficult exertion, or even menial offices. 
Happy is he who loves to minister. ... If ambition 
will take the form of a servant, and humble itself, it 
will be gratified perfectly. , . . Lahor to enter into 


" Tke true gentleman and the true lady, are they 
whb are most ready to serve — ^who take the lowest 
place, and are most arduous in their labors of love.'* 

Thus the *' path of honor '* was marked out before 
them, and they were taught that the road to prefer- 
ment lay through a scene of humble services and inces- 
sant labors. A very wholesome doctrine for the aristo- 
cratic part of the Putney Community, but a " hard 
saying '* for the humbler class ! 



Origin of Evil — Human Depravity — Molinesi of 
Adam — Judgment — Resurreotion — Sabbath — Tem- 
perance — Amusements — Fellowship . 

Mr. Noyes has undertaken to solve the mystery re- 
specting the origin of evil. He assumes that Satan is 
a self-existent and eternal being, and is the uncreated 
source of evil, as God is the uncreated source of good. 
The absurdity of this idea is so apparent that it needs 
no argument to confute it. How there can be more 
than one self-existent and eternal being in the universe, 
is left for Mr. N. to show. 

In relation to human depravity he has advanced 
some peculiar notions. He assumes that there is an 
original difference in the characters of men, for which 
he accounts as follows : — 

''As the source of all evil in this world is an uncrea- 
ted evil being, it is evident that the ultimate principle 
of corruption in mankind is spiritual. Men are wicked 
because they are enveloped in the spirit of ' the wicked 
one,' and so are ' led captive at his will.' This is true 
of all, in their primary, unregenerate state. 

" But there is a subdivision in the depravity of 
human nature. Adam, who was originally the work- 
manship of God, and a vessel of spiritual good, became 
by his fall a subject of the Devil, and a vessel of spirit- 
ual evil. The streams from the two eternal fountahis " 
(i. e. God and Satan) " flowed together in him. His 
spiritual nature was primarily good," (only negatively 


good, we presume he means,) " as proceeding from 
God ; but secondariiy evil, as pervaded by the Devih 
With this compound character, he had the power of 
propagating his own likeness ; and in giving direction 
to that power the antagonistic elements of uncreated 
good and evil were both concerned. In fact, this was 
the point of their most radical conflict. As the off- 
spring of Adam's body was two-fold, distinguished into 
male and female, part following the nature of the pri- 
mary, and part the nature of the secondary parent ; so 
the offspring of his spiritual nature was two-fold, distin- 
guished like that nature, into good and evil, part foUovv'- 
ing the character of the primary and part the character 
of the secondary spiritual element. In other words, 
Adam had two sorts of spiritual children — one of them 
like himself, primarily of God and secondarily of the 
Devil, of whom Adam was a specimen ; the other, prima- 
rily of the Devil and secondarily of God, of whom Cain 
was a specimen. See 1 John 3 : 12. Thus mankind are 
di\dded spiritually into two classes of different original 
characters, proceeding respectively froiii uncreated good 
and evil. . . . The depravity of mankind, then, is of two 
sorts. The seed of the woman arc depraved, as Adam 
was after the fall, — not in their original individual spi- 
rits which are of God, but by their spiritual combina- 
tion with and subjection to the Devil. In other words, 
they are possessed of the Devil, and as to their volun- 
tary or objective characters are totally depraved. Yet 
they are not subjectively devils. The divinity of their 
origin is evinced by the fact that they hear and receive 
the word of God when it comes to them. — On the other 
hand, the seed of the serpent are depraved as Cain 
was, — ^not only by combination with and subjection to 
the Devil, but by original spiritual identity with him. 
They are not only possessed of the Devil, but are radi- 
cally DEVILS THEMSELVES." — Berean, pp. 104, 105. 


The foregoing speculations have no scriptural basis 
whatever. They are the mere creature of Mr. N.'s 
imagination. The Scriptures speak a strong and uni- 
form language relative to man's depravity. They place 
all upon a common level ; and the testimony is abun- 
dant in relation to this subject — it stands out promi- 
nently upon almost every page of sacred writ. 

The views of Perfectionists respecting the holiness 
of Adam are expressed in short as follows : — 

" The Bible no where ascribes eminent holiness, or 
even any holiness, in the gospel sense of that term, to 
Adam. . . . That Adam was created in a state of per- 
fect innocence, we cannot doubt. , . . But with respect 
to his holiness, (if it is proper to apply this word at all 
to Adam in his original state,) it must have been 
rather negative than positive ; i. e. though he knew no 
e\41, though he was free from all evil propensity, and 
from all guilt, yet he did not possess what we call tried 
virtue; he had not met and resisted temptation." — 
Perfectionist, Vol. v. No. 12. 

Let us -glance at this position. What is holiness in 
its essence but supreme love to God ? This love He 
requires of all his intelHgent creatures ; and this re- 
quirement is based upon the natural relation they sus- 
tain to Him. Now if all moral beings are placed under 
a law requiring supreme love to their Creator, would it 
not be the height of absurdity to suppose that Adam, 
coming pure from the hand of his Maker, would be 
incapable of fulfilling the requirements of the law under 
wliich he was placed ? If he fulfilled that law until he 

fell — which no one doubts — then he must have possess- 


ed the love required, and consequently been eminently 
holy, even in a gospel sense — for the gospel requires 
no more than perfect love, accompanied with its appro- 
priate fruits. 

But it is intimated that in order to possess holiness, 
temptation must be " met and resisted." If this be 
true, the Savior had no holiness until He " met and 
resisted " the temptations of Satan 1 — The angels that 
fell had no holiaesg before their fall; from what a 
height, then, they must have fallen ! — And Adam had 
httle or nothing to lose; he had no eminence from 
which to fall ; he only descended from a common level 
a few steps downward ! 

But it is sometimes said that Adam could not have 
originally possessed true holiness, because it is argued, 
" Habits of hoHness cannot be created without our 
knowledge, or consent ; for holiness in its nature im- 
plies the choice and consent of a moral agent, without 
which it cannot be holiness." 

The fallacy of this reasoning lies in confounding 
Tidbits of hoHness with principles of holiness. Habit is 
the result of acts, and acts of choice. A principle 
always lies back of choice, by which it is governed. 
There must be a right nature or holy principle before 
there can be a right choice. The principle in Adam 
from which right choice proceeded, prior to the fall, 
was either implanted in him at his creation, or produ- 
ced by his own volitions. If the latter, he must have 
willed correctly without any correct principle ; if the 
former, then he possessed holiness by nature — which is 


self-evident, for y^e cannot suppose that God would cre- 
ate him less thap holy. Moreover, the scriptures actu- 
ally " ascribe eminent Jioliness " to Adam, inasmuch as 
they assert that he was created in the image of God, 
which comprised " true holiness J^ 

The Perfectionist view of this subject, although it 
does not charge evil upon Adam, yet it deprives him of 
all positive good. Having neither holiness nor sin, or 
in other words, possessing no moral character, and 
becoming immortal in this state, it would be difficult to 
fix his final destiny. Having no holiness, he could not 
enter heaven — and having no sin, he could not be justly 
doomed to eternal death. 

Mr. ISf. thus defines his theory of the judgment : — 
" As God divided mankind into two great families — 
the Jews and the Gentiles — so he has appointed a sep- 
arate judgment for each. The harvest of the Jews 
came first,- because they were ripened first. God sep- 
arated them from the rest of the nations, and for two 
thousand years poured upon them the sunshine and the 
rain of religious discipline. When Christ came he said 
the fields were white. By the preaching of Christ and 
his apostles, the process, necessary to make way for the 
judgment, was complete. At the destruction of Jeru- 
salem, the Jews as a nation were judged. Then the 
kingdom of heaven passed from the Jews to the Gen- 
tiles. Matt. 21 : 43. God commenced a process of 
preparation for a second judgment. The Gentiles 
came under the sunshine and rain, which had before 
been sent upon the Jews. For nearly two thousand 
years the Gentile crop has been maturing, and we may 
reasonably look for the Gentile harvest as near." — 
Berean, p. 277. 


Mr. N. asserts that the second, coming of Christ — 
which he assumes took place at the des|(;ruction of Jeru- 
salem — was " the day of judgment for the primitive 
church and the Jetmh nation. ^^ He also assumes that 
the judgment of mankind " is divided into two acts, 
occupying tzvo periods of time^ separated from each 
other by an interval of more than a thousand years." 
One of these acts he calls the first judgment, and the 
other the final judgment. 

Now the simple assertion that " God hath appointed 
a day "-— i. e. a particular time, a definite period — " in 
which he will judge the world " — not a part of it — " in 
righteousness " — Acts 17 : 31 — is fatal to this theory, 
and overthrows the whole superstructure. 

But Mr. N. assumes that the final judgment has 
commenced, and is being executed by Perfectionists, 
but more particularly, if not exclusively, by himself! 
On the evening of June 1, 1847, he said : — 

'' We are finally brought to the question. Is not the 
kingdom of God in us ; including all the elements of 
the judgment 9 I think jbhere is abundant evidence in 
the past, especially in the last year, that the judgment 
has begun. . , . In the most important sense, we have 
heen conscious of living in the day of judgment " ! 

But let us look at the nature and characteristics of 
the judgment as set forth by Mr. N. He says : — 

" The judgment of the world will be a gradual spirit- 
ual operation efiected by truth and invisible power, with- 
out any of the physical machinery which alarms the ima- 
ginations of most expectants of the great day. . . All the 
transactions of the last judgment, will be effected hj a 

NOYESiSM un\t:iled. 389 

spiritual infusion from them [the primitiYe diurch] gf 
the light and energy of G-od." 

'Mr. N. also asserts that he discards entirely the 
impressions ivliich are common in the world, respecting 
the judgment! But let us endeavor to ascertain as 
definitely as possible the character of the judgment, and 
the office-work of the judge, as presented by the Noyes- 
ites. Mr. N. says; — 

'• The ultimate causes of all good and evil, are the 
spirit of love and the spirit of selfishness — God and the 
devil. Human life is placed under the power of these 
spirits, and in all stages of its experience is either sub- 
ject wholly to one or to the other of them, or is in the 
conflict between them.'' — Berean, p. 256. 

Thus, by the principles of love and selfishyiess, Mr. 
N. represents G-od and Satan. Perfectionists think 
they are living under a new dispensation — that this is 
the end of the world — and they talk about the judg- 
ment of selfishness.' They think their Community is 
an unselfish association. But in order to enter it, the 
social ties must be cut asunder. Say they : — 

" Those attachments and relations, whether domestic 
or social, originating and existing only in the constitu- 
tion of human life, are obstacles to be surmounted. . . . 
However cutting and anti-selfish it may be, our prop- 
erty, ourselves, and every thing that pertains to us and 
ours, are to be sacrificed." 

A member of the Putney Community remarked to a 
citizen of the village, that her hody ivas going to the 
judgment ! i. e, into the hands of John H. Noyes, to 
be disposed of by him ! And in this way she was going 
to make saci^ifice of self ! ! 


•Mr. N. said to a citizen of Putney several years 
since, that he should yet sit upon the throne and judge 
the world ! And undoubtedly he now thinks he is doing 
it. But it is presumed that the general sentiment is that 
it is a very small matter to he judged hy John H. Noyes ! 

From all the light thrown upon the subject, we come 
to the conclusion, that, in the estimation of Perfection- 
ists, the process of the judgment consists in separating 
between the seljish and the unselfish ! The Noyesites 
profess to have an unselfish association, and all without 
is selfish. It appears to be the province of Mr. N. to 
distinguish between the two characters ; and those who 
make a sacrifice of self, find favor in his sight, and are 
welcomed within the " charmed circle " ; and those 
who do not make a sacrifice of self are rejected ! Thus 
he is judging the world ! ! 

In concluding this subject, we would remark that 
Mr. Noyes professes to be the white horse mentioned in 
the following passage : — " And I saw heaven opened, 
and behold a white horse ; and he that sat upon him 
was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he 
doth judge and make war." — Rev. 19 : 11. 

In the Spiritual Magazine of Nov. 1, 1847, we find 
the following language : — 

" Christ is now going forth on the white horse, to 
judge and make war in righteousness ; and the armies 
of heaven are following him on white horses J^ 

The allusions in the above language cannot be mista- 
ken. Now the cream of the whole matter is that John 
H. Noyes is the white horse, and that his followers 
are all white horses ! I 


Mr. Nojes occupies a position antagonistical to the 
doctrine of the resurrection of the body. He says he 
has long argued " against the notion of a resurrection 
of that body which c?jes"-^and ^Hhat there is to he no 
resurrection of the body which sees corruption. — 
Berean, p. 355. 

Speaking of a spiritual resurrection, Mr. N. makes 
the following remark ; — 

" ' If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature ; 
old things are passed away ; behold all things are be- 
come new.' [He has passed from a carnal state into 
the resurrection — from this world into the heavenly 
world ; his state and relations are as fully changed^ as 
the idea of a translation from earth to heaven de- 

The reader can draw his own inferences. 

The Christian Sabbath is discarded by the Noyes- 
ites. Nevertheless, on that day at Putney they usually 
met — merely as a matter of convenience, however — at 
their Chapel in the morning, and held a sort of service. 
There were several speakers^ who usually, we believe, 
served in rotation, and each, from time to time, held 
forth upon -a topic of his own selection, and — ■ 

" The truth of God 
Tamed to a lie, deceiving and deceived: — 
Each, with the accursed sorcery of sin, 
To his own wish and vile propensity 
Transforming still the meaning of the t«xt." 

In this manner Noyes and his little company of fol- 
lowers generally occupied the time usually allotted to 
the morning service in religious assemblies. In the 


afternoon they had no such gathering, hut spent the 
tune, after the manner of a holiday, in rambhng over 
the fields, or riding about town — to the annoyance of 
the sober citizens — in their pleasure carriages ; — the 
nobility occupying the best vehicles, and the lower class, 
those of a secondary order — for aristocracy was quite 
prominent among them. In the evening, after a great 
supper, they spent the time in conversing upon what 
they called religious subjects — what consummate hypoc- 
risy !—jzc?cZZm^, dancing^ card-playing^ &c., in short, 
any gaming or amusements which the spirit that was 
among them inclmed them to follow. 

After desecrating the holy Sabbath in this most 
revolting manner, it is more than probable that the 

— '• Then retired to drink the filthy cup 
Of secret wickedness, and fabricate 
All lying wonders, by the untaught received 
For revelations new." 


" These in their wisdom (?) left 
The light revealed, and turned to fancies wild j 

And visionary dreams, 
More bodiless and hideously misshapen 
Than ever fancy, at the noon of night 
Playing at will, framed in the madman's brain." 

The position of the Perfectionists in relation to the 
use of alcoholic drinks, is found in the following extract 
from the Spiritual Magazine of May 15, 1847 : — 

'' "What, after all, does the famous physiological 
argument of the Temperance Society amount to ? It 
is nothing more than an inference drawn from the 


observed effect of alcohol upon the stomachs of intem- 
perate, ungodly men. Such men are necessarily dis- 
eased. Unbelief, or sin, is itself an unnatural, diseased 
state of the whole man, -which gives a more or less poi- 
sonous effect to every thing that he eats or drinks, so 
that the most scrupulous dieter falls a victim to his food 
at last. The primary cause, however, we repeat, is not 
in tis food ; but in the unsanctified, devilish nature of 
his life, which converts to evil, things which are good. 
. . . Persons who are unnaturally diseased by sin, and 
who habitually eat and drink damnation to themselves, 
are not to decide the character of meats and drinks for 
persons in a wholly different state. It is as unreasonable 
for Temperance men to pronounce alcohol an invariable 
poison because of its effect on drunkards, as it would be 
for us to call water poison because it produces terrible 
convulsions in a person with the hydrophobia. The 
cause of the evil is as independent of the offendmg sub- 
stanccj in one case as the other." 

We present the foregoing _ extract as a curious speci- 
men of Perfectionist logic. The reader will readily 
perceive that the Noyesites have hit upon an expedient 
by which they evidently hope to appropriate the " good 
creature " exclusively to their own special benefit and 
behoof I 

The position of Perfectionists in relation to amuse- 
ments is as anti-scriptural and absurd as many other 
things among them. Say they : — 

" Tliere is a time to laugJi, a time to rejoice and leap for joy 
— and in such demonstrations only can we truly worship God. . . , 
Let us not have amusements without religion, nor a religion thai 
is hostile to amusements. But let us marry religion to amuse" 


According. to their own declarations, their practices 
have been in accordance with these principles. The 
Editor of the Spiritual Magazine of May 15, 1847, 
writes thus: — 

" The body of believers in holiness in this village 
have this spring joined their households under one com- 
mon roof. This change, as they expected, has proved 
in every respect useful and agreeable. Our evenings 
are generally occupied with conversation, reading, and 
amusement J^ 

The nature of the amusements which they have 
attempted to " marry " to religion, will be discovered 
in the following extract : — 

" A wanderer from the West, a representative of a 
certain school of spirituahsts, presented himself with us 
one evening while we were interested in the subject of 
' Christ, our wisdom.' ... He came with a design of 
mediation between us and those with whom he is con- 
nected, or for some" purpose we know not what, profess- 
ing to be dii-ected by the Spirit. We passed the eve- 
ning as if he were not present, in conversation about 
the Bible, our hearts burning within us, and joy in our 
countenances. Then there was musio and dancing, 
and the exhilaration of good fellowships^ 

Thus they can profess to be interested in the subject 
of " Christ, our wisdom " — converse " about the Bible" 
— and then trip to. the sound of the viol, on " light fan- 
tastic toe" — and that too all in the same evening! 
Thus they marry religion to amusements ! and are 
ready to say, "m mich demonstrations only can we 
truly worship Crod^^ ! Comment is unnecessary. 


But they place a high estimate upon fellowship. Let 
us glance at their views touching this matter. In the 
Spiritual Magazine of Dec. 15, 1846, they say : — 

" There are three degrees of fellowship that believers 
may have with God, and with each other. The first 
may be called Jewish fellowship ; the second corres- 
ponds to the transition state of the primitive church ; 
and the third to the fullness of the New Covenant. 
The first is simply friendship, mutual afiection ; the sec- 
ond is a closer union, but not secure ; the third is an 
organic union which is indissoluble. Perfectionists 
have known considerable of the second degree of fellow- 
ship. They have had love, without the security. . . . 
Their union has not been an eternal marriage, where 
divorce is impossible. . . . But the third kind of union 
is coming to view ; union which has the security — 
which is entered into like marriage, with irrevocable 
bonds. Two shall say to each other — It is a gone case 
with us ; we are one for eternity. ... A nucleus of 
this union has been formed, and there are some who 
have received of the Lord, a hope for each other which 
is steadfast, and a love which casts out fear. Love 
cannot be perfect while one fear remains that it will 
not always last. In the relations of this world, mar- 
riage comes the nearest to this union, in its community 
of interests, and in the abandonment to each other 
which the parties make, for better or for worse, and in 
the contract being for life. But a life union for this 
world is transitory, compared with a union for eternity ; 
and the kind of companionship which exists in most 
marriages is very deferent from being ' fitly framed 
together.' ... It is an organic union, which comes by 
growth and assimilation of substance, or it is like a 
hyjMmg fitly framed together,^^ 


The reader will readily perceive that the Perfection- 
ists tarnish every thing they touch, and turn every sen- 
timent and subject -which they handle into a polluted 
channel — which clearly indicates the prevaiHng senti- 
ments and predominant feelings among them. 



Concluding Observations, 

The doctrines taught by Mr. Noyes and his coadju- 
tors, together with their practical consequences, have 
been so far exhibited as to give, we trust, a tolerably 
correct idea of the nature and tendency of this new 
ism. Undoubtedly the heart of the reader has sicken- 
ed, while perusing the foregoing pages, at the recital of 
scenes which have transpired among the Noyesites at 
Putney and elsewhere, and in view of the deep corrup- 
tion of this new class of people. But let no one for a 
moment suppose that the gross impieties and strong 
delusions which we have been contemplating are the 
offspring of the Christian rehgion — far, far from this. 
Christianity is utterly opfposed to ail such principles and 
practices. For the leader of this sect to teach that the 
Apostles and primitive Christians approved of such 
infamous conduct, and practiced such gross immorah- 
ties, as he and his followers are guilty of, is a most 
blasphemous assumption — an utter outrage upon virtu- 
ous principles — the deepest reproach that can be cast 
upon the rehgion of the Bible, and the highest indignity 
that can be offered to the Divine Author of our common 

There are evidently those in the present age, as well 
as in primitive times, to whom the searching language 
of the inspired Apostles will very appropriately apply, 


for their characters %ppear to be quite similar. We 
quote a few paragraphs from the apostolic -writinge, 
which appear to be peculiarly applicable in the present 
instance : — 

" Now the Spirit apeakath expressly t thai in the latter times some 
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spiritSf and 
doctrines of devils ; speaking lies in hypocrisy ; having their con" 
science seared with a hot iron. . . . They profess that they knoio 
God ; hut in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobe- 
dient, and unto every good work reprobate. . . . Having the under- 
standing darkened, being alienated from the life of God through 
the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their 
heart ; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto 
lasciviousness, to V)ork all uncleanness with greediness. . . . And 
have not repented of the uncleanness, and fornication and lasciv- 
iousness, which they have committed. . . . But became vain in their 
imaginations, and their foolish heart was'darkened. Wherefore 
God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own 
hearts, to dishonor tlieir own bodies between themselves. . . . For it 
is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in 
secret. . . . For the mystery of iniquity doth already work ; . . . . 
even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all 
pow«r, and signs, and lying wond^s, and loith all deceivableness 
of unrighteousness in them that perish ; because they received not 
the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause 
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a 
lie : that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had 
pleasure m unrighteousness. . . . These be they who separate them- 
selves ; sensual, having not the Spirit. . . . Scoffers, walking after 
their own lusts, . . . But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in 
the lust of uncleanness, and despise government: presumptuous 
are ihe'y, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 
. . . These, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroy- 
ed, speak evil of the things that they understand not ; and shall 
utterly perish in their own corruption ; and shall receive the 


reward of unrighteousness as they that count it pleasure to riot in 
the day time. Spots are they and blemishes, sporting themselves 
with their own deceivings ; having eyes full of adultery, and that 
cannot cease from sin ; beguiling unstable souls. . . . For when 
they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the 
lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean 
escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them 
liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption.^* 

One writer very justly comments upon the prophetic 
part of the foregoing quotations, as follows : — 

" It is wonderful to observe with what precision these 
prophecies have been fulfilled by the clouds of impos- 
tors who have appeared — ' speaking great swelling 
words of vanity,' and fallen — since the inspired senten- 
ces were uttered. And it may be regarded as one of 
the evidences of the truth of inspiration, that had the 
long array of apostates and deceivers actually stood 
before the sacred penmen at the time of their writing, 
their characters all naked before them, the likenesses, 
from the first Christian apostate to the sensual Mor- 
mons " — and Perfectionists — " could not have been 
drawn with greater fidehty." 

This strange delusion undoubtedly originated in the 
same fanatical spirit which has transformed many a 
Christian community into a moral waste — a spiritual 
desolation. The Noyesites proceeded step by step 
from one degree to another, till at last the measure of 
their iniquity became full and running over. One 
writer says : — 

" These Perfectionists believe that they have the 
inward Christ — can do no wrong — that to the pure all 
things are pure — that Christ is responsible for all they 
do — and other such blasphemous absurdities. . . . Iq 


most cases, from the primitive heresy of Gnosticism, 
down to the Fifth Monarchy sect of the Puritan age, 
and even to the days of Joanna Southcote in England, 
and the Cochranites, the lascivious Mormons, and the 
sensual Perfectionists of the present day in the United 
States, the tendency, it cannot be denied, has been to 
permit almost every license of impurity. ... In our 
own country, the most surprising instance of imposture 
and delusion, perhaps, that has occurred, was that of 
the Cochranites, whose enormities in licentiousness 
made so much stu- in Maine and New Hampshire a feT>' 
years since. ... So atrocious was Cochran's conduct, 
that he seduced great numbers of females, married and 
unmarried, under the pretext of raising up a holy race 
of men. The peace of many families was broken up, 
and the villain kept an estabhshment like a seragho. 
His career, however, was happily short." 

The foregoing paragraph was penned soon after 
Noyesism had made its appearance ; and at that early 
date it had given decided indications of its nature and 
tendency, but it has since so fully developed itself, and 
advanced so far, that it now occupies the front rank in 
that legion of impostures and delusions under which the 
world has long groaned. The writer from which we 
have made some extracts further says : — 

" An examination of the history of heresies and im- 
postures in all ages, will disclose the painful fact, that 
whether arising from enthusiasm, or phrenzy, or from 
deliberate imposture, a common character seems to 
have run through and pervaded nearly all, — and the 
tendency has, beyond doubt, most usually been to licen- 
tiousness and criminal intercourse between the sexes. 
This fact has not escaped the notice of the enemies of 
Christianity, who have availed themselves of it in th^ir ^ 


attacks, for the purpose of increasing the "weight of 
odium with which thej would cover it. Mr. Hume, 
however, has the candor to assign the true cause for the 
effect, viz. the strength of human passions, and the 
facihties of criminal indulgence, between the sexe5, 
afforded by the frequent and intimate associations pro- 
duced bj congenial fanaticism." 

This little volume has been prepared for the purpose 
of warning the public, by the presentation of simple 
facts, against cherishing a fanatical spirit. The writer 
has diligently sought for tuuth, and it is behered has 
succeeded in collecting a chain of facts, of a painful 
and somewhat extraordinary character — 'facts which it 
is very important should be known, that others, looking 
at their origin, and tracing their progress, may be 
deterred from entering upon a course in religious mat- 
ters, which may lead to the same dangerous extremes 
and melancholy results, and ultimately end in the same 
or similar delusions, dark and deep, and equally fatal 
as those disclosed in this volume. 

It cannot but be perceived that it is extremely haz- 
ardous for a person to set up a standard of faith and 
practice of his own, irrespective of the simple requisi- 
tions of the Scriptures, taken in their most obvious 
sense, and in their own native simplicity and beauty. 
It has been well remarked by Robert Philip, that " the 
men who would say to others, ' Stand aside, for I am 
holier than thou,' are Pharisees, who have httle or no 
dependence on grace. In like manner, all who plume 
themselves on being special favorites of Heaven, and 


despise others as non-elect, pay, of all men, the least 
respect to the grace they pretend to have received." 

Unquestionably one of the leading features, as well 
as one of the greatest errors of the age in which we 
live, and especially in our own country, is a strong ten- 
dency to ultraisms — ultraisms not only in religion and 
pontics, but in almost every department of moral and 
philanthropic enterprise. TVe are running into ex- 
tremes upon almost every thing we undertake. While 
there are some who are always on the back ground, 
extremely tardy in all their moves, and very reluctantly 
render even the most inefficient aid for the promotion 
of any moral or benevolent enterprise, there are, at the 
same time, others, who, instead of adopting those con- 
servative principles and judicious measures which would 
secure the most lasting and beneficial results, become 
over-heated zealots, and by injudicious efforts actually 
injure any cause, however good, in which they may be 
engaged — their every movement tends to retard the 
onward march of truth, and put far away the day of 
final triumph. In relation to the ultraisms of the age, 
one distinguished orator has shrewdly remarked, that 
''often, when a good cause has been begun, if ike Devil 
■finds there is no other ivay to ruin it, he will turn 
charioteer" himself P^ 

The facts detailed in the present volume should 
stand as a solemn warning against "this ultra, self- 
righteous and fanatical spirit — this seeking out of human 
inventions in matters of such high concernment as 
those of the salvation of men. How much wiser, safer, 


and better, than the running after every new thing, and 
the following of sq many blind guides, would it be for 
Christian professors to obey the injunction of God him- 
self : — ' Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the way^, 
and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the 
GOOD WAY, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest 
for your souls,^ " 

Moreover, we learn from this subject that delusions 
are not confined to the low, the ignorant, and the vul- 
gar ; but may be found among the intelligent — ladies, 
educated and accomplished, and gentlemen of talent, 
information and wealth. How important, then, in view 
of our weakness and dependence, the caution, " Let 
Mm that thinheth he standeth, take heed lest he fallJ^ 
The rule of section under all circumstances is very ex- 
plicit : " Fear Gjod, and keep his commandments ; for 
fMs is the whole duty of manP 

We conclude this little volume in the language of 
another, the truthfulness of Vhich must be apparent to 
all ; and ite application in the present instance is pecul- 
iarly appropriate and forcible :— • 

'* What is denominated fanaticism is often sheer^ 
downright hypocrisy, both in the deceiver and in those 
who pretend to be deluded. By far the greater por- 
tion of those who profess to be deluded, only assume 
the character of believers in these impostures, for the 
purpose of thus freeing themselves from the restraint of 
those rules and decorums and obligations of society, 
which they cannot otherwise contravene without calling 
down on their own heads disgrace and punishment. It 
mil, in almost every case of these fanatical eruptions, 


be seen that the imposture begins by railing against all 
the domestic duties, and relations of the social state : 
filial and parental ties, the marriage vow, the sanctity 
of chastity, most especially, form the subjects of their 
attacks ; and the basis of every false rehgion is almost 
uniformly laid in the ruins of feminine purity, matrimo- 
nial faith, and domestic obHgations. 

" That those who have become impatient of these 
ties and duties, or who wish to free themselves from the 
necessity of conforming to the restraints of the social 
state, and travel out into the boundless ocean of licen- 
tious indulgence, should shelter themselves under the 
convenient mask of fanaticism, from the imputation of 
criminal excesses, and affect to becojiie conscientiously 
letvd, or luicJced from principle^ is surely not a subject 
of wonder, however it may be of regret. Hence we 
almost always see the development and exposure of 
these impostures exhibiting to the eyes of the world a 
scene of lewdness and hcentious intercourse equally 
degrading to the character of that sex, among whom 
we almost always find the first disciples of every new- 
fangled religious imposition, and to the character of 
rational and moral beings. From all I have seen and 
read of these victims, or accomplices of successful im- 
posture, I am imalterahly convinced, that ivhat is called 
fanaticism, is oftener the cool, calculating offspring of 
a corrujDt and sensual heart, than of a deluded, over- 
heated brain. Wine times in ten, I believe it is only 
the veil behind which corrupt men and women seek a 
shelter from the ignominy of a licentioiis life, and 
cloak the indulgence of indiscriminate lewdness. 

"In conclusion, it may be remarked that Erroe can 
only be overcome by Truth, and that they who have 
the ' Truth of God ' distinctly set forth in the book of 
Revelation, have an infallible criterion by which to test 
the true character of any religious opinion or practice. 


And in the Gospel dispensation introduced by our 
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the inspired volumes of 
the Old and New Testaments constitute the true and 
only infallible rule of faith and conduct ; nor can any- 
radical or fundamental error long escape detection when 
subjected to this plain and unerring standard." 


Case of 3fi8S Lucinda J. Lamb — Various Items, 

The case of Miss Lucinda J. Lamb, a respectable 
young lady residing in Putney Village, is "worthy of 
notice. The circumstances connected with this case 
transpired in the spring and summer of 1847, about the 
time of the going forth of the famous proclamation that 
the kingdom of God had come to the town of Putney 
and the Perfectionist Community located there ! ! 

Miss Lamb, at the time alluded to, was about fifteen 
years of age. She w^as brought within the reach of 
influences which surrounded the " charmed circle,''^ by 
circumstances which it is unnecessary now to give in 
detail. Suffice it to say, that she and her parents were 
deceived ; and not suspecting that there was any dark 
design at the bottom, were unaware of the danger to 
which she was exposed. Meanwhile, the Noyesites 
resorted to various expedients and stratagems for the 
purpose of drawing her into the vortex of ruin ; but 
happily their nefarious schemes were frustrated just in 
time to rescue her from the clutches of those rapacious 

408 Al>i>ENDlX. 

monsters, tlie leading Perfectionists :— for, like vora* 
aious vultures, they were doubtless looking upon Miss 
Lamb as lawful prey, and they were evidently not a 
likle disappointed that she escaped. 

Mr. Noyes not only exerted his own influence, but 
his female helpers closed around Miss Lamb, bent on 
her ruin ; and each, in turn, like " a serpent with 
an angel's voice," strove to indoctruiate and lead her 
along in the path to infamy and death : — and so intent 
Were they upon their prey, that Miss Lamb was watch- 
ed with a vigilant eye ; and when she stepped out to 
call upon her parents or friends, some of the female 
niembers of the Community would accompany her, lest 
some counteracting influences might be exerted upon 
h-er, and the spell thus be broken. And this course 
was in perfect keeping with Perfectionist policy; for 
wh«n they get hold they generally hang on, till the 
victim is fast bound and the ruin rendered complete. 

It may be proper here to remark, that the circum- 
stances which we are narrating transpired before the 
disclosures were made which exhibited the abominable 
lewdness of Noyes and his fuithful followers ; and 
when even some of tlie sober citizens of Putney were 
slow to beheve that they would plunge into such gross 
iniquity. The parents of Miss Lamb were not over 
much suspicious, and were mduced to let their daugh- 
ter board in the dwelling where the Noyesites resided, 
in consequence of fair promises, and the deep interest. 
which some of the members of the Community, with 
^hom she had formerly been acquainted and even quite 


intimate, professed to feel for her. Bnt the worst 
deception was practiced upon her and her parents, and 
the dark and infernal designs of the Noyesites were 
kept concealed from view. But the parents of the 
joung lady ere long began to fear that all was not 
right, and at length became dissatisfied, and made some 
efforts to get her away; but to their surprise they 
found that an influence had been obtained over her 
which well-nigh proved fatal. And although Mr. 
Noyes was peremptorily forbidden by Mr. Lamb to 
have any more conversation with his daughter, yet, 
regardless of this, he persisted in the same course he 
had been pursuing : and to show the deep mterest 
which Mr. N. feit in this case, and the active part he 
performed, we give the following extracts from a letter 
which he wrote to Mr. Lamh while things were pro- 
gressing : — 

^' Putney, June 4, 1847. 

■^^ Mr. Xaw5— Sir :— ... I find it my duty at th« 
present juncture to apprize you distinctly of the posi- 
tion which I hold, and of the course which I shall take 
in relation to Lucinda. 

" You are the father of her body, Ood is fne father 
of her spirit. You have the legal right and the physi- 
cal power to dispose of her body — to send her where 
you will. God has the absolute right and the irresisti- 
ble power to direct the movements of her spirit and fix 
her heart on the kingdom and followers of his Son. — 
•Christ himself has distinctly forevfarned us that colhs- 
iens between his claims and the claims 'of earthly rela- 
tions must occur in the going forth of his kingdom. — 
* Think not,' he says, ' I am come to send peace on 


earthy I am not coiDie to send peace on earth, but a 
sword.' ... It is at least supposable that these words 
are being fulfilled in your family — that your daughter 
has accepted the call of Christ and you have rejected 
it, and of course that a collision between Christ's claim 
and yours is approaching. You will naturally reject 
such a supposition, and yet it may be time. 

" I believe that it is true, and believing thus, I am 
bound, in the first place, to do my best to make jo^sl 
aware of what you are doing. I count it an act, not 
of enmity, but of love toward you, to say to you, ' Be- 
ware of the attempt to take your daughter out of God's 
hands. Let the potsherds of the earth strive with the 
potsherds of the earth, but wo to him who striveth with 
his Maker.' ... I think the present project of sending 
Lucinda away from her religious friends is as unnatural 
and as cruel to her soul, as it would be to take a new- 
born infant away from its mother. I do not beSeve 
that you will succeed in ahenating her from her present 
faith or from us. Nor do I believe that she will make 
the improvement in w^orldly studies which you have in 
view. ... I advise you to let her remain where she is. 
" Your friend, John H. No yes." 

Notwithstanding Mr. N.'s advice and implied threats^ 
Mr. Lamb removed his daughter to an adjoining State, 
and has ever since kept her away from Perfectionist 
influence. But to show the pertinacity with wMch 
they adhered to their purposes, we would remark, that 
before the letter was written from which the foregoing 
extracts were taken, Mr. Lamb removed his daughter 
to Fayetteville, a distance of ten miles, and committed 
her to the care of his son and some friends — hoping by 
this course to keep her away from the subtle influences 


exerted by Koyee and his confederates. But on th© 
next morning after her removal, at an early hour, John 
R. Miller and George W. Noyes, both staunch Perfec- 
tionists and pliant tools of the Putney Pontiff, made 
their appearance at Fayetteville — though before they 
left Putney they stated that they were going to other 
places — and desired an interview with Miss Lamb. 
Those to whose care she had been committed, at first 
refused admittance ; but young Mr. Noyes — ^who is a 
brother of the Putney magician, a Perfectionist dyed 
in the wool, and a no less personage than the Editor of 
the Spiritual Magazine* — was intent upon an interview, 
and urged it upon the ground that he intended mar- 
riage with her ; and falsely asserted, as we learn, that 
he already had engagements with her. He affirmed' 
t^at his motives were pure ; and as he was a young 
man who had previously sustained a fair character, 
aside from his many heretical notions, though now act- 
ing a feigned part behind the curtain, the friends of 
Mss Lamb at length consented, though quite reluc- 
tantly, to an interview. During that interview, young 
Mr. Noyes told Miss Lamb that he believed it was the 
Lord's will that he should marry her ! and that in this 
he had the approbation of his elder brother. Now this 
must have been either a piece of sheer deception on the 
part of the young man, and designed as an inducement 
for Miss Lamb to return to Putney ; or he afterward 
had an opposite revelation ; or the " acknowledged 
head" otherwise ordered; for in a few weeks after 
young Mr. Noyes averred that he believed it was the 


Lord's will that he should marry Miss Lamb, he was 
married to another lady ! Before this took place he 
mentioned three young ladies — one of whom was MisS 
Lamb— ^and said he had iio choice between them, and 
was willing to marry any one if it was God's will ; hut 
that will was of course to he ascertained through his 
brother, John IT, Noyes ! Thus he made frequent refer- 
ences and great professions of submission to the will of 
God, when his sole object in entering into the marriage 
relation was that he might have " a dish of his own 
procuring " to add to the great supper which was fast 
being prepared. Notwithstanding his professions, his 
motives were probably about as pure a:s those of the 
butcher who leads the lamb to the slaughter ! 

When Mr. Lamb took his daughter away to remove 
her to I^ayetteville, the Perfectionists exhorted her to 
steadfastness. Says one, " Stick to it, Lucinda " / 
Yes, echoes another, " Stick to it, do nH give it wp " / 
When at Fayetteville, several letters were writteti to 
her for the purpose of encouraging and strengthening 
her ; and those letters were mailed at Brattleboro', ten 
miles from Putney, and at a greater distance than Put- 
ney fr®m Fayetteville ; and all this when there was a 
post-office at their door in Putney. Were they afraid 
that the friends of Miss Lamb would learn that they 
wore holding correspondence with her ? Undoubtedly. 

La a letter written during this time to Miss Lamb, 
John K. Miller holds the following very beautiful Ian-- 
guage :— 

" We shall all be delighted to see you once more at our hoiisef 

. APPENDIX. 418 

and we expect to have the privilege next Saturday evening. . . . 
We have very happy times at our house, more so than ever, all 
that is wanting is your presence to mahe it completely so. Though 
you are absent you have been the subject of conversation several 
evenings. . . . Mr. Noyes said he wished to express his entire 
approbation of your conduct, and that he was very much pleased 
with you." 

In another letter written about the same time, Mr. 
Miller continues the strain thus : — 

" Our friendship for you and our connexion with you is nearer 
and dearer than any thing this world knows any thing about, and 
we shall prove to you in every possible way our love for you." 

Mr. Miller also undertook to portray in glowing colors 
the beauty of making a sacrifice of self. He says : — 

" It would seem that this world might be a ' para- 
dise ' were it not for the selfishness of man. How 
happy this world might be, if our hearts were filled 
with love — that love which seeketh not her own, but 
tries to make others happy.'''' 

To make a sacrifice of self, is to give up " every 
thing " to John H. Noyes. Thus Mr. Miller began to 
preach up the peculiar doctrine in characteristic style ! 
But he says again for the encouragement of Miss 
Lamb : — 

" God is carrying on his work here gloriously and no 
power on earth can stop it. Let those oppose it and 
tell stories about us who choose, they are only making 
work for repentance. The Devil has been busy, but 
his time is short." 

Arrant hypocrisy ! Talking about the work of God 
going on gloriously among them, when the cup of their 
iniquity was being filled to overflowing ! 


Mr. Miller unwittingly spoke an important truth. 
He thinks the Devil was busy and his time short. That 
he was very busy among the ISToyesites about this time, 
is abundantly evident ; and the event proved his time 
quite short in Putney, under the administration of 
Noyes and his coadjutors ! 

Mr. Miller, speaking of two young ladies who had 
recently joined the Community, says they were " get- 
ting along nicely " / One of those ladies wrote a let- 
ter to Miss Lamb, accompanied by the following note : 
" Put this letter of mine ivhere it ivill not he found — 
in the fire " / 

Great professions of love and friendship were made 
toward Miss Lamb, and presents were given her to the 
value of about fifteen dollars^ ten of which was in 
money ; the object of these presents no one can doubt. 

After remaining a short time at Fayetteville, Miss 
Lamb returned to Putney, and her parents, as a last 
resort, resolved to send her out of the State. They 
accordingly went for the purpose of getting her away 
from the Noyesite Community ; but Mr. Noyes was 
highly incensed, and refused to let her go. He talked 
very insulting to Mrs. Lamb, the mother of the young 
lady — told her she was not her daughter, that she Imd 
no business with her, and that she should not have her. 
He " shook his fist in her face^"* after the manner of an 
enraged rowdy, and told her that she had done enough 
that day to sink her to the lowest depths of hell ! All 
this Mr. N. would call holy indignation I But what 
was Mrs. Lamb's ofibnce ? Simply this — she had 

, APPENDIX. 41i 

demanded her daughter, which she had a perfect right 
to do ; and was resolved that she should leave, and 
leave tJien. This in the eye of Hojes was an unpar- 
donable offence ! Mr. Lamb soon coming in, took his 
daughter away, and on the evening of the same day, 
accompanied by her mother, she left the State, and was 
taken about seventy-five miles into an adjoining State to 
reside, that she might be kept away from the Noyes- 
ites. Late in the evening on which Miss Lamb left, 
several persons were seen about the dwelling, supposed 
to be Noyesites watching for an ojDportunity to se« her 
—not knowing that she had already left. For several 
days the stages coming into town were closely watched, 
evidently to see if she did not return — for they had 
instructed her to get away from her mother and return 
as soon as she could. Inquiries were also often made 
hj the Noyesites for her place of residence, hopihg to 
ascertain where it was, that they might still exert an 
influence over her by some communication with her. 
But in this they did not succeed. While she remained 
among them, the parents of Miss Lamb were satisfied 
that she was under mesmeric influences. - 

Mr, Lamb brought an action against John H. Noyes, 
John R. Miller, and Geo. W. Noyes, for enticing his 
daughter away and subjecting him to much trouble and 
expense, and the case is now pending in court. But 
the worst feature of the affair is that they evidently 
intended her utter ruin, and had well-nigh accomplished 
their object, but she was rescued just in time to ^ve 

416 AFPENPIX. 9 

In the case of Miss Lamb we can clearly see tlie 
course pursued by the Noyesites for the purpose of 
drawing young and virtuous females into the vortex of 
ruin. They do not at first, by bold and daring efforts, 
attempt this, but by secret and subtle influences lead 
the victim along, step by step, till the nefarious scheme 
is accomplished — ^and so impious are they, that they do 
it all under the name of rehgion ! ! 

' In the summer of 1847 special efforts were made to 
draw young females in Putney into the Perfectionist 
Community, the object of which no one at this late day 
can doubt. By reason of exercise it seems that they 
have become quite expert in " flourishing their spiritual 
weapons " ; and if a person once comes under their 
influence, so familiar are they with the process by 
which to subdue and ruin the victim, that they think 
they can " calculate results with precision " ! In the 
instance which we have noticed, they were disappointed 
of their prey ; but they have too often been successful, 
for — 

" Constant practice, day and night, 
In cunning, guile, and all hypocrisy, 

Gave them experience vast 

In sin's dark tactics, such as boyish men, 
Unarmed by strength divine, could ill withstand/'' 


Various Items. 
Neyesism is treasonable fti its designs. Of this 
there is not a shadow of doubt. Mr. Noyes, in the 
Witness of Sept. 25, 1839, gives his views of civil gov- 
ernments, in short, as follows : — 

" Pefectionists believe that civil governments are 
ord:ained of God for good and important purposes in the 
jyresent state of mankind ; and while they exist, should 
be respected and submitted to as such; hut they re- 
ijard them a% made ^ not for a. righteous man, hut for 
the lawless and disobedient^'' as fences are not made for 
ifien but for cattle, or as straight-jackets are not made 
for men of sound minds, but for the insane. In respect 
to co-operatuig with them, their maxim generally is, *Let 
the dead bury their dead.' They also beheve that all 
human governments, though they are ordained of God, 
have charters of limited duration. They see in the 
Bible that the same God who ordained them, has pre- 
dicted their destruction ; and they stand ready to co- 
operate with him, whenever he shall manifest that the 
time has come for the establishment of that kingdom 
which he has said shall finally 'dash them in pieces.' " 

That the Noyesites profess to believe that the king^ 
dom alluded to in the foregoing extract has come and is 
established on earth, there can be no doubt. This they 
nnanimousl|» declared on the evening of June 1, 1847 ; 
and of course they now occupy a position antagonistic 
to all human governments ! In the winter of 1847-8, 
Mr. N. drew up a long article, which was considered 
by him and liis followers 'Hoo treasonable to human in- 
stitutions to admit of its being published mth. safety' ' 
at that time. That article embodies the faith of the 


418 AJ>PEND1S:. 

Noyesltes In regard to tMs subject ; and its principles 
they mil carry out so far as circumstances will admit. 
Moreover, a correspondent of the Spritual Magazine, 
writing under date of Nov. 14, 1847, says : 

" Those wlw have the. kingdom of God within them^ 
may now assert their independence of the unrighteous 
governments of the ivorldP 

The Noyesites claim to have the " kingdom of God 
■within them ;" hence they not only now declare their 
independence of all human governments — which they 
do not hesitate to term '^ unrighteous "—but they are 
deadly opposed to them, and are laboring in every pos- 
sible way for their overthrow ! And they are so 
strangely infatuated that they believe they shall ^^ carry 
the day'''' and ultimately succeed in all their movements. 
Silas Morgan, of Leverett, Ms., who styles himself "(z 
Perfectionist of 1834 stamp, received of God, through 
John IT. Noycs,^^ (!) in a letter wTitten to John R, 
Miller of Putney, mider date of Nov. 7, 1847, says : — 

"Tell brather J. H. N. the day of redemption draw- 
eth nigh, and will come in spite of all hell or hells in, 
this world I '^ 

There is some affinity or resemblance between Noyes- 
ism and Eourierism, especially in reference lo organiza- 
tion. Touching this matter, Mr. N. in 1840 said : — 

" I regard an external organization as bearing the 
same relation to a spiritual church, as the body bears to 
the soul. A body without a soul is a loathsome carcass. 
A soul without a body may live, but one half of its le- 
gitimate functions are cut off.'* 

In-1846, Mr. N. said:— 


"We have been Associatlonists theoretically for more 
than ten years, and practically in a small experimental 
way, for six years. So far as the external mechanism 
of society proposed by Fourier, is concerned, we have 
expressed no general opinion against it, but on the con- 
trary are free to avow that in many points his philosophy 
well agrees with our principles. We will take this oc- 
casion to say a word about our experience, prospects and 
intentions in regard to Association. The history of the 
band of behevers in this place [Putney] is briefly this : 
About six years ago we began the experiment of exter- 
nal union of interests. We have been deeply interest- 
ed in problems which our new social arrangements have 
presented us, and have solved many of them in Si prac- 
tical way, with much satisfaction. With patience, and 
yet with enthusiasm, we look forward to the time when 
we shall be able to embody the union we have formed 
in appropriate externals — when we shall have but ONE 
HOME as we have but one heart." 

In the Spring of 1847 they found the home they de- 
sired, for the "body of believers" in Putney "joined 
their households under one common roof." But the 
state of things there was destined to be of short dura- 
tion. A rupture soon took place — " They burst the 
t>ands of their nature and leaked corruption at every 
stave " ! And the Noyesite kingdom, not being able to 
stand in Putney, was transported to Oneida Reserve, in 
Central New York ! One writer, speaking in reference 
to the Associative principles of Perfectionists and Fou- 
rierists, says : 

" It may not be out of place to notice the affinity of 
Perfectionism and Fourierism. We regard the former 
as practical Fourierism — as the condition in which it 

420 ' APPENDIX. 

must inevitably terminate. The theory of Fourierism 
IS association — associated and equal labor, profits, prop- 
erty, pleasure, relaxation and consumption. It is based 
upon the assumption that all are equally industrious, 
equally honest, aud equally capable — else the labor of 
one would support the idleness of another. This con- 
dition of things would require in the members of the 
association absolute perfection. Then, under the sys- 
tem of domestic relations now existing — that is, sep- 
arate families — it would happen that the families would 
be unequal. One family would have a large number of 
children growing up, and to be educated and maintain- 
ed ; another might have none.. It is not to be suppos- 
ed that the latter would willingly see their earnings 
appropriated to the support of others, with whom thej 
had no interest or connexion ; and this would involve 
the neces^ty of common and promiscuous association, 
where all would have equal rights and equal privileges. 
This is Perfectionism. That it is to be the final condi- 
tion of Fourierism, in its perfect state, is not denied by 
its advocates, but they insist that society is not yet so 
advanced as to justify this step. In other words. Per- 
fectionism, and that only, is required to carry out fully 
the theory of Fourierism." 

That this country is not a congenial soil for Associa 
tive principles, whether they take the form of Fourier- 
ism or Perfectionism, is very evident. Not long skice 
the following nolfice appeared in the public journals in 
relation to Fourierism : — 

" The Fourier Association which was established on 
Lick Creek, in Ilhnois, and which for a time was sup- 
}X>sed to be doing well, is now dissolved, and a partition 
of the property is being made. Thus has terminated 
the last of these establishments in the United States." 


But scarcely have the expiring groans of Fourierism 
died away before we see Perfectionism busily engaged 
in opening its own grave ! 

But the Mormons are another class of the " same 
sort " ! There is not only an affinity between Perfec- 
tionism and Fourierism on the one hand, but there is also 
an agreement in many respects between Perfectionism 
and Mormonism on the other hand. The Editor of the 
G-Gspel Banner, a httle Mormon paper pubhshed at 
Voree, Wisconsin Territory, speaking of the Perfection- 
ists, in his paper of Dec. 30, 1847, says they are " a 
people who have got a long way ahead of the other 
sects, and with whom toe wish a better acquaintance " ! 

If by "other sects" the astute Editor of the Banner 
means evangelical denominations, he has missed a figure 
in his calculations ! Christian denominations are not 
travelling in the same way, but in an opposite direction 
from the Noyesitcs. They are perfect antipodes — as 
far apart as opposite points of the compass ! This 
Noyes acknowledges and asserts himself. He claims to 
have been the first who inculcated his peculiar views in 
this country or elsewhere. He also says — " I declare 
that I know not an individual out of the Bible, whose 
name is or ever has been before the pubHc, who can in 
any right sense be called an endorser of my views." 

Mr. N. acknowledges that no person out of the Bi- 
ble is or has been an endorser of his views, and we are 
quite sure that no one in the Bible can be found en- 
dorsing those views ; hence he is entitled to the exclu- 
sive honor of publishing them, and it is presumed no 


one -will contest the claim. We doubt not there will be 
one united voice as by acclamation, saying — let him 


But the Mormons desire a better acquaintance with 
the Perfectionists. Now^ whoever wishes to ''scrape 
acquaintance,^^ or be on terms of intimacy with the 
Noyseites can have the privilege ! Undoubtedly the 
Mormons and Perfectionists might be seated quite co- 
zily together, seeing they are all of a piece. The edit- 
tor of a public journal a few years since thus briefly and 
happily referred to Mormonism :— 

" Of this modern effusion of a few distempered brains, 
we suppose fnost of our readers have either heard or 
read something. As for ourselves we had thought that 
its manifest absurdities were sufficient of themselves to 
expose its odious character, and to very soon annihilate 
its existence. Our attention has been just now attract- 
ed toward this offspring of inteflectual delusion and 
wild fanaticism, by a communication from a worthy cor- 
respondent, detailing some of the movements of one of 
the leaders of this strange sect, who had succeeded in 
seducing a young lady from her paternal abode, and 
wholly alienating her affections from father, mother, 
brother and sister ; these facts are sufficiently appalling, 
and worthy of reprobation by all honest and intelligent 

Thus it appears they are both pursuing the same 
course, but whether the Noyesites are " a long way 
ahead" of the Mormons is a question about which we 
feel httle or no concern. 

In the estimation of Perfectionists Mr Noyes holds 
about the same rank that Joe Smith did among the 


Mormons. We take the following precious morceau 
from a catechetical Mormon creed, published just be- 
fore the death of Joe Smith : — 

"Who is Joseph Smith ? 

Hi is Jesus Christ'' s brother. 

From whence is his authority ? 

From Heaven. 

What kind of success will he meet with? 

Universal ; over the ivhole toorld. 

Suppose the people try to hinder him ? 

The^ cannot do it. ; but ivill perish. 

Why ? 

Because God has sent hira^ 

The death of Joe Smith soon .after the publication of 
the foregoing language^ is a forcible comment upon Mor- 
mon folly. 

Now, one of the followers of JohnH. Noyes testified 
at his ex^nation before the Grand Jury of Windham 
County in the Spring of 1848, that Perfectionists believe 
he is God's beloved Son 1 1 Thus the Mormons believe 
Joe Smith was Christ' s brother^' I And Perfectionists, 
beheve John H. Noyes to be the Son of Gfod! 

Mr N. sets himself up as heing'- infallible ! " Most- 
'alien hy such pretence.''' He 

"Tried to stand 
Alone unpropped — to be obliged to none ^ 
And in the madueess of his pride be bade 
His God farewell and turned away to be 

A God himself! 

O desperate frenzy! madness of the ■vrill, 
And drunkenness of the heart ! * — 
His prophecies, 


He swore were from the Lord ; 
Bat with his life he wrote as plain, RevengC; 
Pride, tyranny, and lust of wealth and power- 
Inordinate, and lewdness unashamed. 
And that he was anointed, fools believed, 
But knew that day, he was the devil's priest, 
Anointed by the hands of Sin and Death, 
And set peculiarly apart to ill. 

Noyesisra stands in our midst " dedicated to the god- 
dess of infamy. Her ivorship is open and undisguised 
as the worship of I>iana at Ephesiis, Bold men in 
broad sunshine, without shame on^their faces, are Jcnozvn 
as patrons and ivor shippers of this idol. Snares and 
temptations are laid for the innocent, and when a vic- 
tim is secured, she is offered at once in sacrifice. A 
regular system is observed, and concert of action secur- 
ed, that the cry of distress may not he heard.''"' 

Notwithstanding Mr. N.'s professions of holiness and 
infallibility, there , 

"Were rents 
That in his garments opened in spit€ of him, 
Through which the well-accustomed eye could see 
The rottenness of his heart." 

For he 

"Grossly drank 
The cup of spiritual pollution up. 

His feelings were his guide, 

He ate, and drank, and slept, and took all joys, 
Porbid and unforbid, as impulse urged, 
Or appetite, nor asked his reason why." 

He might have been seen standing — 

"Amidst a group of gaping fools, 
And whispering in their ears, with his foul lips : 
And like a moral pestilence, 


Before his breath, the healthy shoots and blooms 
Of soeial joy and happiness decayed. 
Pools only in his company were seen. "' 

And those forsaken of God, and to themselves 
Given up." 

His followers — 

"For Tfisdom, grossly swallowed all he said 

And — 

•••Thought that they alone served God, 

And served him most, when most they disobeyed. 

So on they walked, and stumbled in the light 

Of noon, because they would not open their eyes. 

Effect hoAV sad of sloth ! that made them risk 

Their piloting to the eternal shore, 

To one who could mistake the Inrid flash 

Of hell for heaven's true star." 

But after the day of final decision, the following for- 
cible language of the poet from which we have just 
quoted, will doubtless be pecuharly applicable : — 

— " His votaries, who left the earth, 

Secure of bliss, around him, undeceived, 
Stood, undeceivable till then ; and knew, 
Too late, him fallible, themselves accursed, 
And all their passports and certificates, 
A lie " ! 

A person, who for some time was a zealous Perfection- 
ist and well acquainted with Nojes, afterward said — > 
" John H. Nojes mill come down as sure as there is a 

Dr. Josiah A. Gridley, of Southampton, Mass., in 
Sept. 1845, thus addressed Mr Noyes : — 

" I know full well that the gallows is going up, made 
bj your order ; and I know just as well that Mordecai 


will never hang on it. But poor Haman may in an ex- 
tremity of which he little dreams. I know that you 
are smitten with blindness ; and have already wearied 
yourself to find the door which the angel of God has 
shut against you. And the judgment of Sodom will 
overtake you unless you forsake its devilish atmosphere 
and ascend again the mountain of the Lord's house 
above the fog of the bottomless pit. 

" I am thus plain that if you must perish in such 
corruption y©u shall not have it to say with your dying 
breath that I did not warn you in faithfulness. A head 
or hand cannot touch you without defilement 1 Shame 
on such professions ! Thev are not of heaven but of 

Dr. Gridley, in Feb. 1846, also addressed the fol- 
lowing language to George Cragin, an intimate and ac- 
complice of Noyes : — - 

" John H. Noyes has raised the hatchet and severed 
the head of every one that would not bow to him. You 
have become a mei'e tool to execute his will. It is time 
his tyranny was resisted. His Christian test is, 'Hovj 
much do you Jionor and reve)'e John H. Noyes f . . . . 
His motto has ever been, ' If miy man Hdes with me, 
he must ride behind ' .^ . . . The tenor of his spirit runs 
thus, 'I will have you hioto- that the Spirit of God 
shall not had his own subjects, unless he leads them in 
suhjection to me'' ^'' ! 

A correspondent of Noyes writes thus : — 

" When I was at Putney your sisters told me that it 
was common for you and them to go to the office and 
set type on the Sabbath ; and that you not unfrequently 
met the people as you went back and forth, as they 
went to and from church. 


" Give ME the leading influence^'' has long been the 
language of your ambitious heart ! 

" Had you carried out your acknowledged intentions 
as declared by the brethren at the time, when you 
started for the ^ ^ive Points^ you had never denied 
insanity ; as that only could have covered your sin " ! 

The foregoing extracts speak for themselves. Com- 
ment is imnecessary. 

The writer has recently received several communica- 
tions from different correspondents in the State of New 
York ; a few extracts from which will now be given. 
An individual residing in the neighborhood of Oneida 
Reserve, writing under date of May 1, 1849, says : — 

'- Our Battle-Axe, anti-marriage people are rather 
twistical about exactness in relating circumstances. 
One advocating the abolition of marriage — for the 
substitution, unbridled license — visited me last fall. 
I asked him his sentiments upon this subject. He ex- 
plained that he too was for free and mixed intercourse. 
— ' But^^ said he, ' donH you let this out; if you tell 
of it, I shall deny it and so leave you in the lie.'' 

" Now, sir, what do you need to substantiate the 
fact, that, as a people, the Noyes Perfectionists are 
licentious and satyrical ? The Battle Axe Letter, writ- 
ten by their Pontiff, distinctly avows — though he used 
to veil the fact — that a time must come in the earth 
when promiscuous should supersede connubial sexual 
intercourse. He told Dr. Josiah A. Gridley, of South- 
ampton, Mass., in 1838, that he expected to see the 
time when God would suffer men to be turned loose 
^apon their neighbors' wives in order to break down the 
present institution of marriage. In his ' Corporation ' 
at Putney he constantly opposed the formation of all 
those atachments between young people which should 


always precede marriage, commanding the parties to 
love himself more than they did each other. All who 
broke over that mandate were compelled to endure all 
that implacable mahce which his fiendish temper found 
means to pour out upon them. ... I cannot possibly, 
from the preceding evidence, preclude myself from be- 
lieving that the ' Community ' is a horde of remorseless 
profligates. Many of their professed friends have 
admitted as much to me in private conversation. One 
female member was implored by a friend to deny the 
imputation that she had been thus guilty, and decidedly 
refiised. Noyes admitted to John B. Foote that for 
two years preceding 1847, he and his ' Corporation ' 
had reduced the ' cross-fellowship ' principle to prac- 
tice, such appearing to them to be the express will of 
the Lord ! ! Mrs. Si. E. Cragin insisted upon the the- 
ory as correct, to my brother's wife ! And, sir, I see 
no just reason, upon these very accounts, for shunning 
my conclusions as to their shameless profligacy. It is 
not necessary to demonstrate that they are practically 
lewd at this present time. They believe in the prac- 
tice^ and they loill carry it out when they deem it expe- 
dient. That is enough." 

Another correspondent residing in the immediate 
yicinity of Oneida Reserve, under date of May T, 
1849, writes as follows : — 

" They [the Noyesites] appear k) believe in promis- 
cuous intercourse of the sexes, and advocate that doc- 
trine. . . . They have printed some books which are 
considered as obscene and licentious. . . . There has 
been but little addition to their numbers from this sec- 
tion. I have a son, son-in-law^ and daughter there. 
They joined them about four or five months since. My 
son, after he had been there about four or five weeks, 
came home and said Noyes had had criminal connec- 


tion with my daughter, and my son-in-law with Mrs. M, 
E. Cragin, and that they were all guilty of lewdness 
and other obscenity ; and said he would stay there no 
longer, and was a good deal excited. He is a young 
man about 26 years of age and was single. He said 
he would go back, get his clothes and leave them for- 
ever ; and went as he said for that purpose, and I 
have not seen him since. The next I heard from him 
was that he had married a Miss D. . . . My son also 
said that they believed in promiscuous intercourse of the 
sexes and practiced accordingly. I think he was over 
persuaded to stay there. At the time my son was at 
home he said he would testify to w^hat he said, and I 
intended to prosecute them, but nothing has been done. 
Their doctrine does not meet with much favor here. 
There have been some threats made against them, but 
what will be done I do not know." 

The course pursued with the young man mentioned in 
the foregoing extract is in perfect keeping with Perfec- 
tionist policy, and probably has some correspondence 
with a case which occurred in Putney just before the 
Community was broken up. A person broke away and 
stated some facts about the management in the Com- 
munity ; and Noyes immediately " tooh him hy the 
horns" and he was compelled to " knock under." 

Mr. Noyes, before he was arrested at Putney in the 
fall of 1847, was making inroads into families there, 
very much after the manner of the case of the injured 
and afflicted man which we have just given. With 
these facts before them we can hardly see how the peo- 
ple in the vicinity of Oneida Reserve can avoid coming 
to the conclusion — to which we understand some have 


already arrived — that the Noyesites there are a " lib- 
ertine herd " / 

We are informed by a person residing in New York, 
that " a man by the name of Abram C. Smith at 
Kingston, N. Y., a few years ago took Mrs. M. E. 
Cragin to be his wife and lived with her " as such ! 
This same Mrs. Cragin was one of the most forward 
females in the Putney Community ! 

Let us here concentrate a few facts in relation to 
Noyes's conduct at Putney. In the case of Mrs. Har- 
riet A. Hall, on whom Noyes pretended to work a great 
miracle, there is not a shadow of doubt as to his guilt ! 
Mrs. Hall acknowledged this herself ! In the cases of 
Mrs. Leonard and Mrs. Campbell, set up in the indict- 
ment against Noyes, there is no doubt — for he abscond- 
ed and forfeited his bonds, which no innocent person 
would have done — and the evidence was clear in these 
cases. Moreover, there were two young ladies, belong- 
ing to the same family, drawn in and ruined by Noyes.* 
An action was brought against him for damages by the 
father of those young ladies, and several hundred dol- 
lars wei?e paid to settle the matter — this never would 
have been the case, if he had been innocent of the 
charges alleged against him. A sister of the young 
ladies alluded to, was so deeply afflicted in view of the 
disgrace which the conduct of Noyes had brought upon 
the family, that it produced, as she said she believed 
upon her dying bed, the disease that terminated her 

*Out of respect to the feelings of the friends of these yoting ladies 
we withhold their names. 


life ; and her attending physici^ gave it as his opinion 
that her disease was so produced ! 

The cases which we have cited have come to lighto 

If the truth was known, probably many more might be 

a-dded to the hst ; but to exhibit the heinousness of his 

crimes we need but to 

" Take one example, one of female wo. 

Loved by a father and a mother's love, 

In rural peace she lived, so fair, so light 

Of heart, so good, and young, that reason, scarce 

The eye could credit, but would doubt, as she 

Did stoop to pull the lily or the rose 

Prom morning's dew, if it reality 

Of flesh and blood, or holy vision, saw. 

In imagery of perfect womanhood. 

But short her bloom, her happiness was short. 

One saw her loveliness, and with desire 

Unhallowed, burning, to her ear addressed 

Dishonest words. 

With turbid phrase, well wove in flattery's loom, 
He on her womanish nature won, aad age 

Suspicionless, and ruined, 

Tor he a chosen villain was at heart, 
And capable of deeds that durst not seek 

The crimes of Mr. N. are State prison offences, but 
he fled ; and although his bonds were forfeited, yet the 
demands of the law have not been answered ; and he 
can now be viewed in no other light than a fugitive 
from justice. 

But Mr. Noyes, not content with spreading his hcen- 
tions doctrines with all their revolting consequences, 
upon earth, would carry them within the precincts of 


the holy city ! A colTespondent whose veracity is un- 
doubted, says : — ■ 

" John H. Noyes once said to me tJiat he believed 
heaven to be a place of greater sensuality than was 
fjenerally believed " / / / 

The ruinous consequences of such heaven-daring and 
utterly outrageous doctrines can hardly be conceived ! 
The hearts of the young, especially, ^-e grossly cor- 
rupted by contact with such revolting sentiments. And 
Mr. Noyes is laboring to palm them off under the name 
of reUgion ! ! What impious blasphemy I 

We close this volume in the forcible language of !■ 
modem writer : 

" Vice, unknown, and therefore unappreciated, deals 
its deadly blows under Mie deceptive influence of ' a 
fitrony delimon.'' An enemy fighting under appropri- 
ate banners is not so dangerous as the pirate that roams 
the high seas for blood and plunder, under false colors. 
The rattle-snake that gives warning of its approach is 
not so much to be dreaded as the deadly reptile that 
steals u}>on you unobserved, and fasten its fangs of 
death when least suspected. .... 

''• New revelations have been oozing up from beneath. 
A religion of unrestricted liberty — a licentiousness 
without law — must now be enjoyed, that the passions 
m.^ appetites, propensities and lusts, of this degenerate 
age may be developed in the many practical bumps of 
society. A wild and furious passion for blood-thirsting 
is fostered ; and it is mournful to contemplate the 
amount of immoi'tal mind that by this depraved sensi- 
'biUty is drifting down the infernal ' gulf streamj' t© re- 
turn no more !" 


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