4 of 4 contains:
Shaker Writings Relating to
Sexual Abstinence & Self Denial
Six Authentic Excerpts Regarding:
Relation of the Male and Female in Christ;
Examples from the Life of Jesus: Our Doctrine;
Requirement for Confession of Known Sins by each Soul;
The Specifics: from What must Each Soul be Cleansed?
Simple Obedience Works more than Mighty Warfare;
The End of the World coming for each Soul.
from: Shakerism, Its Meaning and Message
As the Gospel of
Christ, revealed in the life and teachings of Mother Ann Lee, is based on the truth of an
Eternal Father-Mother, those born of the Spirit are of one family, brothers and sisters,
children of Divine Parentage. The words of Jesus are no more strange, but natural,
necessary and beautiful, with the beauty and love of the eternal home: Who is my
mother and who are my brethren? Whoso doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven, the same is my brother and sister and mother; and again, If any man
come to me, and hateth not his father and mother and wife and children, and brethren and
sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does
not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. The generative
life of man and all the works, thoughts, passions and feelings thereof are to be hated,
that is, turned from, once and forever. Whatever has grown out of the generative or
natural life, its relationships, ties and associations, are to be broken and the new,
spiritual life is to be adopted.
Shakers have been charged with
denouncing marriage, and the trite old question is sometimes raised What would
become of the world if all were to become Shakers? In view of the condition of
a good part of the people in it, the thought has sometimes suggested itself that it might
not be a bad idea to let the world run out. But there is not the least danger of the
world's population failing from religious motives, nor is there any fear that all mankind
will become Shakers in this life. The greater part could not, for they are not on
the plane to hear the call of the Spirit. Not by might, nor by power, but by
my Spirit, is the prepared soul gathered from the world into the garners of the
Published by the
Shakers in their book, Shakerism, Its Meaning and Message,
Excerpts from: The Shakers Compendium 1859
CHAPTER X, PART IV.
Excerpts from: The Divine Book of Holy and Eternal Wisdom
The Specifics from what must each Soul be cleansed?
1 Again read and understand. And I saw another Angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
2 Read these things and understand; and no more make a mystery of the kingdom of heaven. Know ye not that the Angel hath already flown through the heavens to earth, with the everlasting gospel, to preach to every nation, kindred and tongue; that word of God out of whose mouth goeth the sword, to slay all nations; and also the witness and testimony of his beloved Son?
3 O ye nations, ye kindreds and tongues, and all people of the earth! Know ye that the kingdom of heaven hath come nigh unto you; although many, like the faithless Jews in Christ's first appearing, are willfully determined not to believe, and thereby bring upon themselves swift destruction.
4 But for the elect's sake, yea, for the sake of those who are sincerely seeking to know the will of God, and would do it, if made known to them, hath my Heavenly Father condescended to send the means of eternal life unto all flesh, dwelling upon the earth. Yet many will despise and reject the offers of grace, and make war with the word which bringeth the testimony of eternal life.
5 But be it known unto all people, that ye who hear the word of eternal truth, sounded in your ears, and reject and crucify, in your own souls, that testimony which if obeyed, would set your souls at liberty, that ye might be the children of freedom, ye shall fall under deep condemnation and the horror of great darkness.
6 For it is the word of God, sent to preach deliverance to the captives, to open the eyes of the blind and unstop the deaf ear, and set at liberty the tongues which have never been loosed to praise God. Therefore, if ye do reject that word, in your own souls, ye verily crucify unto yourselves the Son of God afresh, and become far more guilty in the sight of God, than the Jews, who rejected and slew their Lord.
7 For the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven had never been revealed to them; therefore were they less accountable than those who despise and reject the testimony, which opens the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, even to the capacity of a child, in language so simple and easy to be understood, that it is impossible for honest and simple souls to mistake the way, or be divided in their opinions concerning it.
8 God hath so marked out the way in this day of his power, which hath made the crooked places strait, and the rough places smooth, that it remains one even, plain highway, that the wayfaring man, though a fool for the gospel's sake, need not err therein, nor mistake the way; yet it is hid from those who are wise in their own conceit.
9 For these think they have a way which is sufficient for them, and wish not to trouble themselves about new things, as they call them, doctrines of devils and the like. Unto such will the way of God ever remain hid. These are they who are wise in their own eyes, and great in their own conceit; and consider not that old things shall all be done away, and all things become new, and all things of God.
10 Therefore, why think ye to stand out against new doctrines? If ye judge thus, and continue thus in your old traditions, which are many and false, ye shall forever remain the subjects, either of the old earth or the old heavens, until ye sink into hell. And what profit have ye, if ye gain the whole world, and lose your own souls?
11 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
12 He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it. For all those who lose their carnal lives for the gospel's sake, shall find life eternal.
13 He that receiveth these my words, receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth Him that sent me. Therefore, Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. For a house shall be divided; one shall be taken, and others left. Two shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, the other left. Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
14 They shall be taken who hear, understand and obey; but those shall be left that close their eyes, and turn a deaf ear, and refuse to understand with their hearts; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Thus and thus have I come to make division on earth; wheresoever my true body is, this division will take place.
15 But this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come; yea, the end of the world, in every soul that believeth, receiveth and willingly obeyeth it.
16 And now, O ye sons and daughters of men! What more shall I say to you, to cause you to know these to be my words, and that I have already come to make an end of sin in those who believe, and cast out of my kingdom all that offends. For I will say unto my servants, my harvest men; Gather out first, all that offends, all the fruits of the seed of the enemy, the tares, and bind them in bundles, and cast them into the unquenchable fire.
17 This is the first work which souls can do, towards gathering out of my kingdom all that offends; to gather out of the soul, all that is of the fruits of the seed of the enemy, which are these; lying, hatred, strife and envy, evil speaking, evil communications, bearing false witness one against another, tale bearing, cheating and defrauding one another, taking undue advantage of your fellow beings, when circumstances permit, wronging the widow and the fatherless, and driving from your doors the suffering poor.
18 Yea and with-holding the wages of your laborers, whose infants are crying for bread; also all manner of wastefulness, using the things of this world as abusing them, and consider not that it is a command of your Lord to gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost; all manner of hard heartedness, and cruelty to your fellow beings, whether they be rich or poor, bond or free, black or white.
19 The same God is Father of all souls, and will not hold that soul guiltless, who with wanton cruelty, lifteth his finger to afflict even one of the least of the souls of the children of men. And he that abuseth his ox, or his ass, or any of the animals which the Lord hath given as a blessing to man, and not to be abused, nor to suffer abuse at his hands, shall be answerable therefore.
20 For he that beateth, and with wanton cruelty layeth on more stripes than is really necessary to govern the beast, in a merciful manner, the same shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment: For a merciful man is merciful to his beasts; and he that hath no mercy on his beasts, nor repenteth of the same, on him will the Lord refuse to have mercy.
21 All manner of preaching for hire, making merchandise of what they call the gospel; and also all manner of making merchandise of the souls of the children of men, I do proclaim aloud to be the seed of the enemy, which shall be gathered out of the soul by an honest confession and true repentance; and the same shall be bound in bundles for the unquenchable fire of the refiner.
22 All manner of idleness, and all manner of excess, either in eating or drinking, or an extravagant use of any of the blessings of God, which are required to be used in their proper time and season, with temperance and discretion, shall men give an account for in the day of judgment.
23 For intemperance is a heinous sin, and brings more distress of body, and dissolution's of lives, than either famine, pestilence or the sword; therefore shall men render an account thereof in the judgment, before the wrath of God will be appeased, in this respect, and the guilty soul set at liberty.
24 Also all manner of idle and ungodly words, spoken with profane lips, and an unbridled tongue; these too must become subjects of the unquenchable fire, as being fruits of the enemy.
25 All manner of filthy and unchaste communications, one with another, are words which must meet the judgment; likewise all manner of foolish and vain imaginations of the heart, are as stubble in my sight, and will never stand the fire of my coming.
26 All manner of uncleanness, which was forbidden by God, in the law of Moses, shall surely meet the fire of my coming; or the soul that doeth these things, shall fall under the weight of sore and terrible judgments, from the hand of the Almighty.
27 For if it be a sin to commit adultery, and if he that looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart, how think ye to escape the fire of my coming, ye who wallow in fleshly defilement, even as the sow walloweth in the mire?
28 These being thus defiled, if they escape the judgment seat, and the fire of my coming, can never escape the wrath and indignation of God, which is against all workers of pollution in this way.
29 Yea, all ye who would become perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect, must forsake all for my sake, and reject the world in every form, and gather out of your hearts all that offends, and is of the fruit of the enemy's seed, and bind them in bundles for the unquenchable fire.
30 And in faithfully so doing, ye shall find mercy and forgiveness, and become clean in my sight. But know ye, that there is nothing hid which shall not be revealed, nor spoken in secret, which shall not be proclaimed in the judgment, before that burning and shining light, which I have placed in my witnesses.
31 All men cannot receive this saying, to give up all for my sake; but it is given to all who receive a living faith in this gospel. Therefore they that can receive these sayings of mine, and become eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake, shall receive a name in my kingdom better than of sons and daughters; for the glory of God shall rest upon them, and the brightness of the eternal world shall be theirs.
32 So I leave these sayings of mine with you, O ye sons and daughters of men! ye inhabitants of earth whom I love. Would to God that all men would make that use of them, by which they could render an account in justification before Him. But he that is wise, is wise for himself, and by his wisdom shall he escape the snares of death; but the foolish shall fall, and by their own folly be slain, and no one can hinder.
33 O that all men could know and understand that which belongs to their everlasting peace, and know the day of their visitation, and hearken to my call! For I call, yea, I call aloud, and my voice of love and mercy is even unto the ends of the earth: Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls.
34 Gather near unto me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved. Gather to me, all ye that mourn, and ye shall be comforted; all ye that sorrow, and ye shall be filled with rejoicing: for my wells run over, and my grace shall not fail. I will save, even to the uttermost, all that come unto me, and are willing and obedient subjects to my yoke and my cross, which I have purposed for all souls.
35 But if ye see aught laid down in the Book of the Lord, which ye cannot comprehend, and which appears contrary to the scriptures, or to the testimony of the gospel of my first coming, I would advise you to come to Zion, where I have placed my name in my witnesses. Yea, come like candid and rational beings, in whom reason bears the sway, and seek to be enlightened by those whom I have proclaimed to be the light of the world.
36 Come not like devouring wolves, to chase my flock as sheep for the slaughter, who carry no weapons of defense to combat the carnal invader; but come peaceably, and ye shall receive all the information ye desire, if your desire is to know and believe the truth.
37 But if ye come filled with envy and hatred, seeking to cavil, and require undue and unjust returns, no power in heaven nor on earth is sufficient to satisfy the soul in this frame of bitter animosity; for it is an insatiable spirit, which can never be satisfied. But sufficient knowledge and understanding are given in Zion, to satisfy and confirm every candid inquirer, and cause them to know of a truth, that the Lord reigneth therein.
38 Many things are laid down in the scriptures, which are blind sayings, designed to be so, at the time they were given; but my Father, in his everlasting mercy and condescension, hath opened the mysteries of his word, in so clear a light, that no souls need stumble, unless they choose to stumble, rather than to walk in smooth paths.
39 For the Lord hath cleared out of the way all stumbling blocks; yea, He hath cast up the highway, and gathered out the stones, and raised the standard for the people, even the ensign of obedience, hath He raised to all nations, kindreds and people.
40 And now, saith the Lord, the King of Zion, I seek to close my word, knowing that all hath been spoken, which is necessary to confound every soul, and cause them to be dumb before God, and speechless in the day of final reckoning, if they obey not the commandments of their God.
41 But they who will hearken, shall escape the wrath and fiery indignation of Divine Power: for the clusters of the vine of the earth are already ripe, and the wine press of the wrath of Almighty God, shall surely be trodden without the city, and no flesh shall be able to stand before God, in the day when his vengeance shall roll.
42 Yet his mercy goeth before, to warn all who will hearken, to flee and make their escape; for there will be such a day of terror as never was since man was created upon the earth, nay nor ever shall be again. For the abominations of man have come up before the throne of the Most High, and sore judgments have been decreed against all flesh, both of man and beast, and all manner of creeping things, in whose nostrils is the breath of life. These things have gone forth from the Almighty, whose decree altereth not.
43 And although the fulfillment may not come speedily, but be suspended, with the intent to try the integrity of every heart, and to prove whether souls will yield to serve God through fear, or through willing obedience, out of love; for if it be through fear, and not of good will and pleasure, they will begin to say in their hearts, The Lord delayeth his coming, and so will begin to use violence, and do that from which, through fear, they have been restrained for a season;
44 For this cause, and also for the purpose of giving all souls an offer of mercy, hath my Heavenly Father purposed to stay his hand for a short season, from the full display of his judgments, to try those who dwell upon the earth. But far more tolerable will it be in the judgment, for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and for the inhabitants of the old world, than for the inhabitants of the earth in this day, if they continue in their abominations, and heed not the reproof of their God.
45 And thus is my word closed: and with this word receive my solemn, yea, my solemn and timely warning, in the name of your ever blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
46 Revealed through an innocent child of Zion's King and Queen, for the benefit of all mankind, even from the king upon his throne, down to the meanest servile dependent that walks your streets. The end of the Savior's word in his own name.
47 Thus saith the holy Angel to the writer; I have attentively read the preceding communication, in the name of the ever blessed Savior of man; and as I have read, so in like manner hath it been written. And of all which the Savior gave me, I have reserved nothing. And if there is any further word, in the name of the Son of God, to be revealed in this place, to go with this Book, it is unknown to me the holy Angel.
48 And now I bid you kindly
farewell. I go hence to meet your blessed Lord, and carry the good tidings that all is
safely written by a mortal hand, and brought to mortal view. So kindly farewell.
The Giant within each man; the Man of Sin defined
PART V. Chapter 9.
1 Therefore, saith the apostle, I solemnly warn all, who may ever become hearers of these my words, that ye hasten to fulfill the requirements of God, which are not in great and hidden mysteries, but in little simple requirements; such as an honest confession of all known sin; rectifying and making restitution for all known wrongs, and then quietly asking to know the will of God, in all points, of those who are called to teach in the name of Christ, rendering strict obedience to them as doing it to God.
2 What can be more easy and plain, and more rational to the candid mind? But a terrible way to those who seek to hide their counsel from the Lord, and remain covered before his Anointed.
3 Ye must always remember that it is not in great and mighty displays, that the man of sin is to be subdued; for in this, souls would meet him on his own ground, and combat him on his own terms.
4 The great and terrible Goliah, in the days of Israel, was an emblem of the man of sin, which every soul must combat and slay, before their redemption draweth nigh. Yet frightful as was the appearance of the terrible Goliah, which caused the armies of Israel to fear and tremble, the simple child David, a keeper of his father's sheep, a stripling of no fame, with a smooth stone cast from a leather sling, gave the death blow, and brought the hero to the ground.
5 And thus the stripling David, a man whom God had chosen to be a man of war, to prefigure the warfare which is not carnal, but mighty in power, to the pulling down of the strong holds of Satan, subdued his mighty antagonist, and placed him beneath his feet.
6 And thus shall every soul conquer their strong enemy, the giant which defieth the simplicity of the children of Zion, and boasteth himself above God and all that is of God. Those that desire to conquer, cannot be too simple to undermine the tyrant of their souls, and conquer and slay in themselves, the man of sin, the only enemy souls ever need to dread.
7 And if ye believe not these my words, come and prove them for yourselves; and if ye can do anything better calculated to punish and afflict the man of sin, who seeks to be great and exalted, than to come strictly to the simplicity of the gospel, like a little child, then have I spoken falsely at this time.
8 But the moment the soul enters the self-denying path of Christ, which brings all souls into childlike obedience, that moment does the nature of enmity and opposition within begin to squirm. And the more the little simple weapons of childlike obedience, and the little simple requirements of the gospel are applied, the more the tyrant will rage, until subdued and brought beneath the feet of the conqueror. Thus simple are the weapons by which this is effected.
9 But mighty is the conflict after this, even after the soul has placed his feet upon the neck of his strong enemy; for unless he continues to trample all evil under his feet, by disarming his enemy of all his weapons, and applying them to the utter destruction of the same, by guarding against them in his own soul; I say, even then, will there be danger of the soul's losing power, and the enemy's again renewing his hold and his influence.
10 And for this reason, do I speak thus plain upon this subject, knowing the danger of souls falling, even after they have gained sufficient power to triumph over their strong enemy, and feel as though the work was accomplished, and so begin to feel at ease in Zion; and ere they are aware their enemy suddenly returns upon them, and they fall victims to their mighty foe.
11 These things, saith the apostle, I speak as one having had great experience in the work of God, and in the travel of souls. I have seen the rising and falling of many souls, and therefore do I speak these things from my own experience.
12 Souls, after traveling to a comfortable state in the gospel, and feeling their inbred cravings pretty well subdued and brought under mortification, are apt to feel as though the warfare was accomplished; and Satan is willing that they should think so; but this is not a safe way.
13 Souls never ought to be at ease in Zion. Although the power of their strong passions have become measurably abated; yet always remember, that the valiant David never ceased his work with his strong enemy, until he had disarmed that enemy, and, by the sword of the giant, had severed his head from his body.
14 Had the youthful David, after bringing the mighty Goliah to the ground, then returned in safety to his brethren, ere he had severed the giant's head from his body, would not the stunned Philistine, after recovering his senses, (for though apparently slain, he was not dead, but merely stunned by the force of the stone,) would he not then have returned, with twofold vengeance, upon the stripling David? Undoubtedly he would, if possible, and perhaps unawares have taken his life.
15 And thus hath it been with many souls; and will continue to be with every soul, that undertakes in the warfare of combating his strong enemy, his own evil and carnal nature, which is in direct enmity to God, if he stops short of its full destruction; for that nature is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; therefore must it be slain, before the soul can go to God and become one with Him.
16 For this cause hath God, in his everlasting wisdom, framed the most easy and ready way to accomplish the work by the little simple requirements of the gospel, which are so simple and plain, that a child can perform them with ease; yea, with as much ease as to cast stones with a sling. Children cannot go forth to war with mighty armor; but they can cast stones with a sling; and all that the Lord requires of his children is to be so small, as to comply with such simple means as He directs for waging war, which is the most ready way to gain the victory.
17 But souls are apt to make a great display and bustle in the power of man, in the warfare which is not carnal, quite as much as in the warfare which is carnal, and which requires a great display of might and power; but the warfare of souls is not to be effected in that way; the still small voice must bear the sway in order to accomplish this work.
18 Satan had much rather be combated with many mighty words and strong arguments, contending for the faith, and much of that which is of a bustling nature, or doing anything which God hath not called them to do, than to be met with the still small voice of childlike obedience, to all the commands of God, seeking not only to become little, but the least of all. This is more than he can bear.
19 Far more agreeable would it be to his feelings, to be roared at, by a mighty voice of man's power; so far from being offended at this, it is the very way to please him. For Satan, being subtile, knoweth that by this means, the soul will be decoyed from performing that internal work which will finally accomplish the victory; yet the power of God is mighty in the obedient soul.
20 I have now spoken freely on this subject, with the good intent to give understanding to those who seek to gain the victory over their strong enemy, and become crowned with everlasting life. And if I could say anything further that would in any way serve to benefit any soul, I would be willing and thankful to speak much longer; but I think sufficient hath been spoken at this time, to give a full idea of the work and requirement of God, upon all souls who will be profited thereby; therefore I add no more.
21 And may the blessing and the prosperity of my God, and also his Son Jesus Christ, attend these my words. And may the blessing and prosperity of the whole eternal world, go and continue with this word in the name of the Lord of hosts, the eternal God of Israel; and may it spread prosperously through the land, and smite such of the nations as desire to be saved.
22 And for this gospel will I contend to the laying down of all that is near and dear to me; and had I a hundred more lives to live on earth, I would live them all to God, in fulfilling the requirements of this gospel, even to the giving up not only of my carnal life by the cross, but to the giving up of my animal life, if it were required of me.
23 For I count nothing too dear, if I can do the will of that God who hath dealt so mercifully with all souls, and hath prepared that rest for those that overcome, which hath never entered the heart of man to conceive, or frame any just idea of.
24 This is my word, to go with this book, as a strong witness in my own name, in favor of the present work of God, which hath wrought deliverance in me, that I am no more a servant, but a conqueror, yea more than a conqueror; for I inherit all things. Thus ends my word and my witness.
From the beloved apostle PETER.
Thus saith the Angel of eternal truth; I the holy Angel, do bear witness that as the beloved apostle Peter sounded his word to the writer; so in like manner was it also written; and with great joy doth the beloved apostle view his words faithfully written by a mortal hand.
And with great joy do I the holy Angel view the things of God brought to mortal view, knowing that it is the will of God that it should be so. And this is my word and my witness at this time.
From the Angel of Eternal Truth.
The Fashion of this World passing away
22 And what is more fashionable in this day, than for men to have wives? Can ye imagine any thing more common and fashionable? Also that every man should be head of his own household, and that the woman should guide and direct as helper meet to her husband, holding selfish gain and selfish kindred: and what can be more fashionable and more agreeable than this, to the carnal lusts of man?
23 But in the second coming of Christ, in his glory, to make an end of the world, which springs from the lusts of men, these things which are so fashionable among men, must pass away and the lusts thereof; for they that have wives must be as though they had none, and they that have possessions, as though they possessed not, having all things common, in a united capacity; and no name heard but father and mother, brethren and sisters.
24 O what a killing thing this must be to the fashions and lusts of man, who hath gloried in a woman to his shame, and not according to the command and will of God!
Other Early Shaker Writings
on Self Denial & Sexual Abstinence:
File 1 of 4 ~ File 2 of 4 ~ File 3 of 4
Index of Other: Shaker Manuscripts On-Line
For Additional Material on Self Denial and Sexual Abstinence
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