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Analysis Of The Kingdom Of Mat

1437 words - 6 pages

In order to understand the ramifications of Matthias's formation of his kingdom, the social,financial, ethnic, and sexual conditions of the times must be realized as the catalysts that cause the cults to form. A whole series of evangelic congregations appeared in the early decades of the nineteenth century in order to serve the poor, the emotionally needy, those barred from the new prosperousness, hopefulness, forbearance, personal freedom and sensible thought of the business classes. Combining good narrative skills,excellent characterization, and historic detail, Johnson and Wilentz recreate the engaging tale of a hypocritical prophet and his erroneous followers in New York during the eighteen twenties and thirties. The main motif that dominated Matthias's and Elijah Pierson's actions involves the beliefs that were instilled in them when they were young,about the natural order of men and women. The patriarchy that ruled Matthias's kingdom originated in both men's thoughts from the Calvinism that was their first doctrine as youths around eighteen hundred. Elijah's Morristown First Presbyterian Church and Mathews Coila Anti-Burhgers church enforced the dominance of men through incorporating their domestic authority into church ritual. With Elijah men sat at the head of the pew and his father and uncles were church trustees. Even though Robert Matthew's church had an egalitarian dissolution of power and wealth , patriarchal roles were reinforced by men leading their families into church and all the authority figures being male. They were taught that God governed the world through fixed relationships of dominance and subordination. It is because of Matthew's refusal to give up his position as male leader and provider for his family, even when they were destitute, that led to his descent into lunacy leaving his family in eighteen thirty one. This is why women and economic despair play such an important role in the history of the kingdom. Margaret's rejection of Matthews after his continual attempts to exert his manly dominance through beating her and punishing the children started his resentment and hatred of women. This led to his condemning of all preachy Christian women who did act subservient to their husbands. "Woman is the capsheaf of the abomination of desolation-full of all deviltry". Women also contributed a great deal to Elijah Pierson's eventual devotion to Matthias. As Elijah turned to working with female missionaries in eighteen nineteen, the new evangelism of the times became the basis for a new life;and his marriage to Sarah, a strong missionary, who gently took total control over Elijah's household and religious affairs. It was Sarah's connection as a perfectionist reformer to Frances Folger that led to the meeting with Ann Folger and becoming extreme perfectionists. As Elijah began experiencing his conversations with holy spirit, they helped form the Retrenchment society and Elijah's mental weakening that made him susceptible to...

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