Hannah Cohoon, Tree of Life or Blazaing Tree, 1845. They are if you don’t feed the teachers pdf known for their simple living, architecture, and furniture. At its peak in the mid-19th century, there were 6,000 Shaker believers. Shaker community, and consequently many of the other Shaker settlements are now village museums.
Quakers were weaning themselves away from frenetic spiritual expression. The Wardleys formed the Wardley Society, which was also known as the “Shaking Quakers”. God which were expressed during religious revivals. They also experienced what they interpreted as messages from God during silent meditations and became known as “Shaking Quakers” because of the ecstatic nature of their worship services. They believed in the renunciation of sinful acts and that the end of the world was near.
The new heaven and new earth prophesied of old is about to come. And when Christ appears again, and the true church rises in full and transcendent glory, then all anti-Christian denominations—the priests, the Church, the pope—will be swept away. Lee was imprisoned in Manchester. The members looked to women for leadership, believing that the second coming of Christ would be through a woman. Ann Lee joined the Shakers by 1758, then became the leader of the small community. A powerful preacher, she called her followers to confess their sins, give up all their worldly goods, and take up the cross of celibacy and forsake marriage, as part of the renunciation of all “lustful gratifications”.
I saw in vision the Lord Jesus in his kingdom and glory. He revealed to me the depth of man’s loss, what it was, and the way of redemption therefrom. I felt the power of God flow into my soul like a fountain of living water. From that day I have been able to take up a full cross against all the doleful works of the flesh.
Having supposedly received a revelation, on May 19, 1774, Ann Lee and eight of her followers sailed from Liverpool for colonial America. Her vision of the Shakers in America was represented in a vision: “I saw a large tree, every leaf of which shone with such brightness as made it appear like a burning torch, representing the Church of Christ, which will yet be established in this land. Unable to “swear” an Oath of Allegiance, as it was against their faith, the members were imprisoned for about six months. Since they were only imprisoned because of their faith, this raised sympathy of citizens and thus helped to spread their religious beliefs. Lee, revealed as the “second coming” of Christ, traveled throughout the eastern states, preaching her gospel views. 5-year-period between 1787 and 1792. Mother Ann, the spiritual gift of revelation.
By 1793 property had been made a “consecrated whole” in each Shaker community. Shakers developed written covenants in the 1790s. Those who signed the covenant had to confess their sins, consecrate their property and their labor to the society, and live as celibates. If they were married before joining the society, their marriages ended when they joined. A few less-committed Believers lived in “noncommunal orders” as Shaker sympathizers who preferred to remain with their families.
The Shakers never forbade marriage for such individuals, but considered it less perfect than the celibate state. After Joseph Meacham died, Lucy Wright continued Ann Lee’s missionary tradition. New England and New York, but also farther west. Mother Lucy Wright introduced new hymns and dances to make sermons more lively. The Shaker movement was at its height between 1820 and 1860.
It was at this time that the sect had the most members, and the period was considered its “golden age”. It had expanded from New England to the Midwestern states of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. In the late 1830s a spiritual revivalism, the Era of Manifestations was born. A number of those drawings remain as important artifacts of Shaker folk art.
New Lebanon, New York, Church Family of Shakers, preserved a great deal of information on the era of manifestations, which Shakers referred to as Mother Ann’s Work, in his Domestic Journal, his diary, Sketches of Visions, and his history, A Concise View of the Church of God. Shakers did not believe that it was acceptable to kill or harm others, even in time of war. Both Union and Confederate soldiers found their way to the Shaker communities. Shakers tended to sympathize with the Union but they did feed and care for both Union and Confederate soldiers.
The end of the Civil War brought large changes to the Shaker communities. One of the most important changes was the postwar economy. The Shakers had a hard time competing in the industrialized economy that followed the Civil War. With prosperity falling, converts were hard to find. By the early 20th century, the once numerous Shaker communities were failing and closing.
By mid-century, new federal laws were passed denying control of adoption to religious groups. Today, in the 21st century, the Shaker community that still exists—The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community—denies that Shakerism was a failed utopian experiment. 19th century liberal utopian fervor. It teaches above all else that God is Love and that our most solemn duty is to show forth that God who is love in the World.