Chapter 24



The Spiritual Magazine 11 : 65

THE testimony of John the Baptist, and of Christ, and of the apostles down to the second coming of Christ in 70 A. D. was "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." This has been our testimony since the re-appearance in our day of the primitive gospel, salvation from sin. We believe that the kingdom now coming is the same that was established in heaven at the second coming of Christ. God then commenced a kingdom in human nature independent of the laws of this world. That kingdom, withdrawn to heaven, has been strengthening and enlarging itself ever since. We look for its reestablishment here, and this extension of an existing government into this world is what we mean by the coming of the Kingdom of God.

But we have expected that the manifestation of this kingdom after a successful career of eighteen hundred years in the invisible wo4d will be by a process different from the original one.

The difference may be illustrated thus: If it is understood that on the 21st day of March at noon spring begins, the


natural declaration before that time is "Spring is at hand," and immediately afterward, "Spring is come." This was the situation of the Primitive Church. The second coming of the Lord Jesus was to mark the exact time of their translation to the invisible kingdom. "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ" was the new testimony that was raised in heaven at that time.[1] But if it is understood that spring coincides not with a fixed astronomical period but with a particular stage of the sun's power over the earth, it is impossible to refer the advent of spring to any precise point of time. To determine the presence of spring in this case is more difficult than in the other, but within a moderate latitude of time and with a certain accumulation of data it is 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. Later when we begin to have mild, spring-like days there are also occasional ones in which the ground is covered with snow. Yet we are certain that sometime within the limits of April spring will have come. Such is our problem with reference to the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. The evidence goes to show that the Kingdom of God will be established here not in a formal, dramatic way, but by a process like that which brings the seasonal spring. The Primitive Church like the sun will come near to us, and the judgment and resurrection will be effected by an infusion of the light and energy of God.

I will put the question, Is not now the time for us to commence the testimony that the Kingdom of God has come? We must not do this on insufficient grounds; nor should we be withheld from it by merely apparent difficulties.

I think there is abundant evidence, especially in the last year, that the judgment has begun. He that searcheth the hearts

1. Rev. 12:10.


and trieth the reins has been among us cutting between the righteous and the wicked and between good and evil in our own characters. So of the resurrection. We have seen that there is a power among us that can conquer death. Some of us have lived for a long time in the jaws of death, and also in the jaws of the resurrection; dying daily and rising daily.

With a mighty hand and marvelous wisdom God has gathered us together here. We have been able to cut our way through the isolation and selfishriess in which the mass of men exist, and have attained a position in which before heaven and earth we trample under foot the domestic and pecuniary fashions of the world. Separate households, property exclusiveness have come to an end with us. Our Association is established on principles opposed at every point to the institutions of the world.

If our spiritual attainments are inferior to those of the Primitive Church before 70 A. D., on the other hand our political and corporate position is in advance of theirs. The fact that communism is developed with us at an earlier period of experience than with them corresponds with the advancing purpose of God. They were not destined to remain an organized body in the world. A future branch of the church was to he the medium of establishing on earth the institutions of heaven, and of extending God's everlasting dominion over men.


A discussion followed in which the nature and effect of the proposed act were fully examined. The new relation which such a declaration would bring us into with the Primitive Church was shown by the following illustration: Suppose it a fact that the government of the United States is destined to prevail over the American continent. The inhabitants of cer-


taim provinces in Mexico get this persuasion. They study the principles and laws of our government, they correspond with our citizens and obtain correct ideas of our designs. After a proper time they declare their annexation and put themselves under our protection. These provinces might not be as civilized in every respect as our States were when they obtained their independence, yet all their political relations would be vastly superior; they would come in on a constitutional level with the States as they exist now, and would have for all purposes of defense and public necessity the strength, experience and revenue which this nation has accumulated during sixty years. So, although we are not equal to the Primitive Church as they were in 70 A. D., yet by the act of annexation we shall be admitted to a full partnership with them as they exist now.

All expressed themselves deliberately and freely. The indivisible unity and unfeigned brotherly love, the growing momentum of improvement, the increasing intimacy of communication with God's invisible kingdom, which have been conferred upon this body, were mentioned among the proofs of God's purpose concerning us. Respecting the fire of judgment and the power of the resurrection among us there was but one belief and one voice. Jt was seen that a new and further confession of truth was necessary. Therefore it was unanimously adopted as the declaration of the believers assembled, that The Kingdom of God Has Come.


The declaration [that has been reported above] was made at an important crisis. Jt bore the same relation to the Oneida Community as the Declaration of Independence did to the United States. We had commenced the practice of our present institutions a year before, but the movement had been somewhat private. Now we were approaching public cognizance


in various ways. At this point we held that solemn meeting, and made the declaration that the Kingdom of God had come. This declaration was proclaimed soon afterward in our paper.

A singular incident occurred at the close of the meeting. At the exact moment when the vote was taken a sublime clap of thunder like a cannon salvo star~ed us. It was the only clap that evening, and was so entirely unexpected that it seemed like Heaven's response to our act.

Jn a double wedding July 12, 1847, George W. Noyes was married to Helen Campbell, and William H. Woolworth to Emma Campbell. The ceremony was performed by Hon. Larkin G. Mead.


Chapter 25: Cure of Harriet Hall | Contents