Last modified on 7 January 2015, at 13:03

Ann Lee

You can never enter the kingdom of God with hardness against any one, for God is love, and if you love God you will love one another.

Mother Ann Lee (February 29 1736September 8 1784) was a leader of the Shakers.

QuotesEdit

The Communistic Societies of the United States (1875)Edit

Put your hands to work and give your hearts to God.
Do all your work as though you had a thousand years to live; and as you would if you knew you must die tomorrow.
Quotes of Ann Lee in The Communistic Societies of the United States (1875) by Charles Nordhoff · HTML at Sacred-texts.com
  • When I confessed my sins, I labored to remember the time when and the place where I committed them. And when I had confessed them, I cried to God to know if my confession was accepted; and by crying to God continually I traveled out of my loss.
  • The first step of obedience that any of you can take is to confess your sins to God before his witnesses.
  • If you confess your sins, you must confess them to God; we are but his witnesses.
  • I can freely forgive you, and I pray God to forgive you. It is God that forgives you; I am but your fellow-servant.
  • You ought never to speak to your children in a passion; for if you do, you will put devils into them.
  • Do all your work as though you had a thousand years to live; and as you would if you knew you must die tomorrow.
  • You can never enter the kingdom of God with hardness against any one, for God is love, and if you love God you will love one another.
  • Be diligent with your hands, for godliness does not lead to idleness.
  • You ought not to cross your children unnecessarily, for it makes them ill-natured.
  • You ought to dress yourself in modest apparel, such as becomes the people of God, and teach your family to do likewise. You ought to be industrious and prudent, and not live a sumptuous and gluttonous life, but labor for a meek and quiet spirit, and see that your family is kept decent and regular in all their goings forth, that others may see your example of faith and good works, and acknowledge the work of God in your family.
  • It is now spring of the year, and you have all had the privilege of being taught the way of God; and now you may all go home and be faithful with your hands. Every faithful man will go forth and put up his fences in season, and will plow his ground in season, and put his crops into the ground in season; and such a man may with confidence look for a blessing.


DisputedEdit

Quotes about LeeEdit

Aside from her strictly religious teachings, she appears to have inculcated upon her followers the practical virtues of honesty, industry, frugality, charity, and temperance. ~ Charles Nordhoff
They reject the doctrine of the Trinity, of the bodily resurrection, and of an atonement for sins. They do not worship either Jesus or Ann Lee, holding both to be simply elders in the Church, to be respected and loved.
Christ is a Spirit, and one of the highest, who appeared first in the person of Jesus, representing the male, and later in the person of Ann Lee, representing the female element in God. ~ Charles Nordhoff
It should be distinctly understood that special inspired gifts have not ceased, but still continue among this people. ~ Charles Nordhoff
They do not regard marriage and property as crimes or disorders, but as the emblems of a lower order of society. And they hold that the world in general, or the Outer Order, will have the opportunity of purification in the next world as well as here. ~ Charles Nordhoff
  • Mother Ann Lee, in her personal appearance, was a woman rather below the common stature of woman; thick set, but straight and otherwise well proportioned and regular in form and features. Her complexion was light and fair, and her eyes were blue, but keen and penetrating; her countenance was mild and expressive, but grave and solemn. Her natural constitution was sound, strong and healthy. Her manners were plain, simple, and easy. She possessed a certain dignity of appearance that inspired confidence and commanded respect. By many of the world who saw her without prejudice she was called beautiful; and to her faithful children she appeared to possess a degree of dignified beauty and heavenly love which they had never before discovered among mortals.
    • Calvin Green and Seth Y. Wells, in A Summary View of the Millennial Church, or United Society of Believers (commonly called Shakers) (1823)
  • She possessed remarkable powers and faculties of mind in nature, which were greatly enlarged and strengthened by the gift of God. At times, when under the power and operation of the Holy Ghost, her countenance shone with the glory of God, and her form and actions appeared divinely beautiful and very angelic. The power and influence of her spirit, at such times, was great beyond description ; and no one was able to gainsay or resist the authority by which she spoke.
    Tho her words were few, yet they always seemed adapted to the occasion, and it did not appear that she ever spoke in vain. Her whole soul appeared to be always engaged in the work of God, and the Spirit of God seemed to breathe through all her words and actions. She inspired into the hearts of her faithful children the greatest fear of God, and excited their highest admiration, love and respect. But in reproving sin and sinners, the power of her spirit seemed irresistible, and often struck terror into the souls of every one present. Her admonitions were sharp, powerful and penetrating ; yet while she struck at that which was evil, she seemed always anxious to separate and preserve the good.
    • Calvin Green and Seth Y. Wells, in A Summary View of the Millennial Church, or United Society of Believers (commonly called Shakers) (1823)
  • Following the doctrines put forth by Ann Lee, and elaborated by her successors, they hold:
I. That God is a dual person, male and female; that Adam was a dual person, being created in God's image; and that "the distinction of sex is eternal, inheres in the soul itself; and that no angels or spirits exist who are not male and female."
II. That Christ is a Spirit, and one of the highest, who appeared first in the person of Jesus, representing the male, and later in the person of Ann Lee, representing the female element in God.
III. That the religious history of mankind is divided into four cycles, which are represented also in the spirit world, each having its appropriate heaven and hell. The first cycle included the antediluvians — Noah and the faithful going to the first heaven, and the wicked of that age to the first hell. The second cycle included the Jews up to the appearance of Jesus; and the second heaven is called Paradise. The third cycle included all who lived until the appearance of Ann Lee; Paul being "caught up into the third heaven." The heaven of the fourth and last dispensation "is now in process of formation," and is to supersede in time all previous heavens. Jesus, they say, after his death, descended into the first hell to preach to the souls there confined; and on his way passed through the second heaven, or Paradise, where he met the thief crucified with him.
IV. They hold themselves to be the "Church of the Last Dispensation," the true Church of this age; and they believe that the day of judgment, or "beginning of Christ's kingdom on earth," dates from the establishment of their Church, and will be completed by its development.
V. They hold that the Pentecostal Church was established on right principles; that the Christian churches rapidly and fatally fell away from it; and that the Shakers have returned to this original and perfect doctrine and practice. They say: "The five most prominent practical principles of the Pentecost Church were, first, common property; second, a life of celibacy; third, non-resistance; fourth, a separate and distinct government; and, fifth, power over physical disease." To all these but the last they have attained; and the last they confidently look for, and even now urge that disease is an offense to God, and that it is in the power of men to be healthful, if they will.
VI. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity, of the bodily resurrection, and of an atonement for sins. They do not worship either Jesus or Ann Lee, holding both to be simply elders in the Church, to be respected and loved.
VII. They are Spiritualists. "We are thoroughly convinced of spirit communication and interpositions, spirit guidance and obsession. Our spiritualism has permitted us to converse, face to face, with individuals once mortals, some of whom we well knew, and with others born before the flood." They assert that the spirits at first labored among them; but that in later times they have labored among the spirits; and that in the lower heavens there have been formed numerous Shaker churches. Moreover, "it should be distinctly understood that special inspired gifts have not ceased, but still continue among this people." It follows from what is stated above, that they believe in a "probationary state in the world of spirits."
VIII. They hold that he only is a true servant of God who lives a perfectly stainless and sinless life; and they add that to this perfection of life all their members ought to attain.
IX. Finally, they hold that their Church, the Inner or Gospel Order, as they call it, is supported by and has for its complement the world, or, as they say, the Outer Order. They do not regard marriage and property as crimes or disorders, but as the emblems of a lower order of society. And they hold that the world in general, or the Outer Order, will have the opportunity of purification in the next world as well as here.

External linksEdit

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