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The Kingdom of Matthias The Kingdom of Matthias be a fascinating window to the turbulent movements of the revival known as the Second Great Awakening This movements swept up great evangelical Americans and gave rise to the Mormons Matthias was born Robert Matthews in 1788 to a Scots immigrant family in the farming village of Cambridge in Washington County New York The village had been originally founded as a permanent white settlement by New England squatters and become home to large numbers of Scottish immigrants like family of Robert Matthews The Cambridge Scots kept mostly to themselves and clung to their uncompromising Calvinistisicm nursing ecclesiastical grudges unknown to the rest of the world Johnson and Wilentz 50 Matthews family were strict believers and attended their villages Anti-Burgher Secession Church a sectarian splinter of a militant faction from within Scots Presbyterianism As Anti-Burghers they done read their Bibles literally and regularly debated their scriptural understanding They did imitations of the primitive Christians guarded against government interference religious affairs demanded strict observance of the Sabbath and enforced a personal code of righteous temperance every day of the week They sustained an absolute belief in predestination human sacrifice free love and the idea that Gods be studied in every twitch of daily life Wilentz 52 Many of Mathiass later beliefs can thus be seen as being rooted in his religious experiences as a child After War of 1812 the United States was bursting with promises of material riches for anyone with the initiative and the funds to participate Wilentz 61 It was a time conducive to the explosion of both culture and religion Into this teeming environment walked Robert Matthews who announced himself as Matthias prophet of the God of the Jews As the prophet Matthias Matthews drew in a cast of unforgettable charactersthe meekly devout businessman Elijah Pierson who once tried to raise his late wife from the dead the Mormon leader Joseph Smith
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