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SANCTIFIED ARKITES.

The Dunedin Evening Star, Feb, 19. furnishes some remarkable details of a curious sect .in ,-, America' (Virginia) They live in arks or ships, the ark being divided into three apartments, kitchen, assembly room and bedroom, i "No privacy is given the occupants, and they sleep together, regardless of sex, age, or relationship. _ The public is ; freely admitted into the kitchen and assembly room, but no one is allowed to enter the sleeping apartment except those 'sanctified.' It is a sort of holy of holies reserved for the exclusive use ■of members of the band. "The discipline of the sanctified Church teaches that no ore can go to Heaven until he or she has become sanctified in ..body as well as in spirit. Acts which would be wrong iu the unsanctified are perfectly proper when committed by- those who have been 1 "purified" by this sanctification process. They assert that a civil marriage is no. marriag?, and < that a sanctified person cannot dwell with the unsanctified. This logic has caused husbands to desert wives and wives to desert husbands,-; and, -.the* teaching of it has been the cause of the attacks made on "the sanctified bands" by the dwellers in the towns the bands have visited. "The Sanctified Church had its origin eight years agoon Chincoteague Island, Accomac County, Va. Joseph Barnard Lynch, the richest man ou the Island, claimed to have been visited by an angel during a trance, and to have been told that he was sanctified. He began preaching his doctrine and soon had a number of followers. "A regulation of the'sanctified'ehurch i is the system of having "fellow-watch-iren.J' > This regulation requires each male member to have tbe wife of another member as a 'fellow-watch-man,' and they must daily retire to a

private spot, where they 'watch and pray.' Single women are not allowed to become 'fellow- watchmen,' and a man's wife cannot act in such a capacity. -She must be the 'fellow-watch-man of sotTiiß other manY This doctrine - : has been the rock oh 1 Mich the Church was split several times, as soon as the deluded members refused to subscribe td it, and have deserted because Lynch insisted that it should be enftrfied^. Thle glaring iniquity of. this idea is apparent. "The Sanctified Band" is a free-love society; and ';the watchhian' arrangement permits the grossest improprieties without fear of detection, and under the cloak of sanctity. Single, .women are prohibited from becoming 'feiiow- watchmen' in order to prevent interference from the authorities. i "Lately things c&me to_uch a; pass 1 that the residents of Chowan- }£6_nty : lpade.up their minds, that, they could ' st^nd it no longer. " Word was passed abdut that a movement was. to be made against the "Sanctified Band:*' During, a| great revival meeting there came the sound of a horse galloping along the. dim track coming from the upland, the: crash of swinging branches, 'and aj broad-hatted young farmer, a . late [ convert, ' dashed 'into the... meeting,! shouting— • Clar out, you' un s ;.* the ;uri- j believers is coming. .They'll be hayr! in an hour, and they're couiin' a shootin'.' . When everybody was aboard the arks, the four house-like structures were unmoored, and pulled slowly and laboriously out into the stream, until they were fifty yards from the i shore. Here the anchors were cast' and the sanctified band waited for the -worst. The women were at first sent into the rooms on the river side of the arks. Then, as time, passed on without incident, confidence was gradually restored, and the members of '-The Sanctified Band" resumed their accustomed places. At that instant from the fqrest there ifcame the soiind of breaking twigs and the murmoutf' of voices. Dark forms flitted along the shore in -the moonlaced shadows. There were smothered exclamations of surprise and disappointment. Then, after a brief pause, there came the rattle and crash of firearms and the ioud shrieks and cries of startled women and children The buliets came ripping through the sides of the ark without cessation. Then somebody-— a woman evidently — struck up a - song. It was — J ' '_ "' " I will-arise and go to Jesus, * He will embrace me in his arms ; ■ In the arms of my dear Saviour, Oh, there are ten thousand charms. The song died away in a groan. The fusilade ceased. Raucous cries, curses and threats were heard from the river bank. Then silence fell, save for a sound of mourning in the arks— a wail of prayer and of weeping. The Caroline Regulators had paid the first instalment of their resentment in blood and death, and one of thd best known of Joseph Lynch's women converts had paid the penalty of conversion with her life. She was the Patty Watkins of the "Sanctified Band," so far as singing and enthusiasm went, and great was the grief among the converts at her sudden death. Yet not a Word was said in bitterness against those who had killed her save that they were "poor sinners and unbelievers."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/OO18970403.2.10

Bibliographic details

SANCTIFIED ARKITES., Oxford Observer, Volume VIII, Issue VIII, 3 April 1897

Word Count
833

SANCTIFIED ARKITES. Oxford Observer, Volume VIII, Issue VIII, 3 April 1897

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