By Alexander Böhlig, Frederik Wisse (ed., transl. and comm.)

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Additional resources for Nag Hammadi Codices III, 2 and IV, 2. The Gospel of the Egyptians (Nag Hammadi Studies, Vol. 4)

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Rather, these were likely followers of Elias Smith, a Vermont native and strong Jeffersonian who in the 1790s had left his Calvinist Baptist faith to espouse a doctrinally simplified Christianity based in radically democratic principles. Smith claimed, for example, that every individual should read the New Testament for himself or herself and not blindly follow inherited dogma as interpreted by the priesthood. 50 A master of publicity and communication, in 1808 Smith took advantage of the explosive expansion of print culture to start the nation’s first religious newspaper, the Herald of Gospel Liberty, to proselytize his cause.

The strange noise, so loud that it could be heard “fifteen or twenty rods off,” accompanied every breath. It was perhaps that of whooping cough or croup, but because of his newfound fear of death, it caused him irrational fright (28–29). METHODISM Shortly after this episode, Apess slowly began to mend, but rather than rejoicing in his deliverance and thanking God that he had found Christianity, he began to resist all discipline, secular or religious. For one thing, Apess again sought out some “old school fellows” and with them began to profane the Sabbath.

The “free intermingling of society” at such protracted events—the one she attended lasted a week—disgusted her, she wrote. Moreover, she noted that such camp meetings clearly drew many nonbelievers, who were more interested in the flesh than the Spirit. ”30 Apess, though, was bowled over by his experience at similar services. The participants’ prayers greatly moved him, as did their songs of praise. ” The first time that Apess was called on to pray out loud (as was the Methodists’ custom), though, he was terrified, embarrassed by what he War, Wandering, and Home { 31 believed was his inadequacy.

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