Noyes, John Humphrey. Male Continence

Noyes, John Humphrey. Male Continence

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Noyes, John Humphrey. Male Continence. Oneida, NY: Office of the American Socialist, 1877. Second Edition.

Pale green printed wrappers, small chips to long edge of front, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, 32 pp., foxing in the margins of most pages. Good. Pamphlet.  [4499] 

Noyes encouraged multiple sexual partners in his community and wanted to prevent his followers from "suffering the miseries of involuntary propagation." He discusses infant murder, abortion, and artificial contrivances, all of which he condemns. He has settled on the practice of men not ejaculating, either during or after sexual intercourse. "Suppose the man chooses for good reasons, as before, to enjoy not only the simple presence, but also the reciprocal motion, and yet to stop short of the final crisis. Would there be any harm?...But what if a man, knowing his own power and limits, should not even approach the crisis, and yet be able to enjoy the presence and the motion ad libitum? If you say that this is impossible, I answer that I know it is possible - nay, that it is easy." p. 9

John Humphrey Noyes (1811-1886), born at Brattleboro, Vt.; educated at Dartmouth College, Andover Seminary, and at Yale College.  “Emotions released in revival services of the 1830’s sometimes led to extremes in both ideas and actions.  Noyes was a product of those fervid times, embodying some of the most radical doctrines of his day.  While still a theological student (1833), he was licensed to preach in one of New Haven’s free churches, a congregation which preferred more uninhibited worship than traditional patterns would allow.  That license was revoked and he was dismissed from Yale within a year because he claimed personally to have reached a level of absolute sinlessness…After several fruitless attempts to interest other evangelists in his doctrine, he returned to Vermont and established a small following known as Bible Communists.  Noyes’ ideas hinged on the conviction that the Second Coming of Christ had already occurred in 70 A.D.  That spiritual return had abolished the old law of sin, inaugurating an era when perfection was possible for all who would accept the new life of divine inspiration.  The Kingdom of God reigned within, and neither Mosaic nor civil codes were binding on those led by the perfect understanding of God’s will…The Bible Communists, who placed all their goods in common, flourished as a model social experiment.  But their notoriety came from practicing complex marriage within the family of believers.  As early as 1837 Noyes declared that monogamy, with its exclusivism, quarreling, and jealousy, was incompatible with perfectionism.  Free love or multiple associations among true believers was a manifestation of their superiority to customs of the old dispensation.  By 1846 the surrounding communities became so scandalized at Noyes’ antinomianism that they filed charges of adultery.  He fled to central New York, and the sect moved shortly thereafter.  Life in the Oneida colony was regulated according to communitarian principles…” – Bowden, Dictionary of Religious Biography.