In the early nineteenth-century America went through a phase of religious revival with many people turning to the religious beliefs in Christendom following the religious instability that took place in the seventeenth-century in England for the reformation of Christians and the community. The most notable event amongst all the momentous events was called the Second Great Awakening, which lasted one year and began in 1830. This year holds a lot of history for a country like America because it was the same year that Americans reached the highest level of consumption of alcoholic drinks, with an average of four gallons per person. This was not only the highest for all the years of American history but also one of the highest in the world. It was in the year that came to be known as 'the spirit-soaked year' when the evangelical preacher Charles Grandison Finney came to Rochester, New York. New York at that time was the one of the most quickly populated communities in the United States, where Charles Grandison Finney launched a religious revival movement that took the nation by storm. This movement led to the celibate communitarian sect called the Shakers to gain many members than at any other time in its history.
The theme of this book is based in the evolving 19th-century American nation, which is written in a very detailed manner and examines every detail in the episode in a manner that relates to the era the story takes place in a dramatically detailed account. Between the periods from the 1820s to the 1840s, the two historians Johnson and Wilentz, write about the episodes explaining how the country was caught in the web of religious revivalism; this response was in reaction by those who were revolutionized by the industrial revolution.
In 1830, in the beginning of the Second Great Awakening, a carpenter in Albany, NY knew that he was the next Jewish prophet Matthias. He took advantage of his spiritual belief and got many New York businessmen to join his new found "kingdom" of his elf-proclaimed religion, which he established on one of his followers estates in Sing. Members of the religious kingdom followed his teachings blindly until sexual scandal and charges of murder and fraud wrecked him forever. Even though his trials became one of the biggest scandals for the penny press, he was free of all the serious charges and eventually disappeared.
In 1832 Elijah Pierson, who was by profession a merchant in New York was so mesmerized by religion that she turned from a religious reformer into a prophet. She met Matthias, who was born by the name of Robert Matthews. He was a person who lived as an outcast in churches and had his own beliefs, declarations and visions when it came to religion. Matthias became very popular and soon took the position that Pierson had on the stage, and began preaching an about the end of this world where only those who had no accrued liabilities or sins could survive.
Despite his preachings and 'so-called' beliefs, Matthias lives a life of luxury instead of a simple one. His extravagant life led him to take away a follower's wife. In 1834, Pierson was dies in an unexplained death leading to the arrest of Matthias on charges of murder. His arrest was highly publicized in the growing gossip hungry city of New York City penny press. After going through many trials, Matthias was found guilty not for murder but for some minor charges. Later on in the book, he disappears.
In the autumn of 1834, it was found that the New York City was under the influence of a mysterious religious cult operating under the leadership of a mysterious, self-proclaimed prophet named Matthias. The rumors were everywhere in the scandalous city. As a matter of fact, it was known by many people that Matthias the Prophet took huge sums of money by stealing from one of his followers. There were also reported incidents of promiscuous sexual relations with his followers, he used his own odd teachings of matched spirits, apostolic priesthoods, and the inferiority of women to hypnotize them. When these rumors turned into reality and then into charges against him, the Prophet was arrested for the murder of a sincerely devoted Christian cleric who had fallen prey to his bloody hands. When the story made headlines, it went on to become one of the nation's first penny-press scandalous sensations, highlighting his sexual and spiritual…