John Humphrey Noyes, an American perfectionist, born in Brattleboro, Vt., Sept. 3, 1811.
He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1830, and began to study law; but his attention be-ing turned to religion, he studied theology at Andover and New Haven, and was licensed to preach in 1833. In 1834 he experienced what he called a "second conversion," and announced himself a " Perfectionist." His license to preach was annulled, and he began to teach his new faith in various periodical publications, which have become merged in the " Oneida Circular." He has also published a number of volumes, of which " The Berean," " The Second Coming of Christ," " Salvation from Sin," "Bible Communism," " Male Continence and Scientific Propagation," and a "History of American Socialisms," are the most important. By the phrase " salvation from sin" he and his followers understand a special phase of religious experience, having for its basis spiritual intercourse with God, which may proceed so far, even in this life, as to destroy selfishness, and so make an end of sin. He holds that while a community such as those he has founded may contain members who have not reached this state, without a working majority of persons who have this religion, communism such as he has attempted is impossible.
The practical application of his doctrines has been made in the two communistic societies at Oneida, N. Y., and Wallingford, Conn., which in 1874 numbered 283 members (238 at Oneida and 45 at "Wallingford). They practise community of women as well as of goods, maintain the equality of women with men in social and business life, live in a " unitary home," are engaged in various manufactures, and in 1874 owned property to the amount of half a million of dollars. They are thorough farmers, have two well fitted printing offices, and employ many persons who are not members.