Kingdom Of Matthias Analysis

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The Kingdom of Matthias offers a compelling new point of view on religion and family in the 18th century. It revolves around the religious fanaticism of Robert Matthews and his followers in their quest to find God and to show others the way. Although meant to be a satire, the book gets very dark at times, strengthening the overall reception of the book. The two main characters Robert Matthews and Elijah Pierson are from different backgrounds brought together by the idea of achieving spiritual enlightenment.
Robert Matthews was born in 1788 in the farming village of Coila raised as an Anti-Burgher Calvinist. One of the more devout members of the local church was Robert’s mother. She attended an “Anti-Burgher Secession Church” that aimed to splinter off from within the more prominent Scots Presbyterianism (50). In Coila, the church was the governing body. It decided the punishments for those who steered away from the teachings. A young Robert saw this patriarchy first hand when they demonstrated their authority regulating their members’ behavior. Along with regulating behavior, the church also issued warnings to those who started to diverge from the path. When Robert was a boy “Coila’s chief spiritual overseer was the Reverend Mr. Beveridge” (54). He was responsible for “bolstering” the faith within the village. He was noted to have taken a particular interest in the children of the village to shape their faith. One of his
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He was raised as a devout member of Morristown’s First Presbyterian Church. He was taught that God had placed people in social classes and determined their destinies based on “His inscrutable Providence” (15). Elijah was expected not to question the defined order he was raised by but follow it blindly to which he did for many years. Elijah understood that every human being was corrupt. He knew everyone could not become what is defined as a perfect Christian in the
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