Brief and fragmentary notices of these remarkable people have not unfrequently appeared of late in the Russian and foreign press. But all that has been published in the Russian newspapers has been either too short, or in a mutilated form,—whether intentionally, unintentionally, or as a concession to the requirements of the Russian censor,—while what has been printed abroad is, unfortunately, little accessible to the Russian public. Hence it is that we consider it our duty in this Appeal to give a general view of the events that are now taking place, and a brief sketch of the circumstances which preceded them.
[The same also is the object of this book, therefore we cannot do better than give the Appeal in full.]
The Spirit-Wrestlers first appeared in the middle of last century. By the end of the last century or the beginning of the present, their doctrine had become so clearly defined, and the number of their followers had so greatly increased, that the Government and the Church, considering this sect to be peculiarly obnoxious, started a cruel persecution.
The foundation of the Spirit-Wrestlers' teaching