Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/14

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THE SPIRIT-WRESTLERS

consists in the belief that the Spirit of God is present in the soul of man, and directs him by its word within him.

They understand the coming of Christ in the flesh, His works, teaching, and sufferings, in a spiritual sense. The object of the sufferings of Christ, in their view, was to give us an example of suffering for truth. Christ continues to suffer in us even now, when we do not live in accordance with the behests and spirit of His teaching. The whole teaching of the Spirit-Wrestlers is penetrated with the gospel spirit of love.

Worshipping God in the spirit, the Spirit-Wrestlers affirm that the outward Church and all that is performed in it and concerns it has no importance for them. The Church is where two or three are gathered together, i.e. united, in the name of Christ.

They pray inwardly at all times; while, on fixed days (corresponding for convenience to the orthodox holy-days), they assemble for prayer-meetings, at which they read prayers and sing hymns, or psalms as they call them, and greet each other fraternally with low bows, thereby acknowledgmg every man as a bearer of the Divine Spirit.

The teaching of the Spirit-Wrestlers is founded on tradition. This tradition is called among them the "Book of Life," because it lives in their memory