Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/27

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16
THE SPIRIT-WRESTLERS
 
 
 
 

II

THE SPIRIT-WRESTLERS ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

 

A Paper written in 1805[1]

In the second half of the last century there arose in Russia a Society the existence of which would have seemed impossible in our country. Suddenly there appeared people who not only repudiated all the religious ceremonies and outward ritual of the Greek-Russian Church, but even did not accept the outward baptism by water, and the communion of the body and blood of Christ in the bread and wine.

 
  1. The text is translated from the Russian of an old MS. lately republished in a monthly periodical called Russian Antiquity. We have translated it almost in full, as being evidently written by an individual well acquainted, and himself in perfect sympathy, with the religious movement in question. It gives a very fair idea of the life and teaching of the Spirit-Wrestlers at the time indicated, and indeed at the present time. The remarkable events which have happened among this people during the last few years are, in reality, but the result of a revival of their ancient spiritual tendencies, for which they have suffered persecution at the hands of the Church and the Government from the very first—(Ed.)