Page:Chertkov - Christian Martyrdom.djvu/35

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notwithstanding all the calumny they spread against these people, have more than once witnessed before the higher Government to the fact that the Spirit-Wrestlers give help and do acts of great charity to their fellow-men in need. They are compassionate even to household animals, and almost entirely refrain from killing them.

Respect from children to their parents is also strictly observed, and in general from younger men to those older; though the latter, and even parents, do not appropriate to themselves any ascendency over the younger ones, regarding themselves as spiritually their equals.

There exist no punishments among the brethren. As soon as any brother thinks another has behaved improperly, he, according to the precise gospel instruction, reminds him that he is acting wrongly; if the one in fault will not take consideration, he is admonished in the presence of two or three of the brethren; if he does not take heed of them, he is invited to appear before the general assembly.

There have been cases, though very seldom, in which some of the brethren have left the Society, doubtless in order to live at liberty according to their own unrestricted desire. It has even sometimes happened that wives have deserted their husbands. The husbands, in such cases, do not