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(1918) With: Jesse W. Brooks - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - The Bogoiskateli: or, Seekers After God. Prof. I. V. Noprash - II - The Scoptzi and Chlisti - The Clergy, Bond-slaves

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92 The Bogoiskateli; or, Seekers after God
created a theory that Christ incarnates Himself in one of them and
lives with them here on earth. This is the key-note of their gatherings,
A prominent part of their services is the fast whirling of individuals,
prophets or of the whole congregation, during which time some of
them claim to receive divine revelations. Apparently this whirling is
foolishness, but look a little deeper into it and you will find the same
seeking after God. They read the portion of Scripture from Revelation
14:3, 4: "And they sung as it were a new song before the throne,
and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn
that song but the hundred forty and four thousand, which were re-
deemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with
women, for they are virgins." They interpret this Scripture according
to their own understanding, and explain their practice by the desire to
be among the best of the hundred and forty-four thousand.
Alexander Shilov is the propagandist of another sect called Eunuchs.
Here is the brief statement of his life:
Alexander Shilov was of a restless personality. In order to find
the truth he forsook his family. He tried all the faiths and was a
leader in most of them, but not one of them ever satisfied his hunger
for the truth, which was so strong that he himself said: "If I were
to find the true faith of God, then I would not spare my own body, I
would gladly lay down my life for it." Such seekers after God you will
find all over Russia, and this may be proven by the fact that almost all
the sects in Russia had their birth among the masses of the people.
Believing in the transmigration of the soul, the Chlisti carry on a
strong propaganda, as every one of them is anxious to find a vessel into
which his soul may be transferred after death. If a soul of a Chlisti
should happen to be very saintly it then gf)es directly to God, and it
becomes a soul that is shining in heaven.
Then followed the Duchobori, the Molokane, the New Molokane, the
Mystic Malevantzi and a number of small sects. The educated classes
of the Russian people did not remain behind the peasants, though their
seeking after God manifested itself in other forms. The educated Rus-
sian seldom professes Greek Orthodoxy, but is nevertheless very re-
ligious. Most of them do not believe in the priests, and therefore they
are trying to find the truth for themselves.
The Clergy, Bond-slaves
At the beginning I painted rather a dark picture of the Russian
clergy. It would be unjust if I should let you go from here with a
wrong impression about them. Among the lower clergy, and in very
rare cases among the higher, there are some very bright personalities
whom we could name "Bogoiskateli" in the full sense of the term. But
they have been bond-slaves because they did not dare to express them-

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