The Jumpers And The Holy Brother

The Jumpers, or _sopouny_, founded by one Petroff, considered it their

duty to blow upon one another during Divine Service. This arose from a

misinterpretation of the ninth verse of the fortieth psalm. It was

also their custom to pile benches one upon another and pray from the

top of them, until some hysterical female fell to the ground in a

religious paroxysm. One of those present would then lean over her and

act t
e scene of the resurrection. Petroff was a great admirer of King

David, and would sing his psalms to the accompaniment of dancing, like

the psalmist before the Ark. His successor, Roudometkin, reorganised

the Jumpers, and gave their performances a rhythmic basis. Foreseeing

the near advent of the Saviour, he caused himself to be crowned king of

the "spiritual Christians" in 1887, and married a "spiritual" wife,

though without discarding his "material" one. His successors all

called themselves "Kings of the spiritual Christians," but they had not

the authority of poor Roudometkin, who had been removed to prison in


We may class with the Jumpers the Holy Brothers, or _chalapouts_, who

believed in the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost. They were

visionaries of a more exalted kind, and often attained to such a state

of religious enthusiasm that in their longing to enter heaven they

climbed to the roofs of houses and hurled themselves into space.