The New Israel

Although most of the sects of which we have spoken sprang from the

orthodox church, the _molokanes_ and the _stoundists_ were indirect

fruits of the Protestant church, and even among the Jews there were

cases of religious mania to be found.

Leaving out of account the _karaïtts_ of Southern Russia, formerly the

_frankists_--who ultimately became good Christians--we may remark from

time to time some who re
ected the articles of the Jewish faith, and

even accepted the divinity of Christ. Such a one was Jacques Preloker,

founder of the "new Israel," a Russian-Jew philosopher who discovered

the divine sermon on the Mount eighteen hundred and seventy-eight years

after it had been delivered. This was the beginning of a revolution of

his whole religious thought, which resulted in 1879 in the founding of

a new sect at Odessa. The philosopher desired an intimate relationship

with the Christian faith, and dreamed of the supreme absorption of the

Jewish Church into that of Christ. In his new-found adoration for the

Christian Gospel, he tried by every means in his power to lessen the

distance between it and Judaism, but, though some were attracted by his

ardour, many were repelled by the boldness of his conceptions.

Towards the end of his life, the bankrupt philosopher, still dignified

and serious, although fallen from the height of his early dreams, made

his appearance on the banks of the Thames, and there endeavoured to

continue his propaganda and to explain to an unheeding world the

beauties of the Jewish-Christian religion.