“It was this belief, and the power of it, that invested the original community of humble persons,
fishermen and artisans, with a dignity and confidence of utterance that was electrifying and
contagious, and that ran like wildfire through the oppressed classes of the population and particularly
attracted the patriots and religious zealots, already stirred and exalted by Messianic visions.
This was the pregnant message, the “good news” for which they had been waiting, the great fact
born of actual knowledge and experience which anchored indefinite hope to the strong rack of