The Vision-Seeing Generation- Not only the Jews, but also a good many Christians to whom mysticism appealed, looked for the coming of the Messiah during that generation. Cabalists among the Jews had calculated that the messianic year would be 1648; Christians had fixed on the year 1666. All the misfortunes which came upon Central and Eastern Europe in that period served as so much proof that the messianic era was approaching, since the Messiah's arrival was to be preceded by war and pestilence. Men's minds were prepared for something unusual, especially the minds of the Jewish cabalists. Ready to be deluded, they fell victim to the most deluded among them.
- from page 443, A History of the Jews