The Kingdom of God Is within You: Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life

By Leo Tolstoy; Constance Garnett | Go to book overview

pressed by the Violence of Government, but through Men who have Attained Power by Evidence Recognizing its Emptiness and Becoming Better and Less Capable of Using Force--Individual Men and also Whole Nations Pass Through this Process--By this Means Christianity is Diffused Through Consciousness of Men, not only in Spite of Use of Violence by Government, but even Through its Action, and therefore the Suppression is not to be Dreaded, but is Brought About by the National Progress of Life--Objection of those who Defend State Organization that Universal Adoption of Christianity is hardly Likely to be Realized at any Time--The General Adoption of the Truths of Christianity is being Brought About not only by the Gradual and Inward Means, that is, by Knowledge of the Truth, Prophetic Insight, and Recognition of the Emptiness of Power, and Renunciation of it by Individuals, but also by Another External Means, the Acceptance of a New Truth by Whole Masses of Men on a Lower Level of Development Through Simple Confidence in their Leaders--When a Certain Stage in the Diffusion of a Truth has been Reached, a Public Opinion is Created which Impels a Whole Mass of Men, formerly Antagonistic to the New Truth, to Accept it--And therefore all Men may Quickly be Brought to Renounce the use of Violence when once a Christian Public Opinion is Established--The Conviction of Force being Necessary Hinders the Establishment of a Christian Public Opinion--The Use of Violence Leads Men to Distrust the Spiritual Force which is the Only Force by which they Advance--Neither Nations nor Individuals have been really Subjugated by Force, but only by Public Opinion, which no Force can Resist--Savage Nations and Savage Men can only be Subdued by the Diffusion of a Christian Standard among them, while actually Christian Nations in order to Subdue them do all they can to Destroy a Christian Standard--These Fruitless Attempts to Civilize Savages Cannot be Adduced as Proofs that Men Cannot be Subdued by Christianity--Violence by Corrupting Public Opinion, only Hinders the Social Organization from being What it Ought to Be--And by the Use of Violence being Suppressed, a Christian Public Opinion would be Established--Whatever might be the Result of the Suppression of Use of Force, this Unknown Future could not be Worse than the Present Condition, and so there is no Need to Dread it--To Attain Knowledge of the Unknown, and to Move Toward it, is the Essence of Life.

CHRISTIANITY in its true sense puts an end to government. So it was understood at its very commencement; it was for that cause that Christ was crucified. So it has

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