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

of such Non-compliance are Regarded with more Dread by State Authorities than any Conspiracies or Acts of Violence--Examples of Non-compliance in Russia, in Regard to Oath of Allegiance, Payment of Taxes, Passports, Police Duties, and Military Service-- Examples of such Non-compliance in other States--Governments do not Know how to Treat Men who Refuse to Comply with their Demands on Christian Grounds--Such People, without Striking a Blow, Undermine the very Basis of Government from Within--To Punish them is Equivalent to Openly Renouncing Christianity, and Assisting in Diffusing the Very Principle by which these Men justify their Non-compliance--So Governments are in a Helpless Position- Men who Maintain the Uselessness of Personal Independence, only Retard the Dissolution of the Present State Organization Based on Force.

THE position of the Christian peoples in our days has remained just as cruel as it was in the times of paganism. In many respects, especially in the oppression of the masses, it has become even more cruel than it was in the days of paganism.

But between the condition of men in ancient times and their condition in our days there is just the difference that we see in the world of vegetation between the last days of autumn and the first days of spring. In the autumn the external lifelessness in nature corresponds with its inward condition of death, while in the spring the external lifelessness is in sharp contrast with the internal state of reviving and passing into new forms of life.

In the same way the similarity between the ancient heathen life and the life of to-day is merely external : the inward condition of men in the times of heathenism was absolutely different from their inward condition at the present time.

Then the outward condition of cruelty and of slavery was in complete harmony with the inner conscience of men, and every step in advance intensified this harmony; now the outward condition of cruelty and of slavery is corn-

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