Page:Patriotismchrist00tols.djvu/56

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PATRIOTISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

They know that strength is not in force, but in the action of the mind, and in its clear expression, and, therefore, they are more afraid of the expression of independent thought than of armies; hence they institute cenorships, bribe the Press, and monopolise the control of religion and of the schools. But the spiritual force which moves the world eludes them; it is neither in books nor in papers; it cannot be trapped, and is always free; it is in the depths of consciousness of mankind. The most powerful force of freedom which cannot be imprisoned is that which asserts itself in the soul of man when he is alone, and in the sole presence of himself reflects on the facts of the universe, and then naturally communicates his thoughts to wife, brother, friend, with all those with whom he comes in contract, and from whom he would regard it as sinful to conceal the truth.

No milliards of roubles, no millions of troops, no organization, wars, nor revolutions will produce what the simple expression of a free man may, on what he regards as just, independently of what exists or was instilled into him.

One free man will say with truth what he thinks and feels amongst thousands of men who by their acts and words attest exactly the opposite. It would seem that he who sincerely expressed his thought must remain alone, whereas it generally happens that everyone else, or the majority at least have been thinking and feeling the same things but without expressing them.

And that which yesterday was the novel opinion of one man, to-day becomes the general opinion of the majority.

And as soon as this opinion is established, immediately by imperceptible degrees, but beyond power of frustration, the conduct of mankind begins to alter.

Whereas, at present, every man, even if free, asks himself "What can I do alone against all this ocean of evil and deceit which overwhelms us? Why should I express my opinion? Why indeed possess one? It is better not to reflect on these misty and involved questions. Perhaps these contradictions are an inevitable condition of our existence. And why should I struggle alone with all the evil in the world? Is it not better to go with the stream which carries me along? If anything can be done, it must be done not alone but in company with others."

And leaving the most powerful of weapons—thought and its