Doukhobors and the Gourians nor to the refractory soldiers did he assume the pose of a master or teacher.
“He who suffers no trials can teach nothing to him who does so suffer.”
He implores “the forgiveness of all those whom his words and his writings may have caused to suffer.”
He never urges any one to refuse military service. It is a matter for every man to decide for himself. If he discusses the matter with any one who is hesitating, “he always advises him not to refuse obedience so long as it would not be morally impossible.” For if a man hesitates it is because he is not ripe; and “it is better to have one soldier the more than a regenade or hypocrite, which is what becomes of those who undertake a task beyond their
- Letter to Gontcharenko, a “refractory,” January 17, 1903. (Further Letters.)