Tolstoy's letter to Ernest Howard Crosby

Trimis la data: 2014-12-29
Materia: Engleza
Nivel: Facultate
Pagini: 9
Nota: 10.00 / 10
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Autor: Roxana_R
Dimensiune: 24kb
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y Dear Crosby: -- I am very glad to hear of your activity and
that it is beginning to attract attention. Fifty years ago
Garrison's proclamation of non-resistance only cooled people toward
him, and the whole fifty years' activity of Ballou in this
direction was met with stubborn silence. I read with great
pleasure in *Peace* the beautiful ideas of the American authors in
regard to non-resistance. I make an exception only in the case of
Mr. Bemis's old, unfounded opinion, which calumniates Christ in
assuming that Christ's expulsion of the cattle from the temple
means that he struck the men with a whip, and commanded his
disciples to do likewise.
The ideas expressed by these writers, especially by H. Newton
and G. Herron, are beautiful, but it is to be regretted that they
do not answer the question which Christ put before men, but answer
the question which the so-called orthodox teachers of the churches,
the chief and most dangerous enemies of Christianity, have put in
its place.

Mr. Higginson says that the law of non-resistance is not
admissible as a general rule. H. Newton says that the practical
results of the application of Christ's teaching will depend on the
degree of faith which men will have in this teaching. Mr. C.
Martyn assumes that the stage at which we are is not yet suited for
the application of the teaching about non-resistance. G. Herron
says that in order to fulfil the law of non-resistance, it is
necessary to learn to apply it to life. Mrs. Livermore says the
same, thinking that the fulfilment of the law of non-resistance is
possible only in the future.

All these opinions treat only the question as to what would
happen to people if all were put to the necessity of fulfilling the
law of non-resistance; but, in the first place, it is quite
impossible to compel all men to accept the law of non-resistance,
and, in the second, if this were possible, it would be a most
glaring negation of the very principle which is being established.
To compel all men not to practise violence against others! Who is
going to compel men?

In the third place, and above all else, the question, as put
by Christ, does not consist in this, whether non-resistance may
become a universal law for all humanity, but what each man must do
in order to fulfil his destiny, to save his soul, and do God's
work, which reduces itself to the same. The Christian teaching does not prescribe any laws for all men; it does not say, "follow such and such rules under fear of punishment, and you will all be happy," but explains to each separate man his position in the world and shows him what for him personally results from this position.
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