Reflections of a Russian Statesman

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Page 167 - But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
Page 170 - The essence of religion is the strong and earnest direction of the emotions and desires towards an ideal object, recognized as of the highest excellence, and as rightfully paramount over all selfish objects of desire. This condition is fulfilled by the Religion of Humanity in as eminent a degree, and in as high a sense, as by the supernatural religions even in their best manifestations, and far more...
Page 186 - Where thou findest a Lie that is oppressing thee, extinguish it. Lies exist there only to be extinguished ; they wait and cry earnestly for extinction. Think well, meanwhile, in what spirit thou wilt do it : not -with hatred, with headlong selfish violence ; but in clearness of heart, with holy zeal, gently, almost with pity. Thou wouldst not replace such extinct Lie by a new Lie, which a new Injustice of thy own were ; the parent of still other Lies ? Whereby the latter end of that business were...
Page 164 - The more our thoughts widen and deepen, as the universe grows upon us and we become accustomed to boundless space and time, the more petrifying is the contrast of our own insignificance, the more contemptible become the pettiness, shortness, fragility of the individual life.
Page 169 - That present and finite objects and motives are capable of producing these effects, is argued as follows : — " When we consider how ardent a sentiment, in favorable circumstances of education, the love of country has become, we cannot judge it impossible that the love of that larger country, the world, may be nursed into similar strength, both as a source of elevated emotion and as a principle of duty.
Page 164 - ... fragility of the individual life. A moral paralysis creeps upon us. For a while we comfort ourselves with the notion of selfsacrifice ; we say, What matter if I pass, let me think of others ! But the other has become contemptible no less than the self; all human griefs alike seem little worth assuaging, human happiness too paltry at the best to be worth increasing. The whole moral world is reduced to a point, the spiritual city, ' the goal of all the saints' dwindles to the 'least of little stars';...
Page 65 - Any vagabond babbler or unacknowledged genius, any enterprising tradesman with his own money or with the money of others, may found a newspaper, even a great newspaper. He may attract a host of writers and feuilletonists, ready to deliver judgment on any subject at a moment's notice; he may hire illiterate reporters to keep him supplied with rumours and scandals.
Page 85 - Honour thy father and thy mother. Thou shalt do no murder. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness [against thy neighbour]. Thou shalt not covet [thy neighbour's house].
Page 170 - To call these sentiments by the name morality, exclusively of any other title, is claiming too little for them. They are a real religion ; of which, as of other religions, outward good works (the utmost meaning usually suggested by the word morality) are only a part, and are indeed rather the fruits of tho religion than the religion itself.
Page 123 - ... is the royal one of never hearing the plain, ' unornamented ' truth spoken ; everyone striving to be wise and profound invitd naturd in the presence of such a one, and making himself as much as possible into his likeness. And this is the reason that Arthur Helps and so many others talk very nicely to me, and bore you to distraction. With me they are not afraid to stand on the little ' broad basis ' of their own individuality, such as it is. With you they are always balancing themselves like Taglioni,...

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